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Nine Questions with Remy Bonjasky

  • Published in Interviews

He is known as "The Flying Gentleman". With a career spanning nearly twenty years, this three time K-1 champion is one of the most well known fighters in the world.. Having recently retired, I caught up with Remy in Istanbul to talk about his past, present and future. In many ways, March 08, 2014, marked the end of an era as Remy announced his final fight would be at Glory 14 in Croatia against Mirko"Cro Cop" Filipovic. True to his reputation as a gentleman and a great sportsman, Remy's exit from the ring was as graceful as his entrance when he defeated the elder Overeem brother, Valentijn in 1995.

SW: Now that "The Flying Gentleman" has landed what are your plans?

RB: Well I have several projects I'm working on, including opening up my second gym. I also am working with several fighters training and there's also doing seminars and other projects. It's not really like a retirement. I will still be very busy.

SW: I know you have your own gym, Bonjasky Academy. Who are you currently working with?

RB: Well, right now, probably my most notable student is Danyo Ilunga. There are some others I am training but Danyo is probably the most well known at this time.

SW: If you weren't training or hadn't become a kickboxer, what other profession do you think you would have pursued?

RB: I probably would have continued my career in banking.

SW: I find it exciting that Glory has revitalized interest in kickboxing in the United States. What are you thoughts on the future of kickboxing, in the States and abroad?

RB: I am very pleased with the organization, its very professional, good shows. I think more interest is definitely showing. It's going to get bigger and bigger. The fights are exciting with lots of knock outs. It's growing.

SW: This is not the first time you have stepped away from kickboxing, I know at one time you were having a problem with one of your eyes. What was the nature of your injury?

RB: It was because I had a detached retina.

SW: After you defeated Mirko in Croatia, there was a weird response in the crowd, what was your take on that?

RB: I don't know. It was a very emotional event, not just for me. It's something that never happened in my career before, but I don't believe they were really booing me, it was about the result. I love the people of Zagreb and they have always shown me a lot of love. I don't know what can you say. I am still very happy that I was able to show my skill and win.

SW: I have always wondered what you were really thinking after your incident with Badr Hari at the 2008 K-1 finals.

RB: *shrugs* Badr. You know he did what he did and as a result the fight had that outcome.

SW: I'm sure you're weren't mad about the prize.

RB: Not at all.

SW: What is something about you, perhaps a little known fact, that your fans might find surprising?

RB: I'm afraid of spiders.

So, it would seem that retirement won't exactly be sipping Pina Coladas on the Riviera for Remy. He already has great plans for the future, including, but not limited to continuing to grow the sport as a trainer and mentor to today's rising stars. We wish Remy the best of luck and look forward to seeing him ringside.

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Weekend Results: K1ngs of Glory

  • Published in Europe

K1ngs of Glory debut card went down this weekend from the Rainton Meadows arena in the North East of England. K1ngs of Glory is a sister promotion to the UK MMA promotion Made4theCage which was established by Steven Scott and Dale Percival. 

Glory competitor and top UK talent Reece McAllister headlined the event and showed why he’s one of the best up and coming talents at 67 kg. McCallister dominated Serbian-born Dragan Pesic from the opening bell before finishing him in the second round to claim the promotions inaugural 67kg world title. 

Former UFC competitors Colin Fletcher and Andre Winner met in the co-feature where Fletcher emerged victorious with a unanimous decision. ‘Freakshow’ controlled the bout largely with his kicks, which he utilized to help maintain his range as he consistently out-landed Winner throughout the bout.

Results:
Reece McAllister def. Dragan Pesic by TKO in Round 2
Colin Fletcher def. Andre Winner by Unanimous Decision
Danny Blankharn def. Shaun Lomas by Unanimous Decision
Duncan McLean def. Bradley Conway by TKO in Round 1
Garry Laws def. Javonne Morrison by Unanimous Decision
Ben Holdsworthy def. Craig Shadforth by KO in Round 2
Gary Head def. Andy Cona by TKO in Round 2

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The Last Chance at Glory for Melvin Manhoef?

  • Published in Glory

Knockout artist and perennial fan favourite Melvin Manhoef makes his long-awaited Glory debut this Saturday in Los Angeles, but is this weekend’s tournament the last straw for the Dutchman?

