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SuperKombat WGP Final Elimination Geneva This Weekend

  • Published in Kickboxing

SuperKombat WGP is taking place this Saturday in Geneva, Switzerland, and will air live on Eurosport at 9:00pm (CET). It will include the quarter finals of a light heavyweight tournament as well as a cruiserweight title fight between Moises Baute and Andrei Stoica 

The light heavyweight tournament will take place over two events, the winners of the quarter final match ups tomorrow will earn their place in the finals on November 22 in Monza, Italy for a 1 night 4 man tournament to decide the champion.

FULL CARD

 

 

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Glory 18: Extended Trailer and Zack Mwekassa Pre Fight Interview

  • Published in Glory

Glory has given us two more videos to prepare us for Glory 18. We will start with the pre-fight interview with African boxer Zack Mwekassa who shocked the world with his vicious knockout of Pat Barry in his last Glory appearance. Mwekassa wil be taking on Brian Collette in the first round of the 4-man light heavyweight tournament. Now, when Mwekassa fought Barry he fought at heavyweight but gave up at least 20lbs, so the light heavyweight division will be a perfect fit for him. He's very charismatic and well spoken which always makes his interviews interesting, but in the ring hes a different person, and as Zack puts it, hes just in there to create mayhem. (PS. Keep an eye out in the background of the video at 1:36 for a little surprise.)

We also have the 3 minute extended trailer for Glory 18, where we get to hear to a bit of fight analysis, and watch people get skillfully knocked all over the ring in traditional Glory fashion.

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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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Check Out GLORY's 20 Best Knockouts on Spike TV This Friday

  • Published in Glory

This Friday at 11pm Eastern time Spike TV will present a special one hour piece of programming highlighting some of the best action to happen thus far in a GLORY ring. Sure, it might be hard to contain all of that action into one hour, but they've opted to do a special on the 20 best knockouts, which is awesome. We've kind of been begging Spike for quite a while to give GLORY some more air time to promote their events and they are giving it to us right after Bellator this Friday.

This is all to promote GLORY 18, which goes down on November 7th live on Spike TV.

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Glory 18: Kiria Vs Van Roosmalen and Saulo Cavalari Hype Videos

  • Published in Glory

We are 3 weeks away from Glory 18, which means its time for the hype videos to begin. First of all we have the title fight between Robin van Roosmalen and Davit Kiria. Glory has given us their version of a small 24/7 type video for these 2 fighters. I can't help but feel that Roosmalen is a big favourite in this fight considering he has already beaten Kiria twice, both times by unanimous decision. Then again I think most people including myself underestimated the Georgian fighter against Ristie and we all saw how that went. The difference is Ristie is known to get tired in fights, he used to even have a hard time with 3 round fights, but hes adapted to those, where as Roosmalen has never really had a problem with his cardio, so the whole weather the storm game plan won't work this time for Kiria. I'd say Kiria has to capitalize on Roosmalen standing flat footed in front of him, he will have to move in and out and not get sucked into standing and trading combos or else hes likely to have a bad night.

Secondly we have a pre fight interview with Brazilian Saulo "Cassius Clay" Cavalari. He has probably the hardest first fight of the tournament against the favourite Danyo Ilunga. If he can get past Ilunga in the first fight he has a good chance to win the whole thing, Unless Mwekassa's left uppercut puts a dent in those plans.

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Photo of the Day: Aerts and Hoost Stare Down

  • Published in Kickboxing

There is so much history between Peter Aerts and Ernesto Hoost, with most of it taking place in the K-1 ring. This weekend in Japan the two will meet in a WKO ring; World Kumite Organization. It doesn't matter if you haven't heard of it before, it doesn't matter if both Aerts and Hoost are older, this is pure nostalgia on so many levels and a chance for a final in-ring chapter to play out between two of the all-time greats in K-1 history. 

Most of our attention over the past few years has been on the future and present stars, but it is safe to say that most of us wouldn't be here right now as fans if it weren't for Peter Aerts and Ernesto Hoost. 

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Badr Hari Getting Mystery Opponent for GFC 4, Quateron Not Conducive to 'Family Environment'

  • Published in Kickboxing

Over the past few days rumors have been swirling around that Badr Hari vs. Patrice Quateron would not happen at GFC 4, that Badr Hari had refused to fight Quateron. Of course most of that came from Quateron and his camp, who are very vocal on social media. Today GFC and Badr Hari released a statement in regards to the event.

