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Ten Questions with Lion Fight 21's Kevin Ross

This Friday evening on AXS TV we'll get the pleasure of watching one of the biggest rematches in Lion Fight history at Lion Fight 21. Kevin Ross and Tetsuya Yamato had a knock down, drag out brawl at Lion Fight 11 and on Friday evening they will have a rematch that has the muay thai world buzzing. We asked Kevin Ross ten questions before his big fight and got his opinion on time off, the rematch and how Joe Schilling is doing.

LK: The first fight with Tetsuya Yamato saw a lot of action, a lot of blood and both of you looking fantastic regardless of who won or lost. Since the last fight you’ve both been on a winning streak, Yamato defeating Sagetdao and Masaaki Noiri, you Embree, Mauceri and Thompson. The big difference is that his fights were in kickboxing, do you think that gives you an edge?

Yamato has more of a kickboxing style anyway so it's not really that big a deal to go back and forth, although he does like to fling those elbows hahaha

LK: The Yamato loss ended 2013 for you as 2-2, but 2014 saw you go 3-0, was that important for you to have such a streak before fighting Yamato again?

KR: Not really, I don't dwell on wins/losses, I'm more concerned with the improvements I've made and the performances I've put on

LK: Who had the idea to fight again, was it you, Yamato or Lion Fight who pushed for it?

KR: I'm sure it was a bit of all 3. It was a great fight and good for everyone so we all want to do it again 

LK: Is it possible for this rematch to live up to the hype, or are you kind of hoping to have an easier time with this fight and less of a knock-down, drag-out, grueling affair?

KR: I want all my fights to be ones that go down in history as great, I always want people to be entertained and as long as they are than I'm happy. I don't think you can ever really compare fights, as they are so unique and different in their own ways 

LK: You’ve had some time off since your last fight, was it important for you to get some rest after being as busy as you were after you returned from your injury?

KR: No, I hate time off and never want it, it was out of my hands unfortunately. I'm sure that my body and brain were happy to have a break but I always want to be as active as possible 

LK: How does it feel to see one of your good friends in Joe Schilling having the level of success that he’s had both in the kickboxing world and MMA arena over the past few years?

KR: I couldn't be happier for him! I'm a Muay Thai purist and will always prefer it but seeing him active and doing so well is wonderful 

LK: Do you still have the itch to try out kickboxing now that it is taking off a bit more in the United States or are you focused on muay thai for now?

KR: I've been focused on Muay Thai since day one, it's my true love, it's my passion and will always prefer it to any other type of fighting but as long as I'm in there than that's good enough for me

LK: What’s the most valuable lesson that you’ve learned fighting over the past few years since your return from your knee injury and your profile being on the rise like it is?

KR: I'd say that no matter what struggles lay in front of you they can either be set backs or set ups for further progression, it's just a matter of how you look at them. When bad things happen I view them as tests to see if I really want something. You either overcome them or quit. They show you who people truly are. That's something I've always known, these last few years just instilled those things in me further. 

 

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Five Questions With Lion Fight 21's Tiffany Van Soest

This Friday evening on AXS TV Lion Fight 21 will be airing live from Los Angeles. The event is set to feature some of Lion Fight's top talents including a co-main event bout between Tiffany Van Soest and Chajma Bellekhal. We spoke with Tiffany during her busy week and got to ask her a few of the burning questions, from talk about the fight this weekend to her last fight in Enfusion.

LK: Women’s fighting has really taken off in a big way over the past few years thanks to the UFC, Invicta and even yourself in Lion Fight, how does it feel to be one of the more-talked about women in combat sports? 

VS: I really don’t feel that Muay Thai gets as much recognition as it deserves. MMA is HUGE and only getting bigger so it tends to cast a shadow over Muay Thai, however it is an honor to be considered one of the best at what I do. I don’t really think that I am talked about that much since I am a Muay Thai fighter and if I am talked about, it is usually about my transition to MMA. To be honest, it’s quite frustrating because although I have poured my heart and soul into Muay Thai. I appreciate that my skills are respected, but I wish people would appreciate Muay Thai for Muay Thai instead of thinking about how I would do in MMA.

LK: How important is it to you to get your rematch down the line for a shot to get your Lion Fight championship back? 

VS: I’m just taking it one fight at a time for now. I know Scott and Christine at Lion Fight will give me my title shot back when they feel the time is right. I know I have already earned it with 4 (soon to be 5) not only wins, but dominant performances since losing my title. It’s only a matter of time.

