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The GLORY 11 Weigh-Ins and Staredowns

  • Published in Glory

GLORY

Tonight at 9pm Eastern time GLORY 11 Chicago will be airing live on Spike TV. Pinch yourself, it's alright, we aren't judging. GLORY has graciously put up the weigh-in videos, so get your dosage of dudes in their skivvies having macho staredowns with each other before GLORY 11 goes down tonight. It's okay, we aren't judging, remember?

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Glory 17 and Last Man Standing: A Night to Remember (Part 1)

  • Published in Glory

June 21st, 2014 is a night that kickboxing fans will be talking about for quite some time. Glory 17, even though it ended up being a 6 hour event, at no point did I feel this was too much. They did a great job of making us look forward to the next fight even more than the last. Now, I am going to be brutally honest and give my opinions on all the things I enjoyed, and things I didn't on one of the most exciting 6 hours in combat sports.

So, the show started with the analyst desk consisting of Michael "The Voice" Schiavello, Stepen Quadros, and Remy Bonjasky. This is a very knowledgeable group of people but we barely heard from them, instead we had to listen to Duke Roufus and Ron Kruck constantly talk about either previous fights, history, or themselves. For some reason they always seem to ignore the fight that is happening and talk about the fighters past fights, or trainers and so on. I mean that is fine to do when there is a lull in the action to keep the viewers informed and educated, but when action is happening i would like the commentators to talk about the fight. I feel that if they could have maybe used the analyst desk as the commentators this event could have been pretty much perfect. I always favor Shiavello when it comes to kickboxing commentary, being that he is a true fan, knows all the fighters inside and out, talks accurately about what is happening in the fight, and he knows how to excite us and make us laugh. As for Remy Bonjasky this would have been the first time I've heard him commentate, but he is intelligent and well spoken, not to mention one of the best heavyweight kickboxers ever and usually its great when real fighters commentate, for example Roy Jones Jr. on HBO.

Enough about Kruck and Roufus, and more about the people that matter, the fighters. Everyone fought their heart out for Glory last night. The first fight on Spike TV was Canadian Gabriel Varga Vs. Yodkhunpon Sitmonchai from Thailand. Varga has been training with us in Surrey, B.C a little bit for the last few weeks so I know how good he is, and what he is capable of. When the fight started and Sitmonchai instantly interrupted Varga's combos with his own punches and Varga kept throwing very slow telegraphed spinning back fists, and back kicks, I began to get worried. But Varga did what Varga does best and kept grinding Sitmonchai down, until it seemed like the Thai was either tired or just lazy, he just stopped throwing anything even tho he had Varga's leg purple and swollen, thus earning Varga the win and moving onto the Finals of the Featherweight Contender Tournament.

Next fight put American Shane Oblonsky against Brazilian Marcus Vinicius, this was a strange fight because Vinicius actually threw zero kicks. He just tried to box Oblonsky's face off with big looping punches considering he was 7 inches shorter, he landed quite a few big punches, but Oblonsky's chin held up and he was constantly landing his big right hand leading to two knockdowns which moved him on to the Finals to face Varga.

Andy Ristie made short work of Ky Hollenbeck and honestly didn't even look like he was trying yet. He landed his signature step in right hand, then followed it with a stiff left jab/hook type punch then just watched as Hollenbeck wobbled and dropped his right hand, and landed a big left hook on the chin to end the fight in the first round. It was nice to see Ristie actually calm down and watch to land that last punch, he does hit ridiculously hard though, even without effort.

Now onto the Final of the Glory 4 man featherweight contender tournament and this fight was a war. Once again Varga came out with his tight defense and started wearing out Oblonsky, but Shane's technique was much tighter and cleaner in this fight than his last. Varga carried on pressing forward, keeping a high pace but he would sometimes break up the rhythm by throwing a spinning technique which really never landed, they were much too slow, every time he tried one I found myself hoping it was the last, and that he would use his energy into just beating on Oblonsky with leg kicks. In the last round both fighter's had very sore left legs, but neither of them decided to kick it nearly enough until Gabriel started smashing it in the last 30 seconds, which gave Gabriel Varga the hard earned unanimous decision victory, the Glory featherweight contender belt, and secured himself a spot in the Glory featherweight world title tournament.

Last fight on the Spike TV portion of the card was the 39 year old legend Mirko CroCop against the 274lbs, 24 year old Jarrell "Big Baby" Miller. I had high hopes for Miller in this fight, he has looked amazing in his last few professional boxing fights and I figured his hands would just be too good for CroCop. Truth is Millers hands very well may have been too good for the Croatian, if he actually threw them. Big baby decided he was going to kick, clinch, and knee the entire fight, which is basically CroCop's specialty. At one point Miller did land one knee that looked like it hurt CroCop but referee Big John McCarthy called it a low blow, replays showed otherwise in my eyes. It wasn't the most exciting fight, but still entertaining with the chance that Mirko could land his trademark left high kick at any point, and a few came very close to knocking Miller's head into the crowd. Mirko CroCop got the deserving unanimous decision putting an end to the controversy of his last fight with Big Baby.

