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LiverKick Best of 2013: Knockout of the Year

  • Published in News

Image (C) Glory

The year 2013 was a tremendous year for the sport of Kickboxing as we saw GLORY take aim at America as one of its home bases and really made some strides that I honestly thought we’d never see for the sport here. GLORY not only ran shows, but they ran a bunch of shows and those shows were attended by a good number of paying customers. Then, to top it off, GLORY moved from CBS Sports Network and internet PPVs to Spike TV, picking up steam and viewers with every show. That was a big deal.

GLORY wasn’t the only organization to make moves, either, as we saw another season of the SuperKombat World Grand Prix, the birth of LEGEND in Russia and K-1 starting to get the gears in motion by running both a Heavyweight World Grand Prix and a World MAX tournament within the same year. But which company did what doesn’t really matter, what matters are the fights and the fighters.

Throughout the coming week we’ll be looking at the best of 2013 throughout multiple categories, with Monday featuring Fighter of the Year and Tuesday featuring Fight of the Year. Today’s category is one that is completely undisputed as it took the entire Kickboxing world by surprise; the Knockout of the Year. If you’ve been watching Kickboxing you already know what this is going to be.

LiverKick 2013 Knockout of the Year: Andy Ristie vs. Giorgio Petrosyan

Andy Ristie had two tremendous knockouts on the night of November 23rd, but one was literally the impossible. Andy Ristie achieved something on November 23rd that no one else has been able to even come close to, which was to knock Giorgio Petrosyan out. Giorgio Petrosyan was without a doubt the #1 fighter at 70kgs and he was there for years. In fact, it looked like his reign would never end, but Andy Ristie refused to accept that when he stepped into the ring that night.

Ristie chipped away throughout the fight, finding the smallest of openings and exploiting them. It led to Petrosyan looking just a little off throughout the fight. To the untrained eye it was just another Petrosyan fight where he wasn’t getting hit and was slipping some strikes through his opponent’s defenses, but that untrained eye would be missing the shots that Petrosyan wasn’t landing, or the times that Ristie was able to counter him. By the time the third round came around and Ristie connected with a clean shot it almost didn’t seem like reality, then he followed up and Giorgio Petrosyan was down on the ground and didn’t get back up.

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SUPERKOMBAT Teams with Festival dell'Oriente

  • Published in Kickboxing

SK

So SUPERKOMBAT's Eduard Irimia has decided to pay some homage to the world of traditional martial arts with this year's Festival dell'Oriente in Italy. Think of this festival as, well, a huge martial arts festival that will have over 5,000 martial artists from 113 countries competing for a world championship. How SUPERKOMBAT fits in is that on the third day of the festival they will host SUPERKOMBAT New Heroes: Asia vs. the Rest of the World.

The entire Festival dell'Oriente event is based around amateur competition and SUPERKOMBAT is looking to establish itself not only as a professional sports league, but one that is in tune with culture, martial arts and history. SUPERKOMBAT's New Heroes event will also be the only professional sporting event held at the Festival dell'Oriente and will be broadcast to all of SUPERKOMBAT's media partners around the world.

It's an interesting concept and it's cool to see SUPERKOMBAT being involved with something that is connected with the roots of the sport like that.

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Bas Rutten Confirms Sem Schilt's Retirement

  • Published in Glory

Bas Rutten

Last week we broke the news about Semmy Schilt being retired, which did not seem to rub officials at GLORY the right way, as the news came a day before their big announcement of their partnership with Spike TV. GLORY's CEO even went out to say that as far as he knew Schilt wasn't retired and that we probably didn't have reliable sources on the matter.

There is finally some movement on that front, as Bas Rutten, a longtime friend of Golden Glory and the GLORY organization, confronted the news about Semmy Schilt on AXS TV's Inside MMA this week. According to Rutten it was not a health concern that pushed Semmy into retirement, but him feeling like he had done everything that he wanted to do in both Kickboxing and MMA and that now was the right time for Schilt to step down.

We still stand by the fact that Schilt did discover a condition, but that he is healthy now, but it did play a role in his retirement.

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GLORY Expands with New Promotional Partners in New York

  • Published in Glory

Glory

New York has long been one of the hotbeds for Muay Thai and Kickboxing in the United States and GLORY Sports International has taken a keen focus on New York as one of its home bases for the coming years -- for a good reason. GLORY has held a number of events in New York already, including GLORY 9 and smaller Road 2 Glory events with local promoter Lou Neglia at at the helm, but it looks like now that GLORY has an abundance of options, tapping into some of the other top promoters in the area.

GLORY announced today that they have forged new partnerships with popular promotions Friday Night Fights and TaKe-On Promotions based out of New York. For those who regularly read the site or follow NYC's scene these names will be very familiar for you, as they are two of the biggest and most popular promotions in New York. This means that their roster of promoters in New York is now up to three, which could mean more events in the area in the upcoming months.

GLORY's next event in New York is GLORY 12 NYC, which goes down at the Theater at Madison Square Garden on November 23rd.

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Video: Robin Van Roosmalen vs. Steve Moxon for Happy Hearts Fund.

