ONE Championship Kickboxing sign Giorgio Petrosyan, Fabio Pinca, Regian Eersel; promotional debut in Mainlla, April 2018

ONE Championship have set-up their own Kickboxing organisation and have announced singing multiple world champions:  Giorgio Petrosyan, Fabio Pinca & Regian Eersel; and are set to feature in some capacity on, the ONE Championship Kickboxing promotional debut in Manilla on April 20, 2018 at the ONE: Heroes of Honour event.

The news was broken overnight by ABS-CBN News including, the signings of both Yodsanklai Fairtex and Sam-A Gaiyanghadao for ONE Championship Kickboxing too.

One Championship Kickboxing’s promotional debut set for April 20, 2018

Giorgio Petrosyan will make his promotional debut on the ONE: Hero of Honour card in Manilla against another Lion Fight world champion (in-addition to Eersel’s ONE debut) in, Jo Nattuwat who, was born in Thailand, but living in the USA whilst fighting for Lion Fight.

However, with ONE Championship Kickboxing signing the likes of, “The Doctor” along with Fabio Pinca & “The Immortal” Regian Eersel, more fuel will undoubtedly be poured on the fires of speculation over the uncertain futures of all three men in the world of Kickboxing and Muay Thai.

Petrosyan

Photo credit: James Law/Glory Sports International

It is understood that the contracts for the above three are not exclusively binding to ONE Championship Kickboxing and allow for either of them to pursue MMA  careers via ONE Championship. Both Pinca & Eersel have made it no secret that they have been training for quite some time in the grappling arts and are open to fighting MMA in the near future.

How John Wayne Parr influenced the changing future of Muay Thai & Kickboxing

Interestingly, ONE Championship’s owner, Chatri Sityodtong, added a unique selling point to the promotion’s kickboxing future:

“ONE Championship is dedicated to giving fans an authentic martial arts experience. We are proud to announce that the absolute best strikers in the world have chosen to continue their professional careers under the ONE banner. Fans will be treated to the most exciting kickboxing matches where the best face the best inside of both our ring and our cage.”

“Some matches will be under standard international kickboxing rules in our ring, and other matches will be under modified hybrid striking rules in our cage. This is a game changer in the world of martial arts, and I am excited to kick things off this April.”

Parr

Photo credit: Image via Muay Thai Grand Prix

Since 2012, Muay Thai legend, John Wayne Parr, who currently fights for Bellator Kickboxing, has been promoting Muay Thai fights in a cage under his own promotion, Caged Muay Thai (CMT) in Australia which, has grown in popularity. CMT has regularly featured international fighters, despite some Thaiboxing purists accusing the living legend of, “bastardising” the sport. However, five and a half years on, “The Gunslinger” has become quite the influencing pioneer for the striking arts being showcased in a cage and not in a traditional boxing ring.

One Championship have certainly ‘broken a few eggs to make an omolette’

However, despite the exciting news about the launch of ONE Championship Kickboxing, the promotion’s MMA ventures haven’t always been smooth sailing since their inauguration in 2011, especially when dealing with fighters from the western world.

For example, the promotion’s well publicised fall-outs with both James McSweeney and heavyweight rival, Chi Lewis-Parry who, were both previously signed to, ONE Fighting Championship and were being lined-up to fight each other; only for both fighters to be controversially released by the promotion after both men dramatically fell out with ONE Championship (at different points in time) over a variety of allegations including, mistreatment.

Vera

Photo credit: Image via ONE Championship

Nevertheless, the marquee signing of two-time K-1 World Grand Prix champion, Giorgio Petrosyan, is undoubtedly the biggest name in western combat sports to join ONE Championship following on from, former UFC heavyweight, Brandon Vera, in July 2014.

Since then the promotion have obviously hit some turbulent times (like many others including, GLORY Kickboxing) but now seem to have restrategised themselves from a much wider business marketing perspective, embarking on a more positive direction and signalling their serious intentions for future growth, in both MMA and world kickboxing.

