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Street Fighter 2 Mock Video of Yuichiro Nagashima KO'ing Shinya Aoki

  • Published in K-1

Well, it was bound to happen sooner or later, Shinya Aoki getting knocked out by Yuichiro Nagashima from Dynamite!! will not die, actually, someone has lovingly mocked it up like Street Fighter 2. This isn't the first time we've seen something similar before, and it won't be the last time we see it, either. This comes hot on the heels as reports from Japan revolve around Nagashima's crazy cosplaying fans making Aoki's life a nightmare. We've actually heard that a few days ago Nagashima appeared at Aoki's gym, but we haven't heard if it was for an apology or if Nagashima was just messing around. Yikes. Aoki even has a new, private Twitter account, so the odds are he won't let you read his feed. Sorry. [source]

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Lion Fight 18 Competes For Your Time on Friday Night

  • Published in Muay Thai

This Friday night is pretty much unprecedented for Lion Fight. Usually when they are running events they are clear of most competition. There might be a minor Bellator card here and there, but it’s usually nothing of consequence. This time around, well, things are a bit different. On September 5th combat sports fans are treated to an onslaught of programming that means that inevitably, only one event can be watched at a time. You can DVR what you want to watch later, for sure, but three events at the same time? Some DVRs aren’t even capable of such feats. 

This Friday we get to see the first real event from Bellator that will have his fingerprints all over it. Cokertor will finally make its debut with a card featuring King Mo Lawal against GLORY kickboxer Dustin Jacoby. The Bellator Featherweight Champinoship is on the line in a rematch betweeen Patricio Pitbull and Pat Curran, then you have both Cheick Kongo and Bobby Lashley in action. This is probably one of the bigger Bellator events that we’ve ever seen on free TV, at least since they canceled that PPV and moved the show to Spike. 

Then, on the other side of the spectrum, we have the UFC. The UFC goes down the street from Bellator to Foxwoods in Connecticut with what is a really stacked card for hardcore fans on free TV. The main event is Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza vs. Gegard Mousasi, a rematch from 2008. Then you have 2010 K-1 World Grand Prix Champion and former Strikeforce Heavyweight Champion Alistair Overeem against Ben Rothwell, which is an awesome fight. Add in Matt Mitrione and Joe Lauzon into the mix and you have an appealing free card for fight fans.

This is a lot of direct competition for Lion Fight this weekend. A lot. 

The Lion Fight Middleweight Championship is on the line as champion Yodsanklai Fairtex will square off against the game challenger that is Salah Khalifa from the UK. Then you have all-around bad ass Jason Andrada taking on Stan Mancebo in a bout that should feature excitement from beginning to end. Those are just the top two fights. The rest of the card is bound to provide quite a bit of excitement. In fact, to date, Lion Fight has yet to put on an event that would come anywhere close to considered dull. 

Nick Chasteen vs. Jose Palacios is another fight that you might not recognize their names unless you follow American muay thai and kickboxing closely, but this fight has the potential to be one of the better bouts of the night -- that’s across all three events -- and all you gotta do is tune in. Lion Fight has yet to disappoint and on Friday will have a lot of competition, but this fact alone, that Lion Fight has never disappointed, is reason enough to say that the rest can wait.

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The Return of Badr Hari: A Look at Badr vs. Zabit Samedov from the K-1 World Grand Prix 2009 Final 16

  • Published in K-1

Badr Hari is a name that strikes strong emotions with kickboxing fans across the world, some love him while others find his behavior in and outside of the ring a disgrace to the sport. Regardless, Badr Hari has made a huge impact on the world of kickboxing in the past five years or so. We've seen Badr Hari climb up to the very peak of the mountain only to melt down twice now.

Yesterday we took a look at Badr Hari's breakout bout of 2009 where he met then three-time K-1 World Grand Prix Champion, Semmy Schilt, in the It's Showtime ring for the It's Showtime World Heavyweight Championship. This was a big bout for Badr Hari, as he was able to bull rush Semmy Schilt, knock him off balance and quickly knock him out. The usual approach to taking out Semmy Schilt is a slow, methodical pace, wait for him to make a mistake and swarm him. Badr Hari didn't bother waiting, he just swarmed, smelled blood and took the title home. Badr Hari then went into the Final 16 in Korea with a world of momentum behind him, leaving poor Zabit Samedov to square off with a hungry and well-prepared Badr Hari.

Zabit Samedov is no slouch, he is a world class kickboxer who often finds himself in bad situations due to his size. In the world of K-1 there are Heavyweights and there are Super Heavyweights. Samedov is a small Heavyweight fighting against monsters of men like Hari. None of that mattered when he stepped into the ring against Badr Hari. This was stop two on Badr Hari's road to redemption.

