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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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This Promo For LEGEND 3 is Bonkers

  • Published in Kickboxing

LEGEND

LEGEND 3 is coming up -- fast -- in Milan, Italy. If we've seen anything from LEGEND in the past few events, it is that they go big absolutely every time. This time around they've partnered with our friend in Italy, Carlo di Blasi, and his Oktagon promotion to ensure that everything for the event is top notch. The card itself is definitely drool-inducing for the discerning Kickboxing fan, then there is that bonkers promo video that they released. I don't even know, but it's really incredible, like nothing we've ever seen done to promote a fight card before.

 

  • FIGHT-CARD "LEGEND III: POUR HOMME"
  • (K-1 RULES, MILAN, APRIL 5, MEDIOLANUM FORUM):
  • 1. Armen Petrosyan (Italy) VS Alim "Professor" Nabiev (Ukraine), 70 kg
  • 2. Mohamed Khamal (Morocco) VS Sitthichai Sitsongpeenong (Thailand), 70 kg
  • 3. Enriko "Goodan" Gogokhia (Russia) VS Alessandro Campagna (Italy), 70 kg
  • 4. Alexander Surjko (Russia) VS Paul "Semtex" Daley (United Kingdom), 77 kg
  • 5. Andy "The Destroyer" Souwer (Netherlands) VS Yuri "The Prince" Bessmertny (Belarus), 70 kg
  • 6. Pavel "The Caiman" Zhuravlev (Ukraine) VS Tomasz Szczepkowski (Poland), 93+ kg
  • 7. Murthel "The Predator" Groenhart (Netherlands) VS Dzhabar "Genghis Khan" Askerovв (Russia), 70 kg
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Paul Daley Racks Up Another KO Win in MMA

  • Published in K-1

Former UFC, Strikeforce and Bellator fighter Paul Daley has made a name for himself in 2014 on the kickboxing circuit, picking up some super impressive wins over top competition. Daley caught the attention of K-1 and he is set to make his big K-1 debut in October at the K-1 World MAX Finals in Thailand event against Mohammad Ghaedibardeh. Paul Daley has been resigned by Bellator and is expected to fight for them some time in the coming months. 

Before either of those, though, he was scheduled to fight at BAMMA 16 in the UK where he made a huge impact when he scored a huge TKO victory in the second round over Marinho Moreira da Rocha with a crushing left to the liver. Paul Daley's left hand is really a thing of beauty, is it not?

Here's a look at the finishing blow thanks to Caposa.

 

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Hunt falls in title bout, Schilling flattens Manhoef

  • Published in Kickboxing

Unfortunately for Mark Hunt the fairytale ending wasn't to be. On less than a months notice, the K-1 2001 champion stepped in for an injured Cain Velasquez to fight Fabricio Werdum for the interim UFC heavyweight title at last nights UFC 180 event in Mexico City. Prior to the bout Hunt was listed as high as a 4/1 underdog, however during the opening seven minutes he looked anything but an underdog. 

Hunt started extremely well, landing with a grazing overhand right that put Werdum on the canvas inside the opening minute. The two giants continued to trade until midway through the round Hunt scored with a surprising takedown. Despite Werdum being a multiple time Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu world champion he was unable to get any offence going against Hunt, who seemed content to stay on top and score with occasional punches. With less than a minute remaining in the opening round they returned to their feet where Hunt stunned Werdum once again, sealing a decisive first round for the Kiwi. 

Werdum looked very hesitant at the start of the second round as Hunt continued to land with punches, momentarily flooring Werdum with a right as the Brazilian attempted a leg kick. Hunt seemed to be in control, he had found his range, he was easily stuffing Werdum’s takedown attempts and appeared to be en route to an upset victory. That was until halfway through the second stanza where a beautifully timed leaping knee from Werdum stopped Hunt in his tracks. Follow up shots on the mat caused referee Herb Dean to intervene as Werdum finished off Hunt by technical knockout and was crowned the new interim UFC Heavyweight champion.

Elsewhere in California, Bellator MMA hosted their 131st event from the Valley View Casino Centre in San Diego. Featuring on the card was a battle between Glory veterans Joe Schilling and Melvin Manhoef. Coming into the bout Manhoef had won his two previous MMA contests in 2014, stopping both Evangelista ‘Cyborg’ Santos and Doug Marshall in the first round with punches. Schilling on the other hand hadn’t competed in MMA for over six years and was coming off a losing effort in the final of Glory’s Middleweight tournament back in June.

