Raymond Daniels (martial artist)

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Raymond Daniels
Born Raymond Lee Daniels
(1980-04-29) April 29, 1980 (age 37)
Sun Valley, California, United States
Other names The Real Deal
Nationality American
Height 1.88 m (6 ft 2 in)
Weight 77.4 kg (171 lb; 12.19 st)
Division Welterweight
Reach 74.0 in (188 cm)
Stance Southpaw
Fighting out of Long Beach, California, United States
Team Los Angeles Stars
Team Paul Mitchell Karate
World Champion Karate
Rank Sixth degree black belt in American Kenpo
Sixth degree black belt in Shotokan
Fifth degree Kukkiwon black belt in Tae Kwon Do
Years active 2006-present
Kickboxing record
Total 14
Wins 11
By knockout 8
Losses 3
By knockout 3
Mixed martial arts record
Total 1
Losses 1
By submission 1
Amateur record
Total 18
Wins 17
By knockout 9
No contests 1
Other information
Website www.raymonddaniels.com
last updated on: March 21, 2016

Raymond Lee Daniels (born April 29, 1980) is an American karateka, Tae Kwon Do practitioner, and kickboxer known for his flashy and aggressive style of fighting.[1]

As of 1 August 2017, he is ranked the #10 welterweight in the world by CombatPress.com.[2]


Daniels was born in Sun Valley, California and raised in Palmdale, California. He began training in American Kenpo karate in 1985 under the tutelage of his father Frank Daniels and earned his black belt in 1992.[3]

While still in high school Daniels became a single father. Seeking a better life for him and his son, Daniels realized his boyhood dream of becoming a police officer with the Long Beach Police Department at the age of 21.[4] After more than 7 years of service, Daniels retired to concentrate on his martial arts career.[5]


Daniels had humble beginnings as a junior competitor in sport karate competitions.[1] By the age of 19, he would go on to become a top ranked fighter for both the National Black Belt League (NBL) and the North American Sport Karate Association (NASKA). Among his titles are eight NBL World Championships,[6] at least two NASKA world championships, a second-place finish at the $50,000 World Pro Taekwondo Championship in Croatia in 2010,[7] and nine overall championships at the W.A.K.O Irish Open.[8][9][10]

Don Rodrigues, coach and co-founder of the famed Team Paul Mitchell Karate, recruited Daniels in 1999. Daniels left the Paul Mitchell Team in 2001, joining other teams in successive years.[1]

In 2006, Daniels began fighting for Chuck Norris' World Combat League as captain of the Los Angeles Stars.[11] Daniels fought in the 80 kg/178 lbs and 88 kg/195 lbs weight divisions, compiling a 17–0–0 (9 KO) fight record.[12] Daniels had a highly anticipated bout with fellow undefeated kickboxing star Stephen "Wonderboy" Thompson. Daniels won the bout by technical knockout due to a knee injury suffered by Thompson that left him unable to continue.[13] The bout has since been ruled a no contest as Thompson's injury was caused by an illegal attack.

Daniels defeated Peyton Russell via third-round TKO (three knockdown rule) at the K-1 World Grand Prix 2007 in Las Vegas on August 11, 2007.[14]

Daniels would then set his sights on the world of mixed martial arts and was touted by Strikeforce as "the next Cung Le".[15] On June 27, 2008, he made his MMA debut against twelve fight veteran Jeremiah Metcalf[16] at Strikeforce: Melendez vs. Thomson. Daniels was defeated by submission via rear-naked choke in the second round.[17]

In his first outing under full Oriental kickboxing rules, Daniels defeated two opponents in Dublin, Ireland on October 8, 2011 to win the four man 84 kg/185 lbs tournament at the Pain and Glory event. After knocking out English Muay Thai fighter Andy Bakewell with a spinning heel kick in the semi-finals, he took a split decision over Irish kickboxer Mark Casserly in the final.[18]

He then signed with Glory in 2013 and was set to debut at Glory 5: London on March 23, 2013 in London, England[19] but was later removed from the card for undisclosed reasons.[20]

