|Heavyweight (Per 4/15)|
|Light HW (per 4/15)|
|Middleweight (per 4/15)|
|Welterweight (per 4/15)|
|4.||Marc de Bonte|
|70kg (Per 4/15)|
|3.||Robin van Roosmalen|
|65kg (per 1/20)|
|Stefania Picelli with Mohamed Diaby|
We are involved in a very interesting time right now if you are a fan of Kickboxing and Muay Thai. There has been tremendous change within the industry over the past few years, with everything being reshuffled, new promotions rising up, old ones falling and lots of established fighters are aging, leaving room for a new generation of fighters to rise into prominence. In the past few years, Yokkao has not only been making headway in regards to bringing muay thai gear to the world, but they've also done a lot to raise awareness for some of the best talents from Thailand and around the world.
Part of that strategy has involved sponsoring fighters, assembling an all-star fight team and promoting their own Yokkao events as well. Yokkao has a big event coming up in March in England and Stefania Picelli has reached out to us this morning with a statement on Yokkao's mission to bring the best fighters -- from anywhere -- to the attention of the world.
The concept of Yokkao events is to find the best talents and to give them a chance to fight vs Top fighters, not only because they are "recommended" for their affiliations.
Our staff works to find what no one else is looking for: fighters who deserve to fight in big events not only because their gym is famous. Of course there are gyms that are institutions who provide fighters, but there are many gyms with good trainers and fighters who are still unknown in the world.
What my staff and I do is to find these gyms, trainers and fighters.
Why? Because Yokkao is aimed by the real spirit of Muay Thai and give fighters from every country in the world a chance to transform his dream into reality by being part of the most famous Muay Thai team in the world; the Yokkao Fight Team.
What we evaluate is the hard training, the sacrifice and the determination of each fighter who want to transform his life.
This is Yokkao: the realization of the Dream.
To go along with this, Yokkao is announcing today that Saenchai will square off against Aziz Hlali on November 8th at Muay Thai Combat Mania Ile de la Réunion, or what we'll call #Yokkao5. On top of that, Sudsakorn Sor. Klinmee will square off against Mohamed Diaby and Andrea Masini vs Crice Boussoukou, making it yet another incredible event from Yokkao and Stefania Picelli.
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So we've been doing some serious waiting on GLORY 11's ratings and they are finally in. What the numbers are telling us is that Kickboxing still has to develop an audience here in America, but there was a really solid start to this over the weekend at GLORY 11. In a few places I've gone on record saying that I felt that 200,000 - 400,000 were my expectations and that 500,000 would be a huge win for GLORY. Not everyone agreed with that, but the final numbers are in and they look to be exactly where they should be.
The average rating for GLORY 11 was 381,000 viewers, with the peak being 781,000 viewers. It should be noted that the peak came within the first quarter, which was most likely due to the lead-in from Spike's previous programming, which is Cops. Cops, somehow, draws over 1.5 million viewers in 2013 and it is safe to say that not all of these Cops viewers were Rico Verhoeven fans. Considering that this was GLORY's largest platform within the US to date and the first time that Kickboxing has seen a major audience in this long, consider this a solid first step.
The card featured primarily European fighters (with an Australian) whose prior exposure in the United States was only to the most hardcore of hardcore fans. It is actually admirable that they were able to pull in these kind or ratings with their core product and not by bringing in former UFC fighters to compete.Add a comment
GLORY 13 Tokyo goes down in December, which means that it is still a ways off for us, but that doesn't mean that we can't already start the conversation about the GLORY 13 Welterweight tournament. Rumors have been flying around over the past few days as to who will be participating in the tournament, outside of Nieky Holzken. Joseph Valtellini's name has been floated around quite a bit after his impressive win over Karim Ghajji at GLORY 11 and now, according to Joe himself, he is indeed in the tournament.
Check out this interview he did post-fight.Add a comment
The mixture of Kickboxing and MMA has been around for a while now, with promoters trying to get a "best of both worlds" feel going, but I'm not sure that it has ever made much sense or been a great idea. With that being said, LEGEND Fight Show will be promoting their second event on November 8th and will feature both MMA and Kickboxing. It's obvious that they plan to spend some serious money on this event, as the main event of Alexander Emelianenko vs. Cro Cop must cost a lot and Badr Hari doesn't come cheap, either. The Light Heavyweight Kickboxing tournament is actually pretty awesome as well.
This is definitely something to keep your eye on.
UPDATE: Replaced Aleks Emelianenko.
We are all still coming down from this past weekend's GLORY 11 on Spike TV. I mean, that was just a monumental event by every stretch of the imagination. There were some really big winners at GLORY 11, two of which were Rico Verhoeven and Tyrone Spong, who got to be the stars of the show on Spike TV and could have just cemented themselves as huge Kickboxing stars here in the United States. GLORY has put up video interviews catching up with them after their respective wins and both guys seem pretty pleased, as they should be.Add a comment
Yesterday was a pretty tense day for me and a few other people, as GLORY made their Spike TV debut with GLORY 11. For me, I've been running Kickboxing-oriented sites for about five years now, which as an American can be a rather losing endeavor. Kickboxing in the United States hasn't had a fair shake in a very long time, with the rise of the UFC in the mid-90's decimating whatever was left of Kickboxing and made Mixed Martial Arts the new attraction. This meant that all of the new, up-and-coming talent moved to the new world of MMA where there was money to be made.
