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Another Insanely Stacked Card for Kunlun on February 1st

  • Published in Kickboxing

It's hard to argue with the sheer quality of the Kunlun cards that they are putting together in China, the next of which goes down on February 1st in Guangzhou. Kunlun 19 is shaping up to be pretty fascinating with the finals of their 70kg tournament taking place and more on their Heavyweight tournament. I'm not sure that Kunlun will be sustainable into the future, but have fun with it while it lasts because we sure as hell will be.

Here's a breakdown of what they'll be offering. The list of name talent is long, including Konstantin Ghulov, mighty Mo, Hesdy Gerges, Ashwin Balrak, Andrei Herasimchuk, Marat Grigorian, Aikpracha Meenayothin, Davit Kirita, Artur Kyshenko and more. I mean, wow. It's also fair to note that Kunlun is making an effort at getting their stuff out there in English, although it's a bit rough around the edges.

1. Alexis Barateau (France) vs. Bunsit (China)
2. Paul Jansen (Netherlands) vs. Xu Jifu (China)
3. Allan Aldatov (Canada) vs. Li Baoming (China)
+100Kg Tournament - GROUP B
4. Myun Hyun Man (South Korea) vs. Wu Lahan (China)
+100Kg Tournament - GROUP B
5. Konstantin Gluhov (Latvia) vs. Mighty Mo (United States)
+100Kg Tournament - GROUP B
6. Hesdy Gerges (Egypt) vs. Igor Bugaenko (Belarus)
+100Kg Tournament - GROUP B
7. Ashwin Balrak (Suriname) vs. Andrei Herasimchuk (Belarus)
70Kg Tournament - SEMI FINAL - GROUP D
8. Fernando Calzetta (Italy) vs. Mo Zhwangwei (China)
70Kg Tournament SEMI FINAL - GROUP D
9. Marat Grigorian (Belgium) vs. Aikpracha Meenayothin (Thailand)
10. Amansio Paraschiv (Romania) vs. Liu Hainan (China)
11. Davit Kiria (Georgia) vs. Zheng Zhayou (China)
12. Artur Kyshenko (Ukraine) vs. Bai Jinbin (China)
70Kg Tournament FINAL - GROUP D
13. TBD vs. TBD

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.



Andy Ristie Claims to Have Received His K-1 Money; New Questions Arise

  • Published in K-1

Andy RistieThe saga of K-1 continues on, as yet another fighter from K-1 Global's "K-1 Rising" show in Madrid has stepped forward to claim that he has received the money that was owed to him, and this fighter comes by the way of Andy Ristie. Interestingly enough, Ristie just fought for It's Showtime on It's Showtime 57&58, so if the odds were in favor of him bending in one direction or another, it would be towards It's Showtime, which is now a part of Glory.

This raises some very important questions, questions which have remained unanswered. After we heard about these "payment" issues, we reached out to It's Showtime head Simon Rutz in regards to some further details, and while he did issue a press release shortly thereafter, a lot of our questions remain unanswered. We have not heard from It's Showtime or Glory in an official fashion since the release of their counter press release, but with so many fighters coming forward to say that they were paid, the questions to the validity of the claims against K-1 are starting to rise more and more.


GLORY Overhauls Their Rules

  • Published in Glory

Glory 10

GLORY have done a lot for the world of Kickboxing in the past few years, some of which was adapting some of the better rules which were instated via the acquisition of It's Showtime, such as the five judge system which helped to prevent terrible decisions. Then, of course, they were also making their own unique stamp on the rules of fighting by keeping an open scoring system, which helps the fans and fighters to know where they stand. It appears that era has come to an end as GLORY has looked to homogenize itself with the rest of the American fight scene by dropping down to three judges and removing that open scoring system.

Those two changes alone are enough to make fans groan, as they were some of the more progressive rules used by GLORY that helped to ensure that the right fighter won at the end of the fight. It isn't all bad, though, as some of the more controversial stoppages in GLORY have come by the way of the standing 8-count rule, where the referee could step in if a fighter was in trouble and give them an 8-count. They have no adopted a 10-count rule where the fighter must be down or must take a knee to initiate a down, which will put the fight back in the hands of the fighters, thankfully.

What do you think?


