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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 first novel, the Godslayer, is available now

Website URL:

Dave Walsh's Second Novel -- Terminus Cycle -- Launching on March 24th

Terminus Cycle by Dave Walsh

So really, what's the point of owning and operating a site that gets a lot of traffic if I'm not allowed to advertise on it myself, right? I know how much I charge other people for it and I know that most of them walk away happy with it. So bear with me a minute because no, this is not about kickboxing. Instead it's about me. I know that your gut reaction is either, "ugh, fuck you" or "oh cool." I appreciate either one, at least you are thinking about me, right?

If you'll remember far back into the depths of history you'll remember that I released my first novel back in 2013. It was called "The Godslayer" and it was about a retired MMA fighter coping with life after his retirement when his legacy was beginning to fade and tarnish. I know that I'm kind of a nihilist and that a lot of you thought that it was a bleak outlook on MMA, but it's two years later and from the feedback that I've gotten I can gather that some actually agree now. "The Godslayer" was more of a test than anything else. I wanted to see how much interest that I could drum up and did things as low budget as I could.

This week the pre-order for my next novel went live on Amazon. It is called "Terminus Cycle" and it is entirely different from "The Godslayer." Nothing to do with professional fighting and is instead the beginning of a series of science fiction novels that I plan to release over the next few years. A lot of time and [my own] money went into this, but I'm excited about it. I know that the crossover for this is probably not that great, but still, I know that there are some nerds out there like myself so I urge you to check it out if it sounds like something you'd be interested in. 

It launched on March 24th on Amazon's Kindle, you can pre-order it here. You can also check out a sample chapter on my personal website if you are interested but unsure if its for you.

As always I thank you for your support and thank you for sticking with us over the years. 

It's Time for the Smaller Weight Classes to Shine

Kickboxing has long been all about the heavyweight weight classes. If you were to ask anyone about K-1 the first thing that would come to mind would be the K-1 World Grand Prix. Of course, there is a good reason for that. When modern kickboxing in the form of K-1 began in Japan it was to appeal to the local audiences with a blend of Kyokushin, Karate and professional wrestling. The Japanese public was always attracted to the idea of the clash of titans (I mean, really, isn’t everybody?) so K-1 focused heavily on the Heavyweights. 

If you look at GLORY, SuperKombat and even promotions like Enfusion you’ll see that the focus is still largely on the heavier weight classes. No matter what Badr Hari is doing it is news, if Peter Aerts is in a pro wrestling match in Japan everyone cares and people still ask if Sem Schilt will ever return to the ring. Speculation over Alistair Overeem leaving the UFC to return to kickboxing has been healthy for his entire UFC run. Needless to say, the big guys draw eyeballs.

The one real anomaly is the rise of K-1’s MAX division in the 2000’s. It was an idea created to promote the handsome and talented MASATO originally, but the reality was that it created a good number of stars and helped to make something outside of Heavyweight sustainable. We’ve seen the rise of a few stars like Giorgio Petrosyan, Buakaw Banchamek, Andy Ristie, Robin van Roosmalen and many more. It’s Showtime helped to push forward with expanded weight classes and GLORY is continuing along the path with the Light Heavyweight and Middleweight classes a big focus over the last year.

If we look at other sports the focus isn’t always just on huge, lumbering titans, though. While American Football might have a few such characters, a lot of the time the smaller, more agile players end up a focal point. The home run sluggers in baseball might draw eyeballs, but not all baseball players are Mark Mcguire. In football (you know, soccer) it is even more clear that you don’t (and shouldn’t) be a giant to be successful. Look no further than some of the lines at betting at William Hill to see how diverse the playing field can be. 

At GLORY 20 Gabriel Varga and Mosab Amrani will compete for the GLORY Featherweight Championship. It’s a solid first step, although there is confusion as to if this will air on the SuperFight Series or on Spike TV. Last that I’ve heard it was the SuperFight Series. Even so, it will be the headliner for that show that will air on CBS Sports Network and across the globe as its own show. 

Then, of course, is K-1’s 55kg World Grand Prix going down in Japan on April 19th. K-1 Japan has been putting out a steady stream of events featuring smaller weight classes and has been wildly entertaining. As long as the big players in kickboxing keep focusing on smaller weight classes there is still hope that the lighter, more technical and quick weight classes can shine in the near future. 

