LiverKick

Switch to desktop Register Login

Lion Fight 20's Jorina Baars Talks Ughi Rematch and Life Post-Cyborg Win

  • Published in Interviews

(C) Lion Fight/Bernie Palmore

This Friday evening on AXS TV we'll see Lion Fight return to Connecticut with Lion Fight 20. While women headlining major fight cards is still a bit of a misnomer in combat sports Lion Fight is unafraid to place their Women's Welterweight Champion Jorina Baars as their headliner. Baars will be fighting the tough veteran that is Chantal Ughi in what is a rematch from a few years ago. Both women are world-renowned and have fought the best of the best, but for right now Jorina is the woman to beat. 

We briefly spoke with Jorina heading into the fight this Friday about the American media coverage that has come from the Cris Cyborg Justino victory as well as how she feels about the rematch with Ughi.

You’ve fought Chantal Ughi before and it was a close fight, how do you feel that you’ve evolved since then and how different of a fight will this be?

I have evolved in different ways, I developed and gained more experience in Muay Thai, have become stronger physically and mentally. I still train and fight for SportsArt Den Helder and started training with Andre Mannaart from Mejiro Gym to assist in coaching me, he has been the trainer of many champions such as Rob Kaman, Remy Bonjasky, Peter Aerts, Andy Souwer there is a lot of talent at both Mejiro Gym and SportsArt and all my trainings partners at both these gyms have helped me evolve. I've also been training a lot with Marieke Post, she's a professional fighter as well and a friend, we battle together in the gym each day and she has pushed me forward and I gain lots of strength from her knowledge and passion to fight.

Chantal Ughi is a tough opponent who has made a name for herself by fighting in Thailand, while you have made a name for yourself by fighting in Europe. Do you consider this a clash in styles or traditions?

No I do not think it is a clash of styles and/or traditions, in Muay Thai there are more possibilities than in K1, Glory or Kickboxing rules, that means that this will be a more exciting fight. 

The win over Cyborg Justino was a huge one, how did it feel knowing that many fans saw this as an easy fight for her only to see you outclass her throughout most of the fight?

There was a lot of talk about the Cyborg fight and most fight fans thought that she was going to beat me, they were unfamiliar with me, didn’t know who I am.  But the talk after the fight is that Cyborg only had 2 Muay Thai fights and Jorina has 36.  Cyborg proved to be a great Sport and was honest about it, she stated that she fights anybody, anytime, she accepted the fight and knew where she was up against. I respect Cyborg for that !

Did you feel that you were perhaps being looked over by many people going into the fight against Cyborg?

I am sure some people overlooked me going into the Cyborg fight.  I never underestimated Cyborg, never underestimate any opponent that is put in front of me.  I knew where I was up against as well, Cyborg was a very worthy opponent and she came to fight, we both fought hard and I enjoyed that fight very much. I am always coming to fight, no ifs ands or buts it is what the Fans and Lion Fight expect me to do and it is what I do best.

Have you gotten a lot more attention since the Cyborg win, or has it only been in the United States, really?

I get attention through the Social Media and some Dutch Newspapers after the last fight, now for the upcoming fight against Ughi the newspapers have shown interests again and published some articles.  My day to day life is still the same, I work at a nightclub in Amsterdam as a Bouncer, its happens every once in a while that a guest at our club comes to me and says; “You are Jorina, right ?” it flatters me and respond “Yes, that’s me !”

You’ve dabbled in mixed martial arts before, is that something that you’d like to try again some time, or are you content sticking with muay thai?

I switched to MMA as it was impossible to find anyone to fight me on Muay Thai rules, I like MMA but for now, or at least for the time I am under contract with Lion Fight Promotions I will stay and remain focused on Muay Thai.

Do you feel that there are any specific challenges or hurdles that you have to overcome as a woman in fighting sports?

Women have to train just as hard as their male colleagues, it is easier to get fights as a man, there are just a lot more men fighting then there are women, it’s supply and demand, plain and simple.  Women are underappreciated in the fight business, but there are lots of improvements happening and I am happy to see that and be on the first row of experiencing it.

Is there any one fight out there that you haven’t gotten yet that you’ve really wanted to happen?

Yes there is, I would love to fight Germaine de Randamie. She is a very good and strong fighter. Before she fought in the UFC, both our teams were looking for a promoter who could let us fight at their event, as of today that has not happened yet.  Maybe and hopefully Lion Fight can make that fight happen and I will happily accept that opportunity.

What kind of responsibility do you feel as a World Champion for a sport?

Yes we are an example to all fans, kids and adults alike.  There is a tremendous responsibility with that and I enjoy having to deal with that, in matter of fact it is an honor.  I always like to inspire kids to take on Muay Thai as it not only helps them physically but also mentally, it builds their confidence that they will able to benefit from the rest of their lives. I like to portray the fighting sports and muay thai in a positive light, always have. There are still some misunderstandings for this Sport, especially in the Netherlands and I like to set that record straight and continue to do be righteous– Osu !

 

Read more...

Joe Schilling Talks Success, Vinny Shoreman's Mind Coaching and Maturity Leading into GLORY 19

  • Published in Interviews

On February 6th Joe Schilling makes his return to the GLORY ring after successfully making his Bellator debut back in November. In the past few months Joe Schilling has been everywhere, not just endearing himself to the kickboxing world, but also making a huge impact on the MMA world as well. His knockout of Melvin Manhoef was one for the record books and quickly became one of the most talked-about knockouts of the year. From there he went on to train with Nick Diaz to help him prepare for his UFC 183 bout against Anderson Silva.

