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Triumph Kombat 4 at Madison Square Garden – PHOTOS

The Striking Corner was recently able to attend the Triumph Kombat 4 event held in NYC at the iconic theater at Madison Square Garden. While the original fight card was slated to feature 20 fights total (18 amateur, 2 pro), as is customary in the fight game, injuries and other unforeseen issues ended up bringing the number of fights down to a final 17.

However, the 17 fights did not disappoint and the matchmakers for Triumph Kombat did a great job bringing together some very talented amateurs from around the tri-state area to showcase the promotion’s brand of fast-paced full rules Muay Thai. Traditionally in Muay Thai, all bouts are 5 rounds (2-minute rounds for amateurs and 3-minute rounds for pros).

Triumph Kombat rules push for high paced action by making all fights 3 rounds, in an effort to prevent stalling, and motivate fighters to push the pace from the opening bell.

A few Muay Thai promotions worldwide have also adopted a similar rule set and it seems many more casual fans are enjoying the change. While traditionalists may frown upon this change, we believe there is room for both presentations of Muay Thai in the US. Yet, if we want to see Muay Thai grow in America, perhaps some innovation is necessary.

With that said, even though the faster paced, full rules Muay Thai should open up the opportunity to see more knockouts, it did not happen on this night. Regardless, the amateurs, even those with less than a handful of fights, put on solid performances that often times made them look far more experienced than what would be expected given their records.

Most, if not all fights, were action-packed and entertaining. The judging was also far less controversial than usual, except for the main event, where the decision was, in our opinion, a complete travesty. But as Muay Thai grows in America and until more judges are trained in how to properly judge Muay Thai, we will still have to suffer through growing pains.

All in all, a great night of Full Rules Muay Thai action in one of the most historic venues in America and the newest member of The Striking Corner family, Pari Aryafar AKA Pari Cherry, was on hand to capture some of the night’s highlights which we have shared in the gallery below.

If you are interested in seeing more of Pari’s pictures from the Triumph Kombat 4 event or would like to purchase one of the images she took, please head to her official website at www.pari-cherry.com

Also, on the recent episode of The Striking Corner Podcast Vinny and Eric take some time to discuss the event and you can listen to that on iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn, and Google Play Music or you can listen to it here on our site at the following link.

 

Glory 48 Results + Photos

GLORY Kickboxing visited the Mecca of fight sports once again, as Glory 48 took place at Madison Square Garden in New York City this past Friday, Dec. 1st, 2017. The event featured a great card highlighted by two title fights, one of which was the highly anticipated super bantamweight world title fight between USA’s Tiffany “Timebomb” Van Soest and Anissa Meksen of France. The Striking Corner’s Victor Alvarez was on hand with his camera to capture all of the action on this amazing night of fights. Check out the full results and images from the event below:

GLORY 48 New York:
– Kevin Vannostrand def. Anvar Boynazarov by KO at 1:06, Round 1; Vannostrand claims interim GLORY featherweight title
– Robert Thomas def. Mike Lemaire by KO at 0:18, Round 3; Thomas wins GLORY middleweight tournament
– Thiago Silva def. John King by unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
– Robert Thomas def. Wayne Barrett by unanimous decision (30-26, 29-27, 29-27); Thomas advances to GLORY middleweight tournament semifinal
– Mike Lemaire def. Matt Baker by unanimous decision (extra round); Thomas advances to GLORY middleweight tournament semifinal

GLORY 48 SuperFight Series:
– Anissa Meksen def. Tiffany Van Soest by unanimous decision (49-46, 49-46, 49-46); Meksen claims GLORY women’s super bantamweight title
– Chris Camozzi def. Kyle Weickhardt by TKO at 3:00, Round 3
– Elvis Gashi def. Nate Richardson by unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-26)
– Ivan Galaz def. Paul Banasziak by majority decision (29-28, 29-27, 29-27)
– Itay Gershon def. Justin Houghton by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Episode 34 – Kevin Ross

In this episode we speak with none other than “The Soul Assassin” & “El Presidente” Kevin Ross! He is a man that needs no introduction. A true American Muay Thai Legend, Kevin Ross has faced the best of the best, and win, lose, or draw always brings an exciting fight. He is a fan favorite for reasons that go beyond fighting. He is simply an passionate, inspirational athlete. In this episode we discuss the Lion Fight controversy surrounding Tiffany Van Soest, his recent WMC Intercontinental win over Leandro Duarte, his recent signing for Bellator Kickboxing, the pressure of being considered “America’s Best Muay Thai Fighter”, and much. much, more! Enjoy!

