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Gabriel Varga Talks GLORY Featherweight Title and Upcoming K-1 China Fight

  • Published in Interviews

Canadian featherweight Gabriel Varga has turned some heads over the past few years with his appearances in K-1 and GLORY. In fact, Gabriel Varga is the man who is set to fight for the inaugural GLORY Featherweight Championship against Mosab Amrani. Sadly, that fight was pushed back but luckily enough he’ll be keeping busy as he fights on K-1’s China vs. USA event on January 1st.

We caught up with Varga while he prepares for his fight on January 1st.

Your weight class is incredibly competitive all around the world, where do you feel you stand in that weight class right now?

It depends in what style.  I haven't fought full Muay Thai, but in GLORY rules or modified Muay Thai I know I can be the best.  There was so much hype around Sitmonchai and many people where excited to see him fight outside Thailand, but Kickboxing is a different sport and I know I can win a fight against anybody.  I think with another 2-3 wins I will be recognized as the top kickboxer at –65kg.

Do you feel that Canada has finally gotten a chance to show the world how much talent comes from there over the past few years and are you proud of it?

Canadian fighters have had great opportunities over the past few years and Joesph Valentini, Simon Marcus, Josh Jauncey, Rob Thomas, Matt Embree and myself have risen to the challenge. I'm very happy with my accomplishments so far, but I still want to beat the top names and then Canada will be even more recognized in the Kickboxing world.

You've actually fought in China before, how does it feel to head back to China?

After another 6 months between fights I'm just happy to get a fight anywhere. But I'm looking forward to everything about this fight aside from the 12+ hour plane ride.

There isn't much out there about your opponent, does that bother you or will it not be a problem?

I've watched a few videos of him and I feel I know his style well enough now. I always prefer to learn about my opponents and train specifically for them. That's one of the reasons I dislike tournaments. You can only prepare for your first opponent and after that you just have to do the best you can.

Historically your weight class has been dominated by the Japanese, what kind of shift do you think happened over the past few years?

The Japanese are still great fighters but they haven't always had to fight the best foreigners. Japanese organizations often bring in foreign opponents who aren't necessarily amongst the best.  GLORY has been great for including the best fighters in the world.

I'm sure in the future we'll see more Japanese in the -65kg division, but with Kubo's recent loss and Noiri's absence I don't expect to fight a Japanese opponent in the near future. 

You are still going to be fighting for GLORY's Featherweight title soon, how did you go about taking this fight with K-1?

GLORY was kind enough to let me have a one fight deal with K-1 because of GLORY 19 being postponed.  I'd like to fight at least 3 times per year and in 2014 I only got to fight in June. I asked GLORY if they'd be willing to make a special exception this one time and they said yes. And K-1 was great to me as well. I called them up with a 4 weeks notice pleading for a fight and they put me on the first card they had.

Fighting on the first day of the year is a great way to start. I hope to fight at least 5 times next year and getting the GLORY Featherweight title should help me become a bigger draw.

Kickboxing has struggled in North America, what do you think will help it attract more fans?

Kickboxing simply won't become mainstream in North America in only 2 years. GLORY has been doing a great job and if they continue to hold 8+ events per year and air them on Spike, the audience will grow.  I hear so many people complaining about the UFC and I think within a couple of years, GLORY will capture the attention of those less enthusiastic MMA fans and help the popularity of kickboxing grow.

If GLORY can focus on creating a few more stars who are North American that will help as well. And if there's ever a chance to do some sort of reality show that would be very exciting. My management EPOK Agency recently announced a groundbreaking partnership with a major talent agency in New York, which will open new opportunities in mainstream media. So I think this will also help with growing my popularity as a North American fighter.

Is there anyone out there that you want to face down the line?

The only person I think I should fight for the GLORY belt is Mosab Amrani. He holds a win over Kubo and is ranked number 1. That's the fight I want.

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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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Legacy Kickboxing 1 Fight Card for January 16th

  • Published in Kickboxing

In exactly one week Legacy Kickboxing 1 is set to go down live from Houston, Texas. The event will be airing live on AXS TV at 10pm Eastern time. The main event features muay thai and kickboxing veteran Cosmo Alexandre squaring off against Regian Eersel. The co-main is UFC and GLORY veteran Pat Barry taking on Demoreo Dennis with Barry looking to get back into the win column after a disappointing debut with GLORY in May. 

Miguel Torres, former WEC Champion and UFC veteran will take on Angel Huerta. The card also features Michael Corley vs. Marco Pique, Valentina Schleychenko vs. Lindsay Haycraft,  Alex Morono vs. Lucas Pimenta and Justin Reiswerg vs. Will Morris. 

Tune in next week and follow the live results here on LiverKick.com.

165 - Cosmo Alexandre 42-15 v. Regian Eersel  26-2  
HVY – Pat Barry 16-6  v. Demoreo Dennis 9-3
135 – Angel Huerta 4-1 v. Miguel Torres 0-0
155 – Michael Corley 18-11 v. Marco Pique 60-38
135 – Valentina Schlevchenko 54-1 v. Lindsay Haycraft - 25–12
170 -  Alex Morono 6-3 v. Lucas Pimenta - 8–2
155 - Justin Reiswerg  v. Will Morris 
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Sem Schilt Talks Upcoming Glory World Title Fight

  • Published in Kickboxing

This weekend Semmy Schilt and Errol Zimmerman will do battle to be crowned as the very first Glory Heavyweight Champion, in a battle of two of the sport's best heavyweights at very different places in their careers. Schilt, with four K-1 World Grand Prix Championships under his belt as well as holding the K-1 Super Heavyweight Championship, has been on top of the Kickboxing world for nearly a decade now, while Zimmerman is younger and has yet to see the level of success that Schilt has. Zimmerman has for a long time been referred to as a fighter with endless potential, but fans and pundits have gotten down on Zimmerman for some of his weaker efforts. In 2011 Zimmerman went on a tear, amassing a massive win streak heading into his fight with Schilt.

This video from Glory TV talks to Schilt about the upcoming bout. Don't forget to purchase the event, coming on May 26th, from your friends here at LiverKick. Proceeds go to maintaining Rian's haircut while affording Dave the flexibility to not cut his, along with both of us keeping the site up to date.

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VIDEO: Tyrone Spong Successful in Boxing Debut with Vicious KO

  • Published in Video

Well, that was quick.

Tyrone Spong made his professional Boxing debut today in Germany against, well, some guy. His opponent was Gabor Farkas who has had 41 professional boxing fights before tonight and had won seven of those. You do the math. He was no match for the King of the Ring, though, with the fight ending pretty quickly with a vicious knockout.

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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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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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Yasuhiro Kido: "I Received Fight Money From K-1 Global"

  • Published in K-1

KidoThe rumor mill has been turning about K-1 Global in the past few days, and instead of the rumors coming from upset fighters and managers like it was in the past, this time it was from some of the more powerful titans of the world of kickboxing. K-1 Global forged a partnership with It's Showtime's Simon Rutz, with Rutz and It's Showtime's team helping to promote, produce and essentially handle the entire event in Madrid. According to Rutz, K-1 Global has neglected to pay for the event or the fighters, which has led to a historic event of Glory Sports International and It's Showtime coming to an agreement, with It's Showtime being purchased by GSI and becoming a part of the Glory family.

It appears that this could just be attributed to fighters associated with Simon Rutz and It's Showtime, although we have yet to hear much yet. Yasuhiro Kido aparently spoke out about his situation on his twitter, and he says that he was paid.

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