It’s safe to say that things are different for Joe Schilling now in 2015 than they ever have been, even if it just comes down to the sheer amount of activity. “I was always kind of jealous of these guys that would fight like five or six times a year when I was always struggling to scrape up three fights. I mean, tournaments, yeah, but that’s still one night. This year is really shaping up to be a lot different and between both GLORY and Bellator I plan on being extremely active and making a name for myself in both sports.”

It’s not hard to imagine, either, with Schilling already having two fights scheduled for 2015. The first is on February 6th where he’ll enter the GLORY ring against the tough Middleweight prospect Robert Thomas in the co-main event on Spike TV. The other was just announced today as a fight in Bellator with MMA slugger Rafael Carvalho. A lot has changed for Joe over the past few years and he’s learned a lot about both himself and how to handle himself in the ring. 

“Yeah,” he joked. “You know all of these years I’ve been just trying to punch someone’s head off, but now I’ve actually been aiming at their chins. I think that’s something new that you’ll see from me; I’m actually aiming for a knockout now, not just to hurt my opponents.” Joe’s maturity and not fighting with so much rage has helped him out immensely, though.

“I used to into fights just raging mad, just boiling over,” he explained. “I was just trying to smash people. I’d get super tired by throwing these huge shots and then have nothing left. Look at the Eddie Walker fight, I could have cruised through that fight and won a decision, but there was so much pressure for me to finish him so I pushed too hard and lost focus. If I’m angry it’s not like I’m going to punch any harder or any better. Emotion is kind of a bad thing in a fight. If you look at Last Man Standing that was the first time that I went into a fight really composed, I got into the ring that night and I was 100% calm. I just thought, ‘It’s me, it’s Joe Schilling, I’ve worked hard to be here, let’s see what I have.’ It worked out really well for me and the same thing with the Melvin fight.

“Both of these situations,” he continued. “They just really helped my confidence out. I’m not just getting lucky, I’m not catching people with lucky shots or anything. I’m performing and using my skills. It’s a really good feeling to know that I really am as good as I always thought that I could be. It’s not a fluke, it’s not luck anymore, I’ve worked really hard. I’ve been doing this for fifteen years.”

His success is starting to become real to him now, like he mentioned, he isn’t getting lucky anymore, he’s executing what he wants to do and finding success. “I find comfort now when things go wrong. When I used to get sick before a fight I’d get upset, ‘Oh my god I’m sick, what am I going to do? My dad died three weeks before the fight, what can I do?’ I’ve found comfort in this stuff now, this is just a part of preparing for a fight. Of course my weight isn’t where I want it to be a few weeks out from a fight, it never is, but it works out because I put the work in. Going into the Melvin fight my dad passed away a few weeks out and I’m crying my eyes out with my family and I get, I’m having some drinks with my brother, my sister. My uncle calls while we are doing that, and I thought ‘well that’s nice, he’s upset about my dad.’ He’s balling his eyes out and he’s like ‘Cody,’ his son, ‘just fell off a balcony and died.’ It was hard having all of this stuff going on especially that I had to be in the ring with a killer in two weeks, but Vinny helped me get back on track a little bit.

“I said, ‘well, I’ve got two weeks to get back in shape because I was just not training at all,’ I had some really good sessions with Lorenz Larkin and in one session he kicked me and he hit me right in the hip and I thought, ‘I bet that hurt, you fucker,’ then my whole side from my ribs to my quad seized on me and my hip was messed up. I spent the last week of my camp unable to run or kick, going to therapy everyday. Then I went and had one of my best performances.”

It wasn’t just in the gym where he got beaten up, though. Joe went on to explain one of his sessions with Vinny Shoreman and how Shoreman was able to help break him out of his funk. “He was talking to me and was just really being mean, I thought. ‘Oh, your dad died. I bet you feel like shit, huh? Your cousin died, that’s awful, isn’t it? I bet you feel terrible right now, don’t you?’ I was starting to get pissed off, just giving him one word answers and he knew that he was getting to me, then he told me ‘Well now what? Well you are still alive and you’ve worked hard to get where you are, are you just going to give up?’ It all just clicked for me at that moment.”

These are the kinds of setbacks that would make anyone reel, but Joe was able to find peace with his father, with whom he had a rocky relationship for most of his life with, which helped him to be more at peace with the situation. He was also able to work through a lot of his frustration and anger that he held due to his strained relationship with his father, which he attributes as one of the reasons why he feels so mentally clear now; he’s finally been able to release that anger and to move forward with his life. “We were doing timeline therapy and he really didn’t know what he was uncovering, but it was all moments about my dad. Afterwards I literally couldn’t tap into that hatred or anger about my dad, it just wasn’t there anymore. Shortly after that I was able to really 100% forgive him, like no need for an apology, it just was what it was. I was happy that I got to see him and that he got to meet his grandchildren.”

Of course, it doesn’t hurt that Schilling is starting to be more well-known and respected. He talked about how this past weekend at UFC 183 how he was cornering Nick Diaz and he had well-known UFC fighters coming up to him to take photos with him and how they all knew who he was, which was a strange moment. That being said, his high-profile friendships and newfound fame haven’t changed his focus, he’s still ready for Robert Thomas on Friday.

