LiverKick - Your source for everything kickboxing.
LiverKick is the world's leading source for news, updates and information on the sport of professional kickboxing. Founded in 2010 by Dave Walsh and Fraser Coffeen, LiverKick carried on the tradition set by Walsh and Coffeen at HeadKickLegend.com.
One girl is making history and she is Pooja Harsha from Myore. The South Indian girl currently holds the world record for being the first woman to get the black belt second degree in K1 style. The title has been making its rounds around the world as she received the incredible award from WAKO, the World Association of Kickboxing Organization.
Hersha was originally trained in karate which she felt was limited; this sparked her interest in kickboxing which held no limitations for the famous kick boxer. Karate is what began Pooja Harsha’s career and her father; a man passionate about sports, supported her and urged her career into the success it is today. When she was just seven years old, Pooja would wake up at 5am in the morning and walk with her father the distance of 8km to go to karate classes. The fighter goes on to say that in the beginning it was difficult as she would be tired from the walk but eventually her strength grew. She was the only girl to stand amongst 80 karate students which impressed her karate master and drove her to be as good as or even better than some of the boys in her class.
She has also stated in an interview that in India, girls aren’t as progressed in sports as the men are and she expressed how she wanted girls to become more involved in kickboxing.
Pooja Harsha set a world record at the tender age of 27. The young sportswoman is changing the way her people look at the sport and watching her is nothing short of amazing. Kickboxing is an upcoming sport gaining more traction online through sports betting sites as well as live streaming feeds where people across the world can view matches. Other sports are already famous on sites like http://www.picks.org/ and kickboxing is fast rising to a level of popularity expected by fighters like Harsha.
The elite kick boxer was chosen, competing against 200 other, as the national coach in WAKO. Harsh has also landed the title of being the first South India to be selected as a referee and judge under WAKO. Harsha’s family all have sporting abilities. Her brother has his black belt in karate and her husband is the founder of ASD, an Asian bronze medallist and an international referee.
Kickboxing is one of the most watched sports alongside boxing and MMA. The ring sport is especially lucrative in the online betting industry and continues to grow. Pooja is attracting more attention to the sport being the first South Indian female competitor. She is aiming to bring more women like herself into the sporting industry through publicity and interviews.
Currently the esteemed kick boxer practices yoga and has been for the course of 4 years, something she says grounds her and improves her strength. Many are wondering if she has inspired more Indian women into the sport as she has striven to do and if not kickboxing, will she inspire them to partake in yoga, another strengthening sport.
Honestly, this was never a post that I’d imagine writing, although I’ve known it was coming for a while now and have just been putting it off for as long as I could. As of right now I’ve decided to cease operations of LiverKick, at least for the time being.
The main goal of LiverKick was always to help the sport of kickboxing. MMA and boxing really never needed the help, at least not the kind of help that I could provide for them. They were already popular sports with many corners of the web to turn to for news, information and coverage in general. So the goal of LiverKick, or, under the name of K-1 Legend, then HeadKickLegend, was to give the sport of professional kickboxing the same kind of coverage that you’d find at the time for MMA.
That was in July of 2009. Today it’s October of 2018 and we’re a long ways from there.
The whole idea of a kickboxing blog began as an idea shared between Fraser Coffeen and I way back in 2008, before materializing in 2009. We had known each other through the usual means of message boards and both writing for the now-defunct Total-MMA. We both agreed that we were pretty burnt out on MMA and had been doing more and more K-1 content for Total-MMA. Jonathan Snowden, the co-founder of Total-MMA, had left for greener pastures and trusted the site to me, with me then venturing off at his urging to give kickboxing the site that Fraser and I thought that it deserved. So we did.
Our goal at the time was to make a site that was as helpful to kickboxing fans as sites like BloodyElbow and other MMA blogs were at the time. That and to sell it to SBNation once it picked up steam, because we weren’t crazy and know that the only way to maintain something like this is to make money at it. Truthfully, it wasn’t that difficult. The sport of kickboxing barely existed for American audiences at the time. In the United States K-1 events were airing on HDNet (now AXS TV), but they were only gaining traction with a small number of hardcore fans on message boards and Twitter. We loved kickboxing and knew that if people got the same sorts of daily updates, rumors and aggregated content that they’d love the sport, too.
