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More Changes to It's Showtime 57&58 on June 30th

IS

The It's Showtime card on June 30th has been a victim to the summer injury bug that MMA fans know all too well, especially Canadian UFC fans looking forward to UFC 149 (like Rian Scalia). A number of fighters on the It's Showtime event have had to drop out due to injuries or recent knockouts and being unable to receive medical clearance to fight. Then there is the case of Jerome Le Banner, who has been removed from the event completely due to some contractual situations, rumored to be his exclusive contract with Glory Sports International.

Rustemi Kreshnik will be filling in for Le Banner against Mourad Bouzidi, in a rematch where Bouzidi got the better of Kreshnik last time. We've already reported that Daniel Ghita's new opponent is Dzevad Poturak, in another series of unfortunate replacements for Ghita over the past few months. They have met twice before, with Poturak getting the better of a younger Ghita years ago, but many are sure that Poturak will not have that same luck again. Harut Grigorian was unable to receive medical clearance to fight, so he will be replaced by Hafid el Boustati against Robin van Roosmalen.

You can see the rest of the finalized card here.

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Watch the K-1 MAX Selection Brazil Tournament Here

  • Published in Video

K-1

While there is a lot of attention being paid to GLORY over the past year or so, as they have been picking up where K-1 left off back in 2010, K-1 Global has been active within 2013 after having a bit of an odd 2012, to say the least. K-1 has been running a few, smaller shows this year in the hopes of finding up and coming talent to help refill their roster since the big GLORY split happened a few years ago.

As we've seen with the K-1 World MAX Final 16 card, they have done a pretty good job of that through their K-1 World Qualifying Tour events so far and will continue to do so with the K-1 World Tour events as well, which will look to crown champions in each country as well as give some of those fighters not ready for the big time yet some developmental contracts.

Last night they posted the video from June 22nd's K-1 World Qualifying Tour MAX Selection Brazil event, which saw Wallace Lopez move on to the K-1 World MAX Final 16. Go ahead and watch the full tournament here.

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Raul Catinas and Hesdy Gerges the Latest Fighters Confirmed for K-1 WGP Final 16

  • Published in K-1

GergesThere has yet to be anything official from K-1 yet when it comes to who is fighting in the K-1 World Grand Prix Final 16, but that is alright as we've already heard from a few fighters' camps already, talking about their inclusion. So far we know that Dzevad Poturak, Paul Slowinski, Mirko Cro Cop, Ben Edwards and probably Daniel Ghita will be fighting in the K-1 tournament. There are other names rumored, like Sergei Laschenko and Catalin Morosanu, but we've yet to see anything official to that effect yet. The latest names added to the list are that of Raul Catinas and Hesdy Gerges, confirmed by their coach, Thom Harinck.

Catinas is a great addition, as a young fighter who has been continually improving over the past few years. Catinas, a Romanian fighter, has primarily been fighting for SuperKombat for the past two years in his home of Romania. His signing hints at the possible SuperKombat partnership we've been hearing about for a while, but regardless, Catinas serves as a great addition to the tournament at age 24 riding on a five fight win streak.

The addition of Gerges helps to legitimize the tournament, as Ghita will serve as the third participant in the tournament, on top of Ghita and Laschenko, who are ranked in LiverKick.com's Top 10. Daniel Ghita is a strong #2, Laschenko is #6 and Gerges is at #10. Gerges has had a tough few years after looking incredibly strong in 2010. This doesn't mean that he can't rebound, as this tournament will be a perfect chance for him to string a few quality wins together and get himself back in the discussion as one of the elite Heavyweights.

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Kickboxing Doesn't Need to Be Ashamed of Booking Shows in Casinos

  • Published in Kickboxing

Glory

There have been numerous rumors about the next GLORY event here in the United States, including possibly being in a city in California that doesn’t really lend itself to many sports arenas in the area. The first thing that I thought of was that maybe we’d see a GLORY event at an Indian casino, which is something that we still see for a lot of combat sports events. TaKe-On Productions in New York has built up a decent relationship with a local casino which seems to suit them well right now, and Muay Thai events in California and Las Vegas have long-been associated with casinos.

Most non-UFC MMA events tend to take place at casinos, as well, due to them housing smaller venues than traditional sports arenas, making it easier for a promoter to not lose a lot of money by booking an arena and only being able to fill it beyond half capacity, including free tickets. Even the UFC was taking place in casinos for quite a while, which was in part due to problems with State Athletic Commissions not recognizing the sport or refusing to regulate it.

There should be no shame seen in booking an event in a casino, as for someone like GLORY they might not want to just jump into booking larger arenas right away. Right now seems like a good time to consider it, as online poker went from being illegal to each state having their own unique laws regarding it. The popularity of stuff like WSoP, both online and offline, has made casinos come out of the smokey grey area that they resided in before and into being viewed as just another part of American culture again.

While we still don’t know exactly where GLORY is planning to organize their next event within the United States yet, the bump on Spike TV should absolutely help them to gain more attention, but they shouldn’t rush into a larger arena just assuming that they will be able to fill it up, as a half empty arena, no matter what camera tricks are done, can show through on live TV sometimes.

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Fight Card for Kunlun Fight 21

  • Published in Kickboxing

Kunlun Fight returns this weekend with a new show that will air over the next few Sundays. This one features the next round of the Kunlun Fight Heavyweight Tournament that includes Andrei Herasimchuk, Jahfarr Wilnis, Hesdy Gerges, Konstantin Glukhov and more. 

