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Paul Daley's K-1 Debut Happening on October 4th

  • Published in K-1

UFC and Bellator veteran Paul Daley has been in the news this past week after it was announced that Scott Coker has resigned the British fighter to Bellator, hoping that he'll make his debut in the near future. K-1 fires back by announcing Paul Daley's K-1 debut fight will happen on October 4th at the K-1 World MAX Finals in Thailand. The event is headlined by the Buakaw vs. Kehl rematch for the K-1 MAX title (which we are told will be defended on its own, outside of tournaments in the future), but will also see the debut of Paul Daley.

Daley is 4-0 this year alone in kickboxing since he's returned, leading to there being a lot of hype behind his K-1 debut. His opponent has been announced as Mohammad Ghaedibardeh and the fight will be at 80kg. 

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A Look Back at Battle of the PRO's From Brooklyn on Sept. 13th

  • Published in Muay Thai

Story by R. Choi

Photos by Bauzen

On Thursday, September 13th, eight professional Muay Thai fighters gathered at the Renzo Gracie Academy in Brooklyn to fight in a one-night “Battle of the PRO’s” tournament.  The event, which took place in the impressive new facility and was elegant enough to require a corporate casual dress code (sorry, no TapouT gear allowed) nevertheless delivered a great night of fights with plenty of action and several knockouts.

The first round of fights featured Rafael Machado of Gold Team (Newark, NJ) defeating Nate Chambers of Hyena Muay Thai (Las Vegas, NV) via unanimous decision, Villi Bello (Ardon’s Sweet Science, NY) advancing after the fight was ruled a no contest in the first round due to a questionable groin shot to Mervin Rodriguez (Pellegrino MMA, Belmar NJ), Troy Sheridan of Team Ultimate (Toronto, Canada) defeating the older and very experienced Peter Kaljevic by unanimous decision, and Deshawn Robinson (America’s Finest Kickboxing, NJ) overcoming a very aggressive Turan Hasanov (Fight Factory, NY) two minutes and 42 seconds into the second round with a devastating knockout by knee that left him unable to continue.


An intermission and the only amateur bout of the night showed why clinch is essential in Muay Thai, as Jason Sheena (Workshop Muay Thai, NY) won a unanimous decision against Daniel Cronin (Renzo Gracie, NY). This also seemed to set the tone for the first fight in the semi-finals, which was also decided in the clinch with Villi Bello winning by TKO 1 minute and 25 seconds into the second round after landing several vicious knees on his opponent, Rafael Machado. Afterwards, Troy Sheridan and Deshawn Robinson faced off in a very exciting bout that had a flurry of back and forth exchanges in the first round.  Troy looked rocked early but he still managed to send Deshawn crashing through the ropes onto the judge’s table and was not only able to make a full recovery, but also scored an impressive KO at 2 minutes and 46 seconds with a right hook that sent Deshawn’s mouthguard flying.

The final fight pitted Troy Sheridan against Villi Bello.  Bello was very aggressive, but had problems with the longer reach of Sheridan. Bello tried changing levels and kept up an aggressive pace, but Sheridan ultimately controlled the distance and and kept Bello from getting close with a nasty jab and low kick combination that had served him well all night.  In rounds two and three, Sheridan also added a high left kick to the mix and won the fight by unanimous decision, as well as the tournament.

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Liverkick Throwback: Branko Cikatic Vs Ernesto Hoost II

  • Published in Kickboxing

The world of kickboxing has a rich history to fall back upon so we here at LiverKick figure, why not? Why not give a glimpse into some of the fights from the past that have made up this wonderful sport and tie it all in to the present. The kids on the Instagram and Twitter like to call Thursdays "Throwback Thursdays," I'm just going to say that this is a LiverKick Throwback.