K1ANOOP will report again on further developments as more fighters from both Europe and the UK are expected to confirm signing for ONE Championship Kickboxing.

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Linton Vassell warns Liam McGeary he’ll “choke him out again”, wants ‘King Mo’ rematch

Bellator light-heavyweights, Linton Vassell and Liam McGeary, have been fuelling a potential rematch between themselves on Twitter recently and Vassell spoke to K1ANOOP about returning to action as swiftly as possible at, Bellator 191 and BAMMA 33  in Newcastle; warning the former Bellator champion, “he’ll choke him out again” and that he wants a rematch with, ‘King Mo’ Muhammed Lawal  in 2018 too.

Linton Vassell vs. Liam McGeary rematch in London, March 2018?

“I wanna fight, I wanna get back in there and right this wrong from November. Liam tweeted me and said he wants that rematch. I’m more than welcome to have that rematch but there’s other guys out there as well. Obviously, Bellator whoever they got for me I’m gonna sign that contract.”

Last month, ‘The Swarm’ had lost by second round TKO to defending Bellator light-heavyweight champion, Ryan Bader at Bellator 186 and had been unbeaten for, two years and two months prior-to that defeat; including, a third round submission of Liam McGeary at Bellator 179 in London which, handed the former champion his second career defeat.

Vassell

Bellator 186: Ryan Bader vs. Linton Vassell | Image via Bellator MMA on Twitter

Vassell’s “shortlist” includes Gegard Mousasi & Phil Davis to kick-start 2018

“There’s a shortlist but a lot of them are taken-up but there’s still names like Mousasi, Phil Davis, they’re not taken. Bellator have just gotta come up with a name that I want fight and take them out. These are the people I gotta fight then so be it. I wanna fight in that London show, March. I want that world title back, well not back, I want that world title!”

“Liam knows I want it. We’ve been tweeting back and forth. I said again, I’ll choke him out again, simple tingz. He thinks it won’t be so simple but it will happen.”

“I’m no joke, people do underestimate me and you know, I’m always the underdog. Yeah, I’ve lost a few fights. Just because you’ve lost a few fights it doesn’t mean you’re not where you should be or where I’m at.”

McGeary

Liam McGeary def. Egidijus Valavicius at Bellator 122 | Image via Bellator MMA.

“I was the first person to beat him, not beat him, first person to choke him and finish him. Phil Davis fought him and laid on him for 25 minutes, you know what I mean? He laid on him for 25 minutes and couldn’t finish him. He came up against me and I was able to finish him.”

However, McGeary is currently recovering from hand surgery from breaking his thumb, after withdrawing from Bellator 185 against, Bubba McDaniel for was initially reported as “an undisclosed injury”.

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😕 Occupational hazzard

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Unfinished business with ‘King Mo’ Lawal still lingers

Vassell’s previous loss was in September 2015 against, Muhammed Lawal at Bellator 142: Dynamite 1,  a joint MMA and kickboxing event with GLORY KickboxingDespite losing a two (not three) round, semi-final against Lawal via unanimous decision, Davis was unable to fight in the 4-man tournament final due to injury; and was replaced by, Francis Carmont instead of Linton under controversial circumstances which, ‘The Swarm’ is clearly not happy about.

“I’d love a rematch with Mo, somewhere down the line that will happen. I want that fight. Same as when I lost to Newton, even though I lost, straight back to the gym, had that rematch and I got that win. So that’s a fight that’s got to happen, for myself, we had a two round fight. That wasn’t enough, ended-up breaking his ribs, he wasn’t able to continue. Unfortunately, the commission said I wasn’t but I was but anyway that’s another story.”

“It’s a combat sport, these things need to happen so yeah a rematch against Liam. Obviously, he wants that rematch so that will happen, I’m up for that and definitely a rematch against Mo.”

UK MMA is growing in strength & Aaron Chalmers impresses ‘The Swarm’

Whilst enjoying the fights at BAMMA 33 after Bellator 191 was done and dusted, Geordie Shore reality TV star, now professional MMA fighter, Aaron Chalmers stood out for Vassell along with, Ryan Scope who, defeated UFC veteran, Mikael Lebout for the BAMMA lightweight championship via split decision.

