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Ten Questions With GLORY Lightweight Champion Davit Kiria

Georgian born kickboxer, Davit Kiria has wowed spectators in the sport since his debut. Kiria is well known for his speed and his aggressiveness in the ring as well as his ability to combine traditional kickboxing styles with Ashihara karate, a discipline in which he holds a black belt.

Looking ahead to Glory 18 where Kiria is expected to face off for the third time against Robin van Roosmalen, I had an opportunity to ask Davit some questions about his past, present and future as well as to find out whether the third time will be a charm for him..

SW: Once again, I would like to thank you Davit for the opportunity for the interview. Since your debut as a fighter with Glory you have shown yourself to be a very exciting fighter and one who the fans love to watch. I last saw you fight against Andy Ristie in Zagreb. It initially seemed that you might be down in points until your eventual KO. Did you have any difficulty adjusting to Ristie's fighting style?

DK; Ristie has just perfect parameters for lightweight, he is tall and he has very long hands and legs which makes for me more difficulty. But, I'm professional and I have professional trainers and we can learn any opponent and their fighting style.

SW: Glory 18 will mark your third meeting with Robin van Roosmalen. In the two prior bouts van Roosmalen won via decision. What, if anything, have you done differently in this training camp to prepare for this fight?

DK: This fight is very important for me, two times I've fought already with no success, but now it's the third time so it has to finish with my success. I have done very hard preparation and I am very happy, everything went very well and without any injuries or stress. I'm in very good shape and I will show more than in Zagreb because I have improved a lot because of hard working.

SW: You are the current Glory lightweight champion with a record of 5-3-0. What is your overall professional record?

DK: I have 23 Wins 8 losses and 0 draws.

SW: You have a black belt in Karate. At what age did you begin training? Also can you speak about how your interest in combat sports developed.

DK: I was 9 when I started to train in Karate. Before that I was playing soccer, but I really didn't like it. I don't like group games, I like individual sports and I chose to train karate because it's also courageous.

SW: You have been training in Holland for some time with Dave Jonkers and Semmy Schilit. What was it about their style of training/fighting that attracted you?

DK: Till today I train here in Holland. I come here for preparation, I get very good experience here. Semmy is a great fighter and person. Dave is a good trainer, I'm working till this day with Dave and my Georgian Trainer Bachuki they are a very good combination together, and they know best how to work with me.

SW: Both you and van Roosmalen are viewed as very fast and aggressive in your styles. What other assets do you see yourself bringing to the ring?

DK: I am better I think it from inside, I also have better technique, I know and I will show it next week. I will not only use my physical skills I will use my technical skills too and I will be better. I will do my best to show to the kickboxing world that I'm better than him and that I'm the best.

SW: Looking beyond Glory 18, are there any other fighters in your division that you are interested in fighting?

DK: Yes I already said Georgio Petrsosyan, I want to fight him next, but we will see how my management can work it out with Glory.

SW: What are some of your hobbies outside the ring?

DK: I have some hobbies but unfortunately I haven't enough time to enjoy them. I like to go to nature (mountains), I also like fishing, and I like to take nice photos, but I have less time for all this :):)

SW: If you were not fighting, what kind of career do you think you would have chosen?

DK: Maybe a businessman or farmer. I don't have any idea :):):) I never think about that, but I know what I'd like to do in future.

SW: Any special message to your fans?

DK: Yes of course. I love my fans, I don't like to ignore them, any reaction or message. Thank you my fans for this all love, I promise I always will do my best! If I win or lose it will always be my maximum. Till today I never make you upset and I do my best to keep it like that. Follow me on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. You can also visit my website, davitkiria.com and don't hesitate to ask me any questions via blog or mail.

We at Liverkick.com wish Davit the best in this bout with Robin. Glory 18 will be one of the most exciting events of the year and the headliner Kiria vs. van Roosmalen is guaranteed to keep us all on the edge of our seats!