Lion Fight partners with Australia’s Warriors Way

Lion Fight Promotions continues to grow its brand of electrifying Muay Thai action on an international level by announcing a new partnership with Warriors Way, the largest promotion in Australia and New Zealand.
To launch their new agreement in exciting fashion, Warriors Way will hold a four-man tournament with the winner earning a spot on a future Lion Fight card. That tournament will be held on Saturday, April 2nd at Warriors Way #15 taking place at the Doncaster Shopping Town Hotel.
“In over 25 years of working to develop Muay Thai in Australia, this has to be one of the most exciting developments for the sport and for me personally,” said Warriors Way CEO Mark Castagnini.

“I’m so pleased to partner with Lion Fight, a truly global brand and a true force in Muay Thai and combat sports. The opportunity to give fighters from the Oceania region the ability to showcase their skills and challenge other fighters in Lion Fight events will no doubt be a dream come true for them.”

The Lion Fight / Warriors Way partnership comes on the heels of Lion Fight’s first international talent-sharing agreement with England’s Muay Thai Grand Prix.

Victor Saravia is the first in line to carry the Lion Fight flag into battle inside the MTGP ring when he faces Daniel McGowan on March 26th at The O2 in London.

“It is our aim to take the Lion Fight brand worldwide and become the undisputed premier promotion in the sport of Muay Thai. Teaming up with prestigious international promotions like Warriors Way and Muay Thai Grand Prix is a superb start to the plan,” said Scott Kent, CEO & President of Lion Fight.

“The idea to share our talent pools is really a massive opportunity for the fighters to present themselves on the biggest stage in the sport – inside the Lion Fight ring.”

Lion Fight’s next event – Lion Fight 28 – takes place on Friday, February 26th at the Foxwoods Casino Resort in Mashantucket, Connecticut, with two title fights headlining the card. Super welterweight champion “Smokin” Jo Nattawut puts his belt on the line against Cedric Manhoef, and in the other title fight, reigning lightweight champ Ognjen Topic defends his crown for the first time in facing Sergio Wielzen.
Tickets for Lion Fight 28 are available at www.foxwoods.com/lion-fight-28, or by calling 800-200-2882, or by visiting the Foxwoods Box Offices. Lion Fight 28 will air live on AXS TV Fights with a special start time of 9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT.

The Growth of Glory

I never understood why Muay Thai or Kickboxing never took off in America with the UFC. It’s not uncommon to hear boos at the local sports bar when the fights hit the ground. Clearly people want to see a kickboxing match. One of the most common critiques for one of MMA’s greatest champions, Georges St. Pierre, is basically that he wrestles too much.

When a fight stays on the feet it stays exciting. Anything can happen at any moment. It’s almost stressful it’s so exciting. It’s beautiful to watch a person navigate the uncertainty of split second timing and stay calm while another equally skilled killer throws haymakers and head kicks at them with malicious intent. It seems obvious that most American combat sports fans would agree.

MMA and the UFC have certainly helped to increase popularity in the striking-specific combat sports and have done a lot of the footwork in creating a fan base for combat sports outside of boxing. However, until recently, these highly exciting fights never seemed to take on American viewership, there seemed to be something missing.

In June 2013 this started to change when common combat sports fans all over America started to notice the excitement of Glory Kickboxing. Glory World Series brought some the baddest men from all over the planet to New York to showcase some of the highest-level kickboxing in the world live on Spike TV. Since Glory 9, the first Glory event in America, American viewership for sport Kickboxing has steadily increased with each event. According to MMApayout.com, Glory 11 saw 381,000 viewers on Spike TV. Glory 12 had 476,000 viewers, Glory 13 had 659,000 viewers and the last Glory card in Denver, Glory 16, peaked at 815,000 viewers.

So what’s changed? What was missing before that they seem to have put together now? How can we keep Glory growing? Eric Haycraft is a talent agent for Glory and one of the best Dutch style kickboxing coaches in the world. He regularly goes out of his way to get information to the fans about Glory in any way he can. He found the time to answer some questions while waiting on a flight to Amsterdam where his wife, Lindsay Haycraft, and another one of his top-notch fighters, Adam Edgerton, will fight on Enfusion 18 this Sunday, May 25th.

