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Friday, Dec 14, 2012

Full Contact Fighter’s “Striking News:” K-1 Max Hits Greece, But Is Anyone Paying Attention? GLORY Adds Superfights to New Year’s Eve Card and Welcomes American Stars Kevin Ross and Eddie Walker To Its Roster, Badr Hari Has Lost 50 Pounds In Prison?

Mike Zambidis (right) will be in action in Saturday's K-1 Max tournament in Greece

By Wayne “The Pain” Clark

There’s been little to no buzz about K-1 amongst fight fans and in the media since the new incarnation of the legendary stand-up fight promotion announced that it would be doing business with Spike TV in Aug.

As quickly as excitement rose after K-1’s return was announced earlier this year, it wore off shortly after the promotion’s event in Los Angeles on September 8 flopped on multiple levels, most notably the subpar caliber of talent it placed on its fight card and its paid attendance that reportedly amounted to 300 fans (they did a good job of papering the arena).

Now’s there is talk that Mike Kim, the Korea-based promoter who ignited the intended resurgence of K-1 is no longer the owner of the company.  Full Contact Fighter attempted to contact a representative from K-1 Global Holdings Limited this week regarding this matter, but we did not receive a response.

Still, the show will go on, at least for now, as K-1’s “Max” (154 pound/70 kilogram) tournament series hits Athens, Greece on Saturday with its “Final 8” tournament featuring Andy Souwer (146-12, 87 KO’s), Andy Ristie (37-16, 34 KO’s), Chris Ngimbi (24-12, 6 KO’s), Mike Zambidis (151-20, 86 KO’s), Artur Kyshenko (50-9, 26 KO’s), Reece McAllister (Record N/A), Murthel Groenhart (50-14, 25 KO’s) and Yasuhiro Kido (30-13, 14 KO’s).

On a far more positive note, GLORY is continuing to make an aggressive push for stand-up fighting worldwide, including The U.S. and Japan.  This week, it added two Superfights to its New Year’s Eve card at Saitama Super Arena in Japan – a heavyweight clash between Jerome Le Banner (75-21-2, 58 KO’s) and Koichi Pettas (26-7-1, 15 KO’s) and a lightweight (154 pounds/70 kilograms) matchup between GLORY 3 Rome ‘Final 8’ tournament runner-up Robin van Roosmalen (37-14-3, 12 KO’s) and Yuichiro Nagashima (17-5, 12 KO’s).

GLORY has also signed American superstar Kevin Ross (36-9, 12 KO’s) as well as Eddie Walker, who made headlines in October after scoring an incredible comeback KO on fellow American Joe “Stitch ‘Em Up” Schilling in Las Vegas.

Ross has been out of action since last year after suffering a torn ACL and is slated to make his return to the ring in a full-rules Muay Thai bout in Las Vegas for Lion Fight Promotions.  His opponent will be Chris Kwiatkowski, whose pedigree isn’t anywhere close to Ross’ but who should make for a good tune-up fight if Ross intends to go up against the heavy hitters in GLORY.

Overseas, it was reported that disgraced K-1 heavyweight champion Badr Hari has lost over 50 pounds in prison where he has been since last month after being re-arrested for violating bail terms.

The 6-foot-6, 240 pound Hari had previously been arrested in July, charged with brutally assaulting another man at a rave in Amsterdam, Netherlands.  The alleged assault left the victim hospitalized with face and leg injuries, including a broken ankle.

According to a report, Hari’s lawyer stated that Hari has been depressed and, thus, may not be eating sufficiently.

About Full Contact Fighter’s “Striking News:”

“Striking News” is a weekly column offering the latest news and rumors in the world of stand-up fighting, including GLORY and K-1 rules competition as well as Muay Thai and kickboxing.
posted by FCF Staff @ 10:50 am
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