LiverKick

Switch to desktop Register Login

LiverKick - LiverKick

Glory 29 Taking Place in Copenhagen, Featuring Holzken vs. Kongolo

Tonight at the GLORY 27 SuperFight Series the promotion announced that GLORY 29 will happen in Copenhagen, Denmark on Saturday, April 16th. There is only one bout announced for it thus far and it's a pretty big one as GLORY Welterweight Champion Nieky "The Natural" Holzken is set to defend his championship against Yoann Kongolo. Kongolo is currently the fourth-ranked Welterweight on the GLORY roster, making for an interesting selection especially considering how close the Groenhart bout was in Amsterdam.

On top of that GLORY has announced that there will be a Heavyweight Contender tournament to see who will challenge the Heavyweight champion. One would think that Braddock Silva will be involved after his win tonight at GLORY 27.

Also, as an aside, GLORY announced that they signed Ismael Londt during the broadcast. Whoa. Hopefully he's in a tournament because that's a name I've wanted to see in the mix for years now.

They also announced that the ESPN deal is complete and is a multi-year deal, so GLORY officially has their home in the US set in stone.

Read more...

Artem Levin Talks Marcus Rematch, Vaseline and What Went Down Leading Into GLORY 25

To many he's an enigma, quiet, stealthy and calculating. A man of few words outside the ring where afterall, he's let his knees, fists and elbows do most of his talking.  On the other side of the ropes Levin is relaxed with the disarming smile of a school boy and someone who would seem incapable of the brutality he often inflicts upon his opponents. With the precision of some of his idols, Artem Levin has taken the world of kickboxing and muay thai by storm and is preparing to indelibly leave his mark on the sport. Currently Levin is top man in the Middleweight division, a title he earned in 2014 and one which he is determined to maintain for years to come. On Friday, February 27th Levin will again defend his title as he for the third time faces Simon Marcus. In what is bound to be one of the most exciting face-offs of the year, Levin and Marcus will participate in an extremely emotional battle which most recently erupted at Glory 21 in San Diego. Ahead of this trilogy, I had an opportunity to pose some questions to Levin and find out what beats within the heart of "The Lion".

On his beginnings:

I was born in a small provincial town of Prokopyevsk. It’s a mine town. There were no other good professions other than coalminer in the 1990s. There were three ways to make living: be a coalminer, a criminal or a sportsman, so I joined my brothers at the gym. They were going in for boxing and then muay thai became my sport. My influence was the fact that there had been some muay thai fighters with world and European titles and golden medals at that time in town, and not any boxing champions.

What was your family's response to you pursuing kickboxing as a profession?

Definitely my parents and my family are my main fans, my support, my base of power. They support me and make me comfortable. My mother is distressed for me as any mother would be. She always waits for the ending of this “nightmare”, but at the same time she understands my choice and that it’s useless to dispute with me. I’m really proud of my family. They had waited for me to quit during the first years of my sports experience, but everyone knows that it’s my life choice now.

Had you not pursued a career in combat sports what other kind of career would you have chosen?

It’s hard for me to say. I’ve been in sports since I remember myself, I began with muay thai when I was 10. I always have seen myself with a career in sports. I see myself as comprehensive person: I read books and I have many hobbies. All that happens through sports. I guess, nothing good can come without sport, but I haven’t known another life.

Describe a typical training day when you are preparing for a fight.

It’s not exciting. My usual routine: wake up, have a breakfast, go to morning workout for an approximately 1.5-2 hour session of drills and techniques, speed or strength endurance exercises.  It depends on preparation stage but then lunch, sleep and on to a second workout which usually includes an intensive 3 hour session of sparring and using special equipment.  After training I usually take a walk, have dinner, do some reading before bed and then sleep and it all begins again.

You are becoming widely known for your boxing and defensive strategy, what do you feel are some of your other strengths as a fighter?

