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LiverKick Podcast - Volume 8: Glory Buys It's Showtime

  • Published in LK Podcast

This weekend was huge for Kickboxing. Firstly, It's Showtime promoted It's Showtime 57&58, featuring some very important fights and putting on an incredibly entertaining card. That wasn't it, though, was it? On top of that, Glory Sports International announced -- from that show -- that they had purchased It's Showtime and will absorb It's Showtime's staff and fighters into the Glory team, shaking the Kickboxing world up like never before. Rian Scalia (@rianscalia) and myself (@dvewlsh / @liverkickdotcom) talk you through what was a historic weekend for Kickboxing.

without further ado, go ahead and take a listen.

{music}podcast{/music}

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LiverKick.com Exclusive Interview with Glory's Pierre Andurand

  • Published in Interviews

AndurandIt takes more than just passion to create a successful Kickboxing promotion, sadly. If all it took was passion, I'd be running a Kickboxing organization that is without rival and would leave people in awe. No, it takes more than just passion, it takes a lot of things, with one of the most important pieces of the puzzle being money. When Glory Sports International was announced, it was clear they were embarking on the daunting journey of creating a whole new brand in a sport that has been dominated by one brand for almost twenty years now. The organization is bolstered by members of the Golden Glory team as well as the Total Sports Asia team, with one other big piece of the puzzle coming into the picture in the form of superstar investor Pierre Andurand. Pierre not only brings with him success as an investor, funding and business sense, but he also brings with him pure passion for the sport.

LiverKick.com caught up with Mr. Andurand to discuss his move into the Kickboxing world as well as what fans should be on the lookout for from Glory.

LiverKick: So you are best known for running BlueGold, an oil-oriented hedge fund, and helping to run a Kickboxing empire is a vast departure from that. What prompted you to invest in the sport of Kickboxing?

Pierre Andurand: Yes indeed it is a very different project. But being good at investing/trading is mainly about recognising good opportunities and understanding risk and reward. I think the sport of kickboxing has a lot of potential, actually, more than the other combat sports (MMA, boxing, wrestling, etc.). It is fast, technical, and very exciting. So far no organisation managed to exploit its true potential. I closed BlueGold in April this year for other reasons, and right now I am 100% focused on getting the right vision, the right team, and the right partners in GLORY. I do believe by the end of the year GLORY will not need my involvement on a full-time basis anymore, and I’ll just take a step back and let the team run the organisation, even though I will still oversee it and make sure we go in the right direction. I will remain involved in major decisions to some extent, but I will not be running the company. I am I think the right person to understand the potential, and to put the right pieces together, but I would not be the right person to run it on a day by day basis. We are putting a world-class team together.

LK: We understand that you are a big fan of Kickboxing, tell us a bit about how you got into Kickboxing; like which event was the first one that really made you a fan, which fighters caught your eye at first.

PA: I started practising martial arts about 10 years ago when I was living in Asia. I did some Muay Thai, then Shaolin Wushu, and then Muay Thai again and kick boxing. I started watching it on TV actively in 2005. The first big event I watched was the K1 WGP final in 2005. I was then hooked. It was such a great event. I love the tournament format. I was very impressed by Semmy Schilt, the way he destroyed his opponents with such ease. I was scared for them. They really looked like they didn’t have a chance. People say he has an unfair advantage being so tall, but they don’t realise that he is incredibly fast and precise for his height too, and very technical. He clearly is the man to beat, still today. I also loved Remy Bonjasky’s style, in and outside of the ring.

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Photo of the Day: Golden Glory Team Photo

  • Published in K-1

As if you ever had any doubt as to how awesome Golden Glory was, here is the Golden Glory team photograph to celebrate new years. After the break is another image of team Golden Glory all suited up.

 

 

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Whoa. Melvin Manhoef and Gokhan Saki Training Together at Mike's Gym

  • Published in Kickboxing

As a Kickboxing fan, there isn't a lot that can give me true pause anymore, but this video that surfaced of Gokhan Saki training at Mike's Gym did. Not because of the ridiculous rumors of Saki leaving Golden Glory, as we've already established that with Cor Hemmers taking on more responsibilities within the GLORY organization, he doesn't have the time to focus on his fighters, which means that Saki has decided to train at Mike's Gym while still fighting for Glory and being a part of the team. Anyway, what gave me pause was the fact that there is already video of Gokhan Saki sparring with Melvin Manhoef at Mike's Gym.

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Bas Boon Issues Statement Regarding His Beef with K-1, It's Showtime, FEG, Etc.

  • Published in Kickboxing

Bas BoonToday is an interesting day for Kickboxing news, as I wake up to see that Robin van Roosmalen, a Golden Glory fighter announced for the May 26th card in Sweden, has signed with It's Showtime and K-1 and will participate on the May 27th card for K-1 instead. This seems like the first brick of Glory's wall being ripped out, and yet another volley in the ongoing war between Simon Rutz and Bas Boon. On top of that, Bas Boon issued a statement in regards to, well, everything that has been going on. As always, Bas Boon is not afraid to name names, make wild accusations and include a lot of links to articles.

