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GLORY 16 Primer: Heavyweight Tournament Predictions

  • Published in News

GLORY

This Saturday in Broomfield, Colorado GLORY will return to the United States with GLORY 16 Denver. The event, headlined by Marc de Bonte vs. Karapet Karapetyan for the GLORY Welterweight Championship, will feature a Heavyweight contender’s tournament featuring four of the best talents at Heavyweight. Those names are Errol Zimmerman, Anderson Silva, Ben Edwards and Sergei Kharitonov.

Anderson Silva vs. Sergei Kharitonov

This is an interesting fight for a variety of reasons. The first is that Anderson “Braddock” Silva doesn’t get the respect that he deserves as a Heavyweight Kickboxer. His recent losses are to Badr Hari, Remy Bonjasky, Gokhan Saki and Daniel Ghita, which is nothing to be ashamed of. He’s coming off of a win over Remy Bonjasky in December heading into this tournament and will be looking to make a big impact.

Sergei Kharitonov is a name that MMA fans remember well from PRIDE and Strikeforce who has been dipping his toes into the Kickboxing world over the past few years with mixed results. He scored a win over Jerome Le Banner at GLORY 13 and since then has fought under MMA rules in Russia. Many will see him as a favorite in this tournament, but the reality here is that Kharitonov has had problems against top level Heavyweights.

I think this is power vs. skill and it could go either way. Anderson Silva is a tremendously skilled fighter but is still a bit undersized at Heavyweight. That being said, Kharitonov won’t be able to match him in the skill department, but hits incredibly hard. Braddock has had problems with brawlers in the past, like his fight with Catalin Morosanu.

I think that Braddock Silva ultimately takes it, but wouldn’t be shocked by Kharitonov winning, either.

Errol Zimmerman vs. Ben Edwards

This fight just screams wild brawl where someone is getting knocked out. Ben Edwards has been in the spotlight since 2010 now, having mixed results against top names but never quite committing to Kickboxing. In the past few years he has worked a lot on his technique and cardio, making him not only a heavy-hitter, but more of an actual Kickboxer now, as opposed to a Boxer with some kicks.

Errol Zimmerman is a case of a guy who can be incredibly disappointing, losing fights that he shouldn’t be losing, or not coming into the fight in shape. He’s got a ton of power and potential, but many feel that he has had problems living up to that. A fight against Edwards should be a wild brawl, but a wild brawl could also make him end up on the mat, so he’ll need to keep his wits about him.

This fight is anyone’s game and the fighter with the best preparation will most likely walk out victorious. Edwards has been focused and kept busy with Boxing in Australia in the past year, while things have been a bit less stable for Zimmerman. Zimmerman is coming off of a quick loss to Daniel Ghita, while Edwards has the momentum with his KO win over Jamal Ben Saddik.

Errol Zimmerman should win this, though.

Finals

If things were to play out as I’ve seen them, we’ll have Anderson Silva vs. Errol Zimmerman in the finals. Zimmerman tends to thrive in situations like this and I think that we’ll see him turn up the heat on Braddock, head hunting for the KO. Braddock is a solid, technical fighter, but a focused Zimmerman is going to give him a lot of trouble, leading to Errol Zimmerman walking away the winner.

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Main Stories Coming Out of GLORY 16

  • Published in Glory

(C) GLORY

So there was a lot of stuff that went down at GLORY 16. Like a metric ton of stuff, so here we are to pick out the big stories for you guys in a heavily digestable manner.