It was Manhoef who struck first in the opening round dropping Schilling with an overhand right. Manhoef swarmed frantically to finish however Schilling was able to move around just enough to avoid the referee stopping the bout. After brief period of inactivity on the mat, the referee stood the two up and they continued to exchange until the bell sounded. It was an electrifying opening round but one that definitely would have been scored in favour of Manhoef.

The second round started with Schilling being the aggressor, pushing Manhoef back against the cage with combinations. After a counter left-hook from Manhoef had Schilling reeling once again, Schilling was able to capitalise on Manhoef being overzealous  landing a swift one-two that instantly put the Dutchman to sleep a mere 32 seconds into the second round. 

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Pat Barry Added to Legacy Kickboxing Card in January

  • Published in Kickboxing

Former UFC fighter and current GLORY fighter Pat Barry was announced as an addition to January's Legacy Kickboxing event promoted by Legacy Fighting. The fight goes down on January 16th in Houston, Texas and Pat Barry will be fighting Demoreo Dennis. Barry is still under contract with GLORY but GLORY has given both Pat and Legacy the go-ahead for the fight. 

The fight will air on AXS TV and will be using a variation of the K-1/GLORY rule set, which means no elbows and limited clinch work. This is already adding to a card including Michael Corley and Cosmo Alexandre, which is great. It's good to see more kickboxing hitting the airwaves soon and bringing the heat. 

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GLORY 16's Zack Mwekassa on Redemption and New Beginnings

  • Published in Interviews

GLORY

"Nothing beats faith and hope in life", Zack Mwekassa said.

Powerful words from a man who has obviously had to live at times on the strength of the meaning of those very words. In a bout that is sure to be explosive, the Glory family welcomes Zack Mwekassa, who is set to face kickboxing's returning son, Pat Barry, at Glory 16 in Denver.

Entering the Glory ring, with a 10-1-9, record, this Congolese fighter is ready to show the world what he's all about. Born the youngest of eight children, Mwekassa's life began as somewhat of a miacle. His mother, he stated, had years previously been told that she would bear no more children, only years later to have become pregnant with Zack and to have had his name revealed to her in a dream.

The son of a chemist, Mwekassa describes a life of happiness with his family but also of conflict between he and one of his older brothers. Conflict that set him on the path to a career in combat sports. The relationship which he characterizes as antagonistic, one day led his father to ask "Why don't you two behave normally? Why don't you get involved in sports, football, basketball, boxing, something!" Ah yes, boxing, through the power of that single suggestion, Mwekassa was on his way.

Although he admits that he initially wanted to be a pilot, Mwekassa began training at age 13. After a while he mused that he was no longer bullied by his brother, he had begun to develop skills that would physically give him the upper hand. From that time Mwekassa embarked on a road to success in the boxing ring that saw him doing whatever honest job, no matter how big or small, to support himself. By this time, Mwekassa states, he was living in South Africa following an arrest in 2004. In this early part of his career, Mwekassa, describes a period of intense struggle before he began to experience success in the ring. He recalls working as a sort of valet, guarding people's cars and at times not being paid for hours of work. Still he perservered, continuing to hone his skills as a fighter and eventually success did come with Mwekassa eventually earning UBC and WBF titles. There, however, often a dark side to success.

It's an often told story in the history of professional sports, many athletes experience a shift in the balance between training and enjoying the fruits of their labour. Id versus ego. He readily admits that for a time partying became more important than training. But as with us all, life has a way of delivering us a smack down that ultimately reorients us to reality, if we are smart. Mwekassa too, had such a rude awakening that caused him to reevaluate his priorities and return to his roots as a God a fearing, disciplined and focused man with his eyes on the prize. Today that prize is success in the ring with Glory and it begins Saturday, May 3rd with the match up against former kickboxing champ and UFC veteran, Pat Barry. Although he admits that prior to the bout being scheduled he had not heard of Barry.

Today Mwekassa presents feeling that he has done his homework and is prepared for the final exam. While he is excited and contemplates a long and bright future with Glory, he is today fully focused on Saturday's event. "No I don't want to call anyone out", he smiled and stated when asked if there were other opponents he would be interested in fighting. Win or lose Saturday night Mwekassa presents as a man is here to go the distance and if his past is in any way predictive of his future he will.

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Can Pat Barry Move the Needle For GLORY?

