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Sung-Hyun Lee Isn't Afraid of Buakaw Banchamek

  • Published in K-1

K-1

This weekend Buakaw Banchamek will square off against Korea's Sung-Hyun Lee in the K-1 World MAX Final Four event. This event is scheduled for February 23rd and will air on http://www.k-1.tv via a free stream. No doubt that this is a huge fight for Sung-Hyun Lee, who was competing at 65kg previously before deciding to move up to 70kg in 2013 and enter the K-1 World MAX tournament. Now he has reached the coveted Final Four and will fight the legendary Buakaw Banchamek, but don't color him scared, because he's not. [source]

"In a lot of ways Buakaw is a fighter with basic patterns. He has a lot of power but his combinations are easy to predict. He does not have the technical ability or combination punching of European fighters like Andy Souwer. I feel my style matches up better with Buakaw than those fighters.

I am not that worried about his power. In 2009 I fought a Thai fighter named Ping Poongkwa. I remember his body kicks felt like being hit by a steel pipe. I fought a lot of other Thais but none of them had that kind of serious power. I feel people are just afraid of Buakaw because of his “name”."

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GLORY 13 Scores Big on Spike TV

  • Published in Glory

Glory

When it comes to television ratings on Kickboxing events, we've been forced to be extremely patient as American fans both warm up to the sport of Kickboxing and learn when and where to watch it, something that all combat sports fans are familiar with. So while GLORY has had a bit of a slow start on Spike TV, the ratings have shown improvement for every single event. Going into GLORY 13 there were definitely some lingering concerns that any momentum gained would be lost due to the nature of the event; tape delayed from Japan with results readily available 12 hours before the broadcast.

Yet, those fears seem to be unfounded as GLORY 13 was able to pull in what I'd consider a tremendous number at 659,000 viewers on average. Take into account UFC's ratings on Fox Sports 1 fall within this range and that the UFC is a well-established brand and this is even more amazing to consider. Also consider that it is in the range of Bellator events on Spike TV as well. The final factor to consider is that it was on tape delay which will of course deter some viewers, yet, there was still an increase of 38% from the previous event.

When talking television there is also talk of peak numbers, the numbers when there are the most viewers for the given program. The last few events have seen a lone peak early on, which we consider a bleedover effect from the previous program, COPS, which always tends to pull in a million and a half or so. So the first peak was at 9:11 at 905,000 which is expected. The thing is, there was a second peak that came at 10:42pm, near the tail end of the event, and that was 873,000, which is nothing short of tremendous.

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Andy Souwer Drops Decision to Tsukuru Midorikawa in Japan

  • Published in Asia

Souwer

Today in Japan Andy Souwer made his return to the ring after his December bout with appendicitis that left him sidelined and forced to pull out of a few bouts. Souwer has been back at training for a few weeks and took a fight in Japan for the RIKIX "No Kick, No Life" event on February 11th. Souwer fought against Japan's Tsukuru Midorikawa in a bout that went all five rounds, with two of the judges scoring the fight for Midorikawa and one for Souwer.

Outside of some Japanese play-by-play there isn't much about the fight so it's unclear how it really went down, but one would have to say that this is a disappointing start to 2014 for Andy Souwer who maybe returned a bit too quickly after his surgery.

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Eduard Irimia Explains that SUPERKOMBAT Fighters Can Fight for Anyone

  • Published in Kickboxing

SuperKombat

SUPERKOMBAT has an interesting stable of fighters at its disposal, guys like Benjamin Adegbuyi, Bogdan and Andrei Stoica, Catalin Morosanu, Raul Catinas and Sebastien Ciobanu. While lots of promoters force fighters into exclusive contracts, Eduard Irimia would like to make it clear that fighters under the employ of SUPERKOMBAT are not held to those kinds of restrictions. In fact, he encourages fighters under the SK banner to gain experience outside of the SUPERKOMBAT organization.

In the article, which was posted to Romanian luptatorii.ro, Irimia talks about his "gentlemen's agreement" with Pierre Andurand and GLORY, stating that they are not rivals and that he would be happy to send some of his fighters to GLORY. There is also a brief mention that Irimia would allow fighters to fight for K-1 as well.

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GLORY Introduces Fans to Joe Schilling

  • Published in Glory

Joe Schilling

Most of us Americans know Joe Schilling pretty well. Honestly, he's one of the most popular Muay Thai fighters that we have, as we've seen from his fights at Lion Fight which have caused crazy arguments throughout the internet. Joe has the unique ability to polarize people through his personality and how he talks leading up to fights, but no matter what your opinion is of Joe promoting his fights, there is no doubt that he brings it when he steps into the ring.

Check out this interview with Schilling that Glory posted on their official site.

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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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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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Video: Pat Barry's Kickboxing KO at WKA

  • Published in Video

Pat Barry

There really isn't much to say about Pat Barry's return to Kickboxing on Saturday night at a WKA event in Richmond, Virginia. Pat Barry was booked in a fight against Ed Burris where there was little doubt as to who the winner would be. Kind of a bummer for Burris, but that is how the Kickboxing game is sometimes; you gotta be the enhancement talent for the big name. Pat Barry is now back in Kickboxing and will make his GLORY debut in May at GLORY 16 Denver.

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'The Godfather of Kickboxing' Thom Harinck Back Into the Mix

  • Published in Kickboxing

In 1972, director Francis Ford Coppola breathed life into Mario Puzo's most famous crime drama, The Godfather. The story and its subsequent sequels chronicled the story of the Corleone family from their origins in Sicily, rise to power and finally the efforts of the family to legitimize the family's name and fortune. One of the best scenes in trilogy is when an exasperated Michael Corleone exclaims, "Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in!"

Why even bring up The Godfather on a kickboxing site?

Why, because sometimes the truth can be stranger than fiction. On the other side of the Atlantic Ocean, something else big was happening in 1972, the founding of Chakuriki Gym in Amsterdam by Thom Harinck. The 'Chakuriki' style which represents a fusion of techniques from boxing, Kyokushin karate, judo, jujitsu wrestling, Muay Thai and Savate for over forty years became a dominant influence on the fighting styles of many of the biggest names in kickboxing. Among his many talented pupils standouts such as Peter Aerts, Andy Hug, Badr Hari, Melvin Manhoef, Branko Cikatic, Hesdy Gerges, Pedro Rizzo, Jerome LeBanner and countless others have had their careers and fighting style shaped by Harinck's Chakuriki philosophy. In 2013, however, one of the most influential men in the sport decided to retire. At that time Harinck stated that he would continue to support the sport from the sidelines focusing his energy on the completion of a book about his life, spending time with his family, participating in European forums regarding kickboxing, and of course doing seminars all over the world.

During his first year of retirement, Thom Harinck was still one of the busiest retirees I had ever met. In 2015, one of his former pupils, current Glory light heavyweight champion, Saulo Cavalari reached out to him for management services. Always one to support the sport and his former pupils, Harinck agreed. With one foot already back in the game, 2016, Thom Harinck has decided to take Chakuriki full throttle again, coaching a small number of his former pupils including Saulo Cavalari, Hesdy Gerges and Amir Zeyada. Just when he thought he was out, they pulled him back in. His comeback has not been unconditional. While Harinck has sold his old gym in Amsterdam, he has found another place to train and it, like before, is under the Chakuriki system: hard training, no talking, no drugs. The Chakuriki style according to Harinck is not just a fight style, it's a lifestyle and in 2016 it begins again. For forty years Thom Harinck dedicated his life to training boys to be the best men in the ring and as long as he has his health, he's dedicated to training for many more. Watch out Glory, K-1, SuperKombat......Harinck's back.

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