In the past, I've run a column called Weekly Kicks, taking a look at the various happenings in the world of kickboxing. Here, that format returns, with a look at a lot of little news from the kickboxing cosmos. Not sure this will be "weekly" exactly, but I'll keep it going whenever there is news to print. Enjoy.
Badr Hari returns in June
The much discussed, highly divisive Badr Hari will make his return to the ring this June. He'll fight at LEGEND 4, an event promoted by Russian organization Legend. No word on his opponent yet. For 4 years now, Hari has been fighting only sporadically as he has been forced to deal with injuries, legal issues, and jail time keeping him out of the ring. His suffered a KO loss to Zabit Samedov at a Legend event last May in a shocking upset, and has since come back with a decision win over Alexey Ignashov in November, again on a Legend show.
Legend also has an event scheduled for April 5 in Milan, Italy. Rumors are that Giorgio Petrosyan may fight on this card, though nothing is yet official.
Pat Barry Opponent Set
As we previously reported, Pat Barry is returning to kickboxing. The ex-UFC fighter will fight for Glory in May, but will make his kickboxing return prior to that, fighting at an event in Richmond, VA March 22. There, he'll take on Ed Burris, a veteran of the US regional scene. Interestingly Burris, like Barry, also has experience in Chuck Norris's World Combat League (watch Burris in the WCL HERE).
Glory 14 Title Fight Change
Next up for Glory is Glory 14 Zagreb, March 8 on Spike TV. Originally, that card included an Andy Ristie vs. Ky Hollenbeck Lightweight title fight - now there has been a change. Hollenbeck is out, and taking his place to challenge Ristie will be Davit Kiria. Kiria holds a 4-3 record in Glory. He's consistently fought at the top of the card, and faced a number of tough fighters. Kiria is a hard-nosed fighter who probably is a more dangerous threat to Ristie and makes this a tough fight.
Interestingly, Hollenbeck did not have to bow out due to injury, but due to a personal issue. Hollenbeck is in training in a Firefighter Cadet Program, and has chosen to temporarily focus on the program instead of his kickboxing career. Expect him to be back later this year.
More Glory Fight Announcements
A few more interesting fights have been announced for upcoming Glory shows. SuperKombat standout Andrei Stoica makes his Glory debut at Glory 15 Istanbul April 12. He will face Danyo Ilunga in a great fight. This is a reserve fight in the Glory 15 Light Heavyweight tournament.
Glory 14 has added some fights to the Super Fight Series including Banjamin Adegbuyi vs. Jamal Ben Saddik and Albert Kraus vs. decorated Thai fighter Meenayothin Aikpracha.
Glory Roster Cuts
Last piece of Glory news - the company has made a round of roster cuts. No huge surprises, but a few notable names in there including Brice Guidon, Johann Fauveau, Hafid El Boustati, and, most interestingly L'houcine "Aussie" Ouzgni. Ouzgni was 0-1 in Glory, but is considered one of the top Welterweights in the world.
K-1 MAX Final 4 Event: February 23
Next big event in kickboxing will be the next round of the K-1 MAX Grand Prix. The Final 4 will take place on February 23 live from Azerbaijan. Featured will be the semifinals of the GP with Buakaw Banchamek (yes, that's Buakaw Por. Pramuk) vs. Sung Hyung Lee and Shane Campbell vs. Enriko Kehl. From the press release, it appears this show will not also feature the finals. Get the full line-up (plus the pretty cool poster) here. The show will once again be available as a live stream.
Lion Fight Muay Thai This Friday on AXS
This Friday, Feb. 7, the US-based Lion Fight has live Muay Thai on AXS. Lion Fight 13 airs at 10:00 p.m. ET. This is a solid American Muay Thai show, though it doesn't feature any names that will be familiar to the casual fan. In the main event, Tiffany Van Soest takes on Caley Reece, while Kevin Ross fights Matt Embree in the co-main event. Again, no big "name" fighters here unless you are a diehard US Muay Thai fan, but it's still a night of free, full rules Muay Thai, and I've got no complaints about that.
Fight of the Week
Finally, I leave you with a fight worth watching. Here, we look back at the kickboxing career of Pat Barry. Here he is against Rickard Nordstrand in K-1 back in 2007 in what is probably Barry's best K-1 win. Lots of groin kicks in this one, so get ready:
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