I don’t focus narrowly on one thing. Perhaps, I act instinctively in a fight and I’m training in all aspects. I try to become comprehensive. My work is based on defense firstly. I appreciate my health, that’s why I don’t want to join in an exchange of blows or to let a punch get through. It's my goal to keep being healthy during my entire career  so as to take more fights with sober mind, without injures, with fresh body.

Who inspires you as a fighter?

I’m inspired by legendary athletes, even though not martial artists, such as Mike Tyson and Muhammed Ali – they became iconic for thousands around the world. I admire Michael Jordan, Usain Bolte, Michael Phelps and others who became a hero in their sport. Those who proved that nothing is impossible.

Aside from fighting Joe Schilling and possibly Simon Marcus again, are there any other fighters with whom you'd be interested in being matched up against.

It doesn’t matter who’s the opponent. If you want to be the best, to leave a mark in kickboxing or muay thai history, it doesn’t matter who you fight against. You don’t choose opponents, you just defeat the best and prove that you are the best. The question: who I’d be interested in fighting against? I don’t have any preference. I want to fight no matter against who.

How many years have you've been living in San Diego? How did you choose that city? Has the transition between the two countries been difficult?

Well I can’t say I’ve moved here yet. I still live in Russia. One of my training camps is here and there are valuable opportunities here to develop and work on my career. The transition was quite easy, my friends from The Boxing Club in San Diego have helped. I chose San Diego as it is a warm city by the ocean with a mild climate and beautiful places to live in. It’s a simple choice after cold Siberia.  

Your fight with Simon Marcus in San Diego was a bit controversial. Both of you felt that you had won the match. Additionally during the post-fight press conference, you expressed a concern that he had not been called on excessive holding. Can you talk more about that fight from your perspective in terms of the calls by the referee and how the match was scored. How do you feel it should have been scored.

Definitely I won the fight. As for Simon Marcus, he played foul. He was slippery with vaseline. I guess it was a trick to rub on the vaseline a few hours before the fight, for skin to dry and then to become slippery with sweat. We are not allowed to apply anything besides vaseline to our face. As for points, I wonder why a point was reduced from my score and none from Simon’s, the clinch was mutual. Thus I think I won three rounds undoubtedly at least. If I gave away two rounds to him, I still don’t think that I lost them.  A draw is a gift to him from the judges and referees. From the referee especially, I’d say. He can thank the referee personally.

Also you have been highly criticized by Joe Schilling. Most recently following the Glory 25 event Schilling stated that he feels that you are in fact avoiding him. You were set to face Schilling for the third time in Denver this year but had to withdraw due to injury. Can you talk about what happened and where you are with your recovery?

I was injured during training camp before the amateur world championships in Thailand in August. The injury was not severe but it was such that it could keep me from proper preparation for the fight.  I was informed about the fight six weeks before it was scheduled and it was to be held in a high mountain region. I am the champion of the promotion. It would be foolish to go on with that risk and to demonstrate disrespect in that way to Schilling. If I took a fight as insignificant and began preparation within 6 weeks, and taking into account that I had  been to Thailand at that time, then - 5 weeks, and I could take normal proper workout sessions in a week after then perhaps. That’s why I did not and I also saw the prospect of coming to a fight with an injury and without proper preparation as disrespectful to GLORY’s executives. I won a WKN title bout recently and I am recovered and  motivated.  I’m ready to fight anywhere. I’d rather watch Joe Schilling fight outside  the USA. Is he able to fight outside California or USA? He needs helpful judges.

I know that continuing to defend your title is a priority for you in the coming year. Do you have any other plans for 2016?

The main priority is my title defense obviously, but also to fight more, in any promotion, even if it would be not GLORY.  I took the WKN muay thai belt and now my aim is leave a mark in muaythai and kickboxing, for people to remember me even after the my career is finished.

Any message to your fans?

Enjoy spectacular fights. Thank you for your support. Follow me on Instagram and watch my career. I will try my best to reward you with my victories.

