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Videos: Glory 19 Mike Tyson Interviews With Verhoeven and Zimmerman

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"Iron" Mike Tyson's interviews with the Glory heavyweight champion Rico Verhoeven and the challenger Errol Zimmerman have now been released and the full episode will be aired Friday evening on Spike TV.

I always find it makes the best interviews when a fighter is asking the questions. So you can just imagine when you have a legend like Mike Tyson giving his stories leading into each question. It really brings out both Verhoeven's and Zimmerman's personality and confidence and of course they want to impress Iron Mike, I mean who wouldn't?

Both interviews are very interesting and enjoyable, Mike really knows how to build a fighters confidence and bring it out by asking the right things. I have never seen Rico so animated, and excited and Zimmerman even mentions that hes got so much energy from the interview that he wants to go out and punch Verhoeven right now. Lets hope both fighters come into this fight with the same feelings as these videos then we will be in for a treat.

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Inside Glory 19: Rico Verhoeven Vs Errol Zimmerman

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This video actually got me really excited for Glory 19 on Feb 6th. First of all both Errol Zimmerman and Rico Verhoeven look as though they are training very hard and are hungry for the Glory belt. Secondly, rubber matches are the best. Both men already know each other, they have beat each other once and now we find out who can adapt and overcome to win the 3rd fight. Last but not least, Mike Tyson is going to be watching which might sound like it doesn't make sense, or like its not a big deal to many people but you can tell by both these heavyweights excitement just to talk to Iron Mike how much it means to them, every fighter wants to win with Mike Tyson ringside.

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Video: Nieky Holzken Pre-Fight Interview for Glory 19

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Glory 19 in Hampton, Virginia will include a 4 man Welterweight tournament where we will finally get to see the return of Nieky "The Natural" Holzken. Holzken believes he is already the champion considering he knocked out current champion Joseph Valtellini and has expressed the fact that he is surprised he still has to go through a tournament to fight for the belt again.

He was on the sidelines last year and couldn't compete in Glory due to a shoulder injury caused partly by his fight with Karapet Karapetyan and partly by a car accident. According to him Nieky's shoulder is not causing him pain anymore and he is prepared to win this tournament.

Nieky Holzken is the favourite in this tournament by far, he also has easily the best hair.

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GLORY Renews Two Key Television Deals in Europe

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GLORY announced earlier today that they have renewed two of their key television contracts in Europe. While GLORY puts a lot of promotional effort into the United States, Europe is still one of their main focuses and will continue to be moving forward. The first deal was with French-based Kombat Sport and the second the Croatian-based Fight Channel.

Both of these networks give them key coverage throughout many parts of Europe and will be a home to their GLORY SuperFight Series cards as well.

"Europe is a very important market for us, where some of our most loyal and hungry fan-bases exist," said Jon Franklin, CEO of GLORY. "This partnership with Kombat Sport and Fight Channel will satisfy that desire for world class kickboxing through an exciting time in company history. GLORY 19 is one of our strongest cards ever from top-to-bottom and then we keeping rolling in April with GLORY 20. We can't wait to show viewers around the world what GLORY looks like in the new year."

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Four More Superfights added to Glory 19

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Glory Sports International have added four more superfights to the card this week. It seems they are bringing in quite a few new American fighters to test out the talent and hope for another American star to emerge.

Brian Collette will be back in action for the first time since getting knocked out by Zack Mwekassa in Oklahoma, last year. He will be facing Myron Dennis who won the Legacy Fighting Championship light heavyweight title last year against Paul Buentello and has an MMA record of 11-4. Dennis took part in the very first "Road to Glory" scouting event but lost his first fight, he also lost to Randy Blake in 2011.

Francois Ambang is also back after his crazy KO loss to Raymond Daniels. He will face Stephen Richards who has fought on Lion Fights before and is usually more of a Muay Thai practitioner but this time will make his Glory Debut.

Superfights

Andy Ristie vs. Steve Moxon

Josh Jauncey vs. Max Baumert

Brian Collette vs. Myron Dennis

Francois Ambang vs. Stephen Richards

Xavier Vigney vs. Everett Sims

Mitch ***** vs. Cedric *****

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Mike Tyson Eats an Apple and Unveils He'll Help Call GLORY 19

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Yes, you heard that correctly, former Heavyweight Boxing champion and all-around controversial figure Mike Tyson has signed on to be a part of GLORY's broadcast team beginning at the upcoming GLORY 19. GLORY had been hyping some mystery guest interviewing both Errol Zimmerman and Rico Verhoeven in preparation for GLORY 19 and now it has come out that Mike Tyson will be joining the GLORY team as an analyst.

