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Dave Walsh

Dave Walsh

Dave Walsh has been covering MMA and Kickboxing since 2007 before changing his focus solely to Kickboxing in 2009, launching what was the only English-language site dedicated to giving Kickboxing similar coverage to what MMA receives. He was the co-founder of HeadKickLegend and now LiverKick. He resides in Albuquerque, New Mexico where he works as a writer of all trades.

His second novel, Terminus Cycle, is available now via Kindle and Paperback.

Dave (a) LiverKick dot com.

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Wayne Barrett Ready to Return to Greatness at GLORY 24

This Friday at GLORY 24 Wayne Barrett is set to return from an absence from the ring to fight recent GLORY tournament winner Dustin Jacoby. For many, Wayne Barrett is one of those raw talents in kickboxing who could easily become a major player for years to come, which is especially rare considering that he is an American. Perhaps the feather in the cap of his relatively young kickboxing career is a win over Joe Schilling. The Schilling win came at a time when many saw Schilling as unstoppable, putting a considering dent in the armor of the myth that was Joe Schilling at the time. The win over Bogdan Stoica that came at GLORY’s Last Man Standing tournament was purely academic at that point.

After that, though, things haven’t been all sunshine and happiness for Wayne Barrett. On a three fight skid right now, Barrett elected to take time off to get his head back into the game. “You know, they offered me fights, man. They offered me fights to get myself a win, to build my confidence up and everyone thought that I should do it, but I turned them down. What’s the point if I’m not the Wayne Barrett that I truly believe that I can be? I took time for myself,” he explained. “And let me tell you, I feel incredible right now. This fight is all about me, it’s all about Wayne and getting everything right.”

What he means is that during his time away from the ring he made sure that everything was in order in his personal life as well as his professional life. As a father it was important to him to feel that he was doing his best and to set the right kind of example. A lot of that had to do with how he was training, as well. “I went through so many coaches at this point, I’ve had coaches telling me what to do, trying to change me and make me more of an orthodox fighter. But that isn’t who I am. I’ve got, for lack of a better word, a sort of swagger to me and how I fight. I’m unlike anyone else in the world in the ring and that’s what I bring to the table, so I’m not trying to be someone else anymore, I’m just being me right now.”

I brought up a young Rico Verhoeven, who at the time was incredibly talented with a ton of potential, but if you would go back and watch Rico’s early fights you’ll see a stiff, rigid and uncomfortable Verhoeven. The confidence to be himself wasn’t quite there yet compared to the Rico Verhoeven of today. “Oh man, absolutely,” he was getting excited now. “I love Rico, man. He’s just incredible. He’s his own man out there. Does he honor the whole Dutch style? Of course he does, but he’s making it his own, what he’s doing is an evolution. That’s how I view myself. They wanted me to do this you kick-I kick thing and that wasn’t who I am so it just didn’t work.”

Barrett, while in his late 20’s, is still relatively fresh into his professional career. “My second professional fight,” he said, “that was in the GLORY ring against a guy like Mike Lemaire.” Indeed it was his second professional fight, that fight being a knockout of Lemaire. What is astonishing about Barrett’s professional career is that upon joining GLORY he was immediately thrust into the spotlight, fighting some of the biggest names in the world. He stepped into the ring for his fourth professional fight against Joe Schilling, arguably the top dog in the division at that time, and he didn’t only handle himself well, but he won. There was no carefully curated career here, Barrett was simply there, with a rocket strapped to his back going full steam ahead.

When it came time for him to step into the ring with the notorious Romanian slugger Bogdan Stoica he felt ready, although the more that we talked about how kickboxing worked overseas, the more he opened up about how different his career has been. “There is no padding on my record,” he laughed. “I remember looking at Stoica’s record and thinking -- as a fan -- that I had no clue who some of these people that he was crushing were. Even some of the guys who beat him I had never heard of before.” The fight ended with Stoica going down to a left hook, Barrett moving forward in the tournament only to meet Joe Schilling. When I brought up the decision and how there was controversy over it he quickly interjected, “You could say that again.” 

Even if his next two fights were indeed losses, one to Jason Wilnis and one to Simon Marcus, they were still against two of the top fighters within the division. While most would look at that, shrug and take an easy fight, Barrett decided to go back to the drawing board and wait for another opportunity down the line. Now, though? “I’m going full force now,” he said. “I want to fight again this year, as long as they’ll let me. I think they probably will. Then next year I want to stay as active as I can.”

