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Gokhan Saki Issues Statement About GLORY Contract Negotiations

It didn't take long for Gokhan Saki to want to share with the world his side of the contract dispute that has been ongoing with GLORY for the better part of a year and a half now. Earlier this week GLORY announced that the GLORY Light Heavyweight Championship was vacated due to Saki not defending it for well over a year, with them even extending that period to attempt to work out a deal between the two sides. They were unable to come to terms, which from what we've heard has mostly been about money. 

Saki was making in the range of $200,000 per fight before and GLORY simply didn't see the value in such a contract considering how their other stars are compensated. This isn't boxing and it isn't top level UFC, sadly. The money just isn't there to justify exorbitant contracts. Early on in GLORY many stars were signed to bloated contracts which simply don't reflect the current market for kickboxing. For Saki there is interest from GFC who is willing to pay him and has proven that they are willing to pay for name stars, as seen by Badr Hari's working agreement with them.

Saki released a statement through kickboxing blog Kickboxing Planet early this morning that attempts to explain his side of the story. What's clear is that Saki is very, very upset over this, but the statement itself is, well, a bit rough.

Bellator fans, the people in the USA are not going to see top quality kickboxing and this is bad for the sport. When you win the belt on Sept. 19 you can keep the price money but I expect the winner to hand the belt over to me and acknowledge that he didn’t beat the best. I mostly don’t talk like this and maybe there are a lot of emotions right now. But now that I offended anyone, I did that on purpose and I’m not sorry about it.

During this rant he describes his social media following as a point of value of him over the competition within the division, going as far as to make claims that the rest of the division are nobodies compared to him. This statement is... not a good look for a fighter in the public eye and chances are if there was an open dialogue between GLORY and Saki's camp that dialogue has most likely been shut down. 

It's easy to sympathize with Gokhan Saki as he is without a doubt one of the best fighters in the world and has worked extremely hard to reach that level. Before the market imploded he was without a doubt one of the more valuable stars. Hopefully he is able to make the money that he believes that he deserves and will continue fighting for his fans across the world. 

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Weekend Results: WGP 25 Cesar Almeida x Alex Pereira III

This past weekend saw a lot of action, one of which was the triumphant return of Brazil's WGP Kickboxing with WGP 25: Cesar Almeida vs. Alex Pereira III. Pereira was ultimately victorious in this third showdown, once again proving that he's one of the elite of the elite in his weight class. The tournament finals was Bruno Gazani defeat K-1 veteran Wallace Lopes via TKO in the third round.

Results are from the marvelous Kiksie

1. Super Fight - K1 Rules - 60kg
Hector Santiago def. Felipe Suekuni by decision
2. Super Fight - K1 Rules - 78kg
Thiago Conceição def. Michel Papa by decision
3. Super Fight - K1 Rules - 78kg
Vitor Oliveira def. Rodrigo Diório by decision
4. Super Fight - K1 Rules - 66,8kg
Maycon Oller def. Johnny Kabeca by decision
5. Challenger Tournament Semifinal #1 - K1 Rules - 71,8kg
Bruno Gazani def. Alex Canguru by decision
6. Challenger Tournament Semifinal #2 - K1 Rules - 71,8kg
Wallace Lopes def. Marcelo Dionisio by decision
7. Super Fight - K1 Rules - 94kg
Wallyson Maguila Carvalho def. Thiago Beowulf by decision
8. Super Fight - K1 Rules - 69,1kg
Damian Segovia def. Munil Adriano by decision
9. Super Fight - K1 Rules - 75kg
Tadeu San Martino def. Alvaro Gonzalez by KO in round 3
10. Challenger Tournament Final - K1 Rules - 71,8kg
Bruno Gazani def. Wallace Lopes by TKO in round 3
11. WGP Title Fight - K1 Rules - 85kg
Alex Pereira def. Cesar Almeida by decision
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Reece McAllister Victorious in Top King Tournament, Buakaw Loses Decision

Image (C) Top King

Last night the Top King TK4 tournament held its big finals for their 154lbs championship. It was a title that many fans felt was a lock for Buakaw Banchamek, but considering the names involved with it there didn't seem to be a clear route for Buakaw to win the whole thing. After Marat Grigorian was forced to pull out we ended up with Buakaw Banchamek vs. Kyahal Dzhaniev and Reece McAllister vs. Dmytro Konstantyov. The visual of the night was a bloody mess of Buakaw losing to Dzhaniev via decision, which of course will be the story of the show to many who saw Banchamek sweeping the whole thing.

The big story should instead be Reece McAllister proving himself once again as one of the best talents in the world. Reece is a tough fighter who has proven himself time and time again who will walk away deserving the Top King 154lbs championship. I'm saying this because McAllister didn't have to fight a second fight. Dzhaniev might've defeated Banchamek but he was too banged up to continue competing, so McAllister was awarded the championship. Weird, right?

Pakorn P.K. Seanchai Muaythai Gym (R3 - Decision) Varats Dzmitry 

Rungravee Sasiprapa (R3 - Dec.) Wei Ning Hui 

Matt Embree (R1 - TKO) Sittisak Petchphayathai 

Thongchai Sitsongpeenong (Rx - TKO) Colin Law 

Semi-Finals: Reece Mcallister (R3 - Dec.) Dmytro Konstantynov 

Semi-Finals: Khayal Dzhaniev (R3 - Dec.) Buakaw Banchamek 

Top King World Series Tournament Final: Reece McAllister (Forfeit) Khayal Dzhaniev 

There is video of Buakaw/Dzhaniev floating around. Here it is while it lasts.

 

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Gokhan Saki's GLORY Light Heavyweight Championship Vacated

When we spoke with GLORY CEO Jon Franklin he told us that 95% of their fights had kept with them through the lean times. There were, of course, outliers, though. The biggest of which was Gokhan Saki, the GLORY Light Heavyweight Champion. He won the championship in a battle against Tyrone Spong that saw Spong's leg break in a freak accident and has left him in boxing and MMA since then. Saki, on the other hand, was not about to take a pay cut.

Saki has not competed for GLORY since GLORY 15 back in April of 2014. Instead he has competed one time for the UAE's GFC back in April against an overmatched Sebastian Ciobanu. The word on the street was that Saki was not happy with GLORY and while he was open to negotiations he would not return until his demands were met. GLORY has been negotiating with him ever since, acting on good faith and not vacating the championship, even after a year of inactivity. 

The final straw for GLORY was trying to negotiate for Saki to fight on September 19th in the Bellator Dynamite event to defend the GLORY Light Heavyweight Championship. They were unable to come to terms in time and GLORY has been forced to vacate the championship for the time being. They haven't given up on Saki just yet, but for now the title is vacant.

With GLORY's Light Heavyweight division being one of their deeper divisions it made no sense to hold up the title any longer. Hopefully this means that Danyo Ilunga and Saulo Cavalari can clash again, this time with the title on the line. Make it happen, GLORY.

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