(I was asked to spell/grammar check his responses because he was responding with his phone through Facebook Messenger while waiting in the terminal and I omitted the pleasantries because that’s just a waste of your time.)

Pure Muay Thai has never really taken off in the states like Glory has – what has Glory done differently?

Haycraft: Muay Thai historically has presented many issues with mainstream popularity. While it has a remarkable network around the globe, big events with substantial TV deals, big prize money has eluded that sport. If you take a look back to modern combat sports inception, 1993, the year both K-1 and UFC launched, you can how those sports out paced Muay Thai. I believe there are a few reasons.

First, the playing field was hard to crack into. The Thais are hands-down the best at their sport. The 90’s also saw Songchai (probably the largest international Thai promoter) really branch out into Thailand vs. the world events. Really amazing events, the Thais were just much better at their own game to keep a steady stream of top foreign fighters in line.

Next was the pace of most fights. Top-level Muay Thai fighters do so many subtle things that general fans miss or don’t understand which get lost in translation to international television audiences.

Lastly, and this is just my own personal theory, the sport was marketed too heavily on cultural points. Too much emphasis was placed on the wai kru and all the celebrated Thai customs. General sports fans pay the bills, not the hard-core base and I believe it was just too much for general sports fans to take in. The music, the mongkol, and the garlands, it’s just all very distracting for casual fans.

Coming back to Glory’s march into the US market, you can see first, a real budget to acquire the very best talent, and a production that TV can get behind. Another massive difference is timing. MMA really created a much larger fight fan base that had a better knowledge of kickboxing and even Muay Thai than ever before in the USA. While most fans may not know the bulk of our fighters, they can recognize a few, and most importantly, they have a pretty good idea what kickboxing is! Glory put the right talent, the right staff, and the right production team into play at the right time!

It’s still very early into this thing. Glory has a long way to go but there is no denying this is the biggest impact kickboxing has ever had on the US market.

It seems that the success of Glory was also aided by making some changes to the rules and the model of the fight itself, what changes where required to make this sport jump off in the united states in terms of rules?

Haycraft: Sports fans are pretty easy to please. They want fast paced, dangerous action. Through the 90’s kickboxing’s formula went through some changes, less clinching to speed up the pace and ultimately this increased the K.O. ratio. Five round fights dropped to three round fights to also put urgency on the fighters. Tournament formats also proved very popular.

Glory came in and tweaked these rules. One thing is bringing back MORE clinch and knee possibilities but demanding fighters use it to the fullest. The next thing you see is that, knockdowns aside, spectacular techniques that land are weighted heavy in scoring. This inspires Glory fighters to perfect and bring amazing moves to the ring.
It’s a real challenge to get folks from different kickboxing sports to fight the Glory “style” rather than just their style within the Glory rules set. But now it’s beginning to take hold!

Personally, I love tournaments, in one night a casual fan who knows nothing can really get to know a fighter in watching him fight twice in the same event as opposed to the typical one and done type of card. Do you think this format has helped as well?

Haycraft: Certainly. The four-man tournament format has allowed us to bring a tournament and amazing super fights along with world title fights to Spike TV time and time again. Fans have seen the challenges of a four-man tournament. June 21 we bring back our eight-man tournament format and the drama increases exponentially! It’s going to be amazing!

(June 21st is Glory’s first-ever pay-per-view event where they will have their first 8-man tournament, the winner of which will have to fight three times in one night. Glory: Last Man Standing)

What else can be considered to have helped Glory to find success in American markets?

Haycraft: The athletes. It’s no secret that kickboxing is much more popular internationally than in the USA. While young American kick boxers aspire to the level of the international stars, those same stars have all dreamed of fighting in the USA since they started their careers. The USA has always been one of the sports capitals of the world and the last frontier for our sport. These guys are laying it all on the line every single event to really show that this is the most exciting sport in the world.

How does glory keep growing? What can we do to help?

Haycraft: It takes time. Every event brings in new fans and more exposure. As long as more and more people keep tuning in and supporting the upcoming pay-per-view, Glory will keep expanding in the USA. It won’t take long once we are truly established and start having our own US stars playing in the big leagues. We have a few now but there will be a lot more!

Spread the word! Remind everyone of the June 21 live spike event followed by our first PPV event – arguably the best kickboxing card ever in the USA!