This is the moment that Kickboxing fans across the world have been waiting for (or at least one of them), as today on K-1’s [Japanese] website the matchups for the K-1 World Grand Prix Final 16 were posted. There will be some surprises, as a popular name associated with the K-1 World Grand Prix so far in Daniel Ghita does not appear anywhere on this bout sheet. On top of that, it was long-rumored that four fighters from the Los Angeles GP show would move on to the Final 16, but it looks like Rick Roufus will be fighting on the event, but will not be a part of the actual tournament matchups, facing Los Angeles GP undercard fighter James Wilson after his brutal KO of Doug Souer.
Without further ado…
K-1 World Grand Prix Final 16
Raul Catinas (Romania) vs. Ben Edwards (Australia)
Makoto Uehara (Japan) vs. Hiromi Amada (Japan)
Xavier Vigney (USA) vs. Zabit Samedov (Azerbaijan)
Hesdy Gerges (Egypt) vs. Sergii Laschenko (Ukraine)
Singh Jaideep (India) vs. Ismael Londt (Surinam)
Jarrell Miller (USA) vs. Arnold Oborotov (Lithuania)
Paul Slowinski (Poland) vs. Catalin Morosanu (Romania)
Mirko Flipovic (Croatia) vs. Randy Blake (USA)
Genji Umeno (Japan) vs. Chanhyung Lee (Korea)
Jafar Ahmadi (Iran) vs. Benjamin Adegbuyl (Nigeria)
Saulo Cavalari (Brazil) vs. Pavel Zuravliov (Russia)
GLORY 17’s main event is having a few problems thus far. Originally the plan was for a rematch between Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic and Pat “HD” Barry, but Zack Mwekassa’s fists had something to say about that. That left former PRIDE, K-1 and Strikeforce fighter Sergei Kharitonov for Cro Cop. Well, it looks like a finger injury has sidelined Kharitonov for the next few months, leaving Cro Cop again without an opponent.
June 21st is less than a month away now, meaning that GLORY has to scramble to find a new opponent. The rumored list of names right now is Zack Mwekassa, Jarrell Miller, Jerome Le Banner and Jamal Ben Saddik. There was a remote chance of Tim Sylvia, but that is definitely not happening, Ray Sefo and Ernesto Hoost have apparently also offered their services for the Cro Cop lottery as well. Out of all of these options, Mwekassa is probably the one with the most upside for GLORY. Mwekassa made short work of former UFC star Pat Barry earlier this month and will be fresh in the minds of fans, so he’d be a credible threat to Cro Cop. If Mwekassa wins you have a Heavyweight star that you can nurture, if he loses there isn’t much for GLORY to lose at this point.
This has probably been the worst-kept secret in recent Kickboxing history, but it is now [somewhat] official; Jarrell Miller will finally get his rematch against Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic at GLORY 17. The two met in 2013 in the K-1 World Grand Prix tournament in Croatia where Cro Cop was given a suspect judges decision after Miller roughed up the PRIDE, K-1 and UFC legend in his hometown. Cro Cop went on to win the tournament, but to many fans, there was a bad taste in their mouth over the victory.
Miller has since then been focused on his Boxing career, where he remains undefeated and seen as a top prospect. He’s worked with everyone from the Klitschkos to the Money Team and is building up quite a reputation for himself. This is the opportunity that he’s been waiting for to return to Kickboxing and should be an interesting fight.
If you’ve been keeping up with ours news on K-1 for the past few days, you’d know that we posted about Barbizon selling K-1 to EMCOM. K-1 is now a subsidiary of EMCOM Entertainment Inc.
Guess who the president of EMCOM is. It’s Hakmin Kim, AKA “Mr. Kim,” whose name has been floating around in the whole struggle to acquire K-1. Kim’s name has been involved with FEG and Simon Rutz but as of right now, it’s unclear if those two are involved and it would seem that they are most likely not, especially Simon Rutz. It seemed to be that FEG/Mr. Kim were competing with TSA/Golden Glory to acquire K-1. Kim has come out on top but the status of him being in a deal with FEG is unclear.
The press release put out by EMCOM yesterday showed that the company seemed to be confident that it could organize events and expand the business. It doesn’t look like it will be that easy though. Kim’s reputation will probably go down the toilet even more after EMCOM lost 63% of its value last year if he makes any type of deal with Kazuyuki Ishii or FEG, who have both had ugly portrayals due to fraud and yakuza-related business. EMCOM is apparently looking to use K-1 to revive their stock but they’ll have a lot in the way making it difficult to do so.
