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Buakaw Banchamek Walks Out, Enriko Kehl Claims K-1 World MAX Championship

  • Published in K-1

Truly fascinating night in Thailand tonight as K-1 held the K-1 World MAX Finals to crown the K-1 MAX Champion. That champion will hold the K-1 MAX/70kg Championship and go on to defend it against all comers. Many believed that Buakaw Banchamek couldn't lose against Enriko Kehl, especially after the showing last year that saw Buakaw dismantle Kehl and pick up a decision. What happened in the fight was much stranger than fiction, that is for sure.

Enriko Kehl came into the fight focused and was landing clean combinations and shots on Banchamek. Buakaw spent most of the fight catching Kehl's kicks or clinching him then dumping him to the mat. That led to Buakaw being in control in the ring, but not landing anything significant. Many believed that this would assure Buakaw an easy victory against Kehl, but in what is typical K-1 fashion when a fight is close, it was ruled a draw. Before anyone goes into conspiracy theory mode, those trips, dumps and clinches don't score points in K-1 rules. The official K-1 rules are that a clinch must be immediately broken or that a single knee can be thrown from a one-handed clinch. That is just the rules. 

The fight was to go to an extension round, the only problem was that Buakaw was nowhere to be seen. Buakaw, along with his trainers and manager Yim, left the ringside area when they found out that there would be an extension round. Buakaw, who has fought in extension rounds in K-1 numerous times now, knows how it works, so there really was no reason for him to storm out. If you were paying attention to Banchamek's social media and to the news leading into the fight, this behavior won't seem that odd to you, as Banchamek had gone to the press numerous times in the lead-up to this event with some interesting stories. Those stories include doubts as to K-1's legitimacy, him wondering if he'd be paid the money that he'd get from fighting in the event and even claiming that K-1 was involved in illegal gambling on the event. 

Curiously it was all done in front of a Top King banner, with Top King being the latest Thai promotion that Buakaw has signed with after falling out with Yokkao, Thai Fight and MAX Muay Thai over the years. Buakaw was nowhere to be seen and the fight was ruled in favor of Enriko Kehl due to disqualification via forfeit. All of the credit in the world goes to Enriko Kehl who very clearly learned from their first encounter and made improvements and adjustments to meet the Thai legend on Thai soil in a fight that no one thought that he could win. 

Regardless of anyone's opinion on if the extra round was deserved or not, this was unprofessional behavior from Banchamek and not the first time that he had done something similar in K-1 (see the Zhou Zhi Peng fight in December 2013 in China).

UPDATE: If you watch the video above it is clear that Buakaw and his team left before the decision was even rendered. We received confirmation that Buakaw and his team left immediately after round three ended and jumped into a car without a word to anyone else. 


Watch the K-1 World MAX Finals Here Live on October 11th

  • Published in K-1

On October 11th in Pattaya, Thailand the K-1 World MAX Finals is scheduled to happen between Buakaw Banchamek and Enriko Kehl. The show will also see the debut of Paul "Semtex" Daley in the K-1 ring. Join us live on October 11th to watch the event. The broadcast begins at 11:45am Eastern time on October 11th. 

K-1 World MAX Final: Buakaw Banchamek vs. Enriko Kehl

Paul “Semtex” Daley vs. Mohammad Ghaedibardeh

Rungravee Sasiprapa vs. Dennis Puric

Andrei Kubelin vs. Lee Sung Hyun

Maximo Suarez vs. Tural Bayramov

Andre “Dida” Amade vs. Li Yankun

Artem Pashporin vs. Petmongkol Thor. Thesputin

Xei Lei vs. Yoshimoto


K-1 Global Fires Back After Buakaw Banchamek's Confusing Claims

  • Published in K-1

My god, this whole Buakaw fiasco, right? 

If you are somehow blissfully unaware of what happened, on Saturday night at the K-1 World MAX Finals in Pattaya Buakaw Banchamek ran out of the building after the third round of the fight into an awaiting car, taking off without uttering a word to anyone in the arena. The only interaction that was documented was Buakaw walking over to his opponent, Enriko Kehl while his manager, Yim, shouted at the K-1 Thailand organizer from the ring before they were both ghosts. 

