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A Look at the Truly SUPER GLORY 28 SuperFight Series

  • Published in Glory

The consensus on GLORY 28 is that it’s one of the most packed GLORY cards of all-time, but by looking at the main card alone you wouldn’t get that impression. Sure, GLORY 28’s main card is good, but where the show really shines is in the undercard, dubbed the SuperFight Series. The SuperFight Series will be airing on UFC’s Fight Pass platform and, in a way, GLORY is putting their best foot forward on Fight Pass this time around with two world title fights and three incredible fights on top of that.

As a fan of kickboxing I’m perhaps more excited for the SuperFight Series than I am for the main card. Sure, the main card is great, but there is so much going on here that it’s hard to NOT want to talk about it.

GLORY Light Heavyweight Championship: Saulo Cavalari(C) vs. Artem Vakhitov

Honestly, I’m not sure why this fight isn’t on the main card outside of looking to give the SFS an incredible main event. Sure, fans were really itching for Gokhan Saki to get back into the ring, but I’m almost more excited about what the division looks like without Saki than what it looks like with him. Artem Vakhitov is a skilled, exciting young fighter and Saulo Cavalari has been running roughshod over this division in Saki’s absence. 

While to some that means nothing, I assure you that it means a lot. Saki is a great fighter and a famous name from K-1, but there seems to be a division of fans who refuse to give Cavalari his due simply because he hasn’t fought Saki yet. Saki pulled out of this fight, the official reason was injury, but there have been questions as to what injury it was and if there might be, or if this is some sort of contract situation. Either way Saki isn’t getting any younger and his ability to earn money continues to dwindle with the more time he’s away from the ring fighting the best of the best. 

While I think that Vakhitov poses an interesting challenge for Cavalari, the Cavalari that we’ve seen grow and evolve in the GLORY ring is a complete fighter that will do what it takes to retain his title.

Xavier Vigney vs. Freddy Kemayo

As an American, Xavier Vigney has had to prove himself time and time again to be taken seriously. His professional career started in the K-1 ring against a veteran fighter in Seth Petruzelli and ever since then he’s had some degree of spotlight on him, although there have always been lingering doubts. Heavyweight was once the big money weight in kickboxing, but now things may have shifted just a bit. Since that intense focus on heavyweight isn’t there anymore, GLORY has been able to take things slowly with Vigney before pushing him into the deepest waters and seeing if he’ll sink or swim.

The incremental challenges that they’ve been giving him have all proven to be stuff that he can handle and while his style isn’t exactly explosive, Rico Verhoeven’s style wasn’t explosive or refined in his earlier days and he turned into an amazing talent. I’m not sure that Vigney will reach the same heights, but there is always the potential. Daniel Sam was considered a step up in competition for Vigney and he handled it with poise and a cool head. Now Freddy Kemayo is his next step up. Kemayo is a well known fighter who has always been on the fringe of the top of the division, perhaps best known as the guy who got body-bagged by Anderson “Braddock” Silva back in 2010 in one of the best high kick KO’s of all time. 

That being said, Kemayo is still a tough fighter and while things haven’t exactly been sunshine for him of late, stopping Vigney dead in his path towards kickboxing elitedom would be a feather in his cap and a reason for people to start taking him seriously again.

But, I think Vigney has this. 

GLORY Featherweight Championship: Serhiy Adamchuk(C) vs. Mosab Amrani

At this point I feel for the GLORY Featherweight Championship. Unless Mosab is able to wrest the title away from Adamchuk’s defensive grasp here the title’s interest level might drop below zero. Adamchuk is a talented, skilled fighter, but to be frank, his performances in the GLORY ring have been abysmal to watch. The way that he won the title was shameful, to say the least, in perhaps one of GLORY’s worst title fights to date.

As a fan, I have no reason to want to watch Adamchuk anymore now that I know what he’s prepared to do to hold that title. Outside of referee interference on the level of Artem/Marcus there is little chance of this fight being something worth watching. I say that as someone well aware of what Mosab is capable of and how he’s been consistently one of the most exciting, watchable fighters of the past five years. 

Adamchuk by smothering and rabbit punches.