  • Published in News

GLORY

This weekend at GLORY 16 we'll see the GLORY Kickboxing debut of Pat Barry. Pat Barry is perhaps best known from his run in the UFC, where he was involved in some truly memorable fights, some of the most memorable in UFC history. Of course, part of the problem with being a UFC fighter is that the UFC promotes the brand first, Dana White second, their shows third and somewhere along the way the fighters. This creates an atmosphere devoid of individual stars.

Pat Barry's jump to GLORY is a huge win for GLORY, seeing as though Pat Barry is a marketable personality and a talented striker. The question is, will he give them an immediate injection of credibility? The data from Google Trends tends to say "no."

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Cris Cyborg: Negative Narrative, Uplifting Performance

  • Published in News

LF

 

There’s something awfully self-serving about wanting a fighter to lose. It reflects a deeper emotional connection to the fight that elevates it from a mere contest of skill and athleticism to a form of theater. The fighters are suddenly characters in a play with the fight and its outcome having a profound outcome on their narrative trajectories, and as viewers, we are emotionally engaged in that. Savvy promoters who appreciate this may find clever ways to engage our feelings, using various tools and devices to frame the story and its characters in a way that’s more gripping and engaging, where Fighter A becomes that person from Nowheresville who is looking for their big break while Fighter B is that person who’s been talking big and acting like they own the sport. Some readers might go further and call these characters Faces and Heels. That’s a line, however, that some fans don’t like to cross: scripted drama, they say, yet deliberate or not, the narrative process is exactly the same.

What then do we make of Cris Cyborg? The drama is well known and the key words require no elaboration: Steroids. Cheating. Ronda Rousey. Tito Ortiz. Dana White. Why do some fans (at least in the MMA world) choose to hate her? Because of her appearance combined with her accomplishments? Because they think all of her success is due to taking steroids despite only being busted once? Because she calls out Ronda Rousey? Does that make Rousey (ironically) the Face in all of this? Who’s writing the script now?

As powerful and *natural* as narrative is, sometimes it may blind us from appreciating something that’s far more important in this instance: that last night, Cris Cyborg and Jorina Baars put on one of the best fights of the year and possibly one of the all time best fights in women’s kickboxing. It was a battle that saw both fighters dig deep physically and technically, putting on a performance that was worthy of a stage far grander than the Hard Rock in Las Vegas. It was a spectacle that should rightly serve as a career highlight for both fighters, who each landed incredibly hard shots and rallied back from dangerous positions. This is a fight that we should be grateful for seeing with both fighters deserving our admiration and praise.

One of the best things about the K-1 promotional model was its tendency to highlight positive storylines and gloss over negative press. This could be frustrating at times when honesty was demanded, especially with regard to issues like Badr Hari’s behavior and fighter pay. Yet, the ability to sell these storylines allowed us to focus on the fights, not the mud and dirt of the fight business (which believe me, goes to far murkier depths than you or I will ever get to hear about). After all, does having a front row seat to situations that should play out behind closed doors really accomplish anything? Why are the petty squabbles between Dana White and Tito Ortiz every fan’s business? As fans, let’s focus on enjoying the fights and let the so-called “businesspeople” (such as they are) worry about the rest. Let’s enjoy the moment. If you’re new to kickboxing and watch MMA predominantly, I can say that last night, you got treated to a certain caliber of a fight (for free) and an experience that is rare, so rather than dwelling on what this means for Cyborg and the UFC, let’s take a moment to celebrate the incredible toughness of Cris Cyborg and the awesome talent of Jorina Baars.

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FundAFighter Launches Campaign For Muay Thai Trainer Peter Sisomphou

  • Published in Muay Thai

Legendary Muay Thai trainer Peter Sisomphou has worked with countless top names in the world of martial arts over the years, including Firas Zahabi, David Loiseau, Ivan Menjivar and more. He's been a name within the world of martial arts for a very long time now and recently had to undergo a quadruple bypass surgery, which has a very long road to recovery. For a guy like Sisomphou, being in the gym and training fighters is how he makes his living and right now he is unable to do that.

FundAFighter has launched a campaign to raise money for Sisomphou while he is recovering to help to pay for his bills while he waits to get back into the gym and working again. Remember, the world of martial arts is not one that includes 401ks, sick pay and other luxuries found in desk jobs. So head over to FundAFighter to read more about Masta Peter Sisomphou and how you can help. 

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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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