Melvin Manhoef has been competing in professional combat sports for nearly as long as I have been alive. At 38 years of age and with nearly 90 professional bouts to his name, Manhoef is no spring chicken. He enters this Saturday’s Glory event as the oldest competitor in the tournament field; coincidently the next oldest competitor is his quarterfinal opponent, the 31-year-old Belgian Filip Verlinden.  

Despite having a highly successful career in both kickboxing and mixed martial arts, Manhoef has never won a ‘major’ title. I use that term loosely, as Manhoef has held belts in both kickboxing and in MMA. Manhoef was at one time the light-heavyweight champion of former British MMA promotion Cage Rage; he recently won the Gringo Super Fight welterweight championship after finishing long time rival Evangelista Santos in less than a minute and once held the Showtime 85kg title back in 2009. Whilst these achievements should not be undermined, Manhoef has yet to taste gold in the upper echelons of both kickboxing and MMA. 

Manhoef’s best opportunities have come primarily within the sport of MMA. He was a finalist in the former Japanese promotion Hero’s light-heavyweight tournament and was also a semi-finalist in DREAM’s middleweight tournament, losing by submission in both instances to Yoshihiro Akiyama and Gegard Mousasi respectively. He unfortunately hasn’t been quite as lucky in kickboxing, as after having successful quarterfinals in both the 2006 K-1 Grand Prix in Amsterdam and the 2008 K-1 Grand Prix in Tokyo, he had to bow out early due to injury, however his tournament experience could definitely play a factor come Saturday night.

Manhoef enters this Saturday’s Glory middleweight tournament in a somewhat difficult position. Manhoef has lost his last four in kickboxing (albeit against Samedov, Spong, Saki and Bonjasky) and his hopes of finally earning a UFC contract went out the window with his losses to Brock Larson and Mamed Khalidov last year, meaning Glory 17 this weekend might provide the last chance Manhoef will ever have at winning a major title. It may also be the most ideal stage in which to do it on; Glory’s middleweight tournament presents a unique challenge in his more natural weight class of 185lbs and on fast-rising Glory’s biggest event to date, which will also be the first time the promotion has ventured into the PPV market. 

Whilst the challenge is most certainly enticing and one that I’m sure Manhoef is incredibly excited to start, it is also highly formidable, even for someone like Manhoef who has fought a who’s who of fighters throughout his career. Glory have forged a tournament that features arguably the eight best middleweight kickboxers on the planet and if Manhoef wants the gold at the end of the rainbow, he’s going to have to beat at least three of them all within the space of a few hours.  

Whilst a devastating loss this weekend might signal the end for Manhoef’s hopes of becoming a champion and perhaps one of the last times we see him step in to battle with the elite of either sport, it most certainly will not tarnish his legacy. From his electrifying walk-outs to his apocalyptic punching and devastating leg-kicks, Melvin Manhoef has wow’d endless audiences for nearly 20 years and even as he enters into the twilight stage of his career, he is still one of the most terrifying fighters on this planet and will without a doubt go down in kickboxing and MMA history as one of the most exciting fighters of our generation.

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TaKe-On Productions Battle at Ballys II to Air on Comcast SportsNet

  • Published in Muay Thai

TaKe-On Productions is probably the promotion in the US that has their stuff together better than most could ever dream of in the realm of Muay Thai and Kickboxing. They continue to forge ahead and lead the pack with their upcoming event, Battle at Ballys II on August 11th as it will air on Comcast Sports Network in New Jersey and Pennsylvania on October 13th from 8pm - 10pm to a market of over 4.4 million viewers. That means that Muay Thai will be airing in primetime if you are in the area, which is huge.

If you want to watch the event live, as always, you are invited to head over to GFL.tv and purchase the event for $14.99 which begins at 6pm and will air the entire event. As someone who has witnessed past TaKe-On events, I highly recommend catching them as the matchmaking and production are superb. You are in for a good night of fights in the hands of TaKe-On Productions and MSG Sports.

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Bellator Embraces Kickboxing by Signing Paul Daley and Melvin Manhoef

  • Published in Kickboxing

When we said that Scott Coker joining Bellator would be a good thing for the sport of kickboxing we weren't lying. In fact, Scott Coker's involvement with the sport of MMA again only opens the door to more good things down the line. Fans have already been clamoring for GLORY and Bellator crossovers, which might not happen just yet, but we know that there have been some very unofficial talks between the two parties. There has at least been a dialogue. 