Daniels defeated Brian Foster with a first-round spinning heel kick at Glory 11: Chicago - Heavyweight World Championship Tournament in Hoffman Estates, Illinois on October 12, 2013.[21][22]

He replaced Marc de Bonte in the Glory 13: Tokyo - Welterweight World Championship Tournament in Tokyo, Japan on December 21, 2013 for undisclosed reasons[23] and suffered his first kickboxing loss at the hands of Joseph Valtellini in the semi-finals. He initially caused some problems for Valtellini with his unorthodox karate style but by round two the Canadian began to hurt Daniels with low kicks. Daniels was knocked out by a high kick in the third round.[24]

Daniels scored a spinning kick KO over François Ambang inside the opening round at Glory 16: Denver in Broomfield, Colorado, United States on May 3, 2014.[25] His performance was hailed by Glory as the "Knockout of the Century."[26]

On February 6, 2015, Daniels was part of a one-night, four-man welterweight tournament at Glory 19: Virginia. In the semifinals, he faced Jonatan Oliveira and won via TKO. Daniels knocked Oliveira down with a spinning heel kick to the head in the first round and scored another knock down with a spinning kick to the body early in the second round. A knee to the groin of Oliveira led to a short intermission, after which Daniels hit Oliveira with another spinning kick to the body, forcing the TKO at 2:15 of the second round. In the finals, he faced Nieky Holzken and was knocked down early in the first round by a punch to the body. Daniels was unable to deal well with Holzken's pressure, who cut off the ring and locked Daniels up in the corners whenever possible. The second round saw Daniels being knocked down twice more, before scoring a controversial down himself in the third with one of his spin kicks. Holzken then locked Daniels up in a corner once more and knocked him down with a right hook to the head, forcing the stoppage at 1:25 of the third round after four knock downs.[27]

He defeated Justin Baesman on May 8, 2015 in the co-main event at Glory 21: San Diego by KO (liver kick) after just 51 seconds inside the first round.[28]

After Joseph Valtellini vacated his title due to health issues, Raymond Daniels was set to face Nieky Holzken for the welterweight world championship at Glory 23: Las Vegas on August 7, 2015.[29] Daniels won the first two rounds on the judges scorecards due to a higher output of strikes. In the third round, Holzken managed to corner him and scored a combination which ended with a jump right knee that cut him above the eye prompting referee John McCarthy to stop the match.[30]

On November 28, 2015, Daniels won gold at the W.A.K.O. World Championships 2015 (Citywest) in the 89 kg semi-contact division.[31]

He defeated Francesco Moricca at Bellator 152 on April 16, 2016 in Turin via TKO (liver kick) in the first round.[32][33]

He defeated Stefano Bruno at Bellator 157 on June 24, 2016 in St. Louis via TKO (liver kick) in the first round.[34]

He defeated Zsolt Benedek at Bellator Kickboxing 3 on September 17, 2016 in Budapest via unanimous decision.[35]

He defeated Csaba Gyorfi at Bellator Kickboxing 6 on April 14, 2017 in Budapest via TKO (liver kick).[36]

Personal life[edit]

Daniels is a single father and currently lives in Orange, California. He is an instructor at World Champion Karate in Orange, California with his business partner Steven Horst. Daniels recently co-founded "ICE Martial Arts", a personal training and nutrition institute.[3] He refrains from recreational drug use.[1]

Championships and awards[edit]

Points fighting (Kickboxing/Sport Karate)[edit]

  • North American Sport Karate Association
    • 2004 NASKA World Championship
    • 2002 NASKA World Championship
  • National Blackbelt League
    • 2010 NBL World Championship
    • 2009 NBL World Championship
    • 2008 NBL World Championship
    • 2007 NBL World Championship
    • 2006 NBL World Championship
    • 2005 NBL World Championship
    • 2004 NBL World Championship
    • 2003 NBL World Championship
  • World Association of Kickboxing Organizations
    • 2015 W.A.K.O. World Champion
    • 2014 Irish Open Grand Champion
    • 2012 Irish Open Grand Champion
    • 2011 Irish Open Grand Champion
    • 2010 Irish Open Grand Champion
    • 2009 Irish Open Grand Champion
    • 2008 Irish Open Grand Champion
    • 2007 Irish Open Grand Champion
    • 2006 Irish Open Grand Champion
    • 2005 Irish Open Grand Champion

