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It's Time for the Smaller Weight Classes to Shine

  • Published in Kickboxing

Kickboxing has long been all about the heavyweight weight classes. If you were to ask anyone about K-1 the first thing that would come to mind would be the K-1 World Grand Prix. Of course, there is a good reason for that. When modern kickboxing in the form of K-1 began in Japan it was to appeal to the local audiences with a blend of Kyokushin, Karate and professional wrestling. The Japanese public was always attracted to the idea of the clash of titans (I mean, really, isn’t everybody?) so K-1 focused heavily on the Heavyweights. 

If you look at GLORY, SuperKombat and even promotions like Enfusion you’ll see that the focus is still largely on the heavier weight classes. No matter what Badr Hari is doing it is news, if Peter Aerts is in a pro wrestling match in Japan everyone cares and people still ask if Sem Schilt will ever return to the ring. Speculation over Alistair Overeem leaving the UFC to return to kickboxing has been healthy for his entire UFC run. Needless to say, the big guys draw eyeballs.

The one real anomaly is the rise of K-1’s MAX division in the 2000’s. It was an idea created to promote the handsome and talented MASATO originally, but the reality was that it created a good number of stars and helped to make something outside of Heavyweight sustainable. We’ve seen the rise of a few stars like Giorgio Petrosyan, Buakaw Banchamek, Andy Ristie, Robin van Roosmalen and many more. It’s Showtime helped to push forward with expanded weight classes and GLORY is continuing along the path with the Light Heavyweight and Middleweight classes a big focus over the last year.

If we look at other sports the focus isn’t always just on huge, lumbering titans, though. While American Football might have a few such characters, a lot of the time the smaller, more agile players end up a focal point. The home run sluggers in baseball might draw eyeballs, but not all baseball players are Mark Mcguire. In football (you know, soccer) it is even more clear that you don’t (and shouldn’t) be a giant to be successful. Look no further than some of the lines at betting at William Hill to see how diverse the playing field can be. 

At GLORY 20 Gabriel Varga and Mosab Amrani will compete for the GLORY Featherweight Championship. It’s a solid first step, although there is confusion as to if this will air on the SuperFight Series or on Spike TV. Last that I’ve heard it was the SuperFight Series. Even so, it will be the headliner for that show that will air on CBS Sports Network and across the globe as its own show. 

Then, of course, is K-1’s 55kg World Grand Prix going down in Japan on April 19th. K-1 Japan has been putting out a steady stream of events featuring smaller weight classes and has been wildly entertaining. As long as the big players in kickboxing keep focusing on smaller weight classes there is still hope that the lighter, more technical and quick weight classes can shine in the near future. 

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It's Showtime's June 30th Event Moving to Brussels

There might come a time when the Netherlands may no longer be home to any big Kickboxing events at all, and we are fast approaching that time. Ultimate Glory used to run cards in Amsterdam, as did It's Showtime, and as time moves on, it appears that officials in the Netherlands have gotten their wish of no more martial arts events in their cities. It's Showtime was having some issues with recent events, including the December event that was cancelled on short notice and It's Showtime 55 this weekend under a threat from local officials. This weekend's event will go on without a hitch, but as for future events, it is not clear.

FightStarTV posted a video interview with Simon Rutz earlier where Simon discusses the BIBOB situation within the Netherlands and how difficult it is to promote within It's Showtime's home nation. This could ultimately result in It's Showtime packing up and moving their operations.

It looks like for the big upcoming Peter Aerts retirement event, which was scheduled to be held on June 30th in the Netherlands will no longer be in the Netherlands, and instead take place in Brussels, Belgium. This is a major win for the Belgian and a loss for the Dutch, and there are even rumbles of the whole operation moving to Belgium, where it is a lot more friendly to events. It's Showtime should be announcing the card for the June 30th event live during It's Showtime 55, so look forward to learning more on that show and more soon. [source]

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It's Showtime 59 in Tenerife Live Results

  • Published in Europe

It's Showtime

It's Showtime 59 is live from Tenerife, Spain in just a few moments here with a stacked card featuring fighters like Andy Souwer, Sergei Laschenko, Andy Ristie, Javier Hernandez and more. The event can be purchased from showtimefights.com for just 10 euros (about $12.50 USD). I will be live tweeting results at @liverkickdotcom as well.