So the start of it, in some form, has come. Today Bellator announced the signing of two Kickboxing talents who also have made their names in MMA by the way of Paul Daley and Melvin Manhoef. Paul Daley has been fighting in kickboxing throughout 2014 and the man is just an animal, with it being announced that he signed to K-1 a few months ago, although he has yet to fight for the promotion. The other signing in Melvin Manhoef doesn't have to be explained. Manhoef was just involved in GLORY's Last Man Standing Middleweight tournament and has a long, rich history from K-1 and MMA. 

Interestingly enough, in the original release from Bellator the name K-1 was mentioned in regards to Melvin, but not GLORY.

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Weekend Results: Shoot Boxing Girls' S-Cup

  • Published in Asia

This weekend in Japan Shoot Boxing held their 2014 Girls S-Cup tournaments, which saw both a 50kg and 48kg tournament, the 50kg one being an eight-girl tournament, the 48kg one being four. In the 50kg division RENA walked away with her fourth Girls S-Cup Championship, which is quite a feat for the face of Shoot Boxing. In the 48kg division Yukari Yamaguchi picked up big wins over V.V Mei and Momi to take home the gold. 

Full event results follow, courtesy of CJ's Report.

50kg Girls S-Cup
RENA (R3 - Dec.) Simone Dommelen
Christina Jurjevic (R3 - Dec.) Kill Bee
Ticha (R3 - Dec.) Eduarda Lima
Jiwaen Lee (R3 - Split Dec.) Lorena Klijn
Semi-Finals: RENA (R3 - Dec.) Christina Jurjevic
Semi-Finals: Ticha (R3 - Dec.) Jiwaen Lee
Finals: RENA (R2 - TKO) Ticha

48kg Girls S-cup
Semi-Finals:
Yukai Yamaguchi (R3 - Majority Dec.) V.V Mei Yamaguchi
Semi-Finals: Mio (R3 - Dec.) Momi
Finals: Yukari Yamaguchi (R3 - Split Dec.) Mio

Ai Takahashi (R2 - KO) Nong Em
Union Akari (R3 - Majority Dec.) Yuki Kira
Michi Nakamura (R3 - Dec.) Tomomi Souda
Arisa (R2 - TKO) Maki Goto
Mai Iwata (R3 - Dec.) Bovy Okada

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Long Watch: GLORY's Ivan Farneti Talks Business and Kickboxing

  • Published in Glory

Part of what makes GLORY such an interesting company is the guys who comprise said company. All of the people that we've spoken to which in the company are passionate and knowledgeable about the sport of kickboxing. They are fans, not just casual fans, but real fans. If you are looking for a fan, look no further than GLORY's Ivan Farneti. You can find him on Twitter or Facebook most of the time talking about combat sports -- and he's nowhere near just a casual fan -- he hangs with the most hardcore of us. In fact, I'd go as far as to call Ivan a kickboxing nerd. It's okay, he's in good company. 

Watch this uber-long interview with Ivan to learn more about him, his love for the sport, how he got started with the organization as well as some of the big picture, vision stuff for GLORY. For those that grow tired of hearing Dana White's brand of vitriol, listen to Ivan pretty much say everything you want to hear and really mean it. 

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WGP 22 Fight Card and Stream Info - Alex Pereira vs. Robert Thomas

  • Published in Kickboxing

On September 27th in Sao Paulo, Brazil WGP Kickboxing will present their 22nd event, featuring GLORY's Alex Pereira competing against Canadian fighter Robert Thomas in the main event. The event will be streamed live on WGP's site for a super low price of $10. It is looking to be a great card and won't set you back a ton, either, allowing you to support WGP and Brazilian Kickboxing.

Under Card

K1 Rules (64.5 kg): Samuel Pereira vs Wellington Lopes
K1 Rules (71.800 kg): Fabiano “Mineiro” Silva vs Marcelo Dionisio
WAKO PRO Brazilian Title - Low Kicks (66.800 kg): Valmir Theiss vs Édipo Herbert Lima 