K-1 officials were prepared for something to go wrong in regards to Buakaw, considering that he spent the entire time after he was paid on September 22nd running the promotion down in the press, including making various claims against the company and attempting to link them to online gambling, but what happened was truly something that no one could have prepared for. The claims from Banchamek and his supporters have ranged from possible fight fixing, K-1 owning a gambling site being used to fix the fight, last minute rule changes and fear for lack of payment. 

Most of the claims have been unsubstantiated, including the fear of lack of payment considering that he was paid full and upfront weeks before the event. The gambling claims seemed like a misunderstanding, a straw man argument, if you will. K-1 was sponsored by a betting company based in Australia, but clearly had no ownership stake in the company and the site follows all regulations and will not accept bets from nations like Thailand where online gambling is illegal. 

If you were to objectively view the situation, you'd see Banchamek's shifting story, his association with a rival promoter who was upset with K-1's attempted advance into Thailand, you'd find it difficult to buy into it without any solid evidence. A press conference was scheduled for Monday afternoon in Thailand from Banchamek but never materialized, instead K-1's Ned Kuruc spoke with media where he denied claims of rule changes or links to illegal gambling at the event. Sadly this has become a game of he-said, she-said and the court of popular opinion online has already formed their opinions.

K-1 released a statement earlier today that hammered home the point that they are claiming to have not had any part in any sort of shady business dealings for this event and that if Banchamek chooses to continue with unsubstantiated claims against the company that they will pursue legal action. Messy, messy stuff.


K-1 World MAX 2011 70kg Japan Tournament FINAL on September 25

  • Published in Kickboxing

World MAXK-1's recent purchase was bound to lead to more announcements and speculation, and outside of the rumor of the K-1 World Grand Prix Final 16 in October, there has actually been another show scheduled for September, which is looking to be the K-1 World MAX Japan tournament finals for the 70kg weight class. This is the tournament that would usually happen around February, but due to K-1's problemed year, this tournament will be happening in September instead. We've already seen a few fights in this "tournament" and are set to see the rest of the tournament unfold on the 25th of September.

It will happen in Osaka, Japan on September 25 with a host of participants planned for the show; Albert Kraus, Yuya Yamamot, Yuichiro "Jienotsu" Nagashima, Yasuhiro Kido, Yuta Kubo, Kizaemon Saiga, Yuji Nashiro, KENTA, Takafumi Morita, YOSHI and Takeshi Yokoyama. As you can tell, a mix of -63kg fighters and 70kg fighters, so it won't strictly be the 70kg tournament, much like there were MAX/70kg fights at the -63kg tournament.

It should also be noted that if K-1 wanted to hold a World MAX tournament around that time it would be impossible for them, as It's Showtime is promoting their Fast and Furious 70kg MAX tournament on September 24th. It will be two incredible days for kickboxing for sure. [source]

Read more... Rankings - June 2012

  • Published in Rankings
June 2012 June 2012 June 2012


1. Semmy Schilt
2. Daniel Ghita
3. Badr Hari
4. Gokhan Saki
5. Errol Zimmerman
6. Peter Aerts
7. Sergei Laschenko
8. Rico Verhoeven
9. Hesdy Gerges
10. Tyrone Spong
Light Heavyweight
1. Artem Levin
2. Hicham el Gaoui
3. Alexander Oleynik
4. Dmitry Shakuta
5. Alexander Stretsurenko
6. Simon Marcus
7. Artem Vakhitov
8. Constantin Tutu
9. Yordan Yankov
10. Yoann Kongolo
1. Giorgio Petrosyan
2. Robin van Roosmalen
3. Artur Kyshenko
4. Andy Souwer
5. Jury Bessmertny
6. Sudsakorn Sor. Klinmee
7. Frank Giorgi
8. Andy Ristie
9. Abraham Roqueni
10. Shemsi Beqiri

Could Shootboxer RENA's Popularity Help FEG?

