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Dave Walsh

Dave Walsh

Dave Walsh has been covering MMA and Kickboxing since 2007 before changing his focus solely to Kickboxing in 2009, launching what was the only English-language site dedicated to giving Kickboxing similar coverage to what MMA receives. He was the co-founder of HeadKickLegend and now LiverKick. He resides in Albuquerque, New Mexico where he works as a writer of all trades.

His first novel, the Godslayer, is available now

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VIDEO: Artur Kyshenko vs. Radoslaw Paczuski

Leave it to Artur Kyshenko to keep busy, right? Yesterday Kyshenko fought at the KOK WGP 2014 event in Gdansk against Radoslaw Paczuski in a night that also saw Sergei Laschenko take a Heavyweight tournament. Go ahead and check out Kyshenko's performance and let us know what you thought. Kyshenko has been hit-or-miss at times and jumped around weight classes. 

Photo of the Day: Aerts and Hoost Stare Down

There is so much history between Peter Aerts and Ernesto Hoost, with most of it taking place in the K-1 ring. This weekend in Japan the two will meet in a WKO ring; World Kumite Organization. It doesn't matter if you haven't heard of it before, it doesn't matter if both Aerts and Hoost are older, this is pure nostalgia on so many levels and a chance for a final in-ring chapter to play out between two of the all-time greats in K-1 history. 

Most of our attention over the past few years has been on the future and present stars, but it is safe to say that most of us wouldn't be here right now as fans if it weren't for Peter Aerts and Ernesto Hoost. 

Badr Hari Getting Mystery Opponent for GFC 4, Quateron Not Conducive to 'Family Environment'

Over the past few days rumors have been swirling around that Badr Hari vs. Patrice Quateron would not happen at GFC 4, that Badr Hari had refused to fight Quateron. Of course most of that came from Quateron and his camp, who are very vocal on social media. Today GFC and Badr Hari released a statement in regards to the event.

According to this statement Badr Hari will be fighting at GFC 4, just against a mystery opponent. The explanation as to why he isn't fighting Patrice Quateron? Patrice was not conducive to a "family environment" that GFC was going for with their promotion. I don't even know. Decipher that for yourself.

Badr Hari Rumor to Have Pulled Out of GFC 4 Fight with Patrice Quateron

Okay now, do this with me, breathe deep. Exhale. Good. The past few days have been marred by the confusing antics of Buakaw Banchamek in Thailand and for now we as a whole are moving on from that story. What are we moving on to? Apparently Badr Hari drama. Badr Hari drama is always the least shocking thing in the world of kickboxing and it is the thing that keeps him from appearing in the ring with top competition like everyone would like to see.

On October 16th Badr Hari was scheduled to meet Patrice Quateron at GFC 4 in Dubai. Things began to get fishy in the lead-up to the event when Quateron released a recording of a conversation between Mike Passenier and himself where Passenier attempted to pay Quateron to pull out of the fight and to accept another opponent. The promise was that they would instead fight in Morocco under a show promoted by Kader Marouf for bigger money and a bigger audience. 

Instead of "playing ball" with them, Quateron released the phone call to the public and peppered it with insults to Badr's manhood. At the press conference earlier today Badr Hari was a no-show, leaving Quateron dressed in a silly costume with no one to troll. Shame.

According to our friends at MixFight, RTL7 is no longer airing the event and are claiming that Badr Hari has pulled out of the fight against Quateron. It's still not 100% clear considering that whomever is handling Badr Hari's social media posted just a few moments ago that Badr fights in two days. They might not have gotten the memo or maybe Badr has already fallen out of favor with them. There's also a chance that he's still fighting, who knows.

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

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.

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

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.

Danyo Ilunga Replaces Artem Vakhitov at GLORY 18

It's time to focus on something a bit more productive, don't you think? What could be more productive than GLORY 18's Light Heavyweight Contender tournament set to take place on November 7th in Oklahoma City? With less than a month to go there has been a major change to the event with Artem Vakhitov suffering a minor injury. While Vakhitov will be fine to compete in a few weeks this injury has made it difficult for him to prepare for the fight in November, with him having to pull out.

His replacement is none other than former It's Showtime 95kg Champion Danyo Ilunga of Germany. Ilunga was a finalist in the GLORY 9 Light Heavyweight tournament where he fought Tyrone Spong in a fight that saw Spong victorious. Since then Ilunga has had two first round stoppages within the GLORY ring and most than deserves this spot in the tournament. 

VIDEO: Sergei Kharitonov Scores TKO Victory Over Braddock Silva in Russia

So there is a lot going on in the world of punching and kicking today, including the W5 event in Russia that saw a rematch from GLORY 16 of Sergei Kharitonov vs. Anderson "Braddock" Silva. Braddock came into the fight looking bulked up from when we saw him previously and Kharitonov was ready for Braddock this time around. 

It was strikingly similar to the last time that the two met, with it being Braddock's fight to lose. It was, as the kids would say, #HeavyweightKickboxing. As round two wore on Kharitonov was taking more shots than he was blocking, but he was able to corner Braddock and strong arm him back into the ropes where he landed a shot that put him down, with the ref calling the fight.

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

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. 

K-1 World MAX Finals Live Results

The K-1 World MAX Finals are live now, with K-1 airing four of the fights live right now. You can watch it right here on LiverKick. I am with headache, so be gentle. We'll be keeping you updated both here and on Twitter so stay tuned.

K-1 World MAX Final: Enriko Kehl (R4 - Forfeit) Buakaw Banchamek - This fight was close. Kehl was landing the clean shots while Buakaw was using his clinch to throw Kehl around. While that is all well and good, that doesn't score you points in K-1 rules. Buakaw should know that. When it was announced as a draw going into an extra round Buakaw literally walked out. Not kidding, he walked out. Probably some of the least professional behavior that we've seen in a long time, especially on this level. Enriko Kehl wins via forfeit. Wow.

Paul “Semtex” Daley (R3 - Dec.) Mohammad Ghaedibardeh - Ghaedibardeh is a tough, tough guy who took a ton of damage. His reach was pretty crazy and he was using his kicks to keep Daley pushed back. If you could give Ghaedibardeh round one, rounds two and three were all Daley, with Daley dropping him twice in R2 and once in R3. I mean, there was no question that Daley won, but you gotta give Ghaedibardeh credit for staying in the fight.

Maximo Suarez (R2 - TKO) Tural Bayramov - This fight started off strong with both guys looking for the knockout early on. Suarez dropped Tural early on in R1 and it looked like Tural injured his arm at some point. Tural came back for R2 but was unable to continue, giving Maximo the victory.

Andre “Dida” Amade (R3 - Dec.) Li Yankun - This served as Andre Dida's return to professional competition after a few years away from the ring. Needless to say he looked good, but there was some ring rust. Yankun is an up-and-coming Chinese fighter who showed a few flashes of brilliance, but ultimately fell short to Dida. 

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