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Wendell Roche Headed to Madrid to Fight Daniel Ghita

  • Published in K-1

Wendell RocheDaniel Ghita's original opponent, Paul Slowinski, was looked upon as a gimme fight for Daniel Ghita, and then Slowinski had to pull out of the fight on short notice. The word was circulating that Daniel Ghita's opponent would be Spanish fighter Damian Garcia, but it appears that as the time approached, Garcia backed out for one reason or another. We've spoken to Ghita's camp and can confirm that the situation is a bit frustrating for them at this point, as there have been many possible opponents for Ghita, lots of talks over the past few days, and that nothing has worked out.

Sometime late last night here in the States, early morning in Europe, talk emerged that Wendell Roche was headed to Madrid to fight Daniel Ghita. As of about five hours ago we could confirm that from the perspective of Ghita's camp, Roche was indeed a possibility, but with how this week has shaped up, they do not feel that anything is certain until the bell rings for the fight. That being said, Roche is in Madrid and It's Showtime staffers have been pushing this video from 2010 on their Facebook profiles, of Roche talking about the Heavyweight division and how he'd fight anyone.

It is safe to say that as of right now, Wendell Roche is on deck for Ghita, but this has been quite a disaster.

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It's Showtime: Why This Show Matters

  • Published in Kickboxing

It's ShowtimeThis Saturday marks the start of the 2011 It’s Showtime season, and in many ways, the start of the major international 2011 season. There have been a few notable fights already this year (Giorgio Petrosyan vs. Sudsakorn and Andy Souwer’s upset loss both come to mind), but this will be the first major top-to-bottom event. So, why should you care about this show? Well…

1. It’s Showtime might very well be the future of kickboxing. This coming year is going to be a big one in determining the future of our sport. With K-1 in serious trouble and the European hotbed of Amsterdam causing headaches for promoters, we could see a drastic reduction in the international scope of professional kickboxing. It’s Showtime is doing everything they can to fight against that tide. By running more and more shows in an increasingly diverse market, they are continuing the steady expansion plan that has brought them success so far. Of course, with expansion there is always a fear that you will overextend yourself, creating a company too large for the resources in hand. So far, It’s Showtime has been very strategic in their expansion, and I think that will continue this year – but there’s no doubt 2011 represents a key moment in the history of kickboxing.

2. The main event is a beautifully matched top 10 showdown. It’s rare in any combat sport that we get two fighters so closely matched, but Daniel Ghita vs. Hesdy Gerges is a perfect match-up. Both men are young fighters who look to be the future of the sport. Both are in the top 10, with Ghita just one spot ahead of Gerges. Both had break-out years in 2009 and 2010, but neither man has yet scored that one major win that propels them to the next level. Most are favoring Ghita here (including a massive 70% of LK readers), which is understandable, but this is a very close fight that Gerges has every opportunity to win. One tough hurdle for the It’s Showtime champ could be his recent arrest for suspected drug trafficking. That case seems to be dropped, but the interruption to his training and the mental stress of being incarcerated can’t be good for a fighter heading into such a serious challenge.

3. Both men in the semi-main event need to win. Andy Souwer vs. L’houcine Ouzgni could easily headline a show. Two technical marvels, this is a fight that will be pure candy for fans of the precise art of stand-up. That’s reason enough to be excited for this one, but there’s an extra element to this fight given where each man stands in his career. Souwer’s last year was not exactly a career highlight for the decorated veteran. After suffering an eye injury and finding himself inexplicably on the outs with K-1 MAX, Souwer has since lost 2 of his last 3 fights – both against unranked opponents. He really needs to win here, but he has a tough task ahead of him. Ouzgni meanwhile had a tremendous 2010... almost. He made huge waves in his It’s Showtime debut, and looked poised to win the company’s 77kg title and start a dominant run as champion. Instead, in the year’s last show, Ouzgni was stopped by Artem Levin. In that fight, Ouzgni seemed to give up both size and strength to his opponent. Now, he’s dropping down to 70kg. He’ll have a massive size advantage here, but will it come at the expense of a too severe weight cut? Hopefully not, as Ouzgni could end up a man lost between two divisions.

4. Gago Drago vs. Artur Kyshenko. Not too much to say here, except that this match will be fun. Drago always brings the excitement, and I expect Kyshenko will match him. This one has kind of been lost in the shuffle, but it’s another excellent, very evenly matched fight that could steal the show. Along those same lines, look for exciting fights from William Diender vs, Rachid Belaini and Chahid Oulad El Hadj vs. Robin van Roosmalen.