  • Pat Barry Gets Knocked Out - This was not that shocking for me, in fact, I had picked Mwekassa to defeat Barry, even though Barry was the heavy favorite going into this. Sure, Pat Barry had his UFC experience, but contrary to popular belief his problems in the UFC weren't ground fighters, his problems in the UFC were strikers. Shawn Jordan and Soa Palelei have first round KOs over him, for example.
  • Raymond Daniels's Awesome KO - I can't stress this enough, it was awesome. Fans were ignoring the other big name fighters walking around the arena and swarming Daniels. It was a legitimate awesome knockout and a great story.
  • Rico Verhoeven vs. Daniel Ghita - Rico Verhoeven vs. Daniel Ghita was announced for GLORY's Last Man Standing PPV, I believe for the GLORY Heavyweight Championship. Even if not, this is a huge, important fight and should be incredible. GLORY 17 is just getting to be a better and better live show for fans.
  • Mirko Cro Cop at GLORY 17 - Speaking of GLORY 17, Mirko Cro Cop will return to the GLORY ring at GLORY 17.
  • Josh Jauncey Has Arrived - Josh Jauncey is a guy that I've been talking about for a while now and he finally got his shot at the big show in GLORY, with a super stiff challenge in Warren Stevelmans. It was a tough challenge for sure, but Jauncey bounced back and took a decision victory after an extension round.
  • Benjamin Adegbuyi is For Real - We've discussed how sometimes that there are guys who get protected and aren't given the toughest fights, but Benjamin Adegbuyi has paid his dues and is absolutely a name to be looking out for in the GLORY Heavyweight division.
  • Errol Zimmerman Was Ready to Quit - Errol Zimmerman stated in the post-fight press conference that if he lost the tournament that he would have quit Kickboxing entirely. Luckily for us he didn't and he is now right back in title contention.
  • Welterweight is STACKED - Man. So Marc de Bonte is the Champion, but, waiting in the wings are Nieky Holzken, Joe Valtellini and now Raymond Daniels is tossing his name into the mix. Damn.

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GLORY 16 Live Stream Information

  • Published in Glory

GLORY

As always, if you live outside of the United States and would like to watch GLORY 16 live, the best way to do it is to purchase GLORY 16 right here on LiverKick.com. You are coming here anyway, why not watch the show and help the site out? GLORY 16 is Saturday, May 3rd at 9p Eastern time here in the United States. Of course if you are within the United States or other, select regions, it is geo-blocked.

 

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GLORY 16 Denver to Feature Heavyweight Contender Tournament

  • Published in Glory

GLORY

This week is going to have a lot of it dedicated to GLORY 14 Zagreb, but we came across this interesting bit of information over the past few days. GLORY has announced that GLORY 16 will happen in Denver but we've yet to hear exactly what will be at Denver. The rumored GLORY event in Denver for earlier this year was supposed to feature Light Heavyweights, but as we've seen, that is now in GLORY 15 Istanbul instead. So what does that mean we'll see at GLORY 16 Denver?

According to our sources, GLORY 16 Denver will feature a 4-man Heavyweight contender tournament, much like what we are seeing at GLORY 14 Zagreb with the Middleweight Contender tournament. Seeing as Heavyweight is one of GLORY's deepest and most talent-rich divisions you can definitely look forward to some big names taking place in the tournament. Of course there is the unsubstantiated rumor started by Badr Hari's camp that he'll be involved in GLORY 16 Denver, but for right now, don't get your hopes up.

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GLORY 16's Zack Mwekassa on Redemption and New Beginnings

  • Published in Interviews

GLORY

"Nothing beats faith and hope in life", Zack Mwekassa said.

Powerful words from a man who has obviously had to live at times on the strength of the meaning of those very words. In a bout that is sure to be explosive, the Glory family welcomes Zack Mwekassa, who is set to face kickboxing's returning son, Pat Barry, at Glory 16 in Denver.

Entering the Glory ring, with a 10-1-9, record, this Congolese fighter is ready to show the world what he's all about. Born the youngest of eight children, Mwekassa's life began as somewhat of a miacle. His mother, he stated, had years previously been told that she would bear no more children, only years later to have become pregnant with Zack and to have had his name revealed to her in a dream.

The son of a chemist, Mwekassa describes a life of happiness with his family but also of conflict between he and one of his older brothers. Conflict that set him on the path to a career in combat sports. The relationship which he characterizes as antagonistic, one day led his father to ask "Why don't you two behave normally? Why don't you get involved in sports, football, basketball, boxing, something!" Ah yes, boxing, through the power of that single suggestion, Mwekassa was on his way.