“There’s some good fights. I can’t remember his name but the Geordie shore guy…Aaron Chalmers won in a great knockout. Ryan Scope won as well. It’s a good event. I missed the Bellator, I turned up late but yeah its good so far, you know, I’m enjoying myself.”

Later today, Aaron Chalmers will guest on, The MMA Hour with Aerial Helwani along with fellow Britsh fighters: Darren Till, Stevie Ray and Pietro Menga, a clear sign that UK MMA has established itself now as a real force to reckon with on the global stage – something that Vassell reinforced too.

“When I was here fighting in the UK, I felt like it was slowly going up but I feel like us boys fighting over States and all over the world are bringing names; brining the spotlight onto us.”

“They had the ‘British Invasion’ Bellator did, UK won. They had me, Page, Daley and Cheick Kongo, all the top boys fighting, we won. Obviously Liam was on there as well.”

Daley

Paul Daley, Image via Bellator MMA

K1ANOOP will report again in due course as the situation develops further.

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Featured Image: Original images via Bellator MMA.

BAMMA 33 video: Aaron Chalmers calls out Kevin ‘Baby Slice’ Ferguson for 2018 after first round TKO win

Aaron Chalmers explains calling-out, Kevin “Baby Slice” Ferguson Jr, for a mega fight in 2018, after an emphatic first round TKO win over, Karl Donaldson at BAMMA 33 in Newcastle; and, is “very confident with how quick” he’s “gaining experience in the gym”. The Geordie Shore star now has three wins out of three fights so far on his professional MMA record & believes a potential fight with, ‘Baby Slice’ is viable on a joint Bellator-BAMMA event in 2018.


Watch more BAMMA 33 interviews on YouTube.


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Badr Hari vs. Hesdy Gerges rematch headlines GLORY 51 Rotterdam

Badr Hari vs. Hesdy Gerges will headline GLORY 51 Rotterdam as announced earlier this morning in a much anticipated rematch. The two heavyweight rivals had previously fought each other at It’s Showtime 2010 Amsterdam but Hari would be disqualified for shin-kicking Gerges in the head whilst he was on the canvas.

“The Golden Boy” and Gerges were once coached by legendary Dutch kickboxing coach, Thom Harinck at the Chakuriki Gym, only for Badr Hari and Harinck to have fallen-out very badly. Badr opened-up about this in the past when interviewed by Michael Schiavello and admitted that the bitter resentment he had towards his former trainer at the time, was what fuelled his disqualifying actions against Gerges when they previously clashed.

Nevertheless, the announcement this morning will undoubtedly have world kickboxing fans hyped-up following on from, a very successful year end event at Glory Redemption: Rico vs. Jamal which, was also at the Ahoy Rotterdam, where GLORY 51: Badr vs. Hesdy will also take place on March 3, 2018.

Gerges was very quick to call-out Badr for a rematch on social media after it had been announced at GLORY 49 SuperFight Series that Hari had signed a multiple-fight contract with GLORY; and despite coming off a very bad head kick KO to, Mladen Brestovac at GLORY 45 Amsterdam, fortunate would seem to favour Gerges than Brestovac, in returning to action in a very high profile fight against the biggest star in kickboxing.

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Mike Passenier on the return of Badr Hari, Glory Redemption & 2017 round-up