Kickboxing (Full Contact)[edit]

  • Pain and Glory
    • Pain and Glory -84 kg/185 lb Tournament Championship


  • World Pro Taekwondo Championships
    • 2010 World Pro Taekwondo Championships Runner-up

Kickboxing record[edit]

Kickboxing record

Legend:   Win   Loss   Draw/No contest   Notes

Amateur Kickboxing record[edit]

17 wins (9 KO), 0 losses, 0 draws, 1 no contest
Date Result Opponent Event Location Method Round Time Record
2008-06-07 Win United States Brandon Banda World Combat League United States KO (spinning heel kick) 1 0:55 17-0 (1)
2008-06-07 Win United States Jaime Fletcher World Combat League United States Decision (18-5) 1 3:00 16-0 (1)
2008-05-03 Win United States Scott Clark World Combat League United States Decision (16-9) 1 3:00 15-0 (1)
2008-05-03 Win Nigeria Chidi Njokuani World Combat League United States Decision (18-6) 1 3:00 14-0 (1)
2008-02-23 Win United States El-Java Abdul-Qadir World Combat League United States KO (left hook and right high kick) 1 2:37 13-0 (1)
2008-02-23 Win United States Chris Decaro World Combat League United States KO (spinning back kick) 1 1:10 12-0 (1)
2008-01-18 Win United States Blake Lirette World Combat League United States KO (right cross) 1 2:24 11-0 (1)
2008-01-18 Win United States Blake Lirette World Combat League United States Decision (15-8) 1 3:00 10-0 (1)
2007-12-14 Win United States Damion Caldwell World Combat League United States KO (spinning back kick) 1 0:20 9-0 (1)
2007-12-14 Win United States Antoine McRae World Combat League United States KO 1 8-0 (1)
2007-10-19 Win United States World Combat League United States DQ 1 7-0 (1)
2007-10-19 Win United States Ryan Madigan World Combat League United States Decision (18-6) 1 3:00 6-0 (1)
2007-01-20 Win United States Damion Caldwell World Combat League United States KO (punches) 1 1:57 5-0 (1)
2007-01-20 NC United States Stephen Thompson World Combat League United States No contest (overturned by the WCL) 1 4-0 (1)
2006-09-22 Win United States Lawrence Baker World Combat League United States Decision (15-8) 1 3:00 4-0
2006-09-22 Win United States Lawrence Baker World Combat League United States Decision (15-8) 1 3:00 3-0
2006-03-03 Win United States Ronnie Copeland World Combat League United States KO (spinning heel kick) 1 0:46 2-0
2006-03-03 Win Sweden Andreas Spång World Combat League United States Decision (15-7) 1 3:00 1-0

Legend:   Win   Loss   Draw/No contest   Notes

Mixed martial arts record[edit]

Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Loss 0–1 Jeremiah Metcalf Submission (rear-naked choke) Strikeforce: Melendez vs. Thomson June 27, 2008 2 0:59 San Jose, California, United States Middleweight bout


