|Heavyweight (Per 1/20)|
|6.||Mirko Cro Cop
|Light HW (per 1/20)|
|Middleweight (per 1/20)|
|Welterweight (per 1/20)|
|4.||Marc de Bonte|
|70kg (Per 1/20)|
|2.||Robin van Roosmalen|
|65kg (per 1/20)|
Look, I know that only Americans call it Soccer and that everywhere else in the world it is Football. I get it. The...Read more
If you follow American Kickboxing chances are you know about Mark Miller. Mark competed in Kickboxing for years, making his way onto K-1 USA events, which at the time was about as good as an American Kickboxer could ever hope for. Things went a little haywire for Mark in the mid-00's when the loss of three members of his family was compounded with him finding out that he had a heart condition, CHD, which led to him having to have open heart surgery to replace his aortic valve.
Mark's story led to a triumphant comeback in 2011 when he was the first fighter to come back from open heart surgery with a stunning nine second knockout on Nikolaj Falin. The year 2012 wasn't as charitable to him with two losses to Sergei Kharitonov and Koichi Watanabe, but 2013 was beginning to take shape for him as he was scheduled to fight at GLORY 12 in New York. That is where our story starts to come together, though, as he came down with a bad case of bronchitis. This bronchitis led to a bad case of pneumonia, which ultimately led to congenital heart failure and a very, very pricey trip to the hospital.
Not only did it mean that his chances of fighting at GLORY 12 were dashed, it also meant a week-long stay in the hospital hooked up to a dialysis machine. The kicker here is that Mark doesn't have health insurance. Now, before you begin pointing fingers, cursing and calling anyone a moocher, it isn't for lack of effort. See, Mark has CHD and type 1 diabetes, which makes insurance companies almost immediately turn him down due to his "preexisting conditions." Say what you will about Obama's Affordable Care Act, but under that act Mark would be able to purchase his own insurance and have help with his medical bills. Instead he is faced with potentially a six figure medical bill, which is just another in a long line of medical bills that he's had to foot due to insurance companies being unwilling to touch him.
So if you can, donate what you can to help him out.Add a comment
The big news that we broke on Monday was that K-1 has decided to move to a format that is more standard for combat sports; multiple divisions with champions in each division. For combat sports fans it is a format that we all know very well, as it is a staple in Boxing as well as MMA. For many fans, the idea of K-1 moving away from the tournament structure is blasphemous, as K-1 made its name as a company with its yearly World Grand Prix tournament which has helped to build up stars like Peter Aerts, Remy Bonjasky, Masato, Buakaw Por. Pramuk and many more.
Of course, K-1 isn’t going to abandon the tournaments altogether, as they plan to run them every few years as opposed to yearly, but for fans the sting is still the same. I’ve seen and heard it all in regards to this news now; K-1 is dead, GLORY rules, etc. The irony here is that even GLORY has moved away from the big tournament format. They ran one 16-man Heavyweight tournament and one 8-man Lightweight tournament before moving to a much more svelte one night 4-man format, which with a reserve fight only takes up four fights on one card.
The truth of the matter is this; the market has changed drastically in the last few years and it is no longer a viable business model to hold these big tournaments. The proof is in the pudding when GLORY held a giant 16-man Heavyweight tournament in Japan and the only way they could sell tickets to the show was to tack on a DREAM card to it and to place the DREAM card before the Kickboxing card to ensure that the arena wasn’t empty. Reports from inside of the stadium were of confusion, dread and boredom when it came to GLORY’s Heavyweight Grand Slam, regardless of the actual quality of the event and the big, recognizable names on the card.
The big tournament format for Kickboxing was forged in Japan in the early 90’s and for that place and time it was a hit. It was what the fans were hungry for and what they were willing to consume. K-1 is no longer a Japanese-centric organization anymore, in fact, their office is in China right now. This is all for good reason, too, as the Japanese fighting market is deader than dead right now. Smaller organizations still exist and draw decent crowds, but Japan has always been a fad-based culture and quite frankly, kakutougi is not in fashion right now.
I think that the occasional tournament will actually hold more weight than a yearly one at this point, especially with the market as fractured as it is right now. As much as fans are willing to immediately extol the benefits of GLORY, the creation of GLORY changed the Kickboxing market for good, fracturing up the fanbase and the talent pool. A good portion of the world’s recognizable Heavyweight talent is currently signed to GLORY’s roster, while the other weight classes are more of a tossup. I’m not sure if makes sense to hold a Heavyweight WGP this year with the talent that is available on the market. The K-1 World Grand Prix is a name that holds weight and is prestigious, I’m not sure that I want just any sixteen names tossed into a pool under the name K-1 World Grand Prix to play make believe like everything is as it was in 2001.
It’s not 2001 anymore, Japan isn’t the booming market that it was and Kickboxing has adapted to work outside of the Japanese market. Part of this adaptation has been showcasing talents from all over the world in different weight classes. There is less of a need for the “freakshow factor” of having huge Heavyweights and Super Heavyweights battling it out like titans while Japanese audiences oooh and ahh. The MAX/70kg division means a lot more right now than a division created to feature the talented and uber-pretty MASATO to draw in younger female crowds.
