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K-1 Signs Former UFC Fighter Paul Daley

Paul Daley

Today we got word from K-1 Global that they were going to be announcing a huge signing. As we saw in the past with their signing of Buakaw Banchamek, when they say that they've signed someone big, they usually mean it. This time was no different, as they announced today that former UFC and Strikeforce fighter Paul Daley. Paul Daley has been focusing on Kickboxing thus far in 2014, with three Kickboxing fights and three knockouts under his belt.

These knockouts aren't just against local boys, either. Two of those knockouts are against big names in Kickboxing, one was Alexander Stetsurenko, the other against Alexander Surzkho at LEGEND 3: Pour Homme. So needless to say, this guy has looked super impressive in Kickboxing and there has been a lot of speculation about him making the move into either K-1 or GLORY. This is a huge win for K-1 in this case, because Paul Daley has chosen to go with the most recognized name in the sport of Kickboxing by the way of K-1.

Daley will be fighting at 80kg (about 176lbs) and will make his debut for K-1 in their July outing in Thailand, which will be the K-1 World MAX Finals featuring Buakaw Banchamek vs. Enriko Kehl. Paul Daley will be fighting next on April 25th in Slovenia at FFC12 against Miran Fabjan.

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Badr Hari Claims Ernesto Hoost Tried to 'Fix' a Fight

Badr Hari

According to Dutch site at5, Badr Hari has made claims in his upcoming autobiography that Ernesto Hoost had attempted to "fix" a Badr Hari fight in 2008. In typical Badr Hari fashion, this is mildly controversial.

'He once tried to make a deal with me, it was on Hawaii in 2008. He proposed I take it easy for the first two rounds and really see who's the best in Round 3. Hoost, the coward.'

Ernesto Hoost denies the accusations. 'I did talk to Badr about fighting at one time, but this is completely made up by him. Total nonsense.'

The fight in question would be from the 2008 K-1 World Grand Prix in Hawaii against Domagoj Ostojic. I'm not sure that Ernesto Hoost would have much of a reason to ask Badr Hari to go lightly on Ostojic, so yeah, the story makes little sense. If it was about a fight with Hoost, well, he was retired but possibly planning on a comeback at that point. If Hari is claiming that Hoost approached him about a future fight where Hari takes it easy on him in the future, only Badr really knows.

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Gokhan Saki Won More Than GLORY's Light Heavyweight Championship

Saki

Respect. Respect is what Gokhan Saki earned at GLORY 15 Istanbul.

Going into Saturday’s GLORY 15 Istanbul I found myself concerned. Not concerned over how Spike TV’s ratings would be or that any fighter was in any danger, but I was concerned that the Gokhan Saki that we saw in Chicago at GLORY 11 would resurface again. I was concerned that the local fans in Istanbul would not only give him a pass, but cheer him on. The Saki that I’m referring to is one that found it prudent to shove a referee and let his emotions get the better of him. The Gokhan Saki that had lost his way.

The months following GLORY 11 were a bit frustrating for long-time fans of Gokhan Saki. Saki was angry, very angry, because he lost a fight that he felt that he should have easily won and that he was wronged by the official. All fighters have tough nights and that night Saki had one. The problem was that Saki, whom had endeared himself to fans for years for not only being a scrappy, talented fighter, but a guy who loved his fans and wouldn’t let them down, was letting people down. I know that he let me down with the talk about lawsuits, being robbed and even potentially leaving GLORY for another organization because of a referee’s missed call. We’ve seen referees make the wrong call in the past before and know that the organization has no control over it and that referees have a very tough job.

What was tough to stomach was that Rico Verhoeven worked very hard for his tournament victory and that night that helped to define his career. That night was forever tainted and in a way, taken away from him, due to Saki’s words and actions post-fight. Now legions of fans would view Verhoeven’s big night as “tainted,” something that a guy like Saki should understand all-too-well from all of his battles. Saki has had nights with controversy in them before, just like he’s had disappointment and heartbreak before.

This is why at GLORY 15 Gokhan Saki was able to not only prove himself to be the great fighter that he is, but the great sportsman that we all knew that he always was. Saki found himself against two of the best fighters in the world, with both fights ending via stoppage due to injury. Those injuries, without a doubt, came from Saki’s work. In the case of Nathan Corbett, Corbett took a left hand to the ear that almost tore his ear off, requiring him to have plastic surgery to repair it. Saki was graceful in his victory and was legitimately concerned and supportive of Corbett after the fact.

Then came the main event against Tyrone Spong. This was the fight that we were all waiting for and that we all wanted to see something that we didn’t end up getting. We wanted a war, we wanted a classic, we wanted the rematch. Instead, Saki went to check a leg kick and Tyrone’s kick was a bit high, connecting on his knee and instantly snapping his shin. Saki didn’t run around celebrating, even though he had just won $200,000 and the GLORY Light Heavyweight Championship. Saki didn’t cut an interview saying how he meant to do that, or that he knew he could have broken Tyrone’s leg. No. Saki immediately ran to check on Tyrone and remained humble throughout the rest of the night.

Gokhan Saki wanted the win and will remain proud of his victory, but he didn’t want to win in that way. He knows that an injury like that isn’t common and that the fans wanted to see Saki pick up a clear-cut victory over Spong. Saki also knows that his fellow competitors are human beings just like him, especially after he moved from the Netherlands to Abu Dhabi due to personal reasons and needing to clear his head. What we saw from Gokhan Saki at GLORY 15 was enough to remind us that Gokhan Saki is not only a skilled, powerful and talented guy, but that he’s a fighter that fans can be proud to be a fan of.

Kickboxing and GLORY didn’t need an angry, resentful Gokhan Saki, they needed this Gokhan Saki. This Gokhan Saki as one of their champions can only help GLORY and the sport of Kickboxing in the long run. This Gokhan Saki is the guy that I’m a fan of and will always be excited to watch step into the ring. I'm proud to consider myself a fan of Gokhan Saki.

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The LiverKick.com GLORY 15 Preview and Predictions

GLORY 15

Tomorrow in Istanbul, Turkey, GLORY will present GLORY 15 Istanbul. GLORY 15 is slated to feature the GLORY Light Heavyweight Championship tournament, featuring Tyrone Spong, Saulo Cavalari, Gokhan Saki and Nathan Corbett. The winner will walk away as the first GLORY Light Heavyweight Champion, which is a huge, huge deal. So let’s run through the card.

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