“He’s a tough kid with nothing to lose,” he said. “He reminds me a lot of myself at that age, I mean, his first fight in GLORY was against Artem Levin and he was swinging for the fences. If Artem didn’t duck at the right moment there a few times he would have been laid out by him. It’s going to be a tough fight for me, I never look past an opponent. He’s got a muay thai style and starts slow, but he hits hard and stuff like his spinning backfist is no joke and he can hit that from anywhere at any time, like it almost doesn’t make sense when he does it. I’m just looking forward to getting back out there and fighting.”

Read more...

Gabriel Varga Talks GLORY Featherweight Title and Upcoming K-1 China Fight

  • Published in Interviews

Canadian featherweight Gabriel Varga has turned some heads over the past few years with his appearances in K-1 and GLORY. In fact, Gabriel Varga is the man who is set to fight for the inaugural GLORY Featherweight Championship against Mosab Amrani. Sadly, that fight was pushed back but luckily enough he’ll be keeping busy as he fights on K-1’s China vs. USA event on January 1st.

We caught up with Varga while he prepares for his fight on January 1st.

Your weight class is incredibly competitive all around the world, where do you feel you stand in that weight class right now?

It depends in what style.  I haven't fought full Muay Thai, but in GLORY rules or modified Muay Thai I know I can be the best.  There was so much hype around Sitmonchai and many people where excited to see him fight outside Thailand, but Kickboxing is a different sport and I know I can win a fight against anybody.  I think with another 2-3 wins I will be recognized as the top kickboxer at –65kg.

Do you feel that Canada has finally gotten a chance to show the world how much talent comes from there over the past few years and are you proud of it?

Canadian fighters have had great opportunities over the past few years and Joesph Valentini, Simon Marcus, Josh Jauncey, Rob Thomas, Matt Embree and myself have risen to the challenge. I'm very happy with my accomplishments so far, but I still want to beat the top names and then Canada will be even more recognized in the Kickboxing world.

You've actually fought in China before, how does it feel to head back to China?

After another 6 months between fights I'm just happy to get a fight anywhere. But I'm looking forward to everything about this fight aside from the 12+ hour plane ride.

There isn't much out there about your opponent, does that bother you or will it not be a problem?

I've watched a few videos of him and I feel I know his style well enough now. I always prefer to learn about my opponents and train specifically for them. That's one of the reasons I dislike tournaments. You can only prepare for your first opponent and after that you just have to do the best you can.

Historically your weight class has been dominated by the Japanese, what kind of shift do you think happened over the past few years?

The Japanese are still great fighters but they haven't always had to fight the best foreigners. Japanese organizations often bring in foreign opponents who aren't necessarily amongst the best.  GLORY has been great for including the best fighters in the world.

I'm sure in the future we'll see more Japanese in the -65kg division, but with Kubo's recent loss and Noiri's absence I don't expect to fight a Japanese opponent in the near future. 

You are still going to be fighting for GLORY's Featherweight title soon, how did you go about taking this fight with K-1?

GLORY was kind enough to let me have a one fight deal with K-1 because of GLORY 19 being postponed.  I'd like to fight at least 3 times per year and in 2014 I only got to fight in June. I asked GLORY if they'd be willing to make a special exception this one time and they said yes. And K-1 was great to me as well. I called them up with a 4 weeks notice pleading for a fight and they put me on the first card they had.

Fighting on the first day of the year is a great way to start. I hope to fight at least 5 times next year and getting the GLORY Featherweight title should help me become a bigger draw.

Kickboxing has struggled in North America, what do you think will help it attract more fans?

Kickboxing simply won't become mainstream in North America in only 2 years. GLORY has been doing a great job and if they continue to hold 8+ events per year and air them on Spike, the audience will grow.  I hear so many people complaining about the UFC and I think within a couple of years, GLORY will capture the attention of those less enthusiastic MMA fans and help the popularity of kickboxing grow.

If GLORY can focus on creating a few more stars who are North American that will help as well. And if there's ever a chance to do some sort of reality show that would be very exciting. My management EPOK Agency recently announced a groundbreaking partnership with a major talent agency in New York, which will open new opportunities in mainstream media. So I think this will also help with growing my popularity as a North American fighter.

Is there anyone out there that you want to face down the line?

The only person I think I should fight for the GLORY belt is Mosab Amrani. He holds a win over Kubo and is ranked number 1. That's the fight I want.

Read more...

Getting to know Reece McAllister

  • Published in Interviews

Considered by many to be the UK's top fighter at 67kg, Reece McAllister enters this weekends Topking World Series 70kg tournament as the youngest competitor in the field. At only 22 years of age, McAllister is already extremely experienced with over 40 professional bouts to his credit. McAllister plans on making a statement with his performance against Vladimir Konsky this weekend and is ready to prove himself as one of the premier lightweights in the world.

McAllister will be looking to add to an already excellent year, where he is currently 3-0 thus far. He started the year off the year by defeating the always game Tim Thomas in a rematch of their Glory 5 bout, McAllister defeated Thomas for the second time by decision. He followed up the performance with two second round finishes against Jackson Barkhouse and Dragan Pesic, claiming the WMC World title and the inaugural K1ngs of Glory 67kg strap respectively. 

I sat down with Reece ahead of his bout on Saturday and discussed everything from the fight this weekend, his martial arts journey and his plans for the future.

JS: Good afternoon Reece. This Saturday you'll be facing Vladimir Konsky in the first round of the tournament, where do you see yourself having advantages in this fight?