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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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Daniel Ghita Fighting Brian Douwes on May 12th

Apparently Sebastian van Thielan woke up one day and realized he was going to be fighting one of the scariest men in the world of combat sports, because he went to It's Showtime and demanded more money for the May 12th fight in Belgium. It really is hard to blame him, as there really was not much of a chance for van Thielan against Daniel Ghita. That is not a knock on van Thielan as much as it is high praise for Daniel Ghita who looks like a complete monster right now.

Stepping in for van Thielan is Brian Douwes, who was last seen defeating Dzevad Poturak in SuperKombat in February of this year stopping him in the third round.

It's Showtime issued a press release stating that van Thielan had signed a bout agreement and the amount of money was agreed upon a long time ago and then wished him luck in the rest of his career. It is safe to assume that van Thielan appearing on future It's Showtime cards just went out the window for van Thielan.

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2010 LiverKick.com Fans' Fight of the Year

  • Published in Video

Zambidis_Chahid2010 was a rough year for K-1 MAX.  Three of the division's very top stars fought their (for now) last MAX fights in 2009, including Masato, the man MAX had been built around from the start.  Shows were planned, then canceled.  Only two qualifying Grand Prixs were held, and one of those 2 never aired.  Half of the Final 16 fights were shoved onto the 63kg GP finals almost as an afterthought, and at one time, there were rumors that the 2010 MAX Grand Prix might not even happen.  Fans of MAX were looking at the year as somewhat of a disaster.

That changed on October 3.  Amidst all this chaos and confusion, the MAX Final 16 event in Seoul was a grand slam of an event - an all around fantastic card with every fight delivering.  The next day, no one was talking about how K-1 MAX was struggling.  Instead, they were talking about what a show it was.  And they were talking about one fight.

That fight is your 2010 LiverKick.com Fans' Fight of the Year - "Iron" Mike Zambidis vs. Chahid Oulad El Hadj.

Coming into the event, this was a fight that on paper looked like it could be a good one.  Both Zambidis and Chahid are exciting fighters who like to push the pace and have turned in plenty of fun bouts.  But they are also two men whose presence in the Final 16 was questionable, as neither had claimed a significant K-1 win in some time.  From the moment the two men meet in center ring for the staredown, any concerns about them not belonging flew out the window.  Because right from the opening, you can tell this is going to be something special.  Both men looked hungry, out for redemption, and just plain pissed off.  They looked ready to tear into each other.  And that's exactly what they did.

For four epic rounds, Zambidis and Chahid engaged in an all out war.  By the end of the 3rd, the announcers are all on their feet waiting for the judges' decision.  By the end of the 4th, fans are already writing their friends telling them what they just saw.  And by the next morning, all the focus was on this classic.

Watching it now, I'm reminded of another all-time K-1 great contest - Ray Sefo vs. Mark Hunt (and if you've never seen that, watch it, seriously, now).  Like Sefo vs. Hunt, this is a fight that doesn't need any backstory.  It's a moment that stands on its own, where even if you've never heard of either man, the combination of heart, determination, technique, and aggression they show is enough to grab you.  At a time in combat sports where the UFC is the clear top dog, and where Dana White's love of wild stand-up brawling has come to define how many fans view stand-up action, this fight is a definitive example of what stand-up can be.  Yes it's a brawl, but it's also two supremely skilled fighters never losing track of the technique needed to fight at this level.  It's a fight every fan of Griffin vs. Bonnar, Garcia vs. The Korean Zombie, or countless other recent fights really owes it to themselves to watch.

Chances are good you've already seen this fight, probably more than once.  But as we say our final good-byes to 2010, do yourself a favor and watch it once more.  You'll thank yourself later.

A big thanks to all our fans who voted in this poll.  In the end, Zambidis vs. Chahid was the clear winner, drawing 34% of the vote.  #2 and #3 were only separated by a handful of votes, with the sentimental favorite Peter Aerts vs. Semmy Schilt at #2, and the battle of the new guard in Gokhan Saki vs. Daniel Ghita at #3.  For full results, click here, and don't forget to vote on our new polls every week here at LiverKick.com.