  • Published in Video

We had been waiting to see this video of Glory lightweight champion Robin van Roosmalen vs "Stone Cold" Steve Moxon which took place on June 3rd in New York. This was a charity black tie event for the Happy Hearts Fund, as you can see by the poster the co-main event featured Pierre Andurand, one of Glory's biggest shareholders. I personally think its really great of Pierre to get in the ring and try at least one fight, it really shows that he is a huge kickboxing fan and just an overall good guy, maybe we will get to see that video soon.

Van Roosmalen vs Moxon was a much more competitive fight than I had anticipated considering Moxon has been a little bit off his game lately. Moxon fought really well and showed great head movement and footwork avoiding Robin's hooks early. Eventually Robin started with the leg kicks and that's when the tide changed in the Glory champions favor. This was just a very fun fight to watch with two very similar style fighters.

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Gokhan Saki Issues Statement About GLORY Contract Negotiations

  • Published in Glory

It didn't take long for Gokhan Saki to want to share with the world his side of the contract dispute that has been ongoing with GLORY for the better part of a year and a half now. Earlier this week GLORY announced that the GLORY Light Heavyweight Championship was vacated due to Saki not defending it for well over a year, with them even extending that period to attempt to work out a deal between the two sides. They were unable to come to terms, which from what we've heard has mostly been about money. 

Saki was making in the range of $200,000 per fight before and GLORY simply didn't see the value in such a contract considering how their other stars are compensated. This isn't boxing and it isn't top level UFC, sadly. The money just isn't there to justify exorbitant contracts. Early on in GLORY many stars were signed to bloated contracts which simply don't reflect the current market for kickboxing. For Saki there is interest from GFC who is willing to pay him and has proven that they are willing to pay for name stars, as seen by Badr Hari's working agreement with them.

Saki released a statement through kickboxing blog Kickboxing Planet early this morning that attempts to explain his side of the story. What's clear is that Saki is very, very upset over this, but the statement itself is, well, a bit rough.

Bellator fans, the people in the USA are not going to see top quality kickboxing and this is bad for the sport. When you win the belt on Sept. 19 you can keep the price money but I expect the winner to hand the belt over to me and acknowledge that he didn’t beat the best. I mostly don’t talk like this and maybe there are a lot of emotions right now. But now that I offended anyone, I did that on purpose and I’m not sorry about it.

During this rant he describes his social media following as a point of value of him over the competition within the division, going as far as to make claims that the rest of the division are nobodies compared to him. This statement is... not a good look for a fighter in the public eye and chances are if there was an open dialogue between GLORY and Saki's camp that dialogue has most likely been shut down. 

It's easy to sympathize with Gokhan Saki as he is without a doubt one of the best fighters in the world and has worked extremely hard to reach that level. Before the market imploded he was without a doubt one of the more valuable stars. Hopefully he is able to make the money that he believes that he deserves and will continue fighting for his fans across the world. 

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LiverKick Best of 2013: Fighter of the Year

  • Published in News

Photo (C) Bauzen

The year 2013 was a tremendous year for the sport of Kickboxing as we saw GLORY take aim at America as one of its home bases and really made some strides that I honestly thought we’d never see for the sport here. GLORY not only ran shows, but they ran a bunch of shows and those shows were attended by a good number of paying customers. Then, to top it off, GLORY moved from CBS Sports Network and internet PPVs to Spike TV, picking up steam and viewers with every show. That was a big deal.

GLORY wasn’t the only organization to make moves, either, as we saw another season of the SuperKombat World Grand Prix, the birth of LEGEND in Russia and K-1 starting to get the gears in motion by running both a Heavyweight World Grand Prix and a World MAX tournament within the same year. But which company did what doesn’t really matter, what matters are the fights and the fighters.

Throughout the coming week we’ll be looking at the best of 2013 throughout multiple categories, but first we kick things off with LiverKick’s 2013 Fighter of the Year, which was probably the most competitive category of them all. Just about every GLORY tournament winner deserved a spot as Fighter of the Year and the decision between the last two was incredibly difficult, but a decision was rendered. First, let’s look at the runner-up.

LiverKick 2013 Fighter of the Year - Runner Up: Andy Ristie

Man, what a year for Andy Ristie. The man was a wrecking machine with a five-fight win streak in 2013, including two wins that eclipsed the rest. Ristie’s wins were over Alessandro Campagna, Albert Kraus, Niclas Larsen, Giorgio Petrosyan and Robin van Roosmalen. The last two were by knockout to claim the spot of #1 in the 70kg division across the world, which is a herculean feat.

If it wasn’t for the guy who claimed the top spot having as great of a year as he did, Andy Ristie would have been a shoo-in for Fighter of the Year.

LiverKick 2013 Fighter of the Year: Tyrone Spong

Andy Ristie’s 2013 was incredibly impressive, but Tyrone Spong’s 2013 started off with a complete annihilation of a three-time K-1 World Grand Prix Champion in Remy Bonjasky before heading into the GLORY 9 Light Heavyweight tournament. GLORY 9 was unique in that it was an 8-man tournament, not a 4-man tournament, meaning that Spong had to win three fights in one night, which saw him knock out Michael Duut, pummel Filip Verlinden for three rounds and then stop the reigning king of the Light Heavyweight division, Danyo Ilunga, in just one round.

