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Legacy Kickboxing 2 This Friday on AXS TV

  • Published in Kickboxing

This Friday evening on AXS TV the kicks won't stop coming. Last weekend saw Lion Fight and this weekend will see Legacy FC return with their second kickboxing event in Legacy Kickboxing 2. Legacy Kickboxing 2 will begin a tournament to decide the Legacy Kickboxing Light Heavyweight Champion. It will be an 8-man tournament where this Friday we'll see the first four men compete against each other. The other two bouts in the tournament will happen on July 2nd at Legacy Kickboxing 3 and it will all culminate on October 16th at Legacy Kickboxing 4 in a four-man tournament to decide the champion that night.

The first two bouts that will happen on Friday should pack a punch. Warren Thompson takes on Myron Dennis and Brian Collette takes on Luther Smith. The main event will be between Tommy Deickmann and George Pacurariu. Also on the card will be Andrea K Lee, Matt Schnell and Tony Kelley.

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Mike Zambidis Announces His Retirement Fight is Against Steve Moxon

  • Published in Kickboxing

When it comes to K-1 MAX fighters there may have been a lot of technical fighters who participated in those tournaments, but most of us fondly remember Mike Zambidis for his battles in the ring. Zambidis was never the biggest guy in the fights, never the most technical, but my god did he leave it all on the line when he stepped into the ring. When Mike Zambidis stepped into the ring you knew that you were going to see some violence, which is more than we can ask for usually.

Zambidis announced his retirement this year, already having one of his two retirement fights. The second fight was announced for June in Greece (venue and date TBA) against Australian slugged Steve Moxon. Moxon has a similar attitude when it comes to going toe-to-toe inside of the ring and there's a very good chance that Zambo will go out in style. Stay tune for more.

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Chad '2Slick' Sugden: Ahead of His Time

  • Published in Kickboxing

On Saturday night, GLORY veteran Chad Sugden will challenge Michael Wakeling for the IKF 75kg title in the feature bout of The Main Event from the Barclaycard Arena in Birmingham.

Chad '2Slick' Sugden hails from the town of Newark in the midlands of England and fights out of Suggy's Gym, training under his father and former WKA Light Middleweight World Champion Dean Sugden. Chad is the oldest of three brothers, with 19-year old Regis Sugden and 17-year old Bailey Sugden also following their father's footsteps into the world of combat sports. 

"We've all been training since we were five" Chad reveals, "it started off with hitting the pads, hitting the bag and then I realised I had a bit of a knack for it so I kept at it." Besides growing up with a former world champion as a father, what else does Chad think has contributed to the constant rise of him and his brothers? "We're all good students - we learn, we listen and since we were young, we would never shy away from a challenge. "

Although the bulk of Chad's training is completed under the tutelage of his Dad at the family gym, he has also diversified his training with trips to the legendary Hemmers gym in Holland and with the newly formed 4th Dimension MMA gym in Nottingham. He is willing to train with mixed martial artists, but as for competing in MMA itself? It doesn't seem likely. "It's not really my style" Chad reveals, "I can kickbox with the best, I can box with the best and I want to prove it. Never say never, but it's not really for me".

Whilst Chad has no intentions of following his younger brother Regis into a mixed martial arts bout any time soon, he did not rule out the possibility of returning to the sport of boxing. "It's possible" he states, "I want to enjoy what I'm doing, but I also need to stay busy. This is what I do for a living so if I'm not staying busy, I'm not making money. It all depends on what I'm doing in the future, but for now I want to secure my legacy under K-1/Glory rules."

For many kickboxing fans around the world, Chad's decision to decline GLORY’s offer to fight Karate extraordinaire Raymond Daniels in favour of a bout here in the UK may have come across as a little strange. Understandably so to, as a match with the aforementioned Daniels would have provided Sugden with exposure and an enormous opportunity to prove himself on kickboxing's biggest stage against a highly ranked opponent. The bout may have even had title implications, however before Sugden continues his ascension in the GLORY Welterweight division, he has some unfinished business to attend to.

On Saturday night, the ISKA 72.5kg champ will step-up in weight to fight Enfusion and ISKA 75kg champion Michael Wakeling. Michael and his brother, former GLORY competitor Stephen Wakeling have dominated the UK Muay Thai circuit for years, with Michael remaining unbeaten for over a decade. Whilst Sugden has confidence that his style, skills and specifically his boxing angles with get the upper hand come fight night, even he recognises the steep challenge ahead, admitting that "on paper its a 50/50 fight".

But why is this bout so important you may ask? "It's a massive fight, it's been in the works since November and it's one people in the UK have wanted to see for a while now" Chad explains, "I come from a kickboxing background and Michael is a thai boxer, so it's kickboxing vs. Muay Thai. I'm unbeaten in the UK and Michael hasn't lost in over ten years, but it's time for someone new to wear the crown."  

You see, this is far more than just a IKF title fight. It's a stylistic clash for the ages, with the winner conceivably earning the unofficial title as the pound-for-pound best striker in the whole of the UK.

Chad acknowledges the bout with Wakeling on Saturday provides a steep challenge, but he does still have his eye on the previously proposed GLORY bout with Raymond Daniels. "I'd fight him tomorrow" Chad says confidently "I don't need anymore experience. I've had over one-hundred amateur fights and that's not even including my boxing bouts. I've fought all over the world and at this weight class I'm great. I can't wait to be up there mixing it with the likes of Valtellini and Holzken and I definitely think I can beat them both too." 

Considering Chad only turned 21-years old last month, it's remarkable that he is already this accomplished within the world of kickboxing, but does the future hold for the man known as '2Slick'? "I'm looking to get my hands on that IKF world title, being ranked at number one in the UK at two different weight classes and then I'm coming for the Glory title. I mean, who wouldn't want it?"

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The New Official Badr Hari Documentary Gets Inside of the Bad Boy's Head

  • Published in Kickboxing

Badr Hari's team has been working on an official documentary about Badr Hari now for a while, a rare look into the life of Badr Hari and for him to get on camera and talk about the highs and lows of his career. It was done in conjunction with our old friend Will "StillWill" Prescott, narrated by Michael Schiavello and shot by Eldar Gross, so you know that the quality for it will be top notch. It's fascinating to see how Badr reasons with some of the bigger mistakes in his career, notably the infamous bout with Remy Bonjasky in the 2008 K-1 finals and the Hesdy Gerges fight. His response was very telling, "I was like, fuck it." 

They even delve into Badr's legal troubles and his thoughts on the loss to Samedov. It's interesting to see how Badr transitioned to seeing fighting as a business as opposed to a passion and how it affected him both in and out of the ring.

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Card For Enfusion Live #29 on Sunday

  • Published in Kickboxing

On Sunday Enfusion will present Enfusion Live #29 from Amsterdam, the Netherlands. This one will feature a one-night 70kg tournament featuring Aziz Kallah, Fatih Ozkan, Tafun Ozcan and Reouan Larkoubi. Also on the card will be Racehl Adamus vs. Sheena Widdershoven for the Enfusion -67kg World Championship. 

The event will air at 21:00 local time on http://www.enfusionlive.com.

1. 3X3       Tournament Reserve fight
Mohammed Ben Nasser (Morocco)      Vs William Diender (The Netherlands)
-70Kg
2. 3X3       Tournament Semi Final
Aziz Kallah (Morocco) Vs Fatih Ozkan (Turkey)
- 70 Kg
3. 3X3       Tournament Semi Final
Tayfun Ozcan (Turkey) Vs Redouan Larkoubi (Morocco) 
- 70 Kg
4. 5X3       Enfusion World Title
Rachel Adamus (The Netherlands)  Vs  Sheena Widdershoven (The Netherlands) 
- 67 Kg
5. 3X3
Serginio Kanters (The Netherlands)  Vs Abdelmounim Mouya (Morocco)
- 75 Kg
6. 3X3
Ilias Bulaid (Morocco) Vs Maxim Federkov (Germany)
- 67Kg
7. 3X3       Tournament Final
Fight 1 winner   Vs          Fight 2 winner
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Card For May 23rd's SuperKombat Event

  • Published in Kickboxing

This weekend will see the return of SuperKombat in Bucharest, pumping out a New Heroes and WGP card in the same night, featuring some big SuperKombat names to keep the fans happy. The event proper features such names as Amansio Paraschiv, Cristian Milea, Cristian Ristea and of course Bogdan and Andrei Stoica in action as well. It should be a fun, action-packed card that delivers this weekend.

SUPERKOMBAT WORLD GRAND PRIX II - BUCHAREST
Superkombat New Heroes Romania - 20:00 CET (3 rounds x 2 minutes)
1. Super Fight – Light Heavyweight bout (-81 kg)
Ionuţ Stanciu vs Alin Tamaş
2. Super Fight - Middleweight bout (-71 kg)
Madalin Craciunica vs Adrian Giurgiu
3. Super Fight - Middleweight bout (-71 kg)
Andrei Ostrovanu vs Eduard Chelariu
4. Super Fight - Lightweight bout (-65 kg)
Songul Yilmaz (Turkey) vs Cristiana Stancu
5. Super Fight – Light Heavyweight (-86 kg)
Cosmin Ionescu vs Costin Mincu
6. Super Fight - Light Heavyweight bout (-81 kg)
Bogdan Qatawneh vs Mirel Iacob
7. Super Fight - Super Middleweight bout (-77 kg)
Benedek Zsolt (Hungary)vs Bogdan Nastase
8. Super Fight – Middleweight bout (-71 kg)
Adrian Asoltanii vs Claudiu Badoi
 
SUPERKOMBAT WORLD GRAND PRIX - 22:00 CET, LIVE ON EUROSPORT (3 rounds x 3 minutes)
1. Super Fight - Lightweight bout (-63,5 kg)
Suliman Vazeilles (France) vs Cristian Spetcu (Romania)
 2. Super Fight – Middleweight bout (-71 kg)
Hirachidine Saindou (France) vs Amansio Paraschiv (Romania)
3. Super Fight - Middleweight bout (-71 kg)
Marvin Ullrich (France) vs Cristian Milea (Romania)
4. Super Fight - Cruiserweight bout (-92 g)
Ibrahim Giydirir (Turkey) vs Bogdan Stoica (Romania)
5. Super Fight - Cruiserweight bout (-92 kg)
Redha Ogdou (France) vs Cristian Ristea (Romania)
6. Super Fight - Super Cruiserweight bout (-95 kg)
Thomas Alizier (France) vs Andrei Stoica (Romania)
7. Super Fight - Light Heavyweight bout (-81 kg)
Giuseppe de Domenico (Italy) vs Ciprian Schiopu (Romania)
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Joe Schilling's Next Fight in Bellator on June 26th

  • Published in Kickboxing

There has been some speculation as to where we'll see Joe Schilling fight next; the GLORY ring or the Bellator cage. Today that was answered when Bellator announced that Joe Schilling will return to the cage on June 26th against Japanese Middleweight slugger Hisaki Kato. Kato is 4-1, all of his professional bouts happening in the Japanese promotion Heat, all four of those wins coming via knockout, only one fight making it to the second round. 

Schilling is coming off of a decision loss to Rafael Carvalho in April in a fight that turned out to be a lot tougher than anyone had ever imagined it would be. Schilling is looking to bounce back inside of the Bellator cage and a battle against a slugger like Kato could exactly be that chance to make fireworks happen. GLORY fans are still waiting with baited breath for a rematch between Joe and Artem Levin, but after Levin drew against Marcus it looks like it might be a while before the GLORY Middleweight Champion is available to fight Schilling.

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Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke | In Pursuit of Greatness

  • Published in Muay Thai

This Friday Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke will have the opportunity to become the first Thai fighter to ever win a title with a major MMA organization.

In this video the 37 year old returns to his roots at the Lookbanyai gym in Bangkok to discuss the journey which took him from the small southern town of Trang to the bright lights of the Singapore Indoor Stadium.

Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke | In Pursuit of Greatness.

