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Interviews (103)

Getting to know Reece McAllister

Considered by many to be the UK's top fighter at 67kg, Reece McAllister enters this weekends Topking World Series 70kg tournament as the youngest competitor in the field. At only 22 years of age, McAllister is already extremely experienced with over 40 professional bouts to his credit. McAllister plans on making a statement with his performance against Vladimir Konsky this weekend and is ready to prove himself as one of the premier lightweights in the world.

McAllister will be looking to add to an already excellent year, where he is currently 3-0 thus far. He started the year off the year by defeating the always game Tim Thomas in a rematch of their Glory 5 bout, McAllister defeated Thomas for the second time by decision. He followed up the performance with two second round finishes against Jackson Barkhouse and Dragan Pesic, claiming the WMC World title and the inaugural K1ngs of Glory 67kg strap respectively. 

I sat down with Reece ahead of his bout on Saturday and discussed everything from the fight this weekend, his martial arts journey and his plans for the future.

JS: Good afternoon Reece. This Saturday you'll be facing Vladimir Konsky in the first round of the tournament, where do you see yourself having advantages in this fight?

RM: Hi Jack. Coming into this fight I consider my youth to be a big advantage. I also think my skills are more diverse in comparison to my opponent and I have a much superior camp behind me. I am very hungry coming into this fight.

JS: If you're successful Saturday night is there anyone specifically you'd like to face in the next round?

RM: No there is not anyone specifically I would want to face in the next round as they are all great fighters and I believe I have the skills to beat anyone in the tournament.

JS: Who would you consider to be the favorites in the tournament?

RM: I would say Buakaw is probably considered to be one of the favorites.

JS: Speaking of Buakaw. He was involved in a rather controversial bout against Enriko Kehl  a few weeks back. Did you watch the bout  and what did you think of it?

RM: Kehl had a great performance in that fight but I still think Buakaw deserved the win. It was still bad sportsmanship by Buakaw to walkout and not finish the fight.

JS: I've been following your career for sometime and this year especially you seem to be increasingly more aggressive in your performances. What are the reasons for this?

RM: My increased aggression is  because I'm so hungry to be at the top now.  Having my daughter has driven me even more to be the best, I fight for her now.

JS: Lets talk a little about your martial arts background. You began training in Muay Thai when you were 9, who did you look up to when you were younger?

RM: I have always looked up to my Dad, not just in Muay Thai but also in life too. He was a great fighter himself and has been a great role model to me. 

JS: Throughout your teens you spent a lot of time training and competing in Thailand, have you visited recently or do you have any current plans to?

RM: I haven't visited recently as my daughter is still young but as soon as she is old enough that's a place we'll be visiting for sure.

JS: For someone only 22 years of age you’re already very experienced and well-traveled. Where’s been your favorite location to compete thus far and where’d you like to compete where you haven’t already?

RM: Throughout my career I have had some amazing experiences and traveled to some amazing places so it would be really hard to say just one place out of them all. As for a place I would like to fight in the future, I would really like to compete in China and hopefully I will be visiting there soon!

JS: We've so far seen you compete twice in Glory, when do you plan on competing for them again?

RM: I don't have any fights planned at the moment in Glory but you will see me compete in Glory again. 

JS: A former opponent of yours Steve Moxon fights the aforementioned Buakaw in the main event on Saturday. Is a rematch with Moxon something that is on your radar at the moment?

RM: I definitely want a rematch with Steve Moxon but that time will come, it doesn't matter to me whether it is in 3 fights time or 10 fights time.

JS: This will be your fourth fight in 2014, do you have any other bouts scheduled?

RM: With this tournament being so close to the end of the year I have put everything into this as I really want to make my mark on the division, so I have nothing else scheduled as I plan on winning this tournament.

JS: What’s the plan for 2015?

RM:I have a few fights in the pipeline that have not been confirmed yet but if it all goes to plan 2015 is going to be a big year for me. 

JS: Thank you very much for your time Reece, is there anyone you'd like to thank?

RM: Thank you Jack, I would like to say a massive thank you to all my sponsors who have helped me with my journey. Toxic Fight wear, Auckland Castles, International Waste Metals, Sheltee Industrial Maintenance, North East Spa Hire, DNA Utilities and CB Constructions RedLand Therapy.

Topking World Series host their second event on Saturday the 16th of November from the Velodrome National in Paris, France.

You can watch the event in its entirety from www.epicentre.tv for the small price of just $15.

