FRIDAY, December 31st, 2004, AT 5:00 PM, PT
Who else was in the running? Believe it or not, parts of Canada and the State of Texas were strong in the beginning. However their Athletic/Boxing Commissions (Provinces here the Hotels with the best bids were located) do not allow MuayThai or International Rules. Other locations with large airports such as Chicago, Atlanta and St. Louis were put aside early due to high hotel costs. In the Hotels that had ballrooms large enough for this event, the lowest room rate we received was $129.00. Other locations had some good offers but no available dates in July or August. A lot of locations wanted to offer us the 4th of July weekend or Labor Day weekend. A note that we will remember when it comes time to select our 2006 location. We had several bids from California but the State Commission here will not allow Tournament style bouts and the Commission fees would kill us as they do most California promoters.
So there it is everyone. We will be in Orlando this year for the 2005 IKF North American Classic Tournament. We know, as there is every year, great sacrifices to be made to make it there to "Walk The Walk." We can assure you, we are NOT looking forward to doing that 3,000 mile drive again. If anyone knows any Motorcoach people, we would love a sponsor for this years trip. Than we could pick up Uncle Brooks along the way. Regardless of the issues we all know about, making and "Confirming" the 2005 location so early gives us all more time to make this event better than ever.
As every year we will be seeking the required sponsorship to make this event happen. The "TITLE" sponsor (Such as TKO and Ringside have been in the past - IKF/TKO NAC Tournament or IKF/RINGSIDE Nationals Tournament) has not been named yet. In fact, we haven't even asked anyone if they want to be Title Sponsor for the 2005 Tournament yet. We have been too busy sorting through all these location proposals. Not to mention the over 900 e-mails related to this event that we have sorted through too. So if you have any ideas or anyone interested in being the event "TITLE" Sponsor or sponsoring anything for the event such as Fighter/Trainer meals, gifts for the Fighters & Trainers welcome package they will get this year at registration, etc. etc., please e-mail such info to us to firstname.lastname@example.org This will keep us pretty busy here. However, you too need to get started. Don't just "Walk the Walk" this year, do it with Pride and BE NOTICED!
By this we mean, get those Team UNIFORMS! Remember those Teams that had them this last year? Look at some of the photos above. Those Teams not only stood out, but stood out in STYLE! If you are looking for Sponsors, get your sponsors names on those uniforms. sponsors want and need exposure and Team Uniforms are a great way to give them the exposure they desire. Find "NATIONAL" or even "INTERNATIONAL" Sponsors because this is an event that will reach outside your community. Enough said... It's time we all get busy to "Walk The Walk!"
Of course... after all of you, and us too, have a
THURSDAY, December 30th, 2004, AT 2:00 PM, PT
So out of 132 Proposals from USA and Canada,
how did we decide to go back to Orlando for the
2005 IKF North American Classic Tournament?
Trust us when we say the decision "Wasn't Easy..."
The full story will be posted Tomorrow.
WEDNESDAY, December 22nd, 2004, AT 5:55 PM, PT
A. K. Promotions
IKF World Title Fight!
In fact, at press time, Davis was delighted that IKF President Steve Fossum along with the IKF Title Board agreed to sanction the match-up between 2004 IKF/TKO FCR North American and IKF West Coast Super Middleweight Champion Mike Morello (Right) of Santa Barbara, California and 2002 IKF FCR North American Champion and "FOUR" time IKF National Champion Anthony McGaughey (Left, 2000, 2001, 2002 & 2003) of Norman Oklahoma.
The tentative location for the event is the beautiful Lord's Arena in Roseville, California. "This will be a great fight" says Davis! Both men have proven that they are talented and deserving. Both men are hungry to become a world champion. Anthony's outstanding record of 26-1-1, with 16 wins by KO/TKO's, is evident that he has 'mad skills' and is able to handle himself well.
Although Morello's record is not as extensive (8-5-1/2), what he can be proud of is that he has done well under Full Contact Rules where he has made his mark. Although he won his IKF West Coast title under International Rules, his best style is Full Contact. He proved this to to his peers at the 2004 IKF/TKO North American Championship Tournament back in August. "His record is deceiving and his skill level is much better than the numbers."" Davis adds.
Both men have good boxing and kicking skills which will make for a well rounded bout. Davis' AK Promotions promotes all rule styles sanctioned by the IKF but Davis is especially looking forward to this bout which will be fought under Full Contact - American Kickboxing rules (All kicks above the waist). This one is special to Davis since he won both his World titles in this rule style. "I personally think this fight will be a good one for American Kickboxing." Any way, you put it, it will be a great night with an exciting under card of local fighters.
Of course, Davis (Right) is not waiting on the April 9th event as he will warm things up February 12th, 2005 with another exciting edition of IKF Triple F Kickboxing in Roseville. This event is part of a doubleheader starting with an IKF Point Kickboxing tournament earlier that same day. Davis continues, "I would also like to say thanks to the assistance in bringing this fight together from www.ExtrasOnCall.com a Digital Exposure Corporation." Look for more information to come on the February IKF doubleheader and the April IKF Amateur World Title Fight...or contact AK Promotions at (916) 780-7483 or by email email@example.com or go to www.akpromotions.org
SATURDAY, December 18th, 2004, AT 11:00 PM, PT
On Florida Event!
IKF Headquarters: It takes some guts and discipline to do what IKF Florida Representative Lee Barden (Right) did tonight, and according to IKF President Steve Fossum, he hopes all IKF Representatives will do the same thing when faced with what he was. Barden was the appointed IKF Event Representative for Dieuseul Berto's (Tiger's World of Martial Arts) CHRISTMAS NIGHTMARE kickboxing event that was tonight at the Orange Dome in Winter Haven, Florida, USA. When Barden arrived he did a check of the officials where he and his assistant discovered that Berto's doctor was not an MD (Medical Doctor). "He was telling us he was an MD but had no ID to prove so to show us." Said Barden. "He didn't even have any ringside medical equipment."
Upon the discovery Barden informed Berto that the IKF will not sanction his event unless he has a ringside MD. Berto informed Barden that his doctor was coming but was late. With this being known, Barden allowed the event to be delayed hoping the MD would show up. However as time went by, no MD showed up. After a long wait, Barden made the official decision to pull the IKF Sanction from the event. At this time Barden informed the other event officials and informed the person claiming to be an MD that he would be liable if anyone was injured if Berto went ahead with the event after he left. Once informed of the situation the event referee, Andy, who's last name was not available at press time, made the decision to pull off the event too. "I'm a police officer and I'm not going to be involved in an illegal, un-sanctioned event" said Andy.