RM: Hi Jack. Coming into this fight I consider my youth to be a big advantage. I also think my skills are more diverse in comparison to my opponent and I have a much superior camp behind me. I am very hungry coming into this fight.

JS: If you're successful Saturday night is there anyone specifically you'd like to face in the next round?

RM: No there is not anyone specifically I would want to face in the next round as they are all great fighters and I believe I have the skills to beat anyone in the tournament.

JS: Who would you consider to be the favorites in the tournament?

RM: I would say Buakaw is probably considered to be one of the favorites.

JS: Speaking of Buakaw. He was involved in a rather controversial bout against Enriko Kehl  a few weeks back. Did you watch the bout  and what did you think of it?

RM: Kehl had a great performance in that fight but I still think Buakaw deserved the win. It was still bad sportsmanship by Buakaw to walkout and not finish the fight.

JS: I've been following your career for sometime and this year especially you seem to be increasingly more aggressive in your performances. What are the reasons for this?

RM: My increased aggression is  because I'm so hungry to be at the top now.  Having my daughter has driven me even more to be the best, I fight for her now.

JS: Lets talk a little about your martial arts background. You began training in Muay Thai when you were 9, who did you look up to when you were younger?

RM: I have always looked up to my Dad, not just in Muay Thai but also in life too. He was a great fighter himself and has been a great role model to me. 

JS: Throughout your teens you spent a lot of time training and competing in Thailand, have you visited recently or do you have any current plans to?

RM: I haven't visited recently as my daughter is still young but as soon as she is old enough that's a place we'll be visiting for sure.

JS: For someone only 22 years of age you’re already very experienced and well-traveled. Where’s been your favorite location to compete thus far and where’d you like to compete where you haven’t already?

RM: Throughout my career I have had some amazing experiences and traveled to some amazing places so it would be really hard to say just one place out of them all. As for a place I would like to fight in the future, I would really like to compete in China and hopefully I will be visiting there soon!

JS: We've so far seen you compete twice in Glory, when do you plan on competing for them again?

RM: I don't have any fights planned at the moment in Glory but you will see me compete in Glory again. 

JS: A former opponent of yours Steve Moxon fights the aforementioned Buakaw in the main event on Saturday. Is a rematch with Moxon something that is on your radar at the moment?

RM: I definitely want a rematch with Steve Moxon but that time will come, it doesn't matter to me whether it is in 3 fights time or 10 fights time.

JS: This will be your fourth fight in 2014, do you have any other bouts scheduled?

RM: With this tournament being so close to the end of the year I have put everything into this as I really want to make my mark on the division, so I have nothing else scheduled as I plan on winning this tournament.

JS: What’s the plan for 2015?

RM:I have a few fights in the pipeline that have not been confirmed yet but if it all goes to plan 2015 is going to be a big year for me. 

JS: Thank you very much for your time Reece, is there anyone you'd like to thank?

RM: Thank you Jack, I would like to say a massive thank you to all my sponsors who have helped me with my journey. Toxic Fight wear, Auckland Castles, International Waste Metals, Sheltee Industrial Maintenance, North East Spa Hire, DNA Utilities and CB Constructions RedLand Therapy.

Topking World Series host their second event on Saturday the 16th of November from the Velodrome National in Paris, France.

You can watch the event in its entirety from www.epicentre.tv for the small price of just $15.

 

Read more...

Glory 18: Liverkick Exclusive Post-Fight Interview with Robert Thomas

  • Published in Interviews

Canadian middleweight Robert Thomas had a fantastic performance against Mike Lemaire this weekend on Glory 18's Super Fight Series. He started off a little slow due to his traditional Thai background, but in the 3rd when he finally let his hands go it was a thing of beauty. He had already softened Lemaire up with hard right knees to the body, then he came in with a hook to the body then hook to the head combo followed by a perfect right high kick to drop Lemaire. Once Lemaire was up Thomas followed up with a hand combination finishing with a short right that finished Lemaire off leaving him draped on the ropes.
We were lucky enough to get a quick chat with a happy Thomas after his 3rd round KO.

Read more...

Glory 18: Liverkick Exclusive Post-Fight Interview with Brian Collette

  • Published in Interviews

We managed to get a few words from American Light heavyweight Brian Collette about what he thought went wrong in his fight against Zack Mwekassa. Collette tells us he really didn't feel himself, his trainers also told us at the event that even his warm up seemed flat footed. It seems Collette's mind was not in the right place before or during the fight this time. He actually wasn't doing too badly at the start of the fight, but as soon as he started standing still in front of Mwekassa things took a bad turn, not to mention Zack's jab looked as hard as other peoples right hand which Collette admits was a bit surprising.

Read more...

Glory 18: Liverkick Exclusive Post-Fight Interview with Benjamin Adegbuyi

  • Published in Interviews

Benjamin Adegbuyi came away with the decision victory in a hard fought battle with Dutch veteran Hesdy Gerges at Glory 18. This fight was a close one in my eyes and it really was depending on what the judges were looking for. Gerges was walking forward putting pressure on Adegbuyi while throwing lots and lots of low kicks at the same time Benny was throwing big punches and high kicks which was pleasing the crowd and obviously the judges on this one. Adegbuyi was throwing some huge bombs to the body of Hesdy and to be fair I've always wondered why people don't hit Hesdy's body more since his hands are always high, but I got my answer, body punches don't seem to have any effect on Gerges at all.

