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Buakaw Banchamek Walks Out, Enriko Kehl Claims K-1 World MAX Championship

  • Published in K-1

Truly fascinating night in Thailand tonight as K-1 held the K-1 World MAX Finals to crown the K-1 MAX Champion. That champion will hold the K-1 MAX/70kg Championship and go on to defend it against all comers. Many believed that Buakaw Banchamek couldn't lose against Enriko Kehl, especially after the showing last year that saw Buakaw dismantle Kehl and pick up a decision. What happened in the fight was much stranger than fiction, that is for sure.

Enriko Kehl came into the fight focused and was landing clean combinations and shots on Banchamek. Buakaw spent most of the fight catching Kehl's kicks or clinching him then dumping him to the mat. That led to Buakaw being in control in the ring, but not landing anything significant. Many believed that this would assure Buakaw an easy victory against Kehl, but in what is typical K-1 fashion when a fight is close, it was ruled a draw. Before anyone goes into conspiracy theory mode, those trips, dumps and clinches don't score points in K-1 rules. The official K-1 rules are that a clinch must be immediately broken or that a single knee can be thrown from a one-handed clinch. That is just the rules. 

The fight was to go to an extension round, the only problem was that Buakaw was nowhere to be seen. Buakaw, along with his trainers and manager Yim, left the ringside area when they found out that there would be an extension round. Buakaw, who has fought in extension rounds in K-1 numerous times now, knows how it works, so there really was no reason for him to storm out. If you were paying attention to Banchamek's social media and to the news leading into the fight, this behavior won't seem that odd to you, as Banchamek had gone to the press numerous times in the lead-up to this event with some interesting stories. Those stories include doubts as to K-1's legitimacy, him wondering if he'd be paid the money that he'd get from fighting in the event and even claiming that K-1 was involved in illegal gambling on the event. 

Curiously it was all done in front of a Top King banner, with Top King being the latest Thai promotion that Buakaw has signed with after falling out with Yokkao, Thai Fight and MAX Muay Thai over the years. Buakaw was nowhere to be seen and the fight was ruled in favor of Enriko Kehl due to disqualification via forfeit. All of the credit in the world goes to Enriko Kehl who very clearly learned from their first encounter and made improvements and adjustments to meet the Thai legend on Thai soil in a fight that no one thought that he could win. 

Regardless of anyone's opinion on if the extra round was deserved or not, this was unprofessional behavior from Banchamek and not the first time that he had done something similar in K-1 (see the Zhou Zhi Peng fight in December 2013 in China).

UPDATE: If you watch the video above it is clear that Buakaw and his team left before the decision was even rendered. We received confirmation that Buakaw and his team left immediately after round three ended and jumped into a car without a word to anyone else. 

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Watch the K-1 World MAX Finals Here Live on October 11th

  • Published in K-1

On October 11th in Pattaya, Thailand the K-1 World MAX Finals is scheduled to happen between Buakaw Banchamek and Enriko Kehl. The show will also see the debut of Paul "Semtex" Daley in the K-1 ring. Join us live on October 11th to watch the event. The broadcast begins at 11:45am Eastern time on October 11th. 

K-1 World MAX Final: Buakaw Banchamek vs. Enriko Kehl

Paul “Semtex” Daley vs. Mohammad Ghaedibardeh

Rungravee Sasiprapa vs. Dennis Puric

Andrei Kubelin vs. Lee Sung Hyun

Maximo Suarez vs. Tural Bayramov

Andre “Dida” Amade vs. Li Yankun

Artem Pashporin vs. Petmongkol Thor. Thesputin

Xei Lei vs. Yoshimoto

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K-1 Global Fires Back After Buakaw Banchamek's Confusing Claims

  • Published in K-1

My god, this whole Buakaw fiasco, right? 

If you are somehow blissfully unaware of what happened, on Saturday night at the K-1 World MAX Finals in Pattaya Buakaw Banchamek ran out of the building after the third round of the fight into an awaiting car, taking off without uttering a word to anyone in the arena. The only interaction that was documented was Buakaw walking over to his opponent, Enriko Kehl while his manager, Yim, shouted at the K-1 Thailand organizer from the ring before they were both ghosts. 

K-1 officials were prepared for something to go wrong in regards to Buakaw, considering that he spent the entire time after he was paid on September 22nd running the promotion down in the press, including making various claims against the company and attempting to link them to online gambling, but what happened was truly something that no one could have prepared for. The claims from Banchamek and his supporters have ranged from possible fight fixing, K-1 owning a gambling site being used to fix the fight, last minute rule changes and fear for lack of payment. 