We mostly covered K-1 shows, which made updating the site daily more focused on aggregating K-1’s content like their incredible videos, translations of their articles and scouring Japanese message boards and news sites for bits of information. Of course, there was more to kickboxing than just K-1 and that is what really pushed us forward. While our main focus was still K-1, we broadened our scope to promotions like It’s Showtime, FEA, Local Kombat and whatever other European leagues existed at the time. The idea was that we were already doing all of this work to find information for ourselves, might as well share it with everyone else. Then came rankings, first just heavyweight and 70kg, because, you know, K-1, then expanding out to other divisions before it became the behemoth that it is today.
We became the source for kickboxing news and information in a hurry, which on a .wordpress.com site felt a bit silly. The site began in July and in October was renamed to HeadKickLegend, hosted by SBNation and a part of their burgeoning blog empire. The money, to be frank, sucked. Fraser and I split a pittance between ourselves and worked super hard to build up HKL. HKL was quickly the source for kickboxing news, but there also wasn’t enough kickboxing to go around to meet the SBN quota for a blog, meaning that we were pushed into covering Japanese MMA and, well, just strange MMA in general. Alexandru Lungu fighting Bob Sapp? That was our wheelhouse in addition to fawning over Giorgio Petrosyan, talking about how Kyotaro wasn’t that interesting or how Badr Hari was the future of the sport.
HKL’s reign lasted a mere year before Zeus Tipado at MiddleEasy came to me with a better offer. Not just a better offer, but more freedom. SBNation owned everything that we did and ultimately called the shots on HKL. We literally had promoters coming to us asking to buy advertising space, but because of the corporate environment we were told to refer them to SBN’s ad team where they were pressured to buy ads across combats sports blogs on SBN, which was a massive ordeal compared to buying ads on one site. After a year we were promised a review and possible raise, only for that raise to not materialize. Not that we were doing poor work, but because there wasn’t a budget for it considering some of their other combat sports blogs were having a difficult time keeping up, eventually falling to the wayside while the larger sites ate up the combat sports budget, deservedly.
So the promise of joining the “MiddleEasy Network,” having ownership of the site and its content, the ability to sell our own ad space as well as money coming in from being a part of a “network” was a better deal. With great reluctance, we left and founded LiverKick. Things weren’t always the smoothest of rides, though. There were issues with money early on and we had to rebuild our traffic up from nothing once again. So when we launched in December of 2010, just in time for the K-1 World Grand Prix Finals, which would turn out to be the final time that tournament ever ran (don’t @ me about the K-1 Global stuff, alright?). We were there, though, we covered it.
Immediately it became clear that things weren’t going to be as pretty running LiverKick, but the potential was there. After a few months, Fraser made the tough decision to return to SBN and take an offer from BloodyElbow to return to the SBN fold, with one sent my way afterwards, only for me to decline after some back-and-forth. In december of 2010 I had also left my longtime job working in public relations and was ready to dedicate myself to LiverKick and writing. If this was the right call or not is questionable, but it’s eight years later and everything seems fine to me. Things did eventually even out, with ad sales becoming more-and-more common, the site’s traffic picked up and Rian Scalia came on board. Rian was young, enthusiastic and a sponge for the sport until, well, he wasn’t and left to cover boxing instead.
Somewhere along the line, after Rian left, I left a call for writers out in the open and was approached by Vincent Jauncey, the father of Josh Jauncey, who was, at the time, a young fighter that had the patronage of Andy Souwer. I had built a pretty good relationship with the WKX Vancouver folks after sharing and hyping up Josh a bit when he was younger, and Vincent suggested that Jay, his other son, would be perfect for it. Ever since then Jay as been an integral part of LiverKick, from tabulating rankings with me, to co-hosting the podcast that happens occasionally to live event coverage and everything else. Of course, Jay has his own career and family, with two kids of his own and now a burgeoning business as a professional trainer, working with top-level kickboxers and MMA fighters.