Anyway, Benny hints to us that there maybe  a possible title fight in the near future for him, and I'm looking forward to that, as I believe Benjamin has what it takes to win the belt.

 

Read more...

Glory 18: Liverkick Exclusive Post-Fight Interview with Hesdy Gerges

  • Published in Interviews

Hesdy Gerges was not very happy about the judges decision on his fight with Benjamin Adegbuyi this weekend. He felt he did enough to win rounds 1 and 3 at least with his pressure, and low kicks. A few people I was with during the fights agreed with Gerges as well and they thought he had won handily so I can see his frustration. Hesdy always seems to have crappy luck, first with the Badr head stomp, then the Ben Saddik head stomp, and now with the judges, I feel for the guy but hes always a wicked fighter to watch and one of the best heavyweights around, hopefully he can catch a break soon, he deserves it.

Read more...

Glory 18: Liverkick Exclusive Post-Fight Interview with Robin van Roosmalen

  • Published in Interviews

After an astounding performance against GLORY Lightweight Champion Davit Kiria at GLORY 18 Robin van Roosmalen walked away from Oklahoma with the ability to call himself the GLORY Lightweight Champion. There was but one moment where things looked bleak for van Roosmalen, but he was able to recover and control the remainder of the fight.

Our cameras caught up with van Roosmalen after his win and he talked about the fight, including that one moment where he let his guard down and found himself down on the mat. Van Roosmalen also talks about what the future might hold for the newly-crowned GLORY Lightweight Champion.

Read more...

Saulo Cavalari Talks About Being GLORY's #1 Light Heavyweight Contender

  • Published in Interviews

It's safe to say that Saulo Cavalari had a good night at GLORY 18. He walked away with two big ones, one over the tournament-favorite Danyo Ilunga and the other a picturesque headkick KO over the much-hyped Zack Mwekassa. 

Outside of being a naturally super nice guy (he tied our camera-dude Carlo's shoe for him and saw seen giving Shar's mom a few pecks on the cheek), Saulo is a scary dude inside of the ring and he talks about his two huge victories at GLORY 18 with us. He has a lot to talk about and sure, he might seem scary, but he's really a nice dude, okay?

Read more...

Josh Jauncey Still Self-Critical After GLORY 18 Win

  • Published in Interviews

It'd be weird to make Jay write an article about Josh, right? If you were somehow unaware, yeah, Jay Jauncey is indeed Josh's brother and trainer, so it felt weird to make him write about an interview done by their bud Carlo with Josh considering that Jay is in the video helping remove the tape from Josh's gloves along with their father, Vincent.

The opening of the video is interesting because you see Josh get untaped while GLORY's Ivan Farneti talks about possibly booking a Canadian event while Jon Bier and his marvelous beard talks about complications, to give you some insight as to what goes on behind those closed doors. Josh is still uber-critical of himself after what was a solid performance (hopefully the SuperFight Series videos are public soon), but it's cool to know that most of these guys are just as critical of themselves even on their best nights just like I'm critical of myself on my good nights. 

Read more...

Danyo Ilunga Sees GLORY 18 as a Chance for Redemption

  • Published in Interviews

Danyo Ilunga was probably the one omission that was kind of frustrating to a lot of fans when it came to GLORY crowning a Light Heavyweight Champion earlier this year. Ilunga fought in a reserve fight at GLORY 15, which left him on the sidelines to watch Gokhan Saki and Tyrone Spong meet in the ring, which was an interesting call considering he met Spong in the finals of GLORY 9's Light Heavyweight tournament a year before. 

Ilunga is finally getting his due in the GLORY 18 Light Heavyweight Contender's tournament and he seems focused on making the best of his time in the ring on Friday. He's using the omission from the previous tournament and his controversial loss to Spong as a jumping off point for his inspiration on Friday night. Our cameras caught up with him and he dished out what we can expect from him at GLORY 18.

Read more...

Saulo Cavalari is Ready for Anything in GLORY 18's Light Heavyweight Tournament

  • Published in Interviews

On Friday night at GLORY 18 Brazilian Saulo Cavalari will step into the ring at the GLORY Light Heavyweight tournament where he has a chance to win a shot at the GLORY Light Heavyweight Championship. It's a tough field, with him fighting Danyo Ilunga first before potentially facing either Zack Mwekassa or Brian Collette in the finals.

Cavalari was last seen in the ring against Tyrone Spong, impressing a lot of people who saw Spong as a clear-cut favorite. Our cameras caught up with him on Thursday to discuss the upcoming tournament where he revealed that he keeps in steady shape so that he doesn't have to cut weight and that he doesn't specifically prepare for any of his opponents, he's just ready for whatever might come.

Read more...

Hesdy Gerges is Ready For Benny Adegbuyi at GLORY 18

  • Published in Interviews

At GLORY 18 Hesdy Gerges will be squaring off against SuperKombat and Romanian standout Benjamin Adegbuyi in a battle that will see a potential next contender for the GLORY Heavyweight Championship after Errol Zimmerman has his crack at Rico Verhoeven. There is a lot on the line for Gerges, whose career has seen its shares of highs and lows over the past few years.

Our cameras caught up with him and Gerges definitely saw some holes in the game of Adegbuyi, noting that Benny was a good fighter but that he wasn't particularly strong or skilled compared to him. This should definitely be one of the more interesting fights of the night, for sure. 

Read more...

