Gökhan Saki intent on becoming a “legend of MMA” as UFC debut looms

K-1 legend, Gökhan Saki, was recently on Dubai Eye Sport radio talking about all things Conor McGregor vs. Floyd Maywether and his future with the UFC, having recently signed for the world’s leading MMA promotion.

When Saki had announced he’d signed for the UFC, he’d stated that he was the promotion’s best signing since McGregor who, had joined in 2013, and would go on to become the promotion’s first two-weight champion. As well as one-half of the biggest cross-over fight in history come August 26, 2017 against, arguably, the best defensive boxer of all time in Maywether who, is undefeated in 49 professional bouts.

Although “The Rebel” has fought and beaten a who’s who from the world of kickboxing including: Tyrone Spong, Daniel Ghita, Ray Sefo and Alexey Ignashov, amassing a record of 89-16-1 in professional kickboxing, Saki is o-1 in MMA. At 33 years of age and making the transition to MMA from kickboxing (after a two year hiatus), the question was raised about making the career move so late in his career with Saki responding:

“Like what I can tell about myself, I never feel strong like mentally, physically like this before and I stopped fighting for two years; I never get knocked-out you know so, I’m still new, you know. I always fight heavyweights so for me it was always difficult to fight the big guys, now I’m still gonna fight big guys but same weight so, it’s perfect time for me. I think easy four, five years I can still fight man.”

With strong rumours of former GLORY Kickboxing champion, Gökhan Saki, set to make his UFC debut on September 02, 2017 at UFC Rotterdam (headlined by, Stefan Struve vs. Alexander Volkov), the coming weeks will be interesting to see how the remainder of the fight card unfolds.

Saki will be competing at light-heavyweight in the UFC which, boasts two of the biggest names in MMA with, current champion Daniel Cormier and former undisputed champion, Jon Jones. However, some would argue that the rest of the division isn’t as strong compared to bitter rivals Cormier and Jones – a talking point that was accepted by Saki’s team during the radio interview.

With competition in the light-heavyweight division being accepted as not the strongest, the question was then put to Saki as to how he believes he’ll be remembered in MMA come four or five years from now. His reply: “Legend of MMA.”

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Photo credit: James Law/Glory Sports International

Luke Whelan ‘stepped up’ for K-1 World Grand Prix after Jordan Watson injury

European Kickboxing Grand Prix champion, Luke Whelan, is a late replacement for Yokkao world champion, Jordan Watson who, broke his foot two weeks prior-to, the 70kg K-1 World Grand Prix on June 18, 2017; the 8-man tournament is taking place at the Saitama Super Arena, Japan; and Sanny Dahlbeck and Jordann Pikeur also compete in the Grand Prix.

Luke Whelan is from the UK and fights out of, Double K Gym and is the older brother of, ISKA world champion Jamie Whelan who, has fought earlier this year (and last year) in Japan on, the K-1 World GP too. Luke Whelan spoke to K1Anoop in-depth about taking this opportunity to fight on the most prestigious tournament in world kickboxing and more.

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Photo credit: Natalia Rakowska/Muay Thai Grand Prix

Jordann Pikeur has ‘unfinished business with the K-1’ World Grand Prix

Jordann Pikeur was the runner up in the 2015 70kg K-1 World Grand Prix, having lost the final by round one TKO to the Grand Prix winner, Marat Grigorian. Back then in 2015, Pikeur had beaten former Yokkao champion, Sanny Dhalbeck in the semi-finals by way of a second round TKO. Pikeur spoke to K1Anoop after GLORY 42 Paris about his year so far and  his “unfinished business with the K-1”.

Both Dhalbeck and Pikeur return to Japan this year for the 2017 70 K-1 World GP on June 18 at the Saitama Super Arena, Japan. From the UK, Luke Whelan is a late replacement for the injured Jordan Watson who, broke his foot. Pikeur is the current KRUSH world champion and trains out of the legendary Mike’s Gym in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

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Photo credit: Image via Headkick on Twitter

Yousri Belgaroui thinks GLORY champion, Simon Marcus, “grew a big pussy”

Yousri Belgaroui won the 4-man middleweight contender tournament at GLORY 40 Copenhagen and was expecting to make a swift challenge for Simon Marcus‘s title. Instead, the bout has been delayed until further notice and “The Babyface Ninja” who, was in-attendance at GLORY 42 Paris, alleges that the current GLORY middleweight champion, is deliberately stalling their title-fight.