GLORY Grand Slam - Heavyweight Scheduled for December in Tokyo

  • Published in Glory

GloryIt looks like Glory has unveiled their plans for their Heavyweight tournament finals to go down in Tokyo, and they've partnered with promotional company G-Entertainment in Japan to help make this show a reality. Press release follows.

UPDATE: Fixed factual error on name.

GLORY Partners With Japan’s G-Entertainment To Bring “GLORY Grand Slam - Heavyweight” Kickboxing Mega-Event To Tokyo In December

Live event to return the world’s greatest stand-up fighters to the sport’s spiritual home

TOKYO, Japan (July 23, 2012) –The world’s best heavyweights are set to return to Tokyo at last. GLORY Sports International (GSI) today announced ‘GLORY Grand Slam – Heavyweight,’ which will take place in the Japanese capital this December.

The event will feature GLORY’s top fighters battling in a new and exciting format and promises the Japanese fans something they have been missing for a long time - a truly world-class kickboxing event featuring the sport’s most decorated superstars.


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.


Glory Issues Statement from Glory Managing Director Marcus Luer

  • Published in Glory

Following statement is a press release from Glory Sports International;



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.


A Look Back at Battle of the PRO's From Brooklyn on Sept. 13th

  • Published in Muay Thai

Story by R. Choi

Photos by Bauzen

On Thursday, September 13th, eight professional Muay Thai fighters gathered at the Renzo Gracie Academy in Brooklyn to fight in a one-night “Battle of the PRO’s” tournament.  The event, which took place in the impressive new facility and was elegant enough to require a corporate casual dress code (sorry, no TapouT gear allowed) nevertheless delivered a great night of fights with plenty of action and several knockouts.

The first round of fights featured Rafael Machado of Gold Team (Newark, NJ) defeating Nate Chambers of Hyena Muay Thai (Las Vegas, NV) via unanimous decision, Villi Bello (Ardon’s Sweet Science, NY) advancing after the fight was ruled a no contest in the first round due to a questionable groin shot to Mervin Rodriguez (Pellegrino MMA, Belmar NJ), Troy Sheridan of Team Ultimate (Toronto, Canada) defeating the older and very experienced Peter Kaljevic by unanimous decision, and Deshawn Robinson (America’s Finest Kickboxing, NJ) overcoming a very aggressive Turan Hasanov (Fight Factory, NY) two minutes and 42 seconds into the second round with a devastating knockout by knee that left him unable to continue.

An intermission and the only amateur bout of the night showed why clinch is essential in Muay Thai, as Jason Sheena (Workshop Muay Thai, NY) won a unanimous decision against Daniel Cronin (Renzo Gracie, NY). This also seemed to set the tone for the first fight in the semi-finals, which was also decided in the clinch with Villi Bello winning by TKO 1 minute and 25 seconds into the second round after landing several vicious knees on his opponent, Rafael Machado. Afterwards, Troy Sheridan and Deshawn Robinson faced off in a very exciting bout that had a flurry of back and forth exchanges in the first round.  Troy looked rocked early but he still managed to send Deshawn crashing through the ropes onto the judge’s table and was not only able to make a full recovery, but also scored an impressive KO at 2 minutes and 46 seconds with a right hook that sent Deshawn’s mouthguard flying.

The final fight pitted Troy Sheridan against Villi Bello.  Bello was very aggressive, but had problems with the longer reach of Sheridan. Bello tried changing levels and kept up an aggressive pace, but Sheridan ultimately controlled the distance and and kept Bello from getting close with a nasty jab and low kick combination that had served him well all night.  In rounds two and three, Sheridan also added a high left kick to the mix and won the fight by unanimous decision, as well as the tournament.


With K-1's Spike TV Deal in Hand, It's Time to Re-evaluate K-1

  • Published in K-1


It was announced today that Spike TV and K-1 have come to terms and that Spike TV will be the new home of K-1. For the Kickboxing world in the United States, this could completely change everything in the blink of an eye, as K-1 has not had a chance like this in a very long time. K-1 did, for a brief period of time, have a broadcast deal with ESPN, but it was mostly for filler content on ESPN 2 late at night and was never given its proper due.

This time around, it is different as K-1 has been turning its attention to the United States in a big way with their new management. Of the four events left for the rest of the year, two of them are slated to take place in the United States, with the K-1 World Grand Prix Finals happening in New York City on December 26th, for the first time outside of Japan. The recent fracturing of the Kickboxing world has left talent scattered between K-1 and GLORY or in the middle of a legal limbo with contracts with both It’s Showtime (which Glory acquired) and K-1. The names that K-1 has been announcing might not be captivating the old K-1 fans like they’d wish, but the real question right now is; does that matter?