Andy Ristie (R1 - KO) David Calvo - A brutal knee by Ristie that came up the middle put Calvo down very early in the first round and he was unable to answer the count. Props to Calvo for stepping in on late notice, but wow.

Amir Zeyada (Decision) Moises Ruibal - I have no clue what happened in this fight. Major technical difficulties.

Sergei Laschenko (R1 - KO) Danny Garcia

They now bring out Moises Ruibal and announce that the judges score cards were not rendered correctly, and that he is the rightful winner of the bout with Amir Zeyada.

Murthel Groenhert (R2 - Cut Stoppage) Maximo Suarez - Murthel looked a bit rough in R1, but was able to pull it together for the second round and open a nasty cut on Suarez for the finish.

61kg Championship: Masahiro Yamamoto (R5 - Decision) Sergio Hernandez - Masahiro Yamamoto was completely on point throughout the fight. His knees were doing a lot of damage and keeping Hernandez off balance while his hands did a bulk of the work.

Andy Souwer (R3 - Decision) Zeben Diaz - Diaz put up a really great fight, almost a dead even fight with Souwer, but the third round was truly a deciding factor for both men. Souwer rocked Diaz with a right hand which more or less sealed the fate of the bout. Diaz is really a legitimately good fighter.

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John Wayne Parr vs. Ky Hollenbeck Set for Feb. 2012

  • Published in Muay Thai

If you are a fan of John Wayne Parr (and by all means, you should be), it has been a bit of a rollercoaster year to say the least. According to JWP himself, 2011 was his final year as a fighter. He had achieved everything that he wanted to and was going to ride off into the sunset. Then something happened, JWP was picking up wins, big wins, and retirement did not seem like that great of an idea anymore. He obviously still had a lot left to do in the Kickfighting world and there were a lot of asses for him to kick. Then, mid-way through the year, something as innocent as his daughter participating in a Muay Thai bout became international headline news and JWP's parenting skills came into question.

As someone who has had the distinct pleasure of interacting with Mr. Parr, I have to say that it is ridiculous to question his love for his family, for fighting or for anything else in this world. JWP is a stand-up guy and anyone who thinks differently should re-evaluate their priorities.

This brings us to the matter at hand, which is that JWP has a big fight coming up in February in his home land of Australia. According to our good friends at Muay Thai Authority he'll be taking on one of the United State's best and brightest in Ky Hollenbeck.If you haven't seen Hollenbeck's recent string of fights, I implore you to do so as he is an incredibly legitimate fighter. The event is Knees of Fury 36 and will go down on February 25th. [source]

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LiverKick Throwback: Melvin Manhoef Destroys Paul Slowinski

  • Published in News

The world of kickboxing has a rich history to fall back upon so we here at LiverKick figure, why not? Why not give a glimpse into some of the fights from the past that have made up this wonderful sport and tie it all in to the present. The kids on the Instagram and Twitter like to call Thursdays "Throwback Thursdays," I'm just going to say that this is a LiverKick Throwback.

Melvin Manhoef will be fighting in the Last Man Standing tournament on June 21st in Los Angeles for GLORY, meeting Filip Verlinden in the first round of the tournament. To say that Melvin Manhoef at Middleweight will be a force to be reckoned with is putting it lightly; Melvin Manhoef was a force to be reckoned with at Heavyweight. If you need proof of that, look no further than December 6th, 2012, when Melvin Manhoef fought in the Reserve bout for the K-1 World Grand Prix 2008 against tough Australian slugger Paul Slowinski. 

Paul Slowinski is a legitimate 6'3" 240lbs while Manhoef is 5'8" and has fought as low at 170lbs in the past. This is just so you understand the size difference going into this fight and why Melvin Manhoef is so impressive. Melvin Manhoef was never the best Heavyweight Kickboxer in the world, but he was able to knock out some of the best and make it look easy. That's incredible. 

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The Reality of a Fractured Kickboxing Scene

  • Published in K-1

K-1Today’s announcement from It’s Showtime about K-1 contracting some of their top fighters confirms months upon months of rumors and discussion about what would happen with K-1. There has been a behind-the-scenes war of sorts between two factions; Golden Glory and It’s Showtime. Without a doubt both factions are where the power lies within the Kickboxing world right now, with top names working on both sides and there being some crossover when at all possible.

