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Watch the GLORY 10 Weigh-Ins While You Prepare For Tonight

  • Published in Glory

GLORY

Sometimes the fact that LiverKick is a small organization can be felt, like when I get the flu right before a big event and it compromises how quickly I can get stuff up. Such is life, right? Seriously, LiverKick is a small operation. Anyway. GLORY just recently put up the GLORY 10 weigh-in video on their website, so while we have approximately two hours until showtime you might as well check out the GLORY 10 weigh-ins and get all pumped up for the Middleweight tournament!

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It's Time for the Smaller Weight Classes to Shine

  • Published in Kickboxing

Kickboxing has long been all about the heavyweight weight classes. If you were to ask anyone about K-1 the first thing that would come to mind would be the K-1 World Grand Prix. Of course, there is a good reason for that. When modern kickboxing in the form of K-1 began in Japan it was to appeal to the local audiences with a blend of Kyokushin, Karate and professional wrestling. The Japanese public was always attracted to the idea of the clash of titans (I mean, really, isn’t everybody?) so K-1 focused heavily on the Heavyweights. 

If you look at GLORY, SuperKombat and even promotions like Enfusion you’ll see that the focus is still largely on the heavier weight classes. No matter what Badr Hari is doing it is news, if Peter Aerts is in a pro wrestling match in Japan everyone cares and people still ask if Sem Schilt will ever return to the ring. Speculation over Alistair Overeem leaving the UFC to return to kickboxing has been healthy for his entire UFC run. Needless to say, the big guys draw eyeballs.

The one real anomaly is the rise of K-1’s MAX division in the 2000’s. It was an idea created to promote the handsome and talented MASATO originally, but the reality was that it created a good number of stars and helped to make something outside of Heavyweight sustainable. We’ve seen the rise of a few stars like Giorgio Petrosyan, Buakaw Banchamek, Andy Ristie, Robin van Roosmalen and many more. It’s Showtime helped to push forward with expanded weight classes and GLORY is continuing along the path with the Light Heavyweight and Middleweight classes a big focus over the last year.

If we look at other sports the focus isn’t always just on huge, lumbering titans, though. While American Football might have a few such characters, a lot of the time the smaller, more agile players end up a focal point. The home run sluggers in baseball might draw eyeballs, but not all baseball players are Mark Mcguire. In football (you know, soccer) it is even more clear that you don’t (and shouldn’t) be a giant to be successful. Look no further than some of the lines at betting at William Hill to see how diverse the playing field can be. 

At GLORY 20 Gabriel Varga and Mosab Amrani will compete for the GLORY Featherweight Championship. It’s a solid first step, although there is confusion as to if this will air on the SuperFight Series or on Spike TV. Last that I’ve heard it was the SuperFight Series. Even so, it will be the headliner for that show that will air on CBS Sports Network and across the globe as its own show. 

Then, of course, is K-1’s 55kg World Grand Prix going down in Japan on April 19th. K-1 Japan has been putting out a steady stream of events featuring smaller weight classes and has been wildly entertaining. As long as the big players in kickboxing keep focusing on smaller weight classes there is still hope that the lighter, more technical and quick weight classes can shine in the near future. 

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GLORY Announces GLORY 20 Dubai for April 3rd

  • Published in Glory

For any major combat sports organization having a clear line-up of events is always the best way to keep fans engaged and ready for more. The key is to not overstimulate your audience but to keep them engaged and excited about what you have to offer. GLORY is doing exactly that with the announcement of GLORY 20 Dubai, which is set to take place in the United Arab Emirates on April 3rd. 

The event will be headlined by the long-awaited GLORY Featherweight Championship bout between Canadian Gabriel Varga and Dutch-Moroccan brawler Mosab Amrani. The card will also mark the return of former UFC fighter Pat "HD" Barry who will be squaring off against the always-dangerous Mourad Bouzidi in a Heavyweight bout.

In keeping with tradition, there will be a Contender's tournament on the card as well, this one being in the stacked Middleweight division. Jason Wilnis will take on the uber-tough Alex Pereira while Wayne Barrett will test his mettle against muay thai standout Simon Marcus. 

Tickets will go on sale on February 1st for those in the area or planning to attend and the event will be airing on Spike TV.

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Kickboxing Needs to Bring Their Content to the Fans

  • Published in News

Enfusion

Kickboxing is a frustrating sport sometimes. There, I said it.

Kickboxing has been struggling to find its identity over the past few years. That might seem like a bit of an ominous statement, but when you look at how many different organizations we’ve seen in different mediums, how many star Kickboxers we’ve seen retire or rise to prominence, or how many we’ve seen languish in smaller promotions you’ll see what I’m talking about. Right now is an interesting transition period for the sport of Kickboxing and a vital time for the sport where it could either grow to be huge or it could fail and return to obscurity. How that product gets to the fans is probably the most vital part of the sport right now, even more important than the quality of the fights themselves.

The landscape right now is like this; GLORY airs on Spike TV in the United States and then has various, smaller television deals throughout Europe and Asia. K-1 is currently attempting to negotiate television deals while providing free streams via their website. SuperKombat airs on EuroSport and a few smaller networks in different spots in the world. Enfusion is in a similar spot to SuperKombat. Then there are various, regional Kickboxing events that get solid coverage locally but not much anywhere else.

