GLORY 13 has really been shaping up for being the card of the year thus far, with big fights from Peter Aerts, Remy Bonjasky, Daniel Ghita, etc. I mean, there is just so much going on for GLORY 13 as it is and they went and just made it a bigger deal with two new fights signed for the event. Those fights, you might ask (and neglected to read the headline)?
Hesdy Gerges vs. Ewerton Teixeira
Mosab Amrani vs. Yuta Kubo
First thing is first, this marks the return of Brazilian K-1 star Ewerton Teixeira who has not been seen in a Kickboxing ring since the K-1 World Grand Prix 2010. For a lot of fans they might see him as a more conservative fighter, or the guy that guy kneed to death by Alistair Overeem, but Teixeira is an incredibly skilled fighter and a great name to have involved in their Heavyweight division. A fight against Gerges is a perfect test for him. The bout between Amrani and Kubo will prove to be an important fight for the 65kg division as Kubo won the GLORY 65kg tournament this year, while Amrani lost to the runner up, Masaaki Noiri.
So Badr Hari will be fighting in just a matter of hours now (10:00am Eastern time) and yeah, we know, if you live in the United States there is absolutely nothing convenient about the timing for this event. It's early morning on a Thursday, not exactly the same thing as staying up for a K-1 or PRIDE event on the weekends like everyone was used to years ago by a long shot. That being said, if you can do it (or live in Europe), you'll only have to plonk down $5 USD to watch GFC 3 featuring Badr Hari, Peter Aerts, Peter Graham and Stefan Leko.
It's building up to be an interesting show, at least. $5 for an internet PPV (which most of you hate anyway) isn't bad by a longshot. So check it out here. We'll have a full rundown of the event later on in the day.
We've been keeping our ears to the ground over the past few months in regards to everything GLORY, from possible television deals to upcoming shows to the format for their big Heavyweight tournament for this year. Last year's GLORY Grand Slam tournament was interesting, to say the least, using a one-night, sixteen man format with shorter rounds. It led to some quick action, but some of the more methodical, technical fighters like Remy Bonjasky were really hurt by such a ruleset and four fights in one night is just a lot of fights.
While some within the GLORY organization were steadfast in saying that they would repeat the format again this year, we've heard some conflicting reports on the format of the tournament. As GLORY gets closer to a larger American television deal (no insult to CBS Sports, but tape delay at 1am is simply not good enough for shows like this) they have to be concerned with time constraints and putting on a tighter, more unified production. GLORY already do a fantastic job with their pacing on their events, with the fights following each other in quick succession in a way that doesn't feel rushed, but natural. We can at least expect the quirks of last year's Grand Slam to not return.
So according to our source, who wishes to remain unnamed, this year's tournament will be shrunk down from sixteen men to just four to be able to properly fit on a two to three hour American television slot while putting on entertaining fights and being able to properly present the fighters to the audience. The first three participants will be based upon the GLORY World Rankings, although it should be noted that word is that Semmy Schilt will not participate. That means that Gokhan Saki, Daniel Ghita and Tyrone Spong are guaranteed spots in the tournament, with the fourth spot being a "Wildcard." That "Wildcard" spot will be determined by another tournament that will take place before the event, a Qualifying tournament. It is not clear who will participate in this tournament, but the next four in the rankings are Peter Aerts, Remy Bonjasky, Jerome Le Banner and Errol Zimmerman (although I believe that Rico Verhoeven is actually in that spot now after his win over Errol).
So, what do you think? Would you be upset to see the Final 8 format disappear, or is it time for something new?
It's Showtime is tomorrow, coming at us with one of the biggest fights of the year so far in Peter Aerts taking on Tyrone Spong live from Brussels. For Americans, the second half of the card will air on HDnet (soon to be AXS) at 3pm Eastern, for anyone who wants to watch the full card or is in an area where it won't be aired on television, head to ShowtimeFights.com and order the PPV now (clicking that link supports LiverKick!).
This video is courtesy of our friends at Staredown.NL, who will without a doubt be posting some more awesome content over the weekend.
The IGF is a pro wrestling promotion ran out of Japan by former New Japan Pro Wrestling head and MMA pioneer Antonio Inoki. It features his "brand" of pro wrestling, which is a hybrid of real fighting and the theatrics and "booking" (read: scripted nature) of pro wrestling. In the end what it yields is the high drama of pro wrestling with the grit, violence and impact of a real fight. That style goes far back to catch-as-catch-can wrestling and Japan was king of the "shoot-style" with the early UWF, early Pancrase, RINGS, UWF-i and U-Style. Inoki's last show was an eclectic mix, featuring Jerome Le Banner against Kazuyoshi Fujita, Yuichiro "Jienotsu" Nagashima against pro wrestling legend Masahiro Chono and Peter Aerts against fallen sumo Shinichi Suzukawa.
Sadly Peter Aerts Lost again by TKO at the Saint Tropez Fight Night II this weeekend. Freddy Kemayo seemed like a bad match up for him after his last fight since Kemayo is younger and fresher than Dewey Cooper. On the other hand, Jerome Le Banner Won by KO over Colin George from Mike's Gym, Nicolas Wamba got back into the win column with a second round KO, and Filip Verlinden won by Decision. Now we just wait for the videos to be released.
Jerome Le Banner wins by KO R2 vs Colin George
Nicolas Wamba wins by KO R2 vs Arnold Oborotov
Yoann Kongolo wins on points Nicola Gallo
Freddy Kemayo wins by TKO R2 vs Peter Aerts
Vladimir Mineev wins on points vs Mikahail Tuterev
Manneenoi Ekkarit wins by KO R1 vs Michel Texeira
Filip Verlinden wins on points Corentin Jallon
Samsamut Kietchongkao wins on points vs Kevin Eiderg
Taehiran Chommanee wins on points Irina Mazepa
Here is a Video it doesn't show much, but its something.
