Author

About the Author
Anoop Hothi also known as K1ANOOP, is a combat sports writer based in the UK (with a keen eye for K1/Thai rules) and the host of the K1ANOOP podcast. Having initially trained in sport kickboxing as a child, K1ANOOP returned to kickboxing in his adulthood and made the transition from sport kickboxing to K1 rules and Thai boxing. Being a kickboxing martial artist intrigued with improving himself and studying more about the technical aspects of the ‘striking arts’, K1ANOOP started his own blog in 2015 which, swiftly lead to opportunities to write professionally about combat sports for various digital platforms. You can follow K1ANOOP on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat and YouTube.

Could Iman Barlow headline Enfusion Live 51 in Canada against Ashley Nichols?

News recently emerged that Dutch kickboxing promotion, Enfusion Live are headed to Canada on July 8, 2017 with further details of the venue for Enfusion Live 51 and the overall fight card, to be announced in due course.

However, Iman Barlow had some very interesting things to say in her post-fight interview after winning the Muay Thai Grand Prix bantamweight title against, Therese Gunnarsson at MTGP 7“Pretty Killer” thinks she could be facing Canadian fighter, Ashley Nichols in her next fight come July 8.

“Maybe Canada. Enfusion Live in Canada which, would be wicked in July. Then Lion Fight hopefully, return to Lion defend that belt end of July.”

“Its a Canadian girl. Ashley Nichols I think, I think, I think. But obviously she’s Canadian so I’m guessing I think it might be her and she’s returning home from Thailand; and she’s a good fighter and obviously we were together on the ‘Reality’. We didn’t fight each other but we were there together, so we will see.”

The kickboxing and Muay Thai platform for international female fights in the North Americas seems to be building momentum, especially with Tiffany Van Soest from California, becoming GLORY Kickboxing‘s first female champion; and GLORY having recently signed multiple world champion, Anissa Meksen.

Both Van Soest and Meksen’s careers enter a very interesting stage this year along with Barlow. All three are widely regarded as three of the very best in their division, with Meksen having a second round stoppage win over “Pretty Killer” in 2014. However, after MTGP 7, she was accused by Iman’s Dad, Mark Barlow, of twice pulling out of rematches with Iman for Enfusion.

Then there’s the beef that’s brewing between Van Soest and Barlow. Tiffany isn’t one to pull her punches when verbally lambasting any of her rivals, especially Barlow, after the latter didn’t sign a GLORY contract due to, alleged miscommunications between her manager, Edwin Van Os (owner of Enfusion Live) and GLORY, over the proposed terms for fighting under the GLORY banner.

The coming weeks and months seem likely to unfold with some interesting developments for all three women and it will be interesting to see if Barlow vs. Van Soest could possibly happen this year, with their being no restrictions for such a match-up by Enfusion. However, Iman’s contract with Enfusion prevents her from fighting Meksen outside of the Dutch promotion, for reason explained in her post-fight interview.

 

Muay Thai Grand Prix 7 Roundup: Charlie Peters and Iman Barlow with KO title defences

Charlie Peters and Iman Barlow both showed that champions do what champions do and that’s win with solid performances to their defend their world titles at, Muay Thai Grand Prix 7 on April 1, 2017 at the O2 Indigo, London.

Peters who, is overdue a Lion Fight title-shot following his KO win against Nauzet Trujillo at MTGP 5, would defeat Theo Michailidis with a fourth round TKO. The Greek fighter was almost stopped by “Charlie Boy” towards the end of the third round but managed to recover from being knocked-down in the dying seconds, only for the fight to be waived off by Michailidis’s coach, Pavlos Kaponis, in the fourth round after another onslaught from Peters.

The victory sets-up an epic clash for Peters against the UK’s number one ranked 65kg Muay Thai fighter and Yokkao world champion, Liam Harrison at MTGP 9 on July 15. The fight has been several years in the making and will headline the much anticipated event.

Lion Fight and Enfusion Live world champion, Iman Barlow added the MTGP women’s bantemweight title to her trophy cabinet, with a fifth round KO win against, Therese Gunnarsson. The two had fought before in March 2015 with “Pretty Killer” having won their first encounter by decision, However, this time round, Iman ensured it wasn’t left for the judges with a powerful display against a resilient and competitive Gunnarsson.

Carlton Lieu who, had won by decision against Asa Ten Pow at MTGP 6, secured an unanimous decision victory against Julian Ariza last night too. As you may or may not recall, Lieu is also another British Muay Thai fighter that has secured himself a Lion Fight title-shot via the promotional partnerships between the two promotions and it will be interesting to see when he will making the trip across the Atlantic this year.