VIDEO: Enriko Kehl vs. Erkan Varol and Zabit Samedov vs. Merit Arkan

K-1 World MAX Champion Enriko Kehl has been keeping busy while he is set for a showdown with the legendary Giorgio Petrosyan in just a matter of weeks now. Earlier this year Petrosyan fought Erkan Varol, picking up a victory over Varol. Now Kehl has gone and done the same thing, this being a rematch between the two. They met this weekend in Turkey and Kehl looked confident in the fight. Of course, the test of Petrosyan is a big one for the young fighter, but hopefully he'll be ready come April 11th.

Also on the card was the man who knocked Badr Hari out, Zabit Samedov. Samedov fought Merit Arkan.

Card for Enfusion #25 on March 14th

On March 14th Enfusion returns with Enfusion Live #25 live from Belgium. The event is headlined by an Enfusion World Title match at 80kg where Hicham El Gaoui looks to defend that title against Morad Salhi. Also in the card is the talented William Diender against Nordin Ben Moh, a huge 70kg battle between Harut Grigorian and Marco Pique and more.

#25 Enfusion Live, Turnhout Belgium Saturday 14.03.2015
Local Start Time 21.30
1. 3X3      
Youssef Challouki (Belgium) Vs Sidy Barry (France) - 70KG
2. 3X3      
Anissa Meksen (France) Vs Isis Verbeek (The Netherlands)- 54Kg
3. 3X3      
Robbie Hageman (The Netherlands) Vs Engin Kutuk (Turkey)-  70 KG
4.  3X3     
Harut Grigorian (Armenia) Vs Marco Pique (Surinam)- 70 KG
5. 3X3      
Nordin Ben Moh (Morocco) Vs William Diender (The Netherlands)- 70Kg
6. 5X3      
Hicham El Gaoui (Morocco) Vs Morad Salhi (Morocco)
- 80Kg  Enfusion World Title
 

SuperKombat Releases Card for March 7th 5th Anniversary Event

SuperKombat is looking to kick off their 2015 in style with their first event of the year; SuperKombat World Grand Prix I in Ploiesti, Romania. The show will begin with a SuperKombat New Heroes undercard that will look to help them establish talent for future SuperKombat events. Over the years SuperKombat has developed quite a bit of talent that have made a splash on the world stage and this card serves as both a reminder and a sign of what's to come with the New Heroes fights. The main card features many of the names that SuperKombat fans have grown to know and love, including; Cristian Ristea, D'Angelo Marshall, Bogdan Stoica, Amansio Paraschiv, Andrei Stoica and Heavyweight bruiser Benjamin Adegbuyi. 

The event will be broadcast, as always, on EuroSport. We'll have more for you as the event approaches.

Interesting angle for the New Heroes event is that Bogdan Nastase is an actual sheepherder and will come to the ring in his full sheepherding gear.

SUPERKOMBAT WORLD GRAND PRIX I 2015 (22:00 CEST)
1. Super Fight – Super Cruiserweight bout (-95 kg)
Clyde Brunswijk (Suriname) vs Cristian Ristea (Romania)
2. Super Fight – Heavyweight bout (+96 kg)
Michal Wlazlo (Poland) vs D’Angelo Marshall (Curacao)
3. Super Fight – Super Cruiserweight (-95 kg)
Ibrahim Giydirir (Turkey) vs Laszlo Nemeş (Romania)
4. Super Fight – Cruiserweight bout (-92 kg)
Zinedine Hameur-Lain (Algeria) vs Bogdan Stoica (Romania)
5. New Heroes middleweight title – Middleweight bout (-71 kg)
Julian Imeri (Albania) vs Amansio Paraschiv (Romania)
6. Super Fight – Super Cruiserweight bout (-95 kg)
Marcelo Adriaansz (Suriname) vs Andrei Stoica (Romania)
7. Super Fight – Heavyweight bout (+96 kg)
Daniel Lentie (Cameroon) vs Benjamin Adegbuyi (Romania)
SUPERKOMBAT NEW HEROES (20:00 CEST)
1. Super Fight – Middleweight bout (-71 kg)
Robert Stoica (Romania) vs Andrei Ostrovanu (Romania)
2. Super Fight – Light Heavyweight bout (-86 kg)
Daniel Thomas (Great Britain) vs Stefan Szomoru (Romania)
3. Super Fight – Super Middleweight bout (-77 kg)
Bogdan Nastase (Romania) vs Alex Filip (Romania)
4. Super Fight – Cruiserweight bout (-92 kg)
Cosmin Ionescu (Romania) vs TBA
5. Super Fight – Female Lightweight bout (-65 kg)
Annalisa Bucci (Italy) vs Cristiana Stancu (Romania)
6. Super Fight – Lightweight bout (-63,5 kg)
Luca Donadio (Italy) vs Cristian Spetcu (Romania)