Barden made his necessary announcements to those involved in the event as well as informing Berto that he would be operating an illegal event if he went ahead with it. "Lee did the right thing." Said Fossum. (Right) "It takes a strong person to do as he did which was 'The right thing to do', I hope all IKF Representatives learn from his strength of decision." But Berto, as any promoter might be, was more concerned with the money he would lose and the actions of the crowd if he cancelled his event. Sadly for those involved, Berto went ahead with his event, without an MD at ringside, an official referee and without any official sanctioning. It was not even confirmed if any of the fighters received a pre-fight physical since they were all waiting for the MD to arrive and do so.
What will come of Berto come this Monday will be interesting. Hindsight by then will tell him that he should have cancelled the event. But it's too late for that now. Berto faces several possible issues from the Florida State Boxing Commission which could be possible fines as well as possibly criminal charges since what he did was illegal. "It's too bad he was faced with such a decision." Said IKF President Steve Fossum via phone tonight. He continued, "We want to believe that the truth is that the scheduled MD is who let him down, but I don't know of how we can defend him for going ahead with his event. As we said with Colorado Promoter Keith Schmelzer back in October of this year who made a major mental mistake, once it happens, you can't change it. How do you unring a bell... You can't."
As some may remember, Smeltzer was the Promoter/Trainer who on his event on October 23rd in Golden, Colorado, USA (Rocky Mountain Bad Boyz) put Amateur fighters Nouton Herr and Travis Sherman in the ring despite being told they could only do an exhibition bout because they had a 10 lb. weight difference. Herr came in at 125 lbs. and Sherman came in at 135 which was 6 lbs. out of the regulated weight spread. When asked to lose weight by IKF Representative Dan Stell (Right) at the weigh-ins, Sherman's trainer, Keith Schmelzer refused, saying his fighter came in at weight while Herr didn't and was suppose to come in at 132. Stell told them the weight spread was out of the regulated weight spread limit of (4 lbs.) but Schmelzer insisted "The bout has to happen because Coor's is my sponsor and they need to see that bout and it's the main event!" Still, Stell insisted there was no way the bout could take place with such a spread. Wondering how he could assist Schmelzer, Stell called IKF President Steve Fossum on the phone. Both Fossum and Stell assured Schmelzer the bout could not take place due to the weight spread however they gave Schmelzer approval for the two fighters to do only a Light Contact "Exhibition" bout. Schmelzer promised both Fossum and Stell he would do just that. That night, after the end of the IKF Sanctioned kickboxing bouts, Stell was told that some amateur MMA bouts (Not sanctioned by the IKF or officially by the ISCF either.) were going to happen and the exhibition would be last on the night so he stepped away from ringside to go to his hotel room upstairs in the hotel where the event was taking place.
However while away, Smeltzer and his partner, Vic Brabo brought Herr and Sherman into the ring to fight without Stell at ringside. Without Stell there, the two fought an actual REAL bout, and worse yet, without headgear, a mandatory requirement for all IKF sanctioned amateur bouts. Adding more to it, the bout was for one of Schmelzer's own "Rocky Mountain Titles". The bout ended quickly in round 1 with Sherman kneeing Herr in the HEAD "TWICE" in an International Rules bout (NO Knees - Still, knees to the head are not legal in amateur competition.). Before Stell returned to the ring, Schmelzer's fighter was awarded his Title Belt and took photos with Schmelzer, even though he fouled Herr to end the bout...
Stell found out the bout had happened as he was walking back to the ring and met Herr and his trainer half way with Herr's head bleeding from the knees he took. The investigation that followed was even worse as the weeks went by. "I will go on record saying Smeltzer has flat out lied to us in nearly every conversation we have had since the incident." Said Fossum. "We have 4 recorded messages of him saying he was sending us a video of the bout, yet till this day, (December 18th) we still have no video of it. We have spoke to several witnesses of the event and the bout in question and the facts of what they saw speak for themselves. Smeltzer thought he could just do what he wanted to, and was caught breaking the rules."
Smeltzer is not the only promoter in Colorado with a
red mark by his name. Former IKF promoter
Sven Bean also allowed fighters on his IKF Sanctioned event this year to
fight without headgear. "We found out about this after the Smeltzer
event and of course, it didn't go over well with us." Said Fossum.
What was worse, Bean acted as if he did no wrong. In his defense, he
just told Fossum, "Well none of the promoters in Colorado want
to see headgear, and the fighters don't want to wear it either." Bean
also sanctions with the ISKA and will probably end up doing all his future
events with them since the IKF made it
clear that headgear is mandatory in all IKF
Sanctioned amateur events. However, what may surprise many is that the official
ISKA rules not only say that headgear is mandatory for all their amateur
sanctioned bouts too, they also say they will usually be sanctioned under Full
Contact and Freestyle rules only. And, that amateurs are also required to wear
shinguards and foot pads. The actual wording to the ISKA Rule reads:
Smeltzer was eventually fined by the IKF. The IKF determined the fine by consulting with various athletic commissions who made their suggestions of the amount and other disciplines they would take. A fine that Smeltzer has simply ignored, which was no surprise to the IKF. "I'm sure he will just sanction with someone else." Said Fossum. "There's no discipline in order among the state commissions and other sanctioning bodies. It's too bad others don't uphold the same discipline as we have handed down. Especially when this was a safety issue and not some petty thing. We feel this because Smeltzer has refused to return the last 7 phone messages we have left for him."
Since the IKF and ISKA are the only State approved sanctioning bodies for amateur kickboxing in Colorado, if ISKA accepts his sanctioning fee he will just do as he pleases for his next event. "The rules and regulations of the sport need to be upheld." Said Fossum. "If not, what need is there for sanctioning?" A simple answer is available for that one. Just look at Berto's event in Florida. In the state of Florida, the same issue is at hand. The IKF and ISKA are the only State approved sanctioning bodies for amateur kickboxing in Florida, so if the State of Florida allows him to promote again, he would face a fine by the IKF. To dodge that fine, he may just choose to sanction his events with ISKA, who apparently will allow him to not force his amateur fighters to fight without headgear. This seems to be an issue with the Florida Commission though who have said "The ISKA Does enforce the headgear rule for amateurs... at least in Florida..."