According to this statement Badr Hari will be fighting at GFC 4, just against a mystery opponent. The explanation as to why he isn't fighting Patrice Quateron? Patrice was not conducive to a "family environment" that GFC was going for with their promotion. I don't even know. Decipher that for yourself.

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Badr Hari Rumor to Have Pulled Out of GFC 4 Fight with Patrice Quateron

  • Published in Kickboxing

Okay now, do this with me, breathe deep. Exhale. Good. The past few days have been marred by the confusing antics of Buakaw Banchamek in Thailand and for now we as a whole are moving on from that story. What are we moving on to? Apparently Badr Hari drama. Badr Hari drama is always the least shocking thing in the world of kickboxing and it is the thing that keeps him from appearing in the ring with top competition like everyone would like to see.

On October 16th Badr Hari was scheduled to meet Patrice Quateron at GFC 4 in Dubai. Things began to get fishy in the lead-up to the event when Quateron released a recording of a conversation between Mike Passenier and himself where Passenier attempted to pay Quateron to pull out of the fight and to accept another opponent. The promise was that they would instead fight in Morocco under a show promoted by Kader Marouf for bigger money and a bigger audience. 

Instead of "playing ball" with them, Quateron released the phone call to the public and peppered it with insults to Badr's manhood. At the press conference earlier today Badr Hari was a no-show, leaving Quateron dressed in a silly costume with no one to troll. Shame.

According to our friends at MixFight, RTL7 is no longer airing the event and are claiming that Badr Hari has pulled out of the fight against Quateron. It's still not 100% clear considering that whomever is handling Badr Hari's social media posted just a few moments ago that Badr fights in two days. They might not have gotten the memo or maybe Badr has already fallen out of favor with them. There's also a chance that he's still fighting, who knows.

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GFC 4: Badr Hari Vs. Patrice Quarteron Press Conference

  • Published in Kickboxing

The GFC 4 press conference was held today and once again we see Quarteron dressed up in another disguise, this time as a Sheikh. He showed up shouting, singing and dancing but once he sat down he realized Badr wasn't there. He began to yell out Badr's name but Mr. Hari still didn't show up, he did amuse the crowd though and they seemed to enjoy his antics.

So here is a video of the press conference or more like the "Patrice Conference"

Here is an upset Quarteron after the Conference

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Interview with Daniella Éltető - The Machine from Hungary

  • Published in Interviews

Hungary's 19 year old phenom, Daniella Éltető has won yet another pro world title. She stepped into the ring recently 11-Oct-2014 at Fight 4 Glory's event in Switzerland for WKU's Pro Muay Thai title. Her opponent was french muay thai National Champion Magali Foroni (34). Foroni with a championship to her name has achieved a lot in her career and gained lots of experience. Fans could see her fighting Tiffany Van Soest at Lion Fight 12 in 2013. No Hungarian female fighter had WKU's pro Muay Thai title before which makes the win even more special.  We interviewed "The Machine" the next day of the fight to ask a few questions on the fight and her plans. 

Q: - Hello Daniella! First of all, congrats on the huge win! How hard was keeping everything in sync and prepare while you had to learn as well? You recently started University, right?

A: - Thank you guys. Yes it wasn't easy at all. There were tons of stuff to do because of my studies and I had to pull out of two fights as well because of health issues. The first one would've been a WKN title fight in Bosnia and the other one for a pro Muay Thai title in Romania.

Q: - Did you arrive for the fight or you got to Switzerland a bit earlier so you could train and acclimate a bit?

A: - Unfortunately I couldn't get  there earlier as I had an exam right before the fight on Thursday..

Q: - What was the biggest challenge against Foroni? Did you find some holes in her game, some weak points?

A: - She's tried to keep me under pressure but we prepared for this fight. Our strategy was to attack the legs so every time the opportunity arised I went for it. I've landed many inside and outside low kicks but she was quite enduring. In the 4th round I've managed to get her in the clinch and landed many knees and elbows until finally they've thrown in the towel.

Q: - What's next? Do you have any plans for the rest of the year or do you want to take some time off and focus on your studies?