Danyo Ilunga Signs with FFC

Former It's Showtime Champion and current GLORY Light Heavyweight standout Danyo Ilunga has signed on with Croatia's Final Fight promotion. While the promotion did not release details of the contract or when he will debut, they seem excited to have Ilunga on board considering how talented he is. 

Ilunga was the long-time top dog of the division until he ran into Tyrone Spong in the finals of the GLORY 9 Light Heavyweight tournament. From there he went on to defeat Michael Duut, Andrei Stoica and Ondrei Hutnik before falling to Saulo Cavalari in the GLORY 18 Light Heavyweight Contender's tournament. I don't expect him to stop competing in GLORY any time soon, though, so consider his move to FFC just in addition to that.

Final Fight's current Light Heavyweight Champion is Igor Jurkovic, which would be a potentially interesting match up down the line for FFC to make.

"We are extremely proud that we have such a big name in Final Fight Championship. I think Danyo Ilunga needs no special introduction since he is the world's best fighter in light heavyweight division and No 1 on Glory raking lists. It is also an important indicator of the reputation FFC has in the international fighting sports scene since fighters such as Ilunga fight only in top promotions,“ said the FFC President Orsat Zovko and added: “We will soon reveal more details on Ilunga's debut in the FFC and we hope it will be as soon as possible.“

Tyrone Spong Making His Professional Boxing Debut on March 6th

(C) Glory Sports International

It looks like Tyrone Spong's first fight back after his injury will officially be in a boxing ring. According to BoxingScene we can expect to see Tyrone Spong boxing in Germany on March 6th. Promoter Erol Cylan is in talks with Oczan Cetinkaya and Alexander Ustinov to possibly fight Spong on the card that will air on EuroSport.

While we are hoping to see Spong back to kickboxing soon and many have high hopes for his MMA career, we'll take seeing Spong back in any sport, hopefully healthy and looking strong.

Saenchai Drew Capacity Crowds for NYC Seminar

This past weekend in the snowy New York City Saenchai headed into the heart of the city with Yokkao promoter Stefania Picelli for a stint of three days jam-packed with seminars and private sessions. Saenchai, along with Manop Yuangyai shocked attendants by putting on a blistering three-hour long seminar for the attendees. The seminars were originally intended to be at the York College Arena where they could fit more people in, but due to weather they ended up having more intimate affairs at the Striking 101 Gym where they had to limit each seminar to 50 people.

In attendance were professional fighters and muay thai enthusiasts from all over the country, even attendees from as far as Canada and Brazil. 

Due to the success of these seminars Yokkao are looking to hold more seminars across the country with Saenchai. If your gym is interested in hosting one reach out to them; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

February 2015 LiverKick Rankings Update

(C) Glory Sports International

You've spoken and we've listened. We know there was a bit of a lapse in updating the official LiverKick Rankings, but they are officially back after the events of GLORY 19. Some of the movements will make sense, others will be a bit more confusing or you might not agree with. That's why we are here to talk about it. 

First off, apologies on the lack of updates on them. There wasn't a ton of movement for a while and then when there was both Jay and myself were busy. In late 2014/early 2015 Jay's wife gave birth to their beautiful daughter and during that time I was finishing up my second novel, which is currently off with my editor being polished up. LiverKick has always been a small operation and when we are under a crunch the site tends to suffer a bit. It just is how it is, but we appreciate your understanding.

Now, onto the rankings.

The first odd thing is Heavyweight. Just the entire division at this point. Andrei Gerasmichuk is the new addition to Heavyweight and he's troublesome, at best. He defeated Rico Verhoeven in January at a Kunlun event, but the reality here is that we can't just place him at #1 just yet. The problem created by that win is immense. Placing him at #1 is an issue if he does not continue to face top competition. His win over Balrak was impressive, but depending on how the rest of the Kunlun tournament goes will depend on if he's a legitimate top ten player or not.