However, the truth is, ISKA does not uphold this rule on any shows we know of. Obviously not in Colorado, not in California, Nevada, Wisconsin, Illinois, Georgia and wherever else they sanction amateur events. So why have such a rule if you are not going to enforce it? Good question...
The actions of Berto tonight along with those of Keith Smeltzer and even Sven Bean are actions that will bring negative attention to our sport. For those in Colorado or now Florida thinking this is just an IKF issue think again. Their actions may bring harm to ALL Amateur fight sports in their state. If rules cannot be followed by promoters and enforcement of such rules are ignored by a promoter, the State may decide to take over all amateur fight sports as they do in California. We informed you readers about this back in October, but so you can fully understand the potential negative impacts AGAIN, we will inform you again here.
Here is what it takes to be an amateur fight promoter in the
state of California and you decide if you have it good in states outside of
So did you do the math? If you are an amateur promoter (We won't bother with the pro promoter fees) in the State of California, expect to pay out between $4,600.00 and $7,800.00 on each of your amateur events, just to the commission and insurance company. That's enough to discourage any promoter because other fees of course include, fighter travel fees, hotel rooms, advertising, venue rental, ring rental if you don't have your own and the list goes on and on. Again, this is not just an IKF story here. This is an issue that concerns all of kickboxing, no matter what ABC you attach to it. Those IKF sanction fees don't sound so bad now do they...
Still, there are some promoters who feel the IKF sanction fee of $150 to $300.00 (Depending on when the sanction fee is paid prior to the event) is far too much to pay to have their event sanctioned. But it's not just a choice to have the IKF letters attached to their event. There are many small promoters around the world that would rather not have any sanctioning body at their event, ever. This way, no one is looking over their shoulder to assure things like fighter safety. They no longer need to pay to have an MD at ringside because to them, a chiropractor will be fine. They don't have to worry about headgear because no headgear makes those amateur fights look like pro fights now. Glove sizes? The smaller, the more KO's, and who's checking anyway. Maybe they will just give their fighter some 8 ounce gloves and his opponent some 12's. Who's going to check? And handwraps? Just make a plaster cast, again, who is going to check? They don't have to worry about weight spreads because to them, "A fight is just a fight and who cares about a 20 lb spread?" Again, who would question it? Heck, knowing all this, who made up this silly idea of Sanctioning Bodies in the first place..."
WEDNESDAY, December 15th, 2004, AT 3:50 PM, PT
Is Featured Athlete In
Sports Illustrated Kids Magazine
"Faces in the Crowd"
If you get a chance, pick up the December issue of the Sports Illustrated Kids Magazine and turn to the section called "Faces in the Crowd". There you will see Multi time IKF Junior Amateur Kickboxing Champion Sara Ross featured for her Kickboxing accomplishments. The magazine in available on newsstands now.
Ross is trained by IKF Hall of Fame Trainer Rob Zbilski (Left) of Lake In The Hills Illinois. Ross is also from Lake In The Hills, Illinois, USA and has a "PERFECT" kickboxing record of 12 wins and NO loses. The 14 year old won this years 2004 IKF/TKO North American Classic Tournament Title in Orlando Florida in the Junior Amateur, Super Lightweight Division (132.1 lbs. - 137 lbs.) for ages 13 to 17 when she defeated Megan Kelly of North Bay, Ontario, Canada by unanimous decision 29-28, 30-27 & 30-27.
However winning Tournaments is nothing new for Ross. To date, she has won a total of 3 other IKF Championship Tournaments. At the 2003 IKF/TKO USA National Amateur Tournament in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, USA Ross won the Flyweight (115.1-120 lbs. 12 & 13 Year Olds) title when she defeated Laura Jo Wessels of Beloit, Wisconsin, USA by unanimous decision, 30-27 on all 3 judges cards.
At the 2002 IKF USA National Amateur Tournament in Davenport, Iowa, USA she defeated the 2001 Junior Light Heavyweight Champion Brittany Anic of Pacific, Missouri, USA by unanimous decision 30-27 on all 3 judges cards to win the Light Atomweight (100.1-105 lbs. - 11-12 Year Olds) Title.
MORE NEWS OF 12-15-04
POSTED AT 12:10 AM, PT
Wins By TKO In 5!
Doucet Had The Win - Until Final Round Call...
IKF Montreal, Quebec, Canada: We will have a full report on this later in the week but for you fight fans wanting to know, Stephen "Wonderboy" Thompson (186 lbs.) stopped his opponent Eric Boudreau (195 lbs.) in the 5th round. Thompson cut open Boudreau's left eye brow in round 1 with a solid right hand that would have easily ended many opponents. Although Boudreau stayed tough until the 5th, he was never in the bout. Thompson scored with every possible attack from every possible angle. Thompson improves his Pro Kickboxing record to 3-0 with 3 KO/TKO's while Boudreau drops his pro record to 2-1 after his undefeated amateur career of 22-0. Thompson became the first person to beat Boudreau in kickboxing and the first to stop him inside the scheduled rounds of all his bouts.
THIS BOUT INFO CORRECTED AT 2:30 PM
Also on the card as the nights main event was current IKF North American Super Heavyweight Champion Raoul Doucet of Hawkesbury, Ontario, Canada. Doucet was hoping to get back on the winning path in route to a potential IKF World Title rematch with IKF World Champion Mark Selbee of Georgia, USA. However Doucet's opponent, Serge Lafond had other plans for Doucet. From what we know of this bout, Doucet seemed to be winning all the rounds until a questionable call in round 7. With about 20 seconds left Lafond landed a light punch to the side of Doucet's head. The punch made Doucet lean over and he touched his glove to the ring canvas and the referee called it a down and proceeded to give Doucet a standing 8 count. This of course gave Lafond the round which, according to sources, Doucet had been winning up until that point. This seemed to be the difference in the bout as Lafond took a very close split decision win.
IKF Awaits Fight Footage For Official Review
After hearing more about the final round of the Doucet Vs Lafond bout, we here at the IKF would like to see what all transpired in the final round. The questions we have are:
Here are the results of the other bouts on the night:
TUESDAY, December 14th, 2004, AT 1:30 PM, PT
Makes IKF Canadian Debut
Doucet Featured in Nights
"La renaissance du Kickboxing"
At The Medley In
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
IKF Montreal, Quebec, Canada: It's Official! Tonights "Renaissance Du Kickboxing" at the Medley In Montreal, Quebec, Canada will be an IKF Sanctioned event. Details were just confirmed as of press time today. Making the connection was IKF Canadian Associate Representative Victor Theriault. Theriault negotiated the Canadian professional kickboxing debut for the Stephen "Wonderboy" Thompson and was also the force behind getting the event IKF Sanctioned. The promoter of the tonights event, Joe Odman is a new promoter to the IKF in Canada and we welcome him and wish him the best of luck on tonights event.
