|Heavyweight (Per 4/15)|
|Light HW (per 4/15)|
|Middleweight (per 4/15)|
|Welterweight (per 4/15)|
|4.||Marc de Bonte|
|70kg (Per 4/15)|
|3.||Robin van Roosmalen|
|65kg (per 1/20)|
Well, you ask for it and you get it, right? We've heard about GLORY 15 Istanbul and now we almost immediately get the fight card for it, which is really awesome. It looks like my article yesterday about Championships and tournaments was well-timed as today GLORY announced a Championship tournament at Light Heavyweight. How this will differ from past tournaments is the winner won't only be a tournament champion, but they will be the Light Heavyweight Champion as well. The test subject on this matter will be Light Heavyweight.
If you are noting the glaring omission of Danyo Ilunga, the word is that he'll have a title fight with the winner of the tournament shortly after GLORY 15.
There is going to be some big changes in the Kickboxing world come this year, a change that has been a long-time coming and will see a good deal of pushback from hardcore fans, with that change being that both GLORY and K-1 are going to be pushing individual Championships over tournament champions this year. That isn’t to say that there won’t still be tournaments, as GLORY will be holding Contendership tournaments and K-1 has made mention of still running some tournaments, just not annual World Grand Prix and World MAX tournaments. For a sport that became popular for one-night tournaments this is a huge change.
This isn’t the first time that we’ve seen World Titles in Kickboxing, not by a long shot. In fact, there are a lot of fighters out there in the wild right now who hold one, if not multiple, World Titles through different sanctioning bodies. The ISKA, PKA, WKA, WAKO and many more still sanction World Championships much in the way that we see Boxing with fragmented titles not belonging to any one promoter. The truth of the matter is, though, that those “World Championships” are only as valuable as the promotion, the fighters competing for it and the Champion who holds it.
K-1 attempted to establish Championship titles in the past, with Badr Hari being the first K-1 Heavyweight Champion and Semmy Schilt being the first (and only) K-1 Super Heavyweight Champion. This was K-1’s attempt to move away from the traditional K-1 tournament format in 2007 only to see pushback from both fans and their television partners, keeping the K-1 World Grand Prix as the primary means of crowning a champion.
The announcement by GLORY that this year would see them crown champions across six weight classes is huge, as is K-1’s move under the K-1 Global banner to crown champions outside of the tournament format and to stick to it. While for fans the idea of big tournaments is still the most exciting way to crown champions, it is also a mess for promoters while we watch the established names from the original K-1 starting to retire or show signs of wear and tear. The truth is without huge backing like K-1 had in the 90’s and 00’s from major television networks, building stars in more regions than K-1 ever had to is a huge chore.
Fans will always love their hometown heroes, but with Japan no longer being the home of Kickboxing building stars is now a matter of a global struggle, where you have to do more than appear on Japanese game shows and talk show programs to build up a name. As we saw with GLORY’s Lightweight Tournament, no one is safe, even the unstoppable Giorgio Petrosyan. Establishing Champions makes for something consistent, something that you can sell to the world, a face and a name to go on a masthead. In the case of tournaments you can sell who you think will win, but being able to bill them as your Champion is very different.
Fans understand what a Champion is, will be able to latch onto a Champion and the promotion can market that Champion as the best in the world. I, for one, think that it’ll be a nice change of pace to see Champions established in Kickboxing and for those titles to mean something. The unpredictability of tournaments is exciting and all, but if Kickboxing really wants to grow as a sport it needs to be more inviting, it needs to be more stable, which is exactly what having Champions will do for it.Add a comment
In one of the least shocking moves that we've seen in quite a while, GLORY has announced that GLORY 15 Istanbul will go down on April 12th and that it will feature Gokhan Saki. Seeing as though Gokhan Saki is from Turkey and is actually a pretty big star there, this makes a whole lot of sense. While there aren't much by the way of details yet, there are rumors of a Light Heavyweight contender's tournament and those rumors point to Gokhan Saki being a part of this tournament.
If you want to know who is unhappy about that, look no further than GLORY Light Heavyweight Champion Tyrone Spong who doesn't feel that Gokhan Saki should have the red carpet rolled out to him for moving down in weight by being placed in a tournament to contend for a title in his hometown. Hard not to agree with that, huh?
