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Schilling vs. Kato II Headlining Bellator's Second Kickboxing Card

When Joe Schilling initially made the move to Bellator MMA's middleweight division many saw this as his opportunity to break out and really make a name for himself. His debut came against Melvin Manhoef in what was a crazy brawl of a fight that ended with Schilling knocking Manhoef out in spectacular fashion. Joe Schilling had arrived. His next fight against Rafael Carvalho saw Schilling demonstrate some of the grappling that he had been working on to spruce up his MMA game, but ultimately the judges gave the fight to Carvalho, which was not without some controversy. 

His next fight was against Hisaki Kato in Kato's Bellator debut in a fight that many saw as a foregone conclusion. The only problem was that no one told Kato that. Kato scored a rather crazy superman punch against Schilling, putting Schilling down and out. Interestingly enough, the superman punch has been one of Schilling's signature moves in the kickboxing realm, it being the punch that put down Artem Levin in their first meeting back at GLORY 10, leading to Schilling's big tournament victory. Since the June loss to Kato Schilling has been competing in kickboxing, working his way through the remainder of his GLORY contract with wins over Jason Wilnis and Mike Lemaire followed by a loss to Wilnis at the recent GLORY 30.

This past weekend it was announced that Bellator was setting up Hisaki Kato vs. Joe Schilling II, but that interestingly enough, it would headline Bellator's second kickboxing event. That event is set to take place directly following Bellator MMA: Dynamite 2 on June 24th. 

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Absolutely Do Not Push Takeru While He's Wearing His K-1 Championship

K-1 Japan has another, star-studded and most likely knockout-filled card approaching on the 24th of June, featuring a 65kg tournament. Also featured on the card will be K-1 -55kg Champion Takeru taking on Ozawa Kaito. At a recent press conference for the event both men stared down and Kaito decided to get cute with Takeru. Takeru is, of course, a beautiful, violent soul, which is to say that it didn't work out too well. Here's the thing, don't come at Takeru while he's wearing his belt.

Apparently he's kind of invincible while wearing it, because this one-handed judo takedown is just a thing of beauty.

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Changes to the GLORY 31 SuperFight Series

Hot on the heels of the announcement that Iman Barlow was pulling out of the GLORY Super Bantamweight tournament and, subsequently, her bout on June 25th at GLORY 31's SuperFight Series, GLORY has released a revised fight card for the GLORY 31 SuperFight Series. Filling in for Iman Barlow will be reserve fighter Irina Mazepa. Another big change comes to the headline bout of the card, originally slated to be a GLORY Light Heavyweight Championship bout between Mourad Bouzidi challenging champion Artem Vakhitov. 

Vakhitov has been forced to pull out thanks to an injury that he suffered in training and instead Zack Mwekassa will be stepping in to fight Mourad Bouzidi. 

GLORY 31 SuperFight Series

Light Heavyweight Headline Bout: Zack Mwekassa vs. Mourad Bouzidi

Lightweight Co-Headline Bout: Josh Jauncey vs. Anatoly Moiseev

Featherweight Bout: Mosab Amrani vs. Eddy Naït-Slimani

Super Bantamweight Bout: Isis Verbeek vs. Irina Mazepa

Welterweight Bout: Máximo Suarez vs. Eyevan Danenberg

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Iman Barlow Pulls Out Of GLORY Super Bantamweight Tournament

Interesting update following the announcement of the GLORY Super Bantamweight Tournament, as one of the bigger names that was signed has already pulled out. That name is Iman Barlow, the UK-based fighter known as one of the best in the world. Her statement via Facebook points towards a lack of communication.

Unfortunately I have come to a decision that I am not going to be part of the Glory tournament. I was asked to fight on Glory 25th June to which I said Yes. I then later find out via social media that it was a tournament which is above my fight weight class. This was bad communication, I was never told it was at 55.5 or more than one bout. I can not commit to this as I have other commitments to fulfil. I would and am willing to fight Tiffany (as I know many want to see this fight) after the tournament if they want in a one off

Fight, but without signing a long confusing contract. I wish everyone in it the best of luck and I hope it's a great success for Glory. It's an amazing opportunity but for me just came across at the wrong time. 

I hope you all understand.Thanks X

So, according to Barlow, she didn't know the weight class that she was supposed to be competing in, didn't know that it was a tournament and it seems like she didn't understand that the contract with GLORY was a longer term one and not just one fight. This all feels like strange oversight considering how the tournament came together. Possibly her and her team agreeing to a deal without weighing deals she already had in place? Especially considering just the other day she posted a screenshot of the GLORY rankings (with the weight clearly listed) celebrating her #1 spot, she seemed excited about fighting in GLORY and being atop of their division.

This wouldn't be the first false-start that GLORY has seen with well-known muay thai fighters. GLORY had initially announced signing muay thai phenom Kevin Ross only for his previous contract with Lion Fight ultimately getting in the way. Here's to hoping that this gets worked out in the near future and that we're able to see more of Iman Barlow in the near future.

