|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)|
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
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
My god, the news about GLORY 13 just keeps on flowing, which might be taking some attention away from GLORY 12, but hey, news is news. Today GLORY updated their site with at least part of the GLORY 13 Tokyo card and man this one looks amazing. I guess my only real qualms with this is that two of the bigger fights are on the Super Fight Series, which means probably not airing on the broadcast and we'll have to wait a few weeks to view them.
I really don't know how I feel about waiting for Peter Aerts vs. Rico Verhoeven and Remy Bonjasky vs. Anderson Silva.
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Yesterday was an odd day full of fractured news stories coming out from all corners as GLORY held a press conference in Japan. In a way I miss the days of Japan being the epicenter of the fighting world. There was a certain art to covering events that were going on in Japan, a certain amount of work that had to be put in just to decipher what was going on. Maybe I'm just a masochist, but it is kind of fun. Yesterday was one of those days with the GLORY 13 press conference.
GLORY 13 Tokyo is set for December 21st and will be GLORY's Farewell to an Era, with that Era being of Peter Aerts, Semmy Schilt and Remy Bonjasky, the three pillars of K-1. The event will feature a retirement ceremony for all three fighters, but will only feature the retirement bout (in Japan, kind of) for Peter Aerts, as he faces Rico Verhoeven.Add a comment
Tonight is yet again another good night for American Muay Thai as Lion Fight 12 goes down tonight in Las Vegas, airing live on AXS TV at 10PM Eastern time. Lion Fight has always delivered and tonight's card looks to be doing just the same with another action-packed line-up. Here is the card for tonight;
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Well, it's another day and another round of Badr Hari promoting the upcoming LEGEND 2: Invasion event. Badr Hari is really making the media rounds out there, which seems uncommon as he is usually an off-limits kind of guy. This new interview is, well, very Badr Hari. He talks about how all of his opponents are the same and how he takes his job seriously but not his opponents. He also talks about how it might not be worth fighting Zabit Samedov again as he could knock him out any day (we know the question that immediately comes to mind...).
Interesting stuff from Badr Hari.Add a comment
In what is an absolutely stunning turn of events, former FEG President Sadaharu Tanikawa, best known as K-1's Executive Producer, has been announced as the Producer behind GLORY 13. The shocking announcement went down today in Japan, which came packaged with the fact that this should also be the retirement fight of Peter Aerts, which seems to be the public impetus behind Tanikawa's involvement. There is very clear language involved to this being a "one time deal" between Tanikawa and GLORY, but facts are still facts and Tanikawa owes a lot of the fighters rumored to be participating on the event money.
What makes this an even stranger partnership is the very public assaults from Bas Boon towards Tanikawa in the past few years. Boon has made it clear that Tanikawa's FEG owes Golden Glory millions of dollars and it was Bas Boon's lawsuit against Tanikawa and FEG that forced them to formally declare bankruptcy in 2012. It is our understanding that none of the money owed was ever paid out by FEG due to the bankruptcy proceedings and the shame is that K-1 Global has taken the reputation of FEG and Tanikawa with them while having nothing to do with them. The irony also comes from claims from Golden Glory that K-1 Global's Mr. Kim was associated with Tanikawa and FEG, with this move making it very clear that there was never a partnership.
Even with all of this, I'm not willing to condemn anyone here. Tanikawa, from what is public, was in an awful position of organizing a corrupt organization. Japanese bankruptcy law is also odd, too odd for me to even pretend to be an expert on or to be able to properly navigate. The money owed is still through FEG. It's just odd to see these two sides working together.
For what it's worth, there is talk of a "major television deal" possibly happening and Fuji TV officials being in attendance was mentioned in the same article, aligning with rumors we've heard.
UPDATE: Upon speaking to a GLORY official about this, we've learned that the role of "Producer" has been exaggerated. He will be serving as a consultant for the Super Fight Series undercard only.Add a comment
The name Badr Hari can stir up some strong emotions in Kickboxing fans. Some fans are filled with bloodlust and are instantly excited by the very idea of Badr Hari, while others look at him and see a guy who has done more harm than good to the sport. As with everything, there is usually some truth somewhere in the middle. Badr Hari fights again on November 8th in LEGEND against Alexey Ignashov in a fight that fans are looking forward to just to see Badr Hari get another win.
Sadly, for fans in America, there will be no official way to view the event, as there are no plans for a stream to be available or television deals in place. According to a recent interview with Badr Hari he has one fight left on his contract with LEGEND and is considering either signing another contract with LEGEND or going to GLORY. If the rumors are at all true, GLORY has been in on and off talks with Badr Hari, but doesn't seem interested as long as his legal problems persist. My best guess would be that getting him into the US to fight would be a nightmare.
Badr also stated that he had 2 - 3 years left in his career before he wishes to retire, citing that watching his daughter grow up is a priority.Add a comment
Apparently a picture can tell a thousand words, which would be the case of this photo of Badr Hari training with Alistair Overeem. Sure, there are photos of them sparring each other in Russia, but what's interesting are the few shots of them grappling together. Badr Hari had sworn that he'd never train with Alistair Overeem while Overeem was with Mike Passenier, then he also had said some disparaging things about MMA in the past. This just proves that Badr Hari is kind of a big softie in the end, which we all knew anyway.
Photo is from Ben Pontier.
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