5. The return of the 95kg title. Former champ Tyrone Spong has kept this division on ice for the last few years as he has made the move up to Heavyweight. Now, with Spong out of the picture, It’s Showtime looks to crown a new champ between Wendell Roche and Danyo Ilunga. Their inclusion of different weight classes is one of the things that makes IS unique, and it will be exciting to see how this division grows in 2011. Last year, Cosmo Alexandre’s title run brought the 77kg division to the spotlight – can either Roche or Ilunga do the same for 95?

Don’t forget, the show is tomorrow and is available for purchase at showtimefights.com for 10 euro. Start time is 2:00 p.m. Eastern.

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GLORY 9 New York Photo Gallery

  • Published in News

Ghita

GLORY 9 New York went down this weekend with a lot of action and luckily for you, we've been all over it. Our good friend from MiddleEasy, Bauzen, was in attendance at the event with his camera doing some work for the WKA and happened to graciously pass along his photos to us for the site. Get a look at some of the most intense moments from GLORY 9 New York courtesy of Bauzen.

 

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Programming Note: GLORY Making an Unexpected Spike TV Debut Tonight

  • Published in Glory

glory

While October 12th might be the official launch date for GLORY 11 and GLORY's tenure on Spike TV, tonight will mark GLORY's debut on Spike TV with a half hour highlight broadcast that is set to go down at 11PM Eastern. This is a strategic move from both Spike TV and GLORY as it will be coming directly after TNA Impact Wrestling, which might not draw the same kind of audience as WWE does, but it does bring in a solid audience week after week.

It was a similar tactic that helped to build up the UFC with The Ultimate Fighter, as TUF followed WWE's Monday Night Raw on Spike TV for the first season, which helped to bring more exposure to it. It's not clear what they will fit into a 30 minute broadcast, but with GLORY 11 coming up, I'd expect highlights from fights of the upcoming competitors.

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LiverKick.com Talks GLORY 11 with Tyrone Spong

  • Published in Interviews

GLORY

Tyrone Spong is a name that has jumped up in value over the past few years after cutting his teeth on the international muay thai and kickboxing circuit in a dizzying amount of weight classes. Spong has fought not only some of the best in the world in one or two weight classes, but in just about every weight class between 70kg and Super Heavyweight in the span of his career, with one fight against Nathan “Carnage” Corbett standing out as the one that fans wanted to see happen again. GLORY is making precisely this happen at GLORY 11 Chicago this weekend, live on Spike TV.

LiverKick.com caught up with Tyrone Spong earlier this week to discuss the fight with Carnage and he has a very mature way of viewing the first bout with Carnage, when asked if he considers it a draw or a loss; “Oh no, no man, for me personally it’s a loss. You know, according to the rules and the commission they call it a no contest. That’s not on me, you know, I don’t make the rules, I just fight according to them. To me personally though, I consider that a loss and now I have the chance to avenge that loss, so we’ll see.”

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Did Daniel Ghita Have A Plan?

  • Published in Glory

This morning Daniel Ghita wrote a very emotional message to his fans via Facebook (see below) regarding his old sparring partner Rico Verhoeven. We cannot comment about Rico's alleged racist remarks that Daniel writes about, but we can talk about the fight itself.

Now, before Ghita's fight with Rico we got to see a different side of him, we got to see him open up, talk, and tell us how he really felt about his opponent which is a rare thing for the typically quiet and stone-faced Romanian. It was great to see him fired up and giving his opinions on the mic, but part of me wondered if this was all for show considering they used to train together often, and seemed like friends during those times. There was no way to know for sure until the fight, especially considering he had a point to prove, that Verhoeven's first victory over him was a robbery.

On to the fight, there were a few strange things. First of all Ghita came out slowly in the first round, the exact same way he did during his last fight with Rico. If you saw Daniel's fight with Errol Zimmerman, then you know exactly the violence this Romanian is capable of when he is aggressive, this was totally what I was expecting from him. Round two, where once again Ghita waited for Rico and threw a very limited amount of strikes. Anyone watching as a Daniel Ghita fan, I can imagine was beginning to get frustrated. Second peculiar thing we noticed was Erik Van Warmerdam, Ghita's corner man between rounds. The only advice he seemed to give while the camera was on him was "keep waiting, your doing fine Daniel keep waiting for him." Then during the break leading into the fifth and final round we once again heard Warmerdam saying "Rico knows hes behind, keep waiting." The fight was so close, it didn't seem like anyone was really behind at any point, so we really couldn't understand why this advice was given. Not to mention waiting is rarely going to win a fight.

