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The Humanity Behind the Gods of War

  • Published in Interviews

He sat alone, inconspicuous to the fans around him and to the action inside of the ring, just off to the side of the stage. It was the first seat in the first row right behind the barrier next to the stage. Those were the seats that intentionally weren’t filled and had played host to a revolving-door of fighters and entourages throughout the night. This was the place where the winners and losers found themselves after their night had ended just to watch the show, this was where Ben Edwards found himself moments after Errol Zimmerman had put him down and out in the first round of their fight.

Edwards was sporting a pair of sweatpants and a sweatshirt, looking calm, collected, not tired at all or like he had just been involved in a fight of any kind. He may have been knocked out, but his face lacked the markings of someone who had just taken a series of punches to it. A fan or two in the crowd might have yelled out his name, but he was incognito, almost removed from the event entirely. I watched as he shook his head at the sight of Pat Barry going down for a second time, getting his brains scrambled. Edwards distinctly understood the disappointment that Barry was going through at that moment.

Sometimes it is difficult to humanize the guys that train their hearts out for our entertainment, difficult to understand their sacrifices that they make and how after the bell has rung, they are just as human as you or I are. Today I rolled out of bed facing a ten-year old car that decided not to start, just one month shy now of a wedding that is costing a lot more than we had initially projected. It’s just another cost and another inconvenience among many of late for me. Yesterday was also a day where a job that owes me seven months of pay sent me one month and asked if I’d start working again. I hate saying no, in just about any situation, but I barely have time to collect my thoughts right now, never mind work for a promise while the bills stack up.

It’s safe to say that some days I understand what Ben Edwards was thinking about as he sat there at GLORY 16 in Broomfield, Colorado quite well. I introduced myself to him as he sat there, alone, taking in the atmosphere. He looked relaxed, calm, a bit embarrassed to be found out in his seat. We stood about the same height, similar build, but one of us was just a God of War who was now adjusting to life as a mortal again. That guy was having a rough night. Ben was quick to apologize, to say that he made a mistake, that he got sloppy, but I assured him that it was no big deal and that he’s come so far in the past few years. He knows that I’ve been following his career and knows that I’m quick to talk up his technical evolution over the past few years. We talked about his technical breakdown of Catalin Morosanu from a few months prior before I left him to stew in his thoughts, knowing that having a rough night means that conversation can be laborious -- especially moments after being humanized.

Raymond Daniels, who fought on the undercard, was walking around the floor of the arena where fans were shouting out his name and stopping to take photos with him while Ben Edwards sat watching Errol Zimmerman walking to the ring again. I won’t even pretend to understand his thought process at the moment, although I could make some educated guesses. I myself found the surreal in seeing Edwards sitting there, watching Zimmerman walk to the ring, Daniels being mobbed, while Josh Jauncey and his brother Jay walked by with Andy Souwer in tow and everyone seemed completely unaware of the gravity and sheer madness of the situation.

All I could think is that Edwards was seconds away from being that guy walking to the ring. Edwards was raining down punishment on Zimmerman, but got caught, so here he is, in the stands, watching the world turn without him, a mortal like the rest of us. On that night he was far from home and all of the countries that he’d been to, all of the big shows that he’s fought on, all of the accolades that he had gained throughout his career didn’t matter, he was just another guy who had a rough night on the job. He was just another observer. There was a strong disconnect from victory and defeat.

We talk about these fighters from a distance, we weigh their perceived value and potential matchups. We place them in numbered lists and assign them value based on the last time that we saw them, but sometimes forget to humanize them and relate them to our own day-to-day struggles. Today I woke up thinking about all of the work that I had waiting for me, quickly dismissing messages on my phone asking when I’d have an article up or if I saw their last message. Sometimes I consider changing professions, pulling away from the sliver of the public eye that I have and the abuse that I open myself to daily. I know that I’m not alone in thinking that, either.

The other day Ben Edwards posted on his Facebook that he was available to dog-sit for anyone in his town that needed it. There was a hint of playfulness in it, just like changing his occupation to “Dog Sitter,” but Ben is already back at work training for an upcoming fight. Just like I continue on, Ben Edwards continues on, re-assimilating himself into the image that the world knows him in. The world keeps turning and Ben Edwards is making sure that he’s not just along for the ride, but for one night he was a human being whose hopes and dreams were as fragile and elusive as our own all are. That night I saw Ben Edwards be larger-than-life in the ring, fighting as one of the best Heavyweight in the world against one of the best Heavyweights in the world, then saw him as a vulnerable guy who was much more than the public’s image of him, the promotion’s image of him, my image of him or his own image of himself.