Although he admits that he initially wanted to be a pilot, Mwekassa began training at age 13. After a while he mused that he was no longer bullied by his brother, he had begun to develop skills that would physically give him the upper hand. From that time Mwekassa embarked on a road to success in the boxing ring that saw him doing whatever honest job, no matter how big or small, to support himself. By this time, Mwekassa states, he was living in South Africa following an arrest in 2004. In this early part of his career, Mwekassa, describes a period of intense struggle before he began to experience success in the ring. He recalls working as a sort of valet, guarding people's cars and at times not being paid for hours of work. Still he perservered, continuing to hone his skills as a fighter and eventually success did come with Mwekassa eventually earning UBC and WBF titles. There, however, often a dark side to success.

It's an often told story in the history of professional sports, many athletes experience a shift in the balance between training and enjoying the fruits of their labour. Id versus ego. He readily admits that for a time partying became more important than training. But as with us all, life has a way of delivering us a smack down that ultimately reorients us to reality, if we are smart. Mwekassa too, had such a rude awakening that caused him to reevaluate his priorities and return to his roots as a God a fearing, disciplined and focused man with his eyes on the prize. Today that prize is success in the ring with Glory and it begins Saturday, May 3rd with the match up against former kickboxing champ and UFC veteran, Pat Barry. Although he admits that prior to the bout being scheduled he had not heard of Barry.

Today Mwekassa presents feeling that he has done his homework and is prepared for the final exam. While he is excited and contemplates a long and bright future with Glory, he is today fully focused on Saturday's event. "No I don't want to call anyone out", he smiled and stated when asked if there were other opponents he would be interested in fighting. Win or lose Saturday night Mwekassa presents as a man is here to go the distance and if his past is in any way predictive of his future he will.

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Can Pat Barry Move the Needle For GLORY?

  • Published in News

GLORY

This weekend at GLORY 16 we'll see the GLORY Kickboxing debut of Pat Barry. Pat Barry is perhaps best known from his run in the UFC, where he was involved in some truly memorable fights, some of the most memorable in UFC history. Of course, part of the problem with being a UFC fighter is that the UFC promotes the brand first, Dana White second, their shows third and somewhere along the way the fighters. This creates an atmosphere devoid of individual stars.

Pat Barry's jump to GLORY is a huge win for GLORY, seeing as though Pat Barry is a marketable personality and a talented striker. The question is, will he give them an immediate injection of credibility? The data from Google Trends tends to say "no."

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Nieky Holzken Forced Out of GLORY 16 Title Fight

  • Published in Glory

GLORY 16

One of the big bouts at GLORY 16 Denver was scheduled to be Nieky Holzken vs. Marc de Bonte, but it looks like Nieky Holzken will be forced to pull out of his fight with de Bonte yet again. It turns out that Holzken was involved in a car accident in January, which injured his shoulder. Holzken has been working through the injury, but upon a doctor's recommendation he will not compete in May at GLORY 16 Denver against de Bonte.

As they say, though, the show much go on. Marc de Bonte will still have a chance at being crowned the first ever GLORY Welterweight Champion as he will square off against Karapet Karapetyan with the winner walking away as the first ever GLORY Welterweight Champion. Both men are coming off of wins, Karapetyan against Artur Kyshenko and de Bonte against L'houcine Ouzgni last April.

Of course, GLORY 15 goes down on Saturday live from Istanbul if you are outside of America, in America it will air on Spike TV at 9pm Eastern.

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GLORY 16 Denver Weigh-in Video

  • Published in Glory

GLORY

GLORY 16 Denver is close, so close that I can smell it. Wait, I'm not sure that smell is the smell of professional Kickboxing, but none the less, Saturday, May 3rd from the 1stBank Center in Broomfield, Colorado GLORY 16 will air live on Spike TV. The weigh-ins went down Friday in the Denver area and you can catch up on all of the action while you get ready for Saturday night at 9pm Eastern time.

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The Humanity Behind the Gods of War

  • Published in Interviews

He sat alone, inconspicuous to the fans around him and to the action inside of the ring, just off to the side of the stage. It was the first seat in the first row right behind the barrier next to the stage. Those were the seats that intentionally weren’t filled and had played host to a revolving-door of fighters and entourages throughout the night. This was the place where the winners and losers found themselves after their night had ended just to watch the show, this was where Ben Edwards found himself moments after Errol Zimmerman had put him down and out in the first round of their fight.