  • Published in Kickboxing

RENAI'm not sure if what I'm posing at this point is a rhetorical at this point or if it actually has value. Recently SHOOTBOXING Girls S-Cup 2009 and 2010 champ Rena Kubota (simply called RENA) made a television appearance on the Female Athletes TV show on TBS, and the ratings she scored for her segment were quite positive. The overall rating for the show was 11.8%, with RENA's segment where she embarrassed three male comedians in the ring received a staggering 16.8%.

RENA, to say the least, has proven that she has the attention of Japan's fickle audiences, and once again on a show featuring female athletes from different sports, was able to prove that combat sports can be seen as "cool." This is immensely important for combat sports. Recently, @DanHerbertson, @Kuri_Kinton and myself (@LiverKickdotcom) had a discussion about the future of combat sports in Japan. Stuart Tonkin (Kuri Kinton), of course, for the uninitiated has been in Japan for ages and does work for K-1, while Herbertson is's Japan reporter.

The talk came on the heels of Herbertson and myself discussing TBS and FEG's future, which at this point is a big unknown. TBS had a two year deal with FEG that expired at Dynamite!!, which means as of right now the future of K-1 MAX and DREAM are uncertain on television. This of course could all be idle talk and TBS picks FEG programming back up and simply alters the contract a bit, but if they opt out it is incredibly uncertain for the future. K-1 MAX was the brainchild of FEG and TBS, used mainly to capitalize on the popularity of Japanese Middleweight kickboxer Masato. Masato scaled back his participation and soon retired, leaving MAX in a bad spot.

Then there is DREAM. DREAM is essentially a venture between FEG and what we all knew as DSE. If you don't remember DSE, think back to PRIDE. K-1 currently resides on Fuji TV, who killed off PRIDE's programming after the yakuza scandal DSE had and refuse to associate with that again. This means even if Fuji TV, who have a great relationship with Kazuyoshi Ishii, pick up K-1 MAX, DREAM might be without a home.

Are you following where RENA comes into play yet? Satoshi Ishii's popularity is in the balance right now, and if he disappears again for a prolonged period of time or says something ridiculously stupid in interviews, well, that is it for Ishii. Ishii really needs better handlers, but then again, that won't change anything now. With proper management from the beginning we wouldn't have these issues with Ishii. K-1 has used RENA before, in 2009 she participated in their Korean MAX show where she had a tough extra round decision loss to Su Jeong Lim after being promoted as one of the show's headliners.

RENA has rebound, though, having an incredible 10-fight win streak after that loss and taking two SHOOTBOXING tournaments, which is nothing short of spectacular. For TBS to feel comfortable with further FEG programming, they need some sort of star to push, a Japanese star, and there have not been any outside of Ishii that have presented themselves. If you think back, since the fall of PRIDE there have been no stars created, everything has been left over from PRIDE and earlier K-1 success. Using a female fighter like RENA might not attract the crowd that Japanese broadcasters and sponsors are looking for, but it will bring in viewers. At least until they finally find that "next Masato" they are grasping at straws for. There is a very, very good chance that K-1's KOSHIEN division, which we all laughed at years ago, can provide that next big star for them. There have already been a few fighters not named HIROYA who have come from the KOSHIEN program who have gone on to have success and could be huge stars. [source]

Video of RENA's appearance after the break.



K-1 Global Formally Announces World MAX Final 16

  • Published in K-1

K-1 Rising

The information regarding K-1 is really beginning to pour out and in a hurry. The show that we all knew was happening has finally been formally announced by the new owners of K-1. LiverKick took some time today to speak with Doug Kaplan, the head of K-1 Global, and were impressed with what we heard. A part of K-1's big push today involves this press announcement which was sent out to the media today. This announcement solidifies the names that we've seen kicked around for the MAX tournament, with a few spots still open.

To read the full press release, head here.

The big news are the participants in the K-1 World MAX Final 16 so far, which we have the names of twelve fighters, with four spots still being negotiated. Also there are a few Heavyweight Superfights being planned, with some absolutely huge names in talks to fight. Hopefully we'll have more on that next week.