Kickboxing and America have a rather sordid history, as at one time America gave Kickboxing a chance and it never really caught on like it should have. Part of the problem came from the confusing rules and just how different it was from everything else. Many were talking about last night as if it were the first time on a major American television network that Kickboxing programming had aired, but that is just not true at all. Kickboxing appeared network television in the 70's, as PKA had deals with ESPN in the 80's while also making brief appearances on CBS. This continued until around 1986 or so when the PKA, like any other big Kickboxing organization, was brought down by rumored criminal ties and for being run poorly.
This is Kickboxing's plight.
Last night was Kickboxing's first real chance in America in almost 30 years, only this time things were different. There were no foot guards, no long pants, the rules are based on the modified Muay Thai and Kyokushin rules that K-1 made famous in the 90's. Of course, GLORY has a few modifications to their rules which sets them apart, including a flash knockdown rule that fans and fighters can't seem to wrap their heads around (or even know it exists!). The product that GLORY presents is big on showmanship and provides high octane action.
For many Kickboxing purists, GLORY 11 wasn't the greatest show ever, as Heavyweight is one of the most maligned classes for the hardcores, but from a pure entertainment value it was unbeatable. GLORY had to hit a home run in their Spike TV debut, which is exactly what they did. There were definitely some kinks to work out in the production, but it was a professional presentation that made other Spike TV programs, like Bellator, look that much worse. Absolutely every fight on the broadcast delivered and it was fitting that a new star was born in Rico Verhoeven.
While the ratings for this show will give us an idea of who was willing to try Kickboxing on for size, all signs tend to be pointing towards GLORY 12 pulling in bigger numbers and attracting more and more fans. The live reactions from last night all throughout social media should be telling enough, as everyone who watched GLORY 11 walked away satisfied and exciting about the sport of Kickboxing, which is all that this peddler of an obscure sport could ask for.Add a comment
Gokhan Saki is, without a doubt, one of the best Heavyweight Kickboxers in the world, who is able to piece together amazing combinations that have floored some of the best in the world. With that being said, last night Rico Verhoeven went into his fight against Saki with a perfect game plan that was able to nullify Saki's strengths. I've spoken with a lot of fans and read a lot of reactions and I seem to be seeing a lot of "bad reffing" and "Saki got screwed" talk floating around, when in fact, Saki was not screwed at all.
A careful viewing of the fight will show that Rico controlled the first and third rounds and was able to nullify most of Saki's offense while landing the cleaner strikes. Jack Slack is always a great resource when it comes to breaking down technical stuff, which always makes me happy as I used to have to do that, but having dudes like him around means that I can focus on other things. Check out his pretty great breakdown of the fight, although I do have one small qualm; GLORY has a flash knockdown rule, which states that if a strike has the force to put a fighter down, it is ruled a knockdown. Rico's punch might have missed, but the kick before it landed and put Saki onto the math, which meant it was a flash knockdown.Add a comment
My god, the drama. This fight was just amazing, as both men were putting it all on the line. Daniel Ghita looked sharp, but Rico Verhoeven came from out of nowhere and looked incredibly impressive, landing solid leg kicks that Ghita was having trouble defending. Both men were laying it all on the line and while no one touched the ground via a knockdown, both men were just on fire. You could easily argue that Daniel Ghita won a very close first round, but Rico won very close rounds 2 and 3.
Rico's leg kicks were landing more and more and while Ghita's head movement was on point, Rico still found a way to connect. Rico Verhoeven at the age of 24 has come such a long way, as just a few years ago he was extremely kick-heavy and fought a very wooden, stiff style. He is much more comfortable with his hands now and fights like an entirely different fighter. This fight could have gone two more rounds and no one would have complained and the action would have been just as good.
That says something.
Congratulations to Rico Verhoeven for securing his spot as the top Heavyweight in the world not named Semmy Schilt.Add a comment
My god. This has been an amazing night of fights so far, with lots of exciting bouts, big knockouts and some really solid action. The feature fight of the evening, Tyrone Spong vs. Nathan Corbett was set for just before the Heavyweight tournament finals and my god did it deliver. Both guys are extremely skilled and pack a lot of power. The first round saw a lot of crazy action, with Spong landing the better body shots.
Round two is where things changed a lot, as Spong landed a left hook that just flattened Corbett, only for Corbett to be able to respond to the count and get back up. As they were continuing to battle it was clear that Corbett wasn't completely recovered and another big shot put him down, with him unable to respond to the ref's count and the fight being stopped.
GIF from ZombieProphet.
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Tonight at 9pm Eastern time GLORY 11 Chicago will be airing live on Spike TV. Pinch yourself, it's alright, we aren't judging. GLORY has graciously put up the weigh-in videos, so get your dosage of dudes in their skivvies having macho staredowns with each other before GLORY 11 goes down tonight. It's okay, we aren't judging, remember?Add a comment