Main Card

60kg GP Semi-Final - K1 Rules (60 kg): Ignacio Capllonch (ARG) vs Gustavo Piacentini (BRA)
60kg GP Semi-Final - K1 Rules (60 kg): Rafael “Coruja” Xavier vs Paulo Tebar
WAKO PRO Brazilian Title - Low Kicks (69.100 kg): Wellington Tom vs Bruno Gazani
WAKO PRO Brazilian Title - Low Kicks (94,100 kg): Wallyson “Maguila” Carvalho vs Felipe Micheletti
WAKO PRO Brazilian Title - Low Kicks (85 kg): Francisco Araújo vs Cesar Almeida
60kg GP Finals - K1 Rules (60 kg): Winner Fight 1 x Winner Fight 2
K1 Rules (85 kg): Robert Thomas (CAN) x Alex “Po Atan” Pereira (BRA)

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TaKe On Productions: Battle at Bally's II Tickets 15% Off For a Limited Time

  • Published in Muay Thai

Take On

K-1 might be coming back to the US in a big way and looking to leave a mark, but if you are a fan in the New York area, you don't have to wait until December to see men kicking each other. Oh no. New York's Take On Productions will be heading back to Atlantic City on August 11th at Bally's Casino and putting on yet another epic card. If you were thinking of heading down there, buy your tickets before the 19th of July and you'll receive a 15% off discount.

All $55 seats are now just $46.75

All $95 seats are now just $80.75

All $150 seats are now just $127.50

Head over the Take On's events page to check out the card and to purchase tickets. The discounted price will be automatically applied when you go to purchase them. The special deal is available until 11:59pm on July 19th.

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‘Hope for the best and prepare for the worst’ - An exclusive interview with Hungary's 22 years old Patrik "Titan" Vidákovics

  • Published in Interviews

K-1, Muay Thai, kickboxing, Low-Kick, Light-Contact - whatever comes the -75kg Patrik takes it. And the results speak for themselves - Multiple times National and European cup winner, European champion,  World cup 3rd place, 2x world champion, Professional K-1 Hungarian Champion, Professional K-1 Intercontinental Champion. But how did the story beging for the young Titan?

As Patrik was walking down the streets of Baja, - a city in Bács-Kiskun County, southern Hungary -, in 2008, at age 16 he noticed a poster about upcoming kickboxing classes. He went to check out the training of renowned trainer András Mezőfi and fell in love with the sport immediately. Seven years have passed and Patrik is just as passionate as ever. Despite the success he remained a down to earth guy thankful to his coach, team and to the sport for everything it brought him.

He's grateful for the transformation the sport made him go through. To his own admission kickboxing has made him turn his life around as he was really shy and insecure as a boy.

"My mother has never would've thought that I'll ever try my hands at something like this" - said Patrik. Since he started he has not only managed to get two world titles, won pro championships but grew a lot physically and mentally, as a person.

Patrik is a total fanatic when it comes to training and he credits all his success to the hard work, perseverance he put in throughout the years at Kick-Thai-Boxing Team Baja. Due to this mentality and being ready all year round he managed to capture the K-1 Intercontinental belt last November in Berlin in a clash what started as an exhibition fight.

"I traveled to Berlin as a wingman really for the Hungarian team. The event had multiple championship, world championship and intercontinental championship fights and when I've arrived the organizers asked me if I could jump in for an exhibition fight. A few hours passed when it surfaced that the winner can bring the Intercontinental Championship belt  home. I was fighting a weight class above my natural -75kg (~165lbs) and after five rounds of war I managed to get the belt."

Q- How does your training look like nowadays?

A- We focus a lot on functional training with my coach András Mezőfi to get me in the best shape possible and I have a schedule for every day of the week. We train striking and the kicks separately and then we sync them and bring everything together. There's a lot of emphasis on cardio, S&C. In an actual training camp when I prepare for a fight I traing twice a day - in the a.m and late in the afternoon.

Q- Tell us about your next fight!

A- My next one will be in Bosnia and Herzegovina, 15 Aug at an event called No Limit 7. my opponent will be a dangerous 27 year old local fighter, 86kg (~189lbs), 185cm (6'1") Mesud Selimovic. He has won several international cups, and became Balkan kickboxing vice-champion in 2011. We were studying some tape and found some weaknesses. He's a smart, disciplined fighter setting up his attacks nicely. I'll have to watch out and will put some extra time in when training cardio. I think it can be a deciding factor because of the weight difference.

Q- I know that fighters in general don't like to think ahead than their next fight but what are your plans for the remainder of the year and for the near future?

A- I'm not looking past my opponent by any means but I want to capture my 3rd K-1 world championship in October and after that get the European championship belt too at the event organized by Kick-Thai-Boxing Team Baja.

Thanks for the interview and best of luck Titan!

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