For a great deal of years now, my name has been attached to professional kickboxing. Competitors have come and went, came on strong then went idle for years, only to come back and do the whole thing all over. I’ve hired people only for them to fizzle out, sometimes instantly, I’ve gotten good at weeding out people that say they want to work but just want credentials to local shows or an “in” for interviews and making friends. Running one of the few sites to cover kickboxing (and muay thai at times, although never as extensively) can be both rewarding and lonely at the same time. One of the few constants was the frustrations.
For a while a group of Romanian fans were the bane of my existence: plaguing me at every step for their local fighters not being prominent on rankings, or events not receiving a level of coverage that they felt they deserved. Hell, a few people got into creating “burner” Facebook accounts and leaving threats for a while. The rankings were always a source of contention, with fighters, managers, trainers all venting their frustrations out and at times ignoring how the system works. I get it, there are other rankings systems, but we built them waaay back in 2009 as a “who-beats-who,” not “who-could-beat-who” system. I also don’t enjoy doing math, so I wasn’t about to concoct some algorithm or anything like that. I also had a strange dude that wrote for me for a while about muay thai, but accused me of hacking his email after an argument we had via email and he didn’t know why my email signature showed up in his message. I… Yeah, I don’t even know.
In a way, it’s incredible to look back at all of the things that have happened in the last nine years. I’ve watched promotions crumble, I’ve seen the sport realign itself, I’ve seen young fighters go on to become huge stars, I’ve seen Boyd from Phuket Top Team build his business every step of the way, from him sending me photos of the plot of land he was going to build on all the way to today where PTT is a force to be reckoned with. I saw Rico Verhoeven go from some awkward Dutch kid on a K-1 Hawaii show talking about his love for Dragon Ball Z to the undisputed king of the entire sport.
Hell, I’ve had my life threatened by gangsters across two continents.
But, at the end of the day, I just can’t keep doing it anymore. In July of 2016 my two sons were born, and it’s safe to say that a lot of things have changed since then. Since then I’ve been scaling back my work consistently, to the point now where LiverKick and a few, occasional freelance gigs from friends are about the extent of what I do, workwise, and, sadly, I really don’t have the time to give LiverKick like I used to. I’ve had a difficult time keeping the site running, from the viruses on the old server, to the hacks, to me having to migrate the site, losing the archives and whatever else. A lot has happened in the span of these two years and, truthfully, I can’t do LiverKick the way that it should be done anymore. Finding help is always an issue because, well, there isn’t a lot of money in kickboxing, nor if there much glory (no pun intended) in covering it. Finding people with the expertise and passion is difficult, to say the least, as most who are passionate find themselves wanting to build their own platform for themselves, not join another.
Still, it isn’t about that. The reality is that I can’t stay up until whenever I want anymore to watch shows from all over the globe. When I do have free time I tend to not want to spend the entirety of it watching kickboxing shows for the site to be able to properly cover it. The sport grows and contracts and right now, with the boom in China and Japan picking up again, it’s growing and it’s simply too much for me to keep up with. Without being able to watch as much, there’s less room for editorials and breakdowns, nor is it possible to flesh out posts with information like before. Instead posts have become dry and clinical, instead of informed and valuable. I could keep going this way, the site would still have an audience and there would still be sponsors, but over two years of basically phoning it in feels like enough for me.
Thank you, truly, to everyone for reading, commenting, talking via Facebook, Twitter and everything else. It’s been a really fun ride and I really wouldn’t have done it without your support and interest. To all of the folks in the business, I’m sorry, I know this is a disappointment, but you and I both knew it was coming for a while now. I’m not sure if this is farewell forever because it never is in combat sports, much like Peter Aerts has broken my heart repeatedly by always coming back, but for now, I wish you all the best and hope that the sport continues to flourish.
If you need to contact me for business purposes, feel free to reach out: dave (at) dvewlsh (dot) com. As always, I’m on twitter @dvewlsh, most likely not talking about kickboxing all of the time, usually just kids and Japanese pro wrestling. If you are interested in my other work, there’s always my personal website, dvewlsh.com.
Feel like sending some appreciation my way? I won’t fight it.
There Will Be Blood - "I'm Finished" Scene - YouTube
Lion Fight is one of the premier muay thai promotions in the United States, best known for their run on AXS TV featuring some of the hottest fighters in the United States squaring off with international muay thai superstars. Since the AXS TV deal ended things have felt a bit chaotic around the world of Lion Fight, but come November 3rd they’ll be returning to television in the United States with Lion Fight 50.