It should be interesting to see how this plays out. K-1 seems to be in Japanese-based hands which might not be good for the survival and growth of the company. Golden Glory/TSA wanted to use K-1 this year but they were competing with Kim to acquire K-1 so as of now, everything is unclear. Contracts with “K-1 Global Holdings Limited” were sent out a few weeks ago to fighters but they seemed to be from GG/TSA as opposed to Kim. Kim’s acquisition of K-1 is a shake-up of the whole situation, so as for what’s next, we can only wait and see.
GLORY 2 Brussels takes place today in Brussels, Belgium and among those featured are Remy Bonjasky, Gokhan Saki, Anderson “Braddock” Silva and many more. We’ll be here providing live results and updates of the fights and happenings taking place.
To watch GLORY 2 Brussels live, you can watch it right here on LiverKick, for $15 USD. All you have to do is click here and you’ll be redirected. It starts at 1PM ET/11AM PT in North America and 19:00 CET in Europe.
To view the full fight card, click here. If you want more in depth details, updates and play by play, we’ll be on Twitter at @rianscalia and @LiverKickdotcom.
70kg: Andy Ristie def. Nordin Benmoh by KO (Left Hook) in Round 1.
97kg: Danyo Ilunga def. Ali Cenik by decision.
71kg: Marat Grigorian def. Alex Vogel by TKO (Right Low Kick) in Round 2.
HW: Jahfarr Wilnis def. Jamal Ben Saddik by unanimous decision.
HW: Jhonata Diniz def. Sebastian van Thielen by unanimous decision.
HW: Koichi Pettas def. Mark Miller by KO (Right Cross) in Round 2.
HW: Igor Jurkovic def. Gregory Tony by TKO (3 Knockdowns/Liver Shot) in Round 2.
79kg: Murthel Groenhart def. Marc de Bonte by KO (Knee) in Round 2.
HW: Filip Verlinden def. Fabiano Cyclone Aoki by unanimous decision.
78kg: Nieky Holzken def. Murat Direkci by TKO (Cut) in Round 2.
HW: Gokhan Saki def. Mourad Bouzidi by unanimous decision.
HW: Remy Bonjasky def. Anderson “Braddock” Silva by Majority Decision (4-1) in an extra round.
A picture says a thousand words and Semmy Schilt was able to hold onto the top spot in Heavyweight Kickboxing as he wins his fifth major Kickboxing tournament with a win over tough challenger Daniel Ghita. Daniel Ghita and Semmy Schilt were the favorites heading into the event and it was no surprise when both men found themselves standing toe-to-toe in the finals. This was a rematch from 2009 where Semmy Schilt was able to dominate Ghita to take a decision victory in the K-1 WGP Final 16 and since then Semmy has aged and Daniel Ghita has evolved into a more complete fighter.
Schilt’s night included knocking out Brice Guidon, taking Rico Verhoeven to a decision and going the distance with Gokhan Saki while Daniel Ghita never quite looked like himself as he struggled with Jhonata Diniz and edged out Mourad Bouzidi who fell victim to a freak accident. Things turned around for Ghita when he knocked out Jamal Ben Saddik with one kick to the gut, leading into the biggest fight in Heavyweight Kickboxing today.
The Finals started off with both men feeling each other out, Semmy fighting like Semmy and Ghita getting off a few good shots before a huge head kick connected from Schilt and Ghita went down like a sack of bricks. Ghita looked stunned but pulled himself up and looked composed before referee Joop Ubeda decided to call the fight in a controversial decision even though Ghita was fine and we usually see Finals go until only one man can stand.
Schilt walks away with the $400,000 USD grand prize and Daniel Ghita gets $100,000 as a consolation. No doubt that Schilt had a good night and deserves his due, but there are going to be a lot of questions surrounding Joop Ubeda’s decision to call the fight that early.
Over the last few months there have been various reports that four-time K-1 World Grand Prix Champion, 2012 Glory Grand Slam and Glory Heavyweight Champion Semmy Schilt will no longer be fighting. The rumors were first centered around his participation in future tournaments, as after his victory on New Year’s Eve in 2012 he stated that he would not participate in future tournaments, although it was quickly brushed off. Since then there has been talk about him fighting Gokhan Saki with the Heavyweight title on the line, but there has also been talk of Schilt no longer fighting at all.