Edwards was sporting a pair of sweatpants and a sweatshirt, looking calm, collected, not tired at all or like he had just been involved in a fight of any kind. He may have been knocked out, but his face lacked the markings of someone who had just taken a series of punches to it. A fan or two in the crowd might have yelled out his name, but he was incognito, almost removed from the event entirely. I watched as he shook his head at the sight of Pat Barry going down for a second time, getting his brains scrambled. Edwards distinctly understood the disappointment that Barry was going through at that moment.

Sometimes it is difficult to humanize the guys that train their hearts out for our entertainment, difficult to understand their sacrifices that they make and how after the bell has rung, they are just as human as you or I are. Today I rolled out of bed facing a ten-year old car that decided not to start, just one month shy now of a wedding that is costing a lot more than we had initially projected. It’s just another cost and another inconvenience among many of late for me. Yesterday was also a day where a job that owes me seven months of pay sent me one month and asked if I’d start working again. I hate saying no, in just about any situation, but I barely have time to collect my thoughts right now, never mind work for a promise while the bills stack up.

It’s safe to say that some days I understand what Ben Edwards was thinking about as he sat there at GLORY 16 in Broomfield, Colorado quite well. I introduced myself to him as he sat there, alone, taking in the atmosphere. He looked relaxed, calm, a bit embarrassed to be found out in his seat. We stood about the same height, similar build, but one of us was just a God of War who was now adjusting to life as a mortal again. That guy was having a rough night. Ben was quick to apologize, to say that he made a mistake, that he got sloppy, but I assured him that it was no big deal and that he’s come so far in the past few years. He knows that I’ve been following his career and knows that I’m quick to talk up his technical evolution over the past few years. We talked about his technical breakdown of Catalin Morosanu from a few months prior before I left him to stew in his thoughts, knowing that having a rough night means that conversation can be laborious -- especially moments after being humanized.

Raymond Daniels, who fought on the undercard, was walking around the floor of the arena where fans were shouting out his name and stopping to take photos with him while Ben Edwards sat watching Errol Zimmerman walking to the ring again. I won’t even pretend to understand his thought process at the moment, although I could make some educated guesses. I myself found the surreal in seeing Edwards sitting there, watching Zimmerman walk to the ring, Daniels being mobbed, while Josh Jauncey and his brother Jay walked by with Andy Souwer in tow and everyone seemed completely unaware of the gravity and sheer madness of the situation.

All I could think is that Edwards was seconds away from being that guy walking to the ring. Edwards was raining down punishment on Zimmerman, but got caught, so here he is, in the stands, watching the world turn without him, a mortal like the rest of us. On that night he was far from home and all of the countries that he’d been to, all of the big shows that he’s fought on, all of the accolades that he had gained throughout his career didn’t matter, he was just another guy who had a rough night on the job. He was just another observer. There was a strong disconnect from victory and defeat.

We talk about these fighters from a distance, we weigh their perceived value and potential matchups. We place them in numbered lists and assign them value based on the last time that we saw them, but sometimes forget to humanize them and relate them to our own day-to-day struggles. Today I woke up thinking about all of the work that I had waiting for me, quickly dismissing messages on my phone asking when I’d have an article up or if I saw their last message. Sometimes I consider changing professions, pulling away from the sliver of the public eye that I have and the abuse that I open myself to daily. I know that I’m not alone in thinking that, either.

The other day Ben Edwards posted on his Facebook that he was available to dog-sit for anyone in his town that needed it. There was a hint of playfulness in it, just like changing his occupation to “Dog Sitter,” but Ben is already back at work training for an upcoming fight. Just like I continue on, Ben Edwards continues on, re-assimilating himself into the image that the world knows him in. The world keeps turning and Ben Edwards is making sure that he’s not just along for the ride, but for one night he was a human being whose hopes and dreams were as fragile and elusive as our own all are. That night I saw Ben Edwards be larger-than-life in the ring, fighting as one of the best Heavyweight in the world against one of the best Heavyweights in the world, then saw him as a vulnerable guy who was much more than the public’s image of him, the promotion’s image of him, my image of him or his own image of himself.

He’s the amalgamation of those images and he’s not them at all, just like we all are.

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