Reminiscent of the Thrilla in Manila, Glory 27 is expected to bring the drama from which only one man can walk away victorious.  Levin has the confidence and the experience -- Marcus, the determination and the desire to bring to fruition a lifetime of dedication.  Friday night at the Sears Centre it will be time.  

Read more...

Glory 27 and Superfights Live Results

Glory 27 Superfight series will begin at 4:30pm PST/7:30pm EST and is live on UFC Fight pass. Then the Glory 27 main card will begin at 7:00pm PST/ 10:00pm EST live on ESPN3 and Eversport.tv (for certain countries).

Should be an exciting card, finally Levin and Marcus get to settle the score with their last fight being a draw. Also the 4 man tournament should have very competitive fights as all the fighters are well matched. 

Glory 27

Middleweight Title: Simon Marcus (R3 - Disqualification) Artem Levin -- What. The. FUCK?! This was insanity. I've never seen something like this before. Artem Levin was pushed out of the ring in round one and referee Al Wichgers called it a down and did a standing 8-count. If you know these two you know that they both are heavy fighters. Al Wichgers deducted a point from Levin in R2 for clinching, while ignoring the fact that both men were doing equal amounts of clinching. Then in R3 he took ANOTHER point and threatened to DQ Levin. 

If you understand how fights are scored, Levin had just about no chance outside of a KO to win this fight now, and in such a tightly-contested bout between two talented fighters such as this that was remote, at best. So Levin quit, him and his corner storming off and Marcus crowned the new champion. Al Wichgers absolutely decided the winner of this fight.

Tournament Final: Dustin Jacoby (R2 - KO) Wayne Barrett -- What else is there to say? The problems in Barrett's game are all mental at this point, his self doubt is evident at times, especially for a guy as skilled as he is. Jacoby has done it again and has earned himself a shot at the title. Quite a climb to the top for this guy. 

Featherweight: Giga Chikadze (R3 - Unanimous Decision) Kevin VanNostrand -- VanNostrand started off strong, but Giga's experience edge came out as the fight wore on, with Giga having a much better second round where he had VanNostrand in a lot of trouble. Really fun fight by both guys.

Tournament Semifinal: Dustin Jacoby (R3 - TKO) Karl Roberson -- Man. Dustin Jacoby keeps improving and Roberson is absolutely legitimate competition and Jacoby was patient, waited for the openings and flattened him multiple times near the end of the fight, Jacoby stopping Roberson in the third after two knockdowns.

Tournament Semifinal: Wayne Barrett  (R3 - Unanimous Decision) Robert Thomas -- Thomas was easily the favorite going into this tournament and many had written Barrett off thanks to what seemed to be a losing streak that began in his mind. Barrett came ready to fight and brought it to Thomas all fight.

Glory 27 Superfights

Middleweight: Joe Schilling (188 lb / 85.3 kg) (R3 - Unanimous Decision) Mike Lemaire (188 lb / 85.3 kg) -- Early on this was all Schilling, with us getting a glimpse into the uber-aggressive Schilling that we've seen before. They stood and traded and it was a fun fight. Joe started to tire in R2 but still did enough to push the pace and hurt Lemaire.

Heavyweight: Anderson Silva (246 lb / 111.6 kg) (R3 - Unanimous Decision) Maurice Greene (250 lb / 113.4 kg) -- Braddock took this one, which shouldn't be a surprise. Braddock is a legitimate top level contender and Maurice Greene is still pretty new to this game. Braddock went to town on Greene's legs, scoring a few downs in the second round, but man, did he lack killer instinct here. For the last round and a half it looked like Silva could have put Greene away, but he simply wasn't aggressive enough. Credit to Greene for still fighting on.

Heavyweight: Guto Inocente (244 lb / 110.7 kg) (R1 - KO) Demoreo Dennis (245 lb / 111.1 kg) -- My god. This was BRUTAL.

