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Andre Dida to Return to Fighting This Summer

  • Published in Kickboxing

Dida

Andre Dida is one of those guys that most of us know from our time staying up super late to watch Japanese events from here in the United States and rightfully so. Dida cut his teeth in Brazil before being called up by K-1 for their HERO*s organization, where he took place in their first Lightweight GP. Dida, who was a relative unknown to Japanese fans at the time, made it all the way to the Finals. From there he went on to appear in DREAM as well as K-1 MAX.

His K-1 MAX stint was weird, to say the least, as K-1 threw him to the wolves early on, so to speak. His first fight was a crazy KO, so then he was moved up in competition. When I say moved up, I mean that his second K-1 fight was against Buakaw Banchamek (then Por. Pramuk). What was crazy was that he nailed Buakaw with some great shots, Buakaw was a king at the time. Buakaw went on to win via decision in an extra round, but Dida earned some serious respect there. He had two more fights in K-1 after that, both of which were still steep climbs up the talent ranks, against Yuichiro Nagashima and Hinata Watanabe.

Dida announced his return today, claiming that he not only wanted to come back to MMA, but to Kickboxing. I'm not sure that he'd be able to just jump right into the deep waters at 70kg right away, but if GLORY or K-1 were to pick him up they'd be able to build him up until he's comfortable and see where he stands, at least. Dida is planning this comeback with Champions Sports Management based out of Stoney Creek, Ontario, a brand of House of Champions gym, headed by Alin Halmagean and Nenad Kuruc.

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Ghita vs. Verhoeven II Trailer

  • Published in Glory

On June 21st Daniel Ghita and Rico Verhoeven will meet in the ring for the second time, this time with the GLORY Heavyweight Championship on the line, making it an even bigger deal. Ghita vs. Verhoeven II will headline the GLORY Last Man Standing PPV event -- immediately following GLORY 17 on Spike TV -- which could be GLORY's biggest event to date. 

So here is a look at GLORY's preview of Ghita vs. Verhoeven II, which I'd consider a good way to kick off your day.

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Badr Hari Files His Appeal in the Netherlands

  • Published in Kickboxing

Badr

International Kickboxing megastar Badr Hari might have been convicted over a week ago of multiple violent crimes, but that doesn't mean that he'll exactly be doing any time just yet. Both the prosecution and defense have made it clear that they both are looking to file appeals; the defense that Badr is already reformed and shouldn't serve time, the prosecution that the police mishandled the trial. Badr Hari is up first as Badr Hari and his lawyer, Benedicte Ficq, have filed an official appeal.

It is clear that Badr Hari's legal problems are far from over and that we can expect this to haunt Badr Hari in the coming months. Do not expect any major Kickboxing organization to want much to do with Hari until all of these issues are solved, because it will be difficult to book Hari with confidence until everything has come to a conclusion. [source]

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Watch Combate Americas Episode Two Featuring Joe Valtellini

  • Published in Glory

Combate Americas is a reality TV show based around MMA, but with a Latino twist to it. It makes sense, since nobody within the MMA world has really tapped that market just yet, but it is still a risk for the young Combate Americas. Episode two features GLORY Welterweight Joe Valtellini as a trainer, so watch as they compete on the show, including weird American Gladiators jousting stuff, and get a glimpse of Valtellini in action.

Joe is a rad dude, so I suggest watching to support him.

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The Humanity Behind the Gods of War

  • Published in Interviews

He sat alone, inconspicuous to the fans around him and to the action inside of the ring, just off to the side of the stage. It was the first seat in the first row right behind the barrier next to the stage. Those were the seats that intentionally weren’t filled and had played host to a revolving-door of fighters and entourages throughout the night. This was the place where the winners and losers found themselves after their night had ended just to watch the show, this was where Ben Edwards found himself moments after Errol Zimmerman had put him down and out in the first round of their fight.

Edwards was sporting a pair of sweatpants and a sweatshirt, looking calm, collected, not tired at all or like he had just been involved in a fight of any kind. He may have been knocked out, but his face lacked the markings of someone who had just taken a series of punches to it. A fan or two in the crowd might have yelled out his name, but he was incognito, almost removed from the event entirely. I watched as he shook his head at the sight of Pat Barry going down for a second time, getting his brains scrambled. Edwards distinctly understood the disappointment that Barry was going through at that moment.

Sometimes it is difficult to humanize the guys that train their hearts out for our entertainment, difficult to understand their sacrifices that they make and how after the bell has rung, they are just as human as you or I are. Today I rolled out of bed facing a ten-year old car that decided not to start, just one month shy now of a wedding that is costing a lot more than we had initially projected. It’s just another cost and another inconvenience among many of late for me. Yesterday was also a day where a job that owes me seven months of pay sent me one month and asked if I’d start working again. I hate saying no, in just about any situation, but I barely have time to collect my thoughts right now, never mind work for a promise while the bills stack up.

It’s safe to say that some days I understand what Ben Edwards was thinking about as he sat there at GLORY 16 in Broomfield, Colorado quite well. I introduced myself to him as he sat there, alone, taking in the atmosphere. He looked relaxed, calm, a bit embarrassed to be found out in his seat. We stood about the same height, similar build, but one of us was just a God of War who was now adjusting to life as a mortal again. That guy was having a rough night. Ben was quick to apologize, to say that he made a mistake, that he got sloppy, but I assured him that it was no big deal and that he’s come so far in the past few years. He knows that I’ve been following his career and knows that I’m quick to talk up his technical evolution over the past few years. We talked about his technical breakdown of Catalin Morosanu from a few months prior before I left him to stew in his thoughts, knowing that having a rough night means that conversation can be laborious -- especially moments after being humanized.