A: - There's another big fight right on the corner. If all goes well I'll fight in about two weeks in Milan. I have some small injuries but I expect to heal up just fine by then. I need a few days off and after that I'll be right back into preparing for the next battle.

Q: - Congrats upon the great win and being the first female combat sports athlete form Hungary to ever wear WKU's pro Muay Thai belt. Any message to the fans?

A: - First of all I'd like to thank Shindokai-Kan Hungary – KYO-Shin SE, my master/trainer/dad Péter Éltető and János Laub for helping me to prepare for this fight and everyone else for the encouragement, congratulations.

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Rough Footage From Peter Aerts vs. Ernesto Hoost From K-Energy Event

  • Published in Video

Over the weekend Peter Aerts and Ernesto Hoost met for the sixth time in the ring under the WKO (World Kumite Organization) banner. It was an interesting affair with a lot of old K-1 names in attendance, including Kazuyoshi Ishii himself, which should raise a few eyebrows. We've all been eagerly awaiting the footage from the fight, especially knowing that there were film crews there taping the fight, but none of that has surfaced just yet.

Instead, our friends at FightStadium went ahead and pieced together some of the footage that had been floating around online of the fight. It's not pretty, but you can at least see what went down. There has been talk of a potential rematch since Aerts claims that he only had three weeks to train, plus there was talk of a gentlemen's agreement to go easy on his legs since he requires knee surgery in the near future. 

So without further ado, here it is, Peter Aerts vs. Ernesto Hoost. 

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VIDEO: Artur Kyshenko vs. Radoslaw Paczuski

  • Published in Video

Leave it to Artur Kyshenko to keep busy, right? Yesterday Kyshenko fought at the KOK WGP 2014 event in Gdansk against Radoslaw Paczuski in a night that also saw Sergei Laschenko take a Heavyweight tournament. Go ahead and check out Kyshenko's performance and let us know what you thought. Kyshenko has been hit-or-miss at times and jumped around weight classes. 

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Five Questions With GLORY's Marc de Bonte

  • Published in Interviews

Throughout the history of kickboxing and muay thai, Holland, Thailand and Japan have been the hotspots for stars in the sport. Although there have been numerous practitioners from other countries, rarely did they achieve the level of success or acclaim of their peers in the aforementioned countries. Thanks to organizations like the now defunct, It's Showtime and more recently Glory Sports International, stars from the United States and throughout western Europe and Asia are receiving more attention. Belgium, for instance, internationally known for numerous Tour de France victories as well as strong showings in motor racing and motocross has not been so well known for stars inside the ring, if you don't count 1980's action star Jean-Claude Van Damme. Today, however the land known for its delicious chocolates, fine arts and picturesque beauty is quickly becoming one of the hotspots for future stars in the sport, much due to strong showings over the last few years by Filip Verlinden, Marc DeBonte, Marat Grigorian and Jamal Ben Saddik .

Earlier this year I had the opportunity to ask Marc DeBonte a few questions about his career and goals for the future.

SW: At what age did you begin training?

MD: I started young at 6 years of age and also did my first youth fight at that age.

SW: You are currently ranked number 3 in Glory with a 2-2 record thus far, what is your overall professional record?

MD: My overall professional record is 87 wins-12 loses-1 draw

SW: You are known for your brutal knees, what do you feel are your other strengths as a fighter?

MD: Mostly I feel my boxing and knees are my best points but I am pretty all round and I can adapt pretty fast to any style.

SW: I'm sure one of your goals this year is to regain the belt from Valtellini, any other goals for this year?

MD: Yes to regain the belt and win the tournament at the end of the year, also to get my ranking in professional boxing up. We will see how it goes .

SW: I know you have trained in Hemmers Gym. Where are you currently training?

MD: I train at Tay gym with my trainer Ludo Kaethoven who has been my trainer for the last 8 years now. We work together with Hemmers Gym to get good quality sparring since a lot of high level Glory fighters train there as well.

With the year having reached the 3/4 mark, it is debatable as to whether DeBonte will be rematched with Valtellini by year's end. A rematch, however seems inevitable and the world will see whether improvements in DeBonte's boxing will be sufficient to push him past Valtellini's Tae Kwon Do base and equally powerful legs and low kicks. Whether it's 2014 or 2015, the rematch between DeBonte and Valtellini promises to be explosive.