We have reached out to K-1 Global for comment and will update as soon as we hear back.

NOTE: It should be noted that this is completely Bas Boon, does not reflect LiverKick.com's opinions, beliefs or anything of the sort. It should also be mentioned that there is a section claiming that we "removed" an article. That link works, the article is still there.

Interview with Bas Boon by Tadashi Tanaka the japanese journalist who broke the story in 2006 in the Japanese magazine Shukan Gendai (Weekly Gendai) containing allegations that the Pride Fighting Championships, once the largest mixed martial arts organization in the world, was actually owned by the Yakuza, Japanese organized crime. Pride shows were dropped by Fuji TV, a major national broadcast network in Japan. Pride eventually went under".

On April 5th Tokyo time, Mr. Tanikawa issued a press release regarding the establishment of a new K-1 by K-1 Global Holdings as well as his resignation from K-1 FEG.  I will summarize what he said and point out some grave errors of fact he has made. To recap the facts:

1. Golden Glory has filed a petition in Japan to have FEG declared bankrupt

2. The petition was filed by us on March 14, 2012 in the Tokyo District Court

3. FEG is no longer financially sound, and is unable to pay its creditors, including KOI (Knockout Investments, N.V.), which is owed in excess of $1 Million. Including other parties who are also owed money by FEG the amount may exceed $30 million.

4. Despite repeated promises to pay, Mr. Tanikawa of FEG stated in writing on Feb. 9, 2012 that it has released its employees and has no funds to pay KOI.

5. Golden Glory and its fighters have suffered damages resulting from FEG’s failure to pay

6. Golden Glory has filed this petition to seek the Court’s protection to find and secure any assets of FEG which should be used to repay its creditors

7. A company called EMCOM Holdings issued an announcement dated Jan.31, 2012 that it had acquired a Hong Kong registered company called K-1 Global Holdings and had funded this company to take over the loans made by a Japanese company called Barbizon connected to Kazuyoshi Ishii. Barbizon had security for its loans to FEG, this security was over the trademarks of K-1 (owned by Ishii) and the historical K-1 fight footage (owned by FEG): http://www.hd.emcom.jp/en/pdf/20120131_002.pdf

8. As a creditor of FEG, Golden Glory is concerned that some transactions will drain FEG of its remaining assets and goodwill and leave the creditors with nothing. We hope that this bankruptcy proceeding will also lead to an opportunity to shed light on the parties and what is really going on with the K-1 brand. We just want to get our athletes paid what they are owed by K-1.

We suspect the original intention for K-1/FEG was to not pay us, so all the fighters would quit and not be under the management of Golden Glory or It's showtime anymore.

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Daniel Ghita Gives Us Insight Into K-1's Future and a Fragmented Kickboxing World

  • Published in K-1

The past few days there has been a rush of K-1 news, as the mysterious Mr. Kim has revealed himself as the head of a Chinese-based company called EMCOM, and it appears that he has finally gone through and purchased something and that whatever it is will be called K-1. The details were still foggy at best, as LiverKick had heard from a number of sources that there have been "K-1 Global Holdings Limited" fighter contracts circulating amongst fighters, but it was no clear exactly who was at the helm in regards to those contracts.

We did an interview with It's Showtime Heavyweight Champion Daniel Ghita today, and that helped to really clarify the situation and give an idea of how the Heavyweight Kickboxing landscape is going to look, and I predict that it will be messy. 

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Badr Hari's Shortcomings a Metaphor For Kickboxing as a Whole

  • Published in Kickboxing

Badr Hari (C) Dan Herbertson

Right now Badr Hari is sitting inside of his not-so-comfortable jail cell in the Netherlands facing a January court date where he’ll be tried for attempted manslaughter, and what’s funny is that Hari didn’t have to be in that jail cell. All Badr had to do was stay away from going to places that serve alcohol and not talk to any of the witnesses in his upcoming trial, and he did both, so he’s back in prison where he will stay until his court date. Badr Hari is a case of wasted potential and one of the sport’s biggest stars sitting on the sidelines due to his own terrible decisions and how no one around him took the time to explain to him the gravity of his bad decisions, that or he refused to listen.

The more I think about it, the less I’m not convinced that I’m not talking about the sport of Kickboxing as a whole. I’m not longer talking about just one fighter making poor decisions, what I’m talking about is the sport’s biggest up-and-comer pissing away his life to play gangster and tough guy. Badr Hari is the type of fighter that MMA pundits “ooh” and “ahh”ed at openly, citing his skill, demeanor and that “big fight feel” that he brought with him. He has that aura about him that most fighters can only dream of, that aura that is comparable to what Mike Tyson brought to the ring with him in the 90’s. Part of what made that was how unpredictable he was in the ring, and how he felt “dangerous,” because honestly, Badr Hari is a dangerous person.