The event is headlined by two big title fights and a welterweight super fight that looks to present what Lion Fight is all about. This event is also “Presented by” the Hollywood Park Casino, whom they’ll be working with moving forward. You can read more about it here.
Regian “The Immortal” Eersel defends his Lion Fight World Super Middleweight Title
Jordan Harris vs. Josh Scales for Lion Fight North American Lightweight Title
Josh Aragon vs. Brian Del Rosario in a Welterweight Showdown
It was increasingly clear that Nieky Holzken had decided to leave GLORY after his last fight with the organization. After being the face of the welterweight division in GLORY for years, Holzken found himself on the outs, with a new breed of welterweight running the division. When GLORY didn’t see the value in a big-money contract in Holzken after a series of losses, Holzken took to social media to vent his frustrations numerous times.
So it should come as no shock to anyone that Holzken is in the process of signing with another organization. While most kickboxing fans saw a future for Holzken in China, or perhaps under the Bellator banner, Holzken made an entirely different decision altogether, announcing that he was signing with ONE Championship. As a part of ONE’s 2018 strategy, they’ve been introducing their “Super Series” bouts in muay thai and kickboxing, signing a steady stream of talent along the way across both disciplines.
This past weekend ONE even held their first professional boxing match, a WBC championship bout featuring Srisaket.
According to Omrop Brabent, Holzken’s signing with ONE is imminent, with the only snag being waiting for GLORY’s contractually-obligated counter-offer, which he expects to turn down. He could be fighting in ONE as early as November, with the deal explained as a two-year, ten-fight deal, which is a contrast to what he claims was a three-fight a year contract from GLORY. Holzken and his team also had some interesting insight that he’s no longer a young fighter and needs to look towards his future, which ONE was able to discuss with him, offering him a post-retirement position with the company as well. We’ve seen ONE employ other fighters past their in-ring retirements, with Rich Franklin being the most visible thus far.
Of course, Holzken also took what he felt was the better money offer, as well. It’ll be interesting to see what a Nieky Holzken ONE Championship run looks like and this is a big win for ONE, who have mostly steered clear thus far from signing talents away from other big-name kickboxing and muay thai organizations since launching the Super Series. For fans of Holzken in the boxing ring, it looks like he’s moved on from that as well, with the article mentioning that it takes five boxing fights to make the same amount of money from a kickboxing fight, although, with ONE starting to introduce boxing, who knows.
Kunlun Fight 77 will see Kunlun Fight’s 70kg World Championship Tournament continue on, although with one rather large change: Superbon Banchamek has been forced to withdraw from his fight due to the flu. Anatoly Moiseev has stepped in to the tournament in his place and will be fighting Marouan Toutouh.
Full Fight Card:
2018 KLF 70KG World Championship 1/4 Final 1: Jonay Risco vs. Feng Xingli
2018 KLF 70KG World Championship 1/4 Final 2: Nordin Ben Moh vs.Davit Kiria
2018 KLF 70KG World Championship 1/4 Final 3: Vlad Tuinov vs. Dzianis Zuev
2018 KLF 70KG World Championship 1/4 Final 4: Marouan Toutouh vs. Anatoly Moiseev
2018 KLF 70KG World Championship Reserve Fight: Wang Baoduo vs. Yiliyasi
2018 KLF 70KG World Championship Reserve Fight: Li Shiyuan vs. Zhu Baotong
ONE Championship held their big Kingdom of Heroes event today, with a whopping four different combat disciplines taking center stage in boxing, MMA, kickboxing and muay thai. The main event, which has garnered them a good deal of media attention, saw international boxing sensation Srisaket Sor Rungvisai defeat Iran Diaz via decision in twelve rounds. In addition, Stamp Fairtex was able to rip away the ONE Kickboxing Atomweight Championship from Kai Ting Chuang’s grasp with a five round decision.
MMA legend Shinya Aoki made quick work of Ev Ting with an arm triangle in round one, solidifying that he really can do it all with regards to his recent appearances in DDT Pro wrestling.
