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Weekend Results: IFC in Spain; or, Melvin Manhoef's Bad Night

  • Published in Europe

International Fighting Championship hosted their inaugural event this past Friday, July 25th from the Pavello Olympic arena in Badalona, Spain. The card featured a combination of Kickboxing, Muay Thai and MMA bouts. All MMA bouts were fought for 3x5 minutes whereas the Kickboxing and the single Muay Thai bout was contested for 3x3 minutes. 

Combat sports legend Melvin Manhoef headlined the card and was stopped with strikes by hometown favorite Cesar Cordoba in just under three minutes. Cordoba came into the bout six-inches taller than his foe and looked to make good use of his reach advantage early, keeping Manhoef on the end of his punches and kicks whilst avoiding the occasional hellacious flurry from the Dutchman. Midway through the first round Cordoba landed a right high-kick and subsequently swarmed Manhoef with punches against the ropes before sending him crashing to the canvas face-first with a knee, rendering Manhoef momentarily unconscious. Instead of halting the bout, the referee began the 10 count that Manhoef impressively survived, only for the bout to be stopped somewhat controversially moments later. As Cordoba continued his onslaught of punches and knees the referee intervened with Manhoef still standing, which lead to a rather angry protest from Manhoef.

198lbs Kickboxing: Cesar Cordoba def. Melvin Manhoef by TKO (Punches) in Round 1
156lbs Kickboxing: David Calvo def. Juanma Chacon by TKO (Corner Stoppage) in Round 1
147lbs MMA: Jose Luis Zapater def. Juan Carlos Berlanga by TKO (Punches) in Round 1
154 lbs MMA: Abner Lloveras def. Miguel Valverde by Submission (Guillotine Choke) in Round 1
165 lbs Muay Thai: Youseff El Hadmi def. Ibrahima Nijie by Decision
119lbs Women’s Kickboxing: Mari Curriki def. Maribel de Sousa by Decision
138lbs Kickboxing: Alfonso Grinan def. Oscar Garcia by Decision
145lbs MMA: Jesus Montero def. Alejandro Hernandez by Submission (Arm-Triangle Choke) in Round 2
138lbs Kickboxing: Khyzer Hayat def. Vardan Mnatsakanyan by KO (punch) in Round 1
125lbs MMA: Daniel Barez def. Francisco Asprilla by TKO (punches) in Round 2

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Kiria In - Ky Out vs. Ristie at GLORY 14

  • Published in Glory

GLORY

Changes are afoot for GLORY 14 Zagreb as what was originally slated to be a Lightweight World Championship fight between Andy Ristie and Ky Hollenbeck has changed with little fanfare or explanation to Andy Ristie vs. Davit Kiria. Davit Kiria currently sits at the #3 spot in GLORY's Lightweight rankings compared to Ky who is at #5, which is a possible explanation, but you'd think this would have been sorted out before the fight is announced. There is no word is this is due to injury, television intervention or some other issue.

Few fans will lose sleep over it, though, as Andy Ristie vs. Davit Kiria is indeed a fine fight, with the winner walking away as the GLORY Lightweight Champion. We've reached out for comment from both GLORY and Hollenbeck's team and hope to have more on this shortly.

UPDATE: Here is a statement from GLORY regarding Ky Hollenbeck and GLORY 14.

"GLORY regrets that Ky Hollenbeck will not be able to fight on the GLORY 14 ZAGREB card," GLORY officials confirmed with LiverKick.com today. "However, the company is pleased to report that Ky’s second lifelong ambition -- besides fighting for GLORY -- to be a firefighter, is on its way to becoming a reality, as he has been accepted to test for a job with the US Fire Department."

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GLORY 11 Super Fights Live on GloryWorldSeries.com Now

  • Published in Glory

Glory

Just as promised, GLORY have released video footage from the GLORY 11 Super Fight series undercard on their website. All of the undercard fights can be found on GloryWorldSeries.com now. That means the whole undercard that you've been wanting to see is now available for free at GLORY's web site.

As an added bonus, if you missed the event, all eleven fights are unlocked as of right now, meaning that you could technically watch the entire event on GLORY's website for free. That isn't a bad deal if you ask me. So head on over and click on the video tab to check out all of the fights.

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The Last Chance at Glory for Melvin Manhoef?