Muay Thai Grand Prix 7 – Results:

59kg MTGP world championship defence:
Jose Varela def. Rung Kharnphan via unanimous decision

53.5kg MTGP world championship, title fight:
Iman Barlow def. Therese Gunnarsson via TKO (rd 5)

66.7kg MTGP world championship defence:
Charlie Peters def. Theo Michailidis via TKO (rd 4)

63kg ISKA European title fight:
Carlton Lieu def. Julian Ariza via unanimous decision

52.5kg ISKA European title fight:
Luciano Mendola def. Evan Jays via split decision

67kg ISKA European title fight:
Michael Pham def. Shane O’Neill via unanimous decision

Paul Barber def. Alex Dass via KO (rd 1)

Bart Tweed def. Reiya via majority decision

Ryan Li def. Leon Jason via unanimous decision

Nicolas Mendes def. Jesus Arias via KO (rd 2)

James Toomey def. Daniel Terry via unanimous decision

Jenna Ross def. Kelly Haynes via unanimous decision

Phil Casper def. Fabio Agius via unanimous decision

Richard Abraham opens up about his childhood and being focused on fighting and family

Richard Abraham (11-3) will welcome former Thai Fight ‘Super Champion’ Antoine Pinto (130-36-1) to GLORY Kickboxing tomorrow in the co-main event of, GLORY 38 at the Sears Center, Chicago. Abraham is undefeated in GLORY and on a four fight win streak since making his own GLORY debut a year ago at GLORY 27.

Abraham’s fighting career was influenced by his upbringing which, was a tough one for him and his siblings, after his Mom passed when he was 12 years of age. He and his brother, struggled to deal with the emotional anguish which, spilled over into violent aggression growing up, especially when insults would fly around amongst other youngsters. Eventually though, he learnt to curb his aggression and focused his energy instead on Muay Thai and winning various titles including the WKA world championships in Muay Thai and kickboxing.

Losing his Mom as a child and growing up fighting

“When I was younger I lost my Mom the I was 12 and back then the ‘your Momma’ jokes was like the biggest thing. So it was like your Momma this, your Momma that you know at time I’m angry. That turned into a lot of gifts for me, you know, my brother and I; people spout off about something, we try to give people a chance but people still get brave and get stupid you know. It’s just a fight to me, you win or lose, it’s not whatever.”

“I’m not overwhelmed but like I have to run a business, I have to provide for my family, have six kids, I train fighters, I personal train people and I train at a very high level. So what kinda takes priority in my life is I mean, for what I need to care about and that’s about it.”

Committed to the cause and no excuses

“A lot of people don’t want to put in the work, its easy to fall behind with excuses. No one would blame me if I said, man, I’ve got my family, I’ve got to support my family, you know. I can’t kickbox no more. No one would blame me, I don’t think anyone would. Just my life is so busy, I’ve got to run my business. Actually, I make less money because I’ve less time focusing on fighting, it’s not bad money, not phenomenal. I would make more money if I just focused on what I did. So I take a step back and look at what’s important in my life and what legacy I want leave and my kids to view me.”

“If you want something bad enough, you’ll make time for it if not, you’ll make an excuse.”

Pinto’s ring experience tremendously exceeds that of Abraham’s. However, the Chicago based fighter’s development over the years has gathered momentum and with his resolute mindset, the co-main event between both fighters will certainly make for a very interesting match-up.

Click here to listen and download the full podcast with Richard Abraham.

GLORY 38: Antoine Pinto feels he’s ‘on a different level’ to Richard Abraham

Multiple Muay Thai champion, Antoine Pinto will engage with Chicago’s Richard Abraham tomorrow night in the Sears Center at GLORY 38. The match-up will be Pinto’s GLORY Kickboxing debut after having fought for almost a lifetime under Thai rules and the fight itself is the co-main event of the night. Artem Vakhitovs vs. Saulo Cavalari will headline the event which, will be Vakhitov’s first title defence.

So why change over to kickboxing after winning Muay Thai titles for the last 12 years?

“I think my brother and I got to a point where we weren’t really having any challenge in fighting Muay Thai. We’ve been fighting at the top for many many tears now and I pretty much won everything that you can possibly want win against some of the best fighters already. I just felt there’s no more challenges.”

“We got an offer from GLORY to go fight there and I just felt this is good you know, this is new challenge for me, you know, new rules, new weight, new. Its just the fun again being the challenger again and not being the champion so its good.”

Making the transition from Muay Thai rules to GLORY Kickboxing

“People say that its gonna be so hard, you guys changing rules, this and that. We’re not coming from MMA, we’re not coming from football whatever, you know. Its still fighting, its the same you know, especially fighting in Thai Fight where we don’t actually get to clinch. The only thing that I say we don’t have is the elbows. So its not like that much different, you know I feel like its still very similar. I’m use to fighting three rounds, this is also three rounds. So I don’t find it that much different, is just the style that the opponent have that’s a little bit different to be honest.”

Antoine had given himself six months to prepare properly for his GLORY debut and adopt to the change of rules and fighting style which, is something that hinders many fighters before him, from transitioning form one rule-set to the other with a high volume of success. However, making the necessary adjustments doesn’t bother the 26 year old in the slightest and he’s confident of being the victor after fighting Abraham at GLORY 38 tomorrow.