Mike Tyson almost moved into the realm of kickboxing many years ago to fight Bob Sapp, only for things to fall through. There was even talk of him having a contract with PRIDE at one point but nothing coming of it. Mike Tyson has been an avid fan of Mixed Martial Arts and a good friend of Dana White, so he's no stranger to the world outside of Boxing that involves kicks and knees. It'll be interesting to see if he brings more positive attention to the GLORY product or if fans aren't interested anymore.

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New Year's Resolutions From GLORY Stars Zack Mwekassa, Randy Blake, Errol Zimmerman and More

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For as long as I can remember, at the beginning of each year I set goals and outlined projects I would like to complete during the coming twelve months. At the close of each year I then took on the angst inducing task of evaluating my progress toward those previously set goals. While sometimes I could give myself a pat on the back for a job well done, other times I had to analyze the how and why of what went wrong and also to find a way to possibly reshape those goals. This year, instead of engaging in this task alone I asked several of Glory's fighters to take a look at the year that was as well as give us a sneak preview of 2015.

Zack Mwekassa:

Hello to all fight fans that are taking time to read this.

I have no word big enough to demonstrate my appreciation for my friends, fans and supporters.

If I had to sum up my 2014 experience in one word it would be " stupendous".

It has been a phenomenal year for me, probably the best year in my fighting career.

From Johannesburg South Africa to Denver Colorado to take on the much respected, UFC veteran Pat "HD" Barry in a what was meant to be an absolute mismatch based on the fighting style "Kickboxing". To winning "Glory knockout of the year" and the hearts of thousands of fans across the world after that very fight. I can’t express well enough my gratitude to God and to the people who gave me credit. Shortly after Glory 16, across the ocean, on the African continent, in the most brutal fashion winning the Africa heavyweight championship was another highlight for me. It was for me a dream come true, especially because it was on the land that hosted "Rumble in the Jungle" the fight of the century between Muhammed Ali and George Foreman in 1974.

Looking back at where I come from gives a even bigger sense of gratitude.

Who I am ?

Who is Zack Mwekassa ?

A war survivor.

A man that fled his home country at age 19 due to war and tribulations.

A man that lost all he and his family had due to a volcanic eruption.

A man that survived gun shots during the mayhem in eastern Congo.

A man that survived venomous snake bites.

A man that still lives after being poisoned 3 times.

I may not be the best fighter in the world or even the most financially successful across the globe, but I probably am one of the best achievers there is.

From a modest family in one of the most dangerous countries in the world to world prominence, I thank God the creator of all things.

To my fans I would like to say one thing.

Don't be disappointed for not accomplishing what you swore to accomplish in 2014.

Try, try again. Just remember, you can’t do the same thing over and over and expect different results. Try again, but try to do it differently this time.

For me 2015 will be the year I reach outstanding heights or I am going to die on the 31st of December. Yes I am dead serious. Watch me! Be my witness.

God bless you, we still need a dedicated sponsor to join our brutal team, will you be the one?

Happy 2015 to you and your loved ones

Randy Blake:

2014 was a great and busy year for me . I had five fights this year and to sum it all up everything was a success! I learned some things in every fight, I grew and evolved racking up a 4-1 record for the year. For me that is a success to continue to grow as not only a fighter but a martial artist.

I have many goals for 2015. I have been offered to train with some awesome camps , I am looking forward to that and to continue to grow. Most importantly I plan to stay active and fight as much as I can and not only fight on a local circuit to stay busy and continue to fight, compete and win for GLORY!

Danyo Ilunga:

2014 was, I can not say a bad year for me, but a difficult year. I had several concerns. I didn't fight a lot and I lost one of my three fights. I have learned more then in all my career though and this kind of thing will never happen again..

For 2015 it is my plan to have the Glory belt, I will focus on it. The last two years I have lost one fight every year, this is one thing I will be training for, this will be my year!