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Badr Hari Publicly Announces Social Media Explanation

  • Published in News

Badr Hari has finally made a video to publicly explain to everyone what has been going on with his social media accounts. I'm not sure how these fake accounts got verified without his consent but I can't help but feel there is more to the story. Anyway he has had all these fake accounts closed down and opened his own REAL accounts which he says he will have a team running for him. I wonder how long it will take for this team to do something he doesn't like and then these will become fake accounts as well, hopefully that doesn't happen, but only time will tell. His accounts have been quite active with videos and pictures, so if you're a Badr fan here is his FacebookTwitter, and Website which is coming soon.

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The Wonderful World of Kickboxing

  • Published in News

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As those of us who’ve been around for a while might say, when it comes to the sport of kickboxing, no news is typically bad news. We’ve been hearing a lot of rumors about Glory in the past few months--from murky accounts of an organization on dire straits to assurances by some of our professional kickboxing journalist pals that they have the exclusive scoop on BIG NEWS which has simply been embargoed by Glory for the time being. The fact remains that we haven’t heard anything substantive from Glory since July. There was talk of more SpikeTV content and of an event to be held at the end of October--we’re still waiting for any of these things to materialize. This behavior is worrisome for those of us who followed the scene as recently as 2012, when K-1 made promise after promise of a big comeback that ultimately never took place. It would be sad to see Glory succumb to the same fate as its ambitious predecessors, with K-1 and It’s Showtime telling the tale of how unforgiving the fight business can be.

Kickboxing in particular is a very strange industry, one that appears very active at a glance but which tells a far more sobering story beneath the surface. If we judged the scene solely on the number of events held annually, we might think that things look pretty good, with organizations like LEGEND, Global FC, Top King, A-1, and SuperKombat making news on sites like this one with fight cards featuring big name talent. While the accessibility of this content is highly variable, from robust TV broadcasts to mislabeled camera phone footage posted on YouTube, there are nevertheless fights happening all over the world and subsequently news and results which we can report to you.

But the difference between offering you a survey of sundry action from around the globe and a developing narrative that you can follow and become engrossed in is the difference between Kickboxing as a mere curiosity and as a sport in its own right. There are plenty of Kickboxing and Muay Thai videos that show up on MMA sites, but as much as their readers might appreciate them, they will never get the same first person experience of being there when iconic and spectacular moments unfold--memories of being glued to your TV when Andy Hug landed that spinning back kick or when Joe Schilling knocked Simon Marcus out cold. These moments were real, and they made us believe in this sport and dream about the possibilities. Call it a pet peeve, but I find it a little heartbreaking when brilliant retrospectives of great kickboxing moments wind up on MMA sites under “look at what this might teach us about MMA technique!” headings.

No one in particular is to blame for how things have turned out for kickboxing. Ultimately the success of any venture depends on the convergence of talent, a solid product, proper promotion, and a receptive market at an opportune moment in time. Kickboxing had various combinations of these things at different points in time, but the times and circumstances changed. The downfall of K-1 had as much to do with its management as it did with evolving trends in the Japanese entertainment market. Many factors came into play, but unfortunately, things ended for K-1 in an ugly way, leaving fighters with substantial outstanding earnings which they may never be able to fully collect. However, let us not kid ourselves about what it takes to build a real professional sport league. We’ve seen plenty of flamboyant millionaire playboys from around the world blow their money to party with celebrities and to book their favorite kickboxers for an evening of entertainment. Some of these mysterious rich dudes will even slap a label on their “organization” and take lots of photos with kickboxing bigwigs to make things look legit, but we all know that trying to produce a sustainable sports entertainment venue for the masses takes a lot more vision and tenacity than that. No matter how flashy their shows get, the playboys are not going to save Kickboxing, and neither will the small promotions like Top King (although we’ll give it a chance, just like we always do--that’s the story of Kickboxing, right?) that seem to come and go every year.