A good example of crossover would be Robin van Roosmalen, the It’s Showtime Fast and Furious 70kg MAX 2011 Champion. In a world without K-1, the Fast and Furious tournament was without a shadow of the doubt the biggest tournament for 70kg fighters. Van Roosmalen worked his way through the most prestigious tournament possible while representing Golden Glory. On top of that, Errol Zimmerman and Gokhan Saki appeared on It’s Showtime’s latest card, with the rumor being that both men worked out their own deals in the fall to participate on the card.

Both factions have the very best talent in the top weight divisions in the world, making cards featuring both fight camps imperative to see the best competition and best fights in the world. When talks surfaced of both sides looking to become closer to the troubled K-1 over the past six months or so, it was clear that whomever won the race to latch onto K-1 would leave the other one in a predicament. It turns out that Golden Glory lost their bid for K-1, but with the help of investor and partner Total Sports Asia, have been assembling three huge tournaments at Heavyweight, 85kg and 70kg, with a total of $1 million as a prize.

This announcement of K-1 working with It’s Showtime to help acquire talent for K-1 events comes and it appears that the rumors of It’s Showtime working with Mr. Kim to help rebuild K-1 seem to be true. That comes along with Golden Glory talking about their extreme displeasure with Mr. Kim, who bought K-1 out from under their noses, which leads the reality to Golden Glory probably not looking to work with Mr. Kim any time soon.

The reality of these announcements is that unless both sides can work together, a fractured Kickboxing scene is looking to come to fruition within short order. For the Glory World Series tournaments, it could mean that Daniel Ghita, Hesdy Gerges, Tyrone Spong, Melvin Manhoef, Sahak Paparyan, Andy Souwer and many more might be off-limits. For K-1, it could means that in the World Grand Prix and World MAX Tournament we could be looking at tournaments that do not include Semmy Schilt, Errol Zimmerman, Gokhan Saki, Sergei Kharitonov, Mark Miller, Robin van Roosmalen, Nieky Holzken and others.

The other reality is, for fighters who have fallen out with It’s Showtime, it could mean a hard time working with K-1. The big name that I am thinking about here is Giorgio Petrosyan, who recently broke away from It’s Showtime over monetary disputes. We do know that K-1 has been in talks with fighters outside of It’s Showtime’s management, and for now we can only speculate and hope that K-1 is able to bring in the other big names in the Kickboxing world and is willing to come to an agreement with Golden Glory, and vice versa, for the Glory World Series.

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Photo of the Day: Alistair Overeem Trains with Tyrone Spong

  • Published in Kickboxing

It is just a week away until Tyrone Spong will step into the ring at It's Showtime 58 against the legend Peter Aerts. The bout is slated to be Mr. K-1's retirement in the Benelux region of Europe, originally his full retirement, before Glory stepped in with an offer that he couldn't refuse. As we are all very aware of, Spong is training in Florida alongside the Blackzilian camp, which includes UFC Heavyweight contender and former K-1 World Grand Prix champion Alistair Overeem. This means that Spong and Overeem train together, and for Spong, who better to train with than the man that narrowly defeated him in K-1? The team behind the Reem was there to photograph their training and share it with the world.

Don't forget to go ahead and purchase the PPV for It's Showtime 57 and 58, which means access to the full card!

Spong/Reem

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Liverkick Throwback: Branko Cikatic Vs Ernesto Hoost II

  • Published in Kickboxing

The world of kickboxing has a rich history to fall back upon so we here at LiverKick figure, why not? Why not give a glimpse into some of the fights from the past that have made up this wonderful sport and tie it all in to the present. The kids on the Instagram and Twitter like to call Thursdays "Throwback Thursdays," I'm just going to say that this is a LiverKick Throwback.

Branco Cikatic was the original Croatian heavyweight Kickboxer and the first Croation born fighter to achieve international success. K-1 didn't start until 1993, Branko was 38 years old already, but he made the most of it and became the very first K-1 grand prix champion and won all three fights in one night by knockout. Cikatic had a rock-solid chin and huge power in both hands, he wasn't the most technical fighter but he was more of a take a punch to land my harder punch type. Branco tried a few MMA fights after winning K-1 and jumped in the Pride ring, now Cikatic was never the cleanest of fighters and that ended up causing most of his Pride fights to end in DQ or No contest.