Tournaments, though, don’t seem to be in the immediate future for Wayne Barrett. “Nah,” he said. “Just single fights for me right now. Too much is out of your control in those tournaments. In the future? Yeah, if there is a big tournament I’ll be a part of it, but I want to focus on one opponent for right now and I want to prove to everyone that Wayne Barrett really is as good as everyone thinks that he can be. Man,” he laughed. “Now I’m talking in third person about myself. I still can’t believe that I’m at that point where I can talk to people about myself in third person.”

What I took away from my time talking to Wayne Barrett is that he’s in a very, very good place right now. He’s both mentally and physically ready for the road ahead and understands that while it was sort of shocking to initially see himself on a list as a top middleweight that he has to keep proving himself and earn his top spot. We’ll see what he brings to the table against Dustin Jacoby at GLORY 24 on Friday night in Denver.

Card for This Weekend's Enfusion 32

This Saturday in Belgium Enfusion Live presents their 32nd event, headlined by Nordin Ben Moh vs. Sergio Sanchez. This is looking to be one of Enfusion's better cards of the year, featuring a 61kg title fight between Anke Van Gestel and Aleide Lawant. Brice Guidon returns to action against Dexter Suisse, Mohammed Jaraya takes on Youssef Boulahtari, Ilias Bulaid fihgts David Mejia and Hafid El Boustati takes on Harut Grigorian.

Enfusion Live #32 Gent, Belgium Saturday 10.10.2015
21.00 Local start time (19.00 GMT)
Watch Live
If you live in the following countries the stream will be blocked due to your broadcaster showing Enfusion Live soon... Switzerland, France, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Belgium
1. 3X3 -70Kg
Hafid El Boustati (Morocco) Vs Harut Grigorian (Armenia)
2. 3X3 -67 Kg
Ilias Bulaid (Morocco) Vs David Mejia (Spain)
3. 3X3 -70Kg
Mohammed Jaraya (Morocco) Vs Youssef Boulahtari (Belgium)
Dexter Suisse (The Netherlands) Vs Brice Guidon (France)
Anke Van Gestel (Belguim) Vs Aleide Lawant (The Netherlands)
6. 3X3 -70Kg 
Nordin Ben Moh (Morocco) Vs Sergio Sanchez (Spain)

Singh Jaideep Wins (Loses) Fedor Lottery on New Year's Eve

New Year's Eve in Japan wouldn't be New Year's Eve without a freakshow here and there. For fans salivating at the idea of a brutal squash match your prayers have been answered by the way of Fedor Emelianenko's opponent on New Year's Eve being a former K-1 and GLORY competitor in Jaideep "Heart" Singh. Jaideep, hailing from India, has seen a deal of success competing as a heavyweight in Japan's rather lacking heavyweight kickboxing scene over the years. 

In 2009 he got the call to fight for K-1, winning his first K-1 tournament by the way of a qualifying tournament in South Korea. Jaideep did see some success beyond that, but whenever he was called up to fight the bigger names he seemed to be coming up just a bit short. His losses include Gokhan Saki, Ewerton Teixeira, Ismael Londt and Daniel Sam. That isn't to say that his career was all rain and gloom, though. Wins over Hiromi Amada, Raomaru and a knockout win over Sergei Kharitonov are easily his career highlights.

In 2013 he fought a lone MMA fight under the Super Fight League banner in India scoring a TKO victory over Alireza Tavak. On New Year's Eve Jaideep will step into the ring for his second professional MMA bout against the Last Emperor himself, Fedor Emelianenko. If it doesn't seem fair to pit a relative newcomer to MMA against someone like Fedor it probably isn't, but Emelianenko is returning after three years away from the ring due to his retirement and it would be foolish to expect him to be returning and fighting the best that there are in the world right now, if ever again. 

Fedor Emelianenko needs to prove himself to no one at this point, nor should he ever in the future. If the man wants to get paid, the man should get paid. As for Jaideep, well, this would be a big win for him. Nobody will hold that loss against him and it's not like his career is exactly booming at the moment anyway.

Jaideep has done the impossible before, though, folks.

Joe Schilling Talks Once Again Chasing Artem Levin for Rubber Match and GLORY 24

(C) Glory Sports International/James Law

Few names have become as synonymous with the American kickboxing movement within GLORY over the past few years like Joe Schilling. Schilling was originally a standout muay thai fighter who made a name for himself taking on all comers within his division and rising among the ranks until it was time to fight the top dogs in the world. There may have been some bumps, bruises and cuts along the way, but when it comes to Joe Schilling the word “pretty” isn’t often in the vocabulary. With a nickname like “Stitch ‘em Up” due to his proclivity for throwing lacerating elbows one can quickly understand why Joe Schilling rose up from being a cult favorite to one of GLORY’s American poster boys. 