 

For more information about Dejdamrong visit: Evolve MMA

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Lion Fight 22 Khalifa replaces Kem Sitsongpeenong

  • Published in Muay Thai

Sadly the much anticipated bout between Jo Nattawut and Kem Sitsongpeenong is not going to be taking place at Lion Fights 22 on May 22nd. Kem has suffered an unfortunate injury which has forced him to pull out. Luckily Salah "The Beast" Khalifa has stepped up and is taking the fight on couple weeks notice even though he usually fights at 154lbs. I think Khalifa has great heart and is a very brave man to take this fight but in my opinion this fight shouldn't be too difficult for Nattawut. We did see Khalifa at Lion Fight 18 against Yodsanklai and it did not end well for him, now Nattawut is not a KO artist like Yod but I feel he can just dominate every round without much trouble.

Full Card

Jo Nattawut vs. Salah Khalifa (Lion Fight Welterweight Title)

Tiffany Van Soest vs. Bernise Alldis (Lion Fight women’s featherweight title)

Anthony Castrejon vs. Jason Andrada (Battle For Vegas Bragging Rights)

Damien Earley vs. Gaston Bolanos

Brian Del Rosario vs. Tom Morales

Christine Ferea vs. Calie Cutler

 

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Jean-Claude Van Damme Re-Enacts Kickboxer Dance Scene on Conan

  • Published in Kickboxing

If you are a fan of kickboxing, action movies or even Artem Levin then you know about the JCVD dance from the film "The Kickboxer." It's a thing of legend now and is still something that is joked about. Hell, Artem Levin enters the ring doing "the dance" to the Beau Williams classic "Feeling So Good Today."

So of course when JCVD appeared on Conan this week he was asked to recreate the dance and, well, a fight breaks out. That's just what happens whenever Feeling So Good Today plays. It is probably a fact at this point.

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Jason Andrada Dishes on Rematches, Lion Fight 22 and how Kevin Ross is the Keanu Reeves of Muay Thai

  • Published in Interviews

Lion Fight 22 is on Friday evening on AXS TV, live from Las Vegas and as always, they are promising a night of high octane muay thai action. They’ve yet to fail to deliver since they’ve gone live on AXS TV and even though there was a last minute change to the main event, the show is still primed to deliver a lot of full rules muay thai action. A part of that action is Jason Andrada vs. Anthony Castrejon at 122lbs.

When it came time for me to decide who to focus on for this event, as much as I respect Kevin Ross and Tiffany Van Soest or the main eventer Jo Nattawut, it was hard not to be drawn to Jason Andrada. Andrada is not the most experienced fighter on the card -- even though he had a long, storied amateur career before turning pro -- but he’s been featured on Lion Fight events for a while now. He’s coming off of a tough loss to John Nofer that came via an elbow TKO but he was all smiles after that loss, showing more character in loss than most show in victory. 

Andrada is one of those guys that you might not see main eventing Lion Fight events, but more often than not you see him on the card and when you see him, you know to expect a fun fight and for him to leave it all in the ring. It’s not a coincidence, either, because his disposition is that of a laid back guy that is always looking to put on a show. Andrada sees himself as one of the many guys who is just trying to make an impression.

“You know, I think for some guys, guys like the ones that I’ve been fighting like Nofer, they’re all looking to make a name for themselves just like I am. There are a lot of guys out there that aren’t getting featured on TV like I am and they are clawing for those spots,” he explained. “All of these guys out there they go out there swinging, not many fighters that I’ve encountered are gonna take a shot and not want to go down swinging. Look at a guy like Pedro Gonzalez, for example. A lot of people in muay thai want to see someone demonstrating their perfect muay thai technique, but he’s more of a brawler, an MMA guy. I like watching him fight and so do a lot of other people, if that’s what it takes, that’s what it takes.”

He was quick to point out some of the more established names in the world of muay thai like Kevin Ross, Chad Mulkey, Joe Schilling and Tiffany Van Soest earned their spots through not only being skilled, but through their humility, personalities and experience. Andrada is quite accomplished in his own right, but he’s quick to point out those that have accomplished more than him and how he strives to be better and achieve what they have. 

Muay Thai might be a career for Andrada now, who spends most of his time at the gym training for fights or holding classes, but he likes to get some distance sometimes as well. “I love fighting, of course,” he said. “But sometimes I need time away from it, so I’m not one of those guys that has to watch every fight ever. I’ll watch my friends, you know? If Kevin, Chaz, Joe, any of my friends are fighting I’ll watch it and look, I could read off a pretty long list of fighters that I’m friends with and watch them fight, but I’m not a junkie for it anymore or anything. It’s nice to take time away. You know, I come home, I watch TV, watch Netflix, just relax sometimes and get some distance. It keeps the passion there.”

His fight on Friday is a rematch with Anthony Castrejon, the two of them meeting a few years back when they were both amateurs in a bout that Castrejon won via a head kick knockout. Andrada is open to any and all challenges, but was not really looking for this rematch. “I mean, we’ve fought before, he landed a nice head kick, which was good for him, but we are professionals now. A few of my recent professional fights have been rematches from my amateur days, which is fine,” he explained. “But look, like 1/3rd of my pro fights have been rematches from my amateur days. He’s been calling me out since before he fought Victor Saravia, so he’s wanted this for a while. I’m looking to grow as a fighter and be ready to challenge these international guys. I’m not saying that I’m looking past anyone,” he said. “I’m really not, I just want to be fighting guys from all over the world now. I want to be fighting guys from Japan, Europe and Thailand, I want to be ready to be able to go overseas and make a big impression. I don’t know if these rematches are going to really prepare me for that.”

He goes on to explain that it isn’t a great fight for either of them, considering that a loss for either guy could be the end of their Lion Fight careers. “I look at how UFC handles losses and you know, once you start racking up a few in a row they tend to cut a guy. I don’t want to be that guy and I’m sure that Castrejon doesn’t want to be that guy, either. Two straight losses wouldn’t be a good thing.”

Andrada is a guy that isn’t afraid to talk about his shortcomings, although he admits talking about losses can be tough. “Man, it sucks when I meet somebody new and they are like; ‘what do you do?’ I tell them that I’m a fighter and they ask about my last fight and it’s like, you gotta tell them that you came in second place,” he joked. “Nobody wants to have to say that, to say that you lost, but you gotta look forward.”

When it comes to Kevin Ross, it’s hard for Andrada to not talk about his friend and cohort with nothing but respect. “Kevin is a great guy, really. I mean, I learn so much from him still and no matter how much success he has, he’s always the same guy,” which spiraled into us discussing how Ross handles himself in the ring, how he’s always entertaining and composed, but always easy to talk to and deal with. “Yeah, I mean, he’s like the Keanu Reeves of muay thai in a way. He has all of this success and he hasn’t changed, he’s still the same guy. At the same time, he’s been through a lot of tough stuff in his life and he doesn’t let it drag him down. He’s always that guy that I like to be around.”

It should be noted that Andrada himself is heading down that same path right now; the amiable guy that seems always cool to be around. He loves to eat and is eagerly awaiting his favorite part of his post-fight life; feasting on some pizza. What struck me the most was that I was talking to him while he was gearing up to head out to the weigh-ins for Lion Fight 22, him just having stepped out of an epsom bath and he was not only in good spirits, but exhibited the same easy-going, friendly demeanor that Ross always projects while still focused and prepared for his fight. 

Becoming a star in any sport is difficult, there will be setbacks, there will be moments of glory and there will be those quiet, contemplative moments. Andrada has experienced many of these throughout the span of his professional and amateur career thus far and tomorrow night looks to be another in those collection of moments that will make up his career while he continues to strive for greatness and move up the ladder. What we know is that no matter what Andrada is looking to put his body on the line and to entertain us and that he’ll do it with a smile. Because he’s that ridiculous.

Lion Fight 22 airs tomorrow night, May 22nd on AXS TV at 10:00pm Eastern time.

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May 2015 LiverKick Rankings Update

  • Published in Rankings

Finally, right? Here we are with the every few monthly update to the LiverKick rankings. These rankings are updated when there is the most movement across divisions, which now seemed like a good time considering some of the recent shakeups across multiple divisions. As always, I will explain that our rankings are tabulated on who beats who, not on talent, not on flair of wins or even past success. If you were a monster three years ago but lost to a few guys in the top ten and got squeezed out then you got squeezed out. A win over a top ten fighter will get you a spot, but if you aren't fighting anyone in the top ten it'll be pretty tough to get in unless someone drops out due to inactivity. After one year of inactivity a fighter will be dropped from the rankings and upon return will need to compete at the top ten to regain ranking.

So let's get right to May, shall we? At Heavyweight there wasn't much movement at all. Within the ranks of the top ten nobody within the top ten has lost to a top ten opponent or beaten a top ten opponent above them. The only omission is a sad one in Ben Edwards, who has focused on boxing instead. Samedov moved up because of this and Ismael Londt made his return to the rankings after an absence had knocked him off a few years ago. It was down to him or Pavel Zhuravlev and it was heavily weighed before we decided to add Londt back.

For Light Heavyweight there was a similar situation of a few fighters being considered inactive and were forced to be removed. In this case it was two of the best in the world in Tyrone Spong and Nathan Corbett. In turn GLORY's Zack Mwekassa made his rankings debut and Reduon Cairo gets the nod for all of the good work that he's been doing around the world. Not much has changed at Middleweight, outside of Simon Marcus bumping up to #2 due to the draw with Artem Levin and everyone else shuffling down. After careful consideration we decided that Robert Thomas should remain unranked until he scores a top ten win and after much deliberation decided to give the man who beat Simon Marcus earlier this year, Fang Bian, a nod. 

Welterweight remains untouched. Lightweight had a bit of shuffling, including Enriko Kehl moving up, Souwer moving down and more. Aikpracha after a few losses has been removed and Dylan Salvador, who holds impressive wins over a few in the top ten, has been added. 

Now Featherweight. Oh Featherweight, how do we even explain your existence right now? After a long study of the division we came to the conclusion that if GLORY had really moved on from the Japanese talent in this weight class that it was difficult to hold their division as the gold standard as with every other division. A division without Masaaki Noiri or Yuta Kubo is difficult. Right now there is so much talent within that division all fighting each other in Japan that their omission feels tough to justify. K-1 Japan, KRUSH and ShootBoxing have been pumping out fights between the best in the world and we could not ignore it. 

So we poured over the division and came to a rather shocking conclusion; Yasuomi Soda was the #1 Featherweight in the world. How? He beat Minoru Kimura and then Minoru Kimura beat Kaew Fairtex. From there it'll all make sense. 

Heavyweight (Per 5/15)

1 Rico Verhoeven
2 Daniel Ghita
3 Errol Zimmerman
4 Sergei Kharitonov
5 Anderson Silva
6 Benjamin Adegbuyi
7 Andrei Gerasmichuk
8 Hesdy Gerges
9 Zabit Samedov
10 Ismael Londt

Light

Heavyweight (Per 5/15)

1 Gokhan Saki
2 Saulo Cavalari
3 Danyo Ilunga
4 Artem Vakhitov
5 Mourad Bouzidi
6 Igor Jukovic
7 Michael Duut
8 Andrei Stoica
9 Zack Mwekassa
10 Reduon Cairo
Middleweight (Per 5/15)

1 Artem Levin
2 Simon Marcus
3 Joe Schilling
4 Filip Verlinden
5 Jason Wilnis
6 Alex Pereira
7 Wayne Barrett
8 Sahak Parparyan
9 Israel Adesanya
10 Fang Bian
Welterweight (Per 5/15)

1 Nieky Holzken
2 Joseph Valtellini
3 Artur Kyshenko
4 Karapet Karapetyan
5 Raymond Daniels
6 Karim Ghajji
7 Paul Daley
8 Alexander Stetsurenko
9 Jonatan Oliveira
10 Francois Ambang
Lightweight (Per 5/15)

1 Robin van Roosmalen
2 Davit Kiria
3 Andy Ristie
4 Giorgio Petrosyan
5 Sitthichai
6 Murthel Groenhart
7 Marat Grigorian
8 Enriko Kehl
9 Andy Souwer
10 Dylan Salvador
Featherweight (Per 5/15)

1 Yasuomi Soda
2 Minoru Kimura
3 Kaew Fairtex
4 Massaro Glunder
5 Masaaki Noiri
6 Yuta Kubo
7 Gabriel Varga
8 Mosab Amrani
9 Hiroaki Suzuki
10 Zakaria Zouggari

 

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Simon Marcus is Ready for GLORY 21 and the Responsibilities of Being a Champion

  • Published in Interviews

"You're always training to fight someone who is training to fight you..."  That is a fighter's life according to Simon Marcus, and that's a very accurate portrait when you think of it. Simon Marcus, is not an enigma, he's not one for shadow games or deception.  Who he is however, is a man of ordinary means and on Friday, May 8th, a man with an incredible opportunity, the chance to become the middle weight champion of GLORY, the world's premier kickboxing association.  Ahead of this event, I had to opportunity to speak with Simon about what we can expect on Friday night as well as a peek into the life of the "Bad Bwoy".

