Glory 9 New York is finally upon us! Tonight in New York City the best Light Heavyweights in GLORY will descend upon New York City for a one night, eight man tournament that is promising to deliver a lot of action. On top of that there are a lot of superb Super Fights for Glory’s first outing in the United States, including Daniel Ghita vs. Brice Guidon, Errol Zimmerman vs. Rico Verhoeven and more!
The action starts at 6PM Eastern with the undercard and continues into the main card at 7:30PM Eastern. Join us here at LiverKick.com for all of the updates and don’t forget to purchase your live stream from us, as the only place in the United States that you’ll be able to see GLORY 9 live is online. We’ll be live tweeting the event (@LiverKickdotcom / @RianScalia) and updating on Facebook as well (Facebook.com/LiverKick).
Reserve Fight – Randy Blake (R3 – Decision) Koichi Wanatabe
Reserve Fight – Artem Vakhitov (R1 – KO) Luis Tavares
Super Fight – Anderson Silva (Re – Decision) Daniel Sam
GLORY 11 Chicago goes down tonight, live on Spike TV at 9pm Eastern in the United States, or you can watch the PPV stream live on LiverKick if you are out of the US! This is a huge deal for Kickboxing and a huge card to go along with the occasion. Essentially, this is not something that you want to miss. So join us tonight at 9pm Eastern time to watch GLORY 11 live. I’ll be tweeting from @LiverKickdotcom and will be updating Facebook as well, but feel free to discuss the event within the comments section as well.
The GLORY 11 undercard will NOT be airing live, but instead GLORY will be posting it in two weeks to their website for free, much like they did with GLORY 10.
GLORY 11 CHICAGO
Heavyweight Finals: Rico Verhoeven (R3 – Dec.) Daniel Ghita — Wow, just wow. Tremendous action from both men, back and forth. Every round was insanely close, with Ghita probably winning the first round and Rico taking the 2nd and 3rd. Tremendous action, with Rico looking better than he’s ever looked before.
Tyrone Spong (R2 – TKO) Nathan Corbett — Wow, both guys just came in looking to lay some heavy leather. Lots of body work with Tyrone’s body punches visibly doing damage to Corbett in R1. Spong just absolutely floored Carnage in R2, but Carnage got back up. A second knockdown was all that she wrote, as the ref stopped the bout. Wow, Tyrone.
Joseph Valtellini (R3 – TKO) Karim Ghajji — Really exciting fight between both guys. Very solid, technical affair that saw both men exchanging and looking extremely solid. Joe came up with a rather incredible series of strikes in R3 to put Ghajji down. Great, great fight.
Heavyweight Reserve Bout: Errol Zimmerman (R3 – TKO) Hesdy Gerges — Errol Zimmerman came into the fight in great shape and looked focused, which is all you can ask for from Errol. He knocked Gerges down hard, but Gerges fought back to his feet. Round 2 saw Gerges control most of the ring and action, but Zimmerman flattened him in R3, only for him to fight back to his feet. Zimmerman scored one last knockdown and made a huge statement.
Heavyweight Tournament: Daniel Ghita (R1 – KO) Anderson Silva — Wow, Daniel Ghita is super focused with his new trainer. Ghita was favoring using his hands over his kicks, but set up the right hook with a left body kick that put Braddock down for the count. The finals is Ghita vs. Rico!
Heavyweight Tournament: Rico Verhoeven (R3 – Majority Decision) Gokhan Saki — Saki fans are going to be really upset over this one, but GLORY’s flash knockdown rule played a huge factor here, and yes, it was a knockdown. Rico knocked Saki down in R1 almost immediately, with Saki protesting and threatening the ref (which he should have been DQ’d for, honestly). Rico controlled the rest of the round. Rico controlled R2 for the most part, but Saki landed some huge shots near the end which didn’t put Rico down. Rico should have, but he didn’t. You could argue that Saki gets that round because of that. Then R3 was mostly controlled by Rico, gaining him the HUGE win. What an upset. Very proud of how much Verhoeven has advanced.
There have been a lot of questions from fans over the past few weeks as for what will be in store for K-1 after the tremendous September 14th event in Mallorca, Spain. To the public, things have been quiet on the K-1 Global front, but there has been a lot of movement behind the scenes, with plans being laid out for the next year. I spoke with K-1 Global’s Director of Events & Fighter Acquisition Ned Kuruc about the future of K-1 and it seems like the gears are fully in motion in pushing K-1 into the future.
The first topic was on making the message extremely clear to fans; K-1 is going to change how their shows are run, shifting the emphasis from tournaments to crowning champions across weight divisions and having them defend these belts. “We’re gonna open up our weight divisions, we want to have a clear cut champion in each division,” he stated. “He’ll go on to defend that championship and we’ll get to see who is really the best in each weight class. We’ll have a top ten ranking in every division and fighters will move up the ranks and try to fight the champion.
