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Xavier Vigney Out Against Chi Lewis-Parry at GLORY 33 SuperFight Series

  • Published in Glory

The much-anticipated rematch between Californian giant Xavier Vigney and Chi Lewis-Parry will have to wait, it seems. Without a reason given, Vigney is off of the card and replacing him will be Oregon's Anthony McDonald. 

GLORY 33 SuperFight Series

Middleweight World Title Headline Bout: Simon Marcus vs. Jason Wilnis

Heavyweight Co-Headline Bout: Chi Lewis-Parry vs. Anthony McDonald

Super Bantamweight Grand Prix Quarterfinal Bout: Zoila Frausto vs. Daniela Graf

Welterweight Bout: Francois Ambang vs. Daniel Morales

Catchweight (140 lb) Bout: Rami Ibrahim vs. David Moore

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Hayabusa's New Glory Gloves

  • Published in Glory

If you are a Glory fan then you have noticed the change in gloves since they switched from Leone to Hayabusa. Now I've been to a decent amount of the Glory events with my brother and got to talk to fighters and feel the gloves first hand. The overall consensus on the Hayabusa gloves has not been good at all. The comment I was hearing most of all was about the size, the gloves were simply too big and it was effecting the excitement of the cards as knockouts were not happening anymore. So myself and a few others took to twitter and made a few complaints expecting them to fall on deaf ears but we were wrong. Hayabusa took our complaints seriously and emailed me to let me know they were changing their gloves for upcoming events and they would send me a pair to take a look at. 

Here is a comparison picture, Top picture is old gloves, bottom picture is new gloves. You can start by looking at the length on his forearm, secondly just the overall shape of the glove. I have never seen a glove shaped like the first gloves, the new ones are more what we are used to. I will say the new gloves are very small, I'm not positive how the big heavyweights are going to fit their hands in them as we had trouble putting our hands in when wrapped but I can guarantee more knockouts with these. With these gloves the women will have the power to finish fights much more easily as they are just much more compact for the punch and it makes it harder to cover up. It was great of Hayabusa to look out for the fighters safety with the first gloves but in the end they are being used for a fight, fighting is not necessarily safe and if you take the danger out of it the fans will lose interest.

I am 100% happier with these gloves, I feel Hayabusa did a great job taking everyone's criticism and made a glove everyone will be happy with. I wanted a fighters opinion as well, so Josh wore them and bashed a few things and liked them a lot more than the previous gloves he had fought with, he did agree that they are very small but he had a big smile on his face while he said it.

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Featherweight Tournament Set For GLORY 33

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Newly-crowned GLORY Featherweight Champion Gabriel Varga won't have to wait long to discover who his next challenger will be, as GLORY has announced that on September 9th at GLORY 33 there will be a new contender's tournament. The tournament features Chibin Lim against Matt Embree and Serhiy Adamchuk -- the former champion -- against Giga Chikadze.

Also featured will be heavyweight knockout artist Guto Inocente against perennial top-ten heavyweight Hesdy Gerges.

GLORY 33 New Jersey
Hesvyweight World Title Headline Bout: Rico Verhoeven vs. Anderson Silva
Featherweight Tournament Final Bout: Winner of Bout A vs. Winner of Bout B
Heavyweight Co-Headline Bout: Hesdy Gerges vs. Guto Inocente
Featherweight Tournament Semifinal Bout B: Chibin Lim vs. Matt Embree
Featherweight Tournament Semifinal Bout A: Serhiy Adamchuk vs. Giga Chikadze

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Badr Hari vs Rico Verhoeven Last Fight Comparison & Videos

  • Published in Glory

Since Glory has confirmed Badr Hari vs Rico Verhoeven for December its time to talk about this fight. We will start by comparing their latest fights even though Rico will have one more fight before December, which is a title defense against Anderson "Braddock" Silva.

By the time December rolls around Badri Hari will have inactive for 1 year and 4 months, his last fight against Ismael Londt in Grozny, Russia was in August 2015. Now everyone has different opinions on ring rust but I strongly believe that for an active kickboxer it is very important to fight more often than this. Badr has lots of wars under his belt so who knows how his body is doing these days, but no matter how old or inactive Hari still has crazy KO power that comes from strange angles, no matter who it is if Badr lands a clean punch or kick they can be in for a short night. Here is the video of Badr Hari's last fight, he won but he definitely didn't look sharp nonetheless still and exciting fight.

Rico Verhoeven apart from one minor setback against Gerasimchuk has looked really unstoppable lately. He has improved greatly and is continuing to do so. The problem is that the heavyweight division is nothing like it used to be, back in K-1 GP days every year there were so many amazing heavyweights that it was a toss up who was going to win the tournament. Now that most of those guy have retired no one has really taken their place which leaves Rico in a shallow division. At the moment I don't really see anyone that can challenge him skill wise but with heavyweights anyone can land that KO punch or kick and Rico has been knocked out before. Rico wants to make sure to stay active before his fight with Badr so even though he already fought in March of this year, he will be defending his title in September which in my opinion is a little dangerous but that is his choice. Ricos last fight against Mladen Brestovac wasn't his best performance but he showed how good his cardio is, which is a big thing in the heavyweight division, also his leg kicks are nasty. One thing Rico is constantly criticized about is his lack of KO power and boring fights, well Badr Hari has never had a boring fight so I don't think we will have to worry about that this time around.

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Never Underestimate Anderson 'Braddock' Silva

  • Published in Glory

When you ask kickboxing fans about the fight that they are most excited for the answer is almost inevitable; Badr Hari making his GLORY debut against reigning GLORY Heavyweight Champion Rico Verhoeven. It's the biggest kickboxing fight at heavyweight since the fall of FEG's K-1 back in 2010, a battle between the man who was primed to become the king of the heavyweight division and the man who actually became that top fighter.

