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Photo of the Day: Jerome Le Banner Wrestling for IGF in Japan

  • Published in Kickboxing

K-1 is still on hiatus, with a possible update from K-1 this coming week, but that doesn't mean that K-1 fighters aren't still making waves in Japan. Jerome Le Banner headed to Japan this week and was a part of Antonio Inoki's pro wrestling show, Inoki Genome Federation. Le Banner wrestled under "Special K-1 Rules" against Shinnichi Suzukawa, an ex-sumo who has had some interesting bouts in IGF over the past few months. There was a well-publicized bout with Mark Coleman where Suzukawa legitimately brutalized Coleman and then a match with Bob Sapp that was by-the-books pro wrestling. Le Banner came into this wearing his K-1 gloves and did a number on Suzukawa, KO'ing him in 5:39 with a hard punch. There is also some rough video available, so decide for yourself, real or fake punch. [source]

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Photo of the Day: Jerome Le Banner Trains With Wanderlei Silva and Anderson Silva

  • Published in Kickboxing

Lots of professional MMA fighters have gotten the itch to bring over high level Kickboxers into their camps over the past year. Well, it appears that Jerome Le Banner is finally getting the call and is in the United States. He keeps good company. JLB has apparently been training at KINGS MMA now with Rafael Cordiero. It feels like Chute Boxe all over again, go figure. Maybe Jerome Le Banner is training for a fight in December at GENKI DESUKA!, even. We went ahead and asked him as soon as the show was announced, and he said that he is definitely onboard if they want him.

JLB

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Jerome Le Banner vs. Stefan Leko on June 11th in Geneva

  • Published in Kickboxing

There have been persisting rumors over the past few weeks over who Jerome Le Banner will square off with in his next fight. Le Banner has not fought since his disappointing bout with Kyotaro in October for K-1 where Le Banner had clearly won the bout in his mind and the judges voted for an extension round. As opposed to continuing on like most men do, despite protesting, Le Banner opted to simply walk out. K-1 has a long history of "gift decisions" that would make MMA fighters like Leonard Garcia even cringe. Since then, the return of Le Banner has been hotly debated, with long-standing rumors that his next fight would be for It's Showtime on May 14th. We were able to confirm with Le Banner a few weeks ago that he was not going to be fighting for It's Showtime any time soon.

Someone had leaked out over the past few weeks that there was a promoter putting together a super fight between Jerome Le Banner and Stefan "Blitz" Leko. Leko, just vacating a WKA World title due to not defending it, and not exactly being the most active fighter over the past few years was not the most promising candidate for a bout with Le Banner it seemed. Thankfully, the fight has materialized and will indeed happen in Geneva on June 11th.

Leko and Le Banner met back in 2001 for K-1 with Jerome Le Banner pulling off the 5-round decision after a war. This was during Le Banner's prime and Le Banner looked ready to take a K-1 World Grand Prix title. Think of Alistair Overeem's 2010 and how huge of a star he is in Japan, how much of a celebrity he is, and that is where Le Banner was at that point. This is yet another huge bout to look forward to, but one that might be difficult to acquire a video of for a while. It will be interesting to see where both men stand almost exactly ten years later. Watch the first below. [source]

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Jerome Le Banner NOT Fighting for It's Showtime on May 14th

  • Published in Kickboxing

There has been a persisting rumor about K-1 legend Jerome Le Banner and his next fight possibly being in his home country of France for kickboxing's new powerhouse, It's Showtime. There was actually a rumor that he was the leading name to fight Badr Hari for his comeback fight. The reality is, a fight like Le Banner is incredibly risky for a fighter who is still a top prospect at this point and has yet to reach the top of the mountain. No one wants a guy to lose momentum taking a KO to a tough vet like JLB.

So, there have been talks of JLB still fighting on the card and a few people have flat out asked me if he will be fighting or if we know anything. Since It's Showtime also dangled a possible JLB fight over our heads at the recent Amsterdam card with a JLB sighting in the crowd and the announcers making a rather crass reference to us "seeing more from him soon," the rumors have just strengthened. It has gone as far as people saying it was a done deal that JLB was fighting in May.