Thompson will be facing off in the 5 round Semi Main Event against maritimer Eric Boudreau who has a 3-0 professional kickboxing record which followed an undefeated 22-0 amateur record. Also a professional boxer, (5-0) Boudreau is a tremendous test for the young Thompson and was at one time trained by Vic's brother, Jean-Yves Theriault. Thompson has a professional kickboxing record of 2 wins by KO/TKO's and 0 losses, and an amateur fight record of 33 wins and 0 losses with 18 KO/TKO's. Both are expected to put on a spectacular show for the fans in Montreal which have a reputation as some of the best fight fans in the world.
Lets not forget there are 6 more great "PRO" fights on this card though. One in particular will be the The Main event which will be the return of IKF Super Heavyweight North American Champion Raoul Doucet. Doucet (Left) of Hawkesbury, Ontario, Canada (14-3-1/7, 6'2", 231) will take on Serge Lafond (6'2, 230 lbs.) on his way back to a possible World Title rematch with IKF Super Heavyweight World Champion Mark Selbee of Atlanta, Georgia, USA. Lafond is a well known MMA fighter with Muay Thai skills. He has had 2 Kickboxing bouts as a Pro but a load full of Amateur bouts.
The address for the Medley is 1170 St. Denis coin Rene Levesque Est, Montreal, Quebec, Canada General. tickets are General: $35, Parterre: $50, VIP: $75, Table of 4: $400.00. For more info on this event please call (514) 842-6557 or (514) 344-3812 or
MORE NEWS OF 12-14-04
APEX Entertainment Group Inc. is proud to announce the official appointment of Vic Theriault (Shown at right with the beret hat interviewing Don "The Dragon" Wilson after winning his IKF World Title in 1999) as Director of Operations. Theriault is a veteran promoter who has successfully promoted many of the top kickboxing events in Canada which many included his brother, "The Iceman" Jean-Yves Theriault in competition.
In addition to promoting, Theriault's vast career has included being associate producer, producer, unit manager or operations manager in many productions for networks including Showtime Entertainment Television (SET) payper- view. Theriault's enthusiasm for combat sport is unparalleled and is a tremendous addition to the APEX Entertainment Group family. APEX will continue to promote Mixed- Martial Arts events, but will continue to expand their scope into the sports world. Look for some more announcements about APEX events shortly. APEX would also like to proudly announce that APEX's own Vic Theriault has secured the Canadian promotional rights for
MONDAY, December 13th, 2004, AT 12:30 PM, PT
Turning Pro In 2005
IKF Denver, Colorado,
After winning several Amateur Titles (Including 3 IKF National Tournament Titles) woman's fighter Katie Meehan has made the decision to turn Pro. Meehan's debut will be under Pro International Rules Kickboxing where she will face Sher Noah on February 19th, 2005 in Denver, Colorado, USA. She already has plans for her second Pro Kickboxing bout the next month on March 19th in Tampa on Master Merhdad's show. "I know there aren't many pro girls, but with 21 fights, opponents aren't as common. I'm excited!!" Said Meehan.
The 29 year old Meehan will leave the Amateur Ranks where she was the number 1 ranked Bantamweight in both Muay Thai and International rules with a record of 14 wins, 5 loses and 2 draws with 2 wins coming by KO/TKO.
At the 2001 IKF National Amateur Tournament she defeated Tracy Kuschel by unanimous decision, 29-28, 30-28 & 30-28 to win the Woman's International Rules Flyweight Title. At the 2002 IKF National Amateur Tournament she successfully defended her 2001 Title by defeating Tamie Lankey of Alexandria, Virginia, USA by unanimous decision 29-27, 29-27 & 30-26.
At the 2003 IKF National Amateur Tournament, Katie came to win the Muay Thai Rules Bantamweight title. However her opponents Alison Moore, (2002 IR Champion) of New York, New York, USA and Alona Kipp of Casper, Wyoming, USA were both no shows at the event. Although not confirmed we believe Williams did not make it because of the massive power outage in the north/east USA and parts of Canada that shut down many airports (Including New York) on the Thursday before the event. Meehan took the title by Walkover Champion and registered her as a 3 time IKF National Amateur Tournament Champion.
We here at the IKF
Katie the best of luck
and we look forward to following her Pro career in both Kickboxing and Boxing.
SUNDAY, December 12th, 2004, AT 6:45 PM, PT
Wants To ... Fight?
Here's some news that may make you raise an eyebrow or two. We recently read that the 44-year-old Jean Claude Van Damme has told members of the Pakistan press that he wants to jump into the Kickboxing ring. Many have said that the man who made the word "KICKBOXING" famous with his film "Kickboxer" (Left) has never fought as an actual Kickboxer before while others say he was actually a Belgium Champion. According to sources he was a member of karate Team Belgium, and eventually won the European Professional Karate Association's middleweight championship. However, what we never confirmed was if the title was a "Point Karate" title or a "Kickboxing" title. We have yet to confirm what the real story is. What we can confirm is that whether he fought or not, his movie brought great exposure to the sport itself.
Van Damme told the Realitatea Romanesca newspaper that he was planning to make a return to fight competitions and get this, not just any competition, he wants to win the K-1 World Title. "I am planning to go back to fighting next year when I am 45." Said Van Damme. "I gave up fighting a long time ago because it offers no perspectives and there are people who do not respect their art. But now I want to fight again to prove something to myself. I'd be the first actor to fight in K-1 and also the oldest competitor."
Oldest competitor? Well, maybe in K-1, but not in the sport. Don "The Dragon" Wilson (Above Right) holds that title having fought last at age 45 on March 17th, 2000 when he defeated Dewey Cooper in Las Vegas, Nevada by a 10 round decision. But lets talk about which Movie Star is The REAL Kickboxing Champion...
