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Superpro Samui TV Episode 2 Featuring Hesdy Gerges

  • Published in Kickboxing

Superpro Samui gym is a peculiar case of a gym in Thailand with heavy ties to the Netherlands, including Black Label Fighters and It's Showtime, two of the premier brands in Dutch Kickboxing. They are really taking to their youtube channel of late, posting videos from the team training at the gym. This is the second episode that they have posted and features Dutch Kickboxer and former It's Showtime Heavyweight Champion Hesdy Gerges.

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Trailer for K-1 World GP in Japan -65kgs Tournament

  • Published in K-1

K-1 returns to Japan with the K-1 World GP in Japan -65kgs tournamnent featuring some of the best -65kg talent in the world in a one-night, eight man tournament to crown a champion. This event goes down on November 3rd in Japan and this, my friends, is a trailer for it.

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Mike Zambidis to Defend SuperKombat Title Plus More SK 2015 Details

  • Published in Kickboxing

Mike Zambidis captured the SuperKombat Middleweight Championship back in August of 2013 against Harun Kina in Romania and now in January he is set to defend that title for the very first time in a return match. At an Iron Challenge 2015 event in Greece Zambidis is set to defend that title against Kina. If you are wondering why it isn't on a SuperKombat card proper, that's because 2015 will be the year that SuperKombat begins licensing out their brand to interested partners.

Previously they would license out tryout events, but starting this year they will also license out Elimination and World Title fights. The SuperKombat season begins on March 7th with their first event of this season, but look for more events held around the world with fights that impact the world of SuperKombat throughout the year. We'll have more on SuperKombat and Mike Zambidis when it's available.

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Glory TV Documentary on Glory World Series Coming Soon

  • Published in Kickboxing

If you are like us, you watched and enjoyed the Glory World Series event fromt his past weekend. Glory have been going out of their way to make their events as big of a deal as they can, which includes some awesome documentaries. If you for some reason missed the event, you can purchase a replay for $5. On June 4th Glory TV will be launching a documentary series on the huge event, and for now you can watch this video and get hyped up.

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As Glory Content on Spike Expands, It’s Time to Start Thinking Bigger

  • Published in News

Glory has long accumulated enough content to provide regular programming on SpikeTV, but the extent of its presence has largely been limited to 2-hour live or tape delayed events as well as 30 minute countdown shows. Ratings, while stable overall, have varied the most between long hiatuses with Glory finding it difficult to sustain the momentum generated by a successful event. This is why we’ve maintained that having Spike air Glory content on a more regular basis would help keep the product on the radar of combat sports fans.

Well, it seems like this may be coming to fruition. On July 25, SpikeTV aired a one hour-long special consisting of some of the best Glory fights and highlights thus far. If you tuned in, you might have noticed a small caption reading that the Glory Last Man Standing tournament will be airing Friday, August 8, at 10/9c. In case you missed it before, Glory and Spike are going to bring you the greatest combat sports PPV event of the year for FREE on August 8, filling a relatively quiet night of programming (unless Cops and Jail is your idea of quality prime time entertainment) with must-see TV. While we’re waiting to hear more about Glory’s plans for the second half of 2014, airing the historic LMS event on free TV is more than enough to satisfy Kickboxing fans in the meantime. By the way, if you have friends or know someone who would be interested in Kickboxing, this is the event they need to see.

Could these programming changes possibly signal deepening ties between Glory and Spike? While we don’t know for sure, it is likely. Consider that the once-known “First Network for Men” has lately struggled with its identity as more original programming has been replaced by syndicated content. Its association with the UFC once provided hours of original daytime programming as well as an exclusive live sports entertainment product for primetime. However, it has yet to convincingly compete in this space again, with Bellator achieving only a fraction of the UFC’s former presence. TNA, while not considered a leading brand, has provided steady ratings for Spike with an average of 1-1.2 million viewers every week (as reported on wrestling sites). However, by ending its relationship with TNA, Spike will need to rededicate its efforts to making its original sports programming successful. Bellator and Glory have yet to perform strongly enough on their own, but with the combined strength of these two brands in a co-promotional arrangement, Spike may able to reestablish itself as an outlet for combat sports.

What would be the next step for Glory and Spike? I would personally like to see the 17 or so unaired Super Fight cards that Glory has taped make their way to cable TV. This is ready-made content that could fill any weekend or weekday with solid combat sports action. While The Ultimate Fighter was a breakout promotional vehicle for Spike and the UFC, I would argue that the afternoons full of UFC Unleashed were equally as important because it gave casual and incidental viewers the opportunity to discover the product. The possibility of doing a reality show depends on the viability of the format today; for Glory, I see greater value in developing a television platform for Eldar Gross’s excellent documentary filmmaking than I do for a game show with an uninspired gimmick (Enfusion Reality included). If you doubt this, just consider the star-making impact of Eldar’s documentaries on Alistair Overeem and Tyrone Spong and imagine this in the format of a serious multi-part series with AMC/HBO-style marketing--there’s a chance to reach a wider audience here. This would be the type of promotion that Glory has been looking for with a cast of excellent subjects who have already been chosen.

