A spectacular mixed martial arts (MMA) and boxing event organized by a Greek sports enthusiast is to take place in Miami, Florida on December 13.
Over a dozen first-class MMA fighters and boxers, including three from Greece, will compete in the “Global Legion FC” in front of a sold-out arena at Miramar Armory.
The Greek man behind the event is Cosmas Livanos, a former punk rocker who turned his love for martial arts and boxing into a full-time job.
“I am not a managing agent in the traditional sense,” he tells the Greek Reporter.
“My main preoccupation is with the athletes which are often used as gladiators in our sport, exploited to earn money for the agents and then discarded,” he adds.
Global Legion, he says, is a competition primarily aimed for the benefit of the fighters. “We try to create an environment friendly to the athletes. Our motto is: ‘Home of the fighter’.”
Well-known fighters and boxers from around the globe will compete at Global Legion. The main event is the fight between two Brazilians who have an extreme passion for the sport: Ailton Barbosa vs Paulo Thiago is a mouthwatering prospect for all fans of the sport.
Livanos says that the three Greek men who will compete in the Miami event are Greek MMA champion Andreas Michailidis, Giannis Symeonidis, and one-armed boxer Vaggelis Chatzis.
Livanos, who grew up in Athens and then lived in the UK and Los Angeles, says that it is important for the Greek-American community to come out in support of the fighters who are coming all the way from Greece.
Livanos comes from a family heavily involved in Greek politics. His father Dionisis Livanos was a former government minister and his grandfather was Panagiotis Kanelopoulos, a former prime minister who was overthrown by a fascist military coup in 1967. His brother is also involved in Greek politics.
Now settled in Florida, he reveals that as an ex-amateur fighter himself he decided that he had to do more for the sport. His cooperation with Dimitris Papaconstantinou, the head coach of EFL, the prominent martial arts academy in Greece, helped in identifying fighters with the potential for an international career.
“The Global Legion event is the climax of the efforts to make MMA more widely known and a platform for Greek fighters to showcase their skills,” Livanos says.
He adds that he is also planning several similar events in the near future, including one in Athens next summer.