Yet, at GLORY 33 New Jersey Rico Verhoeven takes possibly the biggest gamble that he's taken in his professional career, months out from the biggest fight of his life and of GLORY's tenure thus far. At GLORY 33 Rico Verhoeven will defend the GLORY Heavyweight Championship against Anderson "Braddock" Silva. Silva, who has been fighting at heavyweight for years, proving himself to be a name and a guy who has always been knocking at the door of the top ten or traversing it without finding his way to the top. His shot comes with question marks attached, like where is Ismael Londt, the man who earned a shot against Verhoeven? Braddock perhaps deserved a shot a while ago, but now there are contenders for Verhoeven.

To many, the conclusion has been that Braddock is simply a "warm up" fight. The last time that someone viewed Braddock as merely a speed bump was Remy Bonjasky, who was looking to prove that his career was not over yet, only for Braddock to push the pace and pick up the victory over the K-1 legend.

In the same vein, at GLORY 16 Denver Braddock was facing off against Sergei Kharitonov, a man that had a bigger contract with GLORY thanks to his previous accomplishments only for Braddock to soundly defeat him. While Braddock may not have ever held those big, impressive championships, Braddock has been a spoiler within the division, the guy that serves as the gatekeeper to becoming elite, or the man who would defeat would-be contenders and send them back to the end of the line. 

He's a dangerous fight for any heavyweight, especially for someone like Rico Verhoeven, who when proven to be distracted in the past has lost a fight that many thought he'd handily win.

Plus, let's never forget one of the best heavyweight head kick knock outs in kickboxing history courtesy of Braddock. 

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Xavier Vigney and Chi Lewis-Parry Clash Again at GLORY 33 SuperFight Series

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At the GLORY 33 SuperFight Series in New Jersey on September 9th GLORY has added a big heavyweight showdown between Chi Lewis-Parry and Xavier Vigney. The two met last at GLORY 21 San Diego where the trash talk was tremendous heading into a heavyweight tournament, with both men clashing in the finals and a barrage of right hands from Vigney put Parry away. Since then Parry has picked up a big, knockout victory and is looking for revenge on the huge American heavyweight.

This fight will round out the SuperFight Series that already features a GLORY Middleweight World title bout between champion Simon Marcus and challenger Jason Wilnis. 

GLORY 33 SuperFight Series

Middleweight World Title Headline Bout: Simon Marcus vs. Jason Wilnis

Heavyweight Co-Headline Bout: Chi Lewis-Parry vs. Xavier Vigney

Super Bantamweight Grand Prix Quarterfinal Bout: Zoila Frausto vs. Daniela Graf

Welterweight Bout: Francois Ambang vs. Daniel Morales

Catchweight (140 lb) Bout: Rami Ibrahim vs. David Moore

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GLORY Teases Badr vs. Rico With GLORY Collision Promo

  • Published in Glory

Yesterday the news broke that GLORY would be promoted Badr Hari vs. Rico Verhoeven in December, most likely in Germany. GLORY has now officially acknowledged that with promo materials for it, including banners and a hype video. The video simply says "December," while Badr Hari released a version himself via social media that says December 10th.

Chances are the date and venue aren't nailed down just yet, but that December 10th is the most likely date.

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Badr Hari vs. Rico Verhoeven Set For December Thanks to GLORY

  • Published in Glory

The fight. 

If you follow kickboxing you know the one fight that everyone has been asking about; GLORY Heavyweight Champion Rico Verhoeven vs. Badr Hari. Badr Hari may not be a regular in the realm of high-level kickboxing right now, but he's the lone holdover of a generation of heavyweights that defined the sport from the heyday of K-1. 

Hari, never a K-1 World Grand Prix Champion -- in part thanks to his volatile temper leading to a DQ loss in 2008 -- was seen as the heir apparent to the heavyweight throne, only for FEG's K-1 to go bankrupt and the international kickboxing scene changed forever. Since then, GLORY has emerged as the world leader in the sport, albeit in a scaled-back form compared to the opulence of FEG's K-1. 

Since then both Hari and Verhoeven have had very different paths. Hari chased paydays from rich sheikhs and warlords where he could find them while Verhoeven competed with the best of the best, transitioning from being a tall, awkward kid to an unstoppable force in heavyweight kickboxing. Outside of the ring Hari has been plagued with legal issues thanks to his temper and for a while it looked like he would never, truly, find a way back to fighting the best. 

Hari has remained a public figure, his every indiscretion stealing international headlines all while being accentuated by a fairly rabid social media following. For Verhoeven, this became the fight to make, the fight that made sense. All of the old heroes had retired; Semmy Schilt, Peter Aerts, Jerome Le Banner, Ernesto Hoost and Remy Bonjasky. 

With wins over Gokhan Saki, Daniel Ghita, Errol Zimmerman and Benjamin Adegbuyi it was all starting to feel a bit "academic" for Verhoeven. He is the best and all of the challengers that are lining up are talented individuals, but what can they bring to the table? 

An issue that arises with a dominant champion is that it's difficult for other stars to flourish. Adegbuyi, in any other generation, would be a huge star, but now he's been defeated twice by Verhoeven, as have Daniel Ghita and Errol Zimmerman, making it lonely at the top for Rico, who has only suffered one errant loss in China to Anderei Gerasimchuk while Rico's wife was in labor and his mind was elsewhere. 

Speculation has run wild for the past few months, smaller promoters have tossed their hat into the ring with very public, very unrealistic offers to host the fight, but there was always going to be one promotion where it would go down; GLORY. GLORY has worked with Verhoeven and Hari's team and now it's official. According to a report from Gareth Davies, the fight is happening in December in Germany. 

As for the stakes? Simply pride.

Hari is not under a longer contract to GLORY, thus no title will be on the line. 