Mike Passenier opens-up on the return of the “Golden Boy” Badr Hari at GLORY 51 Rotterdam which, was announced at GLORY 49 and gives a round-up of: his breakthrough fighters in 2017 at Mike’s Gym; Glory Collision: Rico Verhoeven vs Jamal Ben Saddik; and a look ahead at, Collision 2: Badr vs Rico rematch in 2018 & much more.
0:22 Yousri Belgaroui vs. Alex Pereira, GLORY 49 rematch
1:07 Christian Baya vs. Sitthichai Sitsongpeenong
2:39 The rise of Stoyan Koprivlenski, GLORY 49 Contender Tournament winner
3:25 Ismael Londt’s defeat to D’Angelo Marshall
4:25 Why Nieky Holzken should not retire anytime soon
8:22 The return of Badr Hari in 2018
11:16 Badr Hari’s motivation now compared to the past
12:31 Glory Redemption: Rico Verhoeven vs. Jamal Ben Saddik analysis
14:30 Should Rico Verhoeven have got an 8-count from the referee?
18:05 Glory Collision: Rico vs. Badr technical analysis
20:46 Murthel Groenhart winning the GLORY welterweight title
21:19 2017 kickboxing round-up: Breakthrough of Christian Baya, Stoyan Koprivlenski, Anissa Haddaoui, Fabio Kwasi
23:33 2018 forecast for kickboxing, ‘Golden era’ & message to fans
  
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Murthel Groenhart on Harut Grigorian rematch: “Let’s kill him in the first round” & GLORY 49 recap

GLORY Kickboxing champion, Murthel Groenhart looks ahead at the rematch with Harut Grigorian at GLORY 50 Chicago, declaring: “Let’s kill him in the first round”; and, recaps GLORY 49 Rotterdam which, was topped-off by Glory Redemption: Rico vs. Jamal. As well as the return of his fellow Mike’s Gym team-mate, Badr Hari, come GLORY 51 Rotterdam & much more:

0:13 Another rematch with Harut Grigorian at GLORY 51
2:32 Cedric Doumbe beef, rivalry & mind-games
4:57 Fighting in the USA compared to Europe
6:31 Nieky Holzken‘s loss of form & defeat to Alim Nabiyev
9:08 How to deal with the potential threat of Alim Nabiyev
11:09 Murthel’s tips for fighters & believing in yourself
11:52 Younger brother, Fernando Groenhart‘s kickboxing return
12:48 Badr Hari’s return, Rico Verhoeven & Jamal Ben Saddik
15:33 Yousri Belgaroui‘s eye injury & loss to Alex Pereira
17:54 Ismael Londt‘s returning defeat to D’Angelo Marshall
18:29 Murthel’s worst injury & overcoming it mentally
20:08 Christian Baya vs. Sitthichai Sitsongpeenong
22:43 Stoyan Koprivlinski‘s winning the GLORY 49 Lightweight Contender Tournament
24:24 Forecast for 2018 & bad intentions for Harut Grigorian.

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Badr Hari set to fight in Amsterdam, shortlist of opponents & Rico vs. Badr 2 update

Badr Hari signed a multiple fight contract it was announced last night at Glory 49 SuperFight Series with GLORY Kickboxing dropping an epic video trailer to break the news prior-to, Glory: Redemption commencing at, the Ahoy Rotterdam. However, GLORY CEO, Jon Franklin confirmed to K1ANOOP that GLORY Kickboxing are confident of arranging for, Badr Hari to fight again in Amsterdam in 2018 (video below).

Glory: Redemption was headlined by a successful title defence for GLORY heavyweight champion, Rico Verhoeven with, an emphatic fifth round KO of, Jamal Ben Saddik in what was a much anticipated rematch from six years; Saddik had previously stopped Verhoeven six years ago. Rico would redeem himself in a thrilling year end event for the promotion which, was capped-off with the signing of kickboxing’s “Golden Boy”, Badr Hari.

The rematch between Rico Verhoeven and Badr Hari is still (and has been) a top priory for GLORY as Jon Franklin mentioned when speaking after Glory Redemption but where and when are some of the key questions:

“Do we take him back to Amsterdam for a major event with Rico? Does he fight somebody first? Like I said that would be up-to Team Badr Hari.”


Hari’s return fight for GLORY will be on March 3, 2017 at the Ahoy Rotterdam with strong rumours circulating that heavyweight rival, Benjamin Adegbuyi is on the short-list of potential opponents along with, three-time K-1 champion, Remy Bonjasky; Enfusion two-weight champion, Luis Tavares; Patrice Quateron; Hesdy Gerges; and Daniel Ghita.

