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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.

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Fight Card for Lion Fight 23

This Friday evening live on AXS TV we'll see the triumphant return of Lion Fight with Lion Fight 23. This is without a doubt one of the more stacked Lion Fight cards in quite a while featuring an amazing main event between Malaipet and Liam Harrison and the co-main event featuring Tiffany Van Soest against Martyne Krol for the vacant Women's Featherweight Championship. The rest of the card delivers as well with Kevin Ross vs. Rungrat Sasiprapa, Victor Saravia against Stan Mancebo, GLORY vet Mike Lemaire against Andrew Kapel and perhaps the best fight on the show, Romie Adanza vs. Andy Howson.

This is perhaps the can't miss Lion Fight card of the year.

LION FIGHT 23 FIGHT CARD

Malaipet vs. Liam Harrison

Lion Fight Women's Featherweight Championship: Tiffany Van Soest vs. Martyne Krol 

Kevin Ross vs. Rungrat Sasiprapa

Victor Saravia vs. Stan Mancebo

Mike Lemaire vs. Andrew Kapel

Romie Adanza vs. Andy Howson

Updated Fight Card for SuperKombat's August 1st Event

On August 1st SuperKombat will be presenting one of their biggest cards of the year with the SuperKombat WGP IV. The event is headlined by Andrei Stoica vs. Fred Sikking for the SuperKombat Super Cruiserweight Championship. Some of the other big fights are Raul Catinas vs. Viktor Bugotzki, Bogdan Stoica vs. Fabio Kwasi and Atakan Arslan vs. Alex Filip (might be the best fight on the card). 

Romanian fans are very excited about the return of Raul Catinas who will hopefully deliver the goods for them.

Headline Event - SUPERKOMBAT Super Cruiserweight Championship
Andrei Stoica vs. Fred Sikking
Superfights
Raul Cătinaș vs. Viktor Bugotzki
Bogdan Stoica vs. Fabio Kwasi
Atakan Arslan vs. Alex Filip
Andrei Ostrovanu vs. Cristian Milea
Aristote Quitusisa vs. Alexandru Nedelcu
Gökhan Gedik vs. Robert Dorin
Undercard
Dumitru Ţopai vs. Alexandru Negrea
Eduard Chelariu vs. Mădălin Crăciunică 
Cristian Spetcu vs. TBA
Souza Razel vs. Adrian Maxim
Andrei Ostrovanu vs. Cristian Milea
Jessica Puglisi vs. Cristiana Stancu
Wilmer Cruzvs. Iuliu Man

Gokhan Saki Issues Statement About GLORY Contract Negotiations

It didn't take long for Gokhan Saki to want to share with the world his side of the contract dispute that has been ongoing with GLORY for the better part of a year and a half now. Earlier this week GLORY announced that the GLORY Light Heavyweight Championship was vacated due to Saki not defending it for well over a year, with them even extending that period to attempt to work out a deal between the two sides. They were unable to come to terms, which from what we've heard has mostly been about money. 

Saki was making in the range of $200,000 per fight before and GLORY simply didn't see the value in such a contract considering how their other stars are compensated. This isn't boxing and it isn't top level UFC, sadly. The money just isn't there to justify exorbitant contracts. Early on in GLORY many stars were signed to bloated contracts which simply don't reflect the current market for kickboxing. For Saki there is interest from GFC who is willing to pay him and has proven that they are willing to pay for name stars, as seen by Badr Hari's working agreement with them.

Saki released a statement through kickboxing blog Kickboxing Planet early this morning that attempts to explain his side of the story. What's clear is that Saki is very, very upset over this, but the statement itself is, well, a bit rough.

Bellator fans, the people in the USA are not going to see top quality kickboxing and this is bad for the sport. When you win the belt on Sept. 19 you can keep the price money but I expect the winner to hand the belt over to me and acknowledge that he didn’t beat the best. I mostly don’t talk like this and maybe there are a lot of emotions right now. But now that I offended anyone, I did that on purpose and I’m not sorry about it.

During this rant he describes his social media following as a point of value of him over the competition within the division, going as far as to make claims that the rest of the division are nobodies compared to him. This statement is... not a good look for a fighter in the public eye and chances are if there was an open dialogue between GLORY and Saki's camp that dialogue has most likely been shut down. 

It's easy to sympathize with Gokhan Saki as he is without a doubt one of the best fighters in the world and has worked extremely hard to reach that level. Before the market imploded he was without a doubt one of the more valuable stars. Hopefully he is able to make the money that he believes that he deserves and will continue fighting for his fans across the world. 