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GLORY 33 New Jersey Featuring Rico Verhoeven vs. Anderson Silva

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On Friday, September 9th in Trenton, New Jersey GLORY returns to action with GLORY 33. GLORY 33 is set to feature two huge world title bouts, first on the GLORY SuperFight Series Jason Wilnis will get his title shot against champion Simon Marcus in the main event, then on the main card GLORY Heavyweight Champion Rico Verhoeven defends against Anderson "Braddock" Silva.

Silva is coming off of a KO victory at GLORY 32 against Gordon Haupt, while Jason Wilnis is coming off of a win over Joe Schilling. 

The GLORY Women's Bantamweight Tournament continues as well with one of the more interesting bouts of the tournament in Zoila Frausto vs. Daniela Graf. 

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Glory 32 Virginia and Superfight Series Predictions

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Glory 32 Virginia is in a little over 24 hours so its prediction time. We will predict the winner and how they will win, feel free to give us your opinions as well. You can watch the Glory 32 Superfight series on UFC fight pass and the main card on Eversport.tv or ESPN 3.

Main Card

Serhiy Adamchuk vs Gabriel Varga (Adamchuk Unanimous Dec) Adamchuk will win fighter of the night bonus

Brian Collette vs Myron Dennis (Collette Split Decision)

Finals - (Zhuravlev KO) Pavel Zhuravlev will get he KO of the night bonus

Semifinal - Manny Mancha vs. Zinedine Hameur-Lain (Hameur-Lain Unanimous Dec)

Semifinal - Pavel Zhuravlev vs. Ariel Machado (Zhuravlev KO)

Superfight Series

Chi Lewis-Parry vs. Maurice Greene (Lewis-Parry KO)

Anderson Silva vs. Gordon Haupt (Silva Unanimous Dec)

Funda Alkayis vs. Vanessa De Waele (Alkayis Unanimous Dec)

Francois Ambang vs. Michael Stevens (Ambang KO)

Giga Chikadze vs. Chris Mauceri (Mauceri Unanimous Dec)

Armed Forces Exhibition - Cedric Smith vs. Roger Corbin (Smith TKO)

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Glory Announces "Fighter of the Night" and "Knockout" Bonuses

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This week Glory announced that starting on July 22nd they will be offering a "fighter of the night" and "knockout of the night" bonus. Each bonus will be an extra $5000 so it is possible that one fighter get both bonuses and make an extra $10k which is definitely a decent incentive. 

Any fighter on the card, superfight series or main card are eligible for the bonuses and well the KO of the night is pretty self explanatory but the fighter of the night bonus is always a little vague to me. It really all depends on what the person who makes that final decision likes to see but as of now Glory announced that it will be awarded to the fighter that has the most impressive performance in the ring regardless of winning or losing. They may implement some sort of fan voting system at some point to help with awarding it too.

These Bonuses will begin at Glory 32: Virginia and will continue on to every Glory event after.

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Glory 32 Armed Forces Title Bout On SuperFight Series

  • Published in Glory

The Glory 32 Superfight Series are once again going to play host to a US Armed Forces bout. Since the armed forces bout was such a hit last time in Virginia (which had one of the best atmospheres out of pretty much all the Glory events I have been too) Glory has decided to have Cedric Smith return to defend his Glory military championship belt that he won at Glory 19. He will defend his belt against Roger Corbin who is coming fresh off a 1st round KO victory on July 8th.

Cedric Smith will again be representing the US Airforce while Roger Corbin will represent the US Navy. The bout will be at a catch weight of 195lbs and will be Live on UFC FIGHT PASS on July 22nd at 7:30pm ET or if you are in the area you can go watch the whole event in person at the Ted Constant Convocation Center in Norfolk, Va.

Here is how Cedric Smith won the military championship 

GLORY 32 SuperFight Series

Heavyweight Headline Bout: Chi Lewis-Parry vs. Maurice Greene

Heavyweight Co-Headline Bout: Anderson Silva vs. Gordon Haupt

Super Bantamweight Bout: Funda Alkayis vs. Vanessa De Waele

Welterweight Bout: Francois Ambang vs. Michael Stevens

Featherweight Bout: Giga Chikadze vs. Chris Mauceri

US Armed Forces (195 lb Catchweight) Exhibition Bout: Cedric Smith vs. Roger Corbin

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Full Fight Card Announced For GLORY 32

  • Published in Glory

GLORY has released the full fight card for GLORY 32, which will include the GLORY Featherweight title being defended in a rematch between new champion Serhiy Adamchuk and former champion Gabriel Varga. Also on the card is a Light Heavyweight contender tournament featuring the debut of Pavel Zhuravlev, which to longtime kickboxing fans is exciting. The GLORY SuperFight Series sees the Women's Super Bantamweight tournament continue, Anderson "Braddock" Silva looking to climb back up the rankings and Chi Lewis Parry taking on Maurice Greene.

GLORY 32 Virginia

Featherweight Title Headline Bout: Serhiy Adamchuk (c) vs. Gabriel Varga

Light Heavyweight Tournament Final Bout: Winner of Bout A vs. Winner of Bout B

Light Heavyweight Co-Headline Bout: Brian Collette vs. TBA

Light Heavyweight Tournament Bout B: Manny Mancha vs. Zinedine Hameur-Lain

Light Heavyweight Tournament Bout A: Pavel Zhuravlev vs. Ariel Machado

GLORY 32 SuperFight Series

Heavyweight Headline Bout: Chi Lewis-Parry vs. Maurice Greene

Heavyweight Co-Headline Bout: Anderson Silva vs. Gordon Haupt

Super Bantamweight Bout: Funda Alkayis vs. Vanessa De Waele

Welterweight Bout: Francois Ambang vs. Michael Stevens

Featherweight Bout: Giga Chikadze vs. Chris Mauceri

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GLORY Referee Stefano Valenti Responds to Criticism

  • Published in Glory

(C) GLORY / Ben Pontier

During the last few events it has been notable that many fans, pundits and insiders within the kickboxing world have been vocal about the referees and judges at GLORY events. Stefano Valenti has been involved in some high-profile GLORY bouts over the last year, including a few of the fights at the recent GLORY 31. 