For people who are unaware, Levin and Marcus have faced each other before.  During that bout that was conducted under Muay Thai rules, Marcus was the victor.  While he admits that a previous win over an opponent may inspire some level of confidence knowing that you have previously beat that person.  Today,  Marcus chooses to focus on the task at hand and what it will take to be victorious again. Marcus has also made the choice not to focus on the what ifs, especially 'what if he loses'.  He stated that in his life, he continues to strive and even in those instances when a fight does go his way he has a desire to continue to improve and get better as a person. Of the things that has striven to improve in the ring, Simon stated that he has upped his cardio which he demonstrated during open work outs at The Boxing Gym on Wednesday as well as during his hard fought victory during the middleweight tournament last month in Dubai.   Marcus also stated that he has challenged himself in improving his conditioning, strength and overall pushed himself to his limits in preparation for GLORY 21. He states that even on the winning side he is never satisfied with his performance and is always looking for ways he can improve. While he is highly critical of himself, Marcus also expressed that he is attempting to learn how to enjoy those successes.

Coming into the world of a disciplined fighter at age 18, as in the case of many other fighters, provided an outlet and an opportunity for him to turn a negative into a positive.  Instead of getting into trouble for fighting, it has now become his passion and something for which he now receives praise.  As for his personal road to GLORY, Marcus stated that he trained as hard as he could, fought as much as he could and believed in himself.  In addition to that Marcus stated that he travelled and made a lot of sacrifices.  He also stated that many times he fought for free and did everything he could to get experience, good training and anything he could to get better, not necessarily looking at the immediate pay out but his long term goal of getting to the top.

What does he bring to the ring?  Simon Marcus brings a warrior spirit and an intellectual mentality, not to mention a lot of power and heart.  Additionally Simon Marcus brings excitement and a willingness to pull out all the stops to get the win.

As for the future, Marcus plans to completely focus on GLORY and winning/defending the title.  His vision does not stop there.  Simon Marcus would like to be a person who will take GLORY to another level and having people interested and seeing what the best striking in the world is about. 

To anyone who might be interested in embarking on a journey such as this, Simon Marcus stated that he would not discourage anyone from pursing a fighter's life, but he quickly differentiated between having a calling vs. having an interest. He stated if a person is just interested in being a fighter for the accolades or whatever comes along with it, that might not be the way to go.  He added that if someone has a love for fighting or a person has fighting in them, and they feel that fighting brings out the best in them or develops them, then that would be a more satisfying path to take.  Fighting as a career and as a lifestyle is difficult emotionally and physically.

After retirement, which Marcus stated at this point he doesn't know when that will occur, his love of fighting, teaching and martial arts directs his future to remain on its current path, in the realm of combat sports entertaining options of possibly promoting or opening a gym and in that way continuing to pass the tradition on.  If we hadn't met Simon Marcus as the Muay Thai/kickboxing practitioner that we see today, Marcus stated that it's very difficult to guess where he'd be today as he was always fighting and getting in trouble doing it.  He admits that when he was younger he had an interest in basketball and was a good player in high school but didn't have the focus on school to continue on this path. From where he sits now Marcus appears to be happy, he is an accomplished fighter, a father and fighting in an organization that he feels is right on the cusp of becoming something huge!

Beyond Friday night, Marcus has no one in particular on his radar, stating that he believes his greatest fight is with himself because he has the belief that in anything you do, there is a constant inner battle to become the best version of you.

So while on Friday night at GLORY 21 we won't get to see Simon Marcus vs. Simon Marcus, we will witness a continuation of this young man's journey to champion status in a battle between two of the best middleweights in the world.  On Friday night, Simon acknowledges that he has tremendous opportunity and when it's one man's time, it's his time and critics can say what they like, but Friday is his time.  He feels he has done the things necessary to have earned this opportunity.  To his fans, Simon Marcus sends out a sincere and heartfelt thanks.  To those who have supported him and all the friends and family who have traveled to San Diego he expresses sincere gratitude.

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A Look Behind the Scenes of the GLORY 21 Open Workouts

  • Published in Interviews

Today we were granted a sneak peak of the firestorm to come this Friday, May 8th in San Diego, also known as GLORY 21.  The location was The Boxing Club, the current training home of  middleweight champion Artem Levin and the event was open workouts. 

The first participant on deck for today's event was one of GLORY's newest finds, Andre Walker.  Walker who is set to face another newcomer to the GLORY stage, Manny Mancha, exuded confidence in the ring demonstrating high energy with kicks and punches that may just surprise his opponent.  The second fighter up was the always exciting, "Human Highlight Reel", Raymond Daniels.  Despite having suffered a loss at GLORY 19 in Virginia, Daniels came to the ring to show that he remains in it to win it!  High flying as ever, Daniels demonstrated the determination to, if nothing else, make it exciting and keep his opponent guessing! The final two participants at the open workout event were the two men scheduled to bring the house down as the finale of GLORY 21 card in a battle for the middleweight title, Artem Levin and Simon Marcus.  Marcus, who was without his trainer, gave attendees a taste of what a work-out is like in his world! STAMINA is what he's obviously about in training.  Marcus took the crowd through a series of sit-ups, push-ups, kicks and other combinations that left us all sweating as we watched.  Levin then took center ring in the finale of the open workouts and gave the crowd a taste of his ever increasing agility, power and flexibility.  Levin also gave the crowd a sneak peak at some of his combinations as well as how he maintains his reputation for not only throwing a punch, but evading the strikes of his opponents. The outcome of this bout will be very interesting as it will not be the first time these two have faced off in the ring. Marcus has previously defeated Levin in a Muay Thai rules bout. So, may the best man win on Friday night!

While the event was short but sweet, Tim Hughes kept the crowd entertained with his amazing commentary and introductions. Also on deck for weigh ins was the newest member of GLORY's commentary team, Goldberg! 

Look out folks!! It's happening in San Diego, Friday, May 8th at the Valley View Casino Center!  Watch it on Spike or see the event live, GLORY always aims to please and match-ups feature here will keep fans satisfied!

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A Look at Xavier Vigney Heading Into GLORY 21's Heavyweight Tournament

  • Published in Interviews

Do you remember September 28th 2013? I remember that day, okay well I don't really, but thay sounded really good, didn't it? I actually do have a very vivid memory of one thing from that date, GLORY 10: Los Angeles and the impression one fighter left on me. Who is that fighter you might ask? The up and coming, Northern California heavyweight Xavier Vigney. It wasn't his first day on the job, but it was my first opportunity to witness a talent on the rise. The LA event was Vigney's debut with GLORY and by knocking out his opponent, Hyunman Myung, Vigney demonstrated that he had arrived and was ready to climb the ranks in the world's best kickboxing organization. Following GLORY 10 I anxiously awaited another opportunity to see more, at GLORY 19, I got my chance. At GLORY 19: Virginia, the 6'8" Vigney was matched against Everett Sims in a battle which would end with Vigney's TKO victory. Following this second GLORY win, I also had an opportunity to talk with Vigney, get a little history and find out what's next for him.

Hailing from Northern California, Vigney reports an early interest in boxing, but actually spent much of his youth on the football field. Naturally athletic and no stranger to spending hard days training, Vigney walks around normally at a svelte 109-113kgs. Making his pro debut in 2012 at a K-1 event, Vigney faced Seth Petruzelli. It was druing this event that Vigney proved that he was ready for the big stage as he repeatedly dropped Petruzelli throughout the first and second rounds. In K-1, Vigney also faced Zabit Samedov. While not victorious in this match-up, he has continued his pursuit of kickboxing glory. Vigney joined GLORY via their eight-man ‘Road to GLORY’ tournament. He took this tourney by storm, with three KOs in one night and thereby earning a coveted GLORY contract. he won by stopping three opponents in one night, one after another, earning himself a contract.

While he continues his rise in GLORY, Vigney has dabbled in boxing, a sport in which he's also had some success. He also voices no opposition to the prospect of MMA. And so at a youthful 24 years of age Xavier Vigney has gone from gridiron superstar to hot prospect in K-1 to rising star in GLORY. What's next? More hard work and GLORY 21: San Diego where he will face GLORY newcomer, Maurice Jackson. On Saturday, May 8th we will see what Xavier Vigney has in store for his opponent. Win or lose without a doubt those watching will be able to witness an exciting fight where Vigney will bring the strength, power and agility he has cultivated over the years.

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Video: Buakaw Banchamek vs Yan Bin

  • Published in Video

Buakaw Banchamek successfully defended his WMC world title last night against a surprisingly tough Yan Bin from China. I figured this would be just like most recent Buakaw fights where he just makes a fool of his opponents but Yan Bin did not come to lose. He landed some shots that surprised Buakaw and even swept him which I don't think I've seen for years. To be fair though Yan Bin has a very erratic style which I'd imagine would give anyone problems, not to mention he got kicked in the head multiple times which seemed to have no effect. 

Here is the video, let us know what you think, enjoy.

 

  

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Video: Jerome Le Banner's First Fight of His Retirement Tour

  • Published in Video

When reflecting upon the golden days of K-1 in Japan it's hard not to think of the names of the fighters that made K-1 so special. We have reached a point where a lot of those fighters are winding down their careers and Jerome Le Banner is one of them. This past weekend he fought the first of his three retirement bouts of his retirement tour where he fought Claudiu Istrate.

Check out the fight here.

We'll have more on Jerome Le Banner's retirement tour as it is available.

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Exclusive "Chopper" Chi Lewis-Parry Liverkick Interview

  • Published in Interviews

 

We had the pleasure to interview none other than Mr. "Chopper" Chi Lewis-Parry today. Definitely one of the best interviews I've ever had the opportunity to do, his charisma and humor really makes our job easy. We spoke about everything from how he got his nickname to, wedgies, to what he likes to eat and I just had to add some of his voice notes because writing it out just doesn't do it justice. **sorry but audio won't play on mobile devices**

LK: Lets Start with Fight Stats. Height, Weight, Fight Record, Nicknames Etc?

Chopper: 
Record audio or upload mp3 >>

LK: How did you get your nickname or many names? 

Chopper: 
Record audio or upload mp3 >>

LK: When did you start martial arts/kickboxing and why?

Chopper: 
Audio recording software >>

LK: Was that when you stopped basketball then and what made you stop and start knocking people out?

Chopper: 
Audio and voice recording >>

LK: So, you used to bounce at nightclubs? Give us one of your best stories from those days.

Chopper: 
Audio recording >>

LK: How was the experience with Glory in Dubai?

Chopper: 
Record music with Vocaroo >>

LK: What about the upcoming tournament? What do you think of your first opponent Everett Sims and also who you will face in the final?

Chopper: I'm stoked about the tournament! Really looking forward to showing what I have to offer & to get 2 more scalps to my name! Wooha! Everett looks the part but he ain't the part! There's only enough cash in the budget for 1 leading man in this epic motion picture and that's me! Whoever I face in the final is fine with me but I'd prefer to face Vigney so I can show him who's the boss man!

LK: What do you think of Maurice Jackson he says he's also 6 foot 9 but his record on the glory site is 31-0?

Chopper: 
Audio recording software >>

LK: What do you like to do other than training and fighting? Like on your free time?

Chopper: 
Record and upload voice >>

LK: Food you say? What's your favourite food? How about before fights anything specific to eat?

Chopper
Record and upload voice >>

LK: How about after a fight once you win, what does the rest of the night look like?

Chopper: 
Record music with Vocaroo >>

LK: I forgot to ask you about ethnicity, I've had probably 10 people ask me what your background was, so I figured this was a good time to ask.

Chopper: I'm like Perseus, the son of a beautiful mortal & a god, haha. My mother is Welsh/Israeli/English. My father is straight up Guyanese. So that makes me some kinda super shit!

LK: One last question and we are done but its 4 questions in one.