Most of the claims have been unsubstantiated, including the fear of lack of payment considering that he was paid full and upfront weeks before the event. The gambling claims seemed like a misunderstanding, a straw man argument, if you will. K-1 was sponsored by a betting company based in Australia, but clearly had no ownership stake in the company and the site follows all regulations and will not accept bets from nations like Thailand where online gambling is illegal. 

If you were to objectively view the situation, you'd see Banchamek's shifting story, his association with a rival promoter who was upset with K-1's attempted advance into Thailand, you'd find it difficult to buy into it without any solid evidence. A press conference was scheduled for Monday afternoon in Thailand from Banchamek but never materialized, instead K-1's Ned Kuruc spoke with media where he denied claims of rule changes or links to illegal gambling at the event. Sadly this has become a game of he-said, she-said and the court of popular opinion online has already formed their opinions.

K-1 released a statement earlier today that hammered home the point that they are claiming to have not had any part in any sort of shady business dealings for this event and that if Banchamek chooses to continue with unsubstantiated claims against the company that they will pursue legal action. Messy, messy stuff.

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K-1 World MAX 2011 70kg Japan Tournament FINAL on September 25

  • Published in Kickboxing

World MAXK-1's recent purchase was bound to lead to more announcements and speculation, and outside of the rumor of the K-1 World Grand Prix Final 16 in October, there has actually been another show scheduled for September, which is looking to be the K-1 World MAX Japan tournament finals for the 70kg weight class. This is the tournament that would usually happen around February, but due to K-1's problemed year, this tournament will be happening in September instead. We've already seen a few fights in this "tournament" and are set to see the rest of the tournament unfold on the 25th of September.

It will happen in Osaka, Japan on September 25 with a host of participants planned for the show; Albert Kraus, Yuya Yamamot, Yuichiro "Jienotsu" Nagashima, Yasuhiro Kido, Yuta Kubo, Kizaemon Saiga, Yuji Nashiro, KENTA, Takafumi Morita, YOSHI and Takeshi Yokoyama. As you can tell, a mix of -63kg fighters and 70kg fighters, so it won't strictly be the 70kg tournament, much like there were MAX/70kg fights at the -63kg tournament.

It should also be noted that if K-1 wanted to hold a World MAX tournament around that time it would be impossible for them, as It's Showtime is promoting their Fast and Furious 70kg MAX tournament on September 24th. It will be two incredible days for kickboxing for sure. [source]

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LiverKick.com Rankings - June 2012

  • Published in Rankings
June 2012 June 2012 June 2012

Heavyweight

1. Semmy Schilt
2. Daniel Ghita
3. Badr Hari
4. Gokhan Saki
5. Errol Zimmerman
6. Peter Aerts
7. Sergei Laschenko
8. Rico Verhoeven
9. Hesdy Gerges
10. Tyrone Spong
Light Heavyweight
1. Artem Levin
2. Hicham el Gaoui
3. Alexander Oleynik
4. Dmitry Shakuta
5. Alexander Stretsurenko
6. Simon Marcus
7. Artem Vakhitov
8. Constantin Tutu
9. Yordan Yankov
10. Yoann Kongolo
Middleweight
1. Giorgio Petrosyan
2. Robin van Roosmalen
3. Artur Kyshenko
4. Andy Souwer
5. Jury Bessmertny
6. Sudsakorn Sor. Klinmee
7. Frank Giorgi
8. Andy Ristie
9. Abraham Roqueni
10. Shemsi Beqiri
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Could Shootboxer RENA's Popularity Help FEG?

  • Published in Kickboxing

RENAI'm not sure if what I'm posing at this point is a rhetorical at this point or if it actually has value. Recently SHOOTBOXING Girls S-Cup 2009 and 2010 champ Rena Kubota (simply called RENA) made a television appearance on the Female Athletes TV show on TBS, and the ratings she scored for her segment were quite positive. The overall rating for the show was 11.8%, with RENA's segment where she embarrassed three male comedians in the ring received a staggering 16.8%.

RENA, to say the least, has proven that she has the attention of Japan's fickle audiences, and once again on a show featuring female athletes from different sports, was able to prove that combat sports can be seen as "cool." This is immensely important for combat sports. Recently, @DanHerbertson, @Kuri_Kinton and myself (@LiverKickdotcom) had a discussion about the future of combat sports in Japan. Stuart Tonkin (Kuri Kinton), of course, for the uninitiated has been in Japan for ages and does work for K-1, while Herbertson is MMAFighting.com's Japan reporter.