He’s the amalgamation of those images and he’s not them at all, just like we all are.

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Tyrone Spong's Message to Fans Post-Surgery

  • Published in Glory

Tyrone Spong suffered what had to be one of the worst injuries of his career on Saturday night in Istanbul, but he's back in America and has undergone surgery. The recovery process should take about six months for him and we all wish him a speedy recovery. This message was posted earlier and is from Tyrone to all of his fans out there, letting them know that he's doing well after his surgery and that he plans to come back strong and healthy.

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Yokkao 9 in China: Muay Thai vs. Kung Fu

  • Published in Muay Thai

Yokkao

Yokkao continues their string of fan-favorite events with an event on May 24th in China, Yokkao 9: Muay Thai vs. Shaolin Kung Fu. The event is set to take place in Xinyang, China and will be headlined by Sudsakorn Sor. Klinmee vs. a Shaolin Monk, Yi Long. Also confirmed for the event are Pakorn and Ekapop, both who have made strong impressions in the last few Yokkao events.

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Yokkao 7 Weigh-in Results

  • Published in Muay Thai

Yokkao

Yokkao 7 goes down tomorrow, February 19th at the Pattaya Boxing World Stadium featuring a huge main event between Saenchai vs. Victor Ngabe with a possible KO bonus tacked on if one man can finish the other. That means look for fireworks to get that KO bonus, with the same possibility in the co-main event of Suedam vs. Naimjon. We'll have results for you after the event has happened so stay tuned.

  • Saenchai Muay Thai Gym vs Victor Nagbe
  • -65 Kg 3x3 Muay Thai Full Rules ++KO BONUS++
  • Saenchai 64,8kg
  • Victor Nagbe 65,9kg
  • Suedam Kuanjai vs Naimjon Tuhktoboev
  • -67 Kg 3x3 Muay Thai Full Rules ++KO BONUS++
  • Naimjon Tuhktoboev -67,3
  • Suedam will check the weight the same day of the event
  • Apidej Sitsongpeenong vs Samuel Andoche
  • -72,5 Kg 3x3 Muay Thai Full Rules
  • Apidej 72,2kg
  • Samuel Andoche 71,9kg
  • Ekapop Sor Klinmee vs Geoffrey Riviere
  • -78 Kg 3x3 Muay Thai Full Rules ++KO BONUS++
  • Ekapop Sor Klinmee 77,8kg
  • Geoffrey Rivière 78,6kg
  • Imwiset Pornnarai vs Umar Semata
  • -67 Kg 3x3 Muay Thai Full Rules
  • Umar Semata 67,4kg
  • Iwmiset Pornnarai 67,4kg
  • Lommanee Sor Hirun vs Sylvie Von Duuglas-ittu
  • -48 Kg 3x3 Muay Thai Full Rules
  • Lommanee Sor Hirun 47,6kg
  • Sylvie Von Douglas-ittu 47,2kg
  • Silapeth Sor Suradet 61kg vs Teerawa Sor Surat
  • -61 Kg 3x3 Muay Thai Full Rules
  • Silapeth Sor Suradet 58,7kg
  • Teerawa Sor Surat 60,1kg
  • Gery Bavetta vs Runmai Mo Tammachat
  • -55 Kg 3x3 Muay Thai Full Rules
  • Gery Bavetta 53,7kg
  • Runmai Mo Tammachat 54,7
  • Kom Kop Pechthroungrang vs Kamen Picken
  • -67 Kg 3x3 Muay Thai Full Rules
  • Kom Kop Pechthroungrang 67,2 kg
  • Kamen Picken 67,2 kg

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Glory Last Man Standing: Alex "Po Atan" Pereira Hype Video

  • Published in Glory

Alex Pereira burst on to the kickboxing scene at Glory 14 in Zagreb, Croatia by first knocking out Dustin Jacoby in amazing fashion, then moving on to the finals against Sahak Parparyan and beating him by majority decision. He took the middleweight contender tournament belt back to Brazil and looked very impressive considering this was the first time most of us had seen him.

Now the question is, how will Pereira do with #1 ranked Artem Levin? This will no doubt be the biggest name, probably the best fighter he has ever fought, and tournament favourite. Levin has shown in some of his previous fights that his slippery style with his hands down by his waist can sometimes leave him vulnerable for long straight punches, and this is what Po Atan does best. There is also the factor of Levin looking past Pereira because he has unfinished business with others in the tournament. This would be dangerous for Levin as Pereira has very a long reach, with hard straight punches,if just one lands, it could make for a great night for the Brazilian.