Three of the fights that he was involved with were the Saenchai vs. Eddy Nait-Slimani bout, Ismael Londt vs. Hesdy Gerges and the main event between GLORY Lightweight Champion Robin van Roosmalen and challenger Sitthichai Sitsongpeenong. I have joined in with the chorus of critics of Valenti and noted in our live coverage of GLORY 31 that whenever Valenti is in the ring there is a fear that something might go wrong. 

During the Saenchai bout he deducted a point from Saenchai, which seemed harsh considering the action in the ring, and during Ismael Londt vs. Hesdy Gerges he deducted a point from both fighters in the third round, just seconds away from the final bell. This comes after the notable point deductions from GLORY referee Al Wichers during Artem Levin vs. Simon Marcus which heavily influenced the outcome of the bout. We criticize because while rule enforcement is important, there seems to be a lack of coherence among referees and a very real fear among fans (and fighters) that referees can influence the outcome of their bouts.

Late this week LiverKick received an email from referee Stefano Valenti where he looked to explain his side of the story. 

In all organizations and federations for which I have worked, and continue to do so (I think not for luck but I hope for merit), they appreciated me to follow regulations and instructions that are given to me by the leadership of each organization. Glory, Bellator, Victory, Oktagon, Wako, WMF, ISKA, etc.

That you points as conduct "terrible", is the way that Glory wants for all events Glory sanctioned , the result of extensive discussions during the briefing on the day before the event and reported in the special "referee clinic" written by the head and coordinator of the Glory Officials: REFEREE MUST STOP IMMEDIATELY INACTIVE CLINCH ! It's not Muay Thai Clinching!

While I have been and will most likely continue to be critical of referees for their calls, their job is difficult and they are forced to make split-second decisions. What's important, though, is that these decisions can and will be criticized because of how they can impact the careers of fighters. As we've seen, every referee has a different style just like fighters do, and at times those styles are more intrusive than others (Joop Ubeda, for example). 

Valenti explains that his calls were justified because they were done in accordance to GLORY's wishes, which is difficult to argue with. It should be noted that it is also the responsibility of fighters and their teams to understand and respect these rules and not place referees in a position to make these calls. It should be noted, though, that GLORY doesn't have a hand in the officiating, instead the ISKA handles that.

LiverKick has reached out to Mr. Valenti for further comment.

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GLORY 31 SuperFight Series and Main Card Results

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GLORY returns to Amsterdam for GLORY 31, featuring the big rematch between Lightweight Champion Robin van Roosmalen and challenger Sitthichai Sitsongpeenong. Also fighting will be Ismael Londt against Hesdy Gerges and a welterweight tournament. The SuperFight Series will see a new Light Heavyweight Champion crowned, another Women's Grand Prix bout as well as the debut of Saenchai and Josh Jauncey against Anatoly Moiseev.

GLORY 31 

Lightweight Title: Sittichai Sitsongpeenong (R5 - Split Decision) Robin van Roosmalen(C) -- Much like the first fight, this one was pretty close and the result left people wondering. Sitthichai very clearly won rounds 1 and 2. Robin clearly won 4 and 5. Round 3 everyone seems split. I'm not upset about this, because it was a closer fight than their last one, although I could have easily seen Robin getting the win here for sheer volume alone. Robin clearly disagreed with the decision and stormed out after the decision was announced. With him already talking about perhaps pursuing MMA full time I wouldn't be shocked if this is what sends me packing from kickboxing, although that would be a shame. 

Welterweight Finals: Murthel Groenhart (R3 - Decision) Yoann Kongolo -- Close first round, close second round and then Murthel connected with a huge flying knee that put Kongolo down. He followed up with a flurry of strikes and continued after the bell, much to everyone's chagrin. Groenhart controlled the rest of the fight and got the win, then took the mic from Todd Grisham, climbed the turnbuckles and called out Nieky Holzken.

Ismael Londt (R3 - Split Decision) Hesdy Gerges -- This was a closely-contested bout, probably should have had an extra round, but Hesdy looked great. Londt was stumbling around a lot. Something about his fighting style is just really ugly and hard to enjoy. Stefano Valenti is a terrible, terrible referee. Every time he's in the ring there is a fear that he'll ruin the fight. In this fight he docked both fighters a point in the third round for clinching. What? Why is this man allowed to ruin fights?

Semifinal: Yoann Kongolo (R3 - Split Decision) Harut Grigorian -- Solid back-and-forth with both guys throwing heavy leather at each other. It really could have gone either way, but Kongolo picked up the victory.

Semifinal: Murthel Groenhart (R3 - TKO) Karim Benmansour -- Benmansour did his best against Murthel and survived some scary stuff, but Murthel threw everything at him before scoring the TKO in the third round.

SUPERFIGHT SERIES

Interim Light Heavyweight Title: Zack Mwekassa (R1 - TKO) Mourad Bouzidi -- Bouzidi has had problems getting knocked out in the past, but it was usually against heavyweights. At Light Heavyweight and even Middleweight he's shown a lot more resilience. But I doubt many in these weight classes hit like Zack Mwekassa. Zack Mwekassa just steamrolled through him with three big knockdowns.

Saenchai PKSaenchaiMuayThaiGym (R3 - Decision) Eddy Nait-Slimani -- The real story of this fight was Stefano Valenti making crap calls. Saenchai was kind of trolling the ref for a while there, but a crappy point deduction in the second made this closer than it had any right to be. Saenchai is a next level talent, a once-in-a-lifetime talent and he really was having fun out there.