This Friday evening at GLORY 24 he returns to the GLORY ring to face top middleweight Jason Wilnis. Originally Schilling was going to get his chance at a rubber match with career-adversary Artem Levin and his GLORY Middleweight championship, but an injury forced Levin off of the card and left Schilling with a tough, young and hungry Jason Wilnis looking to make a name off of one of the men who earned his spot on the Mount Rushmore of the division. For Schilling there is a lot riding on this fight outside of just another kickboxing fight, this is his first kickboxing fight since two back-to-back losses in Bellator, the latter being via knockout.

“You know, people have been talking a lot of shit, saying a lot of things, but really, I’m a multi-sport athlete,” he explained to us. “How many fighters can say that? I got caught in MMA, it happens, but now I have to show the world what I can and always have done in the ring and too bad for Wilnis, it’s going to be against him. I’m in demand right now, like they wanted me for the Dynamite show but the medical suspension got in the way of that happening.”

For a time the fight with Artem Levin was Schilling’s white whale, the one fight that eluded him. Scheduled and rescheduled a number of times in their respective pre-GLORY careers, their clash finally happened at GLORY 10 in the middleweight tournament that saw Schilling pull off the victory in an extension round of the finals. Once again Schilling finds himself frustrated with Levin pulling out of a fight with him. “I feel like I’m chasing him all over again. GLORY called me up and said they wanted me to fight Levin in Denver and, you know, this was the fight that I was asking them for, so I took it. Then a few weeks later they call and tell me that Levin was out and Wilnis is in and I was really pissed off.”

Schilling doesn’t seem certain that he’ll get that third fight with Levin any time soon, that he’ll be able to settle the score and have one man walk out victorious in their series, but he seems dead set on moving forward. As for where that future will be for Schilling, it seems to be on Spike TV for now. “I signed a new deal with Bellator, for MMA and kickboxing on Dynamite shows. I know not everyone loved that show, but it was incredible, a lot of vision went into that. There are going to be more and I’m gonna be fighting on them, be it kickboxing or MMA.”

The future within the GLORY ring seems to be less certain for Schilling, though, although he does seem open to more fights in the future. “Kickboxing is always my preference and if the offer is there and it’s the right offer I’ll take it without a second thought. The fights that I want are in GLORY right now.”

There has been a lot of talk about the future of kickboxing in America as well as GLORY’s future, which Schilling of course has had on his mind of late. His thoughts on the matter diverge from the common line of thought, though. “I never buy this line of bullshit about how you need an American champion to make it big here in the US. GLORY has been diluting their product in the name of finding this big American star and it has meant putting on weaker cards not featuring the top talents in the world. Put on big fights between the best fighters and the fans will react to that, who cares if they speak english or if they don’t? What matters is what happens in the ring, not the post-fight interviews.”

Schilling himself is of course one for leaving it all in the ring, with some of the most exciting fights in GLORY’s history under his belt, including the two dramatic fights with Artem Levin that have helped to define GLORY’s middleweight division. That doesn’t mean that he’s overlooking Wilnis on Friday at all, though. “Wilnis is a tough guy, he’s hungry and a win over me would mean a lot for his career. In no way am I overlooking Wilnis, though, I think that I’m on a mission here to prove those doubters wrong. That’s exactly what I’m going to do.”

Joe Schilling makes his return to GLORY on Friday at GLORY 24 against Jason Wilnis live on Spike TV in the main event.

Greg Wootton Injured, Replaced by Massaro Glunder for Yokkao 14 Clash with Saenchai

Bad news for fight fans in the UK that were looking to support local fighter Greg Wootton at the big Yokkao 14/Yokkao 15 double header happening on October 10th in the UK as Wootton has injured a rib in training and will be unable to compete. The good news, though, is that Yokkao has not only found a solid replacement, but they've found an amazing replacement by the way of current #4 ranked Featherweight here on LiverKick in Massaro Glunder. Glunder has been impressing the world in K-1 WGP in Japan over the past year or so and will now step into the ring with one of the living legends of the muay thai world in Saenchai. 

For a late replacement, Glunder, fighting out of Mike's Gym, is a fantastic choice on such late notice and will hopefully bring that same fire that he's been bringing to his fights in Japan. 

Yokkao 14/15 takes place on October 10th at Macron Stadium in Bolton in the UK and according to most reports is completely sold out.

