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Cat Von C Went to TaKe On in Atlantic City

  • Published in Americas

I've got to admit the idea of hopping on a Greyhound bus and traveling to Atlantic City has never been on my top ten list of things I'm really interested in doing before I die. Actually it has never even been on my list of things to ever contemplate doing in my life. I would have probably thrown going to Atlantic City on my list of things I'll be happy to never do. Fortunately my good buddy Bauzen used some jedi mind trickery and dangled some Catvonc style kryptonite in front of my face and convinced me to cash in some travel vouchers and head to the Jersey shore for the weekend. I say fortunately because had Bauzen not exploited my weakness I might not have gone out of my way to attend what in my opinion was one of the most well run, classiest and amazing combat sports events I've ever attended.

The show that Take On Productions, in association with MSG Sports puts on is a well oiled machine and I can only hope they continue to grow and their show is able to expand throughout the country. From the local favorite talented ring announcer Larry Legend to MuayThaiislife.com owner Eric Rivera handling the fight commentary, to the promotors and fighters-this is a professional and entertaining show. I know from personal experience, we've got nothing that even comes close to their level of production quality here in Atlanta. Take On's event truly made me fall deeper in lust with the sport of Muay Thai and if you ever have the opportunity to go to one of their shows I say you had better jump on it. I'm not even mad that I somehow lost an earring, a ring, a phone charger and a flat iron in the post fight celebrations. I'll blame all of that on sharing too many watermelon rock rancher drinks with Bauzen's girlfriend.

The West Coast has always boasted about having the creme de la creme of Muay Thai fighters on American soil but I think the gyms on the East Coast are ready to give them a run for their money. Gyms like Sitan NY, Phil Nurse's The Wat, Cool Hearts from Philly and Boston Muay Thai just to name a few-have trained and assembled crews of skilled and exciting fighters that combat sport junkies need to start paying close attention to. From the ammy fights to the pro debuts and full rules title fights-there was not one moment where I felt the action was lagging. Here's some of the highlights of the night:

Amateur fight Rich Brattole of Weapons 9/Strategic Combat Gym vs Tim Scmeier of Sitan NY

These guys were both obviously not used to wearing headgear, which is a New Jersey athletic commission rule and not a requirement where the fighters normally fight in their home state of NY, but despite that they went to war with each other trading blows back and forth for the entire 3 round contest.

Amateur fight Caitlyn Dempsey of Impact Martial Arts vs Christina Rodriguez of Girl Fight MMA NJ

The ladies brought the first blood of the evening and the first extremely loud crowd response of the night. Caitlyn Dempsey won her debut fight and the crowd erupted in excitement.

Amateur fight Tianna Urman of The Wat vs Prarie Ruglio of Girl Fight MMA

Prarie came at Tianna Urman raging with unrelenting fists for one full minute before her right hand shut Urman down for good. Girl Fight MMA fans in the crowd went absolutely bonkers and let's be honest, Bauzen had a momentary fear of being trampelled by a mass of angry lesbians.

Main event Justin Greskiewicz of Cool Hearts Muay Thai Philly vs Eddie Martinez of Sitan Gym NY

Another really great fight featuring one of the Sitan gym fighters Eddie Martinez versus the always fun to watch purple haired Justin Greskiewicz. Justin took full advantage of the NJ elbow allowance and used those along with some kicks and punching combos to take the very close split decision win over Eddie Martinez.

Pro fight Jay Matias of Sitan Gym NY vs Jake Mainini of Boston Muay Thai

Saving the best for last here-this was the pro debut for both of these fighters and most of the media in attendance agree it was hands down the fight of the night. These two stole the show and put on an amazing display of technical and precise Muay Thai from round one all the way to the end of the fifth round and never once looked fatigued. Jay Matias gave the crowd a show that they will talk about for years afterwards with his arsenal of kicks and unrelenting combinations that ultimately won him the unanimous decision over an also very skilled Mainini. Here's a small video clip from this fan favorite fight to help fill your hungry Muay Thai bellies.