Weekend Results: WGP 25 Cesar Almeida x Alex Pereira III

This past weekend saw a lot of action, one of which was the triumphant return of Brazil's WGP Kickboxing with WGP 25: Cesar Almeida vs. Alex Pereira III. Pereira was ultimately victorious in this third showdown, once again proving that he's one of the elite of the elite in his weight class. The tournament finals was Bruno Gazani defeat K-1 veteran Wallace Lopes via TKO in the third round.

Results are from the marvelous Kiksie

1. Super Fight - K1 Rules - 60kg
Hector Santiago def. Felipe Suekuni by decision
2. Super Fight - K1 Rules - 78kg
Thiago Conceição def. Michel Papa by decision
3. Super Fight - K1 Rules - 78kg
Vitor Oliveira def. Rodrigo Diório by decision
4. Super Fight - K1 Rules - 66,8kg
Maycon Oller def. Johnny Kabeca by decision
5. Challenger Tournament Semifinal #1 - K1 Rules - 71,8kg
Bruno Gazani def. Alex Canguru by decision
6. Challenger Tournament Semifinal #2 - K1 Rules - 71,8kg
Wallace Lopes def. Marcelo Dionisio by decision
7. Super Fight - K1 Rules - 94kg
Wallyson Maguila Carvalho def. Thiago Beowulf by decision
8. Super Fight - K1 Rules - 69,1kg
Damian Segovia def. Munil Adriano by decision
9. Super Fight - K1 Rules - 75kg
Tadeu San Martino def. Alvaro Gonzalez by KO in round 3
10. Challenger Tournament Final - K1 Rules - 71,8kg
Bruno Gazani def. Wallace Lopes by TKO in round 3
11. WGP Title Fight - K1 Rules - 85kg
Alex Pereira def. Cesar Almeida by decision

Reece McAllister Victorious in Top King Tournament, Buakaw Loses Decision

Image (C) Top King

Last night the Top King TK4 tournament held its big finals for their 154lbs championship. It was a title that many fans felt was a lock for Buakaw Banchamek, but considering the names involved with it there didn't seem to be a clear route for Buakaw to win the whole thing. After Marat Grigorian was forced to pull out we ended up with Buakaw Banchamek vs. Kyahal Dzhaniev and Reece McAllister vs. Dmytro Konstantyov. The visual of the night was a bloody mess of Buakaw losing to Dzhaniev via decision, which of course will be the story of the show to many who saw Banchamek sweeping the whole thing.

The big story should instead be Reece McAllister proving himself once again as one of the best talents in the world. Reece is a tough fighter who has proven himself time and time again who will walk away deserving the Top King 154lbs championship. I'm saying this because McAllister didn't have to fight a second fight. Dzhaniev might've defeated Banchamek but he was too banged up to continue competing, so McAllister was awarded the championship. Weird, right?

Pakorn P.K. Seanchai Muaythai Gym (R3 - Decision) Varats Dzmitry 

Rungravee Sasiprapa (R3 - Dec.) Wei Ning Hui 

Matt Embree (R1 - TKO) Sittisak Petchphayathai 

Thongchai Sitsongpeenong (Rx - TKO) Colin Law 

Semi-Finals: Reece Mcallister (R3 - Dec.) Dmytro Konstantynov 

Semi-Finals: Khayal Dzhaniev (R3 - Dec.) Buakaw Banchamek 

Top King World Series Tournament Final: Reece McAllister (Forfeit) Khayal Dzhaniev 

There is video of Buakaw/Dzhaniev floating around. Here it is while it lasts.

 

Gokhan Saki's GLORY Light Heavyweight Championship Vacated

When we spoke with GLORY CEO Jon Franklin he told us that 95% of their fights had kept with them through the lean times. There were, of course, outliers, though. The biggest of which was Gokhan Saki, the GLORY Light Heavyweight Champion. He won the championship in a battle against Tyrone Spong that saw Spong's leg break in a freak accident and has left him in boxing and MMA since then. Saki, on the other hand, was not about to take a pay cut.

Saki has not competed for GLORY since GLORY 15 back in April of 2014. Instead he has competed one time for the UAE's GFC back in April against an overmatched Sebastian Ciobanu. The word on the street was that Saki was not happy with GLORY and while he was open to negotiations he would not return until his demands were met. GLORY has been negotiating with him ever since, acting on good faith and not vacating the championship, even after a year of inactivity. 