Since last night LiverKick has received numerous reports from reliable sources that Semmy Schilt is retired, effective immediately. The decision was apparently not an easy one for the Hightower, who was instructed to retire from his medical team due to a heart condition that was discovered. This marks the retirement of what may be the greatest Heavyweight Kickboxer of all time, with five big tournament victories under his belt and numerous world championships. Schilt was also a pioneer in the sport of Mixed Martial Arts, making his debut in Pancrase in 1996, fighting in both the UFC and PRIDE over the course of his career.
As with anything FEG-related, it is best to approach anything you hear like a one night stand; carefully, with protection, and to do your best to forget about it the next morning. Our friends at NightmareOfBattle learned that the Lashley vs. Overeem bout is indeed “off” — as if it was ever truly on.
From what we are hearing currently, Lashley’s management turned down the fight due to not having enough time to prepare for a bout of that magnitude, which all-in-all is a very smart move. Liver Kick is still waiting to hear back from Alistair Overeem’s management as to what the future plans are, but we do know that Bobby Lashley will not be the opponent, nor will Satoshi Ishii, who is fighting Jerome Le Banner instead.
The current rumor is that Golden Glory fighters will clash in the fight that fans across the world were waiting for at this year’s World Grand Prix; Alistair Overeem vs. Semmy Schilt. No word on the validity of this rumor, or if it would be DREAM or K-1 rules, but we should have more details within the next few days.
GLORY 2 Brussels is quickly approaching, as it takes place this Saturday, October 6 in Brussels Belgium with a stacked lineup. Although the fight card remains mostly unchanged, there have been a few changes since the original one was announced and we’ll run you through them, as well as the main fights that haven’t changed.
Remy Bonjasky makes his return after almost three years, taking on Anderson “Braddock” Silva in the main event. Bonjasky was away from the sport due to an eye injury that was thought to be career-ending, in addition to that for quite a while there really was nothing out there in kickboxing to entice him to come back. Although he was out of the ring for almost three years, Bonjasky wasn’t away from kickboxing as he opened his own gym, Bonjasky Academy in the Netherlands and also has been training Danyo Ilunga over in Germany for quite some time now. It’ll be very interesting to see how he does in his return, especially considering that he wasn’t given an easy fight at all against Anderson “Braddock” Silva.
Right under the main event is another marquee match-up, with Gokhan Saki fighting Mourad Bouzidi. Saki, since his loss to Badr Hari, did notch a first round stoppage win over Carter Williams back in May but this will be his first fight since then and probably will be his first fight since then that’s actually somewhat competitive.
A match-up that’s sure to be competitive is Nieky Holzken vs. Murat Direkci, which takes place at 78kg. Direkci is normally a 70kg fighter but apparently he didn’t want to make that weight anymoe. He announced his retirement back in January but it seems that he’s been drawn back for at least another fight. Nevertheless, in his last fight, Direkci gave Robin van Roosmalen all he could handle and the jump up in weight shouldn’t be that much of a problem as Holzken is also formerly a 70kg fighter, and has a style where Murat can at the very least be competitive.
Filip Verlinden fights Fabiano “Cyclone” Aoki, a Brazillian-Japanese fighter based out of Japan. Verlinden almost beat Danyo Ilunga back in June and if that performance is anything to base off of, he could definitely win this fight. Aoki is similar to Verlinden in that he’s a smaller heavyweight. Speaking of Danyo Ilunga, he fights Ali Cenik at 97kg. Both are similar in weight, with Ilunga having the height advantage. Although Ilunga’s the clear favorite here, it definitely has potential to turn out to be a fun fight if Cenik opens up and throws combinations.
In the fight I’m most looking forward to, Murthel Groenhart takes on Marc de Bonte at 79kg. Murthel usually fights at 70-77kg, while de Bonte is the bigger fighter, normally fighting around this weight. Although Murthel is outsized, his power and offensive bursts can keep him in any fight. de Bonte is still quite young and this will be his first fight on the big stage.
And that’s not even half of the fights. I’ll take you through a few fights that went through changes though. Originally, Mohammed Khamal was set to fight Marat Grigorian at 71kg. Khamal pulled out due to personal reasons and Alex Vogel took his place. Also, Jhonata Diniz was originally scheduled to face Martin Jahn, but is now fighting Cihad Kipenek. Check out the full fight card below and for more info, including how to watch the event, go to gloryworldseries.com.