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SUPERKOMBAT Searching for Promotional Partners For WGP Events

  • Published in Kickboxing

SuperKombat

Romania's Kickboxing powerhouse that is SUPERKOMBAT announced today that they will hold four huge events before the end of the year, including the finals of their WGP tournament in December. They announced the four dates for the events as well as discussed that they are currently looking for the right promotional partners for these events. They are already in talks with potential partners for these shows, but wanted to put the offer on the table for other potential partners to step in and help to host the SUPERKOMBAT World Grand Prix series of events.

The four dates are as follows;

September 28, 2013 – SUPERKOMBAT® World Grand Prix

October 12, 2013 – SUPERKOMBAT® World Grand Prix

November 9, 2013 – SUPERKOMBAT® World Grand Prix – Final Elimination

December 21, 2013 – SUPERKOMBAT® World Grand Prix – Final

For more information on how you can get involved with the SUPERKOMBAT World Grand Prix series please check their website.

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Hunt and Manhoef score epic face-plant KO’s

  • Published in Kickboxing

Kickboxing royalty Mark Hunt and Melvin Manhoef were both successful in MMA bouts as they finished off Roy Nelson and Doug Marshall respectively.

 

Mark Hunt’s unlikely career resurgence continues, as the 40-year old became only the second fighter to knockout the notoriously durable Roy ‘Big Country’ Nelson. The bout headlined UFC’s third trip to Japan since the Zuffa takeover and was a seemingly logical match-up of fan favorites.

 

The bout was relatively even throughout the first round, as both battled to establish dominance over the other with both fighters scoring with occasional punches and a few thudding low kicks from the former K-1 champion Hunt. Nelson was unsuccessful in two attempts at bringing the fight to the mat in the first as he likely lost a very close first round to the New Zealand native.

 

At the start of the second round Nelson was finally able to secure a takedown and briefly took Hunt’s back however Hunt was able to escape back to his feet shortly after. The two continued to trade on the feet as the momentum began to swing in Hunt’s favor whilst Nelson began to show signs of fatigue. With two minutes left on the clock, Hunt crumbled Nelson with a monstrous uppercut followed by his typical walk-off celebration.

 

With the victory Hunt moves to (5-2-1) in the UFC and could see himself enter the UFC’s top 5 rankings for the very first time (currently ranked #6), whilst after being stopped for the first time in nearly six years, Nelson falls to (7-6) in the octagon.

 

Melvin Manhoef, who coincidently was the first man to knockout Mark Hunt, made quick work of former Bellator title challenger Doug ‘The Rhino” Marshall in the Bellator 125 main event from Fresno, California. After a brief feeling out period both fighters began swinging wildly before an inadvertent shot to the groin of Marshall halted the bout temporarily. After the restart the two went back at it, throwing an assortment of haymakers and kicks to no avail. However after stinging Marshall with several low-kicks, Manhoef flattened his foe with a quick overhand right that sent Marshall face-first into the mat in dramatic fashion.

 

Manhoef immediately moves into title contention with his successful Bellator debut and could be in line for a Middleweight title shot against the winner of Alexander Shlemenko vs. Brandon Halsey who clash next Friday in the main event of Bellator 126. Marshall meanwhile drops to 4-2 inside the Bellator cage as he fought for the first time since his unsuccessful title shot against the aforementioned Shlemenko last November, a bout in which he subsequently tested positive for a banned substance post-fight.

 

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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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Former K-1 Champion Mark Hunt Gets a Crack at UFC Gold

  • Published in Kickboxing

On November 15th at UFC 180 in Mexico the unthinkable will happen; 40 year old Mark Hunt will have a shot to become UFC [Interim] Heavyweight Champion. The injury-prone Champion, Cain Velasquez, has been forced to pull out of his scheduled title defense against Fabricio Werdum and who else would step forward on a few weeks notice for the shot of his life? Of course Mark Hunt would jump at the chance to be called UFC Heavyweight Champion.