We really hope that Glory will actually make it. It seems like the formula’s been there--Glory had enough money, the right talent, the right TV deal, and an ostensible understanding of the business startup process (God knows there are enough smart-sounding former hedge fund/venture capital people on board--how many of them does it take to screw in a light bulb?). Where do things stand now? We really don’t know. We do know that there have been no shows in three months, and if it is indeed true that Glory is coming to Oklahoma on November 7, then that will make four months since its last show. We really hope that the lights will stay on at Glory because as kickboxing fans, we’ve looked forward for a long time to not living in the dark of the sports world. 

 

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Video: Watch Buakaw Banchamek Dismantle Zhang Chunyu

  • Published in Video

If I were to describe Buakaw Banchamek's 2014 it would probably be in one word; active. Buakaw fought for the fifth time this year yesterday in Belarus at the Top King World Series event in the first part of a huge 70kg tournament. He fought Chinese fighter Zhang Chunyu in the first round of this tournament and pretty much dominated him, as you'd probably expect. Check out the video below for all of your Buakaw squashing dudes needs.

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K-1's Ned Kuruc Talks Amateur Open and K-1 World MAX Finals

  • Published in Interviews

Since the formation of K-1 Global there have been some ups and downs for the K-1 name, but we’ve definitely all come to a consensus that under K-1’s current management they want the best for the brand and for the sport. K-1 is set to continue pushing forward over the next few month with a few events that will look to solidify the brand’s place in the current market for kickboxing. The first is in September in the UK, being touted as an open amateur scouting event. We’ve spoken with Ned Kuruc of K-1 a few times before and he’s spoken about how important they feel that an amateur system is for the future of the sport and this Amateur Open is just further proof of that. The second event is, of course, the K-1 World MAX Finals, where Buakaw Banchamek will compete against Enriko Kehl and other great fights.

We caught up with Ned Kuruc to discuss both of these events as well as the future of K-1. The first thing is that K-1 will be holding an Amateur Open on the 13th and 14th of September in the UK, which has attracted a lot of attention thus far. “As of right now we’ve had 500 inquiries and 50 countries have shown interest. We don’t really have hard numbers on this yet because the deadline is September 2nd. Tons of interest shown already, though.”

How does it play into the future of K-1, though? K-1 has always been the home of the top level of fighters, so it is an interesting turn to shift some of their focus to the future. “There is a bit of a generation gap -- or a generation loss -- and I believe that through the amateur system that it’s the best way to get the K-1 brand associated with kids that are coming up and for all martial arts. K-1 isn’t just about kickboxing, it’s about martial arts and it’s a platform for those involved to test their skills and see who is the best in the world. With that being said, the amatuer system is, what I feel, is the best way to get the brand associated with those up-and-coming fighters and kids who don’t remember K-1 like you or I do.

“Not only is this a good way for us to raise brand awareness across generations right now, but there are a lot of fighters out there who want to test their skills. K-1 is a high, high level, it’s the pinnacle of standup sports. There are amatuer groups out there that already have K-1 rules and make champions in these weight classes. K-1 is okay with that, because it is a sport unto itself. Our brand is its own sport,” he explains. “In the past no one has wanted to venture into amatuer sports. Just like when K-1 was founded, we want this to be an open tournament where we really are able to find the best fighters from across the world to compete under the K-1 banner.”

It’s a point that will ring true for fans of K-1, where the K-1 concept originally started under the premise of pulling all of the best fighters from across the world together under one banner and to have them compete against each other. As with anything else, though, it was a business and building stars became the main focus. So the scene began to only host the top few names year-in and year-out, which was exciting, but may have led to excluding other talents who were coming up through the ranks of amateur and professional leagues but couldn’t break into K-1 because fans in Japan wanted to see the names that they knew and loved.

“We want to give opportunities to the best fighters out there. The old K-1 was a bit of an old boys club where if you didn’t have the right management or the right trainers you’d never get that opportunity to compete in K-1. I’m not saying that it was a bad system,” he adds. “They were the best managers and trainers in the world and they produced some of the best fighters. But now we have Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and all of that with the internet and a fighter can post a video of themselves and send it to us and some doors might open up for him. This Amateur Open is for my team and myself to be able to physically see some of these fighters and get them involved with K-1. It’s a direct feeder system. We’re also willing to work with professional fighters who haven’t had a chance before, if you look at our cards we’ve given a lot of young, up-and-coming talent a chance on a bigger stage. Some have done really well and others haven’t, this is how you can really find the best fighters in the world.”