“We definitely wanted to open up all of the weight classes,” he continued. “For too long K-1 was just two weight classes and this is the solution that we had to help to establish all of these weight classes.”
For many fans, the idea of losing the tournament format will be a loss, as K-1 was established on this idea of annual tournaments to decide the best in the world, but Kuruc assures us that K-1 isn’t done with tournaments. “Is K-1 done with the tournament format? Absolutely not. We want to establish these weight divisions and crown champions, but we still want to run tournaments, just not as often. Maybe they are every two or four years, just not every year like we are all used to.”
Kuruc also cites that the marketplace has completely changed over the past ten years, which was a factor in this decision. “It’s a completely different marketplace than it was when K-1 first started and companies need to adjust,” he explains. “We feel that this is the right adjustment. The fans want to know who the 63kg champion is, who the 70kg champion is and by doing it this way fans will be able to follow their favorite athlete’s career. The current format crowns a new champion every year, but they are just the champion of this year, then for the next tournament they have to start all over again.
“It’s also a matter of making the fights that fans want to see. Take for example Artur Kyshenko, he had competed in K-1 for how many years and somehow never fought against Buakaw? They would fight on the same shows but they never fought each other. People want to see that fight, but in a tournament format you can’t deliver this fight outside of a stroke of fight. With us having the ability to control who fights who, K-1’ believes that this will be able to give fans the best possible fights that they want to see.”
As for when to expect these changes to come into play, Kuruc says that it will be the near future, by the beginning of the year. “It’ll start in early 2014, probably as soon as January. We’ll shortly be coming out with the first half of the 2014 schedule. I’m currently developing shows in quite a number of countries. K-1 will still be a global organization, with shows on different continents and different countries.
“We are really looking for young and exciting fighters right now. I’m spending a lot of time right now watching a lot of footage. Our personnel will be attending a lot of amateur championships around the world. It’s not that we are rebuilding it is just that we feel like there is a wealth of great fighters from the ages of 18 – 23 and we want to be the ones who expose them to the world. They have new styles that they fight in and it’s really exciting to think about creating new stars within K-1.”
Of course, the question still looms about what is going on with the 2013 K-1 World MAX Championships, as the Final 16 was held in September and fans were promised resolution on this. It turns out, they will get their resolution, it will just take on a slightly different form.
“We’re not gonna do the Final 8 fights in one night, instead we’re gonna build up to a Final,” he said, showing the difference between previous years. “On the first two shows we’ll have four of the winners, on another show we’ll have the other two winners. So the first two rounds of the Final 8 will be spread out over those shows, then Finalists will compete on a separate show for the Championship. The winner of that will not only be the year’s MAX Champion, but our 70kg Champion as well.
“This gives fighters a chance to rest, heal up and train for each opponent,” he added. “These guys are top athletes and it only seems fair to give them a real chance to prepare for their opponents. So 70kg will be the first division that we open up, followed by the top ten rankings after we find our Champion. The next divisions that we’ll open up will be 63kg and 85kg, while I’m also looking for a few good, exciting Heavyweights, as Heavyweight is on the agenda as well.
“We plan on running these events in January and February, which means that we’ll be crowning our 70kg Champion by the end of February or early March.”
These aren’t the only big plans for K-1, as they plan on running 12 big events throughout 2014, but these are some of the big changes that are happening. K-1 Global seems confident in this new format and that it will not only be best for the fans, but also benefit the careers and longevity of the fighters involved as well.
The GLORY 4 Tokyo event is set to take place on December 31st and today marked the day when GLORY broadcast the draws live from Japan. It was a bit of an unorthodox draw with a few fighters in Japan and a few in Holland live via Skype video chat. Raomoru, Fabiano Cyclone and Musashi were in attendance, with Musashi choosing the names out of a jar. The way the draws worked were the first 8 seeds, which are chosen from Glory’s rankings, were placed across the board and their opponents were selected randomly out of the jar.
We also heard from Cor Hemmers about the format of the event, which we already know the basics of; the first few rounds of the tournament consist of two minute rounds with an open scoring system. If there is a clear winner after two rounds, that fighter moves on, if not, a third and final deciding round comes into play. In the Finals of the tournament it is full Glory rules; Three three-minute rounds with two extension rounds for all of the (excuse the pun) Glory.
So without further ado, here is the line-up for the GLORY Grand Slam Tournament:
This year’s Cro Cop Final Fight took place in March, with Mirko Cro Cop headlining the card against Ray Sefo. Along with the main event, the event helped to introduce a number of up and coming Croatian fighters such as Toni Milanovic and Agron Preteni.