Marc DeBonte:

2014 started bad for me with my fight for the world title getting pushed back a few times because of injury problems from my opponent ( Nieky Holzken). After some time Glory stripped Holzken of the title and vacated it, this ended with me fighting Karapet Karapetyan for the title. This fight was really tough not only because we know each other really well, but mostly with the location they held the fight, Denver which has a big altitude difference over Belgium. I came to Denver a week before the fight to get used to the altitude difference a bit, I would have preferred to do my entire camp there, but I don’t make enough money for that. During the fight I gassed very quickly but I noticed Karapet having a similar problem. So after round two it was the most I have ever suffered in a fight. In the end I won the title clearly and I couldn’t have been happier, everything I had worked for was finally there, I still daydream about that moment sometimes.

My second fight of the year was my title defense against Joseph Valtellini five weeks after I won the title. I still had some small injuries which made it a bit hard to keep training 100 percent, but we managed. The fight itself was a good fight I got a knocked down in the third round and gave one back in the fourth. After the fight I was surprised by the decision and I still am to this day , The judges gave the decision to Valtellini. Not just me but fans, commentators, famous trainers were shocked by that, but it is what it is and now we just have to move forward.

I took some vacation after fighting twice in 5-6 weeks to heal , but during the holiday I got contacted by a big German boxing manager, who said that he wanted to make me an offer after hearing that I also wanted to turn pro in boxing, ( this had been on my mind for a long time ). After meeting him and hearing what he had to say, we decided to sign to fight solely pro boxing with this manager and promoter. To part from Glory is still hard for me since I still wanted to fight a few names there, but this was an offer that made it possible to live purely for the sport and focus on it.

I have but one goal at the moment for 2015 and that is achieving what I did in kickboxing but now in pro boxing, to become world champion. We will go for it in steps, the first one is European champion. I believe in myself and my team is confident I can do it.

But who knows, anything can happen maybe a comeback to kickboxing is possible someday.

Benny Adegbuyi:

2014 was one of my best years in my career with three wins and my debut in Glory one of my big dreams came true, and I did it in a great way by knock out. I had no injuries this year. In my second fight against Daniel Sam, a big man and a difficult fight, but I won again by KO! I am very happy because people have started to look at as a rising star who can attack the title and the number1 spot in the world. This motivates me more! Finally my last fight for the year was a title elimination fight against a big fighter, I can say a star, Hesdy Gerges. Normally I would be the underdog, but I knew I was going to win. The result was another victory, this time by unanimous decision. Not a KO, but it's still good so my 2014 was a good one I think I have accomplished more than I had planned!

2015 I expect to be the best year! I want to take that title and keep it a few years and I will do all to accomplish this. I will push my limits and do what ever it takes to be the best. I think talent is on my side I only need a little luck and hard work! So don't miss 2015 to see me becoming the champion! Osu!!!

Francois Ambang:

2014 wasn’t my best year in the ring. I fought once in May at Glory 16 ending in a very disappointing loss to Raymond Daniels. To be on the other side of such a highly publicized knockout, was a tough pill to swallow. I have watched that fight numerous times. Not taking away from him, but I’ve had a lot of time to process what happened and what I could have done differently. Since that time I have re-focused, switched up my team a bit, and actually was hoping for a chance at a title, and a rematch, in the upcoming Glory 19 Welterweight Contender Tournament. Certainly, it has ALWAYS been my goal to gain a title. I embrace the opportunity to face the top contenders in my weight class, and again was hoping for a chance at redemption.

I will be in the ring again early in the year, as part of the Super Fight Series at Glory 19 in Hampton, Virginia. I am anticipating a great start to the new year. In 2015, I hope to have a more time in the ring. I am dedicated to introducing new fighters to kickboxing, as well helping individuals reach their fitness/training goals in my kickboxing program.

Errol Zimmerman:

In 2015, my number one priority is finishing Rico Verhoeven and that I will be champion. I'm looking forward to fighting everybody. That's my only thing, that's what I want to do is to fight and fight and fight. I want to show the people what I can do! I want to entertain the people! So, this is what I will do in 2015 also, 16, 17, 18....and then we will look further. I only want to train and beat people up and entertain the people!

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Former K-1 and GLORY Fighter Mark Miller Teaching at The Factory in Los Angeles

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Mark "Fightshark" Miller has been through hell and back not just once but a number of times now. The most recent clash with his health issues started when he was preparing for a fight at GLORY 12, only to end up in the hospital and since then (GLORY 12 was November of 2013) he's been dealing with daily dialysis, minor surgeries, on-and-off bouts of wearing an eye patch and awaiting a transplant for his kidney. Things haven't been easy.