We will continue to look at what led Badr Hari to his May 14th clash with Gregory Tony for It's Showtime, why he hasn't fought for a year and the fights that happened along the way.

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Full Card for Lion Fight 16 on July 4th

  • Published in Muay Thai

This Friday, July 4th at 9pm Eastern time on AXS TV the world will be treated to Lion Fight 16. Lion Fight 16 will take place at the Pearl at the Palms in Las Vegas, Nevada and be an official part of UFC's International Fight Week. That means that the UFC will be helping Lion Fight to promote the event throughout the week and it should be an electric atmosphere on Friday. The event is headlined by Kevin Ross taking on Michael Thompson with the Lion Fight Super Lightweight Championship to be decided.

The event will also feature muay thai legend Rungravee Sasiprapa and Tiffany Van Soest in action. Here is a look at the full fight card.

Super Lightweight Title Bout
Kevin Ross vs Michael Thompson
Co-Main Event
Tiffany Van Soest vs Sindy Huyer
Super Fight
Rungravee Sasiprapa vs. Adrian Morilla
Tyler Toner vs. Gaston Bolanos
Josh Shepard vs Casey Parlett

AXS TV has also released the bloody, awesome video from Lion Fight 15 of Kevin Ross vs. Chris Mauceri. Check it out.

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Michael Page Talking About Freestyle Kickboxing in MMA is Fascinating

  • Published in Kickboxing

When it comes to the realm of professional kickboxing not many people pay much credence to freestyle kickboxing anymore. Freestyle kickboxing is probably closest to what we call "full contact" kickboxing, which means that it is the long pants, point-fighting variant of kickboxing. Modern kickboxing in the GLORY/K-1 rules is Japanese in origin, coming from the idea of blending Kyokushin Karate with Muay Thai and deviates quite a bit from the days of point fighting, although point fighting and other variants of kickboxing still exist, but we don't hear much about them anymore. 

Bellator fighter Michael Page spoke with MMAFighting's Luke Thomas recently and talked a lot about freestyle kickboxing and how it helped to make his style so unique in MMA. It's interesting because we are so used to GLORY/K-1 style or muay thai style being the go-to for sport fighting and MMA that we've all kind of written off other styles of kickboxing or karate as useful in an environment of professional fighting, but apparently it can be useful. Hell, look at Lyoto Machida's success in the UFC. 

Fascinating stuff, that's for sure, especially considering that at GLORY 18 we'll see Kyokushin (technically Ashihara) stylist Davit Kiria look to defend his GLORY Lightweight Championship against Robin van Roosmalen in a classic Kyokushin vs. Dutch style fight. 

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Fighters are Human, Too, and We Need to Treat Them That Way

  • Published in Interviews

(C) GLORY

“These are the gladiators,” my father is fond of saying, “The people who agree to damage each other for our entertainment and money, and by god we’ll gladly pay them to do this until they are too beat up and brain damaged to do it anymore.” My dad is a fight fan. His favorite fighter is Fedor Emelianenko. He says this not to be crass, but to make a point: who accepts moral culpability for the violence entailed in combat sports? There’s three positions you can take: 1) You unequivocally reject combat sports because you reject violence. 2) You take the position of the opening quote, that the contract signed between the “gladiators” absolves everybody (including the fans who watch) of any moral responsibility for the outcomes and consequences of the fight, or 3) You acknowledge the violence but also appreciate and accept the moral consequences. I hope that if you’re a combat sports fan (and especially if you’re a fighter) that you take the third position.

To begin with, I don’t think that people who sincerely make statements like those above actually believe them. Serious acute or chronic injury, or worse, fatality, is not a permissible contingency held by many, and I would question the motives of those for whom it is. There may be those who genuinely believe in the idea that we shouldn’t feel bad about fighters getting seriously hurt, but I would argue that upholding this belief in even the most extreme circumstances is really testing its limits and challenging the scope and expectations that many fighters have about their own careers. No fighter wants to suffer a career ending injury, or worse, die.

Fighters are human beings. We get to see them get hurt, but we seldom see them suffer--physically, emotionally, and financially. They routinely suffer the types of injuries that most people would occasionally if ever experience and they experience more head trauma on a regular basis than most people ever would in a lifetime. We don’t get to experience and understand the personal sacrifices that they make to pursue their passion: career choices, time spent apart from loved ones, medical expenses, debt. Our insight is limited to a promoter’s media package and information publicized through outlets like this one. Fighters desire a quality of life just like anyone else. They have similar desires to make a living and provide for loved ones, even if this is very hard to do in their line of work. Their choice of profession is driven by a passion that any individual should aspire to find in their own careers.