K1ANOOP will report again as the situation develops further.

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Glory Redemption: Rico Verhoeven vs. Jamal Ben Saddik | Kickboxing Analysis with Melvin Manhoef

Rico Verhoeven vs. Jamal Ben Saddik headlines Glory: Redemption at the Ahoy Rotterdam in a year end kickboxing extravaganza. K-1 legend, Melvin Manhoef gave a technical kickboxing analysis of this huge fight tonight with, Anoop Hothi for K1ANOOP.

Saddik won the first fight with Verhoeven six years ago and could very well cause one of the biggest upsets in recent times or, will GLORY’s undisputed heavyweight champion, secure another successful title-defence and ‘Redemption’?

Verhoeven has dominated heavyweight kickboxing including a TKO win over Badr Hari this time last year at ‘GLORY Collision‘. A second arm injury would seal the victory for Rico who, it would seem, is fast running out of credible/threatening enough opponents at GLORY Kickboxing.

However, Jamal Ben Saddik makes fighting difficult for his past opponents and is an incredibly tough individual, having battled cancer for a second time earlier this year. This matchup was initially scheduled for the first half of this year but Saddik unexpectedly needed urgent treatment but would seem to have made a strong recovery since then.

Could Jamal Ben Saddik end Rico Verhoeven’s reign as GLORY’s heavyweight champion or, will it be another comfortable win for Verhoeven who, easily disposed of UFC veteran, Bigfoot Silva at GLORY 46 China in his previous fight?

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Gökhan Saki injured in training, replaced by Michal Oleksiejczuk for UFC 219 after knee surgery

Former GLORY Kickboxing champion, Gökhan Saki was injured in training yesterday and needed urgent knee surgery according to Saki’s Instagram post, earlier today. As a result, Saki has been replaced by, Michal Oleksiejczuk who, will will fight, Khalil Rountree at UFC 219 on December 30.

UFC 219 wil be headlined by, Cris Cyborg vs. Holly Holm at the T-mobile arena, Las Vegas and would’ve have featured Saki’s second outing for the UFC (and third professional MMA bout). “The Rebel” had previously defeated Henrique da Silva on his UFC debut by, first round KO and currently has a MMA record of, one win and one loss (from 2004 against James Zikic); and a kickboxing record of, 83-12-1.

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As has been announced everywhere, i’m not fighting on the UFC 219 card. I wanted to announce this myself but i needed some time to recover mentally from this bad news. I got injured during a training and went to the hospital for this. My team and management took the decision with the medical team that i needed treatment and i have to think of my health first. I didn’t want to accept this but i’m glad i have the right people around me. It felt like i let my fans and supporters down, i was really looking forward to this fight. So the bad news was a bitter pil to swallow. But this is top sports and injuries are unfortunately a part of it. I’m recovering now and will be back in training soon. I want to thank my opponent Khalil for preparing for me and i wish him best of luck on December 30th. I want to thank all my fans/supporters for their great messages and i promise you 2018 i will give you KNOCK-OUTS! One knee, no knee, i will be there violently!!!! Sizlerin de bildiği üzere, UFC 219’da dövüşmeyeceğim. Her ne kadar bu kötü haberi sizlerle paylaşan ilk kişi olmak isteseydim de mental olarak toparlanmaya ihtiyacım vardı. Antrenman sırasında geçirdiğim sakatlık üzerine hastaneye gitmem gerekti. Ekibim, doktorların tedavi olmam gerektiği görüşünü dikkate alarak bu kararı aldı. Kabul etmek zor olsa da sağlığımı ilk planda tutmam gerekiyor. Bu dövüşü büyük bir heyecanla bekliyordum ve dövüşemeyecek olmak bana sevenlerimi yarı yolda bıraktığımı hissettirdi. Bunun üstesinden gelmek oldukça zordu. Ancak kabul etmek gerekiyor ki sakatlık da üst düzey sporların bir parçası. Şu anda tedavi sürecindeyim ve yakın zamanda antrenmanlara başlayacağım. Rakibim Khalil’e bu maça hazırlandığı için teşekkür ediyor ve kendisine 30 Aralık’taki mücadelesinde başarılar diliyorum. Ve siz tüm sevenlerime, destekçilerime değerli mesajlarınız için teşekkür ediyorum. 2018’de hepinize KNOCK-OUT sözüm var! Gerekirse bir dizimle ya da dizim olmadan, her şeyimle orada olacağım!!! #ufc219 #ufc #kickboxing #boxing #mma #comeback #recovery #2018 #gokhansaki #fighter #fans #smile #power #knockouts #tur #turkiye #usa #lasvegas #la #hollywood #rotterdam #schiedam #fitdutchies #fit #healthy #türkiye