Sadly, LiverKick.com today confirmed that just is not true. We spoke with the Hyper Battle Cyborg himself to see if this strong, persisting rumor held any weight and the sad truth is that Jerome Le Banner will not be fighting on the card and for right now, you might want to power down on the Hyper Battle Cyborg hype train coming to It's Showtime. Just for the time being, though. Expect more Jerome Le Banner news shortly, but just not for the It's Showtime Lyon show.

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Jerome Le Banner, Arnold Oborotov and Stefan Leko in Action in France Next Month

  • Published in Kickboxing

JLB

Kickboxing news in the summer is always kind of at a lull. In the past we'd usually see a K-1 MAX show and maybe an It's Showtime event, but it looks like Glory 9 was the last big show for a while before things go back into full swing in September with K-1 putting on the K-1 World MAX Final 16 and GLORY 10 LA going down.

With that being said, Kickboxing never truly sleeps in Europe. On August 4th in France there will be a pretty cool card going down featuring Jerome Le Banner, Arnold Oborotov and Stefan Leko at Fight Night Saint-Tropez.

Fight Night Saint Tropez

Main event
+100 kg: Jerome Le Banner (Francja) vs James Smith (USA)

WKN World Championship
100 kg: Vladimir Mineev (Rosja) vs Thiago Beowulf (Brazylia)
95,8 kg: Emmanuel Payet (Francja) vs Arnold Oborotov (Litwa)

Superfight - 4 x 2 min
+100 kg: Stefan Leko (Niemcy) vs Nicolas Wamba (Francja) 
59,6 kg: Helene Loewinski (Szwecja) vs Alena Hola (Czechy)
+100 kg: Thomas Vanneste (Belgia) vs Vladymir Toksyatynov (Rosja/Niemcy)

Extrafight - 3 x 2 min 
92 kg: Antony Rea (Francja) vs Laurent Atriffi (Belgia)
70 kg: Philippe Salmon (Francja) vs Sansong Moua (Francja)
100 kg: Marc Vliger (Francja) vs Cédric Ameline (Francja)

Turniej - 82 kg
Yoann Koangolo (Szwajcaria)
Mourad Hosni (Francja)
Freddy Marius Bructer (Francja)
Eduard Andronache (Francja)

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Jerome Le Banner Pulls Out of GLORY 10 Due to Neck Injury

  • Published in Glory

Glory

Bad news for fans of legendary kickboxer Jerome Le Banner who was scheduled to fight Sergei Kharitonov at GLORY 10 Los Angeles on September 28th in Los Angeles, Califorina, as Le Banner has pulled out of the fight due to a neck injury. It was announced today by GLORY that the main event for GLORY 10 of Le Banner vs. Kharitonov is officially off due to Le Banner's injury and that Kharitonov will fight on a future GLORY event instead.

Due to this change, Robin Van Roosmalen vs. Shemsi Beqiri have been bumped up to serve as the event's Main Event fight, with the fight between Davit Kiria and Murthel Groenhart moving to the co-main event slot of the evening. We wish JLB a speedy recovery and hope to see him in the ring again soon.

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Jerome Le Banner Stops Vitaly Akhramenko in France

  • Published in Europe

JLB
This weekend Jerome Le Banner continued his march of dominance over moderately decent competition as he fought against the promising up-and-comer that is Vitaly Akhramenko in France at Fight Night San Tropez. The fight was for the WKN Super Heavyweight Championship, which saw Le Banner stop Akhramenko in the second round in a fight that had a lot of fight fans interested. Akhramenko was a step up from some of the other competition that we've seen Le Banner against and this is a fantastic warm-up for his fight against Sergei Kharitonov at GLORY 10 Los Angeles.