Women’s Grand Prix: Isis Verbeek (R3 - Decision) Irina Mazepa -- If this wasn't a hometown decision, then the judges weren't watching the fight. Verbeek looked okay in the first round, but in the second round Mazepa was finding her chin with ease, had her backing up for the next two rounds and was just winning the fight.

Anatoly Moiseev (R3 - Decision) Josh Jauncey -- This is a fight that you absolutely need to see. This wasn't a crazy bout where guys were getting dropped left and right, this was a taught, technical battle between what is very clearly two of the most skilled Lightweights in the world. It was a round apiece going into the third and Moiseev snuck his right hook through Jauncey's defenses and stunned him, which pretty much won him the round. This was kickboxing at it's best. Both guys have a very high ceiling to their careers.

Eyevan Danenberg (R3 - Decision) Maximo Suarez -- Poor Maximo. He's just really undersized at Welterweight. Eyevan was towering over him, lording over him with his reach. Maximo got knocked down in R2, which more or less sealed the deal for Danenberg's victorious debut.

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Van Roosmalen vs. Sitthichai II: A King and His Potential Usurper

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(C) GLORY Sports International

For many years the Lightweight (70kg/MAX) division was one of the most competitive in all of professional kickboxing. For good reason, too; K-1 was the world’s largest kickboxing organization and they opted to go with 70kg as their big, second weight class, built around a handsome young talent named Masato. For years fans got to watch as fighters like Masato, Andy Souwer, Buakaw Banchamek, Mike Zambidis and Giorgio Petrosyan wowed crowds with their amazing fights and dominated the landscape of the packed division. 

The division was richer than K-1’s heavyweight division, which tended to be the same 12 or so fighters competing each year with another four fighters swapping out periodically. When everything changed back in 2010 it was promotions like It’s Showtime that were the vanguards for a change in kickboxing by highlighting multiple weight classes and establishing champions across all of them. It was there that Robin van Roosmalen got his first chance to show the world what he was made of, all during a time when the climate was perfect for a new champion to rise.

Giorgio Petrosyan was the undisputed king of the 70kg division at the time, with back-to-back K-1 World MAX championships and a nearly spotless record that went along with his slick style he looked unbeatable. The only thing that could stop Petrosyan was a recurring hand injury that left him sidelined. When It’s Showtime was planning their 70kg MAX Fast & Furious tournament it was going to highlight all of the best talent in the world, with Petrosyan as the showcase. Many had predicted an Andy Souwer vs. Giorgio Petrosyan showdown, with the winner settling the score once and for all as to who really was the king of the division.

Yet none of it worked out that way.

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Media

(C) GLORY Sports International

For many years the Lightweight (70kg/MAX) division was one of the most competitive in all of professional kickboxing. For good reason, too; K-1 was the world’s largest kickboxing organization and they opted to go with 70kg as their big, second weight class, built around a handsome young talent named Masato. For years fans got to watch as fighters like Masato, Andy Souwer, Buakaw Banchamek, Mike Zambidis and Giorgio Petrosyan wowed crowds with their amazing fights and dominated the landscape of the packed division. 

The division was richer than K-1’s heavyweight division, which tended to be the same 12 or so fighters competing each year with another four fighters swapping out periodically. When everything changed back in 2010 it was promotions like It’s Showtime that were the vanguards for a change in kickboxing by highlighting multiple weight classes and establishing champions across all of them. It was there that Robin van Roosmalen got his first chance to show the world what he was made of, all during a time when the climate was perfect for a new champion to rise.

Giorgio Petrosyan was the undisputed king of the 70kg division at the time, with back-to-back K-1 World MAX championships and a nearly spotless record that went along with his slick style he looked unbeatable. The only thing that could stop Petrosyan was a recurring hand injury that left him sidelined. When It’s Showtime was planning their 70kg MAX Fast & Furious tournament it was going to highlight all of the best talent in the world, with Petrosyan as the showcase. Many had predicted an Andy Souwer vs. Giorgio Petrosyan showdown, with the winner settling the score once and for all as to who really was the king of the division.

Yet none of it worked out that way.

Prev
Next »

Badr Hari Reportedly to be in Attendance for GLORY 31

  • Published in Glory

In perhaps one of the more interesting developments for GLORY of late, Badr Hari will be in attendance at GLORY 31, as will Rico Verhoeven. Verhoeven will be there for Spike TV Netherlands, being an on-air personality for Spike TV in the Netherlands. Rumor has it that he'll be attempting to interview Badr Hari live on air as well, which would be immensely interesting. 

This would serve as a great opportunity to announce Badr Hari vs. Rico Verhoeven, live from the Netherlands, but don't get your hopes up just yet. Until we've heard that the fight is official a ton of stuff could happen in the meantime.

(Source)

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GLORY Parting Ways with Former Champion Artem Levin

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(C) GLORY

In a move that should surprise no one, GLORY has opted not to be in the Artem Levin business any further. Artem Levin's last bout for the organization was against Simon Marcus in a bout for the GLORY Middleweight Championship that ended in controversy when Levin simply walked out after feeling that the referee was being too harsh on him while being lenient on Marcus. This has rustled feathers of some, claiming that Levin walking out was unprofessional, while others saw what he saw in that the referee completely decided who was going to win the fight and wanted nothing to do with it. 

To us, that looked like the last time that we'd see Levin in a GLORY ring and thanks to words from Jon J. Franklin over at MMAMania, it's official. Artem Levin's contract has expired and GLORY has opted not to negotiate with him or prevent him from looking elsewhere. Essentially, Levin is free to go as he wishes and won't be competing for GLORY anymore. 