Brian Collette Feels That He Has the Advantage Over Zack Mwekassa at GLORY 18

  • Published in Interviews

Brian Collette steps into the ring tonight against Boxer Zack Mwekassa, after Mwekassa made his impressive GLORY debut at GLORY 16 against UFC vet Pat Barry. Collette understands that Mwekassa is a tough opponent and he isn't looking past him, but he seems content knowing that his experience in muay thai does give him an edge against the Boxer.

Our cameras caught up with him in Oklahoma this afternoon and Collette spoke candidly about the advantages that he has in the kicking department against Mwekassa and how he's not looking past Zack to the finals, but is still confident. 

Read more...

A Look at Brian Collette the Man, the Fighter, Before GLORY 18

  • Published in Interviews

The words stealthy, calculated and deadly describe lions. In their natural habitat they roam, they play and ultimately they stalk their prey. Much of the same could be said of Brian Collette, with a record of 19-2 (2-1 in Glory), he's a man with a plan and for Glory 18 he's definitely on a mission. With experience in Tae Kwon Do, Muay Thai and Boxing, Collette is the perfect picture of a fighter and he has vision.

Ahead of Glory 18, I had the opportunity to speak with Brian and the results were far from ordinary. A Virginia native, Brian Collette, like many fighters entered the ring on the heels of trouble, trouble at home, trouble in the streets, but soon the trouble with Brian became the trouble with getting him out of the gym. Training early in Tae Kwon Do and boxing, Brian had early dreams of Olympic gold in one or the other the sports. While neither of those goals have yet to come to fruition, Brian has continued to pursue his path to success in the ring , accumulating two wins as a professional boxer and 19 wins in the kickboxing arena. 

What sets him apart is the fact that he flies under the radar. In my multiple meetings with this fighter, my first question is usually, "Where have you been?" to which I always receive a polite smile and the reply that he's been training and working hard, but not much more. Unlike many others, Brian is not in it for the name, he's not trying to gain a reputation through trash talk, his goal is simply to be the best and to achieve that end by doing whatever it takes. Early to bed, early to rise and plenty of training in between, Brian looks at his current challenge with Zack Mwekasa with a level headed view, they're both boxers, he respects that; they both have very dominant presences in the ring, he agrees, both want to win, without question. But what sets Collette apart in this match-up? 

If you ask Brian, he tells you with ease and the stealthy smile of someone who would be nicknamed "The Lion" is that he's trained very hard and that he has a plan. When asked about the specific plan, he melts into his enigmatic repose. Anyone who talks to him more than a minute, however, knows that there is much more behind that smile, and Glory 18 is a test that he is willing to take. This Eastern Academy fighter has put many of his eggs in a basket in the hopes of becoming the one to face Saki at a date which has yet to be determined. The key word here, however, is many, not all. When asked about his vision of the future, Brian Collette is a man who definitely has a plan. Recognizing an eventual expiration date on his career as a fighter, Collette, who has a degree in computer science has definitely looked beyond the ring and plans to use his other skills while he enjoying a life with his family and friends. 

End of story, no matter what the outcome of his match-up with Mwekasa, Brian Collette is someone who definitely is in this business for the long haul and is someone whose name, if you don't know it already, you will.

 

Read more...

A Look at Hesdy Gerges Leading into GLORY 18

  • Published in Interviews

Whenever I want to talk about the "Real" in kickboxing, I have a go to guy and that person is Thom Harinck. Yes, I know, not your average person, but someone who I trust and who trusts me with many of the secrets and stories of this long held tradition. It would only be natural then, that on the occasion of meeting Hesdy Gerges that I would consult Thom, after all, he trained with Hesdy for many years and probably has, or at least I thought, a very good interpretation of his persona both in and out of the ring. So, on the verge of interviewing Hesdy, Thom had this to say :

SW: Is he a hard worker?

TH: Yes, he is very committed. It doesn't matter how long it takes for him to learn something, he does it until he performs correctly. He also is very positive for other fighters because when he comes into the gym, he gives everything, so they look up to him which I think is good. Basically, no matter what is going on he tries, he is not afraid to be hit, he continues to punch and put forth his effort.

So this is the background and the effort he puts forth. With a career record of 59 wins, Hesdy has met and challenged many of the biggest names in kickboxing today including, Semmy Schilt, Badr Hari, Daniel Ghita, Ruslan Karaev and others. Even in the fights that he has not won, this 30 year old fighter has performed in spectacular fashion.

Ahead of Glory 18 Hesdy, now a member of Vos Gym, had not much to say about his upcoming fight with Benny Adegbuyi. Not known for trash talk in general, Hesdy stated that he had a great deal of respect for his opponent but, that the truth would be shown in the ring. Most recently off a disqualification victory over Jamal Ben Saddik, Hesdy appeared not worried about this fight, this is the work he's done his entire life, and what he plans to do for several years to come.

Saturday, November 7, 2014, the former It's Showtime Champion is set to face off with the Romanian, Benny Adegbuyi. This is a battlefield with which both men are familiar, although Hesdy has more experience, he also acknowledged the the skills of his opponent. " Benny is big", he stated,"in many respects very similar to me, he has good style, he's strong, but I can beat him". Both men have fought in SuperKombat, both men have faced difficult opponents, Hesdy, however, has had the opportunity to prove himself again and again in an arena not for the faint of heart. With more than fifty professional fights under his belt, Hesdy has had time, time to make mistakes, learn from them and time to take himself to a different level and continue to evolve with the sport. With no disrespect to his opponent, Hesdy acknowledges that he has more experience, more than fifteen years he's dedicated to the sport. He, like some of his peers came to the sport as a result of behavior that may have otherwise led to life in a different and more confined arena. What set him apart from some of the peers he left behind, however, was a growing love for the sport and the ability to discipline himself to finally achieve what he has today.