 

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Josh Jauncey Still Self-Critical After GLORY 18 Win

It'd be weird to make Jay write an article about Josh, right? If you were somehow unaware, yeah, Jay Jauncey is indeed Josh's brother and trainer, so it felt weird to make him write about an interview done by their bud Carlo with Josh considering that Jay is in the video helping remove the tape from Josh's gloves along with their father, Vincent.

The opening of the video is interesting because you see Josh get untaped while GLORY's Ivan Farneti talks about possibly booking a Canadian event while Jon Bier and his marvelous beard talks about complications, to give you some insight as to what goes on behind those closed doors. Josh is still uber-critical of himself after what was a solid performance (hopefully the SuperFight Series videos are public soon), but it's cool to know that most of these guys are just as critical of themselves even on their best nights just like I'm critical of myself on my good nights. 

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Saulo Cavalari Talks About Being GLORY's #1 Light Heavyweight Contender

It's safe to say that Saulo Cavalari had a good night at GLORY 18. He walked away with two big ones, one over the tournament-favorite Danyo Ilunga and the other a picturesque headkick KO over the much-hyped Zack Mwekassa. 

Outside of being a naturally super nice guy (he tied our camera-dude Carlo's shoe for him and saw seen giving Shar's mom a few pecks on the cheek), Saulo is a scary dude inside of the ring and he talks about his two huge victories at GLORY 18 with us. He has a lot to talk about and sure, he might seem scary, but he's really a nice dude, okay?

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Glory 18: Liverkick Exclusive Post-Fight Interview with Robin van Roosmalen

After an astounding performance against GLORY Lightweight Champion Davit Kiria at GLORY 18 Robin van Roosmalen walked away from Oklahoma with the ability to call himself the GLORY Lightweight Champion. There was but one moment where things looked bleak for van Roosmalen, but he was able to recover and control the remainder of the fight.

Our cameras caught up with van Roosmalen after his win and he talked about the fight, including that one moment where he let his guard down and found himself down on the mat. Van Roosmalen also talks about what the future might hold for the newly-crowned GLORY Lightweight Champion.

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Glory 18: Liverkick Exclusive Post-Fight Interview with Hesdy Gerges

Hesdy Gerges was not very happy about the judges decision on his fight with Benjamin Adegbuyi this weekend. He felt he did enough to win rounds 1 and 3 at least with his pressure, and low kicks. A few people I was with during the fights agreed with Gerges as well and they thought he had won handily so I can see his frustration. Hesdy always seems to have crappy luck, first with the Badr head stomp, then the Ben Saddik head stomp, and now with the judges, I feel for the guy but hes always a wicked fighter to watch and one of the best heavyweights around, hopefully he can catch a break soon, he deserves it.

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Glory 18: Liverkick Exclusive Post-Fight Interview with Benjamin Adegbuyi

Benjamin Adegbuyi came away with the decision victory in a hard fought battle with Dutch veteran Hesdy Gerges at Glory 18. This fight was a close one in my eyes and it really was depending on what the judges were looking for. Gerges was walking forward putting pressure on Adegbuyi while throwing lots and lots of low kicks at the same time Benny was throwing big punches and high kicks which was pleasing the crowd and obviously the judges on this one. Adegbuyi was throwing some huge bombs to the body of Hesdy and to be fair I've always wondered why people don't hit Hesdy's body more since his hands are always high, but I got my answer, body punches don't seem to have any effect on Gerges at all.

Anyway, Benny hints to us that there maybe  a possible title fight in the near future for him, and I'm looking forward to that, as I believe Benjamin has what it takes to win the belt.

 

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Glory 18: Liverkick Exclusive Post-Fight Interview with Brian Collette

We managed to get a few words from American Light heavyweight Brian Collette about what he thought went wrong in his fight against Zack Mwekassa. Collette tells us he really didn't feel himself, his trainers also told us at the event that even his warm up seemed flat footed. It seems Collette's mind was not in the right place before or during the fight this time. He actually wasn't doing too badly at the start of the fight, but as soon as he started standing still in front of Mwekassa things took a bad turn, not to mention Zack's jab looked as hard as other peoples right hand which Collette admits was a bit surprising.

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Glory 18: Liverkick Exclusive Post-Fight Interview with Robert Thomas

Canadian middleweight Robert Thomas had a fantastic performance against Mike Lemaire this weekend on Glory 18's Super Fight Series. He started off a little slow due to his traditional Thai background, but in the 3rd when he finally let his hands go it was a thing of beauty. He had already softened Lemaire up with hard right knees to the body, then he came in with a hook to the body then hook to the head combo followed by a perfect right high kick to drop Lemaire. Once Lemaire was up Thomas followed up with a hand combination finishing with a short right that finished Lemaire off leaving him draped on the ropes.
We were lucky enough to get a quick chat with a happy Thomas after his 3rd round KO.