Branco Cikatic was the original Croatian heavyweight Kickboxer and the first Croation born fighter to achieve international success. K-1 didn't start until 1993, Branko was 38 years old already, but he made the most of it and became the very first K-1 grand prix champion and won all three fights in one night by knockout. Cikatic had a rock-solid chin and huge power in both hands, he wasn't the most technical fighter but he was more of a take a punch to land my harder punch type. Branco tried a few MMA fights after winning K-1 and jumped in the Pride ring, now Cikatic was never the cleanest of fighters and that ended up causing most of his Pride fights to end in DQ or No contest.

This fight with the legend Ernesto Hoost was for the K-1 grand prix 1993 Finals in Tokyo, Japan. Hoost was 10 years younger than Cikatic and had already beat Peter Aerts and Maurice Smith in the quarter and semi finals. I feel Hoost was easily winning this fight up until Branko did what he does best and landed a huge right on poor Ernesto's chin and cause a heavy KO.

 

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New Trailer for K-1 Rising on May 27th

  • Published in K-1

K- is back and the time is drawing increasingly near. On May 27th the K-1 World MAX Final 16 goes down after a year's absence, and on top of that, two big heavyweight bouts including some of the biggest names like Daniel Ghita and Badr Hari. After a few weeks of radio silence, we are treated to a trailer which seems official but sounds and looks a lot like an It's Showtime promo video.

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Video: Noiri vs Glunder and Hiroya vs Minoru

  • Published in K-1

During the 55kg tournament K-1 held on April 19th in Japan there were a few big upsets in the super fights and K-1 has just released the videos. 

First of all Kimura "Phillip" Minoru vs Hiroya, since I didn't get to watch this event live I have to say it was pretty surprising to read that Minoru KO'd Hiroya in 1 round even though Hiroya can be hot and cold sometimes. Now after watching the fight, honestly Minoru looks really damn good. He has improved leaps and bounds, his timing, speed and power all looked amazing, very impressive.

Next we have Massaki Noiri vs Massaro Glunder, Glunder looks so much like a mini Andy Ristie its crazy and even has a similar style but i think hes a little bit less awkward. When I read that Noiri had lost by cut the first thing I thought was that it must have been lucky but after watching the fight Glunder not only beat Noiri but he did it in Japan, and on short notice, I definitely do not think Glunder was losing the fight. Great breakthrough win for a young up and comer in Massaro Glunder.

 

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With K-1's Spike TV Deal in Hand, It's Time to Re-evaluate K-1

  • Published in K-1

K-1

It was announced today that Spike TV and K-1 have come to terms and that Spike TV will be the new home of K-1. For the Kickboxing world in the United States, this could completely change everything in the blink of an eye, as K-1 has not had a chance like this in a very long time. K-1 did, for a brief period of time, have a broadcast deal with ESPN, but it was mostly for filler content on ESPN 2 late at night and was never given its proper due.

This time around, it is different as K-1 has been turning its attention to the United States in a big way with their new management. Of the four events left for the rest of the year, two of them are slated to take place in the United States, with the K-1 World Grand Prix Finals happening in New York City on December 26th, for the first time outside of Japan. The recent fracturing of the Kickboxing world has left talent scattered between K-1 and GLORY or in the middle of a legal limbo with contracts with both It’s Showtime (which Glory acquired) and K-1. The names that K-1 has been announcing might not be captivating the old K-1 fans like they’d wish, but the real question right now is; does that matter?

K-1 has the unique opportunity to start anew with this television deal on Spike TV. Yes, K-1 does have a rich history and there are a lot of legendary fighters who helped build the brand to be what it is today, but at the beginning of this year, EMCOM became the new owners of K-1 and the team in charge of operations is entirely new. For the UFC, Spike TV served as a savior of sorts, giving them a chance to show off their unique product and even developed a reality show which helped appeal to a broader audience and push MMA to the masses unlike ever before. There is a good chance that K-1 has a very similar opportunity with Spike TV, and that it might be time to stop turning to the past.