1. Hardest puncher you've fought? 

2. Hardest kicker?

3. Hardest fight?

4. Favourite fighter (can be anyone real or fake)

Chopper: 1. Alistair Overeem (technically it was sparring but it may aswell have been a fight lol he goes hard)

2. Alain Ngalani. The guy had rhino legs attached to a gorilla lol.

3. Probably my debut. I completely snapped my 1st & 2nd metacarpal in my hand in the first exchange so I had to fight with a completely fucked hand (haha still won tho)

4. Favourite fighter has gotta be "The Rock". It's fake and all but we all know it's fake yet we STILL watch it. The Rock just has that wow factor.

LK: HAHA perfect anything else you would like to add for fans, sponsors, other fighters etc?

Chopper: Shout out to you guys for having me! My very loyal supporters, nothing but love back at ya. My newly aquired haters, hahaha get used to me, I'm just getting started! My loving family & friends for unrivaled support. My sponsors Golds Gym, Hooligans United & I'm a beast apparel. If you hadn't heard.... "Chopper's Coming!"

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A Look at "The Machine" Andy Ristie Heading Into GLORY 20

  • Published in News

GLORY 20 might already be in the books, but if you are waiting to watch it tonight on Spike TV check out this feature that Shar Williams did on Ristie before GLORY 20.

Is he man, machine or a little of both? To fans around the world, Andy Ristie is "The Machine", a man with a fighter's heart and who is guaranteed to leave you on the edge of your seat while watching one of his match-ups. Beginning with his Glory debut in 2012, Ristie has blazed up the lightweight ranks leaving a path of destruction in his wake.

Since 2007, Ristie has faced Hinata Watanabe, Gago Drago, Albert Kraus, Niclas Larsen and of course, "The Doctor" Giorgio Petrosyan. His match-up against Petrosyan left crowds stunned in New York's Madison Square Garden in 2013, as Ristie dethroned Petrosyan during the lightweight world championship tournament and gifted Petrosyan with his first knock out ever. This defense again Kiria in Zagreb ended his reign. Risitie however takes this loss in stride, indicating that there were some problems in his corner and with his coaching. What Ristie, however, does not make is excuses. By Glory 19 in Virginia, Ristie was renewed. Having meticulously examined his loss and preparing for the future, Ristie was ready to begin his ascension again. And begin again he did with a decisive TKO victor in the first round again Steve Moxon.

But who is Andy Ristie, some of you might ask? Who is the man, who in such a short time has taken the kickboxing world by storm and endeared fan to him across the globe? After sitting down with Ristie and his team, I'm not sure if I can even answer that question. Sitting down with Andy, he exudes a warmth but also a sense of determination. He easily states that he's not afraid to fight anyone and will address the matches as they are presented to him. He's reflective when speaking of his loss to Davit Kiria, but in that reflection is also an analysis of how that fight went wrong for him and what he can do better in the future. Ristie states that he normally walks around at approximately 75kg, so cutting weight is not an issue for him and finally he expresses a willingness to try to things and take on new opponents irreguardless of their styles and exprerience. One tidbit of infomation I was able to glean from my converstaion with Ristie was that he came into kickboxing far later than most. Goes to show you that whether you start at age four or age twenty-two, if it's meant to be so it shall be. And this is Andy Ristie.

On pure stylistic terms, Ristie is a force to be reckoned with. In addtion to being taller than most of his opponents he has extremely long legs and arms often giving him an advantage to him against his opponents. Ristie's style is unorthodox and while he mgiht face the same opponent more than once I have to wonder if even they know what to expect. Last, but not least, Ristie likes to go for the knockout and his play between offensive and defensive maneuvers is something that has frequently led to that end.

Now onward to Glory 20 in Dubai where he is set for his second meeting with Robin van Roosmalen. Who will be the victor? Some say van Roosmalen, some say Ristie. Of what I am certain is that both men will get in that ring and give the fans everything they have!

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Dave Walsh's Second Novel -- Terminus Cycle -- Available Now

  • Published in News

I'll keep this short because I always feel terrible posting about my own stuff on here (even though I own the site, weird, right?), but my second novel is available now.

It's called Terminus Cycle and is a grand departure from my first. The first was about a professional fighter but I've kind of moved away from that in a big way to start a science fiction series. If you are interested it is available now via Kindle or Paperback.

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K-1

Video: Noiri vs Glunder and Hiroya vs Minoru

  • Published in K-1

During the 55kg tournament K-1 held on April 19th in Japan there were a few big upsets in the super fights and K-1 has just released the videos. 

First of all Kimura "Phillip" Minoru vs Hiroya, since I didn't get to watch this event live I have to say it was pretty surprising to read that Minoru KO'd Hiroya in 1 round even though Hiroya can be hot and cold sometimes. Now after watching the fight, honestly Minoru looks really damn good. He has improved leaps and bounds, his timing, speed and power all looked amazing, very impressive.

Next we have Massaki Noiri vs Massaro Glunder, Glunder looks so much like a mini Andy Ristie its crazy and even has a similar style but i think hes a little bit less awkward. When I read that Noiri had lost by cut the first thing I thought was that it must have been lucky but after watching the fight Glunder not only beat Noiri but he did it in Japan, and on short notice, I definitely do not think Glunder was losing the fight. Great breakthrough win for a young up and comer in Massaro Glunder.

 

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Fight Card For K-1's China vs. Japan Feb. 1st Event

  • Published in K-1

K-1 is continuing to go full speed ahead with their Chinese home base with their second event of the year in Changsua, China. This time around the theme is China vs. Japan and will feature some of their Chinese standouts against a few Japanese fighters. Sadly a lot of the talent they wanted were already booked due to New Year's and early January events, but they still pulled together a pretty good card.

I assume there will be a free stream via Hunan TV like the last time as well. Stay tuned for that. Also Jungle Koki is the coolest name ever.

60kg Tomohiro Kiyai vs. Wu Ze
63kg Keisuke Nakamura vs. Wang Zhiwei
65kg Kuji Yoshimoto vs. Hanji
70kg Hideaki Kikkawa vs. Tien Xin
70kg K-Jee vs. Zang Lei
70kg Jungle Koki vs. Ba Te Er
53kg Syuri vs. E Meidie
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Final Card for K-1 Japan on January 18th

  • Published in K-1

K-1’s Japan contingent have promised us what looks to be a pretty amazing card on January 18th. The event features a classic K-1 one night tournament, this time at 60kg. It features a mix of names that we know from the Japanese scene to some heavy hitters from around the world including Javier Hernandez, Karim Bennoui and Denis Puric.

The rest of the card is an awesome, eclectic mix of styles with some really fascinating fights on the card. Kaew Fairtex vs. Minoru Kimura is an awesome, awesome fight and I’m very happy to see Sanny Dahlbeck back in the mix against the very awesome Yoshihiro Sato. This event will be broadcast on NicoNico on the 18th.

HW: Manabu vs Fujita Tomoya
60kg: Yuma vs Kanbe Shota
65kg: Goto Masanobu vs Saito Yuta
65kg: Hiramoto Ren vs Ishikawa Yuki
60kg GP Reserve Fight: TOSHI vs Kim Hun Jae
60kg GP: Shimano Kotaro vs Javier Hernandez
60kg GP: Urabe Hirotaka vs Karim Bennoui
60kg GP: Yamamoto Masahiro vs Gagny Baradji
60kg GP: Urabe Koya vs Denis Puric
65kg: Kaew Fairtex vs Kimura Minoru
70kg: Sato Yoshihiro vs Sanny Dahlbeck
55kg: Takiya Shota vs Shou Rong
55kg: Tobe Ryuma vs Horio Ryuji
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Gabriel Varga Out of K-1 USA vs. China Event

  • Published in K-1

GLORY fighter Gabriel Varga was set to compete at the K-1 USA vs. China event on January 1st in China but it looks like all of that has gone up in smoke over the past day. Varga is reporting on having visa issues. Upon entering China they found that he did not have the proper paperwork to enter the country, which meant that he had to turn around and go right back home to Canada. 

Definitely a bit of a bummer for those looking forward to seeing Varga fight. The good news is that there are no other issues as of press time with the event and it should go off without a hitch. We'll keep you posted on any further news for the K-1 China vs. USA event.

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K-1 Signs Yodsanklai Fairtex to Two-Year Contract

  • Published in K-1

In an interesting twist of fate considering the recent events that unfolded in Thailand with Buakaw Banchamek and K-1, K-1 has been able to secure a two-year, kickboxing-exclusive deal with one of the best muay thai fighters who ventures outside of Thailand in Yodsanklai Fairtex. They announced the deal yesterday, which comes as a bit of a shock considering the shock and outrage we saw coming from Thailand after the last event. 

Then again, Yodsanklai has been angling with a fight with Buakaw for ages now and it has simply not materialized. Yodsanklai will be competing at 70kg, which places him within the MAX division. A potential fight between Yodsanklai and K-1 MAX Champion Enriko Kehl would be nothing short of awesome, that's for sure. 

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K-1 Announces Deal in China and Three 2015 Events

  • Published in K-1

If you've been wondering why K-1 has been seemingly so focused on China over the past year or so, look no further than the announcement made today by K-1 that they have secured what looks to be a pretty hefty broadcast deal in China that will reach most of the country. We had the news on the next event in China, taking place on January 1st, last week. That will be the first of ten live events that will be produced inside of China next year by K-1 through this partnership.

That first event is a China vs. USA themed event. Originally they had announced Kevin Ross and Tiffany Van Soest from the USA as fighting for the event, but due to commitments to Lion Fight Van Soest is 100% out and Ross is still trying to clear things up, but it's up in the air right now. 

According to their statement today, K-1 will be aired live on nine major, commercial broadcast network in China. I'm not kidding. Those listed are; Hunan TV, Hebei TV, Hubei TV, JiangXi TV, Anhui TV,Chongqing TV, Guangdong TV, Hainan TV, Qinghai TV. This covers most of China's population, which is estimated at 1.357 billion people. I'm not sure how to compare this to the US because China has over four times the population that the US does, but this is basically like being on one of the major broadcast networks like CBS, ABC or NBC. This partnership will make K-1 one of the most widely-viewed combat sports in the world.

K-1 has also announced two other events;

February 1st; China vs. Japan
March 28th; China vs. Thailand
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Kevin Ross Captaining K-1's Upcoming USA vs. China Event on January 1st

  • Published in K-1

Since K-1's event last December in China there has been a lot of hushed talk about the future of K-1 in China. The year 2014 has been a lot better to K-1 than other years and there have been a lot of deals talked about that could possibly make K-1 not only a major player in China, but huge in China. From what we've seen, K-1 has been training referees, judges and other officials on top of lending a hand to train fighters in China over the last year and on January 1st K-1 will make their return to China with a huge USA vs. China event.

It'll take place in Golden Eagle Culture City, Changsua, China and as I stated before, the theme will be USA vs. China. While we don't know all of the names just yet, we have heard that Kevin Ross has signed to be the Team Captain of Team USA and will be fighting, which is pretty big news considering that Ross was being courted by K-1 years ago and GLORY last year only for nothing to come of it. We've also been told that Canadian Gabriel Varga is scheduled to appear on the card, which is interesting considering there was talk of him competing for GLORY's Featherweight Championship soon. 

Tiffany Van Soest is also announced for the card.

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K-1 Japan 65kgs Tournament Results

  • Published in K-1

Last night the K-1 Japan 65kgs tournament took place including names like Yuta Kubo, Hiroya, and Michael "Tomahawk" Thompson. Overall I really enjoyed the fights, they all seemed well matched, with every fighter bringing their own unique style to the ring making the fights exciting.

We saw a wicked spinning back fist KO at the hands of Takeru in a fight that I thought he was losing. The return of Hiroya was great but once again he always seems to come up a bit short. There were two fighters that really stood out for me though, of course the tournament winner, southpaw from Thailand Kaew Fairtex, with his lightning fast head kicks, his huge upset over Kubo, and his ability to avoid punches even with the ref harassing him about clinching. Also we found out his father had passed away a week ago, he dedicated his win to him. It seemed to me that Fairtex hurt his left shin in his first fight, since he threw it a lot less in the 2nd and 3rd plus it all bandaged up, didn't seem to effect his performance too much though. Secondly a British fighter named Kerrith Bhella, I personally hadn't seen him fight before, and I half expected K-1 to give Yuya someone he could beat up in Japan. I was very wrong, Bhella's technique was some of the best I have seen, tight hands, fast powerful jab and combos followed by leg kicks, and an almost flawless defense. I really hope we get to see more of him after his defeat of Yamamoto last night.