Catalin Morosanu and Stoicas Victorious at SuperKombat in Italy

SuperKombat presented their SuperKombat World Grand Prix Final Elimination event live from Italy today, featuring an array of fan favorites on the card. Those fan favorites all won their bouts of choice, some in more spectacular fashion than others. The main event saw Catalin Morosanu annihilate Tomasz Czerwinski in his professional kickboxing debut. All of those muscles on Czerwinski require quite a bit of air and those punches from Morosanu made it that much more difficult to breathe.

Andrei Stoica was victorious over Pavel Voronin and his brother Bogdan was also victorious against Patrick Veenstra. There was a disqualification on this card where the outmatched Matt Murdoch was tossed into the corner by Italian fighter Giuseppe de Domenico, clinched with two hands behind the head and hit with two knees in succession before the ref could break it up, with de Domenico throwing a parting right hand after the ref broke them up, forcing the DQ. 

Full results via our friends at Kiksie.

1. Light Heavyweight plus bout (-86 kg)

Alexandru Negrea (Romania) def. Mohammed El Boulahiati (Morocco) by Split Decision


2. Light Heavyweight bout (-81 kg)

Matt Murdoch (Great Britain) def. Giuseppe de Domenico (Italy) by Disqualification


3. Cruiserweight bout (-92 kg)

Bogdan Stoica (Romania) def. Patrick Veenstra (Netherlands) by Unanimous Decision


4. Middleweight bout (-71 kg)

Amansio Paraschiv (Romania) def. Giannis Skordilis (Greece) by Unanimous Decision


5. Super Cruiserweight bout (-95 kg)

Andrei Stoica (Romania) def. Pavel Voronin (Moldova) by Unanimous Decision


6. Heavyweight bout (+96 kg)

Catalin Morosanu (Romania) def. Tomasz Czerwinski (Poland) by KO in Round 1

Year-End Mega Show GLORY 26 Amsterdam Announced

If your itch for a mega show just wasn't scratched by Dynamite you are in for some very, very good news. Today GLORY announced that on December 4th at RAI Amsterdam they will be throwing one of their biggest shows to date with GLORY 26. The event is to be headlined by two huge title fights featuring Dutch champions. The first is GLORY Heavyweight Champion Rico Verhoeven vs. the winner of the GLORY 24 heavyweight tournament and the second is Nieky Holzken vs. the GLORY 25 welterweight tournament winner. 

For longtime kickboxing fans it is interesting to note that Amsterdam is notoriously difficult to book kickboxing shows in. In fact, this was one of the big reasons that It's Showtime had so many problems during their tenure, as did the Ultimate Glory events. Dutch fans and promoters still struggle with the restrictive laws placed by Mayor van der Laan to keep the "criminal element" out of sporting events within Amsterdam. GLORY has been working on this for a very long time now and finally Dutch fans will get exactly what they want in a huge kickboxing event featuring Dutch champions. 

GLORY 26 will also feature a featherweight tournament featuring Mosab Amrani, the winner fighting Gabriel Varga.

What I really like about this show is that there is continuity involved for once. There is cause and effect. There are tournaments on the next two shows and those tournaments have an endgame that is clearly in sight. There is no "future title shot" that fans will have to guess at. Instead there is a future title fight with a firm date. This is the kind of foresight that GLORY has been sorely missing and can only help them moving forward. 

Prize Fighter Ben Edwards Ready for GLORY 24 Heavyweight Tournament

GLORY 24 will see a new heavyweight contender crowned, the winner moving on to fight champion Rico Verhoeven for the top spot in the world of heavyweight kickboxing. Over the past year we’ve seen Verhoeven fight Errol Zimmerman and Benjamin Adegbuyi, defeating both to retain his title. Fans have been starved for a good heavyweight tournament from GLORY, the last one at GLORY 16 Denver.

Interestingly enough, a man that we last saw at GLORY 16 Denver will be making his return to the GLORY ring at GLORY 24 looking for another crack at the GLORY Heavyweight Championship. That man is Australia’s own Ben Edwards. We caught up with Ben Edwards as he finishes up his preparations for the tournament and will be heading back to the United States.

Edwards had announced that he was leaving kickboxing after his loss last year, but the return is a welcome one for fans of the Aussie slugger. For Edwards, it is about making a living. “With kickboxing the last 3 of my last 4 losses were to guys pretty much the top 3 in the world (Rico, Errol and Overeem the year he won) and they are the guys that were at least making a living. If I couldn't crack that top tier I couldn't make a living and kickboxing is very hard to train for in Canberra so I decided to concentrate on boxing which is easy to train for in my home town. I won the national title 2 fights in returning to the sport so it wasn't a bad decision,” he explained. The offer from GLORY took him by surprise, actually. “The offer from Glory was unexpected and appreciated and I am very much looking forward to making the most of this second chance.”