But now he feels ready to get back out there. Not quite a return to the ring just yet, but instead the former K-1 and GLORY veteran will be training fighters of all experience at The Factory in Sherman Oaks, California inside of Los Angeles. He'll be training six days a week and will be available for one-on-one sessions and personalized training. If you are in the area Mark is a guy with a ton of experience in not only fighting, but life and business as well and it's definitely worth your time to pick up some techniques from him and to pick his brain about the fight industry in general. 

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GLORY Announces GLORY 20 Dubai for April 3rd

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For any major combat sports organization having a clear line-up of events is always the best way to keep fans engaged and ready for more. The key is to not overstimulate your audience but to keep them engaged and excited about what you have to offer. GLORY is doing exactly that with the announcement of GLORY 20 Dubai, which is set to take place in the United Arab Emirates on April 3rd. 

The event will be headlined by the long-awaited GLORY Featherweight Championship bout between Canadian Gabriel Varga and Dutch-Moroccan brawler Mosab Amrani. The card will also mark the return of former UFC fighter Pat "HD" Barry who will be squaring off against the always-dangerous Mourad Bouzidi in a Heavyweight bout.

In keeping with tradition, there will be a Contender's tournament on the card as well, this one being in the stacked Middleweight division. Jason Wilnis will take on the uber-tough Alex Pereira while Wayne Barrett will test his mettle against muay thai standout Simon Marcus. 

Tickets will go on sale on February 1st for those in the area or planning to attend and the event will be airing on Spike TV.

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GLORY Adds Two Big Fights to GLORY 19 SuperFight Series Card

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If there was ever really one big thing that depressed me about GLORY events it is that there is no way to see the GLORY SuperFight Series fights live. That really isn't a terrible problem to have, all things considered. It's still a bummer none-the-less, especially in the age of MMA promotions offering streams of prelims. 

GLORY has announced two interesting fights for the GLORY 19 SuperFight Series undercard that will have kickboxing fans even more excited for the upcoming event. The first is 70kg Canadian sensation Josh Jauncey against Germany's Max Baumert in what should be an explosive battle. Jauncey has two wins under the GLORY banner thus far, a decision win over Warren Stevelmans and a knockout over Jae Gil Noh. Baumert has fought once for GLORY, a win over Ismail Uzuner at GLORY 6.

The other fight -- and this is a big one -- is GLORY 12 Lightweight Champion Andy Ristie taking on Australian brawler Steve Moxon. Both men are well-known at this point and one would have to favor Ristie going into this fight, but Moxon is hungry and coming off of a big win over Aikpracha from Kunlun earlier this month.

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Aleksandr Stetcurenko Replaces Murthel Groenhart in GLORY 19 Tournament

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It looks like Nieky Holzken has a new opponent after Murthel Groenhart was stopped just this past weekend at the Kunlun event in China. That new opponent in the GLORY Welterweight Contender's tournament will be none other than Aleksandr Stetcurenko. Stetcurenko is 1-1 in GLORY, with a loss to Karapet Karapetyan and a win over Kharim Ghajji from GLORY 13 Tokyo. 

Stetcurenko remained active last year going 1-1 outside of GLORY, picking up a win over Sergey Parchinsky in Moscow back in September. 

This is a tough break for Murthel, who took the fight in China to remain active, but was knocked out and became an issue for him moving forward with the GLORY event next month. It should be noted that headliner Rico Verhoeven was on the same card and did lose his fight, being dropped twice, but was not knocked out like Murthel was.

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Joe Schilling Returns to Action Against Robert Thomas at GLORY 19

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The past few months have been filled with rumors, upset fans and fighters looking for opportunities outside of the GLORY banner. The best example of that would have to be Joe Schilling, who made his return to MMA after years away competing in muay thai and kickboxing, to knock out Melvin Manhoef in one of the most exciting KO's of the year. Schilling was one of the stars of GLORY's Last Man Standing tournament back in June, making it to the finals where he rematched Artem Levin with Levin walking away the victor this time.

Afterwards it seemed that a rift had grown between GLORY and Schilling, which became public when Schilling publicly signed with Bellator. 