K-1 understands that their brand, name and rules are important in the world of kickboxing and have been adopted throughout the world. They aren’t looking to strip that away from anyone, because they feel that the sport of K-1 has taken on a life of its own, which they are willing to use to their advantage in promoting the brand of K-1. They look at K-1’s rules and see so many amateur events and championships around the globe that even see a possibility for K-1 to be considered an Olympic sport at some point, although not in the near future. This, looking towards building up a strong amateur feeder system, is a good first step. K-1 wants you to know that they aren’t just a brand, but they are a sport.

K-1 is now focused on Thailand, though, where K-1 will present the very first K-1 event on Thai soil in October. The show is the K-1 World MAX Finals where Buakaw Banchamek and Enriko Kehl will fight for the K-1 World MAX Championship, a title that the winner will wear proudly and defend as K-1 moves away from the yearly tournament format. 

“A lot of things had to fall in place for this to happen,” Ned explains. “First was Buakaw fighting for the championship. It’s a lot more evenly-matched fight than people think that it is, but when the officials from Thailand were talking with us, we understood how important it was to have a star like Buakaw on the card. It would mean a lot to Thai fans to see Buakaw win a K-1 title in Thailand, if he can get by Enriko, that is. We had to be creative in making this show happen. Everyone who works in this sport only tries to work with other people who work within the sport, which isn’t always the right way to do things.

“From what I’ve seen in my time with K-1, they generally aren’t the best business people. When I try to work with people I try to work with people who aren’t just in fighting and promoting. We try to work with entertainment companies and legitimate businesses. The group, people that I’m working with on this show aren’t in the fight game. They are from the business world in Thailand, so I had a different approach and it’s worked. This should be a very, very exciting show.”

The topic of the direction of the sport of kickboxing came up after last week I wrote about a growing movement among fans to err on the side of negativity for the outlook of the sport. “In my opinion, at this certain point, it’s gotten the most exposure that it has. We’re in the age of the internet, which helps. As far as K-1, it’s no secret that we are in a rebuilding phase. That’s my job, to rebuild it. Some people might think that it’s been a slow process or that it’s taken too long, but we’re in a very definite transition phase in kickboxing and the sport of K-1. You have K-1, who is still in the game, but yeah, we are a bit slower. Time will tell how my strategy unfolds. 

“Then you have other organizations, you have GLORY who have been putting a lot of money into their shows. They have a lot of talent, great production, but it’s not much of a business plan. Am I a fan of their product? Absolutely. Would I do things the way that they are doing it? Absolutely not, it just doesn’t seem like it’s a viable business plan that can go on for years. I just wouldn’t do it that way. You have other promotions like Enfusion that are doing a good job, you have SuperKombat, Rise, KRUSH. There are a lot of organizations out there, the problem that I have is that I have a massive brand and that I have to do it properly,” Ned explains. “My ideology is to not keep throwing millions of dollars into a show to generate small revenue. I think that there are a few organizations that are playing monkey-see, monkey-do with the UFC and I don’t think that is the proper way to do things.

“Kickboxing doesn’t sell PPVs. We know that, I feel like we’ve always known that. People have tried, but it just won’t work. That means that you can’t copy the UFC model because they are all about PPV. That’s where their revenue comes from. My idea is that it has to be done in steps, it has to be built, you need a foundation. If you look at the brands that have existed for years and not just a few before going away. That’s how K-1 has existed for so long. I feel that kickboxing is in a good state, generally, I would just hate to see some of the organizations make mistakes and go away. The way I see it, the more the merrier, the more that the sport is built up. It only helps all of us in the long run.”

The K-1 World MAX Finals takes place on October 11th in Pattaya, Thailand and the K-1 Amateur Open takes place on September 13th and 14th in the UK. For more information visit http://www.k-1.tv/

 

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Exclusive Interview with GLORY Fighter Saulo Cavalari

  • Published in Interviews

There are some fighters who gradually work themselves into the hearts of fans with their personality or by demonstrating great skill in the ring. For some this recognition comes after years of hard work. Then there are others that have such a dynamic debut and who also possess such charisma and charm that the press and fans are almost instantly addicted. Saulo Cavalari falls into the latter category. Making his Glory debut in Chicago, October 2013, Cavalari took to the ring with a decision victory over the Belgian Bull, Filip Verlinden. He was just warming up. The following month, Cavalari faced Mourad Bouzidi at Glory 12 at Madison Square Garden where he delivered one of the most brutal knockouts witnessed by Glory fans. If you didn't know his name before Glory 12, surely Cavalari was on the radar of press and fans alike after his brutal knock out of Mourad Bouzidi.