  1. ^ a b c d karatetournaments.com, Competitor Profile on Raymond Daniels at the Wayback Machine (archived March 23, 2007) Retrieved May 29, 2016.
  2. ^ "Combat Press Kickboxing Rankings: August 2017". combatpress.com. 1 August 2017. 
  3. ^ a b icemartialarts.com, raymond daniels at the Wayback Machine (archived February 28, 2011) Retrieved May 29, 2016.
  4. ^ "Ex-Long Beach cop turned martial artist Raymond Daniels fights for title in GLORY kickboxing". ocregister.com. August 5, 2015. 
  5. ^ "GLORY 23: Raymond Daniels: The nicest guy you never want to meet in the ring". bloodyelbow.com. August 7, 2015. 
  6. ^ "NBL World Champions" (PDF).  retrieved June 28, 2012.
  7. ^ "World Pro Taekwondo Championship".  retrieved June 28, 2012.
  8. ^ "2012 Irish Open".  retrieved June 28, 2012.
  9. ^ "World's Largest Fighting Event".  retrieved June 28, 2012.
  10. ^ "WAKO review of Irish Open".  retrieved June 28, 2012.
  11. ^ "Interview: Undefeated kickboxer Raymond Daniels". mmafighting.com. June 26, 2008. 
  12. ^ World Combat League >> LA Stars >> Raymond Daniels. retrieved April 10, 2010.
  13. ^ "Bellator 152: Raymond Daniels on Karate, Bouts vs. Wonderboy, Page & More". youtube.com. April 4, 2016. 
  14. ^ "K-1 World Grand Prix 2007 in Las Vegas Report". onthemat.com. August 13, 2007. 
  15. ^ ""The next Cung Le" Raymond Daniels debuts Friday with Strikeforce". mmajunkie.com. June 23, 2008. 
  16. ^ Karate Master Raymond Daniels Making MMA Debut. retrieved April 10, 2010.
  17. ^ "Strikeforce - Melendez vs. Thomson Play-By-Play". onthemat.com. June 27, 2008. 
  18. ^ "KO of the Day: Raymond Daniels Spinning Wheel Kicks Some Poor Dude’s Head Into the Fourth Row". cagepotato.com. October 11, 2011. 
  19. ^ "GLORY 5 London Fight Card". liverkick.com. January 11, 2013. 
  20. ^ "GLORY 5 London Finalized Fight Card, This Saturday March 23". liverkick.com. March 19, 2013. 
  21. ^ "GLORY 11 Full Event Card Announced". liverkick.com. October 3, 2013. 
  22. ^ "GLORY 11 Chicago Live Results and Discussion". liverkick.com. October 12, 2013. 
  23. ^ "The GLORY 13 Card is Super Stacked So Far". liverkick.com. November 1, 2013. 
  24. ^ "GLORY SuperFight Series Tokyo and GLORY 13 Spoilers". liverkick.com. December 21, 2013. 
  26. ^ "GLORY: Knockout of the Century (Raymond Daniels)". youtube.com. December 18, 2014. 
  27. ^ "Glory 19 results: Verhoeven retains, Holzken and Schilling dominate". bloodyelbow.com. February 7, 2015. 
  28. ^ "GLORY 21 RESULTS: LIVE KICKBOXING PLAY-BY-PLAY & UPDATES". sherdog.com. May 8, 2015. 
  29. ^ "‘Bazooka' Joe Valtellini vacates GLORY World Welterweight Championship". bloodyelbow.com. June 4, 2015. 
  30. ^ "GLORY 23 ‘LAS VEGAS’ PLAY-BY-PLAY & RESULTS". sherdog.com. August 7, 2015. 
  31. ^ "SIX IRISH GOLDS AT WAKO WORLD KICKBOXING CHAMPIONSHIPS". irishsportsnet.wordpress.com. December 4, 2015. 
  32. ^ "Bellator Kickboxing 1 Torino: Daniels and Kielholtz receive opponents". kickboxingplanet.com. March 20, 2016. 
  33. ^ "Bellator Roundup: Bendo loses in debut, UFC vets booked for upcoming cards". bloodyelbow.com. April 23, 2016. 
  34. ^ "BELLATOR 157 ‘DYNAMITE 2’ RESULTS: PLAY-BY-PLAY & ROUND-BY-ROUND SCORING". sherdog.com. June 24, 2016. 
  35. ^ "Bellator Kickboxing Budapest Results: Laszák Scores Title Fight Upset, Daniels Earns Decision". combatpress.com. September 17, 2016. 
  36. ^ "Bellator Kickboxing 6 live results and discussion". bloodyelbow.com. April 14, 2017. 

External links[edit]