It seems that everything is in working order now, though, as it came out today that Schilling has a new contract with GLORY and will be fighting at GLORY 19 against Robert Thomas. This is a big move for GLORY considering that Joe Schilling was their most popular US-based fighter and that a rubber match between Levin and Schilling should be a major attraction in their 2015 schedule. First up is Robert Thomas at GLORY 19 on February 6th though, which should be fun.

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GLORY 19 Welterweight Contender Tournament Entrants Confirmed

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Today we can officially confirm the entrants into the GLORY 19 Welterweight Contender's tournament. This tournament will feature some of the biggest names in GLORY's Welterweight division, including a surprise entry from a former K-1 World MAX Champion.

The tournament features two big match-ups, including top Welterweight Nieky Holzken squaring off against former K-1 World MAX Champion Murthel Groenhart in a semi-final fight. Murthel has long been a man without a true weight class and many had felt that he had finally settled into 70kg, but after losses to Robin Van Roosmalen and Davit Kiria it looks like Groenhart will once again move up in weight to face the biggest threat to Valetllini's Championship in Nieky Holzken.

Holzken, of course, is not pleased with this. John Joe O'Reagan spoke with Holzken who expressed his frustrations with having to go through a tournament to get a shot at a man that he's already defeated before, especially considering he was originally supposed to fight for the title against Marc DeBonte but was injured. 

The other side of the tournament will feature GLORY 16's viral star in Raymond Daniels going up against Brazil's Jonathan Oliveira. Oliveira has two wins in GLORY already and this is very much a step up for him into the spotlight. 

GLORY 19 takes place on February 6th in Virginia and will air live on Spike TV.

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GLORY Possibly Looking to Expand into MMA Waters in 2015

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The year 2014 was an interesting one for kickboxing and 2015 is looking to be just as crazy by the looks of it. GLORY 19 will kick off GLORY's 2015 with a GLORY Heavyweight Championship bout between champion Rico Verhoeven and challenger Errol Zimmerman in Virginia. The rest of the year we'll have to wait and see. In Jon J. Franklin's holiday address he gave some insight into what to expect from 2015 and surprisingly enough the term "MMA" appeared.

GLORY 19 will be held in Virginia with the team behind Spartyka Fight League assisting in promoting the event, meaning to expect the local undercard to feature some MMA bouts for sure. Is that a sign of things to come? Here's a passage from Franklin's statement.

2015 will be a year of great fight nights, spectacular new promotions and new exotic locations.  We will be in Dubai, UAE and we will welcome international superstars to our events.  Glory also looks forward to amazing evenings in conjunction with with top MMA promotions and to new television networks all over the world joining the Glory juggernaut.  Stay tuned for the many exciting surprises that are on tap for 2015.

It seems to point to possibly seeing co-promotional events much like GLORY 4 Tokyo was with DREAM. The question is; will they work with Bellator? Will GLORY hold their own MMA fights? I guess we'll have to wait and see.

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GLORY 19 Scheduled for February 6th in Hampton, Virginia

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Kickboxing fans have been anxiously awaiting more details for the postponed GLORY 19 and today is that day. GLORY 19 is scheduled for Friday, February 6th and will take place in Hampton, Virginia. GLORY 19 will still be headlined by a GLORY Heavyweight title fight between Rico Verhoeven and Errol Zimmerman and the undercard will feature a one-night, four-man Welterweight contender tournament. 

GLORY 19 will take place at the 10,000 seat Hampton Coliseum. We'll have more details when they come.

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GLORY 19 Moved to February

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It's official, GLORY 19 has been pushed back to February. We were informed by GLORY officials yesterday that they were making the decision to push the event forward to give them more time to properly promote the event and were waiting to inform the fighters before making the announcement. The news comes after we had still yet-to-learn where GLORY 19 was planned to take place. We spoke with GLORY's Jon J. Franklin last night for the inside scoop on why GLORY had made the decision to postpone GLORY 19.

"Obviously I'm disappointed that we had to move off the December 19th date. But I'd have been even more disappointed if we continued with the hard work it takes to put on an event like GLORY does and it didn't live up to the standard our fans have come to expect and demand," Franklin explained to us.