I know right now you are sitting there dying to watch the rest of that fight. As a matter of fact, I'm certain you want to watch the whole event and you are now angrily axe kicking your little sister into your mom's plastic covered couch because you missed out on all the action this weekend. Well calm down and stop being an angry bully. You can go check out the whole event on GFL.tv right now. The full event results on TakeOnProductions.com and don't forget to follow TakeOn Muay Thai on Twitter and like them on Facebook for all the information you are going to need about their upcoming shows.

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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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Legacy Fighting Delving Into Kickboxing This January

  • Published in Kickboxing

We heard about this earlier this summer when Legacy Fighting, best known for their MMA offerings on AXS TV, announced that they'd be dipping their toes into the kickboxing waters come 2015. Now Legacy has announced their first kickboxing card is coming on January 16th in Houston, Texas. They will be looking to make a big splash by booking Cosmo Alexandre to headline their first kickboxing card, which should be interesting. Here is the card thus far.

Cosmo Alexandre vs. Regian Eersel

Michael Corley vs. Marco Pique

Valentina Schevchenko vs. Lindsay Haycraft

We'll let you know when we know more.

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Programming Note: Peter Graham Fights Cheick Kongo Tomorrow Night in Bellator

  • Published in Kickboxing

Graham

If you would have told me in 2006 that Peter Graham would be fighting in MMA regularly and that he'd not only do okay, but do pretty well, I'd probably not believe you. Not because Peter Graham isn't an awesome fighter, but because I just couldn't imagine the man behind the Rolling Thunder navigating the waters of wrestling and jiu-jitsu. Peter has always been known as an exciting, no-nonsense fighter who isn't afraid to pull out all of the stops.

Well, here we are in 2013 and the 38 year old Graham is making a serious go at Heavyweight MMA as he'll fight his second fight under the Bellator banner this Friday night against none other than Cheick Kongo. Kongo is himself known for being an exciting striker with a Kickboxing past, but then again, he doesn't have a KO win over Badr Hari with a Rolling Thunder, now does he? Graham's hard work and dedication to MMA have shown in his recent MMA outings, with him picking up a decision victory over Eric Prindle in his Bellator debut. He also isn't at all deterred from Kongo's size or reputation.

"I know who Cheick Kongo is but I haven't followed his career. He's been a great athlete for a long time. He's got a bit of kickboxing and wrestling skill. It'll be a good fight and I'm ready to go. I hope he doesn't underestimate me. I know he's been famous and had a big name for a while and, when it comes to MMA, I'm somewhat of a newcomer. I've come from the worst record to one of the best heavyweight win streaks there's been. I went from going 1-6 to 9 wins a row with 8 of them being KO's over some really good fighters. I want to get to the top and I'm not there yet, but I'm relentless. He needs to bring his A-game, which I'm sure he will. He's got that inner strength to keep going but I have it more than ever and I've worked harder than ever to make every performance better than the last."

Now if only we could see a Rolling Thunder in the Bellator cage, I'd be a happy, happy man.

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This Glory 10 Promo Will Pump You Up

  • Published in Glory

Glory

GLORY 10 Los Angeles is set for September 28th, which for most of us, feels very far away. It will feature a one-night, four-man tournament at 187lbs featuring some of the best in the business and of course, there will be some incredible super fights to top it off. If you've yet to get the fever for Glory 10 you should definitely check out this promo video that they released today, as it should be able to help a little bit.

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Does Tim Sylvia Get What He's Getting Into Against Jerome Le Banner?

  • Published in Kickboxing

While it is understood that Tim Sylvia has participated in IGF's brand of professional wrestling before and probably has an understand of what to expect, Tim Sylvia's last IGF match was against Josh Barnett. Josh Barnett is a rare example of a MMA fighter who went ahead and learned the art of pro wrestling and participated in pro wrestling for the past few years outside of his MMA obligations. To be brief, Barnett knows how to work with an untrained wrestler and make sure that they don't get hurt.

