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Ex-Long Beach cop turned martial artist Raymond Daniels fights for title in GLORY kickboxing

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VIDEO: Stupid ref thought holzken got knocked down ,Nieky Holzken vs Raymond Daniels

Raymond Daniels fulfilled his boyhood dream when he joined the Long Beach Police Department at age 21.

However, after seven years, he knew he needed to make a change.

“I thought I could give back (to the community) and help out,” he said Tuesday by phone. “I learned quickly that you’re a responder as a policeman and you don’t get that chance to help as much.”

The career change led him back to martial arts, focusing on teaching and an eventual professional kickboxing career.

“I went back to my true calling and that’s martial arts and making sure kids don’t end up in the back of the (police) car,” he said. “I was a single father and my priorities in life changed. My outlook and viewpoint on things changed.

“Martial arts has been a way of life for me. It isn’t just a sport for me. I played other sports, but I never thought martial arts would take me as far as it has so far. I own my own school and this sport has taken me all over the world and I get to pass on all of this knowledge. My goal is to be there for people and I can do that in karate school.”

Daniels owns World Champion Karate in Orange. He also teaches there. He competes for GLORY Kickboxing. He has his sights set on the welterweight title when he faces Nieky Holzken on Friday night at GLORY 23 in Las Vegas (Spike, 11 p.m.; delayed).

“I’m grateful for this opportunity,” Daniels said. “I’m looking forward to showing how much I’ve grown over the last five months.”

Daniels started karate when he was 5 years old and earned his black belt at 17. He has won every national and international karate tournament and started his professional kickboxing career in the Chuck Norris World Combat League.

“I was undefeated and the league MVP and my team won the championship,” he said. “Some of the owners from GLORY had contacted me about coming in and fighting and I made my debut in 2013.”

In GLORY, there are no takedowns, clinching, knees or elbows. Fighters wear boxing gloves. It leads to what most combat sports fan crave: knockout finishes.

“You get what fans want to see, you get the high knockout rate and the sport continues to grow,” Daniels said. “That’s why Mike Tyson was as popular as he was because he laid people down and stand-up fighters (in the UFC) like Anderson Silva, Lyoto Machida, Rampage Jackson and Chuck Liddell … the fans loved to see them standing up and knocking people out.”

Daniels is 4-2 in Glory. He recently defeated Justin Baesman at GLORY 21 in San Diego in May. The loss to Holzken and to Joseph Valtellini (2013) were all in the tournament format, with him having to fight twice in one night.

He has history with Holzken. They met in February at GLORY 19, when Holzken stopped Daniels in the second round.

“This training camp has been focused on him,” Daniels said. “Winning this world title would mean the world for me. I love everything that I do and this year it has been my personal goal to win the title.

“He did beat me before, but I’m not worried. People have listed me as the underdog, but I’m going to have something to say about that.”

MMA NOTES

Fourth-ranked light heavyweight Glover Teixeira faces sixth-ranked Ovince Saint Preux in the main event of UFC Fight Night, Saturday from Nashville (7 p.m., Fox Sports 1. Beneil Dariush (Yorba Linda) will look to extend his consecutive winning streak to five in the UFC when he faces Michael Johnson in the co-main event. …

Bellator 141 is headed to the Pechanga Resort and Casino in Temecula, Aug. 28. Melvin Guillard faces Brandon Girtz in the main event. Tickets start at $50 and can be purchased at Bellator.com or Pechanga.com.

BOXING NOTES

Additional tickets went on sale Tuesday for the highly anticipated Aug. 29 showdown between Leo Santa Cruz and Abner Mares at Staples Center. Tickets start at $25 and can be purchased by calling 888-929-7849 FREE. …

Tickets (starting at $35) for the Shane Mosley-Ricardo Mayorga rematch (Aug. 29 at The Forum) went on sale this week. …

Lucas Matthysse (37-3, 34 KOs) will face Viktor Postol (27-0, 11 KOs) for the vacant WBC super lightweight championship, Oct. 3 at StubHub Center. …

Johan Perez (20-2-1, 13 KOs) meets Dmitry Mikhaylenko (19-0, eight KOs) in a 12-round fight from Fantasy Springs Resort Casino on Saturday in Indio. The fight will air on HBO Latino (8 p.m.). …

The Aug. 27 edition of Fight Club OC will start at 6 p.m., instead of the regular 7:30 p.m., because there are 14 fights scheduled for the card.

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