In a game where anyone can be king for a day, Hesdy is calculated in his strategies inside the ring. His plan for this fight, well, that's not known, but what Hesdy is known for is striking, defense and strength, both mentally and physically, to impose his will over his opponent.

Beyond life in the gym, Hesdy spoke of the desire to look toward a life with his family, his children, and whatever comes beyond the ring. He speaks as a realist with the knowledge that his opportunities as a fighter will not last forever so perhaps his skill to inspire those coming after him will be something that he will work toward in his future by owning a gym. For now, however, Hesdy recognizes his place among the top ranked fighters in the world and has a plan to seize that opportunity. Speaking less of becoming the number one fighter, Hesdy's focus seems to be being the best Hesdy he can be. Can anyone be better than that?

Spending twenty minutes with a fighter of this caliber is hardly enough time to capture the essence of his presence, past and future. All the same, Hesdy Gerges's name has been indelibly imprinted on the history of the sport and in the minds of those who will come after him. At Glory 18, the victor may be Hesdy, it may be Benny but there will also be Glory 19, 20 and many more after, so he's not intimidated. He is Hesdy and in the end he states, "Yes they will raise my hand." Need more be said.

 

Read more...

Benjamin Adegbuyi Takes Umbrage with Hesdy Gerges, Ready to Throw Down

  • Published in Interviews

GLORY 18 is beginning in just an hour and a half on Spike TV, which means that the SuperFight Series is going down right now. The fight headlining that SuperFight Series is Benjamin Adegbuyi vs. Hesdy Gerges in a battle for Heavyweight supremacy. Earlier today we spoke with Hesdy Gerges, who felt that he had the upperhand due to not only his experience, but Benny's lack of skills. 

When we caught up with Adegbuyi he was less-than-pleased to hear that. In fact, he seemed pretty ticked off. You don't want to give Benjamin Adegbuyi a chance to see red towards you, man, you just don't. Benny also kind of points that that there isn't much to do in Oklahoma. 

Read more...

Ten Questions With GLORY Lightweight Champion Davit Kiria

  • Published in Interviews

Georgian born kickboxer, Davit Kiria has wowed spectators in the sport since his debut. Kiria is well known for his speed and his aggressiveness in the ring as well as his ability to combine traditional kickboxing styles with Ashihara karate, a discipline in which he holds a black belt.

Looking ahead to Glory 18 where Kiria is expected to face off for the third time against Robin van Roosmalen, I had an opportunity to ask Davit some questions about his past, present and future as well as to find out whether the third time will be a charm for him..

SW: Once again, I would like to thank you Davit for the opportunity for the interview. Since your debut as a fighter with Glory you have shown yourself to be a very exciting fighter and one who the fans love to watch. I last saw you fight against Andy Ristie in Zagreb. It initially seemed that you might be down in points until your eventual KO. Did you have any difficulty adjusting to Ristie's fighting style?

DK; Ristie has just perfect parameters for lightweight, he is tall and he has very long hands and legs which makes for me more difficulty. But, I'm professional and I have professional trainers and we can learn any opponent and their fighting style.

SW: Glory 18 will mark your third meeting with Robin van Roosmalen. In the two prior bouts van Roosmalen won via decision. What, if anything, have you done differently in this training camp to prepare for this fight?

DK: This fight is very important for me, two times I've fought already with no success, but now it's the third time so it has to finish with my success. I have done very hard preparation and I am very happy, everything went very well and without any injuries or stress. I'm in very good shape and I will show more than in Zagreb because I have improved a lot because of hard working.

SW: You are the current Glory lightweight champion with a record of 5-3-0. What is your overall professional record?

DK: I have 23 Wins 8 losses and 0 draws.

SW: You have a black belt in Karate. At what age did you begin training? Also can you speak about how your interest in combat sports developed.

DK: I was 9 when I started to train in Karate. Before that I was playing soccer, but I really didn't like it. I don't like group games, I like individual sports and I chose to train karate because it's also courageous.

SW: You have been training in Holland for some time with Dave Jonkers and Semmy Schilit. What was it about their style of training/fighting that attracted you?

DK: Till today I train here in Holland. I come here for preparation, I get very good experience here. Semmy is a great fighter and person. Dave is a good trainer, I'm working till this day with Dave and my Georgian Trainer Bachuki they are a very good combination together, and they know best how to work with me.

SW: Both you and van Roosmalen are viewed as very fast and aggressive in your styles. What other assets do you see yourself bringing to the ring?

DK: I am better I think it from inside, I also have better technique, I know and I will show it next week. I will not only use my physical skills I will use my technical skills too and I will be better. I will do my best to show to the kickboxing world that I'm better than him and that I'm the best.

SW: Looking beyond Glory 18, are there any other fighters in your division that you are interested in fighting?

DK: Yes I already said Georgio Petrsosyan, I want to fight him next, but we will see how my management can work it out with Glory.

SW: What are some of your hobbies outside the ring?

DK: I have some hobbies but unfortunately I haven't enough time to enjoy them. I like to go to nature (mountains), I also like fishing, and I like to take nice photos, but I have less time for all this :):)

SW: If you were not fighting, what kind of career do you think you would have chosen?