Recently I had to opportunity for a Q & A with Saulo. Here are some of his thoughts about muay thai, his career and his future.

SW: Depending on the source, your professional record is listed as 31-3 or 28-3. What is your actual professional record?

SC: My professional record is 28-3.

SW: Where did you get the nickname "Cassius Clay?"

SC: Cassius Clay was a icon and one of the best fighters of all time. He was always an inspiration for me and that's why people started calling me with that nickname. But I'm Saulo Cavalari and I hope to build my own career, if I get 50% of what Cassius Clay accomplished I'll be very satisfied.

SW: At what age did you begin training?

SC: I was still a 9 years old boy.

SW: How long have you been with Thai Brasil?

SC: Since it was founded in 2007.

SW: Your knockout of Mourad Bouzidi at Glory 12 was one of the most spectacular of 2013, did you expect to knock him out so quickly and with such force?

SC: I always go for the KO and I always fight with aggressive style. I know that the crowd loves it and since when I was very young I knew I'd be a exciting fighter. All punches that I land in a fight have KO power and I was very happy that I could throw it perfectly in the beginning of the fight.

SW: What are some of your goals for 2014?

SC: My goal is to be the GLORY Champion. I wasn't able to pass the semifinals so my main goal in 2014 is to win my next fight whoever the opponent they send me.

SW: Who has been your most difficult opponent to date?

SC: Tyrone Spong. His skills are perfect and he defends himself very well. I remember that I was trying to hit him with my best shots and his defense was very strong and he always counter attacks with precision. He's the best in the world but I know I can beat him.

SW: There's a rumor that you would like to fight Saki. Besides Gokhan is there anyone else you would like to fight?

SC: I'd like to fight whoever wants to fight me. That's my message to the division: if anyone is brave enough to fight a young and hungry lion please call Mr. Cor Hemmers and ask for me: I'll be waiting.

SW: What specifically is your message to Saki???

SC: Saki you are a legend and I'll always respect you but I want this belt, I want to be the champion of GLORY. So as long as I'm alive I'll be hunting this belt.

SW: If you were not involved in muay thai/kickboxing, what kind of profession would you have chosen?

SC: Since the first time I trained I knew that I'd be a fighter. So since 9 years old I'm training to be the world champion - nothing else never crossed my mind.

SW: Who are some fighters that you enjoy watching?

SC: Mike Tyson, Tyrone Spong and Cassius Clay

SW: When you are not training, what are some of your favourite activities?

SC: I like surfing, skateboarding, basketball and being with my friends.

SW: Recently, I spoke with Thom Harinck about training you. What was your experience like training with such a legendary figure?

SC: He is the best trainer I've ever met. He has so much experience and knows everything. I'd like to say that I'd like to be trained by him again.

SW: Your style has been characterized as very aggressive, how would you describe your fighting style?

SC: I'm a aggressive fighter who always looks for the KO. I can win round 1 and 2, I'll never take a rest in the last round. I'm not satisfied if I don't KO my opponents

SW: What do you consider as the most difficult part(s) of a fighter's life?

SC: Sponsorship deals are very hard to find in Brazil.

SW: You have been successful in K-1, Tatneft and WAKO South America and are currently ranked number three in Glory. Once you’ve achieved the number one ranking what else do you see in your future?

SC: I'll try to remain the #1 for as long as possible and show that Brazil is not only a BJJ / MMA country. We also have Kickboxing here.

SW: Do you have any message to your fans?

SC: Thank you for supporting me. I'll ALWAYS go for the KO.

With the year at the 3/4 mark, one can only guess that GLORY still has a few surprises for us. Whether his next match comes this year or next, one thing is certain, Saulo will be ready and will approach his opponent in a manner that is sure to leave us all stunned and wanting more!

 

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