"As planned for 2015, we will take January off and then return on SPIKE with GLORY 19 in February. Our Heavyweight World Champion Rico Verhoeven is facing a tough task in Errol Zimmerman and we've also got the buzzsaw that is Nieky Holzken and human highlight reel Raymond Daniels. Once we're able to announce the full card for GLORY 19, it will be worth the wait."

In the coming weeks we'll have more information about the upcoming GLORY 19. 

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Hesdy Gerges Sentenced to Five Years in Prison on 2011 Cocaine Smuggling Case

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If you remember all the way back to 2011, you might remember that Hesdy Gerges was arrested for drug trafficking in connection to a case involving his half-brother. Gerges was charged with trafficking 128 kilos of cocaine (not joking). He wasn't actually caught with the drugs, his half-brother was, but he was linked to the case for potential smuggling. That case came back to bite him on Friday, when he was sentenced to five years in prison. 

Gerges made a statement on his Facebook page yesterday refuting the charges yet again.

"I was truly shocked about my conviction today. But trust me, I am NOT guilty! So I will fight this battle in court.

Meanwhile, I will keep training hard, and will be fighting my battles in the ring.

To all my loyal friends and fans: Thanks for your trust and support!!!

Osu!"

His lawyer went on Twitter to express his frustrations, with many believing that Gerges and his legal team are going to fight the charges.

"Unbelievable that Hesdy Gerges is convicted in Belgium about a file case that didn't have any evidence at the time in 2011, for any involvement with coke."

In the meantime all eyes are on GLORY to see if they publicly react to this. Considering the gravity of the charges and the penalty, if Gerges is to spend time in prison chances are he won't be able to compete. It is also a black eye for the promotion who recently had him fight for a chance to challenge for the GLORY Heavyweight Championship. We've heard word that GLORY has privately dismissed Gerges for the time being, but like they dismissed his former opponent, Jamal Ben Saddik, after Ben Saddik attacked him in the ring during a fight for another organization. Although, keep in mind that it is not official until it is announced. 

We hope that this situation is resolved quickly, for the sake of the fans and the sport. 

UPDATE: It looks like Gerges has been officially cut. Here's a statement from Jon J. Franklin to BloodyElbow.

"Hesdy Gerges has been cut from the GLORY roster and removed from its rankings. GLORY does not tolerate any type of illegal activity and will remove athletes that violate our code of conduct in or out of the ring."

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This was Glory 18 - Return to Glory Video

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Glory has released their own "This is Glory" after movie for everyone to watch. Since its the Official Glory version they get to include lots of good fight footage which is pretty wicked, and also some short interviews directly after their fights.

We know everyone has busy schedules but taking 10 minutes out of your day to watch this will be well worth your time.

 

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The Ratings are in For GLORY 18

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GLORY 18 was this past weekend, emanating from Oklahoma and featuring a Light Heavyweight Contender’s tournament as well as a Lightweight title match between Davit Kiria and Robin van Roosmalen. By this point it had been over four months since GLORY had any live programming on Spike TV, another break that may have proven to be a bit too long considering that GLORY is still in its growth phase and doesn’t have the luxury of hoping that fans will stick around for months without much in the way of news. 

Like I mentioned before, the last live programming from GLORY on Spike TV was GLORY 17 Los Angeles on June 21st. After that it was just rumors and conjecture. In hindsight, maybe it wasn’t the best idea to take that much time to regroup, I don’t know.

There were some definite hurdles for GLORY 18 to overcome on Friday night, the first of which was being off of television for so long. The second factor that came into play here was that the UFC was running a card at the exact same time featuring Michael Bisping vs. Luke Rockhold. In an age of watered down UFC cards, the Bisping vs. Rockhold card turned out to be a pretty damned solid show and honestly, my Twitter timeline was full of people talking about it and it exclusively. Another big factor is moving from Saturday nights to Friday nights, which seemed like a good idea if unopposed, but then UFC happened. The other factor is less starpower on the card, which I’m not sure I take as seriously.

As a kickboxing fan do I love most of these bigger name guys like Gokhan Saki, Tyrone Spong, Daniel Ghita and a few others, but if we are entirely honest here, none have proven to be television draws here in the United States. It just is what it is. So I’m not sure that I buy that Davit Kiria vs. Robin van Roosmalen isn’t as much of a draw as Nieky Holzken being in a Welterweight tournament or Tyrone Spong and Gokhan Saki in a Light Heavyweight tournament.