K-1 has the unique opportunity to start anew with this television deal on Spike TV. Yes, K-1 does have a rich history and there are a lot of legendary fighters who helped build the brand to be what it is today, but at the beginning of this year, EMCOM became the new owners of K-1 and the team in charge of operations is entirely new. For the UFC, Spike TV served as a savior of sorts, giving them a chance to show off their unique product and even developed a reality show which helped appeal to a broader audience and push MMA to the masses unlike ever before. There is a good chance that K-1 has a very similar opportunity with Spike TV, and that it might be time to stop turning to the past.

If there ever was a time to build K-1 up with a different format, different approach and with different stars, right now is it. Many of us are certain that some of the fighters on the K-1 Los Angeles show are not going to be the new stars that they are looking for. Rick Roufus, Mighty Mo and Seth Petruzelli have all had their time in the spotlight in one place or another, and this time might not be their time to shine. Instead, K-1 has signed a few new fighters that will participate on the card, including Jarrell Miller, Jack May, Randy Blake, Xavier Vigney, Justin Greskiewicz and more. These fighters, and possibly others, could be the names that truly impress and help re-launch K-1.

As much as we all love the one-night tournament format and the fighters that made K-1 what it is today, it might be time to simply let go of the K-1 of the past. There is a good chance that the “Japanese production” style could also be one of the relics of the past that is not needed to make K-1 a success in the United States, with that possibly deterring new fans due to the spectacle nature with less focus on the sport itself. Time can only tell what will work and what K-1 will ultimately do with this new television deal, but what is clear is that they have a very big opportunity placed in their laps right now, and that failure would probably mean the end of K-1.


'The Godfather of Kickboxing' Thom Harinck Back Into the Mix

  • Published in Kickboxing

In 1972, director Francis Ford Coppola breathed life into Mario Puzo's most famous crime drama, The Godfather. The story and its subsequent sequels chronicled the story of the Corleone family from their origins in Sicily, rise to power and finally the efforts of the family to legitimize the family's name and fortune. One of the best scenes in trilogy is when an exasperated Michael Corleone exclaims, "Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in!"

Why even bring up The Godfather on a kickboxing site?

Why, because sometimes the truth can be stranger than fiction. On the other side of the Atlantic Ocean, something else big was happening in 1972, the founding of Chakuriki Gym in Amsterdam by Thom Harinck. The 'Chakuriki' style which represents a fusion of techniques from boxing, Kyokushin karate, judo, jujitsu wrestling, Muay Thai and Savate for over forty years became a dominant influence on the fighting styles of many of the biggest names in kickboxing. Among his many talented pupils standouts such as Peter Aerts, Andy Hug, Badr Hari, Melvin Manhoef, Branko Cikatic, Hesdy Gerges, Pedro Rizzo, Jerome LeBanner and countless others have had their careers and fighting style shaped by Harinck's Chakuriki philosophy. In 2013, however, one of the most influential men in the sport decided to retire. At that time Harinck stated that he would continue to support the sport from the sidelines focusing his energy on the completion of a book about his life, spending time with his family, participating in European forums regarding kickboxing, and of course doing seminars all over the world.

During his first year of retirement, Thom Harinck was still one of the busiest retirees I had ever met. In 2015, one of his former pupils, current Glory light heavyweight champion, Saulo Cavalari reached out to him for management services. Always one to support the sport and his former pupils, Harinck agreed. With one foot already back in the game, 2016, Thom Harinck has decided to take Chakuriki full throttle again, coaching a small number of his former pupils including Saulo Cavalari, Hesdy Gerges and Amir Zeyada. Just when he thought he was out, they pulled him back in. His comeback has not been unconditional. While Harinck has sold his old gym in Amsterdam, he has found another place to train and it, like before, is under the Chakuriki system: hard training, no talking, no drugs. The Chakuriki style according to Harinck is not just a fight style, it's a lifestyle and in 2016 it begins again. For forty years Thom Harinck dedicated his life to training boys to be the best men in the ring and as long as he has his health, he's dedicated to training for many more. Watch out Glory, K-1, SuperKombat......Harinck's back.

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