The final straw for GLORY was trying to negotiate for Saki to fight on September 19th in the Bellator Dynamite event to defend the GLORY Light Heavyweight Championship. They were unable to come to terms in time and GLORY has been forced to vacate the championship for the time being. They haven't given up on Saki just yet, but for now the title is vacant.

With GLORY's Light Heavyweight division being one of their deeper divisions it made no sense to hold up the title any longer. Hopefully this means that Danyo Ilunga and Saulo Cavalari can clash again, this time with the title on the line. Make it happen, GLORY.

Legacy Kickboxing 3 Highlights and Results

This past Friday on AXS TV we got our third in Legacy Fighting's Legacy Kickboxing installments. This time it featured an explosive main event between Valentina Shevchenko and Anke Van Gestel as well as further delving into their Light Heavyweight tournament. Most of the talk that I've seen following the event has been about poor judging, which seems par for the course for major kickboxing events in the United States. 

Still a strong effort by Legacy with Legacy Kickboxing 3. 

Valentina Shevchenko def. Anke Van Gestel by Unanimous Decision
Manny Mancha def. Fernando Almeida by TKO in Round 2
Andres Van Engelen def. Danny Mitchell by TKO in Round 1,
Richard Abraham def. Daniel Kim by Unanimous Decision 
Sean Soriano def. Josh Glover by TKO in Round 3 
Jordan Weiland def. Sam Mongonia by Majority Decision 
Nethaneel Mongonia def. Adam Edgerton by Split Decision 
Mike Jackson def. RJ Knepp by TKO in Round 2
Akira Smith def. Bobby Bradshaw by TKO in Round 1
Dulani Perry def. Alexis Chavarria by Unanimous Decision
Jacob Rodriguez def. Marcus Johnson by TKO in Round 1
Oliver Jimenez def. John Miller by KO

Giorgio Petrosyan vs. Yodsanklai Possibly on Tap for August 28th

This is an interesting one, to say the least. We knew that Giorgio Petrosyan was fighting on August 28th for Hero Legend in China but his opponent was kept a secret. Part of the reason was that apparently while contracts have been signed and initial payments have been made there is some uncertainty about the main event. That main event is possibly the biggest fight imaginable at 70kg between the two greatest fighters in the weight class; Giorgio Petrosyan and Yodsanklai Fairtex.

According to the folks at Fairtex the fight won't be happening on August 28th due to an injury, but Hero Legend did hold off on announcing the fight and then went ahead and announced it anyway. There has been whispers of the show being canceled but we confirmed with Petrosyan's manager that the show will indeed go on with or without Yodsanklai. As for Petrosyan vs. Yodsanklai, well, if it doesn't happen in August expect it to happen at a later date. Everyone involved knows that it is just too good of a fight to not happen.

Bellator Signs Keri Anne Melendez to Fight Kickboxing and MMA for Bellator Starting at Dynamite

The trajectory for the Bellator: Dynamite event featuring a GLORY ring and a few GLORY fights as well on Spike TV has been interesting, to say the least. The only fight announced yet is Jose Palacios vs. TJ Arcangel, which is a bout between two Northern California muay thai fighters and doesn't sound like a fight that GLORY would put together. From what we've heard this will most likely be on the undercard portion of the show.

We've still yet to hear from GLORY or Bellator about an official card just yet. The only "known" fight is Paul Daley will be fighting, but we aren't sure who. Rumor was Bellator Welterweight Champion Douglas Lima, but, well, he's not the champion anymore. There was a photo floating around of his usurper, Andrey Koreshkov wearing a pair of GLORY gloves, but there hasn't been anything on that just yet. 

Today Bellator announced that they've signed Keri Anne Melendez to a multifight contract, including Kickboxing and MMA. The wife of Gilbert Melendez has been competing in muay thai and kickboxing, with a 4-1 amateur record and a 2-1 professional record to date. At 31 years old she has talked about possibly transitioning to MMA in the future, but it would still be a ways off. In the press release Melendez notes that she fought for Scott Coker in the past as well and looks forward to fighting for him again.

UPDATE: We've received confirmation that her fight will be on the undercard for the Dynamite event.

New Promo Video Goes Inside the Life of GLORY 23's Raymond Daniels

On August 7th at GLORY 23 Raymond Daniels and Nieky Holzken are set to clash in a rematch from GLORY 19, only this time the vacant GLORY Welterweight Championship is on the line. There is a lot riding on this fight for both men, with Holzken looking to cement his legacy as the best at this weight and Daniels looking to prove that his success in martial arts can span over into kickboxing in a big way. 

We've already seen how Nieky Holzken is preparing for GLORY 23, now it's time to look at Raymond Daniels.

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