 

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This Was GLORY 13 Tokyo Video

  • Published in Glory

GLORY likes to wrap up events by posting videos showing what went down at them and GLORY 13 was no different. GLORY 13 saw Nieky Holzken hold onto his top spot in GLORY's Welterweight division as well as legends squaring off in the Heavyweight division. So watch the highlights of GLORY's last show for 2013 while you celebrate the new year.

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SuperKombat New Heroes Card for March 29th

  • Published in Kickboxing

SK

On March 29th SuperKombat will kick off their 2014 season with SuperKombat New Heroes in Ploiesti, Romania. There are a few recognizable names mixed in with some newer ones, making this an interesting event for fans both new and old. We'll see an establishment of a SuperKombat New Heroes Middleweight Champion in a bout between Romania's Amansio Paraschiv and Cedric Manhoef. Also on the card are SuperKombat standouts Bogdan Stoica, Ionut Atordiresei and Cistian Ristea.

  • Fight Card:
  • 1. Superfight – Middleweight Bout (-71 kg)
  • Aleksandar Topic (Serbia) vs. Adrian Maxim (Romania)
  • 2. Superfight – Light Heavyweight Bout (-81 kg)
  • Miljan Vidovic (Serbia) vs. Mirel Iacob (Romania)
  • 3. Superfight – Cruiserweight Bout (-91 kg)
  • Ibo Efe (Turkey) vs. Danut Hurduc (Romania)
  • 4. Superfight – Lightweight Bout (-63.5 kg)
  • Mansour Yaqubi (Afghanistan) vs. Cristian Spetcu (Romania)
  • 5. Superfight – Cruiserweight Bout (-91 kg)
  • Romano Romasco (Ghana) vs. Cristian Ristea (Romania)
  • 6. Superfight – Lightweight Bout (-65 kg)
  • Stauros Exakoustidis (Greece) vs. Ionut Atodiresei (Romania)
  • 7. Superfight – Cruiserweight Bout (-91 kg)
  • Jorge Loren (Spain) vs. Bogdan Stoica (Romania)
  • 8. Superkombat New Heroes Middleweight Title – Middleweight Bout (-71 kg)
  • Amansio Paraschiv (Romania) vs. Cedric Manhoef (Suriname)

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Weekend Results: Enfusion March 22nd

  • Published in Europe

Enfusion

Enfusion held yet another quality event this past weekend in Ireland, featuring an Enfusion 80kg World Championship bout between Hachim El Gaoui and Aidan Brooks. The card also featured Iman Barlow, Ilias Bulaid and a host of others. Check out the results below. The event will be replayed on http://www.enfusionlive.com, which is now live in the United States! They should be coming out with a schedule shortly.

 

  • Enfusion 80kg World Championship: Hicham El Gaoui (R2 - TKO) Aidan Brooks
  • Vasilieos Karagiannidis (R3 - UD) Tomasz Bukowski
  • James Gridley (R1 - TKO) Gary Ormond
  • Iman Barlow (R3 - UD) Lorena Klijn
  • Alexandros Chatzichronoglou (R3 - UD) Mark Casserly
  • Ilias Bulaid (R1 - KO) Ireland’s Paul Norton

Full report provided by Enfusion below.

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Glory 17 Featherweight Contender Tournament: Shane Oblonsky Hype Video

  • Published in Glory

Shane Oblonksy will be entering the Glory ring for the first time on June 21st to fight for the the featherweight contender belt. Not only will this be Oblonsky's first time in the Glory ring, but also his first tournament. He is coming into this four man tournament as one of the least experienced with 8 wins and 2 losses as a professional. He did beat Malaipet Sasiprapa who has over 179 fights in March of this year, which shows he can deal with crafty veterans. Oblonsky's first fight will be against the Brazilian Marcus Vinicius. Their professional records are almost identical but Vinicius has been on the Glory stage before against the very dangerous and #1 ranked Mosab Amrani where he lost by decision.

Oblonsky has shown he has big power for this weight class, so aslong as the Californian does not let the pressure of the big stage get to him and does not get too wild, i feel he can give any of Glory's featherweights a great fight.

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Watch Joe Schilling do the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

  • Published in Glory

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has been all over social media for the past few weeks. The idea is to dump a bucket of ice water over your head, then call out three friends to do it themselves, all in the name of raising awareness and donating money for research into Lou Gehrig's Disease/ALS. We've seen it catch fire in the MMA world of late, now Joe Schilling of GLORY fame is taking the challenge and damn does he have a list of names that he calls out afterwards.

It's also awesome because his two sons, whom he'll usually lovingly refer to on Instagram as "Thing #1" and "Thing #2," take the challenge as well. His youngest son, Jax, is pretty endearing to watch try to run away from it, while Lil Joe takes it like a champ.

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