Welterweight: Richard Abraham (171 lb / 77.6 kg) (R3 - Unanimous Decision) Pawel Jedrzejczyk (168 lb / 76.2 kg) -- This was a brutal, one-sided beatdown on the part of the hometown favorite Richard Abraham. 

Welterweight: Casey Greene (170 lb / 77.1 kg) (R3 - Unanimous Decision) Daniel Morales (170 lb / 77.1 kg) -- This was a close fight. Greene, for the most part, controlled where the action tookplace inside of the ring, but Morales was landing a ton while keeping distance from Morales. Morales actually showed a ton here and was moderately impressive for a guy new to kickboxing. The decision probably should have gone to Morales for landing more, cleaner shots, but hey.

 

Read more...

Artem Levin vs. Simon Marcus; or, the One Win That Eludes Levin

When we talk about what GLORY calls their Middleweight division right now it’s hard not to recognize three names as the standard bearer for that division; Artem Levin, Simon Marcus and Joe Schilling. Artem Levin has been the man to beat for many years within the division, although he has been beaten. In fact, he’s only been beaten by Simon Marcus and Joe Schilling since his incredible run on top began back in 2011. Yet somehow Artem Levin always ends up back on top of the division, as the king.

That’s just what he brings to the table. 

Simon Marcus and Artem Levin are at an interesting point in their feud right now, where Simon Marcus holds a win over Levin from Lion Fight in 2013, but their last meeting at GLORY 21 ended in a controversial draw. I say controversial because many saw it as a cut-and-dry win for Simon Marcus, although the judges saw it as a draw. Perhaps if contested under muay thai rules the score cards would have leaned towards Simon and his aggressive, clinch-heavy style. Instead, fans were left wanting more after the five round war and had to wait over half a year for the resolution to that battle. 

Originally they were scheduled to meet at GLORY 24 in Denver, but an ankle injury forced Simon Marcus out of the fight, who was then replaced by Joe Schilling. Almost immediately after Schilling vs. Levin III was announced Levin pulled out of the fight with an elbow injury, which for Schilling brought back flashbacks to trying to get his first meeting with Levin arranged in the first place back in 2012 and 2013, with them scheduled to fight at Battle for the Belts only for Levin to pull out and Kaoklai to replace him. Schilling faced Jason Wilnis at GLORY 24 instead, with Schilling looking aggressive and hungry, Wilnis losing via TKO thanks to an injury and leaving Schilling as a contender for the belt, but Marcus/Levin as the fight that has to happen first. 

Crazily enough, on the undercard this weekend Joe Schilling will be fighting again, this time against American muay thai standout Mike Lemaire. If Schilling, who has one fight left under his GLORY contract after this one and has made it clear that he’ll be participating in Bellator’s Kickboxing league once that is up, gets his title shot is another question entirely. 

With Schilling waiting in the wings that leaves Artem Levin to do his best to pick up a win over a career adversary, the only one that he hasn’t been able to defeat and has hounded him for years. Their styles mesh together perfectly in a messy muay thai-mish-mash of clinching, slipped strikes, knees and punches. While both men are perhaps better suited for muay thai rules, Levin has adjusted the best to the rules while Marcus has had a few stumbling points, including losses to Fang Bian and Joe Schilling that have seen him down and out on the mat. Levin undoubtedly possesses power, but rarely does Levin finish opponents compared to out-techniquing them like he’s prone to doing and picking up a decision. 

As we saw in their last meeting, though, to decisively find himself the winner he’s going to have to do more than be slippery and to initiate and smother in the clinch. Judges and fans want to see more from both men and expect the very best of the best when they clash. Undoubtedly their last bout showed off their skill, but in the judges’ eyes they effectively canceled each other out. This is a big deal for both men, but for Levin this is the one, elusive win that he’s not been able to rack up in his decorated career. 

Read more...

Copyright 2010 - 2014 LiverKick.com. All Rights Reserved.

Top Desktop version