The event goes down on March 17th and will be airing in part the following Sunday afternoon on Jiang Su TV at 15:30 local time.

Kunlun Fight 21
He Qun (CHN) vs Maria Lobo (PRT)  60kg
Mustapha Haida (MAR) vs Chingiz Allazov (BLR) 70kg
Juri Kehl (GER) vs Milad Farzad (AUS) 70kg
Wang Weihao(CHN) vs Pong Thong (THA) 70kg
Tang Jin (CHN) vs TBA 56kg(MMA)
Wei Ninghui(CHN) vs Denies Puric (CAN) 62kg
Xu Yongba (CHN) vs Cyrus Washington (USA) 75kg
Hesdy Gerges(EGY) vs Konstantin Glukhov(LAT) 100kg+
Asihati(CHN) vs Yoo Yangrea (KOR) 100kg+
Roman Kryklia (UKR) vs Jahfarr Wilnis 100kg+
Andrei Herasimchuk (BLR) vs Steven Banks 100kg+
Wang Wanben (CHN) vs Barish (FRA) 60kg
Jiao Fukai (CHN) vs Yuki Sugita (JAN) 70kg
Wang Chongyang (CHN) vs Marcel Jager(SVK) 88kg
 
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K-1 Announces Deal in China and Three 2015 Events

  • Published in K-1

If you've been wondering why K-1 has been seemingly so focused on China over the past year or so, look no further than the announcement made today by K-1 that they have secured what looks to be a pretty hefty broadcast deal in China that will reach most of the country. We had the news on the next event in China, taking place on January 1st, last week. That will be the first of ten live events that will be produced inside of China next year by K-1 through this partnership.

That first event is a China vs. USA themed event. Originally they had announced Kevin Ross and Tiffany Van Soest from the USA as fighting for the event, but due to commitments to Lion Fight Van Soest is 100% out and Ross is still trying to clear things up, but it's up in the air right now. 

According to their statement today, K-1 will be aired live on nine major, commercial broadcast network in China. I'm not kidding. Those listed are; Hunan TV, Hebei TV, Hubei TV, JiangXi TV, Anhui TV,Chongqing TV, Guangdong TV, Hainan TV, Qinghai TV. This covers most of China's population, which is estimated at 1.357 billion people. I'm not sure how to compare this to the US because China has over four times the population that the US does, but this is basically like being on one of the major broadcast networks like CBS, ABC or NBC. This partnership will make K-1 one of the most widely-viewed combat sports in the world.

K-1 has also announced two other events;

February 1st; China vs. Japan
March 28th; China vs. Thailand
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Saenchai Wins at the Hoost Cup - Will He Go to K-1?

  • Published in Asia

Hoost CupThe Hoost Cup went down this weekend, featuring a few interesting fights, namely Saenchai's first "Kickboxing" fight, which has sparked all sorts of speculation as to what his future might be and if he might be headed to K-1 as his sponsor Yokkao has insinuated at on Twitter. It doesn't hurt that K-1 head Mr. Kim has been seen visiting with Stefania, the mastermind behind Yokkao Extreme, either.

The results are as follows;

Yoshihiro Sato (R3 - Dec.) Yuichiro "Jienotsu" Nagashima

Saenchai (R3 - Dec.) Yosuke Mizuochi

Souta Ichinohe (R1 - TKO) Ryuya Kusakabe

Shu Ogawa (R3 - Dec.) Hiroki

Hukashi (R3 - Dec.) Yuto Tsujide

Satoko Sasaki (R3 - Dec.) Maria Pantazi

Now, as for Saenchai and K-1, it is no secret that K-1 is looking to re-establish itself with a new set of stars, and who better than one of the most famous Thai fighters alive today in Saenchai? Saenchai's flashy style has won him tons of fans all over the world and it would make for a perfect and entertaining fit for K-1. Seeing as though Saenchai's natural weight class is around 60kg and his tendency to fight up in weight it wouldn't shock me to see him at 65kgs.

As for Saenchai's relationship with K-1 right now it is still too early to predict what will happen, but LiverKick has been able to confirm that there have been preliminary talks between the two parties, although it is not clear how far these talks have gone.

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Go Ahead and Watch Tyrone Spong's MMA Debut

  • Published in Video

So Tyrone Spong finally made his MMA debut this weekend at the World Series of Fighting's inaugural event. WSoF is headed up by Ray Sefo, whom you should all know, so there is no surprise that this is where Kickboxing and Muay Thai fighter Tyrone Spong decided to make his debut. Spong fought, well, some dude named Travis Bartlett that we give all of the credit in the world to for stepping into the ring with Tyrone, but yeah. This was what it was. Watch it and marvel at why Tyrone hasn't been super active in Kickboxing.

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Check Out This Behind the Scenes From GLORY 10

  • Published in Glory

glory

GLORY 10 was this past weekend and most of us are still coming down from the buzz of it all, where we saw some great fights and a new Middleweight Champion crowned by the way of Joe Schilling. For GLORY, who are looking to make a big push into the United States, things couldn't have went better for them as there were multiple American stars born from outstanding performances. Ky Hollenbeck, Wayne Barrett and Joe Schilling put forth great efforts that really caught the world by fire.

So relive it and check out what was going on backstage during the event.

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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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