LiverKick

Switch to desktop Register Login

Nine Questions with Remy Bonjasky

  • Published in Interviews

He is known as "The Flying Gentleman". With a career spanning nearly twenty years, this three time K-1 champion is one of the most well known fighters in the world.. Having recently retired, I caught up with Remy in Istanbul to talk about his past, present and future. In many ways, March 08, 2014, marked the end of an era as Remy announced his final fight would be at Glory 14 in Croatia against Mirko"Cro Cop" Filipovic. True to his reputation as a gentleman and a great sportsman, Remy's exit from the ring was as graceful as his entrance when he defeated the elder Overeem brother, Valentijn in 1995.

SW: Now that "The Flying Gentleman" has landed what are your plans?

RB: Well I have several projects I'm working on, including opening up my second gym. I also am working with several fighters training and there's also doing seminars and other projects. It's not really like a retirement. I will still be very busy.

SW: I know you have your own gym, Bonjasky Academy. Who are you currently working with?

RB: Well, right now, probably my most notable student is Danyo Ilunga. There are some others I am training but Danyo is probably the most well known at this time.

SW: If you weren't training or hadn't become a kickboxer, what other profession do you think you would have pursued?

RB: I probably would have continued my career in banking.

SW: I find it exciting that Glory has revitalized interest in kickboxing in the United States. What are you thoughts on the future of kickboxing, in the States and abroad?

RB: I am very pleased with the organization, its very professional, good shows. I think more interest is definitely showing. It's going to get bigger and bigger. The fights are exciting with lots of knock outs. It's growing.

SW: This is not the first time you have stepped away from kickboxing, I know at one time you were having a problem with one of your eyes. What was the nature of your injury?

RB: It was because I had a detached retina.

SW: After you defeated Mirko in Croatia, there was a weird response in the crowd, what was your take on that?

RB: I don't know. It was a very emotional event, not just for me. It's something that never happened in my career before, but I don't believe they were really booing me, it was about the result. I love the people of Zagreb and they have always shown me a lot of love. I don't know what can you say. I am still very happy that I was able to show my skill and win.

SW: I have always wondered what you were really thinking after your incident with Badr Hari at the 2008 K-1 finals.

RB: *shrugs* Badr. You know he did what he did and as a result the fight had that outcome.

SW: I'm sure you're weren't mad about the prize.

RB: Not at all.

SW: What is something about you, perhaps a little known fact, that your fans might find surprising?

RB: I'm afraid of spiders.

So, it would seem that retirement won't exactly be sipping Pina Coladas on the Riviera for Remy. He already has great plans for the future, including, but not limited to continuing to grow the sport as a trainer and mentor to today's rising stars. We wish Remy the best of luck and look forward to seeing him ringside.

Read more...

Building GLORY's Light Heavyweight Division: Vladimir Mineev

  • Published in Glory

Mineev

Glory 9 brought great action to kickboxing fans this past Saturday. The event also helped the Glory promotion name its first light heavyweight Slam champion, and provided everyone a greater sense of who’s who in a long-underrepresented division. Glory will now have to attract additional talent from around the world to bolster the ranks of an already strong group of light heavyweights. This series of articles looks at kick boxers that we at LiverKick would have liked to see in Saturday’s tournament and hope Glory can bring into the fold going forward.

Vladimir Mineev is a Russian light heavyweight that has been highlighted by our own staff on various occasions as someone to keep an eye on. While the 23-year-old is the youngest fighter to be featured in this series, he already has a number of amateur and professional titles to his name. Mineev is a two-time gold medalist in the -91kg. weight class at the W.A.K.O. European Championships, first winning the competition in 2008.

Mineev hasn’t lost a professional bout since taking Igor Jurkovic to an extension round in December 2010 (part 1, part 2). Mineev put together a 6-0 record while fighting exclusively in Russia in 2011. He duplicated that mark in 2012, traveling outside of Russia once to fight in France.

Mineev started his 2013 with a knockout victory over Revanho Blokland, finishing the bout with a looping left hand near the opening of the second round. He also earned a decision victory over Redouan Cairo in April, taking Cairo’s Wako-Pro title in the process. This most recent bout allowed Mineev to show his offensive arsenal against an extremely capable opponent. Seeing Mineev next to Cairo also reinforced the idea that the Russian needs to remain at light heavyweight for the moment, rather than make the all-too-common jump to heavyweight that similarly situated fighters have made in the past.