  • Published in Glory

Knockout artist and perennial fan favourite Melvin Manhoef makes his long-awaited Glory debut this Saturday in Los Angeles, but is this weekend’s tournament the last straw for the Dutchman?

Melvin Manhoef has been competing in professional combat sports for nearly as long as I have been alive. At 38 years of age and with nearly 90 professional bouts to his name, Manhoef is no spring chicken. He enters this Saturday’s Glory event as the oldest competitor in the tournament field; coincidently the next oldest competitor is his quarterfinal opponent, the 31-year-old Belgian Filip Verlinden.  

Despite having a highly successful career in both kickboxing and mixed martial arts, Manhoef has never won a ‘major’ title. I use that term loosely, as Manhoef has held belts in both kickboxing and in MMA. Manhoef was at one time the light-heavyweight champion of former British MMA promotion Cage Rage; he recently won the Gringo Super Fight welterweight championship after finishing long time rival Evangelista Santos in less than a minute and once held the Showtime 85kg title back in 2009. Whilst these achievements should not be undermined, Manhoef has yet to taste gold in the upper echelons of both kickboxing and MMA. 

Manhoef’s best opportunities have come primarily within the sport of MMA. He was a finalist in the former Japanese promotion Hero’s light-heavyweight tournament and was also a semi-finalist in DREAM’s middleweight tournament, losing by submission in both instances to Yoshihiro Akiyama and Gegard Mousasi respectively. He unfortunately hasn’t been quite as lucky in kickboxing, as after having successful quarterfinals in both the 2006 K-1 Grand Prix in Amsterdam and the 2008 K-1 Grand Prix in Tokyo, he had to bow out early due to injury, however his tournament experience could definitely play a factor come Saturday night.

Manhoef enters this Saturday’s Glory middleweight tournament in a somewhat difficult position. Manhoef has lost his last four in kickboxing (albeit against Samedov, Spong, Saki and Bonjasky) and his hopes of finally earning a UFC contract went out the window with his losses to Brock Larson and Mamed Khalidov last year, meaning Glory 17 this weekend might provide the last chance Manhoef will ever have at winning a major title. It may also be the most ideal stage in which to do it on; Glory’s middleweight tournament presents a unique challenge in his more natural weight class of 185lbs and on fast-rising Glory’s biggest event to date, which will also be the first time the promotion has ventured into the PPV market. 

Whilst the challenge is most certainly enticing and one that I’m sure Manhoef is incredibly excited to start, it is also highly formidable, even for someone like Manhoef who has fought a who’s who of fighters throughout his career. Glory have forged a tournament that features arguably the eight best middleweight kickboxers on the planet and if Manhoef wants the gold at the end of the rainbow, he’s going to have to beat at least three of them all within the space of a few hours.  

Whilst a devastating loss this weekend might signal the end for Manhoef’s hopes of becoming a champion and perhaps one of the last times we see him step in to battle with the elite of either sport, it most certainly will not tarnish his legacy. From his electrifying walk-outs to his apocalyptic punching and devastating leg-kicks, Melvin Manhoef has wow’d endless audiences for nearly 20 years and even as he enters into the twilight stage of his career, he is still one of the most terrifying fighters on this planet and will without a doubt go down in kickboxing and MMA history as one of the most exciting fighters of our generation.

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Glory 17: Glory Prepares to Distinguish Itself As a Combat Sports Brand

  • Published in News

Glory 17 is a turning point for Glory in many ways, marking its entry into the American PPV market by staging the largest, most significant kickboxing tournament on American soil in decades. But even more noteworthy than that, this event signifies the opportunity for Glory to truly distinguish itself as a unique combat sports product that is capable of delivering where other brands may falter, particularly the UFC. The UFC’s present difficulties are well known: problems with a ballooning roster, complaints about “boring” fights, and problems marketing fighters have led to great inconsistency in the quality of UFC events. Glory, on the other hand, has experienced few to no difficulties in this regard--and for very interesting reasons. In this article, I will talk about some of the things that I think make Glory a fairly unique entity in the combat sports world.