DK: Maybe a businessman or farmer. I don't have any idea :):):) I never think about that, but I know what I'd like to do in future.

SW: Any special message to your fans?

DK: Yes of course. I love my fans, I don't like to ignore them, any reaction or message. Thank you my fans for this all love, I promise I always will do my best! If I win or lose it will always be my maximum. Till today I never make you upset and I do my best to keep it like that. Follow me on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. You can also visit my website, davitkiria.com and don't hesitate to ask me any questions via blog or mail.

We at Liverkick.com wish Davit the best in this bout with Robin. Glory 18 will be one of the most exciting events of the year and the headliner Kiria vs. van Roosmalen is guaranteed to keep us all on the edge of our seats!

Read more...

Wayne Barrett ‘That belt will be mine’

  • Published in Interviews

Wayne Barrett steps into the ring next Friday to take on fellow top 10 Middleweight Jason Wilnis. I had the privilege of speaking to Wayne on Monday and here’s what we discussed.

JS: Good afternoon Wayne. You're only six fights into your professional career yet you have already become one of the poster boys for Glory. What do you attribute this to?

WB: I attribute a lot of my success to timing. I don’t like using the word but it’s kind of like destiny. I always said at the start of my pro career I’d give it my all for two years and if I wasn’t successful I’d return to corporate America. Look at me now. 

JS: Next Saturday you make your sixth appearance for Glory taking on the young Dutchman Jason Wilnis. What holes do you see in his game and how do you plan on exploiting those come next Saturday night?

WB: I definitely see some holes in his game and I also see some great things too. I’ve been watching him for a while, he’s got good jab, a good overhand right and he’s started utilizing his kicks a lot more now. I’d say I know his game pretty well. I know I can’t let him come forward because that’s when he’s most dangerous. As for how I’m going to exploit those weaknesses, we’re going to go at it and you guys will see for yourselves.

JS: Do you think a convincing win will be enough to earn a title shot against the champion?

WB: I think that’s what everyone wants to see. I’m here to do my job so if the fans and Glory believe I’m next then I’m not going to turn it down, but also if they think I need to improve then I’ll do that too. It doesn’t matter really as that belt will be mine.

JS: Artem Levin's unique and elusive style has given everyone he's fought problems. How would you attempt to solve the puzzle?

WB: To be honest he fights very similarly to some of my sparring partners; I’m very familiar with his style. He’s similar to Roy Jones Jnr and a little Ali-esque too; he has a different kind of timing. He does not follow the standard Dutch style of timing or pace and that’s what throws everyone off. I recognize it though; I’m ready for it and when it happens it’ll be a great fight.

JS: Besides a shot at the current champion, is there anyone else at Middleweight you'd like to fight or from a stylistic standpoint, you think you would match up well against?

WB: I’ve looked at the whole top ten and personally it’d be a great honor for me to know that at the end of my career, I could sit back and know I ran through the whole top 10. In terms of specific match-ups I’d quite like to fight Perreira and Verlinden. I’m a big fan of Verlinden’s style; his technique is perfect and for me he’s the epitome of a Dutch kickboxer. I’m not looking past Wilnis or Levin, but people couldn’t deny me my credibility if I beat Verlinden.

JS: Give us a little bit of background on how your martial arts journey started.

WB: I came to the US as an immigrant from Jamaica. Obviously being an immigrant we did things a little differently and because of that I was bullied which led to fights at school. So one day my Dad decided my brother and I needed an outlet so we joined a local karate school. Karate helped me straighten up elsewhere, our teacher would ensure our grades were acceptable before coming to class so I wanted to do better at school so I could go to karate. However unfortunately I my lost martial arts teacher in an unforeseen motorcycle accident and lost interest for in martial arts for a while but then fell in love with boxing.

After having a few boxing bouts some friends and myself randomly walked into a Muay Thai school one day. The teacher instantly recognized I was a boxing from my stance and asked me to put my hands up. He kicked me in the leg and it was an instant eye-opener, it completely changed my life. I signed up on the spot and since then I’ve never looked back.

JS: What do you think separates you from the rest of the division?

WB: My brain, I use my brain a lot. I’m always thinking in there. I don’t move the same, I use different angles, my pace and timing are different. I’m not afraid to move, a lot of guys have the one dimensional style where they meet in the middle and duke it out but I like to use as much of the ring as possible, I try to be elusive. I want to take as little damage as possible whilst inflicting as much damage as possible. 

JS: Your rival Joe Schilling is fighting in Bellator soon against Melvin Manhoef. Is competing in MMA something you'd ever consider?

WB: Oh yeah absolutely. It’s not out of the question, but the guys at Glory treat me so well, so I have to represent for kickboxing. They have me fighting on Spike, they pay me really well and I’ve had less than ten fights as pro. MMA is on my mind but my focus right now is on kickboxing.

JS: What’re your thoughts towards a potential third encounter with Mr. Schilling?

WB: He’s the only person who I haven’t knocked out as a professional. I want to knock him out but it’s nothing personal. I just know I can and I don’t know why I didn’t do it before.

JS: Thank you very much for your time and have you got anyone you’d like to thank?

WB: Thank you to Liverkick, you guys have always been awesome. Thank you to everyone who supports me and everyone who supports kickboxing. If you’ve got a dream believe in it and work hard and see what you can accomplish. 

Read more...

Copyright 2010 - 2014 LiverKick.com. All Rights Reserved.

Top Desktop version