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Yokkao Continuing to Push New Training Centers into 2014

The recent announcement of Yokkao's latest training center has stirred up some excitement among fans who have been wondering when and where to expect other official Yokkao training centers across the globe. According to Yokkao they plan to continue pushing out into the world with official training centers, having opened one after Yokkao 9 in Kunshan, China. Their next official training centers are planned for this year, opening up in Bangkok as well as in Bahrain. Both are scheduled to be opened up in August of this year, with Yokkao providing more information on them shortly. 

Yokkao also has a strong lineup of affiliate gyms, including the legendary 13 Coins Gym, Sityodtong in Pattaya, SRG Thai Boxing Gym in Sydney, Muay Thai Combat Gym in San Marino and Bad Company in Leeds. 

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Washing Away the Myth of the Eurocentric Kickboxing Machine

I want to preface this by saying that without a doubt the sport of Kickboxing owes a lot to its European roots. Without some of the pioneers in Europe the sport of Kickboxing would absolutely not be what it is today. That being said, I feel like after GLORY 17 and Last Man Standing we can effectively say that Kickboxing belongs to no one country or continent. Sure, some of the all-time greats are Dutch and yes, the original home of K-1 was without a doubt Japan, but it’s 2014 and the world has become a smaller place. Talent is no longer concentrated to secretive gyms or trainers, instead it is being spread out and being found across the world.

For the longest time fans had to hear that American Kickboxers sucked. The history that came with American Kickboxing, the fighters like Benny Urquidez, Don Wilson, Rick Roufus and the many other who cut their teeth across the world against the best of the best was somewhat washed aside. I mean, why not? Names like Rob Kamen, Ramon Dekkers and Cor Hemmers carry a lot of weight with them, as do the names of fighters like Peter Aerts, Remy Bonjasky, Semmy Schilt and many others. How could American fighters compare?

At GLORY 17 and Last Man Standing North America got to show the world just how seriously Kickboxers from this continent need to be taken and should leave fans open to talent from other nations as well. Joe Schilling once again found himself in a tough finals against Artem Levin, this time Levin walking away victorious, with North American fighters Wayne Barrett and Simon Marcus having incredibly strong showings as well. Joseph Valtellini showed the world what a kid from Canada can do when given a chance, bringing home the GLORY Welterweight Championship in a tough fight against Marc de Bonte. Then on GLORY 17 Canadian Gabriel Varga proved himself to be one of the best Featherweights in the world, ready to take on the best of the best and vye for the GLORY Featherweight Championship. 

At this point it’s hard to argue that America and Canada aren’t producing top talents, because both nations are producing some of the very best that the world has to offer. Is Europe still producing some of the absolute best talents in the world in Kickboxing? Absolutely. It’s impossible to argue against the talents we are seeing coming from the Netherlands, the UK, France, Germany and many others, but it’s no longer a monopoly. For a while Dutch Kickboxing was the alpha and omega and while Dutch Kickboxing is still very strong, it would be crass to ignore the talents coming from all across the world to prove themselves as the best of the best. 

Kickboxing is a global sport and the name on the gym or the prestige of the nation are no longer deciding factors alone. The amount of work put in, the quality of the training, the talent and the desire are what matter at the end of the day. I, for one, look forward to continue to watch fighters from all corners of the world stepping up their game on a regular basis.

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Qabala Fight Series #1 Videos

Here are a few of the fight videos from Qabala Fight Series #1 on June 29th, 2014. Starting with Albert "The Hurricane" Kraus getting back to his winning ways by putting massive amounts of pressure, moving forwards and throwing fast, powerful hand combinations. Erkhan Varol is an explosive, tricky fighter but very short for the weight class so Kraus was able to use his size wisely to take the decision. Not taking anything away from Varol, he put up a great fight against a dutch kickboxing legend.

Next we have Mosab Amrani making short work of Lim Chi-Bin. The actual fight starts at 4:50 of the video after what seems like the longest intro ever. About 50 seconds into the first round Amrani lands a perfect switch left knee to the liver of Chi-Bin, once he gets up its just a matter of time before its going to get hit again and it comes by way of left body kick 20 seconds later.

Last of all Hesdy Gerges against Jamal Ben-Saddik just so everyone can watch how ridiculous this was. We can all wonder what could have possibly been going through Saddik's mind during this absolutely uncalled for insane behavior, and poor Hesdy hes been assaulted like this twice in the ring, first time was by Badr Hari back in 2010 on It's Showtime. Saddik's was worse though not only did he throw a kick while he was down, but he paused then proceeded to try and ground and pound Gerges, not to mention this was barely even 20 seconds into the fight. 

 

 

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Enfusion Live #19 Final Results

Enfusion’s 19th event took place on June 29th from the The Troxy in London. In an evening filled with upsets and finishes, 23-year old Ismael Lazaar stole the show with a stunning knockout of Glory veteran Daniel Sam. It was a bewildering performance from the hometown favourite Sam, as he was constantly backed up by the much smaller man and offered little in terms of output besides a few left kicks to the body. After winning the opening two rounds, Lazaar put an end to Daniel Sam’s night with a crushing left-hook early in the third round. It was a marquee win for the Moroccan prospect, who claimed the Enfusion Heavyweight World Title in the process.

In the co-main even of the evening, American Andrew Tate upset veteran Wendell Roche with a referee stoppage in the second round. Tate came out aggressive from the opening bell, peppering Roche with combinations, before putting him away early in the second round with a series of punches and knees. Not only did Tate become the new Enfusion 90kg world champion, but he was also named Fighter of the Night too.

Enfusion # 20 takes place on the 12th of July from Mallorca, Spain.

Heavyweight Enfusion World Title: Ismael Lazaar def. Daniel Sam via KO (Punch) round 3

90kg Enfusion World Title: Andrew Tate def. Wendell Roche via TKO (Referee stoppage) round 2

Ilias Bulaid def. Regis Sugden via Unanimous Decision

Sheena Widdershoven def. Lauran Huxley TKO (Corner stoppage) Round 1

Simon Santana def. Jose Varela via KO (punches) Round 1

Charlie Peters def. Ervin Wongsodimedjo via KO (punch) Round 2

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