Like I’ve been saying, it’s a very strange and fragmented sport for the time being. There are talks of GLORY considering moving some select, bigger events to PPV here in the United States, starting with GLORY 17. It would probably be in the vein of the UFC model, where the prelims would be on Spike TV and the main card on PPV, which is fine, the only issue is that PPV as a medium is a dying one. The concept of Pay-Per-View in the United States began in the 50’s but came to prominence in the 70’s and 80’s when Boxing took a shine to the concept of selling live broadcasts of big fights through cable systems.

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Rumors Point to Badr Hari Possibly Signing with GLORY Soon

  • Published in Glory

Badr Hari

This one has been brewing since the weekend, but there have been reports of Badr Hari and GLORY coming to an agreement and Badr Hari potentially fighting on the GLORY 16 Denver card. LiverKick became aware of this rumor earlier in the week but as is our policy, unless it comes from a firsthand source or there are multiple, independent sources to verify said information, we don't run it. Since the cat is out of the bag, we are now sharing this information with you.

This comes hot off of the heels of Badr Hari being found guilty last week in his trial and sentenced to 18 months in prison. Both sides filed for immediate appeals, which means that Badr Hari is not in jail, in fact he was in attendance as a "special guest" at this past weekend's K-1 World MAX Final Four event in Azerbaijan. Badr Hari's next scheduled fight is on May 17th in Holland against Ismael Londt, making a May 3rd booking in the United States seem a bit more unlikely. There is also the fact that obtaining a work visa in the United States would be a difficult task for Badr Hari considering the recent conviction.

We've reached out to GLORY for comment on this story and multiple sources have denied this rumor. The timing of such a signing seems way off, especially with his ongoing legal issues. There is this message on his official Facebook, but understand that Badr Hari doesn't handle his social media and will at times decide that someone that he commissioned to handle his social media is no longer the "official voice of Badr Hari."

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GLORY Announces GLORY 16 Denver in May

  • Published in Glory

GLORY

As someone who lives in the Southwest I can say that it is sometimes difficult to be a fan of combat sports out here. Going to live events is kept to local and smaller events, which let's be honest, isn't everyone's cup of tea. Sometimes you want to see high level stuff and your only choice is to make a long trek to Las Vegas, Texas or California, which, also isn't great. Well, GLORY is going to make good on their promise to come to Denver, Colorado. They originally were talking about GLORY 14 happening in Denver, but circumstances obviously changed and now we instead will get GLORY 16 Denver on May 3rd at the 1STBANK Center.

Still no information on the card just yet, but as it is a major GLORY event and knowing their plans for the year, we can expect something big.

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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.

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Danyo Ilunga Replaces Artem Vakhitov at GLORY 18

  • Published in Glory

It's time to focus on something a bit more productive, don't you think? What could be more productive than GLORY 18's Light Heavyweight Contender tournament set to take place on November 7th in Oklahoma City? With less than a month to go there has been a major change to the event with Artem Vakhitov suffering a minor injury. While Vakhitov will be fine to compete in a few weeks this injury has made it difficult for him to prepare for the fight in November, with him having to pull out.

His replacement is none other than former It's Showtime 95kg Champion Danyo Ilunga of Germany. Ilunga was a finalist in the GLORY 9 Light Heavyweight tournament where he fought Tyrone Spong in a fight that saw Spong victorious. Since then Ilunga has had two first round stoppages within the GLORY ring and most than deserves this spot in the tournament. 

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StillWill Returns For An Official Badr Hari Documentary

  • Published in Kickboxing

If you've been reading the site for a while you are probably well aware of the name Will "StillWill" Prescott. Will has done some of the absolute best kickboxing and Japanese MMA highlight videos that there are in the world and probably ever will be. That has led to him getting a few pretty cool gigs, the latest of which is working with Badr Hari's team to present an unfiltered documentary about Badr Hari himself. The promise is that it will look at his career and his personal life, all playing out in an episodic manner much like "The Reem" or Spong's "King of the Ring."

This is just the trailer, but it has us pretty pumped up, that's for sure. 

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Long Watch: GLORY's Ivan Farneti Talks Business and Kickboxing

  • Published in Glory

Part of what makes GLORY such an interesting company is the guys who comprise said company. All of the people that we've spoken to which in the company are passionate and knowledgeable about the sport of kickboxing. They are fans, not just casual fans, but real fans. If you are looking for a fan, look no further than GLORY's Ivan Farneti. You can find him on Twitter or Facebook most of the time talking about combat sports -- and he's nowhere near just a casual fan -- he hangs with the most hardcore of us. In fact, I'd go as far as to call Ivan a kickboxing nerd. It's okay, he's in good company. 

Watch this uber-long interview with Ivan to learn more about him, his love for the sport, how he got started with the organization as well as some of the big picture, vision stuff for GLORY. For those that grow tired of hearing Dana White's brand of vitriol, listen to Ivan pretty much say everything you want to hear and really mean it. 

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