1. Each Glory weight class has more elite fighters than a single card can accommodate.

The Last Man Standing tournament is essentially a display of the entire Middleweight division, and it is a scary division, featuring Artem Levin, Joe Schilling, Simon Marcus, Wayne Barrett, Filip Verlinden, and Melvin Manhoef as well as dangerous contenders like Alex Pereira--all of these men are either champions, former champions, or fighters who have distinguished themselves against championship-level competition. Whereas some promotions might struggle to fill fight cards with less accomplished talent, Glory has the unique problem of struggling to fill fight cards with overqualified talent, bumping the likes of Levin to the non-televised SuperFight Series. If you ever find yourself wondering why a fighter like Giorgio Petrosyan gets to occupy the fourth slot on the Glory main card, it’s frequently because any Glory card could offer you a choice of several main event fights.

2. Glory has complete control of the rules of the sport.

No matter how many three or four-letter-name sanctioning bodies Glory will claim accountability to, the fact remains that Glory, as an organization in today’s combat sports market, is unique because of the complete control that it has on the rules of the sport. By frequently changing its clinch rules, its knockdown rules, and its 8-count rules, Glory has crafted and refined a viewing experience that is more fast-paced and exciting, producing a high volume of memorable fights and highlight reel moments. This is an ability that neither the UFC nor any other MMA organization possess, and the end result for them is a perpetual struggle to reconcile the Unified Rules of MMA with the type of fights that UFC wants to sell. Glory, by contrast, can eliminate any rule that negatively affects the viewing experience.

The flipside is that we also don’t have to talk about drug testing in the sport of Kickboxing. Glory is in a peculiar position here as well, operating between the lines of an oversight structure that is very dated and arguably unequipped to handle a multimillion dollar professional sport. Indeed, WKA’s official rules, published in 2011, leave drug testing up to the discretion of the “WKA supervisor, tournament promoters, and the official doctor,” who “can and may perform tests” but don’t necessarily have to do so unless directed by local law, making WKA’s actual responsibility very unclear. The procedure, standards, and logistics of testing are either mentioned in vague terms or not outlined at all. Glory, for its part, hasn’t forced the issue, leaving us to enjoy the fruits of ambiguity. In other words: don’t ask, don’t tell, and Pride never die.

3. Glory is learning how to market its fighters.

This is an issue that we’ve discussed several times here on LiverKick and which Dave Walsh expounded on in his excellent piece comparing kickboxing to the history of regional pro wrestling promotion. Behind every fight is an evolving narrative with at least two central characters, and as viewers, we’re interested in not only the fight itself but also in how the fight will determine the next chapter of the story. The promoter’s job is to build anticipation and interest in the fight and to illustrate what it means in the grand scheme of the division. With Glory 17, Glory has been proactive in producing media which tells us the story, including an excellent video on the rivalry between Rico Verhoeven and Daniel Ghita. The authenticity of this rivalry (for the critics’ sake) is as irrelevant as the authenticity of the 2009 rivalry between Badr Hari and Alistair Overeem--it felt real at the time and it electrified the atmosphere at the Saitama Super Arena. As Glory gains screen time on television and PPV, promotional efforts like this will be increasingly vital to its success.

While Glory got off to a rough start, it seems like the organization has found its identity as a kickboxing promotion and major combat sports brand. It is undeniably a unique presence in today’s sports entertainment market. If this event is a success and the Glory audience continues to grow, I think that Glory could become a leading company. Until then, you will have to join me in keeping fingers tightly crossed.

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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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The LiverKick.com GLORY 15 Preview and Predictions

  • Published in News

GLORY 15

Tomorrow in Istanbul, Turkey, GLORY will present GLORY 15 Istanbul. GLORY 15 is slated to feature the GLORY Light Heavyweight Championship tournament, featuring Tyrone Spong, Saulo Cavalari, Gokhan Saki and Nathan Corbett. The winner will walk away as the first GLORY Light Heavyweight Champion, which is a huge, huge deal. So let’s run through the card.

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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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Liverkick Exclusive: Glory 18 Calm Before The Storm Video

  • Published in Video

So our one man camera crew (Carlo) managed to get all the pre and post fight interviews while taking behind the scenes footage which I like call the calm before the storm. I saw him running around like a maniac trying to get footage of everyone, but after watching this video, man was it worth it. It really captures the feeling of being back stage before these shows, the way everyone warms up differently, some super calm, some screaming and smashing the pads. There is always tension especially when everyone's change rooms were right beside each other and most people could hear their opponent warming up. It's great to see how the fighters that we love to watch fight their hearts out, prepare right before putting on an amazing show for us. 

This is just a sample of the videos that we will be making for the upcoming Glory shows, Enjoy!

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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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