We’re at a point now where the Glory product itself is in need of no further major refinement. The challenge now is making a connection with a television audience, and while this is a daunting task, there are a few things that we might consider. Let’s think about a time in combat sports when big fights made big news and big names mattered to little people. We talk about combat sports legends like the often-named boxers of bygone generations--men who became icons not only because of their accomplishments (after all, what cultural value do these accomplishments have if no one knows about or appreciates them?) but because of how they were sold to the public. The legend of Muhammad Ali had as much to do with the man as the people who promoted him and publicized him. Television in the cable era is far more fragmented than it was in the broadcast network era, but every now and then, when talent, interest, and marketing come together at the right time, a figure is able to transcend the boundaries of their medium. Far less well-spoken people who compete in sports more obscure than kickboxing get made into national heroes every Olympics; what stops our champions? Is the story of some dopy middle class suburban kid who spent all of their free time swimming more compelling than that of Zack Mwekassa? NBC sells the hell out of stories like that. Maybe it’s time to stop waiting for the mainstream to find us--let’s go after their hearts. This product and the people who compete are just as compelling as anything that could get sold on TV; it’s time to market the product with inspiration and creativity. It’s time to think bigger.

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Former K-1 Champion Mark Hunt Gets a Crack at UFC Gold

  • Published in Kickboxing

On November 15th at UFC 180 in Mexico the unthinkable will happen; 40 year old Mark Hunt will have a shot to become UFC [Interim] Heavyweight Champion. The injury-prone Champion, Cain Velasquez, has been forced to pull out of his scheduled title defense against Fabricio Werdum and who else would step forward on a few weeks notice for the shot of his life? Of course Mark Hunt would jump at the chance to be called UFC Heavyweight Champion.

Mark Hunt got his spot with the UFC via a technicality thanks to his contract with PRIDE FC, the UFC opting to honor said contract and give Hunt a shot at the UFC. At the time there were no real hopes to Hunt impressing anyone. Hunt was 36 and he stepped into the ring with Sean McCorkle coming off of a five fight losing streak. McCorkle would make six. Hunt swore that he'd do better and Dana White gave him another shot. What followed was a crazy four-fight winning streak that was finally derailed by former UFC Heavyweight Champion Junior Dos Santos. Many would claim that JDS won via knockout, but it always just seemed that Hunt was just exhausted and the kick just put him onto the mat, where he was just too wiped out to stand up.

His next fight was against perennial title contender and one of the men who beat the unbeatable Fedor Emelianenko in Bigfoot Silva. It was a bloodbath of a fight, one of the most beautiful things that a fan could witness, ending in a rare majority draw after five rounds of action. Afterwards Bigfoot Silva tested positive for banned substances, which didn't come as much of a surprise. Hunt's next fight was in Japan against Roy Nelson. Nelson had always been knocking at the door of being a top guy in the division, but was always held back by his stubbornness. Mark Hunt laid him out in just two rounds.

Now Mark Hunt is the man to fill in and is given the opportunity of a lifetime. Fabricio Werdum will no doubt be in better shape, is younger and more well-rounded, but Mark Hunt is Mark Hunt. 

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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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Hunt and Manhoef score epic face-plant KO’s

  • Published in Kickboxing

Kickboxing royalty Mark Hunt and Melvin Manhoef were both successful in MMA bouts as they finished off Roy Nelson and Doug Marshall respectively.

 

Mark Hunt’s unlikely career resurgence continues, as the 40-year old became only the second fighter to knockout the notoriously durable Roy ‘Big Country’ Nelson. The bout headlined UFC’s third trip to Japan since the Zuffa takeover and was a seemingly logical match-up of fan favorites.

 

The bout was relatively even throughout the first round, as both battled to establish dominance over the other with both fighters scoring with occasional punches and a few thudding low kicks from the former K-1 champion Hunt. Nelson was unsuccessful in two attempts at bringing the fight to the mat in the first as he likely lost a very close first round to the New Zealand native.

 

At the start of the second round Nelson was finally able to secure a takedown and briefly took Hunt’s back however Hunt was able to escape back to his feet shortly after. The two continued to trade on the feet as the momentum began to swing in Hunt’s favor whilst Nelson began to show signs of fatigue. With two minutes left on the clock, Hunt crumbled Nelson with a monstrous uppercut followed by his typical walk-off celebration.

 

With the victory Hunt moves to (5-2-1) in the UFC and could see himself enter the UFC’s top 5 rankings for the very first time (currently ranked #6), whilst after being stopped for the first time in nearly six years, Nelson falls to (7-6) in the octagon.

 

Melvin Manhoef, who coincidently was the first man to knockout Mark Hunt, made quick work of former Bellator title challenger Doug ‘The Rhino” Marshall in the Bellator 125 main event from Fresno, California. After a brief feeling out period both fighters began swinging wildly before an inadvertent shot to the groin of Marshall halted the bout temporarily. After the restart the two went back at it, throwing an assortment of haymakers and kicks to no avail. However after stinging Marshall with several low-kicks, Manhoef flattened his foe with a quick overhand right that sent Marshall face-first into the mat in dramatic fashion.

 

Manhoef immediately moves into title contention with his successful Bellator debut and could be in line for a Middleweight title shot against the winner of Alexander Shlemenko vs. Brandon Halsey who clash next Friday in the main event of Bellator 126. Marshall meanwhile drops to 4-2 inside the Bellator cage as he fought for the first time since his unsuccessful title shot against the aforementioned Shlemenko last November, a bout in which he subsequently tested positive for a banned substance post-fight.

 

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