Results

Tournament Reserve: Ilias Bulaid Defeats Taito (KO rd 3)

Tournament Quarter Final #1 - Hiroya Defeats Michael "Tomahawk" Thompson.

Tournament Quarter Final #2 - Soda Yasuomi defeats Kimura Minoru (KO rd 2)

Tournament Quarter Final #3 - Kaew Fairtex Defeats Yamazaki Hideaki (decision)

Tournament Quarter Final #4 - Yuta Kubo defeats Raz Sarkisjan (decision)

Superfight 70kgs - Matsukura Shintaro defeats Zhao Fukai (decision)

K-1 Koshien 2014 final - Hiramoto Ren defeats Sano Tenma (decision)

Tournament Semi-Finals #1 - Soda Yasuomi defeats Hiroya (decision)

Tournament Semi-Finals #2 - Kaew Fairtex defeats Yuta Kubo (KO Rd 2)

Superfight 55kgs - Takeru defeats Taiga(KO rd 2 wicked spinning backfist)

Superfight 70kgs - Kerrith Bhella defeats Yuya Yamamoto (decision)

 Tournament Finals - Kaew Fairtex defeats Soda Yasuomi (decision)

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Buakaw Holds Press Conference, Still No Real Answers to Tough Questions

  • Published in K-1

There is a shroud of mystery surrounding Buakaw Banchamek's actions at the K-1 World MAX Finals event from Saturday night. In the lead-up to the event Buakaw was in the press where he made multiple statements in regards to K-1 that all amounted to claims that he never substantiated. So it wasn't a surprise that something went down on Saturday, but no one expected Buakaw to just walk out before the decision was ever read, that's for sure. 

Yesterday K-1 held a press conference and issued a statement where they refuted Buakaw's claims against them and implied if Buakaw continued to talk in the press about the organization that they'd pursue legal action. Today in Bangkok Buakaw held his own press conference, which began with Superpro Samui's Robbie Timmers as a character witness. While it's not clear to us what he said, our best guess was that it was about Murthel Groenhart's prize money fiasco due to Timmers and his links with Black Label fighter management, which is now linked with GLORY. 

Buakaw really did not say much that we didn't already hear in the past few days. His claims were that he knew that the fight was fixed and left in protest, that he did not understand the K-1 rules due to a poor translation that was provided to him and that he was concerned with possible illegal gambling operations. What I've been explaining to people over the last few days that in cases like this the onus is on the accuser to present strong evidence and possibly even proof to validate the claims. This press conference was supposed to be the day that things were clarified and instead it was the same vague claims without a scrap of evidence or proof.

The court of public opinion has already spoken and firmly sided with Mr. Banchamek, regardless of this.

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GLORY 21 Sees Boost From DVR Numbers

  • Published in Glory

When it comes to tabulating ratings on television these days it is difficult to ignore the impact that DVRs have. Just a few years before the concept of a DVR and being able to record and watch a show at a later time was a luxury. Now it is fairly common on most cable and satellite providers to include some sort of DVR option. Ratings are now more than simply live viewers, but also include DVR viewings up to a few days later.

According to our friend John Joe O'Regan at BloodyElbow GLORY 21 has seen a significant boost from the DVR numbers. With the DVR numbers the show's viewership kicks up from 488,000 to 517,000 viewers. 

He also spoke to GLORY CEO Jon J. Franklin who talked about some of their difficulties last year, including show cancellations and the long gap between GLORY 17 and GLORY 18, but the promotion seems confident moving forward. He also noted that the next show is in France, which means that it will air on tape delay here in the United States. While that has been an issue in the past, they are still dedicated to their strong European audience and have no plans on abandoning them any time soon.

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Andy Ristie's Trainer Barred From GLORY Ring After GLORY 20 Glove Mishap

  • Published in Glory

If you'll remember back to GLORY 20 Dubai there was a moment at the beginning of the GLORY Lightweight Title bout between Robin van Roosmalen and Andy Ristie where the referee pulled Ristie aside and was forced to replace his glove. Apparently the thumb of the glove was cut, which has been described as giving an advantage when it comes to dexterity inside of the glove. It was not clear if it was intentional or simply an accident, but according to MixFight GLORY has made a ruling on it and it has resulted in Ristie's trainer, Roberto Flamingo, being barred from ringside at future GLORY events. 

MixFight has been all over the story, including a joint statement from Ristie and Flamingo claiming that there was no intentional wrongdoing and that Ristie will remain with Flamingo. Black Label Fighting, a management company, released a statement as well supporting GLORY's decision in this matter.

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GLORY 21 Draws Strong Ratings on Spike TV for Levin vs. Marcus II

  • Published in Glory

After a rather disappointing rating for GLORY 20 Dubai, thanks in part to tape delay, GLORY 21 shows the brand's durability by snapping back into line with a reported 488,000 average viewers on Spike TV. According to our bud Michael Stets over at MMAMania, Spike TV has disclosed that GLORY 21 drew an average of 488,000 viewers for GLORY 21, which is the fifth highest rating to date on Spike TV.

It's a solid rebound after GLORY 19 drew the second-highest with 542,000 viewers and for GLORY 20 to dip to the next-to-worst ratings with 359,000. A gain of 129,000 viewers is quite impressive for the brand on a Friday evening considering that the card was a bit underwhelming when it comes to star names outside of the main event between Simon Marcus and Artem Levin and the co-main event featuring Raymond Daniels in a feature bout. 

For now we will have to wait with baited breath for GLORY 22, which features a Lightweight tournament and a Heavyweight Championship fight in what many fans consider a very good card, and if the tape delay curse will strike again for GLORY. The peak numbers are not yet available, but we will update with them when it is available. 

UPDATE: Stets has the peak numbers now.

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The Trial and Error of GLORY 21

  • Published in Glory

Photo (C) James Law/GLORY Sports International

Last night was of course GLORY 21, which has seen mixed reviews. A lot of hardcore kickboxing fans were upset with the card and of course the outcome to Artem Levin vs. Simon Marcus. A lot of MMA twitter seemed to be enjoying the event, though, which was an interesting contrast. While those are topics to take into account, I performed a bit of an experiment last night of my own. I had a good friend come over to watch the fights with me who had never watched kickboxing or GLORY before, but had seen his share of boxing and MMA to have a base level understanding of combat sports. 

Last night's GLORY 21 event was a further extension of the search for the homegrown GLORY kickboxing star. The first attempt was the Heavyweight Qualifying tournament featuring three American Heavyweights and the British Chi Lewis Parry. The tournament, originally announced as an all-American affair could have been an all-American affair, but the man known as "Chopper" had proven to be adept at promoting himself and was coming off of a knockout win, meaning that if he could back up his talk with more knockouts GLORY could have another star in Chi Lewis Parry. 

The tournament itself was perhaps best suited for the undercard, although I understand the logic of it being on the main card in hopes of big knockouts and building stars. I knew that I'd be able to see through certain things (like Maurice Jackson's 31-0 record that nobody can find much proof of), but would my friend? His comments on the tournament bouts were "most of these guys seem like amateurs, they just aren't impressive at all, is the whole sport like that?" There in lies the problem with promoting fights like this. While there will indeed be people who say "wow, lots of knockouts here! What action!" There will be people who compare the action to your average UFC event that they've seen and see telltale signs of fighters who aren't at the elite level and the entire affair will unravel.

Now, while Justin Baesman did not do much to impress, the feats that Raymond Daniels were capable of immediately caught his attention and he commented on how Daniels was doing things that you'd only see in movies. The main event was another story altogether, where he commented on how Levin and Marcus moved unlike anyone he had ever seen before and that they were clearly many levels above anyone else on the card that night. This was coming from a guy who spent time in Thailand last year and checked out some muay thai, so there was some recognition of the muay thai style that both bring over, albeit diluted and different due to GLORY's modified rules. 

I commend GLORY on looking to build up new stars on Spike TV, but the GLORY name comes with a certain level of prestige and history to it for a young promotion. That history and prestige involves the best of the best fighting in the ring for our collective amusement. A gimme fight or two is never going to hurt the product, but a card like GLORY 21, if we are brutally honest, was a one-fight card. I'm not attempting to take anything away from any of the competitors, but the truth is that as much promise as we see in Demoreo Dennis, Xavier Vigney and Chi Lewis Parry, they've yet to prove themselves on the big stage just yet. The level of competition that they faced was about right to help nurture their growth, but sadly, it was not the right level of competition for a GLORY television show while some of the best fighters in the planet are sitting by waiting for the phone to ring for their opportunity on a Spike TV main card. 

As an entertainment product it would be hard to call GLORY 21 a failure by any stretch. It delivered two hours of exciting, fast-paced action that was capped off by a fight between two of the very best fighters in the world. I could think of shows from the UFC within the past few years that have been endless marathons that tested my patience to a level that pushed me to just stop watching. I'm not sure that GLORY will ever be able to promote anything on that level. The result between Levin and Marcus was not perfect, no, but that was outside of the control of just about everyone involved and there is no way that I'll be able to complain about a rematch between the two.

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Glory 21 Live Results

  • Published in Glory

After some issues with the eversport stream, we are now Live with the super fight series!

Main card (SPIKE at 11 p.m. ET)

Middleweight Title - Artem Levin vs. Simon Marcus ends in a Majority Draw (Artem remains Champion)

HW tournament final - Xavier Vigney def. Chi Lewis-Parry by TKO Rd 2 (flurry of punches, ref stoppage)

Raymond Daniels def. Justin Baesman by KO Rd 1 (spinning back kick to liver)

Kyle Stewart def. Devin Goodale by Unanimous Dec

HW tournament - Chi Lewis-Parry def. Demoreo Dennis by KO Rd 1 (right hand)

HW tournament - Xavier Vigney def. Maurice Jackson by TKO Rd 1

Glory Superfight Series

Mike Lemaire def. Casey Greene by Unanimous Dec

Giga Chikadze def. Ken Tran by KO Rd 3 (liver kick)

Maurice Greene def. Ashley Epps by KO Rd 1 (left uppercut hooky punch)

Manny Mancha def. Andre Walker by KO Rd 3 (left hook)

Omari Boyd def. Chris Carradus by decision (29-27, 29-27, 28-28) 

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Video: Lewis Parry and Vigney get heated at Glory 21 Weigh ins

  • Published in Glory

Well after watching this short video of the weigh ins for Glory 21, I think its safe to say that Chi Lewis Parry has pissed off Xavier Vigney with his trash talk. Usually when people trash talk it's because they want to get a reaction out of their opponents so Chopper's mission was successful, now lets just hope they both make it through their first fight and meet in the finals.

Oh yeah and Demoreo Dennis knows exactly how to lighten the mood.

 

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GLORY 21 and SuperFight Series Stream Information

  • Published in Glory

Tomorrow is GLORY 21 and if you are looking for a stream for the SuperFight Series for the main card look no further than here. The SuperFight Series can be purchased and watched by those within the United States, but not the main card. There are restrictions in ex-Yugoslavia as well.

So check it out.

Superfight Series
Glory 21
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A Breakdown of GLORY 21

  • Published in Glory

Tomorrow night on Spike TV GLORY 21 will hit the airwaves in an event headlined by two of the very best Middleweights in the world squaring off for the GLORY Middleweight Championship. Artem Levin will defend his GLORY Middleweight Championship against the challenger Simon Marcus in a rematch of a bout from two years ago that saw Marcus get the best of Artem Levin under the Lion Fight banner.

On top of that will be some Raymond Daniels violence and a Heavyweight qualifying tournament featuring some fresh, new names. Let's break things down.

Artem Levin vs. Simon Marcus

This is a fight that we've seen before and it's between two of the best in the division. The only name that is missing from the equation is Joe Schilling who has proven to be a foil to both men at different points. What's funny is that some combination of those three have held claims to being the best in the division in both muay thai and kickboxing for some years now. 