Heavyweight kickboxing has seemed to be less of a focus of late, with the lighter weight classes taking a lot of the spotlight and there being a lot of fighters -- much like Edwards -- looking for opportunities outside of kickboxing. “As a hard-core combat sport fan I really feel kickboxing is the most exciting format. Its sad the sport has lost some of the bigger names but I still feel the sport has a healthy future.”

As for this tournament especially, Edwards seems ready to finally show the world what he’s made of after what he considered disappointments before. “The main difference in training is I've been spending a lot of time in Sydney, I've don't 6 trips in 5 weeks to train with Stu McKinnon and the boys at Castle Hill Bulldog,” he explained. “It’s world class padwork and sparring there and for the first time in  long time I am excited to fight. I had a lot of personal problems going into the last fight and I have fixed every single one and I am looking forward to being back to my best. I'm sick of feeling disappointed and letting people down, being considered a journeyman etc. Those days are over.”

When it comes to the first opponent for the night, Jahfarr Wilnis, Edwards seemed more focused on himself and his preparations, instead. “I only ever watch a little bit of footage on my opponent when the fight gets signed, get a feel for them, come up with a game plan then I don't think about them anymore. He appears to be a busy fighter with not much power which should leave plenty of openings to land one of my ghetto whoppers.”

Edwards has been a busy guy of late if you follow him on Facebook, taking a few acting gigs and looking happy to be going outside of his comfort zone. He explained to us how he found himself in front of the camera without gloves on. “I trained a guy who ended up being a producer on a local film that ended up starring Billy Zane, they have finished filming but they were running short on money to finish the production. Blue World Order is the film's name and they have a website to visit. This latest project stemmed from people I met on that, this one is called Tech Noir and the director is attempting to get it into the aussie short film festival Tropfest. I had a great experience on both films and definitely look forward to participating in more projects.”

What does the future hold for Edwards? Only time will tell. Edwards has done it all from boxing to kickboxing to even dog walking, but will he keep fighting even if he loses? “There will be plenty of dog walking, I can't express how much I enjoy doing that and I am a prize fighter, whatever the rules if there is a prize I'll be there.”

Any man who loves dogs is okay by me. The same with any man who genuinely loves fighting and Ben Edwards fits that bill. Ben Edwards is participating in the GLORY 24 Heavyweight tournament, facing Jahfarr Wilnis in the first round.

Robin van Roosmalen Reveals More on Upcoming MMA Debut

Robin van Roosmalen recently revealed that he'd be dipping his toe into the MMA waters after two years of training in the sport, all with the blessings of GLORY. Today, thanks to an interview from the Blackzilians website, there are more details on his pending debut. 

Van Roosmalen will be making his MMA debut on January 16th in Italy for the promotion FFC. FFC, run out of Croatia, runs events that are a mix of MMA and kickboxing. This seems like an interesting promotion to fight for considering they do have a kickboxing connection, but this is apparently all done with GLORY's knowledge. He had an exclusive contract with GLORY, but the promotion gave him the go ahead to pursue MMA as long as it didn't interfere with his GLORY obligations. 

As for the weight class? Robin fights at Lightweight in kickboxing but due to how much weight-cutting happens in MMA he has decided to fight at Featherweight in MMA. When asked about a possible future in the UFC, which doesn't allow for their fighters to participate in other sports, he said that he'd like to reach the highest level at some point, but that would be far down the line for him. There was a push to get van Roosmalen involved with Bellator (which we've known for a while), most recently a push for him to fight on the Bellator MMA Dynamite 1 card but Bellator didn't seem keen on it and those talks went nowhere. 

Singdam Tells Liam Harrison He Has No Chance at Yokkao 15

Yokkao 15 is quickly approaching, part of the big double header in Bolton in the UK with one of the feature attractions being Singdam Kiatmoo9 squaring off with the UK's own Liam Harrison. In this interview conducted by Yokkao's Stefania Picelli she talks about this being Liam's first fight and Singdam brings the heat. Singdam is of course a veteran of over 330 fights and isn't impressed with Liam's 100 fights, not even a little bit.

Oh yeah, he goes as far as to tell him that he has no chance on October 10th. Watch the interview below.

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