Thus, to fans who believe that fighters have nothing to feel bad about when they hurt their opponent, why deny them their compassion? Why deny yourself compassion? The martial arts is for many practitioners a form of human expression, and while it is the practice of hand-to-hand combat, its prevalence as a component of the healthy lifestyles of many caring and compassionate individuals demonstrates that it doesn’t have to dehumanize; the countless moments of comradery throughout the span of kickboxing illustrate that. A quasi-Cobra Kai-like philosophy of violence without limits or control is malignant and destructive--and is thankfully not shared by many. Those who truly lack compassion in their hearts or who have a desire to inflict suffering when they step into the ring warrant our concern, not praise. It’s ok to care for the well-being of other people no matter what their chosen profession is.

This is the mentality that was reflected in the actions of Gokhan Saki at Glory 15 and articulated by other fighters in the aftermath of the event--there’s something to be said when professional fighters come forward, express their compassion, and demand the same from the fans. It should be the norm for anyone, fan or fighter. We should maintain the humanity to uplift people and celebrate their value, and we should also denounce voices who would seek to dehumanize, demean, reduce, or commoditize the people who we as fans have given our time, money, and appreciation. It’s the human thing to do.

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Cro Cop vs. Bonjasky Gave Mirko's Mom Heart Palpatations

  • Published in Glory

Cro Cop

Apparently some fans were critical of Mirko Cro Cop from GLORY 14, not for his performance, not for his style having changed so drastically in the past few years and the lack of kicks or clean punches -- but because he didn't hang around to do interviews after the event. After the fight with Remy Bonjasky was over Mirko Cro Cop made his way backstage and then promptly left the arena, which led to speculation that he was possibly a bad sport over the controversial decision.

According to Cro Cop, that couldn't be further from the truth. In fact, Cro Cop claims that he received a phone call that his mother was sick in the hospital. She suffered from heart palpitations and out of fear of a possible heart attack she was rushed to the hospital. Of course Mirko was going to make sure that his mother was okay and be by her side as opposed to answer silly questions about fighting. Cro Cop implied that while fighting is important, his family takes precedence over the fight industry, especially dealing with the press. This comes after the press found Cro Cop difficult to deal with leading up to the fight, which brings everything full circle. [source]

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GLORY's Dustin Jacoby Victorious in MMA Return

  • Published in Glory

Dustin Jacoby made a big splash on the kickboxing world when he entered into GLORY after little notice. He entered a Road 2 GLORY tournament without much notice and was able to steamroll it, earning himself a spot on the main GLORY roster. Since then he's gone 1-5, but that has been against some of the best fighters in the world. He is still really learning to love kickboxing and there is definitely a possible future for him if they maybe scale down his competition to something more of his level.

This past weekend he fought for Titan Fighting Championship in his return to MMA where he made short work of Lucas Lopes with his striking. If you were to ask me if his striking has improved I'd probably give a big 'yes.' Jacoby's next fight is September 5th against King Mo Lawal in Bellator.

GIF via ZombieProphet.

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Remy Bonjasky Announces Retirement After GLORY 14

  • Published in Glory

Remy Bonjasky

It should come as no surprise that Remy Bonjasky plans to retire after his bout with Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic this weekend at GLORY 14 Zagreb, but then again, there has been zero chatter as to this being the Flying Gentleman's retirement bout. If you remember back to December, there was talk about the retirement of Peter Aerts, Semmy Schilt, Remy Bonjasky and Jerome Le Banner, but retirements in the sport of Kickboxing are rather fluid affairs.

Today at the GLORY 14 Zagreb press conference Remy Bonjasky made it clear that his fight this weekend with Mirko Cro Cop would indeed be his retirement fight. Not only has age gotten to Bonjasky, but the same eye injury that forced him into retirement before has not relented, which has led to him being unable to perform like he used to. So when you watch this weekend know that you'll probably be seeing the final fight of a legend in Remy Bonjasky.

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Paul Daley's K-1 Debut Happening on October 4th

  • Published in K-1

UFC and Bellator veteran Paul Daley has been in the news this past week after it was announced that Scott Coker has resigned the British fighter to Bellator, hoping that he'll make his debut in the near future. K-1 fires back by announcing Paul Daley's K-1 debut fight will happen on October 4th at the K-1 World MAX Finals in Thailand. The event is headlined by the Buakaw vs. Kehl rematch for the K-1 MAX title (which we are told will be defended on its own, outside of tournaments in the future), but will also see the debut of Paul Daley.

Daley is 4-0 this year alone in kickboxing since he's returned, leading to there being a lot of hype behind his K-1 debut. His opponent has been announced as Mohammad Ghaedibardeh and the fight will be at 80kg. 

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