Mark Hunt got his spot with the UFC via a technicality thanks to his contract with PRIDE FC, the UFC opting to honor said contract and give Hunt a shot at the UFC. At the time there were no real hopes to Hunt impressing anyone. Hunt was 36 and he stepped into the ring with Sean McCorkle coming off of a five fight losing streak. McCorkle would make six. Hunt swore that he'd do better and Dana White gave him another shot. What followed was a crazy four-fight winning streak that was finally derailed by former UFC Heavyweight Champion Junior Dos Santos. Many would claim that JDS won via knockout, but it always just seemed that Hunt was just exhausted and the kick just put him onto the mat, where he was just too wiped out to stand up.

His next fight was against perennial title contender and one of the men who beat the unbeatable Fedor Emelianenko in Bigfoot Silva. It was a bloodbath of a fight, one of the most beautiful things that a fan could witness, ending in a rare majority draw after five rounds of action. Afterwards Bigfoot Silva tested positive for banned substances, which didn't come as much of a surprise. Hunt's next fight was in Japan against Roy Nelson. Nelson had always been knocking at the door of being a top guy in the division, but was always held back by his stubbornness. Mark Hunt laid him out in just two rounds.

Now Mark Hunt is the man to fill in and is given the opportunity of a lifetime. Fabricio Werdum will no doubt be in better shape, is younger and more well-rounded, but Mark Hunt is Mark Hunt. 

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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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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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Take­On XXI Recap and Results

  • Published in Americas

TKO

Take­On Productions returned to the Resorts World Casino for its 21st show last night with another great event for the New York fans. Several of the fights, including two of the three professional bouts, ended by TKO.

Jason Van Oijen (Dogen Gym NY) vs Georgui Smaguin (Pride Fitness & MMA NY)

An anticipated rematch after their first fight ended in a draw, both men came out hard, with Van Oijen, who had the distinct height advantage, getting the best of most of the exchanges, particularly in the clinch. After setting a very aggressive pace in the first two rounds, both men slowed considerably going into the latter half of the fight. Smaguin rallied in the 3rd round and threw several punches that sent the sweat spraying, but Van Oijen began unloading with kicks and hard combinations to the body in rounds 4 and 5, giving Van Oijen the win by UD as well as the 175 lbs Take­On title.

Jay Matias (Sitan Gym NY) vs John Vargas (Valor Muay Thai, San Diego, CA)

The co­main event showcased a beautiful technical performance by fan favorite, Jay Matias. Matias started slowly and looked very relaxed, holding most of his arsenal in check and striking mostly with his left side in Round 1. He unloaded with more power shots from his right side and increasingly complex combinations as the fight continued.

While the use of elbows in full rules Muay Thai bouts was only very recently legalized in New York, you wouldn’t know it from the way that Matias put them to work on Vargas, particularly a vicious lunging lead elbow that penetrated Vargas’s defense at will. Those watching closely may have recognized Monlit Sitpodaing in Matias’s corner, who is probably in no small part responsible for the evolution in Matias style. To give Vargas credit, he showed incredible heart and was in the fight pushing forward and hitting back up until the moment that Matias ended it with a spinning back elbow that opened Vargas’ forehead and prompted the guy sitting next to me to say, “Jay Matias wins by destruction.” The fight was stopped at 2:35 in Round 4, with Matias taking the victory by TKO.

Cyrus Washington (Sitan Gym NY) vs J. R. Hines (Unlimited MMA KY)

Many fans were looking forward to watching Washington fight again in New York after catching his last Take­On fight at MSG against Chike Lindsay. Sadly, it was over very quickly, as someone forgot to warn Hines that Washington has a really nasty spinning back kick. It’s only all over his highlight reels, and last night we saw it again, landing flush on Hines’ liver, ending the fight by TKO in Round 1.

Full Card & Results

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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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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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