Jason Wilnis vs. Filip Verlinden

This is a really interesting fight, especially with the prospect of Artem Levin gone from the Middleweight division and things opening up a bit. Wilnis was last in the ring against Joe Schilling, forced to stop fighting due to an injury after having Joe in some serious trouble. Sure, Joe was working him over pretty hard early on, but Wilnis fought back and had Joe wobbling into the ropes before the injury and having to call the fight.

Needless to say, Wilnis is showing a lot of promise and could be a major player in the division. Verlinden is a guy that early on was shoved anywhere that he was needed, but now he finally seems comfortable at Middleweight, although he’s still taking random Light Heavyweight fights. Verlinden has a rather unremarkable-yet-functional style that has gotten him to where he is today. I think that Wilnis probably takes this, but Verlinden can never be counted out.

Josh Jauncey vs. Johan Tkac

Tkac is stepping up on short notice to fight Jauncey, which is admirable, but Jauncey has gotten the name recognition that he has now because of just how good of a young fighter he really is. The fight with Petrosyan showed a ton of promise and honestly, I just look forward to continue watching Jauncey grow into one of the best fighters in the weight division.

Jauncey takes it.

Maykol Yurk vs. Eddy Naït-Slimani

Maykol burst onto the scene at GLORY 26 with a huge win over Shane Oblonsky before putting up a courageous fight against Mosab before tasting bitter, bitter defeat. Now he gets a challenge that is a bit more manageable for him in Eddy Nait-Slimani. Eddy is a capable, aggressive fighter with a thai style that should make for fireworks here. I think that Maykol takes it but that it won’t be easy.

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Weekly Poll Results

  • Published in K-1

Results from last week's poll:"Would you be interested in a K-1 women's division?"

36% - Yes, absolutely!

29% - Yes, if they get RENA

22% - No, not interested

11% - Not yet, there aren't enough fighters

2% - Not sure

This week: K-1 veteran Pat Barry was in action this weekend, defeating Joey Beltran at the UFC Fight for the Troops event.  Opinions on Barry are split, with some reports saying he used great striking to take the win, and others saying he lacked something in the victory.  What was your take?

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Adidas Announces Partnership with Friday Night Fights

  • Published in Muay Thai

Sports apparel brand adidas has been making a big push into the world of Martial Arts over the past few months with their latest move being an interesting one, to say the least. Today adidas announced that they are teaming up with New York muay thai promotion Friday Night Fights. Adidas seems inspired to look outside of the box in their sponsorships and teaming with Friday Night Fights is a tremendous opportunity for the New York-based promotion that has been making waves for years.

“From our perspective as a brand that so many expect so much from, connecting with the right grass roots fight promotion means everything. Our objective is support the core audience and everyday blue & white collar warriors,”  “The women and men who embrace what it means to face your goals and improve yourself every night you hit the gym are who we care about. This is our company obsession. How do we serve these dedicated people and their beloved sport?  The answer is clear.: We form an alliance with Friday Night Fight’s.”

ACS’s Managing Director Scott Viscomi continues, “when you come to their events, you can feel the energy in the room, it’s electrifying! Justin and his team are long term pro’s who know what it takes to match great athletes, and entertain the people buying seats.  As we work to remind the core market of adidas’ long and rich history in Olympic Judo, Tae Kwon Do, and Boxing to Professional Boxing, MMA, and Kickboxing, we couldn’t have a better strategic partner than FNF to relaunch our Muay Thai programs."

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UFC Fight Pass Adds Parts of the K-1 Library to Their Service

  • Published in K-1

When GLORY first began getting their gears in motion there was an excited press release sent out with the promotion talking about acquiring the rights to the K-1 library. The deal, as originally announced, was that it included the Fuji TV library from the promotion's inception until 2006. K-1 Global, which was formed by Mike Kim to purchase the assets of K-1 from FEG after their bankruptcy, issued back a fiery statement claiming that FEG sold "usage rights" to GLORY, not the full libraries. GLORY officials vehemently disagreed and the matter was to be tied up in Japanese court without us hearing much about it. 

Then GLORY moved the SuperFight Series to UFC Fight Pass and along with it was to come GLORY's impressive library of fights, including It's Showtime events and, get this, K-1. The thing is, that didn't really happen. The timing in the press statements were "immediate," yet K-1 events were bogged down by legal issues. Interestingly enough, we don't see any It's Showtime on UFC Fight Pass still, but some K-1 footage has appeared on UFC Fight Pass.

