Welcome back to Weekly Kicks, Bloody Elbow's regular round-up of news from K-1, Glory, Superkombat, and the international kickboxing scene.
Kickboxing action comes fast and furious at this time of year, with no less than 6 major tournaments taking place in November and December. It's a great time of the year to be a kickboxing fan, so get ready for a thrilling ride.
Glory 3 Rome Results: Giorgio Petrosyan again reigns supreme
The first of those major tournaments wrapped up this past weekend, as Glory concluded their 70kg tournament started in the spring. No huge surprise here as heavy favorite Giorgio Petrosyan walked away with the win, becoming the first Glory 70kg champion and again cementing his position as the top kickboxer in the world.
Simply put, Petrosyan is unstoppable. He is the best technical kickboxer on the planet today. I was excited to see if Robin van Roosmalen could push him, and we did get that fight in the finals, but Petrosyan treated van Roosmalen like every other opponent - he shut him down completely, took him out of his element, and just dismantled him. So who's left for Petrosyan to fight? The Buakaw dream match seems unlikely. I'm intrigued by the idea of Petrosyan vs. Murthel Groenhart, plus Cosmo Alexandre asked for a rematch, which I support.
The other option is one of Glory 3's brek-out fighters: Sanny Dahlbeck. Dahlbeck turned in a pair of strong performances against Yoshihiro Sato and van Roosmalen that definitely turned some heads. The young fighter is not ready for a Petrosyan fight just yet, but this weekend shows that if he stays on track, he could find himself ready to post a real challenge to The Doctor in 2-3 years.
One final note from the show - Stephen Quadros announced that both Petrosyan and van Roosmalen would be competing at the Dream/Glory New Year's Eve show - Petrosyan in kickboxing, van Roosmalen in MMA. Sounds like fun.
Here are the full results from Liver Kick.
MMA: Ivan Musardo def. Giorgio Belsanti by Submission (Rear Naked Choke).
70kg: Julian Imeri def. Emannuele Raini by decision.
72.5kg: Ricardo Lecca def. Giuseppe D'Amuri by KO in Round 1.
MMA: Cesario di Domenico def. Davide Dolce by submission.
70kg Reserve Fight: Warren Stevelmans def. Dzhabar Askerov by decision.
70kg Reserve Fight: Alessandro Campagna def. Fabio Pinca by decision.
70kg Quarter Final: Giorgio Petrosyan def. Ky Hollenbeck by TKO (Injury) in Round 2.
70kg Quarter Final: Davit Kiria def. Shemsi Beqiri by decision.
70kg Quarter Final: Robin van Roosmalen def. Tim Thomas by TKO (Ref Stoppage) in Round 2.
70kg Quarter Final: Sanny Dahlbeck def. Yoshihiro Sato by TKO in Round 2.
72.5kg: Alka Matewa def. Marco Re by decision.
70kg Semi Final: Giorgio Petrosyan def. Davit Kiria by decision.
70kg Semi Final: Robin van Roosmalen def. Sanny Dahlbeck by TKO (Body Shot) in Round 3.
70kg: Jordan Watson def. Mustapha Haida by decision.
70kg Final: Giorgio Petrosyan def. Robin van Roosmalen by decision.
Next up for Glory is their year end show as they crown a Heavyweight Grand Slam champion on December 2.
K-1 MAX Grand Prix 2012 Final 8 match-ups announced
Petrosyan may be #1 at 70kg, but there's plenty of other great talent out there. I'd argue that the division's #2 will be decided at the K-1 MAX Grand Prix 2012 on December 15 in Athens, Greece. No Petrosyan obviously, but the talent field is just as deep as what we saw this weekend in Glory. K-1 has announced the quarter-final fights - check them out:
This is a more wide open tournament than Glory's, as I have a hard time predicting how this will play out. I love watching Petrosyan in action, but his involvement changes the tournament dynamic significantly. Here, you have some favorites in Kyshenko and Souwer, but Zambidis, Groenhart, Ngimbi, and Ristie could all play spoiler and score some upsets. A Zambo vs. Groenhart semi-final seems like a lock, and I'll go with Kyshenko vs. Souwer on the other side, though I'm not as confident. After that? It's anyone's guess, which makes this a great tournament. For now, I'll take Groenhart to pull off the upset tournament win, but I'm sure that will change often before the show.