“I mean I’m gonna have to be honest I had no idea who he was until they told me I’m gonna fight this guy so I had to look it up and see what he looks like and see some of his fights with my team, my trainers and he’s a decent fighter, you know, he’s pretty good. He’s good but you know, I mean no disrespect towards him; I still feel we on a different level you know, he’s still baby in this game. I’ve been fighting for so many years and he’s got what like 30 fights? I had that when I was 15.”

Click here to listen and download the full podcast with Antoine Pinto.

 

Maurice Greene reflects on how GLORY Kickboxing changed his life for the better

Maurice Greene (4-3) might not be the most experienced of kickboxers on the GLORY Kickboxing roster but his willingness and desire to evolve and take opportunities that present themselves, no matter the enormity of the task, is why he finds himself facing Romania’s famous kickboxer and politician, Cătălin Moroșanu (42-10), at GLORY 38 on February 24 in the Sears Center, Chicago.

Moroșanu has a strong following in European kickboxing especially amongst his fellow Romanians for, his aggressive style of fighting and is a celebrity in his homeland. It’s probably fair to say that he is the most recognisable face to have repeatedly fought for Romanian kickboxing promotion, Superkombat and no doubt, with GLORY’s new wave of noticeable PR via social media of late, ticks most of the boxes for a fighter that will help to raise the profile of GLORY to, certain European markets where the promotion could possibly be hosting events in the second half of this year.

So, what can “Moe the Pirate” expect from Moroșanu and what does his strategy involve for taking on someone with eight times his amount of kickboxing experience?

“I don’t do much game planning because you go out there with a game plan and the game plan don’t work you gotta revert to plan B and I don’t have a plan, I just make adjustments. He’s a southpaw you know, I’m right handed so I’m orthodox but I may come out orthodox and see how it goes. I may come out southpaw and see how it goes. I can strike effectively from both places.”

Greene’s relatively late start compared to most kickboxers on the world stage, came about unintentionally and as a result of taking a chance on having his first fight approximately five years ago (he’s now 30 years of age), with only 30 days notice.  He once weighed 300 lbs before his first fight but the life changing influence of fighting in MMA (3-1) and then signing for GLORY has been remarkable to say the least.

“The funny part about it is the whole fighting and kickboxing aspect is just something I fell into but you know, I’m a fashion designer. What it does for me is it gives me confidence to be honest with you, it gives me confidence.”

“Honestly, when I think about the sort of kickboxing and MMA if it did anything for me, it changed my life and the path that I was going down. I was going down a rough path prior-to and it gave me something to focus my negative energy on. It made me excel, I had a lot of negative energy I spent on doing other things that I now spend on doing, getting better in the gym and sharpening my tools.”

“So, I’m always game to fight and who said I can’t be the best in the world? Only person that can tell me that is me.”

 

GLORY 38 Chicago and SuperFight Series preview and fight card

GLORY 38 takes place at the Sears Center, Chicago on February 24, 2017 with a stacked line-up of fights on both the main event and SuperFight Series sections; headlined by, a rematch between defending light-heavyweight champion, Artem Vakhitov, making his first defence against, Saulo Cavalari, in what will be the pair’s second rematch (both have a win over each other).

As always with a night of GLORY Kickboxing, there is also a 4-man light-heavyweight tournament featuring, GLORY‘s former (interim) light-heavyweight champion, Zack Mwekassa; a Muay Thai vs. Muay Thai clash in Richard Abraham vs. Antoine Pinto; and Romanian kickboxing politician, Cătălin Moroșanu making his GLORY debut against US kickboxer, Maurice Greene.

GLORY 38 Chicago – Fight card:

Artem Vakhitov (c) vs. Saulo Cavalari – Light-heavyweight title defence for Vakhitov

Richard Abraham vs. Antoine Pinto – Welterweight

Light Heavyweight Tournament:

Final: Winner of semi-final A vs. winner of semi-final B

Semi-final A: Zack Mwekassa vs. Zinedine Hamuer-Lain

Semi-final B: Danyo Illunga vs. Ariel Machado

Niclas Larsen returns to GLORY Kickboxing after almost three years away, due to serious ill-health and the reoccurrence of a major staph infection (three separate times) that almost resulted in the, 70kg WKU world Muay Thai champion, having to have a leg amputated. Larsen has had an incredibly tough time in recent years but after learning to walk again and being cared for by his wife (and mother to their two young children), is more than ready to return to the biggest stage for kickboxing and resume his promising career against Polish kickboxer, Łukasz Pławecki.

Murthel Groenhart is also back in action since losing to former GLORY welterweight champion, Nieky Holzken at, GLORY 34. “The Predator” will face former Lumpinee stadium champion, Thongchai Sitsongpeenong who, is coming off a very impressive KO win over Casey Greene on the same night Groenhart last fought too.

GLORY 38 SuperFight Series – Fight card:

Benjamin Adegbuyi vs. Anderson Silva – Heavyweight

Cătălin Moroșanu vs. Maurice Greene – Heavyweight

Murthel Groenhart vs. Thongchai Sitsongpeenong – Welterweight

Paweł Jędrzejczyk vs. Daniel Morales – Welterweight

Łukasz Pławecki vs. Niclas Larsen – Lightweight