Wilson was surly a dominate force in kickboxing as the undisputed world champion, fighting anyone, under any rules, and he defeated the best champions in their own hometowns, while they were in their prime. His impressive career record consists of 71 wins, 5 loses, 2 draws with 47 wins by knockout, and 6 by kick-knockout, and he was also the first kung-fu practitioner to become a World Kickboxing champion. In 1996 he was named the Greatest Competitor of All Time by Kickside magazine of Europe. Wilson won a total of 11 "REAL" Kickboxing "WORLD" Titles in 3 weight divisions.
Wilson fought and beat the best. He was the only person to have defeated former multi time World Champion Dennis Alexio having done so in 1984 on March 29 in Hollywood, Florida with a 12 round decision. Later that same year on December 18th he fought to a controversial draw which many feel he won against another superstar of the sport, "The Iceman", Jean-Yves Theriault in Montreal, Canada. On September 12th in 1987 he knocked out Branimir Cikatic in the 7th round in Orlando Florida. He also defeated Maurice Smith back on May 21, 1984 by decision. At 44 years of age (9-10-54) Wilson won his IKF World Title (Right) on May 15th, 1999 in Lowell, Massachusetts, USA, when he defeated Dick Kimber of Lynn, Massachusetts, USA. At the end of the 3rd round Wilson came alive and exploded with a flurry that eventually knocked Kimber to the floor motionless. Referee Dan Stell counted Kimber out on the floor, a count that went into the round break. Kimber never stood during the count.
There is no question who Wilson is, but we have a better idea. Why not make this a "REAL STAR" Battle? Movie Star Vs Movie Star! Why not match up Wilson and Van Damme together. Have a "Winners Purse" where only the Winner gets paid. A winner take all match. This is not such a far-out idea. These two are basically in the same weightclass (Light Heavyweight - 172.1 lbs. - 179 lbs.). Van Damme is 5-foot-9, 180 lbs. while Wilson is 6', 179 lbs. But heck, if Van Damme says he has "Pumped-Up" and is weighing more towards a K-1 weight he could always go a few rounds with the 189 lb. "Wonderboy!" Stephen Thompson... (Left).
Either way, this just might be a bout worth
a PPV fee.
SATURDAY, December 11th, 2004, AT 12:45 AM, PT
News On The
Stephen "Wonderboy" Thompson and his father/trainer and manager Ray Thompson have finalized negotiations to allow Canadian promoter Vic Theriault (All 3 shown at Right) to promote the Wonderboy in Canada. Vic is the brother of none other than "The Iceman" Jean- Eves Theriault. Jean-Eves was "THE" fighter to watch back in the 80's and early 90's. His fight with Rick "The Jet" Roufus is legendary.
The build up of the Wonderboy in Canada begins when he fights on December 14th in Montreal, Quebec on promoter Joe Odeman's show and will continue with a Special attraction Superfight on the MMA show "Apex Fighting Championships" in April. Keep you eyes peeled for the Wonderboy for he is on a rocket to stardom.
MORE NEWS OF 12-11-04
Valdosta, Georgia, USA
IKF & ISCF Promoters John Turner and Richard Cox can chalk up their first solo event in the history books now. This was the first promotion they did on their own and although like many first time promoters, they had some bumps. However, when the first bell rang, this event ran smooth as silk.
The event took place at a dynamite facility, the Valdosta/Lowndes Convention Center in Valdosta, Georgia. The venue featured great warm-up space for the fighters and plenty of room for the fight fans. It also featured plenty of knockout action with the 2 IKF Amateur kickboxing bouts and all 9 of the ISCF MMA bouts ending before their scheduled rounds. Here's the nights results below.
Great show and Great Teamwork by the South East MMA Officials, friends and family. We look forward to the next one! For more info contact Mr. John Turner at (229) 821-0123 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or go to www.realitymaa.com
WEDNESDAY, December 8th, 2004, AT 12:35 PM, PT
Georgia, USA: This Friday night, December 10th, Evolution Promotions Inc. will Present "HOLIDAY HAVOC" at the Valdosta/Lowndes Convention Center, Valdosta, Georgia, USA. The event will feature IKF Amateur Kickboxing and Pro and Amateur ISCF MMA. Here is the line up as of press time today:
For more info contact Mr. John Turner at (229) 821-0123 or by e-mail at email@example.com or go to www.realitymaa.com
TUESDAY, December 7th, 2004, AT 1:05 PM, PT
Fighter Medical Suspension Page
As many of you know, a fighter who has been stopped before the scheduled rounds of a fight is required to serve a mandatory medical suspension to assure the fighter is safe to fight again. This rule has been followed in Professional boxing as well as in USA Amateur Boxing. One such good sight for Pro Boxing can be found at fightfax.com
However, this rule has not been followed or kept track of for amateur or professional kickboxing "UNLESS" the fighter who was stopped, fought in a State that oversees both PRO and AMATEUR Kickboxing such as California.
Some time ago we here at the IKF
created a web page where you can find info about Suspended KICKBOXERS
due to being stopped by KO or TKO. Please go to this web page address
www.ikfkickboxing.com/Suspensions.htm - and then click on Medical Suspensions
As you will see, we list fighters from "ANY" event, sanctioned by "ANY" Sanctioning body. Make sure none of these kickboxers are scheduled to fight on non IKF Sanctioned events in your state. We suggest that you review this list in detail to assure your state, promoter or sanctioning body will not be liable if any additional injuries that may occur to any fighters listed on this page.
Although not perfect, the fighter information on this page is at the mercy of those in the sport. The fighters listed here are only what we are informed of. We are sure we are missing "MANY" Amateur and Pro kickboxers from not only around the USA but around the world. If you should have information about a Kickboxer (Amateur or Pro) that has been stopped by TKO or KO in a non IKF Sanctioned event, we ask that you please forward us the necessary information so that we can add this info to this fighter suspension page to ensure their future safety. We thank you in advance for your assistance.
What is considered a KO or a TKO? Click HERE.
SATURDAY, December 4th, 2004, AT 9:55 PM, PT
Defends Title At
K-1 World GP
CLICK HERE FOR FULL STORY!