Despite Mineev’s success, the young Russian’s recent bouts have not been without some challenge. A left hook sent Mineev to the canvas in the second round of his bout against Ali Cenik last December. Forced to fight from a deficit, Mineev eventually earned the victory with two knockdowns in the extension round.

Vladimir Mineev is scheduled to face off against Brazil’s Tiago Beowulf on August 4th, at the Fight Nights St. Tropez event in scenic Saint Tropez, France.

Read more...

In the Gym with Wayne Barrett Video

  • Published in Glory

On June 21st Wayne Barrett will do battle in the GLORY Last Man Standing tournament live on PPV. Barrett will be fighting Romanian sensation Bogdan Stoica in the first round of the Last Man Standing tournament, taking on the winner of Joe Schilling vs. Simon Marcus later that evening. Needless to say, this is the biggest night of Wayne Barrett's Kickboxing career by a long stretch. Phoenix Carnevale of Everything Martial Arts hit the gym with Wayne Barrett where he gives some insight into his training and mindset.

Definitely worth the watch.

Read more...

New Year's Resolutions From GLORY Stars Zack Mwekassa, Randy Blake, Errol Zimmerman and More

  • Published in Glory

For as long as I can remember, at the beginning of each year I set goals and outlined projects I would like to complete during the coming twelve months. At the close of each year I then took on the angst inducing task of evaluating my progress toward those previously set goals. While sometimes I could give myself a pat on the back for a job well done, other times I had to analyze the how and why of what went wrong and also to find a way to possibly reshape those goals. This year, instead of engaging in this task alone I asked several of Glory's fighters to take a look at the year that was as well as give us a sneak preview of 2015.

Zack Mwekassa:

Hello to all fight fans that are taking time to read this.

I have no word big enough to demonstrate my appreciation for my friends, fans and supporters.

If I had to sum up my 2014 experience in one word it would be " stupendous".

It has been a phenomenal year for me, probably the best year in my fighting career.

From Johannesburg South Africa to Denver Colorado to take on the much respected, UFC veteran Pat "HD" Barry in a what was meant to be an absolute mismatch based on the fighting style "Kickboxing". To winning "Glory knockout of the year" and the hearts of thousands of fans across the world after that very fight. I can’t express well enough my gratitude to God and to the people who gave me credit. Shortly after Glory 16, across the ocean, on the African continent, in the most brutal fashion winning the Africa heavyweight championship was another highlight for me. It was for me a dream come true, especially because it was on the land that hosted "Rumble in the Jungle" the fight of the century between Muhammed Ali and George Foreman in 1974.

Looking back at where I come from gives a even bigger sense of gratitude.

Who I am ?

Who is Zack Mwekassa ?

A war survivor.

A man that fled his home country at age 19 due to war and tribulations.

A man that lost all he and his family had due to a volcanic eruption.

A man that survived gun shots during the mayhem in eastern Congo.

A man that survived venomous snake bites.

A man that still lives after being poisoned 3 times.

I may not be the best fighter in the world or even the most financially successful across the globe, but I probably am one of the best achievers there is.

From a modest family in one of the most dangerous countries in the world to world prominence, I thank God the creator of all things.

To my fans I would like to say one thing.

Don't be disappointed for not accomplishing what you swore to accomplish in 2014.

Try, try again. Just remember, you can’t do the same thing over and over and expect different results. Try again, but try to do it differently this time.

For me 2015 will be the year I reach outstanding heights or I am going to die on the 31st of December. Yes I am dead serious. Watch me! Be my witness.

God bless you, we still need a dedicated sponsor to join our brutal team, will you be the one?

Happy 2015 to you and your loved ones

Randy Blake:

2014 was a great and busy year for me . I had five fights this year and to sum it all up everything was a success! I learned some things in every fight, I grew and evolved racking up a 4-1 record for the year. For me that is a success to continue to grow as not only a fighter but a martial artist.