The inclusion of Ben Edwards at Heavyweight will continue until either he loses in HW Kickboxing or he goes for one year inactive (as has been our rule since the beginning and how most 'retirements' are not permanent). 

Not much movement at Light Heavyweight.

Middleweight saw very little movement as well. With Simon Marcus we had a similar problem with him getting smoked in China, but his opponent is still a relatively unknown quantity on this level. If he continues to face tough opponents we'll rank him and Marcus will probably drop out.

Welterweight had some movement, but not much that you'll recognize. It is not that deep of a division considering that some Lightweights fight up in weight, but usually not enough to warrant them being considered Welterweights (for example fighting at 72.5kg or so).

Lightweight has been interesting of late with there being a lot of movement. The biggest x-factor in the bottom half of the division has been the unranked Steve Moxon. He holds a win over Aikpracha, but he holds so many lopsided losses that including him felt pained, especially considering the level of competition that Aikpracha has been facing of late. Sitthichai comes in after a long tradition of including muay thai fighters who fight in kickboxing and only weighing their kickboxing fights, not their muay thai fights. He has a ton of quality wins including ones over Andy Souwer and Murthel Groenhart. 

Featherweight saw a lot of movement thanks to the recent Shoot Boxing and K-1 happenings. The division has always seen things shaken up all of the time thanks to how active a lot of the fighters are in Japan. GLORY has an upcoming title bout between Mosab Amrani and Gabriel Varga which could be changing the landscape quite a bit. No, we aren't happy about having to rank a certain tournament winner who received poor decisions in his favor, but it is what it is. 

Heavyweight (Per 2/13)

1 Rico Verhoeven
2 Daniel Ghita
3 Errol Zimmerman
4 Sergei Kharitonov
5 Anderson Silva
6 Benjamin Adegbuyi
7 Andrei Gerasmichuk
8 Hesdy Gerges
9 Ben Edwards
10 Zabit Samedov

Light

Heavyweight (Per 2/13)

1 Gokhan Saki
2 Tyrone Spong
3 Saulo Cavalari
4 Danyo Ilunga
5 Nathan Corbett
6 Artem Vakhitov
7 Mourad Bouzidi
8 Igor Jukovic
9 Michael Duut
10 Andrei Stoica
Middleweight (Per 2/13)

1 Artem Levin
2 Joe Schilling
3 Filip Verlinden
4 Jason Wilnis
5 Wayne Barrett
6 Alex Pereira
7 Sahak Parparyan
8 Simon Marcus
9 Israel Adesanya
10 Robert Thomas
Welterweight (Per 2/13)

1 Nieky Holzken
2 Joseph Valtellini
3 Artur Kyshenko
4 Karapet Karapetyan
5 Raymond Daniels
6 Karim Ghajji
7 Paul Daley
8 Alexander Stetsurenko
9 Jonatan Oliveira
10 Francois Ambang
Lightweight (Per 2/13)

1 Robin van Roosmalen
2 Davit Kiria
3 Andy Ristie
4 Giorgio Petrosyan
5 Sitthichai
6 Murthel Groenhart
7 Marat Grigorian
8 Andy Souwer
9 Enriko Kehl
10 Aikpracha
Featherweight (Per 2/13)

1 Mosab Amrani
2 Kaew Fairtex
3 Masaaki Noiri
4 Yuta Kubo
5 Gabriel Varga
6 Hiroaki Suzuki
7 Liam Harrison
8 Shane Oblonsky
9 Zakaria Zouggari
10 Houcine Bennoui

Lion Fight 20's Jorina Baars Talks Ughi Rematch and Life Post-Cyborg Win

(C) Lion Fight/Bernie Palmore

This Friday evening on AXS TV we'll see Lion Fight return to Connecticut with Lion Fight 20. While women headlining major fight cards is still a bit of a misnomer in combat sports Lion Fight is unafraid to place their Women's Welterweight Champion Jorina Baars as their headliner. Baars will be fighting the tough veteran that is Chantal Ughi in what is a rematch from a few years ago. Both women are world-renowned and have fought the best of the best, but for right now Jorina is the woman to beat. 