FRIDAY, December 3rd, 2004, AT 5:50 PM, PT
Dreams and Taking Risks"
Peyton Russell Explains His Decision To Make A Life Changing Move
PEYTON: This is a personal message to the entire
My history in the martial arts stems from 20 years at the Bloomington Karate Center in Minnesota. I have 3 core instructors; Master 7th degree black belt Tim Mullin, World Kickboxing Champion and 4th degree black belt CB Bunkholt, and 4th degree black belt Dave Saum. They along with many others there, have help developed and shaped me into the fighter and person I am today and I am forever grateful to them. My foundation was created with them and they were certainly all I needed. As a 2nd degree black belt in both Hapkido and Tae Kwon Do I realize I have so much more to learn, for now I am bringing those skills I have learned into the world to seek out new personal growth and heighten the awareness of kickboxing to the general public. Recently, I felt it necessary to venture out, so that I may focus on training without distraction, and to reach a greater audience hoping to raise Kickboxing's reputation. As painful as it has been to leave, in Minnesota I had too many irons in the fire, and I felt it was important, so that my goals and dreams in kickboxing can become reality.
My mission in life is to reach my highest human potential, so that I may inspire and motivate others to do the same. My short term goal is to increase my performance in the ring and increase kickboxing's popularity. And my long term goal is to be recognized as one of the greatest Full Contact kickboxers.
I encourage all of you to do what it takes to manifest your dreams and goals, whatever they maybe. It is very terrifying taking risks, but in doing so, whether you fail or succeed, you will make both yourself and your environment a better place.
Inclosing, my wish is that we all work together to improve
our sport, and individually take risks to improve ourselves and our communities.
I am very excited to see what is in store for the future and build the history
of kickboxing. The future is ours to create.
MORE NEWS OF 12-3-04
Last month, November 6th, 2004, at the IKF/JLFS Conference Kickboxing Event at the Surfside Inn in Virginia Beach, Virginia you didn't have to look far to find some past and present Kickboxing Champions.
Pictured here left to right are Joe Lewis, Current World IKF World Super Heavyweight Champion Mark Selbee, Joe Lewis Fighting System Junior US Champion Michael Holcomb, Master Craig Smith and Former World Champion Jeff Smith. For more photos of this event go to www.craigsmithkarate.com
THURSDAY, December 2nd, 2004, AT 9:45 PM, PT
Perez' Does A Masterful Job On
IKF Mexico Promotion
Photos To Be Added Friday
Before we get into the drama that surrounded this event lets make a few things clear to everyone reading here... This was IKF Promoter Felix Perez's second IKF promotion. His first was 3 years ago in October 2001, a short month after the famous date of 9-11. On that night, Perez packed an outdoor arena in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico that featured pro kickboxing and Mixed Martial Arts. After the event which was a great success, Perez told us then that his next promotion would blow that one away... And you know what, He kept his word!
Last Saturday night, November 27th, a little more than 3 years later, Perez cut no corners as he blew his last promotion out of the water. This event featured TWO IKF Pro World Titles, 2 IKF Pro Mexico National Titles, Fireworks, Strobe Lights, a 50 foot fighter entree ramp and Two Big Screen TV Monitors for the highly energetic crowd that jammed into one of Puerto Vallarta's famous Bull Fighting Arenas. It was clear that Perez and his associates were giving all they had for this event and they were hoping the fighter would too... and no one was let down. From start to finish this was an electrifying event!
Usually we would start with the nights Main event. However, since there was a bit of questionable controversy in the Semi Main event, we thought it best to start there to clear up what we have been reading in some of the Mexico Newspapers as well as on the Kickboxing Message Board. What you are about to read is what "REALLY HAPPENED" in this bout, NOT an assumption as many have attempted of what truly happened.
This bout was for the vacant IKF PRO Muay Thai Rules Middleweight World Title Bout. It was fought under "FULL THAI RULES" which means knees and elbows to the head were legal. From Mexico was number 2 IKF Pro Muay Thai Middleweight and IKF Professional Mexico Middleweight National Champion Adolfo Lozano of Puerta Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexico (15-4 with 6 KO/TKO's). His opponent from the USA across the ring was number 1 IKF Pro Muay Thai Middleweight and IKF Professional United States Middleweight National Champion Jeremy Harminson of Lerna, Illinois, USA (21-4-1/16). This was for many in the USA, the Main Event of the night. Harminson had more than earned his shot at the MuayThai World Title with several wins over the last 3 years. Lozano on the other hand was far less active but was looking to have a shot at the Professional Muay Thai World Title in what he had planned to be his last bout.
Lozano had spent time in Thailand doing a lot of Muay Thai training hoping that this day would soon come. Harminson had spent most of his time in the ring experiencing fighters from Asia to Europe as well as top fighters who would step in against him here in the USA. This was to be the perfect match-up. Number 1 vs number 2. It was time to "Bring It ON!"
In round 1 we had expected to see Harminson jump out to his usual fast start, which we saw a little of. What we didn't expect was to see Lozano fire back and give Harminson a challenge in round 1, a round in which Lozano is typically slow to start and Harminson is fast to finish. However Lozano's challenge back to Harminson didn't last long and as the round reached its midway point Harminson begin to settle down and pick his shots. It was clear to everyone after round 1 that Harminson was a clear 10-9 winner of the round. However the Mexico judge scored the round 10-10 which to be honest, round 1 was nothing close to a draw at all.
In round 2 Harminson came out quiet as did Lozano but it didn't take long before Harminson started to press the fight on Lozano. By the 1 minute mark Harminson was scoring easily. During the round Lozano went to kick and appeared to re-injure his right knee. An injury that almost forced him to pass up this title opportunity several weeks ago. The injury forced Lozano to seek security with the ropes in the corner of the ring as he leaned back on them. "When I tried to move on my leg it felt as if it would give away." Said Lozano after the bout. "My only chance was to stay in the corner and hope he (Jeremy) would come to me."
This frustrated Harminson of course who wanted the fight to take place in the middle of the ring. Finally Harminson forced Lozano out of the corner and when he did he jumped all over him with a combination of kicks, punches and elbows which ended with Lozano on the mat. Unable to stand quickly from the blows referee Dan Stell started the count. Finally Lozano stood but there was plenty of time left in the 3 minute round (Pro Muay Thai rounds are 3 minutes long) for Harminson to finish the job. To all watching, it looked like this would end now or at the very latest in round 3. Lozano offered no attack to Harminson and all Harminson had to do was find a way to end it.
As the round drew to a close Harminson rushed in on Lozano and Lozano landed a clean overhead elbow to the top of Harminson's forehead. Immediately after the blow landed blood started to poor from the left side of Harminson's head. Due to his positioning of the two fighters, referee Dan Stell (Who was on the opposite side of the cut) never saw the elbow or the blood. Quickly after the two came together again and in the mix their heads clashed. Stell did see this and at this time also saw the blood on Harminson's head. The bell sounded ending the round and Stell informed the officials that it appeared to be an accidental head butt that created the cut and started the bleeding. However, for those of us sitting where we could see Harminson's face, it was clear to all of us that the elbow landed clean and blood quickly fallowed "Before" the two clashed together again.