Ghita's opinion on Rico is that he is a fake champion and he does nothing and still wins fights. After reading Daniel's facebook post it got me thinking, Ghita waited for Rico the whole fight, his corner man was advising him to keep waiting and let Rico initiate, he fought nothing like his last fight, and He even wrote "You do NOTHING if your opponent does not start the fight." Was this Daniel Ghita's idea of proving a point? Did he deliberately do nothing to show that if an opponent doesn't initiate Verhoeven makes boring fights? Or is this all just part of the emotion of losing another very close decision to the Prince of kickboxing?

 

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Anderson Silva Injured, It's Showtime Searching for Opponent for Daniel Ghita

  • Published in K-1

GhitaFor fans looking forward to May 14th's big It's Showtime event in Lyon, France, one of the fights has seemingly fallen apart at the last minute. Anderson "Braddock" Silva was staged to take on a beast of a man in Daniel Ghita. Anderson was coming off of a highlight reel head kick KO of Freddy Kemayo in December and Ghita is coming off of a loss to Hesdy Gerges in March.

Sadly, Simon Rutz announced on his Facebook page last night that Anderson "Braddock" Silva has gotten injured and that the promotion is searching for a replacement to fight Ghita on nine days notice. Nine days is an incredibly short amount of time to take a fight with a well-prepared Daniel Ghita, no matter who you are in the world of Heavyweight Kickboxing. We've heard a few names that have been floating around as possible replacement opponents, including a possible return of Rick Roufus, but at this point all bets are off.

Daniel Ghita is an incredible fighter in the prime of his career with some of the sickest leg kicks anyone has seen. On top of that, Ghita has been working on his hands to make himself more of a complete package, so we wish It's Showtime the best of luck in finding someone to step up to challenge Daniel Ghita on nine days notice, we can also hope for the sake of the fans that they are able to find someone to fight Ghita, as Ghita is incredible to watch. I for one would love to see Patrice Quarteron, a French fighter, step up or possibly Jerome Le Banner.

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Check Out This New GLORY 11 Chicago Trailer

  • Published in Glory

GLORY 11 Chicago has been shaping up to be one of the better cards of the year, which comes as no surprise as it is the GLORY Heavyweight tournament event, as well as their debut on Spike TV here in America. It makes sense for GLORY to be throwing so much into this event, which just means that in the end we all win. GLORY have released a new trailer for the upcoming event, showcasing the big Heavyweight talent that will be on display at the show and if it doesn't get you pumped, well, I don't know.

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Watch This Daniel Ghita Highlight Video

  • Published in K-1

The rumors are gearing up that there will be a K-1 World Grand Prix Final 16, partially confirmed by Daniel Ghita himself a week ago. To celebrate the fact that Daniel Ghita will be fighting in the biggest tournament in the world again, we urge you to check out this recent highlight reel tossed together by YouTube user DefComAlert. [source]

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The Rumored Structure For This Year's GLORY Grand Slam Tournament

  • Published in News

Glory

We've been keeping our ears to the ground over the past few months in regards to everything GLORY, from possible television deals to upcoming shows to the format for their big Heavyweight tournament for this year. Last year's GLORY Grand Slam tournament was interesting, to say the least, using a one-night, sixteen man format with shorter rounds. It led to some quick action, but some of the more methodical, technical fighters like Remy Bonjasky were really hurt by such a ruleset and four fights in one night is just a lot of fights.

While some within the GLORY organization were steadfast in saying that they would repeat the format again this year, we've heard some conflicting reports on the format of the tournament. As GLORY gets closer to a larger American television deal (no insult to CBS Sports, but tape delay at 1am is simply not good enough for shows like this) they have to be concerned with time constraints and putting on a tighter, more unified production. GLORY already do a fantastic job with their pacing on their events, with the fights following each other in quick succession in a way that doesn't feel rushed, but natural. We can at least expect the quirks of last year's Grand Slam to not return.

So according to our source, who wishes to remain unnamed, this year's tournament will be shrunk down from sixteen men to just four to be able to properly fit on a two to three hour American television slot while putting on entertaining fights and being able to properly present the fighters to the audience. The first three participants will be based upon the GLORY World Rankings, although it should be noted that word is that Semmy Schilt will not participate. That means that Gokhan Saki, Daniel Ghita and Tyrone Spong are guaranteed spots in the tournament, with the fourth spot being a "Wildcard." That "Wildcard" spot will be determined by another tournament that will take place before the event, a Qualifying tournament. It is not clear who will participate in this tournament, but the next four in the rankings are Peter Aerts, Remy Bonjasky, Jerome Le Banner and Errol Zimmerman (although I believe that Rico Verhoeven is actually in that spot now after his win over Errol).

So, what do you think? Would you be upset to see the Final 8 format disappear, or is it time for something new?

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