Andy Souwer (Holland)

Mike Zambidis (Greece)

Drago (Armenia)

Artur Kyshenko (Ukraine)

Yasuhiro Kido (Japan)

Yuji Nashiro (Japan)

Su Hwan Lee (Korea)

Abraham Roqueni (Spain)

Chahid (Morocco)

Longern Superpro Samui (Thai)

Harut Grigorian (Belgium)

Chris Ngimbi (Congo)


Buakaw Holds Press Conference, Still No Real Answers to Tough Questions

  • Published in K-1

There is a shroud of mystery surrounding Buakaw Banchamek's actions at the K-1 World MAX Finals event from Saturday night. In the lead-up to the event Buakaw was in the press where he made multiple statements in regards to K-1 that all amounted to claims that he never substantiated. So it wasn't a surprise that something went down on Saturday, but no one expected Buakaw to just walk out before the decision was ever read, that's for sure. 

Yesterday K-1 held a press conference and issued a statement where they refuted Buakaw's claims against them and implied if Buakaw continued to talk in the press about the organization that they'd pursue legal action. Today in Bangkok Buakaw held his own press conference, which began with Superpro Samui's Robbie Timmers as a character witness. While it's not clear to us what he said, our best guess was that it was about Murthel Groenhart's prize money fiasco due to Timmers and his links with Black Label fighter management, which is now linked with GLORY. 

Buakaw really did not say much that we didn't already hear in the past few days. His claims were that he knew that the fight was fixed and left in protest, that he did not understand the K-1 rules due to a poor translation that was provided to him and that he was concerned with possible illegal gambling operations. What I've been explaining to people over the last few days that in cases like this the onus is on the accuser to present strong evidence and possibly even proof to validate the claims. This press conference was supposed to be the day that things were clarified and instead it was the same vague claims without a scrap of evidence or proof.

The court of public opinion has already spoken and firmly sided with Mr. Banchamek, regardless of this.


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'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):

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.


K-1 WGP 2015 70kgs Live Results and Stream

  • Published in Asia

K-1 World GP 70kgs 8-man tournament is taking place tonight in Japan. This card is stacked beyond belief, first of all the 8-man tournament has some really great young, upcoming fighters. Secondly all the top 65kgs are fighting each other in the super fights. These super fights are exactly why Japan has the top 65kgs fighters, they are constantly fighting each other to find out who is the very best, which is great for the fans like us because we always get to see the fights we want.

These fights are being streamed Live on NICO NICO AT THIS LINK but sadly it isn't a free one. Ill be tweeting at @JayJauncey if you want to join.


Preliminary Card

HeavyweightTsutomu Takahagi vs Hitoshi Sugimoto - DRAW

60kg - Fumiya Osawa vs Shingen Endo - DRAW

65kg - Ren Hiramoto def. Yohei Noguchi by Unanimous Dec

Main Card

Tournament Reserve Fight 70kg - Serhiy Adamchuk def. Kazuya Akimoto by Split Dec

Tournament Quarterfinal 70kgMarat Grigorian def. Yoichi Yamazaki by KO Rd 2 (left high kick)

Tournament Quarterfinal 70kg - Makihira Keita def. Dylan Salvador by Unanimous Dec

Tournament Quarterfinal 70kg - Sanny Dahlbeck def. Hiroki Nakajima by TKO 2nd Rd (2 knockdowns)

Tournament Quarterfinal 70kg - Jordann Pikeur def. Daiki Watabe by TKO Rd 2 (2 knockdowns)

SuperfightHirotaka Urabe def. Toshi by Unanimous Dec (Extra Rd)

SuperfightKimura "Phillip" Minoru def. Massaro Glunder by Unanimous Dec (Extra Rd)

Tournament Semifinal 1 - Marat Grigorian def. Makihira Keita by KO Rd 2 (left body hook)

Tournament Semifinal 2Jordann Pikeur def. Sanny Dahlbeck by TKO Rd 2 (2 knockdowns)

SuperfightTakeru def. Hakim Hamech by Unanimous Dec

SuperfightKoya Urabe def. Konstantin Trishin by Unanimous Dec

SuperfightKaew Fairtex def. Yasuomi Soda by Unanimous Dec

Tournament Final - Marat Grigorian def. Jordann Pikeur by KO Rd 1 (punches)

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