What has shown up is perhaps even more fascinating than what isn't there.

Now on UFC Fight Pass are the 2001 K-1 World Grand Prix Finals as well as the 2005 - 2010 World Grand Prix Finals. An interesting selection of events, most fall out of the scope of the deal that was discussed initially and the whole idea of the K-1 library remains somewhat mysterious to this day. Will we get more K-1 on Fight Pass? We've heard yes, but as to what we will see, what K-1 Global's reaction will be and what to expect in the future, well, nobody knows.

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Tyrone Spong Signs with Glory

  • Published in Glory

SpongThere have been rumors about Spong for weeks now, with the former K-1 Heavyweight being a hot commodity on the open market. It appeared that Spong was linked to K-1 for a while, as he was used in the promotional materials for the K-1 Open Tryouts in Los Angeles, but those close to him in the Netherlands were saying the opposite; that he was unhappy with K-1 and didn't trust them. In a press release yesterday (sorry, we've been down for 24 hours), Glory announced that Tyrone Spong had signed with them and will be a participant in their tournament in December in Japan.

Spong makes a welcome addition to the Glory World Series tournament in what could be one of his last active years as a Kickboxer, as he resides in Florida, training with the Blackzilians team (also known as Team Jaco) and is managed by Authentic Sports Management. Spong is essentially surrounded by MMA and talk of him making a MMA debut at some point in the near future has not died down at all. Whatever his decisions for signing with Glory over K-1 are, they are his own and he has not publicly explained it, but his reasons are his reasons.

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Overeem Destroys in 19 Seconds

  • Published in K-1

You knew it was a hard road for Todd Duffee.  Facing the rampaging Alistair Overeem, on short notice, under MMA rules where The Reem can use his killer knee?  That's a tall order, and unfortunately for the ex- UFC fighter, he wasn't up to it.

In just 19 seconds, Overeem landed a series of blows, including that murderous knee, to knock Duffee down and out.  Duffee's chin has been a question mark since his UFC loss to Mike Russow, but those blows would have put almost anyone away.  Such is the power of the K-1 champion.

With that win, Overeem claims the Interim Dream Heavyweight title, making him the current Dream, Strikeforce, and K-1 champion.  I know he has his detractors, but that's an impressive accomplishment.

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Watch Yuichiro Nagashima Celebrate Post-Fight at Dynamite!!

  • Published in K-1

We all love honesty when it comes in our favorite fighters; a straight-forward attitude, humility and admittance that they are indeed mortal just like you and me. They get scared. Well, most fighters do, not everybody is Alistair Overeem, who knows when he is walking to the ring that it will just be a matter of time before someone lays in a pool of their own blood before him. Going into his Mixed Rules bout at Dynamite!! against Shinya Aoki, Yuichiro Nagashima knew what he had to do; he had to get out there and knock Aoki out in the first round. Aoki used his brain to avoid contact with Nagashima all throughout the K-1 rules round, which lead into the MMA rules portion of the bout, where Nagashima was in deep, deep water against one of the best MMA grapplers in the world. After the boisterous, over-the-top entrance from Nagashima, to lose would be a shame, but when you saw the look on his face and the concern of his trainers going into the second round, you saw a defeated man.

The flying knee that connected not only shocked Aoki, but it shocked Nagashima as well. Watch this video of Nagashima as he heads to the back after the bout and watch him coming down from his adrenaline rush and just how lucky he knows he was for scoring that knockout. He even vows to never, ever do MMA again and that he was "so scared!"

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Programming News and Notes on This Weekend's K-1 and It's Showtime Events

  • Published in K-1

K-1/It's ShowtimeWe have a very busy schedule coming up for us after a bit of downtime. First off, DREAM.17 marks the return of live Japanese MMA to HDnet on September 24th.

That isn't the end of the action for fight fans, though. Not by a long shot. For kickboxing fans there are two huge 70kg tournaments happening in the two kickboxing hot beds of the world. It's Showtime puts on their Fast and Furious 70kg MAX tournament. The Fast and Furious tournament is shaping up to be the biggest tournament of the year, hands down, in any weight class in the kickboxing world. The event will be streamed on It's Showtime's website, ShowtimeFights.com for the usual 10 euros live, and according to Andrew Simon from HDnet, there are plans of airing the event on the 14th of October.