As the round ended Stell had the ringside Doctor look at the cut. It was about 1-2 inches long and down to the... well, you know where... The doctor said he would not allow Harminson to continue with such a large and deep cut on his forehead. At this point, there were several issues to consider before determining a winner. This is where some will say there was a "Controversy". Which in reality, there was NONE! "I had to take into consideration that myself and several others at ringside saw a clean elbow but Mr. Stell saw a headbutt." Said IKF President Steve Fossum. "I know what I saw and the only question now was, 'Was there a headbutt and if so, could the headbutt have been a factor in making the cut worse?"
Fossum went to the TV production crew for a look at the video but they didn't have a good angle. Next he looked at some video tape from some of the Mexico fight fans. All this looking took some time... Too much time in fact. Before the decision was made it was more than 35 minutes. During this time Fossum brought both fighters and their trainers together and explained the options of what could be ruled. "IF" it was clear the headbutt was a major factor the bout could be ruled a no contest "or" they could go to the scorecards. However as the cards were collected with this being a possibility, Fossum discovered he would have to rule out the Mexico judges's (Ubillado Vega Rangel) score card. Why? Well remember in this round, Harminson knocked Lozano down and Lozano was given a standing 8 count. Judging "101" tells us all that there is NO WAY now Lozano can score a 10 in this round (Remember, this is a 10 point must system) unless he knocks Harminson down, which he never did. However, instead of scoring the round a 10-8 as both other judges did, the Mexico judge gave Lozano the round with a score of 10-9. The elbow was probably the only solid blow Lozano landed in the round so again, judging "101" tells us such a score is Impossible.
However, this did not need to go to the judges cards because in the end, we went with what was clear to be seen. As all of you reading this know, it only takes 1 punch, 1 kick or in this case, 1 elbow to totally change or in this case, end a fight. That is what was ruled here. This is no secret to anyone. Those who could see it, saw it clear. No, Lozano was not winning on the judges cards, but the truth here is, "He was still fighting!" We say this because when the decision was finally announced, the crowd booed Lozano for the win. "This was TOTALLY uncalled for!" said IKF President Steve Fossum. "I was of course bothered this bout ended the way it did but I was more upset with the reaction of the Mexico fight fans who booed their new World Champion. He didn't deserve that reaction because he won. No matter how it looked, he won, fair and square."
How many Champions in ANY fight sport have won a bout by KO or TKO when they were down in the final round or any round? Lozano had done just that 3 years ago when he won his Mexico National title. No one booed then, so why boo now? "There was no controversy here." Said Fossum. "I just wanted to be sure I gathered all the information available to me that would assist me in making the right call so I could do the right thing. If those fans want to boo anyone, boo me for taking so long to do so, but sometimes, doing the right thing takes time."
The official decision was a TKO win at the break of round 2 & 3, by Aldolfo Lozano of Mexico giving him the IKF PRO Muay Thai Rules Middleweight World Title. The stop was because the ringside doctor told Harminson and his trainer he would not allow him to fight due to the severity of the cut. A side note here is that after Harminson's trainer Ryan Blackorby worked his cornerman skills on the cut, they were ready to continue the fight because the elbow didn't hurt Harminson any, it just cut him. However, ringside officials ruled it would be too risky to allow him to continue.
When the smoke cleared, there was of course talk of a rematch. However we will have to wait and see if Lozano will fight again. Remember, this was scheduled to be his last fight, win or lose. We all knew that long before this bout so if he chooses to stop here, it's NOT because of the way things ended in the ring Saturday night. His knee is questionable and rehabilitation may be an issue.
Regardless, Harminson knows he had the title in his hand, but one strike changed it all. Like many great fighters before him and many after, the "Shot heard around the world," as they say, will remain a thorn in his side until he has the IKF World Title Brass placed around his waist.
What's in Harminson's future if not Lozano? He wants to fight Mexico's top Middleweight who fought for the IKF International Rules World Title this same night (Which we will tell you about next), the number 1 IKF ranked Pro International Rules Middleweight Santiego Sr. Manzanares of Mexico City, Mexico. Manzanares has NEVER lost and has a perfect record of 16-0-1 with 8 wins by KO/TKO. "If there is no rematch here in Mexico with Lozano in the near future I want to fight Manzanares for the Muay Thai World Title." Said Harminson. Harminson's trainer Ryan Blackorby agreed. "We want Manzanares next. He is the next step for us and we feel we beat Lozano, even though the one shot changed the outcome. To us there is no need for a rematch, especially if we are forced to wait for it." Only time will tell how this all turns out... Lets wait and see.
Pro MTR Light Welterweight Mexico National Title
Before the two IKF World Titles were 2 IKF Pro Mexico National Titles. The first one was for the vacant IKF Pro MTR Light Welterweight Mexico National Title. This bout featured Carlos Brian Hernandez of Mexico City Mexico (22-1 with 14 KO/TKO's) against local favorite Adalid Mendieta of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico (11-4 with 2 KO/TKO's). This was a great Muay Thai bout which saw both fighters going toe to toe. The difference was in ring generalship. When Mendieta attacked he should have followed with more strikes because after one or two, Hernandez quickly countered. Going the other way, when Hernandez attacked Mendieta would rarely counter. This seemed to be the difference in a very close bout. In the final round Hernandez scored a knockdown on Mendieta which seemed to seal the victory for him. As the cards were announced, Hernandez was crowned the new Champion as he took the vacant IKF Pro MTR Light Welterweight Mexico National Title by unanimous decision. Judge Terri Storm scored it 48-46 while judges Dan Stell and Mike Storm scored it 49-45. The referee for this bout was Ubillado Vega Rangel of Mexico who did an excellent job!
Pro International Rules Middleweight Mexico National Title
Next up was the quest for the vacant IKF Pro International Rules Middleweight Mexico National Title which brought together Israel Vargas Corpus of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico (5-0 with 4 KO/TKO's) and Victor Rizo Lopez of Mexico City, Mexico (8-3 with 6 KO/TKO's). This bout was another action packed match-up which went the full scheduled 7 rounds. In the end Corpus pulled out the win by unanimous decision. Judges Terri Storm and Dan Stell scored it 67-66 while judge Mike Storm scored it 68-65. The referee for this bout again was Ubillado Vega Rangel of Mexico who again, did an excellent job!