The talk came on the heels of Herbertson and myself discussing TBS and FEG's future, which at this point is a big unknown. TBS had a two year deal with FEG that expired at Dynamite!!, which means as of right now the future of K-1 MAX and DREAM are uncertain on television. This of course could all be idle talk and TBS picks FEG programming back up and simply alters the contract a bit, but if they opt out it is incredibly uncertain for the future. K-1 MAX was the brainchild of FEG and TBS, used mainly to capitalize on the popularity of Japanese Middleweight kickboxer Masato. Masato scaled back his participation and soon retired, leaving MAX in a bad spot.

Then there is DREAM. DREAM is essentially a venture between FEG and what we all knew as DSE. If you don't remember DSE, think back to PRIDE. K-1 currently resides on Fuji TV, who killed off PRIDE's programming after the yakuza scandal DSE had and refuse to associate with that again. This means even if Fuji TV, who have a great relationship with Kazuyoshi Ishii, pick up K-1 MAX, DREAM might be without a home.

Are you following where RENA comes into play yet? Satoshi Ishii's popularity is in the balance right now, and if he disappears again for a prolonged period of time or says something ridiculously stupid in interviews, well, that is it for Ishii. Ishii really needs better handlers, but then again, that won't change anything now. With proper management from the beginning we wouldn't have these issues with Ishii. K-1 has used RENA before, in 2009 she participated in their Korean MAX show where she had a tough extra round decision loss to Su Jeong Lim after being promoted as one of the show's headliners.

RENA has rebound, though, having an incredible 10-fight win streak after that loss and taking two SHOOTBOXING tournaments, which is nothing short of spectacular. For TBS to feel comfortable with further FEG programming, they need some sort of star to push, a Japanese star, and there have not been any outside of Ishii that have presented themselves. If you think back, since the fall of PRIDE there have been no stars created, everything has been left over from PRIDE and earlier K-1 success. Using a female fighter like RENA might not attract the crowd that Japanese broadcasters and sponsors are looking for, but it will bring in viewers. At least until they finally find that "next Masato" they are grasping at straws for. There is a very, very good chance that K-1's KOSHIEN division, which we all laughed at years ago, can provide that next big star for them. There have already been a few fighters not named HIROYA who have come from the KOSHIEN program who have gone on to have success and could be huge stars. [source]

Video of RENA's appearance after the break.

 

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K-1 Global Formally Announces World MAX Final 16

  • Published in K-1

K-1 Rising

The information regarding K-1 is really beginning to pour out and in a hurry. The show that we all knew was happening has finally been formally announced by the new owners of K-1. LiverKick took some time today to speak with Doug Kaplan, the head of K-1 Global, and were impressed with what we heard. A part of K-1's big push today involves this press announcement which was sent out to the media today. This announcement solidifies the names that we've seen kicked around for the MAX tournament, with a few spots still open.

To read the full press release, head here.

The big news are the participants in the K-1 World MAX Final 16 so far, which we have the names of twelve fighters, with four spots still being negotiated. Also there are a few Heavyweight Superfights being planned, with some absolutely huge names in talks to fight. Hopefully we'll have more on that next week.

Andy Souwer (Holland)

Mike Zambidis (Greece)

Drago (Armenia)

Artur Kyshenko (Ukraine)

Yasuhiro Kido (Japan)

Yuji Nashiro (Japan)

Su Hwan Lee (Korea)

Abraham Roqueni (Spain)

Chahid (Morocco)

Longern Superpro Samui (Thai)

Harut Grigorian (Belgium)

Chris Ngimbi (Congo)

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Bas Boon Issues Statement Regarding His Beef with K-1, It's Showtime, FEG, Etc.

  • Published in Kickboxing

Bas BoonToday is an interesting day for Kickboxing news, as I wake up to see that Robin van Roosmalen, a Golden Glory fighter announced for the May 26th card in Sweden, has signed with It's Showtime and K-1 and will participate on the May 27th card for K-1 instead. This seems like the first brick of Glory's wall being ripped out, and yet another volley in the ongoing war between Simon Rutz and Bas Boon. On top of that, Bas Boon issued a statement in regards to, well, everything that has been going on. As always, Bas Boon is not afraid to name names, make wild accusations and include a lot of links to articles.

We have reached out to K-1 Global for comment and will update as soon as we hear back.

NOTE: It should be noted that this is completely Bas Boon, does not reflect LiverKick.com's opinions, beliefs or anything of the sort. It should also be mentioned that there is a section claiming that we "removed" an article. That link works, the article is still there.

Interview with Bas Boon by Tadashi Tanaka the japanese journalist who broke the story in 2006 in the Japanese magazine Shukan Gendai (Weekly Gendai) containing allegations that the Pride Fighting Championships, once the largest mixed martial arts organization in the world, was actually owned by the Yakuza, Japanese organized crime. Pride shows were dropped by Fuji TV, a major national broadcast network in Japan. Pride eventually went under".

