Welcome back to your Bloody Elbow kickboxing news round-up. These are becoming a weekly post now thanks to an abundance of news from the kickboxing scene around the world, and I couldn't be happier. This week, we've got updates on the K-1 and Glory Heavyweight tournaments, news on a big K-1 / Superkombat partnership, and more. But first, the bad news...
Badr Hari Jail Sentence Extended
As we've reported lately, K-1 superstar Badr Hari is in quite a lot of trouble with the police in Amsterdam, and it seems like things are only getting worse. Hari is currently in jail awaiting a court date for taking part in an attack that left the victim possibly disabled for life. Now, Hari's current jail time has been extended to 90 days, all of which he is likely to spend in solitary confinement, sequestered from anyone other than his lawyer.
That solitary confinement is a result of information about the case being leaked to the press. The judge felt that the leak came from Hari's side, and as a result, has cut off his contact with the outside world.
Again, Hari is serving these 90 days right now, and this is not part of an actual jail term, as he has not yet been sentenced for the assault. Hari has already admitted his guilt in the attack.
The big take away from all of this? Don't expect to see Badr Hari back in the ring for a long time.
K-1 And Superkombat Announce Partnership
On to better news. K-1 and Superkombat have announced that they will be working together. Specifically, Superkombat will be working with the new K-1 on live event production, and on securing new talent from Europe. Here's Superkombat head Eduard Irimia on the deal:
I am honored that Superkombat WGP will be working closely with K-1 to present the absolute best technology in live television production today. I am excited that K-1 has finally returned. Superkombat WGP will help K-1 in every possible way to once again become a giant in combat sports.
It should be noted that this is not a merger, as we saw with Glory and It's Showtime, and the two companies will continue to run separately.
This is excellent news and a big boost for both companies. For Superkombat, they get access to the K-1 brand name, which has had a rough few years, but remains the big name in international kickboxing. For K-1, they get a more experienced production team, plus access to Superkombat's excellent talent pool, which includes some very exciting up and coming names. A win-win all around here, and I'm very excited to see where it goes.
Superkombat's next show is set for October 20, and will feature the final 4 man tournament for a slot in their 2012 World Grand Prix. Five fighters have been announced for the show so far: Sebastian Ciobanu, Goran Radonjic, Daniel Sam, Alexandru Lungu, and Andrei Stoica. Of those five, Radonjic is likely to be in the qualification tournament, with the other four planned for non-tournament super fights. We'll have much more on this card in the coming months.
Lots more, including news on the K-1 and Glory year end tournaments, in the full entry.
More Names Announced For 2012 K-1 Grand Prix
Last time, we gave you the names of 9 fighters rumored for the 2012 K-1 Heavyweight Grand Prix. Now, thanks to the Superkombat partnership, we have a few more to add. Superkombat today confirmed that Catalin Morosanu, Raul Catinas, and Benjamin Adegbuyi (pictured) will all take part in the GP, scheduled to begin on October 14 in Tokyo. Here's the current rumored line-up:
Not as much star power here as you might expect from K-1, but a lot of talented and exciting fighters that should make for a fun tournament. Ghita remains the man to beat, and I'm not sure I'm even comfortable naming a dark horse to take him out.
Glory Announces Heavyweight Participants
Not to be outdone, K-1 rival Glory has officially announced 13 of the 16 fighters to take part in their own year-end tournament, and the list is indeed rather impressive:
A great mix there of kickboxing veterans plus exciting new names. Add in the #1 Heavyweight in the world, and the return of Bonjasky, and you have an excellent line-up. They're missing Ghita, which is a shame, as well as Tyrone Spong. Not sure why Spong is not featured in either event yet, as he is a top 5 Heavyweight.
Glory is calling their event the Glory Grand Slam, and apparently it is not a traditional single-elimination tournament, as Glory is promising "a new and exciting format." All 16 fighters will compete that night, with one winner crowned at the end. Full details on just how that will work are not yet available, but here's what Glory has announced so far:
The Grand Slam event will debut a new tournament format devised by [Glory Ambassador Cor] Hemmers. The sixteen fighters will battle it out over four stages in one night to determine an overall winner.
In order to make this possible, three of the stages will feature shorter rounds (two minutes instead of three) and there will be a ‘sudden death' rule in the earlier stages which means a fight will be stopped before the third round commences if one of the fighters has been judged to win the preceding two rounds (Best of three format).
Full details of the new tournament format will be announced soon.
Two minute rounds, plus the TUF gimmick of potentially stopping the fight after two rounds? I'm not in love with these rules so far, but we'll see how it all plays out.
The Glory Grand Slam will take place in December in Tokyo, with a specific date yet to be announced.
Upcoming Shows in Australia
And finally, a few quick notes on some fun upcoming shows from the Muay Thai and kickboxing scene in Australia. If you've never checked out the Australian scene, you should - they have some of the best shows in the world, and are well worth your time.
August 25 - Capital Punishment 6 featuring Ben Edwards fighting for an Australian boxing title, and K-1 veterans Paul Slowinski vs. Doug Viney
September 1 - Total Carnage II featuring Nathan Corbett vs. Steve McKinnon in a big fight, plus Frank Giorgi vs. Nonsai, Michael Thompson, and lots of other good fighters
October 13 - Boonchu Cup, John Wayne Parr's Caged Muay Thai promotion, with Michael "Tomahawk" Thompson vs. Pornsaneh in what should be an incredible main event.