• Part two is coming. When? I don’t know

Gökhan Saki is not fighting Saulo Cavalari for the Glory Titel. Glory is looking for a new opponent. According to Thom Harinck the official reason is an injury. ‘That’s what he says at least…’ Harinck believes Saki has other reasons for not fighting anymore.

Because Gökhan Saki is out of the picture ‘they (Glory) wanted Bouzidi, but he is still recovering from surgery. Now I heard rumours about Philip Verlinden, a good fighter. But it’s a shame, I would like to have competed with Saki for the title.’

Not an injury, but money and lifestyle

But Harinck believes there is probably a different story to it. Saki hasn’t been very active lately and Harinck thinks that might has to do with the lifestyle, the old K1 stars like Badr en Saki, were used to. ‘These guys are used to a lifestyle with glamour, money and women. It’s like the situation now with Badr Hari. He is a good kid, but the way he is living now… You have to really be able to work hard in the gym, with sweat, tears and pain. I think that is more the reason (for the cancelled fight)’, Harinck explains.

‘A lot of the guys don’t want to fight anymore because of the money.’ He explains that although an organisation like Glory has new contracts with ESPN and Spike, witch means more viewers, they still cut on on salaries for fighters.

Saki the kickboxing veteran

Gokhan Saki, The K1 and Glory veteran, has only had one fight after winning the Glory Light Heavyweight Championship in Turkey in April 2014. The highly anticipated rematch between Gokhan Saki and Tyrone Spong during the tournament-final in Istanbul ended with an anticlimactic end. Tyrone Spong fractured his leg when Gokhan Saki knee-checked a low-kick from Spong.

After Saki became champion, he and Glory couldn’t come to terms on his new contract. Because Saki did not want to sign a new contract because he wasn’t satisfied with the money he was making, after a year he got stripped of the title due to ‘inactivity’.

After Glory 26 in Amsterdam the organisation announced that they finally made a deal with Saki. Putting him against the Brazilian for an immediately title shot. No everything changes again.

Will he get another direct shot for the title again in his comeback in the Glory organisation? Everyone will definitely hope that, the great kickboxer that Gokhan Saki is, will return to fighting for Glory.

  • Glory announced that Artem Vakhitov will get a shot for the title against Cavalari
  • Stay tuned for part 2 of my interview with one of ‘the godfathers of dutch kickboxing’ Thom Harinck