Simon Marcus and Artem Levin are not a good pairing, the fights that we've gotten have always been a mess and I'm not sure what people expected of this last fight. Levin was a solid champion for GLORY and is, without a doubt, one of the best fighters in that weight class. Recent shifts over the past few months meant that the top three fighters in the division; Marcus, Levin and Schilling, will now not be competing under the same roof. 

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Glory 31- Super Fight Series Fight Breakdown

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Glory 31 super fight series will be airing live on UFC fight pass next saturday morning at 10:30 am PST/1:30 pm EST. Since its coming up quick I figured it was about that time to breakdown the fights a little.

Zack Mwekassa vs Mourad Bouzidi

The main event puts power punching, South African Zack Mwekassa against a real kickboxing veteran Mourad Bouzidi. I feel like the biggest thing in this fight is Bouzidi has to really avoid being hit cleanly. Bouzidi has the experience, and the kicks but his chin doesn't always hold up to big punches. If Bouzidi can keep his hands up, feet moving and keep consistent low kicks he will have a good night. As for Mwekassa he needs to use his jab to set up his big left hook, uppercut, or right hand. I don't think just throwing big haymakers will work on someone with the experience Mourad has, but if he can set something up and land a clean punch his power will hurt Bouzidi.

Saenchai vs Eddy Nait-Slimani

First of all I want to mention how excited I am for Saenchai to be kickboxing for Glory but Nait-Slimani will not be an easy fight by any means. In his Glory debut Slimani put on a masterful performance against Maykol Yurk, he showed beautiful spinning back kicks, front kicks to the face, and great timing. These are all techniques that Saenchai uses, plus many more. There have been many times I thought Saenchai was in for a hard fight and he made it look easy, but he has also done the opposite and had a little trouble in fights I expected him not to. Slimani needs to push the pace on Saenchai and not allow him to get a rhythm. Saenchai is not young anymore and I think Slimani can tire him out with lots of pressure and fast combinations followed by low kicks. Saenchai well, he will just be himself as always and entertain us no matter what happens, he will just have to be aware of Glory's clinching rules.

Isis Verbeek vs Irina Mazepar

This is an interesting fight in Glory's new female bantamweight division. Isis Verbeek is the faster fighter with more combinations and higher pace. Irina Mazepa is the harder hitting fighter who plods a little and finds good, hard shots to land. Mazepa has been focusing a little on MMA having two fights in One Championship last year, in my opinion this takes away from a fighters overall kickboxing game as they now have to focus a lot on their ground game plus training 5 minute rounds for MMA all the time is a much slower pace than 3 minute kickboxing rounds. If Verbeek pushes the pace I can't help but feel that Mazepa will be in rough shape by the last round, but Mazepa has the power so Verbeek will have to make sure she doesn't run into something as she tends to keep her chin quite high.

Josh Jauncey vs Anatoly Moiseev

Well I am not going to go into too much strategy for this fight since Josh is my brother and ill end up giving away game plans, but I can say that this could easily end up being  a candidate for fight of the night if not fight of the year. Both of them are young, hungry fighters with amazing technique, speed, and power. Moiseev suffered his first pro loss ever at the hands of Marat Grigorian earlier this year but since then has scored a huge KO over Serginio Kanters at Kunlun so his confidence should be back up. Jauncey is coming off two of his best performances ever, a TKO win over Johan Tkac and a head kick KO over Xu Yan. To say I'm excited about this fight is an understatement.

Maximo Suarez vs Eyevan Danenberg

Maximo Suarez is looking to rebound from his loss to Harut Grigorian where he just stood and traded which eventually led to his demise. Against Danenberg he will need to fight smart, Danenberg is a very tall, lanky fighter with good skills. Hes had some Pro boxing fights so his hands are good and he sets up his knees and low kicks well. Suarez will need to get inside and throw his fast combos or else he will get jabbed and kneed all night.

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Rumors About Badr Hari vs. Rico Verhoeven Heating Up After Dutch TV Appearance

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GLORY Heavyweight Champion Rico Verhoeven appeared on Dutch TV today (Monday) where the topic once again went towards the potential dream bout between Verhoeven and Badr Hari. Hari, the troubled former K-1 star, has been stealing headlines over the past few years for his antics outside of the ring more than inside of the ring. It's been known that Hari wants to have one last, big bout and that Verhoeven has become the logical target for his retirement bout. 

Since the initial appearance of Verhoeven on Dutch TV where he was pressed if that fight could happen it has been one of the bigger stories in kickboxing. We've seen smaller, relative-unknown promotions take to social media to brag about making "serious" offers for the fight along with rudimentary graphics and an attempt to hype up fans only for nothing to materialize. There have also been rumors that someone in China and Russia have put forth offers, but the chances of Rico taking a fight in Kadyrov's den seem thin and if you understand the market in China, while they are in a boom, it's still not quite what many fans believe it to be when it comes to actual money. The reality here is that GLORY has been the only potential home for the fight since the beginning. Verhoeven has been in negotiations for a contract renewal and his desire to take this fight has played a big part in those negotiations. 

Verhoeven has been playing the field a bit, but outside of an exclusive offer from the UFC it seems likely that he'll fight in the GLORY ring once more while being given his leave to pursue MMA as well. 

Verhoeven's appearance on PepTalk today included confirmation that if the fight is to happen that it'll be under the GLORY banner. Mike Passenier called into the show and more information was shared on just how close things really are. There has been a formal offer, lawyers would be looking over everything next week but Badr would need time to prepare. Andreas at MMAPlus has a translations from the show.

“[The fight] It is very realistic. We have spoken with the lawyers today. Next week we will sit down with the lawyers of GLORY. Then we will know if it will be arranged. But we never said that we didn’t want to fight,” spoke Passenier.

He added: “We always want to fight, that’s not a problem, but Badr needs four or five months in order to prepare. Besides, the fight still needs to be promoted, that also takes time.”