While we as fans may have appropriated K-1 to mean whatever it is that we feel it was, it doesn’t mean that it always has to be that. The Asian MMA market has reached a point of it being just comical due to the endless attempts to emulate the “feel” of PRIDE FC. PRIDE FC is dead and no low level emulation of PRIDE is going to bring back those memories, much in the same way that those old memories of K-1 World Grand Prixs of past years are just that, memories. There is no better point to hammer this home with than Peter Aerts, Remy Bonjasky and Semmy Schilt retiring.
The guys managing K-1 now are a new team that were brought in this year, given a mess of an organization and a limited budget and told “fix it.” If everyone really considers themselves such hardcore K-1 fans, you’ll recognize the hard work that has gone into reviving the brand and to do so in a way that promotes growth and restraint, not one that involves tossing millions of dollars away per show in a feeble attempt to pretend that they are healthy. It was precisely that type of promoting that led to the giant collapse of FEG’s K-1 in 2010 and left in its wake fighters who were promised big money contracts without any of that money and no answers. I’d much rather see thought being put into the future of K-1 than K-1 Global performing a blitzkrieg to keep the internet happy, only to implode within a few months and leave fighters unpaid, unhappy and harm the whole sport all over again.Add a comment
For those that were eagerly awaiting the Yokkao 5 event in Reunion, France it looks like the wait will be just about a week longer and instead of taking place in Reunion it'll be moved to Pattaya, Thailand. The card remains the same, though, even with this kind of late notice, which is good. The Yokkao Team feels that they'll be able to put on a better show without problems in Thailand, which seems to be the best for the fighters right now.
Here is their official statement.
Due to several problems in Reunion Island with Maximin Lafuteur president of Associationne Culturelle Muay Thai, we decided to move #Yokkao5 event in Pattaya (Thailand) on 15th November 2013 (Pattaya World Boxing Stadium). The tickets bought at www.monticket.re will be refunded. Out of respect for fighters and in knowing what it means to train for a fight, all fighters contacted by our promoter Stefania Picelli will be remain on the fight card. Stay tuned for a spectacular event feat. Saenchai, Imwiset Pornnarai, Ekapop Sor Klinmee, Silvia La Notte, Andrea Masini and many others..Add a comment
There have been a lot of questions from fans over the past few weeks as for what will be in store for K-1 after the tremendous September 14th event in Mallorca, Spain. To the public, things have been quiet on the K-1 Global front, but there has been a lot of movement behind the scenes, with plans being laid out for the next year. I spoke with K-1 Global’s Director of Events & Fighter Acquisition Ned Kuruc about the future of K-1 and it seems like the gears are fully in motion in pushing K-1 into the future.
The first topic was on making the message extremely clear to fans; K-1 is going to change how their shows are run, shifting the emphasis from tournaments to crowning champions across weight divisions and having them defend these belts. “We’re gonna open up our weight divisions, we want to have a clear cut champion in each division,” he stated. “He’ll go on to defend that championship and we’ll get to see who is really the best in each weight class. We’ll have a top ten ranking in every division and fighters will move up the ranks and try to fight the champion.
“We definitely wanted to open up all of the weight classes,” he continued. “For too long K-1 was just two weight classes and this is the solution that we had to help to establish all of these weight classes.”
For many fans, the idea of losing the tournament format will be a loss, as K-1 was established on this idea of annual tournaments to decide the best in the world, but Kuruc assures us that K-1 isn’t done with tournaments. “Is K-1 done with the tournament format? Absolutely not. We want to establish these weight divisions and crown champions, but we still want to run tournaments, just not as often. Maybe they are every two or four years, just not every year like we are all used to.” Add a comment
I've heard of fighters being unwilling to accept defeat in the past before, but Gokhan Saki's view of his fight with Rico Verhoeven has seemingly gone beyond just his denial over the loss and moved into him threatening legal action against GLORY. At GLORY 11 he faced Rico Verhoeven in the semi-finals of the GLORY 11 Heavyweight tournament, where the referee scored a controversial knockdown in favor of Rico Verhoeven. Saki firmly believes that he was screwed out of a victory and that he would have been ruled the winner if it wasn't for that knockdown.
How much does he believe this? He released a statement through Golden Glory TV today stating that he was looking into taking legal action against the organization. I'm not sure what good this would even do at this point as it was a tournament, which Verhoeven went on to win, not just a single fight. Would he want them to repeat the entire tournament just for him to have a do over? Never mind that things quite simply don't work the way that he thinks it does. This isn't a Jerome Le Banner temper tantrum in Japan, this was a fight that happened in the United States with oversight from the Illinois Athletic Commission. The Commission chose the officials for the fights and the protest would have to be filed with them (although it would absolutely fall upon deaf ears).
It seems like Saki is unwilling to let this go and there is talk of this helping to build a rift between Saki, Mike's Gym and the GLORY organization. If Saki really wants to get down to brass tacks, that same referee could have disqualified him for Saki putting his hand son him, but chose to let the fight continue with just a stern warning. It's unfortunate that Verhoeven's win will be tainted like this, as actions like this taint the situation for everyone involved; from the winner, to the organization to the loser who is protesting.Add a comment