2010 was a rough year for K-1 MAX. Three of the division's very top stars fought their (for now) last MAX fights in 2009, including Masato, the man MAX had been built around from the start. Shows were planned, then canceled. Only two qualifying Grand Prixs were held, and one of those 2 never aired. Half of the Final 16 fights were shoved onto the 63kg GP finals almost as an afterthought, and at one time, there were rumors that the 2010 MAX Grand Prix might not even happen. Fans of MAX were looking at the year as somewhat of a disaster.
That changed on October 3. Amidst all this chaos and confusion, the MAX Final 16 event in Seoul was a grand slam of an event - an all around fantastic card with every fight delivering. The next day, no one was talking about how K-1 MAX was struggling. Instead, they were talking about what a show it was. And they were talking about one fight.
That fight is your 2010 LiverKick.com Fans' Fight of the Year - "Iron" Mike Zambidis vs. Chahid Oulad El Hadj.
Coming into the event, this was a fight that on paper looked like it could be a good one. Both Zambidis and Chahid are exciting fighters who like to push the pace and have turned in plenty of fun bouts. But they are also two men whose presence in the Final 16 was questionable, as neither had claimed a significant K-1 win in some time. From the moment the two men meet in center ring for the staredown, any concerns about them not belonging flew out the window. Because right from the opening, you can tell this is going to be something special. Both men looked hungry, out for redemption, and just plain pissed off. They looked ready to tear into each other. And that's exactly what they did.
For four epic rounds, Zambidis and Chahid engaged in an all out war. By the end of the 3rd, the announcers are all on their feet waiting for the judges' decision. By the end of the 4th, fans are already writing their friends telling them what they just saw. And by the next morning, all the focus was on this classic.
Watching it now, I'm reminded of another all-time K-1 great contest - Ray Sefo vs. Mark Hunt (and if you've never seen that, watch it, seriously, now). Like Sefo vs. Hunt, this is a fight that doesn't need any backstory. It's a moment that stands on its own, where even if you've never heard of either man, the combination of heart, determination, technique, and aggression they show is enough to grab you. At a time in combat sports where the UFC is the clear top dog, and where Dana White's love of wild stand-up brawling has come to define how many fans view stand-up action, this fight is a definitive example of what stand-up can be. Yes it's a brawl, but it's also two supremely skilled fighters never losing track of the technique needed to fight at this level. It's a fight every fan of Griffin vs. Bonnar, Garcia vs. The Korean Zombie, or countless other recent fights really owes it to themselves to watch.
Chances are good you've already seen this fight, probably more than once. But as we say our final good-byes to 2010, do yourself a favor and watch it once more. You'll thank yourself later.
A big thanks to all our fans who voted in this poll. In the end, Zambidis vs. Chahid was the clear winner, drawing 34% of the vote. #2 and #3 were only separated by a handful of votes, with the sentimental favorite Peter Aerts vs. Semmy Schilt at #2, and the battle of the new guard in Gokhan Saki vs. Daniel Ghita at #3. For full results, click here, and don't forget to vote on our new polls every week here at LiverKick.com.
Results from last week's question: Who is K-1's greatest of all time?
42% - Peter Aerts
27% - Ernesto Hoost
11% - Semmy Schilt
9% - Andy Hug
7% - Remy Bonjasky
2% - Jerome Le Banner
2% - Ray Sefo
This week: Coming up this Saturday will be the first truly major card of 2011 as It's Showtime kicks off their year. Headlining the event is a great top 10 battle with #8 Daniel Ghita vs. #9 Hesdy Gerges. So, who wins?
Fight Night Saint-Tropez II will be taking place August 4th 2014 in Saint-Tropez, France but will be broadcast Aug 7th on the French channel L'Equipe 21. We will get to see big names like Jerome Le Banner, Peter Aerts, Filip Verlinden and Freddy Kemayo. It looks as though Daniel Sam was supposed to be facing Le Banner but it seems to have changed to Colin George who also trains at Mike's Gym. Peter Aerts will be facing Freddy Kemayo, who will be a tough fight considering Aerts got a draw with Dewey Cooper his last fight.
Jerome LEBANNER ( France ) vs Colin GEORGE ( England )
Peter AERTS ( Holland ) vs Freddy KEMAYO ( France )
Vladimir MINEEV ( Russia ) vs Mikahail TUTUREV ( Russia )
Nicolas WAMBA ( France ) vs Arnold OBOROTOV (Lithuania )
Yohan KONGOLO ( Switzerland ) vs Nicola GALLO ( Italia )
This weekend It's Showtime has a huge event coming up, including the "Benelux retirement" of Peter Aerts against internationally-acclaimed Tyrone Spong. The twenty-six year old Spong is possibly looking to make the transition to MMA, but not before settling his debts in the Kickboxing world and making his way to the top. Fighting Peter Aerts in one of his retirement fights is a huge honor for Spong, and would be one of his biggest wins at Heavyweight to date, which he very much needs. Spong has been training in Florida with Rashad Evan's "Blackzilian" camp, including fighters like former K-1 World Grand Prix Champion Alistair Overeem, so he will without a doubt be in good shape and will have had a decent sparring partner, to say the least.
“I came all the way out here 2 Brussels, Belgium to corner @Tyrone_Spong & he got me out here like The Notorious Bum! I'm not trying 2 be high maintenance but could a brutha at least get a bed?! Lol” [source]