If there ever was a time to build K-1 up with a different format, different approach and with different stars, right now is it. Many of us are certain that some of the fighters on the K-1 Los Angeles show are not going to be the new stars that they are looking for. Rick Roufus, Mighty Mo and Seth Petruzelli have all had their time in the spotlight in one place or another, and this time might not be their time to shine. Instead, K-1 has signed a few new fighters that will participate on the card, including Jarrell Miller, Jack May, Randy Blake, Xavier Vigney, Justin Greskiewicz and more. These fighters, and possibly others, could be the names that truly impress and help re-launch K-1.

As much as we all love the one-night tournament format and the fighters that made K-1 what it is today, it might be time to simply let go of the K-1 of the past. There is a good chance that the “Japanese production” style could also be one of the relics of the past that is not needed to make K-1 a success in the United States, with that possibly deterring new fans due to the spectacle nature with less focus on the sport itself. Time can only tell what will work and what K-1 will ultimately do with this new television deal, but what is clear is that they have a very big opportunity placed in their laps right now, and that failure would probably mean the end of K-1.

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Gabriel Varga Out of K-1 USA vs. China Event

  • Published in K-1

GLORY fighter Gabriel Varga was set to compete at the K-1 USA vs. China event on January 1st in China but it looks like all of that has gone up in smoke over the past day. Varga is reporting on having visa issues. Upon entering China they found that he did not have the proper paperwork to enter the country, which meant that he had to turn around and go right back home to Canada. 

Definitely a bit of a bummer for those looking forward to seeing Varga fight. The good news is that there are no other issues as of press time with the event and it should go off without a hitch. We'll keep you posted on any further news for the K-1 China vs. USA event.

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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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Live Stream for WGP #22 Tonight

  • Published in Kickboxing

Today at 8pm Eastern time WGP Kickboxing in Brazil will present WGP#22 live via internet PPV. You will be able to view the event for $10 via their website or by purchasing the event below. The card is as follows.

Under Card

K1 Rules (64.5 kg): Samuel Pereira vs Wellington Lopes

K1 Rules (71.800 kg): Fabiano “Mineiro” Silva vs Marcelo Dionisio

WAKO PRO Brazilian Title - Low Kicks (66.800 kg): Valmir Theiss vs Édipo Herbert Lima 

Main Card

60kg GP Semi-Final - K1 Rules (60 kg): Ignacio Capllonch (ARG) vs Gustavo Piacentini (BRA) 

60kg GP Semi-Final - K1 Rules (60 kg): Rafael “Coruja” Xavier vs Paulo Tebar

WAKO PRO Brazilian Title - Low Kicks (69.100 kg): Wellington Tom vs Bruno Gazani

WAKO PRO Brazilian Title - Low Kicks (94,100 kg): Wallyson “Maguila” Carvalho vs Felipe Micheletti

WAKO PRO Brazilian Title - Low Kicks (85 kg): Francisco Araújo vs Cesar Almeida 

60kg GP Finals - K1 Rules (60 kg): Winner Fight 1 x Winner Fight 2

K1 Rules (85 kg): Robert Thomas (CAN) x Alex “Po Atan” Pereira (BRA)

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K-1 World Grand Prix Final 16 Rumored for Japan

  • Published in K-1

K-1

The K-1 Open Tryouts in Los Angeles were on Thursday, on top of that, tickets for the K-1 Los Angeles event were released. If that feels like a deluge of information about K-1, it is, but be prepared for more. On top of that, it appears that there is a rumor about the K-1 World Grand Prix Final 16. According to Fightsite.hr, the news has come from Mirko Cro Cop's management that Cro Cop will be participating in the Final 16 in Japan on the 14th of October. Apparently, December in New York is the projected date for the K-1 World Grand Prix Finals.

Still nothing official yet, or a card for the Los Angeles event, but according to sources there should be announcement in short order from K-1 with more news. Stay tuned, as always. [source]

UPDATE: Douglas Kaplan has confirmed the date of October 14 for the World Grand Prix Final 16.

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