On the kickboxing front Anthony Njokuani was able to pick up a decision victory over K-1 MAX legend Andy Souwer in a hotly-contested battle at Kingdom of Heroes.
Dynamite Fighting Show returns with Dynamite Fighting Show 2 in Romania on October 19th. The event is headlined by two big superfights: Catalin Morosanu taking on Mehmet Ozer as well as Andrei Stoica fighting Sazan Memedi. There are other notable names featured on the card, such as Bogdan Nastase, the sheep farmer that was featured in SuperKombat, will be fighting Freddy El Gigante in an openweight bout as Freddy is absolutely huge.
There will also be a Kyokushin bout and a TaeKwonDo fight as well, to help round things out. Also check out the really incredible promo video down at the bottom. Seriously.
Dynamite Fighting Show 2
Catalin Morosanu vs. Mehmet Ozer
Sazan Memedi vs. Andrei Stoica
Valentin Bordianu vs. Sebastian Cozmanaca
Freddy El Gigante vs. Bogdan Nastase
Kyokushin: Eldar Ismailov vs. Bogdan Pralea
Alexandru Radnev vs. Florin Lambagiu
Marius Munteanu vs. Claudiu Istrate
TKD: Artem Byelov vs. Marius Dancu
Alexandru Stoica vs. flavius Rusalin
Alexandru Mitu vs. Dumitru Tira
Raul Manoila vs. Catalin Oprea
Dynamite Fighting Show - Bătălia Moldovei; Moroșanu vs Mehmet - Official Promo - YouTube
Muay Thai sensation Manachai picked up yet another victory this past weekend in Thailand, this time in the southern isle of Phuket. Manachai, under the YOKKAO Next Generation banner, the promotion headed to Bangla Stadium in Phuket to feature up-and-coming names with Manachai headlining the card against a MAX Muay Thai fighter, Phetnarin.
Manachai turned up the heat in the fourth round with a series of low kicks that put Phetnarin down to the canvas, ending the bout in dramatic fashion and picking up yet another victory for the young Thai sensation.
He’ll return to the ring later this month at YOKKAO 34 in Hong Kong, where he’s set to battle Julio Lobo from Brazil for the vacant WBC muay thai welterweight championship.
This Saturday, October 6th in Bangkok ONE Championship presents Kingdom of Heroes, a jam-packed card featuring MMA, boxing, kickboxing and muay thai all together on one card. It’s perhaps the most high-concept of all ONE Championship cards to date featuring big names from across the spectrum. The event serves as their first foray into professional boxing with the WBC Super Flyweight World Championship on the line as Srisaket Sor Rungvisai looks to defend his title against Iran Diaz.
In addition, there is a host of Super Series bouts in both kickboxing and muay thai, with a whopping seven fights across both rulesets. Kai Ting Chuang looks to defend her Atomweight World Championship against Stamp Fairtex, Nong-O takes on Mehdi Zatout in muay thai and Andy Souwer fighting Anthony Njokuani rounds out the main card in kickboxing rules, in what should be an awesome fight.
Corner to Corner | Nong-O Gaiyanghadao vs. Mehdi Zatout - YouTube
On the prelims there’s more, as Alain Ngalani fights Andre Meunier at heavyweight, Petchmorrakot fights Alaverdi Ramazanov in muay thai rules, Singtongnoi fights Masahide Kudo at flyweight in kickboxing and Petchdam fights Kenny Tse at flyweight in muay thai.
All of this rounded out by strong MMA bouts, including Leandro Issa vs. Muin Gafurov and Shinya Aoki vs. Ev Ting makes this one of the most interesting ONE cards to date.