Jerome Le Banner, who Tim Sylvia will step into the ring against, is a different story. Jerome's run in IGF has involved some absolute maulings. The line between fake and reality is blurred when JLB steps into the ring and starts raining down blows. Sure, he'll pull as many as he can, but when he hits, he hits, and hard. I guess the question is, will this bout remain civil and planned, or will having two professional fighters without a lot of professional wrestling experience end up in two guys trying to legitimately beat each other up? Watch JLB's bout from July against Erik Hammer and decide for yourself.

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More Changes to It's Showtime 57&58 on June 30th

IS

The It's Showtime card on June 30th has been a victim to the summer injury bug that MMA fans know all too well, especially Canadian UFC fans looking forward to UFC 149 (like Rian Scalia). A number of fighters on the It's Showtime event have had to drop out due to injuries or recent knockouts and being unable to receive medical clearance to fight. Then there is the case of Jerome Le Banner, who has been removed from the event completely due to some contractual situations, rumored to be his exclusive contract with Glory Sports International.

Rustemi Kreshnik will be filling in for Le Banner against Mourad Bouzidi, in a rematch where Bouzidi got the better of Kreshnik last time. We've already reported that Daniel Ghita's new opponent is Dzevad Poturak, in another series of unfortunate replacements for Ghita over the past few months. They have met twice before, with Poturak getting the better of a younger Ghita years ago, but many are sure that Poturak will not have that same luck again. Harut Grigorian was unable to receive medical clearance to fight, so he will be replaced by Hafid el Boustati against Robin van Roosmalen.

You can see the rest of the finalized card here.

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Benjamin Adegbuyi vs. Jamal Ben Saddik Set for GLORY 14

  • Published in Glory

GLORY 14

GLORY held a press conference in Zagreb today with promoter Orsat Zovko, Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic and Remy Bonjasky to hype up the upcoming GLORY 14 Zagreb event. This was some standard fare stuff, but the big takeaway from the press conference was that they've announced a Heavyweight showdown that has some serious implications for a lot of fans out there. GLORY has announced that Benjamin Adegbuyi will make his debut for the promotion against Jamal Ben Saddik.

If that doesn't sound odd to you, let me break it down for you. Benjamin Adegbuyi is under contract to SuperKombat and is currently one of their best prospects. SuperKombat has been looking to get Adegbuyi some fights outside of their organization and made a plea to both K-1 and GLORY last year and it looks like they've come to a deal with GLORY. This is great for Adegbuyi who will be able to go up against top competition in GLORY, this in turn helps SuperKombat as one of their fighters is getting a big bump like this.

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Video: Masato vs. KID Yamamoto II From Kyokugen

  • Published in Video

Rizin FF has come and gone, there was some insanity there for sure, but there are always other New Year's Eve shows in Japan and one of those shows was Kyokugen. Kyokugen was a variety show on TBS in Japan that decided to throw together a dream fight. That dream fight was Masato vs. KID Yamamoto. Masato has been retired for a while now and KID Yamamoto is under contract to the UFC still, so the chances of them having an actual fight was slim-to-none.

Instead they had an exhibition, which was legal under KID's contract. KID, who has taken on quite a few new tattoos since his last appearance fighting on Japanese television, was forced to fight with a rash guard on due to Japan's broadcast laws against such yakuza-ish things. That being said, this still happened and damn is it cool to watch. 

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GLORY 12 Interview: Wayne Barrett Ready for War

  • Published in Glory

Glory 12

Our friends at GLORY have given us a sneak peak at a video interview that they are going to be releasing later on in the week from GLORY 12 New York headliner Wayne Barrett. Barrett will have the unenviable task of squaring off against GLORY 10 Middleweight Champion Joe Schilling in what is definitely the fight of his young career thus far. Barrett seems focused and like he's done everything that he can to prepare for Schilling, but we won't know what that means until fight day.

So fine LiverKick.com readers, check out this video which you can view exclusively on LiverKick until, you know, it's released to the public.

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