“It’s getting on my nerves now. Because GLORY planned the fight, New York, Madison Square Gardens. I was really happy to get my belt there, show it to everybody but he said he don’t wanna fight. He didn’t give a good reason or something. So if he’s injured I say ok, I wait but he didn’t give a good reason, I just think he grew a big pussy. Now he got it with the belt, he’s afraid of me. That’s what I believe otherwise come with a good reason.”

“They are maybe planning on letting me fight Jason Wilnis first but it’s not confirmed. I said immediately yes, let’s do it because I know if I get the belt, he maybe first or second in the line to come and try fight me. So, yes let’s do it now, better soon than later. I don’t mind, I want to fight. I hope it’s going to be 25th August in Chicago.”

If Belgaroui vs. Wilnis were to happen at GLORY 43 New York, it will be interesting to see if this potential match-up could be for an interim middleweight title. No doubt GLORY Kickboxing will be making an official announcement soon enough and K1Anoop will keep you updated as the situation unfolds.

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Watch all of the interviews from GLORY 42 Paris


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Photo credit: James Law/Glory Sports International


 

Luke “Skywalker” Whelan, a cup of tea and the K-1 World Grand Prix | K1Anoop

Luke Whelan replaced Yokkao world champion, Jordan Watson (earlier this week) in the forthcoming 70kg K-1 World Grand Prix due to “Quadrilla” breaking his foot unfortunately. The K-1 World GP will consist of eight fighters: four from Japan being matched-up against, four non-japanese fighters in the opening round. The prestigious kickboxing event takes place on June 18, 2017 at the Saitama Super Arena Community Arena in Japan and also features: former Yokkao champion, Sanny Dhalbeck and current KRUSH champion, Jordan Pikeur.

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Evan Jays on fighting Tomonori in Japan and fighting smart | K1Anoop

Evan Jays who, trains out of Double K Gym, recently turned 18 years of age and will fight Japanese veteran Tomonori under full Thai rules (FTR) in Japan on June 11, 2017. Tomonori Sato (40 years old) is a lot older than Jays and has fought the likes of UK Muay Thai legend, Damien Trainor.

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Double K Gym | K1Anoop’s Vlog 014

A day spent at Double K Gym in Bromley with Luke Whelan who, replaced Jordan Watson in the 70kg K-1 World Grand Prix; Muay Thai Grand Prix champion, Charlie Peters; and Evan Jays who, will be fighting in Japan on June 11, 2017. As well as a crash course in the fundamentals of social media marketing for fighters and much more.

7:57 Evan Jays
25:15 Luke Whelan
37:27 Social media crash course for fighters
1:01:37 “Full English” featuring Waz Ashayer
1:05:12 Charlie Peters

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Michael Schiavello + Passion is 90% | K1Anoop’s Vlog 013

Michael Schiavello aka. ‘The Voice’ of world kickboxing and Muay Thai features in this episode of K1Anoop’s Vlog and we talk about the unpaid graft (hard work) that needs to be applied by oneself before, gradually gaining recognition for our skills and abilities in the media industry, especially in-relation to the sport that we’re (both) passionate about the most.

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Full podcast: Michael Schiavello | The K1Anoop Show


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Photo credit: mikethetruth.com


 

Stop complaining and control your emotions | K1Anoop’s Vlog 012

Complaining is one of the most negative and self-destructive things I (and undoubtedly, others) have done and once I minimised such bad habits and controlling my emotions, everything in life started improving; especially my vision and incremental achievements towards developing my own media career.

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“The Voice” aka. Michael Schiavello​ | The K1Anoop Show

Since the 90s, Michael Schiavello is the most famous voice in word kickboxing and Muay Thai. Originally from Australia but living in the USA for the last eight years, Schiavello’s love for combat sports would lead to a brilliant career in sports commentary that has taken him around the world, covering the ‘Golden era’ of kickboxing in Japan for K-1; DREAM; The Contender Asia; Invicta FC; and many other promotions including, Lion Fight and broadcaster, AXS TV in the USA.

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