On April 5th Tokyo time, Mr. Tanikawa issued a press release regarding the establishment of a new K-1 by K-1 Global Holdings as well as his resignation from K-1 FEG.  I will summarize what he said and point out some grave errors of fact he has made. To recap the facts:

1. Golden Glory has filed a petition in Japan to have FEG declared bankrupt

2. The petition was filed by us on March 14, 2012 in the Tokyo District Court

3. FEG is no longer financially sound, and is unable to pay its creditors, including KOI (Knockout Investments, N.V.), which is owed in excess of $1 Million. Including other parties who are also owed money by FEG the amount may exceed $30 million.

4. Despite repeated promises to pay, Mr. Tanikawa of FEG stated in writing on Feb. 9, 2012 that it has released its employees and has no funds to pay KOI.

5. Golden Glory and its fighters have suffered damages resulting from FEG’s failure to pay

6. Golden Glory has filed this petition to seek the Court’s protection to find and secure any assets of FEG which should be used to repay its creditors

7. A company called EMCOM Holdings issued an announcement dated Jan.31, 2012 that it had acquired a Hong Kong registered company called K-1 Global Holdings and had funded this company to take over the loans made by a Japanese company called Barbizon connected to Kazuyoshi Ishii. Barbizon had security for its loans to FEG, this security was over the trademarks of K-1 (owned by Ishii) and the historical K-1 fight footage (owned by FEG): http://www.hd.emcom.jp/en/pdf/20120131_002.pdf

8. As a creditor of FEG, Golden Glory is concerned that some transactions will drain FEG of its remaining assets and goodwill and leave the creditors with nothing. We hope that this bankruptcy proceeding will also lead to an opportunity to shed light on the parties and what is really going on with the K-1 brand. We just want to get our athletes paid what they are owed by K-1.

We suspect the original intention for K-1/FEG was to not pay us, so all the fighters would quit and not be under the management of Golden Glory or It's showtime anymore.

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Details on Golden Glory's Role in FIKA and Sem Schilt is Unhappy With Golden Glory

  • Published in K-1

So there is still no news about FIKA yet since the original press release and press conference that they held. There was pomp and lots of circumstances involved, lots of celebrities and amongst the sea of new Chinese investors, actors and Master Ishii, Sem Schilt and Bas Boon stood out in an event without any Europeans. LiverKick.com has been talking to a lot of people close to FIKA and Golden Glory, and by the sounds of it, we should know more "before Christmas." Sure, it is not an exact date by any stretch of the imagination, but I'd rather hear a vague outline of what is being worked on than a date that cannot be met.

We were talking with our friend in Europe Karel ten Haaf who runs the Kortsluiting blog who was able to confirm that mid-December is when we should have more details on FIKA and Golden Glory's involvement. Due to all of this, the next Glory World Series event might not happen until February 28th and the involvement of Semmy Schilt? That might not be entirely clear, either.

Karel spoke with Dave Jonkers, Sem Schilt's coach about Schilt's involvement, and it really does not seem all that clear what is going on with Schilt. Schilt has two films that he has worked on this year, Novalaya Zemyla and Black Out, with the first being a much bigger role. But when it comes to fighting, due to Golden Glory's involvement in K-1, Schilt apparently will not fight for either Golden Glory or K-1 until he sees the money that he is owed. This is a new development, especially with as little as a month ago Schilt was in China for the FIKA announcement. This is not the first time we've heard of someone under the management of Golden Glory being upset with them this year, but like the rest, hopefully it is resolved soon and everything can get back in motion.

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Buakaw's Legal Problems with Por Pramuk Continue

  • Published in Muay Thai

BUakaw

There were a lot of question marks going into this week's Thai Fight event featuring Buakaw Banchamek and if he'd be allowed to fight. Buakaw not only fought, but he brutalized his opponent with a massive second round stoppage before giving an emotional appeal to the crowd. An interesting note from the show was that he was still being called "Buakaw Por. Pramuk," especially with Buakaw taking a lot of time to distance himself from the Por Pramuk camp, where all of the problems are coming from. There were a lot of reports coming from Thailand that Buakaw might be barred from competing, but fought he did. It turns out that Buakaw stepping into the ring might have opened himself and possibly Thai Fight up for some problems in the future.

The Bangkok Post is reporting that Pramuk Rojanatan and his son were preparing documents for a possible lawsuit and that there will be a press conference soon to discuss the issues. The Sports Authority of Thailand is threatening to suspend Buakaw as well as the Thai Fight organization for up to six months for violating the rules of the Boxing Act by not receiving clearance from Buakaw's camp of record.

No action will be taken until Por Pramuk files a grievance against Buakaw and Thai Fight.

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