|Heavyweight (Per 10/13)|
|1.||Semmy Schilt (?)|
|7.||Mirko Cro Cop|
|Light HW (per 10/13)|
|Middleweight (per 11/25)|
|Welterweight (per 10/13)|
|70kg (Per 11/25)|
|2.||Robin van Roosmalen|
|65kg (per 10/6)|
I'm not joking, Josh Barnett and Jerome Le Banner will square off on August 27th at the Ryogoku Kokugikan -- Japan's Sumo Hall, and this bout between the titans will be for a world championship. Who is promoting this bout? None other than Antonio Inoki, the grandfather of MMA in Japan and a pro wrestling celebrity. It is hard to believe that the MMA world and the Kickboxing world will be colliding like this, until you realize that it is under Inoki's IGF banner, which is professional wrestling.
Yes, Josh Barnett of Strikeforce fame will take on Jerome Le Banner of K-1 fame to declare the first IGF World Champion in August. IGF ran a tournament on the 10th in Japan that involved some pretty big names, including Ray Sefo, Eric Hammer, Josh Barnett, Jerome Le Banner and Bobby Lashley. Eric Hammer tapped Ray Sefo out in the qualifying round with an armbar, Josh Barnett tapped Bobby Lashley out with an armbar as well in the semi-finals. Hammer met Jerome Le Banner in the semi-finals by knocking him down five times, which sets up Barnett vs. Le Banner in the finals.
Something about this just reeks of awesomeness.
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K-1's financial woes are nothing new to LiverKick.com's readers, as we've been covering K-1's inability to pay their fighters on time for longer than the existence of LiverKick.com now. Ray Sefo's last bout with K-1 was in October of 2010 after fighting for K-1 3 times within the span of a year. Sefo's deal with K-1 was heavily talked about throughout the hardcore fan community as being upwards of 3 million dollars for a multi-fight deal, and apparently the last part of that deal was to pay Sefo $700,000. It has been 9 months now, and Sefo has been very publicly discussing how K-1 has yet to pay him. Many have rushed to defend K-1, whose contracts do have certain clauses about pay and the timeliness of it. This is standard in the international fighting world, for example Ultimate Glory pays 30 days after the event. K-1's clause is usually in the range of six months, and Ray Sefo has worked with K-1 for many years, so there is no chance of him not knowing this.
This is all immaterial now, as it has been over nine months and Tanikawa has even stated that the Sefo situation is "taken care of." It is important to note that the Japanese media have an unspoken gag order of sorts of them when it comes to matters like this. Business in Japan is very different and there are a lot of secrets, what happens behind closed doors is usually not as public as it is in other places. For a Japanese newspaper to print an article about Ray Sefo, Peter Aerts and more being owed money by Tanikawa, as well as Tanikawa lying, it would have to be considered a big deal. It is. [source]
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It's Showtime has long-been the number two kickboxing promotion in the world and in 2011 has decided to go all-out while K-1 was experiencing financial problems. In the span of time that it took for K-1 to run one event, It's Showtime has run six events and already has a 70kg MAX tournament lineup prepared for September as well as other big bouts planned like Badr Hari vs. Daniel Ghita. There have been rumblings of K-1's future activities, including being bought out and running further tournaments, as well as their Facebook campaign, but outside of the Facebook activity things have been very quiet on the K-1 front.
Heavyweight Grand Prix
Simon Rutz is very active on his Facebook, to the extent where if you ask him a question the chances of him replying are indeed very good. One of our awesome readers who uses the Facebook tag of "Ruslan Karaev" asked Mr. Rutz if they plan on running a Heavyweight tournament in the wake of K-1 not running it. Rutz's response was to the point; "If K-1 do not survive then we shall do it."
Since at this point in time I am certain that K-1 will "survive" I'm not exactly sure that they will run a Heavyweight Grand Prix soon, and if they do, it will be last minute. Even if the K-1 World Heavyweight Grand Prix does have a lot of prestige and history behind it, that does not mean that no one else should try to run a tournament. Fight Code is running their Rhinos tournament, and while the talent is definitely second-tier compared to K-1 or It's Showtime's top talent, the effort is appreciated and the output is fun to watch. United Glory also ran a Heavyweight Kickboxing tournament, and while it did not feature the very, very best in the world it did feature a solid line-up. It's Showtime has enough talent under contract to make this happen, as we've seen with their 70kg MAX tournament.
REBELS X It's Showtime Japan Countdown-1
Many people have gone out on a limb and assumed that It's Showtime would be live streaming the July 18th Countdown to It's Showtime Japan show which is co-promoted with REBELS Muay Thai in Japan, but I have confirmed with It's Showtime management that they have no plans to air the It's Showtime Japan Countdown series. Seeing as though the event features Giorgio Petrosyan it is indeed a bit upsetting that It's Showtime won't be carrying the fight.
Nightmare of Battle has reported that the REBELS portion of the event will be streamed live on the REBELS UStream channel. The It's Showtime Japan portion of the event will be streamed live as well, but at a cost, and a rather steep one at that. The event will be available on UStream PPV for 2,100 Yen, which converts to between 25 and 26 dollars USD, which is a steep increase from the $15 the average It's Showtime card costs with decidedly less fights to watch.Add a comment
If for some reason you missed Fight Code's Istanbul event over the weekend where they ran their Rhinos Heavyweight tournament's first round, never fear. Fight Code always goes out of their way to put fights from each event onto their web site in high quality. From this weekend's event there are five full length bouts up, with of course the highlight of the event being Freddy Kemayo's awesome head kick knockout victory. Click here and go to around the 9:30 mark to see Kemayo's work pay off for him.
So head over to LiveFightCode.tv and check out the "Full Fights" section for videos from this weekend's event. [source]Add a comment
Rob Kaman is one of the few legends in the world of kickboxing that no one can deny; he has been everywhere and done everything. Our good friends at AFAV do some of the best interviews int he business, clearly the best in the world of kickboxing. We showed the preview before, and here is the full, finished product.
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