Another event of the same nature will take place on March 15 in Zagreb, Croatia at the Zagreb Arena under the Final Fight banner. A press conference will be held in January to reveal full details of the event and plans for the Final Fight series in 2013. Orsat Zovko, Cro Cop’s manager, owner of Fight Channel and promoter of Final Fight spoke with fightsite.hr and gave some details on what to expect for the event on March 15 and for next year in general. Zovko also noted that he has no idea what’s going on with K-1 and the World Grand Prix Finals, even saying that he moved Cro Cop’s MMA fight with Pedro Rizzo to May because of K-1, but now has no idea what is happening.
Zovko also stated that Simon Rutz, formerly of It’s Showtime and now of GLORY, visited him in Zagreb and that there are concrete plans to produce and organize GLORY events with Fight Channel for next year.
Expect Mirko Cro Cop and a number of up and coming Croatian fighters to be on the March 15 event. Zovko said he plans to introduce some Croatian fighters that he thinks have the potential to be stars. Hopefully these fighters include the likes of Toni Milanovic and Agron Preteni.
Peter Aerts confirmed today to Dutch site Round1Network that as rumored, he will be fighting Tyrone Spong on June 30 for It’s Showtime. He also mentioned that the event will be at the Brabant Hallen in Den Bosch, Holland. The fight will be the last of his legendary, illustrious career.
Spong is one of the toughest possible match-ups for “The Dutch Lumberjack,” and it’s fitting, as Aerts has fought the best of the best for his whole career, from beginning to end. Before the fight happens, Spong will face off with Melvin Manhoef on January 28. The fight card of the event on June 30 will be announced during It’s Showtime’s show on January 28.
Aerts hasn’t fought in Holland since 2007 when he stopped Bob Sapp. It’s great that he gets to go out for one last time in front of his home country before he calls it a career.
Few things are more exciting than a fighter that throws caution to the wind. One that’s willing to lay it all on the line to entertain the fans and make sure everyone in attendance sees a good show. As fight fans, we cheer most intensely for those that have one goal in mind: to show no quarter and destroy or be destroyed. It’s a recipe for success in gaining fans and there are those that have parlayed that style into a legendary career. But what about those that don’t walk that thin line between success and failure? The fighters that place winning above entertainment.
With 40 knockout wins to his credit, your first thought would be that Remy Bonjasky is not a boring fighter. Training with the legendary Ivan Hippolyte at Vos Gym has given The Flying Gentleman the tools to record some of the most memorable knockout wins in K-1 history. His flying headkick KO of Vernon White at the 2003 Las Vegas Grand Prix being just one of them. But the overall consensus among fans is that Remy is a safe fighter that will cover up with a double forearm guard, not engage, strike when he has to, and ride out a decision win. A very calculated strategy but not one that will win him legions of fans. By and large, fans place higher emphasis on fireworks than they do a sound path to victory. While some astute students of the fight game can enjoy the mechanics of a style like Remy’s, all fans can enjoy two fighters standing in the center of the ring and throwing punches and kicks till one falls. To borrow a phrase from the great Jim Ross, people love a slobberknocker.
It’s hard to argue with his record, though. The Surinamese native has achieved a huge amount of success in the K-1 ring by not deviating from his strategy. Fighters often grow visibly tired of Remy’s refusal to engage in a slug-fest as evidenced by them throwing up their arms in disgust while openly taunting Bonjasky. Ever vigilant in his approach, he has used this method to win three K-1 World Grand Prix titles. Back to back in 2003 and 2004, then again in 2008. Proving the validity of his style, Remy won two of those titles by decision and one by default when Badr Hari was disqualified after stomping Remy in the head while he was down. By sticking to his guns and never letting fan or fighter approval sway him from concentrating on his goal, Remy has attained legendary status.
Which begs the question, is it better to be successful or well liked? Going against the grain means often walking alone. Such legendary fighters as Peter Aerts and Ernesto Hoost have won multiple WGP titles and acquired a large fan base at the same time. Why is that? It’s hard to nail down one reason but let’s look at the roads to victory for Peter Aerts and Ernesto Hoost.
Peter Aerts defeated Masaaki Satake by unanimous decision to win his first K-1 WGP title in ’94. He would go on to win the next two by defeating Jerome Le Banner with a body shot in ’95 and knocking out Andy Hug with his trademark high kick in ’98.
Ernesto Hoost defeated Andy Hug by decision to win his first WGP title in ’97. He then used a body shot to defeat Mirko ‘Cro Cop’ Filipovic in ’99, a decision victory over Ray Sefo in ’00, and a kick to shatter Jerome Le Banner’s left arm in ’02.
Both Peter and Ernesto recorded decision wins over their opponents but they also had decisive KO wins that left nothing to doubt. Something lacking in Remy’s World Grand Prix run. What athletes do and how they do it, on the biggest stage, is what often defines their career.