The event also saw Emmanuel Payet defeating Arnold Oborotov by decision for the WKN Light Heavyweight World Title, Vladimir Mineev defeated Thiago Beowulf for the WKN Heavyweight World title and Nicolas Wambas stopping former K-1 great Stefan Leko in the fourth round in a Super Fight. Another highlight for the event was that Sylvester Stallone was in attendance at the event, most likely checking out what Jerome Le Banner does best in his home of France.

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Jerome Le Banner Main Eventing KSW 18 in February

  • Published in Kickboxing

Jerome Le Banner is a man after our own hearts; he fights and he fights as much as he can. The 39 year old warrior has begun what he calls the "Le Banner World Tour" which consists of exactly what it sounds like -- JLB traveling the world and fighting opponents. The next stop for JLB in 2012 seems to be stepping back into the MMA ring after not competing in MMA since late 2010. JLB has been focused on professional wrestling over the past year but has remained competing in Kickboxing.

According to our friend Wojslaw Rysiewski of MMArocks.pl the main event of KSW 18 in Poland on February 25 against Marcin Rozalski. Rozalski is 2-0 in his MMA career while JLB is 3-2.

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The Rumored Structure For This Year's GLORY Grand Slam Tournament

  • Published in News

Glory

We've been keeping our ears to the ground over the past few months in regards to everything GLORY, from possible television deals to upcoming shows to the format for their big Heavyweight tournament for this year. Last year's GLORY Grand Slam tournament was interesting, to say the least, using a one-night, sixteen man format with shorter rounds. It led to some quick action, but some of the more methodical, technical fighters like Remy Bonjasky were really hurt by such a ruleset and four fights in one night is just a lot of fights.

While some within the GLORY organization were steadfast in saying that they would repeat the format again this year, we've heard some conflicting reports on the format of the tournament. As GLORY gets closer to a larger American television deal (no insult to CBS Sports, but tape delay at 1am is simply not good enough for shows like this) they have to be concerned with time constraints and putting on a tighter, more unified production. GLORY already do a fantastic job with their pacing on their events, with the fights following each other in quick succession in a way that doesn't feel rushed, but natural. We can at least expect the quirks of last year's Grand Slam to not return.

So according to our source, who wishes to remain unnamed, this year's tournament will be shrunk down from sixteen men to just four to be able to properly fit on a two to three hour American television slot while putting on entertaining fights and being able to properly present the fighters to the audience. The first three participants will be based upon the GLORY World Rankings, although it should be noted that word is that Semmy Schilt will not participate. That means that Gokhan Saki, Daniel Ghita and Tyrone Spong are guaranteed spots in the tournament, with the fourth spot being a "Wildcard." That "Wildcard" spot will be determined by another tournament that will take place before the event, a Qualifying tournament. It is not clear who will participate in this tournament, but the next four in the rankings are Peter Aerts, Remy Bonjasky, Jerome Le Banner and Errol Zimmerman (although I believe that Rico Verhoeven is actually in that spot now after his win over Errol).

So, what do you think? Would you be upset to see the Final 8 format disappear, or is it time for something new?

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If You've Wondered What K-1 Fighters in Pro Wrestling Looks Like; Look No Further

  • Published in Video

The IGF is a pro wrestling promotion ran out of Japan by former New Japan Pro Wrestling head and MMA pioneer Antonio Inoki. It features his "brand" of pro wrestling, which is a hybrid of real fighting and the theatrics and "booking" (read: scripted nature) of pro wrestling. In the end what it yields is the high drama of pro wrestling with the grit, violence and impact of a real fight. That style goes far back to catch-as-catch-can wrestling and Japan was king of the "shoot-style" with the early UWF, early Pancrase, RINGS, UWF-i and U-Style. Inoki's last show was an eclectic mix, featuring Jerome Le Banner against Kazuyoshi Fujita, Yuichiro "Jienotsu" Nagashima against pro wrestling legend Masahiro Chono and Peter Aerts against fallen sumo Shinichi Suzukawa.

Chono vs. Jienotsu

Peter Aerts vs. Shinichi Suzukawa

Jerome Le Banner vs. Kazuyoshi Fujita

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