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Watch GLORY 18 Live on LiverKick

On Friday night GLORY will return with GLORY 18 on Spike TV. For those of you outside of the United States that wish to view the event live you'll have the chance to do so by purchasing a PPV stream live via LiverKick. This is guaranteed to be a great show, featuring the GLORY Lightweight Championship between Davit Kiria and Robin van Roosmalen. 

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K-1 Japan 65kgs Tournament Results

Last night the K-1 Japan 65kgs tournament took place including names like Yuta Kubo, Hiroya, and Michael "Tomahawk" Thompson. Overall I really enjoyed the fights, they all seemed well matched, with every fighter bringing their own unique style to the ring making the fights exciting.

We saw a wicked spinning back fist KO at the hands of Takeru in a fight that I thought he was losing. The return of Hiroya was great but once again he always seems to come up a bit short. There were two fighters that really stood out for me though, of course the tournament winner, southpaw from Thailand Kaew Fairtex, with his lightning fast head kicks, his huge upset over Kubo, and his ability to avoid punches even with the ref harassing him about clinching. Also we found out his father had passed away a week ago, he dedicated his win to him. It seemed to me that Fairtex hurt his left shin in his first fight, since he threw it a lot less in the 2nd and 3rd plus it all bandaged up, didn't seem to effect his performance too much though. Secondly a British fighter named Kerrith Bhella, I personally hadn't seen him fight before, and I half expected K-1 to give Yuya someone he could beat up in Japan. I was very wrong, Bhella's technique was some of the best I have seen, tight hands, fast powerful jab and combos followed by leg kicks, and an almost flawless defense. I really hope we get to see more of him after his defeat of Yamamoto last night.

Results

Tournament Reserve: Ilias Bulaid Defeats Taito (KO rd 3)

Tournament Quarter Final #1 - Hiroya Defeats Michael "Tomahawk" Thompson.

Tournament Quarter Final #2 - Soda Yasuomi defeats Kimura Minoru (KO rd 2)

Tournament Quarter Final #3 - Kaew Fairtex Defeats Yamazaki Hideaki (decision)

Tournament Quarter Final #4 - Yuta Kubo defeats Raz Sarkisjan (decision)

Superfight 70kgs - Matsukura Shintaro defeats Zhao Fukai (decision)

K-1 Koshien 2014 final - Hiramoto Ren defeats Sano Tenma (decision)

Tournament Semi-Finals #1 - Soda Yasuomi defeats Hiroya (decision)

Tournament Semi-Finals #2 - Kaew Fairtex defeats Yuta Kubo (KO Rd 2)

Superfight 55kgs - Takeru defeats Taiga(KO rd 2 wicked spinning backfist)

Superfight 70kgs - Kerrith Bhella defeats Yuya Yamamoto (decision)

 Tournament Finals - Kaew Fairtex defeats Soda Yasuomi (decision)

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Michael Page Talking About Freestyle Kickboxing in MMA is Fascinating

When it comes to the realm of professional kickboxing not many people pay much credence to freestyle kickboxing anymore. Freestyle kickboxing is probably closest to what we call "full contact" kickboxing, which means that it is the long pants, point-fighting variant of kickboxing. Modern kickboxing in the GLORY/K-1 rules is Japanese in origin, coming from the idea of blending Kyokushin Karate with Muay Thai and deviates quite a bit from the days of point fighting, although point fighting and other variants of kickboxing still exist, but we don't hear much about them anymore. 

Bellator fighter Michael Page spoke with MMAFighting's Luke Thomas recently and talked a lot about freestyle kickboxing and how it helped to make his style so unique in MMA. It's interesting because we are so used to GLORY/K-1 style or muay thai style being the go-to for sport fighting and MMA that we've all kind of written off other styles of kickboxing or karate as useful in an environment of professional fighting, but apparently it can be useful. Hell, look at Lyoto Machida's success in the UFC. 

Fascinating stuff, that's for sure, especially considering that at GLORY 18 we'll see Kyokushin (technically Ashihara) stylist Davit Kiria look to defend his GLORY Lightweight Championship against Robin van Roosmalen in a classic Kyokushin vs. Dutch style fight. 

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