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Benjamin Adegbuyi Takes Umbrage with Hesdy Gerges, Ready to Throw Down

GLORY 18 is beginning in just an hour and a half on Spike TV, which means that the SuperFight Series is going down right now. The fight headlining that SuperFight Series is Benjamin Adegbuyi vs. Hesdy Gerges in a battle for Heavyweight supremacy. Earlier today we spoke with Hesdy Gerges, who felt that he had the upperhand due to not only his experience, but Benny's lack of skills. 

When we caught up with Adegbuyi he was less-than-pleased to hear that. In fact, he seemed pretty ticked off. You don't want to give Benjamin Adegbuyi a chance to see red towards you, man, you just don't. Benny also kind of points that that there isn't much to do in Oklahoma. 

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A Look at Hesdy Gerges Leading into GLORY 18

Whenever I want to talk about the "Real" in kickboxing, I have a go to guy and that person is Thom Harinck. Yes, I know, not your average person, but someone who I trust and who trusts me with many of the secrets and stories of this long held tradition. It would only be natural then, that on the occasion of meeting Hesdy Gerges that I would consult Thom, after all, he trained with Hesdy for many years and probably has, or at least I thought, a very good interpretation of his persona both in and out of the ring. So, on the verge of interviewing Hesdy, Thom had this to say :

SW: Is he a hard worker?

TH: Yes, he is very committed. It doesn't matter how long it takes for him to learn something, he does it until he performs correctly. He also is very positive for other fighters because when he comes into the gym, he gives everything, so they look up to him which I think is good. Basically, no matter what is going on he tries, he is not afraid to be hit, he continues to punch and put forth his effort.

So this is the background and the effort he puts forth. With a career record of 59 wins, Hesdy has met and challenged many of the biggest names in kickboxing today including, Semmy Schilt, Badr Hari, Daniel Ghita, Ruslan Karaev and others. Even in the fights that he has not won, this 30 year old fighter has performed in spectacular fashion.

Ahead of Glory 18 Hesdy, now a member of Vos Gym, had not much to say about his upcoming fight with Benny Adegbuyi. Not known for trash talk in general, Hesdy stated that he had a great deal of respect for his opponent but, that the truth would be shown in the ring. Most recently off a disqualification victory over Jamal Ben Saddik, Hesdy appeared not worried about this fight, this is the work he's done his entire life, and what he plans to do for several years to come.

Saturday, November 7, 2014, the former It's Showtime Champion is set to face off with the Romanian, Benny Adegbuyi. This is a battlefield with which both men are familiar, although Hesdy has more experience, he also acknowledged the the skills of his opponent. " Benny is big", he stated,"in many respects very similar to me, he has good style, he's strong, but I can beat him". Both men have fought in SuperKombat, both men have faced difficult opponents, Hesdy, however, has had the opportunity to prove himself again and again in an arena not for the faint of heart. With more than fifty professional fights under his belt, Hesdy has had time, time to make mistakes, learn from them and time to take himself to a different level and continue to evolve with the sport. With no disrespect to his opponent, Hesdy acknowledges that he has more experience, more than fifteen years he's dedicated to the sport. He, like some of his peers came to the sport as a result of behavior that may have otherwise led to life in a different and more confined arena. What set him apart from some of the peers he left behind, however, was a growing love for the sport and the ability to discipline himself to finally achieve what he has today.

In a game where anyone can be king for a day, Hesdy is calculated in his strategies inside the ring. His plan for this fight, well, that's not known, but what Hesdy is known for is striking, defense and strength, both mentally and physically, to impose his will over his opponent.

Beyond life in the gym, Hesdy spoke of the desire to look toward a life with his family, his children, and whatever comes beyond the ring. He speaks as a realist with the knowledge that his opportunities as a fighter will not last forever so perhaps his skill to inspire those coming after him will be something that he will work toward in his future by owning a gym. For now, however, Hesdy recognizes his place among the top ranked fighters in the world and has a plan to seize that opportunity. Speaking less of becoming the number one fighter, Hesdy's focus seems to be being the best Hesdy he can be. Can anyone be better than that?

Spending twenty minutes with a fighter of this caliber is hardly enough time to capture the essence of his presence, past and future. All the same, Hesdy Gerges's name has been indelibly imprinted on the history of the sport and in the minds of those who will come after him. At Glory 18, the victor may be Hesdy, it may be Benny but there will also be Glory 19, 20 and many more after, so he's not intimidated. He is Hesdy and in the end he states, "Yes they will raise my hand." Need more be said.

 

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