What followed after that was Tyrone Spong making up for one of the few strange points of contention on his record with a rematch against the legendary Nathan “Carnage” Corbett. Carnage has been the king of 95kg Muay Thai for what seems like forever now, remaining unchallenged. Carnage was on a seven-year win streak (with a random No Contest to Spong in the mix, even though he had knocked Spong out) before he met Tyrone Spong and not only did Spong look good against Carnage, but he looked incredible. No one has been able to make Carnage look that lost in the ring, which is what set Tyrone Spong apart and made him the LiverKick 2013 Fighter of the Year.

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Brock Lesnar Wants Pat Barry to Retire

  • Published in Glory

GLORY

Recently fans got to witness Pat Barry make his way back into professional Kickboxing at GLORY 16 where he was brutally knocked out by African slugger Zack Mwekassa. If we are honest with ourselves, we saw it coming from a mile away after Barry's last few UFC fights, but it still came as a shock. In a way it was brutal. Just brutal. To the point where I'm not sure that I want to see Pat Barry step into the ring again if it is going to end like this. His UFC career didn't get tough because of wrestling and submissions, it got tough because he started getting knocked out.

Pat Barry has some friends, though, scary friends. Who could be scarier than former UFC Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar? Brock Lesnar, apparently, considers Pat to be a close friend of his and strongly wants Pat Barry to retire, so much so that he reached out to Dana White for help in getting Pat Barry to retire. Dana White, of course, felt he had no place in the matter as Pat isn't one of the UFC's famed "millionaires" that they've made, nor does he have a strong relationship with Dana White, plus he's moved on to work for GLORY. Dana White implied that it was up to Pat's friends, family and for State Athletic Commissions to make Pat Barry retire.

Kind of a sticky spot for GLORY right now, huh? [source]

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GLORY Possibly Looking to Expand into MMA Waters in 2015

  • Published in Glory

The year 2014 was an interesting one for kickboxing and 2015 is looking to be just as crazy by the looks of it. GLORY 19 will kick off GLORY's 2015 with a GLORY Heavyweight Championship bout between champion Rico Verhoeven and challenger Errol Zimmerman in Virginia. The rest of the year we'll have to wait and see. In Jon J. Franklin's holiday address he gave some insight into what to expect from 2015 and surprisingly enough the term "MMA" appeared.

GLORY 19 will be held in Virginia with the team behind Spartyka Fight League assisting in promoting the event, meaning to expect the local undercard to feature some MMA bouts for sure. Is that a sign of things to come? Here's a passage from Franklin's statement.

2015 will be a year of great fight nights, spectacular new promotions and new exotic locations.  We will be in Dubai, UAE and we will welcome international superstars to our events.  Glory also looks forward to amazing evenings in conjunction with with top MMA promotions and to new television networks all over the world joining the Glory juggernaut.  Stay tuned for the many exciting surprises that are on tap for 2015.

It seems to point to possibly seeing co-promotional events much like GLORY 4 Tokyo was with DREAM. The question is; will they work with Bellator? Will GLORY hold their own MMA fights? I guess we'll have to wait and see.

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Former FEG Head Sadaharu Tanikawa Producing GLORY 13 Tokyo

  • Published in Glory

Tany

In what is an absolutely stunning turn of events, former FEG President Sadaharu Tanikawa, best known as K-1's Executive Producer, has been announced as the Producer behind GLORY 13. The shocking announcement went down today in Japan, which came packaged with the fact that this should also be the retirement fight of Peter Aerts, which seems to be the public impetus behind Tanikawa's involvement. There is very clear language involved to this being a "one time deal" between Tanikawa and GLORY, but facts are still facts and Tanikawa owes a lot of the fighters rumored to be participating on the event money.

What makes this an even stranger partnership is the very public assaults from Bas Boon towards Tanikawa in the past few years. Boon has made it clear that Tanikawa's FEG owes Golden Glory millions of dollars and it was Bas Boon's lawsuit against Tanikawa and FEG that forced them to formally declare bankruptcy in 2012. It is our understanding that none of the money owed was ever paid out by FEG due to the bankruptcy proceedings and the shame is that K-1 Global has taken the reputation of FEG and Tanikawa with them while having nothing to do with them. The irony also comes from claims from Golden Glory that K-1 Global's Mr. Kim was associated with Tanikawa and FEG, with this move making it very clear that there was never a partnership.

Even with all of this, I'm not willing to condemn anyone here. Tanikawa, from what is public, was in an awful position of organizing a corrupt organization. Japanese bankruptcy law is also odd, too odd for me to even pretend to be an expert on or to be able to properly navigate. The money owed is still through FEG. It's just odd to see these two sides working together.

For what it's worth, there is talk of a "major television deal" possibly happening and Fuji TV officials being in attendance was mentioned in the same article, aligning with rumors we've heard.

Happy Halloween?

UPDATE: Upon speaking to a GLORY official about this, we've learned that the role of "Producer" has been exaggerated. He will be serving as a consultant for the Super Fight Series undercard only.

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