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K-1 Japan's Survival Wars Card is Packed

  • Published in K-1

This weekend might not have delivered on the kickboxing action that you have hoped it would have, but there is still hope by the way of K-1 Japan. On September 22nd K-1 Japan will put forth their latest effort in Survival Wars. K-1 Japan have been putting on some of the very best shows anywhere in the world for quite a while now and this show looks to be no different including an awesome main event between Kimura Minoru and Ren Hiramato. 

As always, it will be airing on NicoNico. There is also word of them having a big announcement in regards to airing on a broadcast television network in Japan. There is hope yet.

Main Card

Main Event - 65KG Super Fight

Kimura 'Philip' Minoru VS Hiramoto Ren

Co-Main Event - 55KG Challenger Finals

Daniel Williams VS Charles Bongiovanni

70KG Fight

Shintaro Matsukura VS Tian Xin

Super Exhibition (2x2)

Koya Urabe VS Takeru

70KG Fight

Kazuya Akimoto VS Keiji

55KG Fight

Taisuke Degai VS Yuichiro Ito

55KG Fight

Namito Izawa VS Satoshi Katashima

Heavyweight Fight

Hitoshi Sugimoto VS Hidekazu Kimura

65KG Fight

Minamino Takayuki VS Waki Mitsuharu

Undercard

70kg Fight

Jinbo Katsuya VS Yasuhi Hitoshi

70kg Fight

Tsuyoshi Oh VS Daisuke 

Heavyweight Fight

Yoshinari VS Hase

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K-1 World Grand Prix Final 16 Rumored for Japan

  • Published in K-1

K-1

The K-1 Open Tryouts in Los Angeles were on Thursday, on top of that, tickets for the K-1 Los Angeles event were released. If that feels like a deluge of information about K-1, it is, but be prepared for more. On top of that, it appears that there is a rumor about the K-1 World Grand Prix Final 16. According to Fightsite.hr, the news has come from Mirko Cro Cop's management that Cro Cop will be participating in the Final 16 in Japan on the 14th of October. Apparently, December in New York is the projected date for the K-1 World Grand Prix Finals.

Still nothing official yet, or a card for the Los Angeles event, but according to sources there should be announcement in short order from K-1 with more news. Stay tuned, as always. [source]

UPDATE: Douglas Kaplan has confirmed the date of October 14 for the World Grand Prix Final 16.

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Latest Episode of The Reem Follows Overeem in Albuquerque

  • Published in Kickboxing

We'll never stop posting about Alistair Overeem. Why? Because he's the 2010 K-1 World Grand Prix Champion, that's why. That's a pretty big deal and we continue to honor the fact that Ubereem made a huge impact on the kickboxing world in just a short span of time. Hell, we want to see him fight for GLORY, desperately. It's okay that he's in the UFC now, though. We want him to succeed because it'd be really cool to see Alistair Overeem become UFC Heavyweight Champion and have held the two most prestigious titles in two different combat sports like that. 

Alistair Overeem is training here in Albuquerque now, which is kind of a trip to me. I don't get starstruck by much, I mean, Keith Jardine almost sideswiped me on the way to work one day, I was doing laundry next to him once, I saw GSP and Rashad out at a bar once and all of these things were just whatever. Hell, I even physically bumped into Robert Downey Junior when they were filming the Avengers and didn't mind (although I was upset that I missed Joss Whedon hanging out in that same bar), but Overeem? Pfft.

That's awesome. Anyway, here's the latest episode of The Reem, featuring Overeem training in Albuquerque and a whole hell of a lot more.

THE REEM SEASON 3 EPISODE 6: THE FOUNDATION from THE REEM on Vimeo.

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Mike Zambidis Wins at SUPERKOMBAT VIP Edition

  • Published in Europe

Zambidis

This weekend was a double shot of SUPERKOMBAT, with the first event being of the SUPERKOMBAT New Heroes persuasion, while the second night was a bigger event by the way of SUPERKOMBAT VIP Edition, featuring Mike Zambidis in a SUPERKOMBAT Championship fight. It was a big weekend for the SUPERKOMBAT crew as they announce that they are on Fight Now TV here in the United States as well as the signing of K-1 Heavyweight Jarrell "Big Baby" Miller, as well as crowning Mike Zambidis as their 71kg Championship.

Here are the results from SUPERKOMBAT VIP Edition;

  • Mike Zambidis def Harun Kina via UD
  • Miodrag Olar (Romania) def Alexandros Chatzichronoglou (Greece) via UD
  • Cedric Manhoef (Suriname) def Alexandru Popescu (Romania) via UD
  • Bogdan Stanciu (Romania) def Kevin Heselink (Holland) via UD
  • Cristian Spetcu (Romania) def Florin Abrudan (Romania) via TKO 2

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No, Gokhan Saki Didn't Leave Glory, Is Training at Mike's Gym

  • Published in Kickboxing

An interesting rumor has been circulating the past few days in the Kickboxing world, the rumor being that Gokhan Saki has left Golden Glory and instead set up shop at Mike's Gym. The rumor does have some truths in it, but the truth part is a bit minor in the grand scheme of things. Maritjn de Jong has been quoted saying that Gokhan Saki has indeed been doing some training at Mike's Gym, but it does not mean that he has left team Golden Glory. The Dutch kickboxing world is just a small world and while there are gym rivalries, they are usually exaggerated in the press and most gyms are rather friendly with each other.

Anyway, here is the video that really sparked this rumor.