After the Harminson - Lozano bout was the nights main event. This was for the vacant IKF Pro International Rules Middleweight World Title. Coming from the USA was IKF Pro Super Welterweight (147.1 lbs. - 153 lbs. or 66.9Kg - 69.5Kg) World Champion Fernando Calleros of El Paso, Texas, USA (29-9/16). Callaros had came up 15 lbs in weight to take this match which may not have been a good choice for him. Especially because of the solid strength of his opponent, the number 1 IKF ranked Pro International Rules Middleweight Santiego Sr. Manzanares of Mexico (16-0-1 with 8 wins by KO/TKO). As we mentioned below before this match-up, Manzanares is truly the star of Mexico. At age 32 he has never lost a bout and with a chance at the IKF Brass, he didn't plan to start tonight.
If anything, this seemed to be a bout of frustration though. In the opening rounds when in the clinch, Callaros kept punching Manzanares in the back of the head. He was doing so probably because when the two came together to mix it up, they instead clinched up as if it were a muay thai bout instead. A final warning by referee Dan Stell finally put a stop to this though. Because of the clinches there were few clean shots by either fighter. It was as if each took the other out of the fight by frustration. However to Manzanares this was nothing new. He had fought in all the different styles of kickboxing and even held titles as a mixed martial arts fighter. It didn't matter to him where the fight was going, he just knew his hands and feet had to end up somewhere on Callaros' body or head. Being the ever so tough though, Callaros was never in harms way. Although Manzanares scored a lot on him, he never really seemed to hurt him.
As the later rounds came into play it seemed apparent that the weight jump by Callaros may not have worked. Manzanares was much stronger when the two came together which simply frustrated Callaros more. As the final round ended it was clear to us that Manzanares had won this one without any doubt... Well, to most of us that is. Mexico official Ubillado Vega Rangel proved he is a great referee. However, maybe not as great as a judge. He scored "6", 10-10 rounds during the bout and gave Callaros 3 of the other 4 rounds. After 10 he had Callaros winning 99-97. Judge Mike Storm had Manzanares as the winner 98-92 and judge Terri Storm had Manzanares the winner 97-94. Although our unofficial card at ringside didn't count, we also had Manzanares the winner 97-93. In the end Manzanares improved his record to 16-0-1 as he took the vacant IKF Pro International Rules Middleweight World Title by split decision.
Here is how the undercard bouts scored:
Other than the questions of the Lozano - Harminson bout, this entire event shined. All the officials were great in their expertise positions, but there is someone we need to take note of as well. Have you ever heard of Michael Buffer? Well, erase that name because there is a new name in town. He even resembles Buffer but when he opens his mouth, this guy is one of the GREATEST Ring announcers we have ever heard. He is Marlon Gurezpe. We would also like to give credit to a great trainer and very honorable man, Oscar Fischer A He brought several fighters to the event and was very helpful during the entire weekend. We hope to see him and his fighters on more IKF events to come.
And finally, we speak for everyone involved when we say we need to thank once again IKF Promoter Mr. Felix Perez and his promotional staff for an OUTSTANDING JOB on this event! In addition, lets not forget what a GREAT HOST Mr. Perez was! Felix, your the Best Man! Thank you for your gracious hospitality from you and of course your staff at your restaurant, El Toreto's! Especially Pat and Victor. We look forward to the next event!
For more event info please contact Mr. Felix Perez at 322 - 22 - 237 - 84 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
Results From Drysdale
Hats off to Sky Drysdale for putting on such a great night of IKF Kickboxing. For more event info please contact Sky Drysdale by e-mail at SkyDryKing@aol.com
K-1 "Battle at Bellagio III" tournament champion, "Mighty Mo" Siligia (25-2, 20 KO's) is off to Japan, thoroughly prepared for the biggest challenge of his life in Saturday's K-1 "World Grand Prix Finals" single-elimination tournament that will be televised live on Pay-Per-View television from the 70,000-crowd capacity Tokyo Dome.
"I'm gonna represent the United States and bring it home," said Siligia, who earned his nickname years ago while laboring at a construction site when a section of a building collapsed on him. Miraculously, he managed to climb out of the rubble barely scathed. "I want to make a big impact on K-1 from The United States point of view and become the first American champion."
Siligia and mentor Eddy Millis have repeatedly made adjustments to the fighter's training program before each new challenge they have tackled this year. After the big man scored an upset over defending K-1 USA tournament champion Carter Williams on April 30th, but was unable to fend off Dewey Cooper during the following tournament round, Team Mighty Mo went back to the drawing board and tweaked Siligia's conditioning regimen. The result was a trim, but equally potent powerhouse who was able to endure three tournament rounds and defeat three fellow contenders to capture the August 7th crown at Las Vegas, Nevada's Bellagio Hotel and Casino.
Millis and his latest protégé vow that we will see yet another version of America's mighty hope on December 4th, one that will be able to deal with the speed of Thailand's Kaoklai Kaennorsing in the opening tournament round. According to Millis, a former prize fighter and student of legendary kickboxer Peter Cunningham, Siligia has undertaken several new speed drills that find him better able to cut off the ring in the heat of battle and stop those who rely on their footwork to be successful in competition.
"He can move as fast as he wants," commented Siligia regarding Kaennorsing, who, at 172 pounds, represents the lightest fighter in K-1 super heavyweight history. Should Siligia defeat the Thai, he will meet the winner of a quarterfinal round matchup between Japan's Musashi and 2000 World Grand Prix Finals runner-up, Ray Sefo. "I'm gonna handle him just like I handle guys like Scott Lighty and Sergei Gur. They were all lighter than me, but I ended up catching them."
The live Pay-Per-View television broadcast of the K-1 World Grand Prix Finals event will commence at 12 AM Eastern Standard Time (9 PM Pacific Standard Time) on Saturday.
K-1 is a martial arts fighting sport that derives its name from its inclusion of a wide array of combat disciplines, including Karate, Kung-Fu, and Kickboxing ("K"), and its intent to determine one champion in one ring ("1"). After being staged for the first time in Japan in 1993 under the direction of founder Master Kazuyoshi Ishii, it later evolved into the country's most popular sport and achieved popular culture status there as its athletes turned into larger-than-life celebrities.