While Marcus was able to get a win over Levin in muay thai rules in their first meeting it's not an assurance that the same will happen here at GLORY 21. Levin is incredibly slick and well-adjusted to kickboxing rules. His strengths rely on his hands, footwork and ability to slip and counter-strike. For Marcus his strengths are generally within the realm of muay thai; elbows and of course his clinch. Those are tools that he won't have at his disposal in the GLORY ring. He's had success of late in the GLORY ring, but not against anyone the caliber of Levin.

I see Levin having the tools to defeat Marcus and probably via decision, but it wouldn't shock me if Marcus took a decision here either.

Raymond Daniels vs. Justin Baesman

The matchmaking here is rather transparent to me; this fight is to feature Raymond Daniels on television and hoping that he does something really cool. No offense to Baesman, but making his kickboxing debut against Daniels is not the best way to go.

Heavyweight Tournament

There have been some shakeups in this tournament of late, so now we are looking at Xavier Vigney vs. Maurice Jackson and Demoreo Dennis vs. Chi Lewis Parry. 

Xavier Vigney is an interesting case of a fight who made his professional debut in the K-1 World Grand Prix in 2012 against Seth Petruzelli. That takes guts and dismantling a veteran like Petruzelli with ease like he did took skill. His second fight was against Zabit Samedov and didn't quite go as well, but he still showed promise. He's pumped the brakes a bit since then and this is him moving to that next level. There isn't a lot to say about Maurice Jackson than to ask where his record of 31-0 came from. It's fair to say that Vigney should win this, but Jackson is a big guy.

Originally slated to be Chi Lewis Parry vs. Everett Sims we now have Demoreo Dennis filling in. Dennis, you might remember, went the limit with Pat Barry earlier this year and most smart fans had their scorecards in favor of Dennis and not Barry in contrast to the judges. While Dennis has some holes in his game, he's been focused on it for longer and this is a big shot for him. Chi Lewis Parry talks a big game and his record in both kickboxing and MMA is impressive on paper right now, but we've still yet to see what he can really do against real competition. Dennis is a step up in competition for him and he can prove himself a bit here. 

It appears that Lewis Parry vs. Vigney is the fight that everyone wants to see in the finals, considering they were originally supposed to meet at a recent GLORY event until Vigney fell prey to a training injury. I think that Vigney wins no matter what, but there is still so little known about Lewis Parry that it is hard to really predict.

As for the SuperFight Series, well, there have been so many changes within the last 24 hours to that card that it feels unfair to come to any conclusions without research. There is, of course, not enough time to really research most of these fighters at this time, so just try to enjoy the fights.

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Tyrone Spong Considers Himself the Bo Jackson of Combat Sports, But GLORY Can't Afford Him

  • Published in Glory

Tyrone Spong's rehabilitation since his horrific leg injury last year has involved him taking some boxing fights, but the question has been; how serious is this boxing career? When will he return to kickboxing? In this interview that popped up yesterday Spong talked about his boxing career as well as the outlook for MMA and kickboxing, which seems to be in a bit of a muddled place at the moment.

Spong claims that the organization that he fought for [GLORY] can't afford him right now, but it's clear that he'd like to fight for them again. It's clear to most that GLORY is in a period right now where they are focused on building up new stars and their television presence, so from their standpoint if Spong can't pull in the TV ratings that someone a lot cheaper can, it doesn't make sense to pay him a ton. It appears that they are deadlocked, which is unfortunate.

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Benjamin Adegbuyi Out of GLORY 21, Will Challenge Rico Verhoeven at GLORY 22

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Originally slated for GLORY 21 was Anderson "Braddock" Silva vs. Benjamin Adegbuyi in a bout that was known in by insiders to be a #1 contender's bout where the winner would go on to face Rico Verhoeven at GLORY 22 in France. Adegbuyi was forced out of the fight due to a late leg injury and now according to GLORY he will be the contender for Verhoeven's Heavyweight Championship on June 5th in France.

It is an exciting fight considering that Adegbuyi has been a rising star within the Heavyweight kickboxing scene over the past few years, although I am pretty disappointed because the fight against Braddock was his biggest test to date. A win over Braddock would have left no doubts as to him deserving that shot. It looked like Mladen Brestovic would be filling in for Friday against Anderson "Braddock" Silva but it looks like for now that fight is on hold.

I kind of feel for Braddock here, always a bridesmaid and never the bride. Let's hope that he gets his shot soon as well.

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Jason Andrada Dishes on Rematches, Lion Fight 22 and how Kevin Ross is the Keanu Reeves of Muay Thai

  • Published in Interviews

Lion Fight 22 is on Friday evening on AXS TV, live from Las Vegas and as always, they are promising a night of high octane muay thai action. They’ve yet to fail to deliver since they’ve gone live on AXS TV and even though there was a last minute change to the main event, the show is still primed to deliver a lot of full rules muay thai action. A part of that action is Jason Andrada vs. Anthony Castrejon at 122lbs.

When it came time for me to decide who to focus on for this event, as much as I respect Kevin Ross and Tiffany Van Soest or the main eventer Jo Nattawut, it was hard not to be drawn to Jason Andrada. Andrada is not the most experienced fighter on the card -- even though he had a long, storied amateur career before turning pro -- but he’s been featured on Lion Fight events for a while now. He’s coming off of a tough loss to John Nofer that came via an elbow TKO but he was all smiles after that loss, showing more character in loss than most show in victory. 

Andrada is one of those guys that you might not see main eventing Lion Fight events, but more often than not you see him on the card and when you see him, you know to expect a fun fight and for him to leave it all in the ring. It’s not a coincidence, either, because his disposition is that of a laid back guy that is always looking to put on a show. Andrada sees himself as one of the many guys who is just trying to make an impression.

“You know, I think for some guys, guys like the ones that I’ve been fighting like Nofer, they’re all looking to make a name for themselves just like I am. There are a lot of guys out there that aren’t getting featured on TV like I am and they are clawing for those spots,” he explained. “All of these guys out there they go out there swinging, not many fighters that I’ve encountered are gonna take a shot and not want to go down swinging. Look at a guy like Pedro Gonzalez, for example. A lot of people in muay thai want to see someone demonstrating their perfect muay thai technique, but he’s more of a brawler, an MMA guy. I like watching him fight and so do a lot of other people, if that’s what it takes, that’s what it takes.”

He was quick to point out some of the more established names in the world of muay thai like Kevin Ross, Chad Mulkey, Joe Schilling and Tiffany Van Soest earned their spots through not only being skilled, but through their humility, personalities and experience. Andrada is quite accomplished in his own right, but he’s quick to point out those that have accomplished more than him and how he strives to be better and achieve what they have. 

Muay Thai might be a career for Andrada now, who spends most of his time at the gym training for fights or holding classes, but he likes to get some distance sometimes as well. “I love fighting, of course,” he said. “But sometimes I need time away from it, so I’m not one of those guys that has to watch every fight ever. I’ll watch my friends, you know? If Kevin, Chaz, Joe, any of my friends are fighting I’ll watch it and look, I could read off a pretty long list of fighters that I’m friends with and watch them fight, but I’m not a junkie for it anymore or anything. It’s nice to take time away. You know, I come home, I watch TV, watch Netflix, just relax sometimes and get some distance. It keeps the passion there.”

His fight on Friday is a rematch with Anthony Castrejon, the two of them meeting a few years back when they were both amateurs in a bout that Castrejon won via a head kick knockout. Andrada is open to any and all challenges, but was not really looking for this rematch. “I mean, we’ve fought before, he landed a nice head kick, which was good for him, but we are professionals now. A few of my recent professional fights have been rematches from my amateur days, which is fine,” he explained. “But look, like 1/3rd of my pro fights have been rematches from my amateur days. He’s been calling me out since before he fought Victor Saravia, so he’s wanted this for a while. I’m looking to grow as a fighter and be ready to challenge these international guys. I’m not saying that I’m looking past anyone,” he said. “I’m really not, I just want to be fighting guys from all over the world now. I want to be fighting guys from Japan, Europe and Thailand, I want to be ready to be able to go overseas and make a big impression. I don’t know if these rematches are going to really prepare me for that.”

He goes on to explain that it isn’t a great fight for either of them, considering that a loss for either guy could be the end of their Lion Fight careers. “I look at how UFC handles losses and you know, once you start racking up a few in a row they tend to cut a guy. I don’t want to be that guy and I’m sure that Castrejon doesn’t want to be that guy, either. Two straight losses wouldn’t be a good thing.”

Andrada is a guy that isn’t afraid to talk about his shortcomings, although he admits talking about losses can be tough. “Man, it sucks when I meet somebody new and they are like; ‘what do you do?’ I tell them that I’m a fighter and they ask about my last fight and it’s like, you gotta tell them that you came in second place,” he joked. “Nobody wants to have to say that, to say that you lost, but you gotta look forward.”

When it comes to Kevin Ross, it’s hard for Andrada to not talk about his friend and cohort with nothing but respect. “Kevin is a great guy, really. I mean, I learn so much from him still and no matter how much success he has, he’s always the same guy,” which spiraled into us discussing how Ross handles himself in the ring, how he’s always entertaining and composed, but always easy to talk to and deal with. “Yeah, I mean, he’s like the Keanu Reeves of muay thai in a way. He has all of this success and he hasn’t changed, he’s still the same guy. At the same time, he’s been through a lot of tough stuff in his life and he doesn’t let it drag him down. He’s always that guy that I like to be around.”

It should be noted that Andrada himself is heading down that same path right now; the amiable guy that seems always cool to be around. He loves to eat and is eagerly awaiting his favorite part of his post-fight life; feasting on some pizza. What struck me the most was that I was talking to him while he was gearing up to head out to the weigh-ins for Lion Fight 22, him just having stepped out of an epsom bath and he was not only in good spirits, but exhibited the same easy-going, friendly demeanor that Ross always projects while still focused and prepared for his fight. 

Becoming a star in any sport is difficult, there will be setbacks, there will be moments of glory and there will be those quiet, contemplative moments. Andrada has experienced many of these throughout the span of his professional and amateur career thus far and tomorrow night looks to be another in those collection of moments that will make up his career while he continues to strive for greatness and move up the ladder. What we know is that no matter what Andrada is looking to put his body on the line and to entertain us and that he’ll do it with a smile. Because he’s that ridiculous.

Lion Fight 22 airs tomorrow night, May 22nd on AXS TV at 10:00pm Eastern time.

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Simon Marcus is Ready for GLORY 21 and the Responsibilities of Being a Champion

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"You're always training to fight someone who is training to fight you..."  That is a fighter's life according to Simon Marcus, and that's a very accurate portrait when you think of it. Simon Marcus, is not an enigma, he's not one for shadow games or deception.  Who he is however, is a man of ordinary means and on Friday, May 8th, a man with an incredible opportunity, the chance to become the middle weight champion of GLORY, the world's premier kickboxing association.  Ahead of this event, I had to opportunity to speak with Simon about what we can expect on Friday night as well as a peek into the life of the "Bad Bwoy".

For people who are unaware, Levin and Marcus have faced each other before.  During that bout that was conducted under Muay Thai rules, Marcus was the victor.  While he admits that a previous win over an opponent may inspire some level of confidence knowing that you have previously beat that person.  Today,  Marcus chooses to focus on the task at hand and what it will take to be victorious again. Marcus has also made the choice not to focus on the what ifs, especially 'what if he loses'.  He stated that in his life, he continues to strive and even in those instances when a fight does go his way he has a desire to continue to improve and get better as a person. Of the things that has striven to improve in the ring, Simon stated that he has upped his cardio which he demonstrated during open work outs at The Boxing Gym on Wednesday as well as during his hard fought victory during the middleweight tournament last month in Dubai.   Marcus also stated that he has challenged himself in improving his conditioning, strength and overall pushed himself to his limits in preparation for GLORY 21. He states that even on the winning side he is never satisfied with his performance and is always looking for ways he can improve. While he is highly critical of himself, Marcus also expressed that he is attempting to learn how to enjoy those successes.

Coming into the world of a disciplined fighter at age 18, as in the case of many other fighters, provided an outlet and an opportunity for him to turn a negative into a positive.  Instead of getting into trouble for fighting, it has now become his passion and something for which he now receives praise.  As for his personal road to GLORY, Marcus stated that he trained as hard as he could, fought as much as he could and believed in himself.  In addition to that Marcus stated that he travelled and made a lot of sacrifices.  He also stated that many times he fought for free and did everything he could to get experience, good training and anything he could to get better, not necessarily looking at the immediate pay out but his long term goal of getting to the top.