We briefly spoke with Jorina heading into the fight this Friday about the American media coverage that has come from the Cris Cyborg Justino victory as well as how she feels about the rematch with Ughi.

You’ve fought Chantal Ughi before and it was a close fight, how do you feel that you’ve evolved since then and how different of a fight will this be?

I have evolved in different ways, I developed and gained more experience in Muay Thai, have become stronger physically and mentally. I still train and fight for SportsArt Den Helder and started training with Andre Mannaart from Mejiro Gym to assist in coaching me, he has been the trainer of many champions such as Rob Kaman, Remy Bonjasky, Peter Aerts, Andy Souwer there is a lot of talent at both Mejiro Gym and SportsArt and all my trainings partners at both these gyms have helped me evolve. I've also been training a lot with Marieke Post, she's a professional fighter as well and a friend, we battle together in the gym each day and she has pushed me forward and I gain lots of strength from her knowledge and passion to fight.

Chantal Ughi is a tough opponent who has made a name for herself by fighting in Thailand, while you have made a name for yourself by fighting in Europe. Do you consider this a clash in styles or traditions?

No I do not think it is a clash of styles and/or traditions, in Muay Thai there are more possibilities than in K1, Glory or Kickboxing rules, that means that this will be a more exciting fight. 

The win over Cyborg Justino was a huge one, how did it feel knowing that many fans saw this as an easy fight for her only to see you outclass her throughout most of the fight?

There was a lot of talk about the Cyborg fight and most fight fans thought that she was going to beat me, they were unfamiliar with me, didn’t know who I am.  But the talk after the fight is that Cyborg only had 2 Muay Thai fights and Jorina has 36.  Cyborg proved to be a great Sport and was honest about it, she stated that she fights anybody, anytime, she accepted the fight and knew where she was up against. I respect Cyborg for that !

Did you feel that you were perhaps being looked over by many people going into the fight against Cyborg?

I am sure some people overlooked me going into the Cyborg fight.  I never underestimated Cyborg, never underestimate any opponent that is put in front of me.  I knew where I was up against as well, Cyborg was a very worthy opponent and she came to fight, we both fought hard and I enjoyed that fight very much. I am always coming to fight, no ifs ands or buts it is what the Fans and Lion Fight expect me to do and it is what I do best.

Have you gotten a lot more attention since the Cyborg win, or has it only been in the United States, really?

I get attention through the Social Media and some Dutch Newspapers after the last fight, now for the upcoming fight against Ughi the newspapers have shown interests again and published some articles.  My day to day life is still the same, I work at a nightclub in Amsterdam as a Bouncer, its happens every once in a while that a guest at our club comes to me and says; “You are Jorina, right ?” it flatters me and respond “Yes, that’s me !”

You’ve dabbled in mixed martial arts before, is that something that you’d like to try again some time, or are you content sticking with muay thai?

I switched to MMA as it was impossible to find anyone to fight me on Muay Thai rules, I like MMA but for now, or at least for the time I am under contract with Lion Fight Promotions I will stay and remain focused on Muay Thai.

Do you feel that there are any specific challenges or hurdles that you have to overcome as a woman in fighting sports?

Women have to train just as hard as their male colleagues, it is easier to get fights as a man, there are just a lot more men fighting then there are women, it’s supply and demand, plain and simple.  Women are underappreciated in the fight business, but there are lots of improvements happening and I am happy to see that and be on the first row of experiencing it.

Is there any one fight out there that you haven’t gotten yet that you’ve really wanted to happen?

Yes there is, I would love to fight Germaine de Randamie. She is a very good and strong fighter. Before she fought in the UFC, both our teams were looking for a promoter who could let us fight at their event, as of today that has not happened yet.  Maybe and hopefully Lion Fight can make that fight happen and I will happily accept that opportunity.

What kind of responsibility do you feel as a World Champion for a sport?

Yes we are an example to all fans, kids and adults alike.  There is a tremendous responsibility with that and I enjoy having to deal with that, in matter of fact it is an honor.  I always like to inspire kids to take on Muay Thai as it not only helps them physically but also mentally, it builds their confidence that they will able to benefit from the rest of their lives. I like to portray the fighting sports and muay thai in a positive light, always have. There are still some misunderstandings for this Sport, especially in the Netherlands and I like to set that record straight and continue to do be righteous– Osu !

 

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