This scenario isn’t limited to the kickboxing world as mixed martial arts fighters often fall under the same scrutiny. Georges St. Pierre, John Fitch and Rashad Evans are all fighters that have achieved success and are often criticized for utilizing a system that is based around wrestling and not striking. Again, a style that is technically sound but not exciting to the casual fan.
One fighter that certainly bucks that trend is Wanderlei ‘The Axe Murderer’ Silva. His willingness to put entertaining the fans above all else has earned him arguably the largest fan base in combat sports. The Brazil native is known worlwide for his brawling style that often finds him standing toe-to-toe with his opponent and throwing punches until he knocks out his opponent or he is knocked out. Living by the sword and dying by the sword is nothing new for Wanderlei as he has knocked out opponents to win multiple titles and also fell victim to highlight reel KO’s. He often speaks of his desire to entertain the fans that show up looking for a good fight and how he’ll do anything to give it to them. The fans respect that a great deal and will always tune in to see him do battle.
In the end, Remy is a three time World Grand Prix champion and will go down as one of the best to ever lace up the gloves. That’s undeniable. Could he have developed a larger group of fans by being a fighter that was more exciting and avoided winning by decision if possible? I believe so but that would cause him to fight out of his comfort zone and who knows how successful that would have been. He might not have one title to his record today if he acquiesced to what those around him wanted. Remy has done what few fighters have had the good fortune to and when the sun sets on his career, I believe that’s what matters to him most.
K-1, SuperKombat and It’s Showtime veteran Sergei Laschenko was pronounced dead on April 8th at the Odessa Jewish Hospital in the Ukraine after being shot multiple times, one of the shots hitting his carotid artery. Laschenko is survived by his wife and 18-month old child.
Sergei Laschenko was a very popular Heavyweight kickboxer who trained under some of the best in the world, including Thom Harinck and Mike Passenier. For a period of time Laschenko was without a doubt one of the top ten Heavyweights in the world, which at the time of having such legendary names as Schilt, Aerts, Le Banner, Hari, Ghita and others active it was truly an important accomplishment. In 2011 he won the SuperKombat World Grand Prix and in 2014 he won the KOK World Grand Prix.
There were ups and downs in his career, but Laschenko was truly one of the more memorable Heavyweight stars over the past ten years and his loss will be felt across the kickboxing community.
It has been almost a year since we’ve seen “Bazooka” Joe Valtellini in action. At GLORY 17 Los Angeles Valtellini was victorious over then-champion Marc de Bonte securing the GLORY Welterweight Championship. Since then fans have been anxiously awaiting the rematch between Valtellini and Nieky Holzken, Holzken himself feeling rather impatient over how many times the bout has been pushed back.
Now we know why and it is pretty heartbreaking. According to our friend John Joe O’Regan over at BloodyElbow the GLORY Champ has been suffering from Post-Concussion Syndrome, which includes sensitivity to light or loud noises and has kept him on the shelf for a while now. According to Valtellini there is still no real timetable for him being able to start training again and return to the ring so he made the tough decision of vacating the championship. Valtellini notes that it could be a matter of weeks until he is better or it could be a matter of months, it’s simply difficult to tell at this point.
Here’s hoping to a speedy recovery for Valtellini and we will hopefully see him vying for that GLORY Welterweight Championship again in no time.
Very rarely does it seem like within the span of a week we get major kickboxing news like this, but when it rains it pours and 2012 seems to be the year where Kickboxing has been given the money and investors it needs to grow and truly be the global force that it is. Earlier in the week, we made an announcement about the Glory World Series in March, an event which will host Semmy Schilt, Mark Miller, Errol Zimmerman, Jerome Le Banner, Robin van Roosmalen and more, and now we can announce that Glory is planning on running three huge tournaments this year.
The tournaments will begin around May and will take place in three different weight classes; 70kg, 85kg and Heavyweight. The addition of 85kg is one to make a lot of fans happy, as K-1 has been known to ignore weight classes in between 70kg and Heavyweight, but there is a ton of talent worldwide between 70kg and 100kg that tend to go unrecognized due to the K-1 format. In 2012 we do not have to worry about this, as Glory will be running these three huge tournaments. On top of that, the prize money involved is $1 million USD all total, with the 70kg and 85kg tournaments receiving $300k each and Heavyweight for $400k.
To put this into perspective, compared to K-1 tournaments it is comprable pay, if not better in the cases of 70kg and 85kg, and a great opportunity for fighters around the world to prove their mettle in a new arena. Bas Boon is quoted in a press release as saying that he is sure that Peter Aerts, Giorgio Petrosyan, Buakaw Por. Pramuk, Jaideep Singh and Ewerton Teixeira will follow suit and sign agreements with TSA to participate in these Glory events.