On top of that, It's Showtime has promised today that on Friday they will announce the fight card for the January 28th It's Showtime event, including the location and they've promised "REALLY breaking news."

We aren't done yet, with K-1 putting on their second tournament of the year. The 70kg MAX Japan tournament marks K-1's biggest tournament so far this year after the -63kg MAX Japan tournament. The event happens on the 25th in Japan and it is unclear if or when the event will air. We have yet to hear back from K-1 on our query about a possible streaming option and HDnet has confirmed that they have no current plans on airing the event.

Stay logged into the LiverKick.com all this week for updates and previews of these huge events.

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Warman's Kickfighting Show #57: Fight Code, SuperKombat and K-1

  • Published in Interviews

Another week and another episode of Warman's Kickfighting show where I join Steven Wright to discuss the goings on of the worlds of kickboxing and muay thai. This week we look at the results from this past weekend's Fight Code event as well as the fallout from it, including Fight Code organizing two rematches from the show and the one disqualification being overturned. We also go into depth on SuperKombat's last GP event which did not feature the same level of talent as per the last few shows but still delivered on a few different levels, as well as their business model going forward and why it is vital for them to get their act together.

And of course, you can't talk about the last week in the Kickboxing world without talking about K-1. This means talk about the show being cancelled, possibly postponed and the news finally being released that there are many potential buyers for the company but Master Ishii seems to be the lone force holding the company back. As always, the show can be downloaded on iTunes (search: LordGaul) or on the PodBean site. As always, I'm going to embed it, but there does seem to be a timeout with these files, so if it isn't working make sure to go and download it yourself.

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A Look at K-1's Rising Talents From the Los Angeles GP

  • Published in K-1

K-1

For the first time since 2008, K-1 will return to US soil with the K-1 World Grand Prix Los Angeles event, focusing on cultivating US talent. This is the first time in a very long time where K-1 is actually looking to build up new stars in the United States and make a real, honest-to-goodness effort to push into the mainstream in the United States. If you are a Kickboxing fan, you know that the Heavyweight division has a certain lack of depth to it, so the fact that there will be what can be considered a new generation of fighters presented this weekend is exciting to many.

LiverKick is going to run you through the up-and-comers in the Heavyweight division that will be competing on Saturday at the K-1 World Grand Prix Los Angeles, just so that you'll be prepared.

Jarrell Miller - Jarrell is probably the fighter with the most upside at the moment. He is a known commodity in that he has competed in Kickboxing and Muay Thai for years now, and has recently ventured into the realm of Heavyweight Boxing with nothing but success. We’ve already seen Jarrell in “big fight situations” when he competed in the WCL when he was just 19 years old, including a big win over UFC Heavyweight Pat Barry. Be looking out for Jarrell to hit hard and to try to end it early and make a big statement.

Randy Blake - Blake, another WCL veteran, has a lot of hype surrounding him as he competes in the Southeast a lot, mainly in Oklahoma City. Blake went 1-1 in his WCL career and since then has been taking on all comers, but at Heavyweight, Blake will be undersized against most fighters. As we’ve seen in the past though, that doesn’t always mean a death sentence in K-1, as many undersized fighters have had great Heavyweight careers.

Xavier Vigney - Xavier Vigney is still very much a wildcard when it comes to what his potential is. He had a promising future in American Football, being a standout at De La Salle in California before hanging up the shoulder pads and began kicking thai pads. He has fought a number of amateur bouts, but has yet to step into the ring as a professional. What he does have going for him is size and athleticism, which is very important for a fighter. From the amateur bouts of his that are online he looks a bit rough around the edges, but there is definitely something there. If we’ll see that this weekend against tough veteran Seth Petruzelli is another thing entirely.

Jack May - Jack May is a 4-1 MMA fighter who stands at a towering 6’8” who has yet to really make a dent on the Kickboxing world. All of his victories in MMA come by way of Knockout, so it is safe to say that he should feel at home in a stand-up only environment. He trains at CSW in California and works extensively with Josh Barnett, who of course is known for his grappling. There won’t be much grappling for him to do this weekend, so it still remains to be seen how he handles K-1 rules.

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