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K-1 News and Notes, Fueled by Tanikawa and K-1's New Investors/Buyers

  • Published in K-1

Watch the above video and note some of the key words that Tanikawa uses and that he does seem dead set that not only will K-1 continue on, but that K-1 will be fine. While in the past I've felt that those were empty words, I can confirm now that things are indeed looking up. The PUJI deal has actually yielded some capital for K-1 and there are some investors (or possibly even buyers) who are serious about K-1 continuing and becoming a worldwide force. The show in China that Tanikawa mentions is currently airmarked for October and does indeed seem like a reality as opposed to "Japanese Grandstanding" that we hear about.

LiverKick.com has been made aware of who some of the investors are, and confirmed through a number of sources the accuracy of the information, but will continue to keep it under wraps until the deals are finalized on all sides and the exchange of money and power have been made. What we can say is that the companies investing in K-1 are very serious about kickboxing and K-1 and have the money to make sure there are not as many hurdles. It also means that K-1's typical Japan-centric approach will be compromised as it is not a viable business model, nor is it one these new investors would support. K-1 putting on one show is a big deal, as will be paying fighters who are owed money. For all the talk of Japanese television deals, while those will be important for K-1, they will no longer be the driving force of revenue and motivation like they once were if these deals go according to plan.

K-1 is lucky that they made themselves the undeniable brand in kickboxing, mainly by establishing a set of rules that were universally adopted and by running worldwide tournaments on a yearly basis to determine who the best are. Many promotions are able to book some of the top talent from K-1, but it seems like no one can pull in all of the exact names (granted, some like It's Showtime have their own pool of talent and exclude some headscratchers of names like Teixeira and Jaideep) and pit them against each other successfully.

A K-1 looking to take a global scale seriously is a K-1 that will have multiple revenue streams and actually build up its name internationally, with a focus on Japan as a homebase but not its only base there is a greater chance for the company to succeed and prosper. Expect big things to come from K-1 if things go according to plan.

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Glory Issues Statement from Glory Managing Director Marcus Luer

  • Published in Glory

Following statement is a press release from Glory Sports International;

STATEMENT FROM GLORY MANAGING DIRECTOR MARCUS LUER

Glory

Singapore
12 July 2012

Today we are delighted to confirm that our acquisition of It’s Showtime is complete. We are looking forward to working with Simon Rutz, Remon Daadler and their team in Holland and welcoming the athletes they represent to the GLORY platform. It’s Showtime will continue to stage events, beginning with the upcoming events in Tenerife, Spain on 21 July 2012, and in Sao Paulo, Brazil on 10 November 2012.

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Daniel Ghita Rumored for Participating in K-1 World Grand Prix Final 16

  • Published in K-1

GhitaSo far a lot of the attention for K-1 has been focused with a laser-sharp precision on the K-1 Rising US GP in Los Angeles event, and of course with good reason, as it is the next event that K-1 is holding. The event, while getting a good deal of press and groaning from hardcore fans, is the US GP, though, a qualifier for the World Grand Prix and for the World MAX tournament for US fighters. For the actual K-1 World Grand Prix there has been little news outside of a date of October 14th in Tokyo outside of Cro Cop looking to participate in the Final 16.

Now it looks like one fighter who has been a hot topic of late, Daniel Ghita, has finally landed on one side for now, and that appears to be K-1. Daniel Ghita was one of the key fighters for either side to land, and as of last week when we spoke with Anil Dubar, Ghita's trainer, it seemed like a frustrating situation for all involved. They were not sure which contract was valid and who he would fight for, and it felt like Ghita, one of the best Heavyweights in the world, was being used as a pawn in a powerplay to gain headway in the Kickboxing world. Now today reports close to Ghita's camp are coming out that Daniel Ghita will fight in the Final 16 and the Final 8 before he most likely departs to fight for GLORY and test his skills in that tournament.

Ghita has always been quoted wanting to be the K-1 World Grand Prix Champion, and to many it feels like no matter who they get, K-1 will not be able to find a real challenge for him, especially with Badr Hari sitting in a Dutch prison.

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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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Glory Issues Statement Regarding Early Stoppage at GLORY 9 New York

  • Published in Glory

Mufadel noooo

This weekend's GLORY 9 New York event featured the GLORY Light Heavyweight Slam tournament, which was won by Tyrone Spong in a controversial bout with Danyo Ilunga. The ref, Mufadel Elghazaoui, stepped in as soon as Spong swarmed Ilunga with punches, stopping the bout while Ilunga was still of a clear mind, defending and on his feet. Since then fans have been speaking out against Mufadel, who has a history of poor stoppages in the past, much like we saw with former GLORY head referee Joop Ubeda.

Glory released a statement earlier today about it.

 

We agree with most viewers of June 22nd's telecast that the fight stoppage at Glory9 of Spong versus Ilunga, the final fight of the night, seemed premature. However, a professional referee is going to see things that we, and the audience, might not. He is the one who has the best vantage point to determine whether a fighter is capable of continuing the match and we must respect that. In this way, the referee acted fully within his authority and the rules of the sport. Anytime a fighter fails to intelligently defend himself, the referee must effectively end the fight.

Overall it was an amazing evening for our first event in the US and one few of us will forget. There were some real back-and-forth wars during the night, and the fighters, almost to a man, brought their best selves to the Glory ring in New York City at the historic Manhattan Center. We thank them and congratulate Tyrone Spong, the winner of the 8-man tournament and the $200,000 in prize money.

We look forward to another great night of fights this September on US soil and we will keep the fans posted on those details shortly.

 

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