I have many goals for 2015. I have been offered to train with some awesome camps , I am looking forward to that and to continue to grow. Most importantly I plan to stay active and fight as much as I can and not only fight on a local circuit to stay busy and continue to fight, compete and win for GLORY!

Danyo Ilunga:

2014 was, I can not say a bad year for me, but a difficult year. I had several concerns. I didn't fight a lot and I lost one of my three fights. I have learned more then in all my career though and this kind of thing will never happen again..

For 2015 it is my plan to have the Glory belt, I will focus on it. The last two years I have lost one fight every year, this is one thing I will be training for, this will be my year!

Marc DeBonte:

2014 started bad for me with my fight for the world title getting pushed back a few times because of injury problems from my opponent ( Nieky Holzken). After some time Glory stripped Holzken of the title and vacated it, this ended with me fighting Karapet Karapetyan for the title. This fight was really tough not only because we know each other really well, but mostly with the location they held the fight, Denver which has a big altitude difference over Belgium. I came to Denver a week before the fight to get used to the altitude difference a bit, I would have preferred to do my entire camp there, but I don’t make enough money for that. During the fight I gassed very quickly but I noticed Karapet having a similar problem. So after round two it was the most I have ever suffered in a fight. In the end I won the title clearly and I couldn’t have been happier, everything I had worked for was finally there, I still daydream about that moment sometimes.

My second fight of the year was my title defense against Joseph Valtellini five weeks after I won the title. I still had some small injuries which made it a bit hard to keep training 100 percent, but we managed. The fight itself was a good fight I got a knocked down in the third round and gave one back in the fourth. After the fight I was surprised by the decision and I still am to this day , The judges gave the decision to Valtellini. Not just me but fans, commentators, famous trainers were shocked by that, but it is what it is and now we just have to move forward.

I took some vacation after fighting twice in 5-6 weeks to heal , but during the holiday I got contacted by a big German boxing manager, who said that he wanted to make me an offer after hearing that I also wanted to turn pro in boxing, ( this had been on my mind for a long time ). After meeting him and hearing what he had to say, we decided to sign to fight solely pro boxing with this manager and promoter. To part from Glory is still hard for me since I still wanted to fight a few names there, but this was an offer that made it possible to live purely for the sport and focus on it.

I have but one goal at the moment for 2015 and that is achieving what I did in kickboxing but now in pro boxing, to become world champion. We will go for it in steps, the first one is European champion. I believe in myself and my team is confident I can do it.

But who knows, anything can happen maybe a comeback to kickboxing is possible someday.

Benny Adegbuyi:

2014 was one of my best years in my career with three wins and my debut in Glory one of my big dreams came true, and I did it in a great way by knock out. I had no injuries this year. In my second fight against Daniel Sam, a big man and a difficult fight, but I won again by KO! I am very happy because people have started to look at as a rising star who can attack the title and the number1 spot in the world. This motivates me more! Finally my last fight for the year was a title elimination fight against a big fighter, I can say a star, Hesdy Gerges. Normally I would be the underdog, but I knew I was going to win. The result was another victory, this time by unanimous decision. Not a KO, but it's still good so my 2014 was a good one I think I have accomplished more than I had planned!

2015 I expect to be the best year! I want to take that title and keep it a few years and I will do all to accomplish this. I will push my limits and do what ever it takes to be the best. I think talent is on my side I only need a little luck and hard work! So don't miss 2015 to see me becoming the champion! Osu!!!

Francois Ambang:

2014 wasn’t my best year in the ring. I fought once in May at Glory 16 ending in a very disappointing loss to Raymond Daniels. To be on the other side of such a highly publicized knockout, was a tough pill to swallow. I have watched that fight numerous times. Not taking away from him, but I’ve had a lot of time to process what happened and what I could have done differently. Since that time I have re-focused, switched up my team a bit, and actually was hoping for a chance at a title, and a rematch, in the upcoming Glory 19 Welterweight Contender Tournament. Certainly, it has ALWAYS been my goal to gain a title. I embrace the opportunity to face the top contenders in my weight class, and again was hoping for a chance at redemption.

I will be in the ring again early in the year, as part of the Super Fight Series at Glory 19 in Hampton, Virginia. I am anticipating a great start to the new year. In 2015, I hope to have a more time in the ring. I am dedicated to introducing new fighters to kickboxing, as well helping individuals reach their fitness/training goals in my kickboxing program.