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Yesterday K-1 sent out a press release announcing the K-1 World MAX 2013 Final Four event, which is set to take place on February 23rd in Azerbaijan. The card features the four finalists from the previous K-1 World MAX events; Sung Hyung Lee, Buakaw Banchamek, Shane Campbell and Enriko Kehl.
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On Wednesday in the Netherlands Badr Hari appeared in court as his trial for the assault on Koen Everink as well as a slew of other charges has had its time to stew and now it's time for his lawyer to do battle with the prosecution. The judge announced on Wednesday that if Badr Hari is found guilty on the charges he'll spend a total of four years in prison. This, of course, pertains to the assault on Koen Everink at the Amsterdam ArenA almost two years ago now where Badr Hari assaulted millionaire Everink with both damage to his head and ankle, with his ankle permanently damaged.
Along the way there has been a lot of fanfare behind Badr Hari's trial, as the media has been all over it. There has been possible tampering with witnesses, which saw Badr sit in a cell for a while as to not be able to intimidate witnesses, on top of more and more charges piling up against the "Bad Boy," the Dutch legal system's attempt at building such an overwhelming case against the Kickboxer to where he'd have to do time. His lawyers present their counterargument today, where they will aim for a reduced sentence. [source]Add a comment
GLORY held a press conference in Zagreb today with promoter Orsat Zovko, Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic and Remy Bonjasky to hype up the upcoming GLORY 14 Zagreb event. This was some standard fare stuff, but the big takeaway from the press conference was that they've announced a Heavyweight showdown that has some serious implications for a lot of fans out there. GLORY has announced that Benjamin Adegbuyi will make his debut for the promotion against Jamal Ben Saddik.
If that doesn't sound odd to you, let me break it down for you. Benjamin Adegbuyi is under contract to SuperKombat and is currently one of their best prospects. SuperKombat has been looking to get Adegbuyi some fights outside of their organization and made a plea to both K-1 and GLORY last year and it looks like they've come to a deal with GLORY. This is great for Adegbuyi who will be able to go up against top competition in GLORY, this in turn helps SuperKombat as one of their fighters is getting a big bump like this.Add a comment
Yokkao 6 was the first big event of 2014 and Yokkao 7 is looking to be one of the more exciting events of the beginning of the year as well. Yokkao is looking to keep the momentum going in 2014 as Yokkao 8 is literally right around the corner. Yokkao 7 will take place on February 19th at the Pattaya Boxing World Stadium with a line-up featuring Saencha, Ekapop, Apidej and Suedam, as well as many others.
Then on Saturday March 8th at Botlon's Reebok Stadium Yokkao 8 will be coming to the UK, headlined by Liam Harrison vs. Damian Almos! More information on that card as it approaches, but first Yokkao 7.
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On March 8th in Zagreb, Croatia the first GLORY event of the year, GLORY 14, will take place. GLORY 14 is set to be a big start for the year with a huge headline bout between two K-1 legends in Remy Bonjasky and Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic. To top it off there will be a Lightweight World Title fight between Andy Ristie and Ky Hollenbeck where the winner walks away with the championship. Then, of course, there is a Middleweight Contender tournament.
It seems that 2014 is going to be the year where Kickboxing organizations are on the hunt for great, young talent, as we've seen K-1, SuperKombat and now Final Fight based out of Croatia push forward with initiatives to discover the next great Kickboxing superstar. For Final Fight's effort they will be calling it "FFC Futures."FFC Futures will be a series of four events held in the tourist city of Opatija, Croatia and heavily feature up-and-coming talents in both MMA and Kickboxing, with cash, prizes and even contracts to fight on bigger Final Fight cards given out.
These events will also be headlined by fights from bigger name fighters under the FFC banner, meaning that the shows will have appeal beyond just finding new talent. The first event is scheduled for March 1st in Opatija and there will be a press conference in Croatia on the 22nd with more details.Add a comment
GLORY 14 Zagreb is still a ways away, taking place on March 8th in Zagreb, Croatia, being headlined by Mirko "Cro Cop" Filiipovic vs. Remy Bonjasky, but it is the first big GLORY event of the year and should be an exciting one. Much of the card is still veiled in mystery, but then again, we have a month and a half before the event happens, which is a lot of time. What we do know is that there will be a Middleweight Contender tournament on the card.