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Bellator Kickboxing 2 In Focus With Joe Schilling

This weekend Bellator puts forth their second kickboxing effort in Bellator Kickboxing 2, immediately following Bellator MMA: Dynamite 2. Joe Schilling vs. Hisaki Kato II will be kicking off Bellator Kickboxing 2 as the main event, this being a showdown a year to the day after Kato knocked Joe Schilling out in the Bellator MMA ring. This featurette takes an in depth look at Joe Schilling and why he's one of the biggest names in American kickboxing.


Raymond Daniels is Chasing Another World Title in Bellator Kickboxing

(C) Bellator

This weekend Bellator presents Bellator MMA: Dynamite 2, a hybrid MMA and kickboxing event followed by Bellator Kickboxing 2. At Bellator Kickboxing 2 Raymond Daniels will be one of the banner fighters, taking on Stefano Bruno during the telecast. Whenever Daniels is in the ring you can expect something spectacular and in his first Bellator bout Daniels delivered exactly that. In just 30 seconds he was able to finish Francisco Morrica with a spinning back kick, the move that has become a pro wrestling-like finisher of sorts for Daniels.

But the thing is, Daniels has been working incredibly hard on rounding out his kickboxing game and he’s rarely getting to show it. “Yeah, you know,” Daniels told us, “it’s funny because we do all of these things in training camp and have plans to try them out, but the openings are there, so I take them and I knock guys out.”

Raymond Daniels is acutely aware that he provides what nobody else in professional kickboxing currently can in spectacular knockouts. He’s even got a signature kick that is credited with many of his knockout victories. Does it bother Daniels, though? “Not really. I know what I’m capable of, I know what I train and people will get to see it eventually. We always plan on showing off what I’ve learned, but I’ve mastered certain techniques -- and when I say master I mean that I’ve been practicing them for years -- and it’s like what Bruce Lee said; ‘I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.’ There are just certain techniques that I know when to set up, I know how I’m going to land, what happens if I miss. So yeah, when I see that opening I’m going for it.”

As Daniels continues forward in Bellator and becomes more and more synonymous with crazy knockouts and one of the more recognizable names in kickboxing, the question comes of what does Daniels look to do with his future. Does he stay humble and teaching karate, or does he have to move on? “I’ll always find time to teach,” he explained. “It’s a part of me and it’s so important to me. I think about what it did for me growing up, how it helped to shape and mold me. You don’t have to go on to become a world champion for martial arts training to be important in your life. When I was a kid I thought that I had it all figured out, but now that I’m older I realize that while I’m in a better position, I’m still not perfect. I’ve got an 18 year old son that just graduated from high school and he’s trying to figure his life out, it’s funny because he has these plans and he thinks that he’s got it figured out, now it’s his time to learn that he can be wrong.”

When it comes to fighting, though, Daniels does have his eyes on the prize. While he’s not overlooking his opponent this weekend, he will be looking for another spectacular knockout. “That’s just what I do. Against that traditional kickboxing and muay thai style I’m able to really frustrate guys, to make them move like they aren’t comfortable, to be aware that I hit from different angles. It keeps them on edge.” 

But for the future? “Karim Ghajji won that title on the first show and I’m not that guy, I’m not gonna call out the champion before he has a chance to settle in. Let him have his moment, let him be happy with his accomplishments, but I’m coming for him. I’m a world champion, that’s what I do. I’m not looking beyond this next fight, but the way I see it, if I win this fight and get another big knockout I’ve got a pretty good claim to challenge for that title. Then I can make my way to another world title. That’s just what I do.”

Daniels does make a point, I can’t imagine anyone else challenging Karim Ghajji at this point. We’ll have to tune in this weekend to see what Daniels brings to the table and if we get another spectacular knockout. Bellator Kickboxing 2 airs directly after Bellator MMA: Dynamite 2 on Friday, June 24th.



Badr Hari Reportedly to be in Attendance for GLORY 31

In perhaps one of the more interesting developments for GLORY of late, Badr Hari will be in attendance at GLORY 31, as will Rico Verhoeven. Verhoeven will be there for Spike TV Netherlands, being an on-air personality for Spike TV in the Netherlands. Rumor has it that he'll be attempting to interview Badr Hari live on air as well, which would be immensely interesting. 

This would serve as a great opportunity to announce Badr Hari vs. Rico Verhoeven, live from the Netherlands, but don't get your hopes up just yet. Until we've heard that the fight is official a ton of stuff could happen in the meantime.



GLORY Parting Ways with Former Champion Artem Levin


In a move that should surprise no one, GLORY has opted not to be in the Artem Levin business any further. Artem Levin's last bout for the organization was against Simon Marcus in a bout for the GLORY Middleweight Championship that ended in controversy when Levin simply walked out after feeling that the referee was being too harsh on him while being lenient on Marcus. This has rustled feathers of some, claiming that Levin walking out was unprofessional, while others saw what he saw in that the referee completely decided who was going to win the fight and wanted nothing to do with it. 

To us, that looked like the last time that we'd see Levin in a GLORY ring and thanks to words from Jon J. Franklin over at MMAMania, it's official. Artem Levin's contract has expired and GLORY has opted not to negotiate with him or prevent him from looking elsewhere. Essentially, Levin is free to go as he wishes and won't be competing for GLORY anymore. 

Simon Marcus and Artem Levin are not a good pairing, the fights that we've gotten have always been a mess and I'm not sure what people expected of this last fight. Levin was a solid champion for GLORY and is, without a doubt, one of the best fighters in that weight class. Recent shifts over the past few months meant that the top three fighters in the division; Marcus, Levin and Schilling, will now not be competing under the same roof. 


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