We've reached out to GLORY for comment.

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Ratings Up for GLORY 30 on ESPN2

After a few disappointing performances for GLORY replays on ESPN2, GLORY 30 came back with stronger numbers. Maybe, in part, thanks to the appearance on ESPN SportsCenter late in the week featuring CEO Jon J. Franklin, Simon Marcus, Dustin Jacoby and Tiffany van Soest. Regardless, GLORY 30 aired on Sunday evening and the numbers were up. 

GLORY 30 on ESPN2 averaged 209,000 viewers at a 9pm time slot for the welterweight tournament, the incredible headkick knockout from Marat Grigorian and Simon Marcus defending his GLORY Middleweight Championship against Dustin Jacoby. [source]

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Badr Hari Released on Bail After Weekend Arrest in Morocco

While initial reports as to the situation with Badr Hari in Morocco were foggy at best, further information was released today by the press. Badr Hari was indeed arrested on this weekend in Morocco at the Casablanca airport, but he was not flying to Brussels, instead he was flying from Brussels and was detained upon landing in his home country. The reason behind the arrest was the assault in Marrakesh the previous month. The arrest also happened on Saturday, not Thursday.

Hari has been released on bail and it looks like the kickboxing bad boy has indeed found himself in trouble yet again, contrary to friends and fans persistence that the media was somehow trying to make Hari look bad yet again. 

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GLORY 32 Virginia Featuring Adamchuk vs. Varga II

GLORY continues to march forward with their 2016, while GLORY 31 might be the next show, GLORY 32 takes place on July 22nd in Virginia, featuring a GLORY Featherweight Championship rematch between the new champion Serhiy Adamchuk and former champion Gabriel Varga. Varga lost the title at GLORY 25 to Adamchuk in what was a closely-contested bout that saw its fair share of controversy. Hopefully the rematch between the two is a bit cleaner when it comes to the action.

Varga will definitely be motivated to take his title back while Adamchuk is coming off of a defense of his title over Mosab Amrani at GLORY 28 and stepping in on late notice to fight Mohammed El Mir at Lightweight at GLORY 29 just one month later. 

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GLORY Announces Women's Super Bantamweight Division and Grand Prix

Today in Los Angeles at a press conference streamed live to the world via Facebook GLORY announced that they would be creating a Women's Super Bantamweight division, the weight at which Tiffany Van Soest fights. It makes sense considering the signing of Van Soest. They've announced a Super Bantamweight Grand Prix, which Van Soest vs. Hasshass is the first quarterfinal bout in said tournament. The second fight will be at GLORY 31 Amsterdam as Isis Verbeek takes on Iman Barlow.

The addition of Barlow is perhaps the other biggest bit of news as she can easily be considered one of the best female fighters in the world. In fact, Steven Wright ranked her as the #2 pound-for-pound woman in the world right now. GLORY has built a ten-woman division, with future match-ups being Zoila Frausto vs. Daniela Graf and Amel Dehby vs. Ji Waen-Lee, while Ferial Ameeroedien vs. Irina Mazepa will serve as the reserve fight.

There are some solid names in there for the division and hopefully this takes off in a big way. You can watch the full announcement below.

We're thrilled to announce a new division with a Grand Prix tournament, tune in LIVE!

Posted by GLORY Kickboxing on Thursday, May 12, 2016

 

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Badr Hari Detained In Casablanca Airport, Subsequently Released

Badr Hari is once again snatching headlines out of thin air, this time due to an arrest in Casablanca, Morocco. While the reason for the arrest has yet to be released, chances are it has something to do with the recent assault that Hari committed in Marrakesh, Morocco where a waiter was attacked for bringing the kickboxing superstar a glass of vodka and not a bottle. 

Reports claim that Hari was at the airport, departing for the Netherlands when he was detained. No reason has been released yet, but the speculation is that it's related to the late April incident. Badr Hari has been in the news again when renewed interest in a possible bout between GLORY Heavyweight Champion Rico Verhoeven and Badr Hari surfaced, with both men accepting the fight and simply looking to find an appropriate home for it. Verhoeven is currently in a negotiation period with GLORY for a new contract, which slows things down a bit, although the promotion has hoped to deliver the Hari fight for Verhoeven as a part of an offer.

If this arrest leads to anything more serious the chances of Badr Hari fighting Verhoeven drop from an already improbable range to practically zero. Here's looking at you, kid.

UPDATE: Unsurprisingly, he was released after a period of time. Apparently he was also flying to Brussels, not the Netherlands and his people are fervently saying that he wasn't arrested, simply "questioned."]

UPDATE: The same site that initially reported this news had a followup that went into further detail, explaining that the arrest was done quietly in the airport and pertained to the recent assault involving Badr Hari.

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