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Saki’s statement via his Instagram read:

“As has been announced everywhere, i’m not fighting on the UFC 219 card. I wanted to announce this myself but i needed some time to recover mentally from this bad news. I got injured during a training and went to the hospital for this. My team and management took the decision with the medical team that i needed treatment and i have to think of my health first. I didn’t want to accept this but i’m glad i have the right people around me.”

It felt like i let my fans and supporters down, i was really looking forward to this fight. So the bad news was a bitter pil to swallow. But this is top sports and injuries are unfortunately a part of it. I’m recovering now and will be back in training soon. I want to thank my opponent Khalil for preparing for me and i wish him best of luck on December 30th. I want to thank all my fans/supporters for their great messages and i promise you 2018 i will give you KNOCK-OUTS! One knee, no knee, i will be there violently!!!!”

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Video: Rico Verhoeven vs. Jamal Ben Saddik | Kickboxingplanet Trailer for GLORY REDEMPTION

Rico Verhoeven will rematch Jamal Ben Saddik on December 9, 2017 at the Ahoy Rotterdam in the headline bout of GLORY: REDEMPTION. Saddik had previously stopped the GLORY heavyweight champion by second round TKO in 2011 and six years on, Verhoeven is now looking for redemption having dominated heavyweight kickboxing in recent years; And yesterday, Kickboxingplanet dropped their (unofficial) trailer!

Check out the video below.

The Kickboxingplanet trailer for GLORY: REDEMPTION follows on from their trailer last year for, GLORY Collision: Rico vs Badr, that went viral and had kickboxing fans around the world agreeing that they had outdone even GLORY Kickboxing‘s very own official trailer.

GLORY: REDEMPTION will be the promotion’s “13th live event of 2017” and will cap off what has been the most significant year so for the continuing development of both the sport and GLORY who, are clearly leading the way for, the resurgence of the sport around the world.

Full fight cards for GLORY: REDEMPTION, GLORY 49 Rotterdam and GLORY 49 SuperFight Series are as below.

GLORY: REDEMPTION
Heavyweight World Title Bout: Rico Verhoeven vs. Jamal Ben Saddik
Light Heavyweight Bout: Michael Duut vs. Danyo Ilunga
Heavyweight Bout: Anderson Silva vs. Xavier Vigney
Featherweight No. 1 Contender Bout: Petchpanomrung Kiatmookao vs. Zakaria Zouggary

GLORY 49 SuperFight Series
Middleweight World Title Bout: Alex Pereira vs. Yousri Belgaroui
Heavyweight Bout: Ismael Londt vs. D’Angelo Marshall
Welterweight Bout: Nieky Holzken vs. Alim Nabiyev
Welterweight Bout: Eyevan Danenberg vs. Jamie Bates
Featherweight Bout: Bailey Sugden vs. Chenglong Zhang

GLORY 49 Rotterdam
Lightweight Tournament Final Bout: Winner of Bout A vs. Winner of Bout B
Lightweight Bout: Christian Baya vs. Samo Petje
Welterweight Bout: Omar Moreno vs. Anying Wang
Lightweight Tournament Semifinal Bout B: Niclas Larsen vs. Tyjani Beztati
Lightweight Tournament Semifinal Bout A: Stoyan Koprivlenski vs. Maykol Yurk

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