Errol Zimmerman:

In 2015, my number one priority is finishing Rico Verhoeven and that I will be champion. I'm looking forward to fighting everybody. That's my only thing, that's what I want to do is to fight and fight and fight. I want to show the people what I can do! I want to entertain the people! So, this is what I will do in 2015 also, 16, 17, 18....and then we will look further. I only want to train and beat people up and entertain the people!

Read more...

Weekend Results: SuperKombat WGP Riseta

  • Published in Europe

SK

SuperKombat held their World Grand Prix in Resita event yesterday afternoon, which saw a Light Heavyweight tournament (85kg) with Poland's Dawid Kasperski walking away victorious. The event also saw some big names involved in some Super Fights, including Sebastian Ciobanu picking up a win over Enver Slijvar, Catalin Morosanu picking up a win over Mohamed Karim and Raul Catinas knocking out Brice Guidon.

  • Superkombat World Grand Prix – Resita: Official Results
  • 1. Reserve Fight – Light Heavyweight Bout (-85 kg)
  • Ibrahim El Bouni (Morocco) won by Unanimous Decision against Uros Bogojevic (Serbia)
  • 2. Semifinal 1 – Light Heavyweight Bout (-85 kg)
  • Dawid Kasperski (Poland) won by Unanimous Decision against Ciprian Schiopu (Romania)
  • 3. Semifinal 2 – Light Heavyweight Bout (-85 kg)
  • Errol Koning (Suriname) won by KO in the first round against Noureddine Echiguer (Morocco)
  • 4. Super Fight – Heavyweight Bout (+96 kg)
  • Sebastian Ciobanu (Romania) won by Unanimous Decision against Enver Slijvar (Bosnia & Herzegovina)
  • 5. Super Fight – Heavyweight Bout (+96 kg)
  • Catalin Morosanu (Romania) won by Unanimous Decision against Mohamed Karim (Egypt)
  • 6. Super Fight – Heavyweight Bout (+96 kg)
  • Raul Catinas (Romania) won by KO in the second round against Brice Guidon (France)
  • 7. Final – Light Heavyweight Bout (-85 kg)
  • Dawid Kasperski (Poland) won by Split Decision against Errol Koning (Suriname)

Read more...

Glory 14: Why We Need More Five-Round Fights

  • Published in News

Ristie/Kiria

The conclusion of Glory 14 saw kickboxing legend Remy Bonjasky hang up his gloves after a hard-fought three round battle with Mirko Cro Cop that featured moments of vintage greatness from both fighters. Remy actively landed his signature kicks and knees while Cro Cop connected with thundering high kicks and powerful punches. Some fans may find fault with the decision, but I feel that it was rendered appropriately as Bonjasky landed more cleanly with his knees in the first two rounds, taking the fight two rounds to one. But did that mean that both fighters were done fighting? Hardly. Cro Cop turned up the pressure in Round 3, cornering Bonjasky and landing hard punches in the pocket. As controversial as fans may see the decision, there is no doubt that a fight of this magnitude should have been a five round fight.

The lack of five rounds is a curiosity in the sport of kickboxing. An ongoing staple of Muay Thai, the kickboxing world has largely spurned the concept, preferring a 3x3min structure originally set in place by K-1. This might be seen as a way to streamline the action, giving fighters a more limited time frame to make their case for the win and preventing fighters who are ahead on the scorecards from coasting through rounds. Indeed, “speeding up the action” is a reason that’s been frequently utilized to justify many of Kickboxing’s more unusual rules, particularly its controversial and often inconsistent clinch rules. While it’s unusual and remarkably savvy for promoters to tailor the rules of the sport to suit their product, the flipside in this particular case are lost opportunities to see great fights live up to their full potential.

Take Andy Ristie vs. Davit Kiria, for example. This was a fight that like Bonjasky vs. Cro Cop, could have ended after three rounds with a clear decision in favor of Ristie, yet like the Bonjasky fight, gave us a glimpse of what was possible in Rounds 4 and 5. Davit Kiria was still in the game after three rounds, turtling up Albert Kraus style and taking heavy punishment from Ristie while returning with counters that were increasingly finding their mark. The pendulum was beginning to swing, and there was a palpable sense that Kiria could gain control of the fight. Ending the fight after Round 3 would have deprived audiences of the best comeback of the year so far.