LK: How was your experience fighting Denise Kielholtz in Enfusion? They use really interesting and different rules compared to most Dutch kickboxing with there being a focus on throws, did it throw you off at all? 

It was a great experience. I got to kickbox in the mecca of kickboxing. And being of Dutch descent, it was really cool to see Holland and meet some of my extended family. The rules of Enfusion totally favored Denise’s style and judo background, but it made no difference to me. I went to her home country and fought under her rules. The throws did throw me off a little (no pun intended). I was hesitant to close the gap because I knew she would try to grab me and throw me when I got close enough. No losses though, just lessons. Of course i’m disappointed I walked away without the title or the win, but overall it was still a great experience. Denise is an amazing fighter.

LK: Where would a win over Bellekhal place you in the division right now, you think? 

VS: I already know I’m at the top of the division. A win will just solidify that even more.

LK: After your experience with Enfusion are you looking to try fighting outside of muay thai again any time soon in kickboxing or MMA, or sticking to muay thai for now? 

VS: Muay Thai it is. My commitment and contractual obligations are with Lion Fight right now.

 

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Bill Goldberg Claims He Turned Down a Fight with Alberto Del Rio

Bill Goldberg appeared on Ariel Helwani's MMA Hour this afternoon and the sole purpose was for Bill Goldberg to talk about his relationship with GLORY. That relationship has been much-publicized over the past few months after GLORY learned about Goldberg's admiration for the sport of kickboxing and the organization itself. Goldberg, of course, still trains seriously and there has been talk about a possible fight between Goldberg and an unnamed opponent.

According to Goldberg on the show the fight that was offered to him was none other than Alberto Del Rio/Alberto el Patron/Rodriguez, or the guy that was formerly Dos Caras Jr. and fought Mirko Cro Cop. The fight was offered to Goldberg for May 8th but he decided that it wasn't the right direction that he'd like to see GLORY move in but remains steadfast that he wants to work with GLORY in some capacity, possibly even fight if the situation was right. Apparently a fight with Del Rio was a bit too much of a freakshow fight for him to justify it.

Goldberg reiterated that he is willing to do whatever it takes to work with GLORY and to help promote the brand, even if it means working in the front office, hosting shoulder programming or appearing as a commentator on events. While Goldberg's heyday in WCW was just under 20 years ago now he still commands a loyal following and has been involved in Mixed Martial Arts and sports since departing the WWE. It'll be interesting to see where this goes from here.

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Yokkao 12 & 13 Results

Yokkao 12 & 13 had great match ups this weekend and from the sounds of it everyone that was at the event thoroughly enjoyed it. It's just too bad we had no way to watch it on TV or online, we will just have to patiently wait until they are uploaded to Youtube. The most surprising result for me is Sanny Dahlbeck's TKO win over Jordan Watson. I wasn't sure who was going to win that fight but I figured it would go the distance at least.

Results - YOKKAO 13

YOKKAO 65kgs World Title - Pakorn PKSaenchaimuaythaigym def. Liam Harrison via unanimous decision (-65kg)

Co-main event female fight - Bernise Alldis def. Tanya Merrit via unanimous decision (-57kg)

Keith McLachlan def. Paul Karpowicz via doctor’s stoppage in 2:11 of Round 3 (-59kg)

Steven Long def. John Kaufman via unanimous decision (-67.5kg)

Josh Turbill def. Jack Cooper via unanimous decision (-70kg)

Chris Whittle def. Ross George via unanimous decision (-61.5kg)

Wojtek Oleksyk def. Dale Hughes via unanimous decision (-65kg)

YOKKAO 12

Sanny Dahlbeck def. Jordan Watson via TKO (ref stoppage) in 2:50 of Rnd 4 (-70kg)

Karim Bennoui def. Darren O’Connor via majority decision (-61,5kg)

Stephen Meleady def. Chris Shaw via unanimous decision (-61kg)

Kyle Helleur def. Danny Harrison-Little via TKO (ref stoppage) in 1:26 of Rnd 3 (-64.5kg)

Myk Estlick def. Jack McGuire via unanimous decision (-63.5kg)

Kris Addis def. Jake Barton via KO (elbow) in Rnd 4 (-72.5kg)

Juan Cervantes def. Joe Newton unanimous decision (-77kg)

Jack Kennedy def. Harry Burton via unanimous decision (-65kg)

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