This fight with the legend Ernesto Hoost was for the K-1 grand prix 1993 Finals in Tokyo, Japan. Hoost was 10 years younger than Cikatic and had already beat Peter Aerts and Maurice Smith in the quarter and semi finals. I feel Hoost was easily winning this fight up until Branko did what he does best and landed a huge right on poor Ernesto's chin and cause a heavy KO.

 

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American Kickboxing Legend Benny "The Jet" Urquidez Latest Addition to K-1's Open Tryouts

  • Published in K-1

BennyIf you are familiar with your kickboxing history this is a really, really cool addition to the list of names in attendance for the K-1 Open Tryouts at Muscle Beach. On top of that it looks like the man himself, Rob Kamen, will also be there to help out along with a few other American trainers.

BENNY "THE JET" URQUIDEZ TO ATTEND K-1 TRYOUTS!

THE TOP TRAINERS IN THE BUSINESS TO BE ON HAND TO HELP OVER 200 K-1 HOPEFULS


Registration for Tryouts to Close Thursday at 11:00 a.m. PT

Los Angeles, CA - K-1 today announced yet another fighting superstar, Benny "The Jet" Urquidez, will be in attendance at Muscle Beach this Thursday for the official K-1 Tryouts. Urquidez joins kickboxing giants Alistair Overeem, Rick Roufus, Tyrone Spong, Mighty Mo, Dewey Cooper and Masato, who are already scheduled for the July 19 event.

Also, K-1 today announced it has confirmed more than a dozen of the best trainers in the business, including Colin Oyama, Gene Fields, Paulo Tocha, Rob Kamen and Mark Breecher to take the more than 200 Hopefuls pre-registered through their drills and the tryout process.

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Another Insanely Stacked Card for Kunlun on February 1st

  • Published in Kickboxing

It's hard to argue with the sheer quality of the Kunlun cards that they are putting together in China, the next of which goes down on February 1st in Guangzhou. Kunlun 19 is shaping up to be pretty fascinating with the finals of their 70kg tournament taking place and more on their Heavyweight tournament. I'm not sure that Kunlun will be sustainable into the future, but have fun with it while it lasts because we sure as hell will be.

Here's a breakdown of what they'll be offering. The list of name talent is long, including Konstantin Ghulov, mighty Mo, Hesdy Gerges, Ashwin Balrak, Andrei Herasimchuk, Marat Grigorian, Aikpracha Meenayothin, Davit Kirita, Artur Kyshenko and more. I mean, wow. It's also fair to note that Kunlun is making an effort at getting their stuff out there in English, although it's a bit rough around the edges.

57Kg SUPER FIGHT
1. Alexis Barateau (France) vs. Bunsit (China)
65Kg SUPER FIGHT
2. Paul Jansen (Netherlands) vs. Xu Jifu (China)
77Kg SUPER FIGHT
3. Allan Aldatov (Canada) vs. Li Baoming (China)
+100Kg Tournament - GROUP B
4. Myun Hyun Man (South Korea) vs. Wu Lahan (China)
+100Kg Tournament - GROUP B
5. Konstantin Gluhov (Latvia) vs. Mighty Mo (United States)
+100Kg Tournament - GROUP B
6. Hesdy Gerges (Egypt) vs. Igor Bugaenko (Belarus)
+100Kg Tournament - GROUP B
7. Ashwin Balrak (Suriname) vs. Andrei Herasimchuk (Belarus)
70Kg Tournament - SEMI FINAL - GROUP D
8. Fernando Calzetta (Italy) vs. Mo Zhwangwei (China)
70Kg Tournament SEMI FINAL - GROUP D
9. Marat Grigorian (Belgium) vs. Aikpracha Meenayothin (Thailand)
70Kg SUPER FIGHT
10. Amansio Paraschiv (Romania) vs. Liu Hainan (China)
70Kg SUPER FIGHT
11. Davit Kiria (Georgia) vs. Zheng Zhayou (China)
80Kg SUPER FIGHT
12. Artur Kyshenko (Ukraine) vs. Bai Jinbin (China)
70Kg Tournament FINAL - GROUP D
13. TBD vs. TBD
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