You can watch the K-1 MAX Grand Prix 2012 in a live stream on Spike.com.
Superkombat Preview: WGP 2012 Final Elimination this Saturday
More tournaments! This time, we switch gears to Heavyweights with the Superkombat WGP 2012. Unlike K-1, Superkombat uses a round of 8 elimination round, then a one night 4 man tournament to follow on December 8. This Saturday is that round of 8; here's the full fight card:
Superkombat Final Elimination fight-card:
Super-fight (+96 kg) 1.Dimitry Bezus (Russia) vs Tomas Hron (Czech Republic)
Super-fight (+96 kg) 2. Ibrahim Aarab (Marocco) vs Dzevad Poturak (Bosnia Herzegovina)
Final Elimination (+96 kg) 3. Daniel Sam (England) vs Ismael Londt (Suriname)
Final Elimination (+96 kg) 4. Pavel Zhuravlev (Ukraine) vs Freddy Kemayo (France)
Final Elimination (+96 kg) 5. Roman Kleibl (Czech Republic) vs Sebastian Ciobanu (Romania)
Final Elimination (+96 kg) 6. Benjamin Adegbuyi (Romania) vs Alexey Ignashov (Belarus)
Super-fight (+96 kg) 7. Petr Vondracek (Czech Republic) vs Radu Spinghel (USA/Romania)
Super-fight (+96 kg) 8. James Wilson (USA) vs Ionuţ Iftimoaie (Romania)
Super-fight (+96 kg) 9. Carter Williams (USA) vs Catalin Morosanu (Romania)
The K-1 GP caused a bit of mayhem with this tournament. Defending SK GP champion Sergei Lascenko and Raul Catinas were both forced out due to injuries suffered at K-1, while Morosanu opted out of the tournament to focus on K-1. We're left with another tough field to call. For this show's elimination fights, I like Londt, Kemayo, Ciobanu, and Adegbuyi, with Londt ultimately taking the whole tournament, but it's definitely close. Superkombat always delivers, and this should be another KO-heavy, exciting event for the company.
Also notable on this card is James Wilson, the K-1 fighter who turned heads with his incredible KO in Los Angeles. Wilson makes his SK debut here. He's a great fit for the organization, and I hope this becomes a permanent partnership.
Fans in Europe can watch Saturday on EuroSport. Hopefully the show will be available as a live stream in the US - stay tuned for details.
MMA fighter JZ Cavalcante to compete in Shootboxing S-Cup 2012
One more slightly smaller, but still important tournament is the Shootboxing S-Cup 2012. Shootboxing is the insanely fun Japanese kickboxing organization that also allows standing submissions and throws, drawing in some MMA fighters. We've already reported on this year's line-up, which includes Andy Souwer and Joachim Hansen. Now, they've added a final name - Strikeforce and Dream veteran JZ Cavalcante. Which is a very cool signing. JZ vs Hansen in Shootboxing? Sign me up.
The S-Cup takes place November 17, though it's highly unlikely there will be any streaming options.
Video of the week
Here's a non-Glory fight from this weekend: Batu Khasikov vs. Gago Drago. Drago is a fan favorite K-1 veteran, who has been on a bad downward slide in recent years with an 8 fight losing streak. Khasikov had some huge wins last year, including a big win over Albert Kraus, but has not been able to break through to the international scene this year. This is a short, but enjoyable fight.
- Superkombat WGP Final Elimination - November 10
- It's Showtime Brazil - November 10 (Sahak Parparyan, Sergio Wielzen, more)
- Shootboxing S-Cup 2012 - November 17 (Andy Souwer, Joachim Hansen, JZ, more)
- Glory 4 Tokyo - December 2 (16 man Heavyweight tournament)
- Superkombat Grand Prix Finals - December 8
- K-1 World MAX GP Finals - December 15
- K-1 Grand Prix Finals in New York City - December 26