Kiria, like Remy Bonjasky and Buakaw in the past, is a slow starter whose essential style is not rewarded by current Kickboxing rules. These men typically open with careful, more conservative movements, studying their opponent in the early frames and then intensifying their offensive output in later rounds. This may not satisfy those who would prefer a consistently fast tempo for the fight, but I would argue that this cerebral style of fighting has an appropriate place in the sport, creating intrigue and suspense. A chess match is a great spectacle in and of itself, especially when it involves two elite competitors. Alternatively, a five round fight also allows us to see a knockdown, drag-out brawl like Chahid vs. Mike Zambidis or a tense affair like Artem Levin vs. Joe Schilling come to a more definitive conclusion. While Glory would undoubtedly have to adjust its pacing and structure its fight cards appropriately to accommodate a five round fight, Kiria vs. Ristie has clearly illustrated that the results can be magnificent, title or not.

Read more...

GLORY Continues Partnership with ISKA

  • Published in Glory

GLORY

GLORY have been committed to not only bringing the world the sport of Kickboxing, but doing so in a way that is organized and regulated. To do so, they enlisted the help of ISKA (International Sport Kickboxing Association) back in 2012 to help with rules, regulations and officials. They announced today that their partnership with ISKA will continue forward with ISKA serving as the regulatory body for all upcoming GLORY events.

“ISKA is the go-to regulatory interface for ensuring that the ‘Ts’ are crossed and the ‘Is’ are dotted," said Andrew Madigan, Global Head of GLORY Operations and Compliance. “You can feel a measurable rise in confidence with the fighter talent knowing that this vigilance is in place.”

Read more...

GLORY's Dustin Jacoby Victorious in MMA Return

  • Published in Glory

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

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

GIF via ZombieProphet.

Read more...

GLORY 13 Weigh-in Results

  • Published in Glory

G13

GLORY 13 is rapidly-approaching, as in, it'll be live in Japan in about 12 hours, which is just insanity. The weigh-ins for GLORY 13 and the GLORY Tokyo SuperFight Series went down when I was sleeping, which makes a whole lot of sense as Japan is across the globe, so here are the weigh-in results. Note that Le Banner hadn't weighed in yet because, well, he's Jerome Le Banner and he tends to come and go as he pleases.

  • GLORY 13 TOKYO
  • Peter Aerts (104.6 kg - 230.6 lbs) vs. Rico Verhoeven (116 kg - 255.7 lbs)
  • Daniel Ghita (113.6 kg - 250.4 lbs) vs. Errol Zimmerman (108.6 kg - 239.4 lbs)
  • Dustin Jacoby (90 kg - 198.4 lbs) vs. Makoto Uehara (90.3 kg - 199.1 lbs)
  • Joseph Valtellini (77.1 kg - 170 lbs) vs. Raymond Daniels (76.7 kg - 169.1 lbs)
  • Nieky Holzken (77.2 kg - 170.2 lbs) vs. Karapet Karapetyan (76.3 kg - 168.2 lbs)
  • TOKYO SUPERFIGHT SERIES
  • Yuta Kubo (64.9 kg - 143.1 lbs) vs. Mosab Amrani (64.9 kg - 143.1 lbs)
  • Artur Kyshenko (77 kg - 169.8 lbs) vs. Kenmun (77 kg - 169.8 lbs)
  • Aleksandr Stetcurenko (76.8 kg - 169.3 lbs) vs. Karim Ghajji (77.5 kg - 170.9 lbs)
  • Remy Bojansky (108 kg - 238.1 lbs) vs. Anderson Silva (113 kg - 249.1 lbs)
  • Ewerton Teixeira (110.2 kg - 242.9 lbs) vs. Hesdy Gerges (107.6 kg - 237.2 lbs)
  • Jerome Le Banner (TBD*) vs. Sergei Kharitonov (122.2 kg - 269.4 lbs)

Read more...

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

  • Published in Interviews

(C) GLORY

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

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

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

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

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

Read more...
Subscribe to this RSS feed

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

Top Desktop version