Raymond Daniels, who fought on the undercard, was walking around the floor of the arena where fans were shouting out his name and stopping to take photos with him while Ben Edwards sat watching Errol Zimmerman walking to the ring again. I won’t even pretend to understand his thought process at the moment, although I could make some educated guesses. I myself found the surreal in seeing Edwards sitting there, watching Zimmerman walk to the ring, Daniels being mobbed, while Josh Jauncey and his brother Jay walked by with Andy Souwer in tow and everyone seemed completely unaware of the gravity and sheer madness of the situation.

All I could think is that Edwards was seconds away from being that guy walking to the ring. Edwards was raining down punishment on Zimmerman, but got caught, so here he is, in the stands, watching the world turn without him, a mortal like the rest of us. On that night he was far from home and all of the countries that he’d been to, all of the big shows that he’s fought on, all of the accolades that he had gained throughout his career didn’t matter, he was just another guy who had a rough night on the job. He was just another observer. There was a strong disconnect from victory and defeat.

We talk about these fighters from a distance, we weigh their perceived value and potential matchups. We place them in numbered lists and assign them value based on the last time that we saw them, but sometimes forget to humanize them and relate them to our own day-to-day struggles. Today I woke up thinking about all of the work that I had waiting for me, quickly dismissing messages on my phone asking when I’d have an article up or if I saw their last message. Sometimes I consider changing professions, pulling away from the sliver of the public eye that I have and the abuse that I open myself to daily. I know that I’m not alone in thinking that, either.

The other day Ben Edwards posted on his Facebook that he was available to dog-sit for anyone in his town that needed it. There was a hint of playfulness in it, just like changing his occupation to “Dog Sitter,” but Ben is already back at work training for an upcoming fight. Just like I continue on, Ben Edwards continues on, re-assimilating himself into the image that the world knows him in. The world keeps turning and Ben Edwards is making sure that he’s not just along for the ride, but for one night he was a human being whose hopes and dreams were as fragile and elusive as our own all are. That night I saw Ben Edwards be larger-than-life in the ring, fighting as one of the best Heavyweight in the world against one of the best Heavyweights in the world, then saw him as a vulnerable guy who was much more than the public’s image of him, the promotion’s image of him, my image of him or his own image of himself.

He’s the amalgamation of those images and he’s not them at all, just like we all are.

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GLORY 16 Denver Weigh-in Video

  • Published in Glory

GLORY

GLORY 16 Denver is close, so close that I can smell it. Wait, I'm not sure that smell is the smell of professional Kickboxing, but none the less, Saturday, May 3rd from the 1stBank Center in Broomfield, Colorado GLORY 16 will air live on Spike TV. The weigh-ins went down Friday in the Denver area and you can catch up on all of the action while you get ready for Saturday night at 9pm Eastern time.

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Glory Last Man Standing: Alex "Po Atan" Pereira Hype Video

  • Published in Glory

Alex Pereira burst on to the kickboxing scene at Glory 14 in Zagreb, Croatia by first knocking out Dustin Jacoby in amazing fashion, then moving on to the finals against Sahak Parparyan and beating him by majority decision. He took the middleweight contender tournament belt back to Brazil and looked very impressive considering this was the first time most of us had seen him.

Now the question is, how will Pereira do with #1 ranked Artem Levin? This will no doubt be the biggest name, probably the best fighter he has ever fought, and tournament favourite. Levin has shown in some of his previous fights that his slippery style with his hands down by his waist can sometimes leave him vulnerable for long straight punches, and this is what Po Atan does best. There is also the factor of Levin looking past Pereira because he has unfinished business with others in the tournament. This would be dangerous for Levin as Pereira has very a long reach, with hard straight punches,if just one lands, it could make for a great night for the Brazilian.

 

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Lion Fight 16 to Take Part in UFC International Fight Week

  • Published in Muay Thai

Kevin Ross

UFC's International Fight Week is set for the first week in July, culminating with two, back-to-back events on the weekend. The whole week promises to be full of UFC-related events, but what is interesting is that today Lion Fight announced that Lion Fight 16 would take place on July 4th in Las Vegas as an official part of UFC's International Fight Week. The event will happen at the Pearl at the Palms and have the UFC's official endorsement, meaning that it will be a part of UFC's International Fight Week in a big way.

The event is set to be headlined by Kevin Ross vs. Michael Thompson for Lion Fight's Super Lightweight Championship. Tiffany Van Soest will be the co-main event of the evening with her opponent to be announced in the near future, it will also see Rungravee Sasiprasa make his debut. The event will be broadcast on AXS TV, per usual.

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Weekend Results: Enfusion April 5th

  • Published in Europe

Enfusion

In what was a busy weekend for the Kickboxing world, Enfusion LIVE held an event in The Hague, Netherlands this Saturday that saw their unique blend of younger and established fighters putting on quite a show for the crowd.

  • Paolo Renna (R3 - Dec.) Reda Narain
  • Marieke Post (R3 - Dec.) Kristy Ooms
  • Ismael Benali (R3 - Dec.) Kevin Miruka
  • Hicham El Gaoui (R2 - TKO) Andrii Panov
  • Mohamed Boubkari (R4 - KO) Sam Tevette
  • Enfusion -67kg World Title: Mohammed Jaraya (R2 - TKO) Mohamed Galaoui

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