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Rumblings of K-1 World Grand Prix Final 8 in NYC Moving to Jan. to Air Live on Spike TV Emerge

  • Published in K-1

K-1

Seeing as though after this weekend, the next big K-1 Heavyweight event was set to be the K-1 World Grand Prix Final 8 originating from New York City on December 26th -- or so we thought. There are rumblings coming out of Japan tonight that the date may be pushed back to some time in January to air it live on Spike TV here in the United States, which would make a whole hell of a lot more sense than streaming it via UStream on Spike's website for $10. As WWE and the UFC can tell you, the PPV business is a fickle mistress, and things can drop off in the blink of an eye or simply never pick up. Never mind when it comes to internet stream PPVs, which is a harder sell, to say the least.

If this is true, this will be huge for K-1, to be able to air an event originating from the US live on a major cable network.

We will keep you updated on this story and more K-1 news throughout the weekend.

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Semmy Schilt Wins Over Daniel Ghita to Claim GLORY Grand Slam Crown

  • Published in Glory

Schilt

A picture says a thousand words and Semmy Schilt was able to hold onto the top spot in Heavyweight Kickboxing as he wins his fifth major Kickboxing tournament with a win over tough challenger Daniel Ghita. Daniel Ghita and Semmy Schilt were the favorites heading into the event and it was no surprise when both men found themselves standing toe-to-toe in the finals. This was a rematch from 2009 where Semmy Schilt was able to dominate Ghita to take a decision victory in the K-1 WGP Final 16 and since then Semmy has aged and Daniel Ghita has evolved into a more complete fighter.

Schilt's night included knocking out Brice Guidon, taking Rico Verhoeven to a decision and going the distance with Gokhan Saki while Daniel Ghita never quite looked like himself as he struggled with Jhonata Diniz and edged out Mourad Bouzidi who fell victim to a freak accident. Things turned around for Ghita when he knocked out Jamal Ben Saddik with one kick to the gut, leading into the biggest fight in Heavyweight Kickboxing today. The Finals started off with both men feeling each other out, Semmy fighting like Semmy and Ghita getting off a few good shots before a huge head kick connected from Schilt and Ghita went down like a sack of bricks. Ghita looked stunned but pulled himself up and looked composed before referee Joop Ubeda decided to call the fight in a controversial decision even though Ghita was fine and we usually see Finals go until only one man can stand.

Schilt walks away with the $400,000 USD grand prize and Daniel Ghita gets $100,000 as a consolation. No doubt that Schilt had a good night and deserves his due, but there are going to be a lot of questions surrounding Joop Ubeda's decision to call the fight that early.

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The Alistair Overeem and Golden Glory Split is a Classic Example of a Perfect Storm

  • Published in Kickboxing

Bas and OvereemThere is a lot of he-said, she-said floating around right now in regards to the Alistair Overeem and Golden Glory split. Many fans and even media are taking sides or simply rushing to comment the next chapter in the saga and try to gain some insight into the situation. I really feel like the truth lies somewhere in the middle when it comes to who is "right" and who is "wrong" and that both sides have a lot to feel slighted about. According to Golden Glory, Alistair was looking to stiff his long-time friends in his trainers by no longer giving them a percent of his earnings, instead simply giving them a flat rate like you'd see in the United States. According to Alistair's camp, Golden Glory was looking to take too much from Alistair and has now launched a "smear campaign" to make him look greedy.

For Golden Glory, it has been a trying year. After Alistair Overeem won the K-1 World Grand Prix Championship last year there were hard times coming for Golden Glory, when their vision had been anything but difficult. Golden Glory was prepared to take over the world in 2011, with the key to their success being an approach on Mixed Martial Arts in the United States and Kickboxing across the world, with the key areas being in Asia and Europe. The Glory World Series was a big part of this, and Gokhan Saki was the big feature for them. Saki suffered a few injuries in December and there was no way for him to fight early on in the year, which meant they would push back the date of their first show of the year, this being the first of many setbacks.

K-1 and Strikeforce were both going through significant turmoil at the time, and both promotions were home to quite a few Golden Glory fighters, proving to be how Golden Glory got their name and brand out to the world. Bas Boon and investors began looking into the reality of purchasing Strikeforce, and it did not seem all-that far-fetched. In fact, there was a certain air of confidence that they would soon own Strikeforce and have a serious foothold inside of the United States and immediately be competition for the UFC. On top of that, they began looking into the reality of what it would take to own K-1. Golden Glory was primed to own two of the biggest combat sports brands in the world and have inconceivable power.

For a fighter like Alistair Overeem, these were his two home bases and he was currently on top in both of them. The reality of his management owning and operating both Strikeforce and K-1 would make him one of the biggest stars in the combat sports world as soon as the ink was dry. He would go from a troubled Light Heavyweight to one of the most decorated Heavyweights in the history of combat sports and be in a prime position to not only be a star, but a wealthy star.

In the blink of an eye MMAFighting.com’s Ariel Helwani was on a jet to Zuffa’s headquarters where Dana White would announce the acquisition of Strikeforce. This was the first huge setback for Golden Glory, a deal that felt done and was possibly promised to certain fighters, was now all of a sudden in the hands of the UFC. It isn’t clear what was promised or how close to a done deal it was, only those involved with the deal will know, but there have been strong rumors stating that Golden Glory was “sure” of the deal being done, and afterwards were furious with Scott Coker.

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