What does he bring to the ring?  Simon Marcus brings a warrior spirit and an intellectual mentality, not to mention a lot of power and heart.  Additionally Simon Marcus brings excitement and a willingness to pull out all the stops to get the win.

As for the future, Marcus plans to completely focus on GLORY and winning/defending the title.  His vision does not stop there.  Simon Marcus would like to be a person who will take GLORY to another level and having people interested and seeing what the best striking in the world is about. 

To anyone who might be interested in embarking on a journey such as this, Simon Marcus stated that he would not discourage anyone from pursing a fighter's life, but he quickly differentiated between having a calling vs. having an interest. He stated if a person is just interested in being a fighter for the accolades or whatever comes along with it, that might not be the way to go.  He added that if someone has a love for fighting or a person has fighting in them, and they feel that fighting brings out the best in them or develops them, then that would be a more satisfying path to take.  Fighting as a career and as a lifestyle is difficult emotionally and physically.

After retirement, which Marcus stated at this point he doesn't know when that will occur, his love of fighting, teaching and martial arts directs his future to remain on its current path, in the realm of combat sports entertaining options of possibly promoting or opening a gym and in that way continuing to pass the tradition on.  If we hadn't met Simon Marcus as the Muay Thai/kickboxing practitioner that we see today, Marcus stated that it's very difficult to guess where he'd be today as he was always fighting and getting in trouble doing it.  He admits that when he was younger he had an interest in basketball and was a good player in high school but didn't have the focus on school to continue on this path. From where he sits now Marcus appears to be happy, he is an accomplished fighter, a father and fighting in an organization that he feels is right on the cusp of becoming something huge!

Beyond Friday night, Marcus has no one in particular on his radar, stating that he believes his greatest fight is with himself because he has the belief that in anything you do, there is a constant inner battle to become the best version of you.

So while on Friday night at GLORY 21 we won't get to see Simon Marcus vs. Simon Marcus, we will witness a continuation of this young man's journey to champion status in a battle between two of the best middleweights in the world.  On Friday night, Simon acknowledges that he has tremendous opportunity and when it's one man's time, it's his time and critics can say what they like, but Friday is his time.  He feels he has done the things necessary to have earned this opportunity.  To his fans, Simon Marcus sends out a sincere and heartfelt thanks.  To those who have supported him and all the friends and family who have traveled to San Diego he expresses sincere gratitude.

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A Look at Xavier Vigney Heading Into GLORY 21's Heavyweight Tournament

  • Published in Interviews

Do you remember September 28th 2013? I remember that day, okay well I don't really, but thay sounded really good, didn't it? I actually do have a very vivid memory of one thing from that date, GLORY 10: Los Angeles and the impression one fighter left on me. Who is that fighter you might ask? The up and coming, Northern California heavyweight Xavier Vigney. It wasn't his first day on the job, but it was my first opportunity to witness a talent on the rise. The LA event was Vigney's debut with GLORY and by knocking out his opponent, Hyunman Myung, Vigney demonstrated that he had arrived and was ready to climb the ranks in the world's best kickboxing organization. Following GLORY 10 I anxiously awaited another opportunity to see more, at GLORY 19, I got my chance. At GLORY 19: Virginia, the 6'8" Vigney was matched against Everett Sims in a battle which would end with Vigney's TKO victory. Following this second GLORY win, I also had an opportunity to talk with Vigney, get a little history and find out what's next for him.

Hailing from Northern California, Vigney reports an early interest in boxing, but actually spent much of his youth on the football field. Naturally athletic and no stranger to spending hard days training, Vigney walks around normally at a svelte 109-113kgs. Making his pro debut in 2012 at a K-1 event, Vigney faced Seth Petruzelli. It was druing this event that Vigney proved that he was ready for the big stage as he repeatedly dropped Petruzelli throughout the first and second rounds. In K-1, Vigney also faced Zabit Samedov. While not victorious in this match-up, he has continued his pursuit of kickboxing glory. Vigney joined GLORY via their eight-man ‘Road to GLORY’ tournament. He took this tourney by storm, with three KOs in one night and thereby earning a coveted GLORY contract. he won by stopping three opponents in one night, one after another, earning himself a contract.

While he continues his rise in GLORY, Vigney has dabbled in boxing, a sport in which he's also had some success. He also voices no opposition to the prospect of MMA. And so at a youthful 24 years of age Xavier Vigney has gone from gridiron superstar to hot prospect in K-1 to rising star in GLORY. What's next? More hard work and GLORY 21: San Diego where he will face GLORY newcomer, Maurice Jackson. On Saturday, May 8th we will see what Xavier Vigney has in store for his opponent. Win or lose without a doubt those watching will be able to witness an exciting fight where Vigney will bring the strength, power and agility he has cultivated over the years.

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A Look Behind the Scenes of the GLORY 21 Open Workouts

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Today we were granted a sneak peak of the firestorm to come this Friday, May 8th in San Diego, also known as GLORY 21.  The location was The Boxing Club, the current training home of  middleweight champion Artem Levin and the event was open workouts. 

The first participant on deck for today's event was one of GLORY's newest finds, Andre Walker.  Walker who is set to face another newcomer to the GLORY stage, Manny Mancha, exuded confidence in the ring demonstrating high energy with kicks and punches that may just surprise his opponent.  The second fighter up was the always exciting, "Human Highlight Reel", Raymond Daniels.  Despite having suffered a loss at GLORY 19 in Virginia, Daniels came to the ring to show that he remains in it to win it!  High flying as ever, Daniels demonstrated the determination to, if nothing else, make it exciting and keep his opponent guessing! The final two participants at the open workout event were the two men scheduled to bring the house down as the finale of GLORY 21 card in a battle for the middleweight title, Artem Levin and Simon Marcus.  Marcus, who was without his trainer, gave attendees a taste of what a work-out is like in his world! STAMINA is what he's obviously about in training.  Marcus took the crowd through a series of sit-ups, push-ups, kicks and other combinations that left us all sweating as we watched.  Levin then took center ring in the finale of the open workouts and gave the crowd a taste of his ever increasing agility, power and flexibility.  Levin also gave the crowd a sneak peak at some of his combinations as well as how he maintains his reputation for not only throwing a punch, but evading the strikes of his opponents. The outcome of this bout will be very interesting as it will not be the first time these two have faced off in the ring. Marcus has previously defeated Levin in a Muay Thai rules bout. So, may the best man win on Friday night!

While the event was short but sweet, Tim Hughes kept the crowd entertained with his amazing commentary and introductions. Also on deck for weigh ins was the newest member of GLORY's commentary team, Goldberg! 

Look out folks!! It's happening in San Diego, Friday, May 8th at the Valley View Casino Center!  Watch it on Spike or see the event live, GLORY always aims to please and match-ups feature here will keep fans satisfied!

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Exclusive "Chopper" Chi Lewis-Parry Liverkick Interview

  • Published in Interviews

 

We had the pleasure to interview none other than Mr. "Chopper" Chi Lewis-Parry today. Definitely one of the best interviews I've ever had the opportunity to do, his charisma and humor really makes our job easy. We spoke about everything from how he got his nickname to, wedgies, to what he likes to eat and I just had to add some of his voice notes because writing it out just doesn't do it justice. **sorry but audio won't play on mobile devices**

LK: Lets Start with Fight Stats. Height, Weight, Fight Record, Nicknames Etc?

Chopper: 
Record audio or upload mp3 >>

LK: How did you get your nickname or many names? 

Chopper: 
Record audio or upload mp3 >>

LK: When did you start martial arts/kickboxing and why?

Chopper: 
Audio recording software >>

LK: Was that when you stopped basketball then and what made you stop and start knocking people out?

Chopper: 
Audio and voice recording >>

LK: So, you used to bounce at nightclubs? Give us one of your best stories from those days.

Chopper: 
Audio recording >>

LK: How was the experience with Glory in Dubai?

Chopper: 
Record music with Vocaroo >>

LK: What about the upcoming tournament? What do you think of your first opponent Everett Sims and also who you will face in the final?

Chopper: I'm stoked about the tournament! Really looking forward to showing what I have to offer & to get 2 more scalps to my name! Wooha! Everett looks the part but he ain't the part! There's only enough cash in the budget for 1 leading man in this epic motion picture and that's me! Whoever I face in the final is fine with me but I'd prefer to face Vigney so I can show him who's the boss man!

LK: What do you think of Maurice Jackson he says he's also 6 foot 9 but his record on the glory site is 31-0?

Chopper: 
Audio recording software >>

LK: What do you like to do other than training and fighting? Like on your free time?

Chopper: 
Record and upload voice >>

LK: Food you say? What's your favourite food? How about before fights anything specific to eat?

Chopper
Record and upload voice >>

LK: How about after a fight once you win, what does the rest of the night look like?

Chopper: 
Record music with Vocaroo >>

LK: I forgot to ask you about ethnicity, I've had probably 10 people ask me what your background was, so I figured this was a good time to ask.

Chopper: I'm like Perseus, the son of a beautiful mortal & a god, haha. My mother is Welsh/Israeli/English. My father is straight up Guyanese. So that makes me some kinda super shit!

LK: One last question and we are done but its 4 questions in one.

1. Hardest puncher you've fought? 

2. Hardest kicker?

3. Hardest fight?

4. Favourite fighter (can be anyone real or fake)

Chopper: 1. Alistair Overeem (technically it was sparring but it may aswell have been a fight lol he goes hard)

2. Alain Ngalani. The guy had rhino legs attached to a gorilla lol.

3. Probably my debut. I completely snapped my 1st & 2nd metacarpal in my hand in the first exchange so I had to fight with a completely fucked hand (haha still won tho)

4. Favourite fighter has gotta be "The Rock". It's fake and all but we all know it's fake yet we STILL watch it. The Rock just has that wow factor.

LK: HAHA perfect anything else you would like to add for fans, sponsors, other fighters etc?

Chopper: Shout out to you guys for having me! My very loyal supporters, nothing but love back at ya. My newly aquired haters, hahaha get used to me, I'm just getting started! My loving family & friends for unrivaled support. My sponsors Golds Gym, Hooligans United & I'm a beast apparel. If you hadn't heard.... "Chopper's Coming!"

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Five Questions With Lion Fight 21's Tiffany Van Soest

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This Friday evening on AXS TV Lion Fight 21 will be airing live from Los Angeles. The event is set to feature some of Lion Fight's top talents including a co-main event bout between Tiffany Van Soest and Chajma Bellekhal. We spoke with Tiffany during her busy week and got to ask her a few of the burning questions, from talk about the fight this weekend to her last fight in Enfusion.

LK: Women’s fighting has really taken off in a big way over the past few years thanks to the UFC, Invicta and even yourself in Lion Fight, how does it feel to be one of the more-talked about women in combat sports? 

VS: I really don’t feel that Muay Thai gets as much recognition as it deserves. MMA is HUGE and only getting bigger so it tends to cast a shadow over Muay Thai, however it is an honor to be considered one of the best at what I do. I don’t really think that I am talked about that much since I am a Muay Thai fighter and if I am talked about, it is usually about my transition to MMA. To be honest, it’s quite frustrating because although I have poured my heart and soul into Muay Thai. I appreciate that my skills are respected, but I wish people would appreciate Muay Thai for Muay Thai instead of thinking about how I would do in MMA.

LK: How important is it to you to get your rematch down the line for a shot to get your Lion Fight championship back? 

VS: I’m just taking it one fight at a time for now. I know Scott and Christine at Lion Fight will give me my title shot back when they feel the time is right. I know I have already earned it with 4 (soon to be 5) not only wins, but dominant performances since losing my title. It’s only a matter of time.

LK: How was your experience fighting Denise Kielholtz in Enfusion? They use really interesting and different rules compared to most Dutch kickboxing with there being a focus on throws, did it throw you off at all? 

It was a great experience. I got to kickbox in the mecca of kickboxing. And being of Dutch descent, it was really cool to see Holland and meet some of my extended family. The rules of Enfusion totally favored Denise’s style and judo background, but it made no difference to me. I went to her home country and fought under her rules. The throws did throw me off a little (no pun intended). I was hesitant to close the gap because I knew she would try to grab me and throw me when I got close enough. No losses though, just lessons. Of course i’m disappointed I walked away without the title or the win, but overall it was still a great experience. Denise is an amazing fighter.