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Daniel Ghita vs. Rico Verhoeven the Fight to Make at Heavyweight

  • Published in Glory

Rico

So GLORY 13 is in the books now, where Nieky Holzken held onto the top spot in the Welterweight division, Peter Aerts showed that at 43 he's still one of the most exciting guys in the world to watch and two Heavyweights proved that they are without a doubt the two best Heavyweights in the world; Daniel Ghita and Rico Verhoeven. Rico Verhoeven kept his composure as Peter Aerts kept applying pressure and looking for the big knockout in a fight billed as his "Japanese retirement," able to land cleaner shots and pick up the decision victory. Earlier in the night Daniel Ghita met an old foe by the way of Errol Zimmerman and made shorter work than he did of him the first time.

For those who follow Heavyweight kickboxing, well, this all won't surprise you, but it does segue into what is the most logical match to make in the Heavyweight division right now; Daniel Ghita vs. Rico Verhoeven II. Rico Verhoeven is perhaps the fighter of the year for 2013, with wins over Jhonata Diniz, Errol Zimmerman, Gokhan Saki, Daniel Ghita and Peter Aerts, with Saki and Ghita being on the same night. It wasn't that no one believed that Verhoeven would ever reach such heights, it's that no one expected it to be this year, yet, that is exactly what happened.

For Daniel Ghita there has been a bit of a rollercoaster ride for him, including a heartbreaking loss to Semmy Schilt in the finals of the GLORY 4 Grand Slam last year, followed by a poor performance against Gokhan Saki. Ghita's personal life was beginning to get in the way of his professional life and there were a lot of changes for him, both in his family and in who he was training with. Ghita bounced back and the GLORY 11 Heavyweight tournament was going to be his shot at redemption, the only thing was that nobody told Rico Verhoeven that this was the narrative for the night.

For both men they are at the top of their respective games right now and the third man in the GLORY Heavyweight universe, Gokhan Saki, is most likely dropping down to Light Heavyweight or testing out non-GLORY waters once his contract is up. Then add in the imminent retirements of Peter Aerts, Remy Bonjasky and Semmy Schilt. This leaves Daniel Ghita and Rico Verhoeven as the lone goliaths atop of the Heavyweight Kickboxing world and with them only having met once before, which for Heavyweight kickboxing is incredibly rare. While seeing both in another tournament would be great, a single rematch to crown a king of the division seems like a more refined way for them to meet, as would bumping up the number of rounds to 5 or even 7 to really see who walks away as the winner.

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Photo of the Day: Daniel Ghita, Heavyweight Champion

As we always say, a picture says a thousand words, and for Daniel Ghita, he has reached the top of the mountain for the current Heavyweight Kickboxing landscape. The hope now is that Glory get their tournaments underway and get the biggest names in Kickboxing like they promised and that we can see Daniel Ghita involved in that. It wouldn't make sense to exclude him at this point.

Ghita Champion

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Weekly Poll Results

  • Published in Kickboxing

Results from last week's question: Who is K-1's greatest of all time?

42% - Peter Aerts

27% - Ernesto Hoost

11% - Semmy Schilt

9% - Andy Hug

7% - Remy Bonjasky

2% - Jerome Le Banner

2% - Ray Sefo

This week: Coming up this Saturday will be the first truly major card of 2011 as It's Showtime kicks off their year.  Headlining the event is a great top 10 battle with #8 Daniel Ghita vs. #9 Hesdy Gerges.  So, who wins?

Vote now!

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Weekly Poll Results

  • Published in Kickboxing

Last week we asked who would win the It's Showtime main event between Daniel Ghita and Hesdy Gerges. Your response...

66% - Ghita

34% - Gerges

Sorry LiverKick.com readers - you know we love you, but 66% of you were stumped this time. Of course, the fight was not without a bit of controversy as Ghita was considered knocked down after a low blow. So...

This Week's Question: How did you score the fight?

Vote now!

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More Changes to It's Showtime 57&58 on June 30th

IS

The It's Showtime card on June 30th has been a victim to the summer injury bug that MMA fans know all too well, especially Canadian UFC fans looking forward to UFC 149 (like Rian Scalia). A number of fighters on the It's Showtime event have had to drop out due to injuries or recent knockouts and being unable to receive medical clearance to fight. Then there is the case of Jerome Le Banner, who has been removed from the event completely due to some contractual situations, rumored to be his exclusive contract with Glory Sports International.

Rustemi Kreshnik will be filling in for Le Banner against Mourad Bouzidi, in a rematch where Bouzidi got the better of Kreshnik last time. We've already reported that Daniel Ghita's new opponent is Dzevad Poturak, in another series of unfortunate replacements for Ghita over the past few months. They have met twice before, with Poturak getting the better of a younger Ghita years ago, but many are sure that Poturak will not have that same luck again. Harut Grigorian was unable to receive medical clearance to fight, so he will be replaced by Hafid el Boustati against Robin van Roosmalen.

You can see the rest of the finalized card here.

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