ONE Championship: Kingdom of Heroes
WBC Super Flyweight World Championship: Srisaket Sor Rungvisai vs. Iran Diaz
Super Series Kickboxing Atomweight World Championship: Kai Ting Chuang vs. Stamp Fairtex
Lightweight MMA: Shinya Aoki vs. Ev Ting
Super Series Muay Thai Bantamweight: Nong-O Gaiyanghadao vs. Mehdi Zatout
Super Series Kickboxing Lightweight: Andy Souwer vs. Anthony Njokuani
Bantamweight MMA: Leandro Issa vs. Muin Gafurov
Super Series Kickboxing Heavyweight: Alain Ngalani vs Andre Meunier
Super Series Muay Thai Bantamweight: Petchmorrakot Wor. Sangprapai vs. Alaverdi Ramazanov
Strawweight MMA: Hayato Suzuki vs. Robin Catalan
Super Series Kickboxing Flyweight: Singtongnoi Por Telakun vs. Masahide Kudo
Atomweight MMA: Rika Ishige vs. Bozhena Antoniyar
Super Series Muay Thai Flyweight: Petchdam Daiyanghadao vs. Kenny Tse
Bantamweight MMA: Fu Chang Xin vs. Rin Saroth
Flyweight MMA: Dodi Mardian vs. Ramon Gonzales
GLORY 59 Amsterdam is upon us, live from the Johan Cruijff Arena. We’ll be covering the event with live results, thoughts and more. Follow us on twitter at @liverkickdotcom for more live updates.
GLORY 59 AMSTERDAM
Heavyweight Title Headline Bout:
Rico Verhoeven (R5 – Dec) Guto Inocente – The first two rounds saw Guto try, but really not gain much traction against the champion. He’s tried to land some spinning backfists to no avail, while eating low kicks from Rico. Each low kick opens his chin up and he’s getting caught every time. Round three was more of the same, really. The best moment of the fight for Guto was an illegal sweep on Verhoeven, which just made Verhoeven mad, but not enough to knock him out. Guto was able to last, but clearly lost the fight.
Featherweight Title Co-Headline Bout:
Petchpanomrung Kiatmookao (R5 – Dec) Robin van Roosmalen – Robin missed weight here, with all reports being that his weight cut was rough on him. Nobody has mentioned it on-air, although we had confirmation that he did miss weight and will be a lightweight from now on. Petch was more aggressive, controlled the ring and was the one who clearly won this fight.
Jamal Ben Saddik (R1 – TKO) D’Angelo Marshall – Ben Saddik was in the best shape of his career and looked laser-sharp. He was slipping his straight when Marshall went for kicks, which led to a finisher where Ben Saddik caught a left kick and landed a right straight followed by a left hook for the second knockdown. The third came with a parried strike, with the left hand putting Marshall down for the third time to end the fight.
Tyjani Beztati (R3 – Split) Christian Baya – Close, back-and-forth match without a lot of big moments in it.
GLORY 59 SUPERFIGHT SERIES
Welterweight Headline Bout:
Murthel Groenhart (R2 – TKO) Mohammed Jaraya – Crazy fight. Jaraya definitely has a Badr vibe, not in his charisma or anything, just in that there’s a sense of “what the hell is gonna happen” in his fights. Paul Nichols called a pretty bad down in R1 and Jaraya looked like he was gonna attack him, but held back. He was showing a lot of aggression throughout, which was making Murthel change his game plan to use his reach more. In the second round Murthel just unloaded on him, dropping him once, then beating the piss out of him on his feet until the ref stepped in.
Welterweight Co-Headline Bout:
Alim Nabiyev (R3 – Split Dec) Eyevan Danenberg – Nabiyev was being Nabiyev here. He was respecting Danenberg’s reach early on, but then was able to control most of the fight. Nabiyev is a very good fighter who sometimes just doesn’t do enough to impress, but enough to win. One judge had the fight for Danenberg somehow!
Light Heavyweight Bout:
Michael Duut (R3 – KO) Mourad Bouzidi – Duut is the one controlling the ring, but Bouzidi has by-and-large been the one landing the cleaner strikes. Bouzidi pieces together combinations. If he throws, he’s throwing multiple shots, while Duut is rushing forward with a big punch or two that won’t land. Heading into round three it seems clear for Bouzidi, but I’m not sure how the judges will see it. Michael Duut’s power cannot be stated enough, though. Round three saw Bouzidi start to get wobbled by Duut’s big, looping shots. Bouzidi was walking in and a left hook caught him flush, sending him crashing to the ropes.
Roël Mannaart (R3 – Dec) Daniel Skvor – Closely-contested bout, a knockdown from Roel in the third round sealed the fight for him. Good fight.
Aleksei Ulianov (R3 – Dec) Zakaria Zouggary