LK: Where would a win over Bellekhal place you in the division right now, you think? 

VS: I already know I’m at the top of the division. A win will just solidify that even more.

LK: After your experience with Enfusion are you looking to try fighting outside of muay thai again any time soon in kickboxing or MMA, or sticking to muay thai for now? 

VS: Muay Thai it is. My commitment and contractual obligations are with Lion Fight right now.

 

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Ten Questions with Lion Fight 21's Kevin Ross

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This Friday evening on AXS TV we'll get the pleasure of watching one of the biggest rematches in Lion Fight history at Lion Fight 21. Kevin Ross and Tetsuya Yamato had a knock down, drag out brawl at Lion Fight 11 and on Friday evening they will have a rematch that has the muay thai world buzzing. We asked Kevin Ross ten questions before his big fight and got his opinion on time off, the rematch and how Joe Schilling is doing.

LK: The first fight with Tetsuya Yamato saw a lot of action, a lot of blood and both of you looking fantastic regardless of who won or lost. Since the last fight you’ve both been on a winning streak, Yamato defeating Sagetdao and Masaaki Noiri, you Embree, Mauceri and Thompson. The big difference is that his fights were in kickboxing, do you think that gives you an edge?

Yamato has more of a kickboxing style anyway so it's not really that big a deal to go back and forth, although he does like to fling those elbows hahaha

LK: The Yamato loss ended 2013 for you as 2-2, but 2014 saw you go 3-0, was that important for you to have such a streak before fighting Yamato again?

KR: Not really, I don't dwell on wins/losses, I'm more concerned with the improvements I've made and the performances I've put on

LK: Who had the idea to fight again, was it you, Yamato or Lion Fight who pushed for it?

KR: I'm sure it was a bit of all 3. It was a great fight and good for everyone so we all want to do it again 

LK: Is it possible for this rematch to live up to the hype, or are you kind of hoping to have an easier time with this fight and less of a knock-down, drag-out, grueling affair?

KR: I want all my fights to be ones that go down in history as great, I always want people to be entertained and as long as they are than I'm happy. I don't think you can ever really compare fights, as they are so unique and different in their own ways 

LK: You’ve had some time off since your last fight, was it important for you to get some rest after being as busy as you were after you returned from your injury?

KR: No, I hate time off and never want it, it was out of my hands unfortunately. I'm sure that my body and brain were happy to have a break but I always want to be as active as possible 

LK: How does it feel to see one of your good friends in Joe Schilling having the level of success that he’s had both in the kickboxing world and MMA arena over the past few years?

KR: I couldn't be happier for him! I'm a Muay Thai purist and will always prefer it but seeing him active and doing so well is wonderful 

LK: Do you still have the itch to try out kickboxing now that it is taking off a bit more in the United States or are you focused on muay thai for now?

KR: I've been focused on Muay Thai since day one, it's my true love, it's my passion and will always prefer it to any other type of fighting but as long as I'm in there than that's good enough for me

LK: What’s the most valuable lesson that you’ve learned fighting over the past few years since your return from your knee injury and your profile being on the rise like it is?

KR: I'd say that no matter what struggles lay in front of you they can either be set backs or set ups for further progression, it's just a matter of how you look at them. When bad things happen I view them as tests to see if I really want something. You either overcome them or quit. They show you who people truly are. That's something I've always known, these last few years just instilled those things in me further. 

 

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Exclusive Liver Kick Interview with Nieky Holzken

  • Published in Interviews

Nieky Holzken has not only been an unstoppable force in Glory lately but also was a big part in the two most viewed Glory cards to date. So it seemed only natural that we should sit down and have a little talk with him about all his recent success.

LK: Hello Nieky, thank you for taking the time for this interview. How has everything been since we saw you last in Virginia?

NH: hello yeah I'm fine training is going well.

LK: Lets start from the beginning, what age did you start Kickboxing, where did you start and what made you start?

NH: i start when i was 10 because of the movie Kickboxer in a gym called Yamaneko.

LK: What are your Current fight stats height, weight, record, etc?

NH: im 183cm 77 kg 103fights/92/11/53ko's

LK: How and who gave you the Nickname "The Natural"?

NH: Mike Passenier from Mike's Gym after a fight in England.

LK: What do you like to do during your time away from the gym?

NH: gaming, watching movies

LK: Even though you had a few Pro boxing fights last year, and a kickboxing fight in December, you said you still felt a bit rusty against Stetsurenko can you explain this?

NH: yeah he was a strong guy and i keep in mind that i have to fight a final

LK: How nice did it feel to get back in the Glory ring after one year, not only once but twice in one night so you could totally knock off the ring rust?

NH: yeah it feel great, I did what I had to do.

LK: Give me your honest opinion, did Raymond Daniels get up from your knockdowns more times than you expected? Also how did you feel about the ref giving you an 8 count in that fight?

NH: yeah he has good heart to come up every, time respect for him. But I don't deserve the 8 count I slipped and stand up very fast and it didn't hurt me.

LK: I'm sure you heard that both the #1 and #2 most viewed Glory events are Tokyo, and Virginia which both included you, what do you think about this?

NH: its luck i'm guessing haha

LK: One thing i've been wondering lately about your career is what is the difference between the Nieky Holzken at 70kgs as opposed to 77kgs, I've always noticed you are much more dominant at the heavier weight, is it the weight cut?

NH: yeah its the weight cut that was my biggest fights

LK: We all know that your next Glory fight will be against Valtellini, we just aren't sure when yet. Do you have any other fights planned in the meantime?

NH: yeah two fights in boxing april 19 and 24 may

LK: Valtellini has been very outspoken about fighting you on social media since his close victory over Mark De Bonte even though you have already knocked him out. I spoke to some of your family about this in Virginia, but I think you should tell all the fans how you feel about Valtellini, don't hold back.

NH: yeah Valtelinni says hes the champ and that he expects more from the next time we meet so he will get more much more.

LK: How was training in America with the Blackzillians compared to training in Holland?

NH: yeah the same because I train only with my trainer.

LK: What does the future hold for "The Natural"? Possible Pro boxing career? have there actually been talks with Showtime signing you?

NH: I concentrate a lot on boxing. I didn't hear anything about showtime I wish haha.

LK: Last question is 4 questions I ask everyone, Hardest Puncher you've fought? 

NH: I don't now really i fought so much 

LK: Hardest Kicker you've fought? 

NH: Buakaw

LK: Hardest Fight? 

NH: It was a B class amatuer fight against Ali Mogtagari I won by KO but got two eight counts myself haha

LK: Your favourite fighter? 

NH: Ramon Dekker/Mike Tyson

LK: Thank you so Much Nieky for this interview is there anything else you would like to say to your fans, sponsors, etc?

NH: I want to thank all the fans for support, love you all and my family and sponsor they will keep me going ush.

LK: Well I can't begin to tell you how excited I am to watch your next fight for the Glory title and I wish you all the best for the future.

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Exclusive Liver Kick Interview with Gabriel Varga

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We caught up with Glory's #3 ranked featherweight Gabriel Varga after a sparring session at WKX with fellow Glory fighter Josh Jauncey. He is deep into his training camp for his Glory featherweight title fight against Mosab Amrani at Glory 20 in Dubai and is feeling great. Gabriel is always a man of few words and attracts all his fans with his exciting style in the ring but it was great to hear him open up to us more than usual.

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Lion Fight 20's Jorina Baars Talks Ughi Rematch and Life Post-Cyborg Win

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(C) Lion Fight/Bernie Palmore

This Friday evening on AXS TV we'll see Lion Fight return to Connecticut with Lion Fight 20. While women headlining major fight cards is still a bit of a misnomer in combat sports Lion Fight is unafraid to place their Women's Welterweight Champion Jorina Baars as their headliner. Baars will be fighting the tough veteran that is Chantal Ughi in what is a rematch from a few years ago. Both women are world-renowned and have fought the best of the best, but for right now Jorina is the woman to beat. 

We briefly spoke with Jorina heading into the fight this Friday about the American media coverage that has come from the Cris Cyborg Justino victory as well as how she feels about the rematch with Ughi.

You’ve fought Chantal Ughi before and it was a close fight, how do you feel that you’ve evolved since then and how different of a fight will this be?

I have evolved in different ways, I developed and gained more experience in Muay Thai, have become stronger physically and mentally. I still train and fight for SportsArt Den Helder and started training with Andre Mannaart from Mejiro Gym to assist in coaching me, he has been the trainer of many champions such as Rob Kaman, Remy Bonjasky, Peter Aerts, Andy Souwer there is a lot of talent at both Mejiro Gym and SportsArt and all my trainings partners at both these gyms have helped me evolve. I've also been training a lot with Marieke Post, she's a professional fighter as well and a friend, we battle together in the gym each day and she has pushed me forward and I gain lots of strength from her knowledge and passion to fight.

Chantal Ughi is a tough opponent who has made a name for herself by fighting in Thailand, while you have made a name for yourself by fighting in Europe. Do you consider this a clash in styles or traditions?

No I do not think it is a clash of styles and/or traditions, in Muay Thai there are more possibilities than in K1, Glory or Kickboxing rules, that means that this will be a more exciting fight. 

The win over Cyborg Justino was a huge one, how did it feel knowing that many fans saw this as an easy fight for her only to see you outclass her throughout most of the fight?

There was a lot of talk about the Cyborg fight and most fight fans thought that she was going to beat me, they were unfamiliar with me, didn’t know who I am.  But the talk after the fight is that Cyborg only had 2 Muay Thai fights and Jorina has 36.  Cyborg proved to be a great Sport and was honest about it, she stated that she fights anybody, anytime, she accepted the fight and knew where she was up against. I respect Cyborg for that !

Did you feel that you were perhaps being looked over by many people going into the fight against Cyborg?

I am sure some people overlooked me going into the Cyborg fight.  I never underestimated Cyborg, never underestimate any opponent that is put in front of me.  I knew where I was up against as well, Cyborg was a very worthy opponent and she came to fight, we both fought hard and I enjoyed that fight very much. I am always coming to fight, no ifs ands or buts it is what the Fans and Lion Fight expect me to do and it is what I do best.

Have you gotten a lot more attention since the Cyborg win, or has it only been in the United States, really?

I get attention through the Social Media and some Dutch Newspapers after the last fight, now for the upcoming fight against Ughi the newspapers have shown interests again and published some articles.  My day to day life is still the same, I work at a nightclub in Amsterdam as a Bouncer, its happens every once in a while that a guest at our club comes to me and says; “You are Jorina, right ?” it flatters me and respond “Yes, that’s me !”

You’ve dabbled in mixed martial arts before, is that something that you’d like to try again some time, or are you content sticking with muay thai?

I switched to MMA as it was impossible to find anyone to fight me on Muay Thai rules, I like MMA but for now, or at least for the time I am under contract with Lion Fight Promotions I will stay and remain focused on Muay Thai.

Do you feel that there are any specific challenges or hurdles that you have to overcome as a woman in fighting sports?

Women have to train just as hard as their male colleagues, it is easier to get fights as a man, there are just a lot more men fighting then there are women, it’s supply and demand, plain and simple.  Women are underappreciated in the fight business, but there are lots of improvements happening and I am happy to see that and be on the first row of experiencing it.

Is there any one fight out there that you haven’t gotten yet that you’ve really wanted to happen?

Yes there is, I would love to fight Germaine de Randamie. She is a very good and strong fighter. Before she fought in the UFC, both our teams were looking for a promoter who could let us fight at their event, as of today that has not happened yet.  Maybe and hopefully Lion Fight can make that fight happen and I will happily accept that opportunity.

What kind of responsibility do you feel as a World Champion for a sport?

Yes we are an example to all fans, kids and adults alike.  There is a tremendous responsibility with that and I enjoy having to deal with that, in matter of fact it is an honor.  I always like to inspire kids to take on Muay Thai as it not only helps them physically but also mentally, it builds their confidence that they will able to benefit from the rest of their lives. I like to portray the fighting sports and muay thai in a positive light, always have. There are still some misunderstandings for this Sport, especially in the Netherlands and I like to set that record straight and continue to do be righteous– Osu !

 

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