The decisive factor here will be Badr Hari's legal status and the timeline for the fight. If the fight can happen before Badr has to serve the remainder of his prison term or is brought up on charges for the Moroccan assault incident, things seem more likely. 

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GLORY 31 Sees Major Changes: Saenchai Debut, Interim Light Heavyweight Title

  • Published in Glory

Big news today as the upcoming GLORY 31 has had a few changes to the SuperFight Series portion of the card. Mosab Amrani has been forced to pull out of his fight with Eddy Nait-Slimani and in perhaps one of the best late replacements ever announced, Saenchai will be taking his place. Yes, that Saenchai. Eddy Nait-Slimani went from having to face a popular Dutch fighter in the Netherlands to having to fight a living legend in Saenchai PKSaenchaiMuayThaiGym. Ouch.

Another change is that due to Artem Vakhitov suffering an injury, he'll be out for an undisclosed amount of time. That means that Zack Mwekassa vs. Mourad Bouzidi is now for the Interim Light Heavyweight Championship. If that seems like a bit of a sudden decision, remember that Gokhan Saki held the GLORY Light Heavyweight title for 471 days without a single defense and GLORY is looking to keep their titles active. They've promised a bout between Vakhitov and the winner here when Vakhitov is healthy. 

GLORY 31 SuperFight Series

Light Heavyweight Interim Title Headline Bout: Zack Mwekassa vs. Mourad Bouzidi

Featherweight Bout: Saenchai PKSaenchaiMuayThaiGym vs. Eddy Naït-Slimani

Super Bantamweight Bout: Isis Verbeek vs. Irina Mazepa

Lightweight Bout: Josh Jauncey vs. Anatoly Moiseev

Welterweight Bout: Máximo Suarez vs. Eyevan Danenberg

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GLORY 32 SuperFight Series: Chopper's Comin'

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After being forced to pull out of a recent bout with Guto Inocente, Chi-Lewis Parry will finally be making his return to the GLORY ring at GLORY 32 on Friday, July 22nd in Virginia against Maurice Greene. That will be an interesting fight as Greene is coming off of a loss to Anderson "Braddock" Silva, but will be looking to dust himself off and take a win from the mouthy Brit. Chopper, on the other hand, he's just always itching for a fight. Francois Ambang returns after making it to the finals of the GLORY 30 qualifying tournament only to lose a close decision to Richard Abraham. 

Brian Collette will once again step into the GLORY ring against Karl Roberson who has had a rather rough go of things of late. The next Super Bantamweight bout will also happen between Funda Alkayis taking on Vanessa De Waele.

Oh yeah, and Shane Oblonsky will be back in action against Giga Chikadze in what is looking to be the best match-up on the entire card thus far. That really should be an incredible fight.

GLORY 32 SuperFight Series

Heavyweight Headline Bout: Chi Lewis-Parry vs. Maurice Greene

Welterweight Co-Headline Bout: Francois Ambang vs. Marcus Fisher

Light Heavyweight Bout: Brian Collette vs. Karl Roberson

Super Bantamweight Bout: Funda Alkayis vs. Vanessa De Waele

Featherweight Bout: Shane Oblonsky vs. Giga Chikadze

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Changes to the GLORY 31 SuperFight Series

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Hot on the heels of the announcement that Iman Barlow was pulling out of the GLORY Super Bantamweight tournament and, subsequently, her bout on June 25th at GLORY 31's SuperFight Series, GLORY has released a revised fight card for the GLORY 31 SuperFight Series. Filling in for Iman Barlow will be reserve fighter Irina Mazepa. Another big change comes to the headline bout of the card, originally slated to be a GLORY Light Heavyweight Championship bout between Mourad Bouzidi challenging champion Artem Vakhitov. 

Vakhitov has been forced to pull out thanks to an injury that he suffered in training and instead Zack Mwekassa will be stepping in to fight Mourad Bouzidi. 

GLORY 31 SuperFight Series

Light Heavyweight Headline Bout: Zack Mwekassa vs. Mourad Bouzidi

Lightweight Co-Headline Bout: Josh Jauncey vs. Anatoly Moiseev

Featherweight Bout: Mosab Amrani vs. Eddy Naït-Slimani

Super Bantamweight Bout: Isis Verbeek vs. Irina Mazepa

Welterweight Bout: Máximo Suarez vs. Eyevan Danenberg

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Iman Barlow Pulls Out Of GLORY Super Bantamweight Tournament

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Interesting update following the announcement of the GLORY Super Bantamweight Tournament, as one of the bigger names that was signed has already pulled out. That name is Iman Barlow, the UK-based fighter known as one of the best in the world. Her statement via Facebook points towards a lack of communication.

Unfortunately I have come to a decision that I am not going to be part of the Glory tournament. I was asked to fight on Glory 25th June to which I said Yes. I then later find out via social media that it was a tournament which is above my fight weight class. This was bad communication, I was never told it was at 55.5 or more than one bout. I can not commit to this as I have other commitments to fulfil. I would and am willing to fight Tiffany (as I know many want to see this fight) after the tournament if they want in a one off

Fight, but without signing a long confusing contract. I wish everyone in it the best of luck and I hope it's a great success for Glory. It's an amazing opportunity but for me just came across at the wrong time. 

I hope you all understand.Thanks X

So, according to Barlow, she didn't know the weight class that she was supposed to be competing in, didn't know that it was a tournament and it seems like she didn't understand that the contract with GLORY was a longer term one and not just one fight. This all feels like strange oversight considering how the tournament came together. Possibly her and her team agreeing to a deal without weighing deals she already had in place? Especially considering just the other day she posted a screenshot of the GLORY rankings (with the weight clearly listed) celebrating her #1 spot, she seemed excited about fighting in GLORY and being atop of their division.

This wouldn't be the first false-start that GLORY has seen with well-known muay thai fighters. GLORY had initially announced signing muay thai phenom Kevin Ross only for his previous contract with Lion Fight ultimately getting in the way. Here's to hoping that this gets worked out in the near future and that we're able to see more of Iman Barlow in the near future.

We've reached out to GLORY for comment.

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Ratings Up for GLORY 30 on ESPN2

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After a few disappointing performances for GLORY replays on ESPN2, GLORY 30 came back with stronger numbers. Maybe, in part, thanks to the appearance on ESPN SportsCenter late in the week featuring CEO Jon J. Franklin, Simon Marcus, Dustin Jacoby and Tiffany van Soest. Regardless, GLORY 30 aired on Sunday evening and the numbers were up. 

GLORY 30 on ESPN2 averaged 209,000 viewers at a 9pm time slot for the welterweight tournament, the incredible headkick knockout from Marat Grigorian and Simon Marcus defending his GLORY Middleweight Championship against Dustin Jacoby. [source]

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GLORY 32 Virginia Featuring Adamchuk vs. Varga II

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GLORY continues to march forward with their 2016, while GLORY 31 might be the next show, GLORY 32 takes place on July 22nd in Virginia, featuring a GLORY Featherweight Championship rematch between the new champion Serhiy Adamchuk and former champion Gabriel Varga. Varga lost the title at GLORY 25 to Adamchuk in what was a closely-contested bout that saw its fair share of controversy. Hopefully the rematch between the two is a bit cleaner when it comes to the action.

Varga will definitely be motivated to take his title back while Adamchuk is coming off of a defense of his title over Mosab Amrani at GLORY 28 and stepping in on late notice to fight Mohammed El Mir at Lightweight at GLORY 29 just one month later. 

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GLORY Announces Women's Super Bantamweight Division and Grand Prix

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Today in Los Angeles at a press conference streamed live to the world via Facebook GLORY announced that they would be creating a Women's Super Bantamweight division, the weight at which Tiffany Van Soest fights. It makes sense considering the signing of Van Soest. They've announced a Super Bantamweight Grand Prix, which Van Soest vs. Hasshass is the first quarterfinal bout in said tournament. The second fight will be at GLORY 31 Amsterdam as Isis Verbeek takes on Iman Barlow.

The addition of Barlow is perhaps the other biggest bit of news as she can easily be considered one of the best female fighters in the world. In fact, Steven Wright ranked her as the #2 pound-for-pound woman in the world right now. GLORY has built a ten-woman division, with future match-ups being Zoila Frausto vs. Daniela Graf and Amel Dehby vs. Ji Waen-Lee, while Ferial Ameeroedien vs. Irina Mazepa will serve as the reserve fight.

There are some solid names in there for the division and hopefully this takes off in a big way. You can watch the full announcement below.

We're thrilled to announce a new division with a Grand Prix tournament, tune in LIVE!

Posted by GLORY Kickboxing on Thursday, May 12, 2016

 

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GLORY Heavyweight Champion Rico Verhoeven is Considering a Full-Time Move to MMA

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The UFC is in the Netherlands for an event there and that means that the MMA media world has also made its presence shown. MMAJunkie's Mike Bohn is over in the Netherlands posted this video today where he spoke with current GLORY champion Rico Verhoeven.

While there will be some who swarm on the headlines for this that "Rico Verhoeven is going to switch to MMA," nothing is a done deal quite yet. Verhoeven speaks about the possibilities open to him, including saying that Bellator has already expressed interest in his services and that WSOF seems interested. He talks about being excited about MMA because it's so new to him still and he feels that he has a lot to offer. What he does mention is that while his current GLORY deal has ended, there is still a three month negotiation period that they are in the midst of and that he's not technically a free agent until the end of that period. Verhoeven claims that it was a good offer, although he seems to want a bit more.

Having multiple opportunities available to top athletes like Verhoeven is important because it allows for them to have leverage in contract situations. Where Verhoeven ends up is ultimately in his control right now and while he seems interested in the idea of fighting for the UFC, it's unlikely that they make a move for him just yet. Time will only tell where Verhoeven ends up, but my gut tells me that he's not done kickboxing just yet.

As for the Bellator offer? Our bud Stets reached out to Bellator and they denied any sort of offer being made to Verhoeven. 

So time will tell. [source]

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GLORY 31 Card Updated: Ismael Londt vs. Hesdy Gerges

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GLORY released further details on GLORY 31 Amsterdam on Saturday, June 25th. We already knew that Robin van Roosmalen would be defending his GLORY Lightweight Championship against Sitthichai and that there would be a GLORY Welterweight tournament featuring Murthel Groenhart and Karim Benmansour. Now we know more, a lot more. Groenhart will square off against Karim Benmansour in the first round of the tournament while on the other side of the bracket Yoann Kongolo will take on Harut Grigorian. 

The other fight of note is the co-headline bout where Hesdy Gerges returns to the GLORY ring after a lengthy legal battle over an alleged drug trafficking incident. Gerges has been cleared of these charges and is a free man, so GLORY is looking to quickly bring one of the best heavyweights in the world back into the fold by having him square off against GLORY's top heavyweight contender in Ismael Londt. It's interesting to note that Londt will fight Gerges here and not wait for a shot at Verhoeven. 

GLORY 31 Amsterdam

Lightweight Title Headline Bout: Robin van Roosmalen (c) vs. Sittichai

Welterweight Tournament Final Bout: Winner of Bout A vs. Winner of Bout B

Heavyweight Co-Headline Bout: Ismael Londt vs. Hesdy Gerges

Welterweight Tournament Semi-Final Bout B: Yoann Kongolo vs. Harut Grigorian

Welterweight Tournament Semi-Final Bout A: Murthel Groenhart vs. Karim Benmansour

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