The final numbers for GLORY 18 are 352,000 viewers with a peak of 648,000. Comparatively, those numbers fall in line with what has been the lowest rated GLORY event on Spike TV yet which was GLORY 15 with 354,000 viewers. Like I said before, there are a LOT of factors in play here, but the good news is that the pared-down and scaled back GLORY 18 was still able to hold a steady audience, which is nothing to scoff at.

All that GLORY really needs right now is some momentum. We spoke with GLORY CEO Jon J. Franklin yesterday and he wants fans to remain optimistic and remember the uphill battle that both GLORY and the sport of kickboxing are facing in the US today.

"You have to put this in perspective. We are not just building a brand; we are building a sport in the US and we now will be doing a better job of showcasing our product with regular events to build a fan base not just for GLORY, but for US kickboxing in general. It was a great night of fights and anyone who watched it will be back for our next SPIKE event on December 19th." 

Some might see this as a problem, but with Spike’s ongoing commitment to GLORY and GLORY’s commitment to bringing the best fighters in the world to your television screen this is just another challenge for the company to overcome.

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Post Glory 18 Matchmaking

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After 19 weeks without our beloved Glory the promotion returned last night with their 18th event, which took place in Oklahoma, USA.  Glory delivered once again making the wait worthwhile with a fantastic card top to bottom. Not only did Glory make up for lost time in terms of entertainment, but the event also solved several questions regarding title fights we can expect to see in 2015.

Saulo Cavalari

This one is quite obvious but for anyone who missed it, Cavalari defeated both Danyo Illunga and Zack Mwekessa last night to win the Glory Lightheavyweight Contender Tournament. Whilst Cavalari isn’t the most technically gifted striker at Lightheavyweight, he makes up for it with his aggressive approach and excellent output. He’ll be facing the current champion Gohkan Saki at some point in 2015 in what should be an absolute treat. 

Zack Mwekessa

Mwekessa’s boxing is not only some of the best at Lightheavyweight, but pound for pound he’s one of the best boxers in Glory at the moment. Cavalari exposed Mwekessa’s lack of kicking offence and defense, showing that he still needs to work on his overall game if he ever wants a crack at the belt. I think a bout with Andrei Stoica would be a good match for Mwekessa next.

Robin van Roosmalen

Van Roosmalen snatched the lightweight title from Kiria after defeating the Georgian for the third time. After 5 rounds of action it was van Roosmalen’s output that earned him the nod over the former champion, in a technically superb back and forth contest. Van Roosmalen first title defense will likely come against the last man to defeat him in Andy Ristie.

Davit Kiria

Unfortunately for Kiria it wasn’t third time lucky against Van Roosmalen. Despite scoring the only knockdown of the fight and remaining competitive throughout, Kiria lost the Majoirty Decision and his Lightweight title to the Dutchman last night. Unfortunately for Kiria this puts him in an awkward position so long as Van Roosmalen’s champion, as I doubt many will be calling for a fourth encounter between the two. Given that Ky Hollenbeck is also coming off of a loss a bout between him and Kiria makes a lot of sense, with the winner instantly being propelled back into title contention. 

Jason Wilnis

In what was the nights biggest upset, young Dutchman Jason Wilnis shocked the kickboxing world by defeating the #2 ranked Wayne Barrett. Wilnis refused to give Barrett the space he required and as a result he was able to capitalize with two knockdowns that swung the bout in his favor. With the win Wilnis evens his Glory record to 2-2 and will find himself knocking on the door of title contention. Due to the one-sided nature of his first loss to the current champ Artem Levin he’ll likely need at least one more convincing victory before he’s granted a rematch. A bout with Alex Perreira would not only give us a strong indication of where Wilnis stands within the Middleweight division, but it’d also be guaranteed fireworks.

Wayne Barrett

Barrett was heavily favored prior to the bout and looked to be on the cusp of a title shot. Wilnis’ aggressive approach appeared to be the answer to Barrett’s usual elusiveness as Barrett was hurt badly with punches in the opening two rounds. Even with a loss last night Barrett is one of the few Middleweights who’s yet to fight the champion, a win over a respectable opponent like Filip Verlinden would move him right back into title conversation.   

Danyo Illunga

In what was a disappointing performance by the perennial top 5 Lightheavyweight, Illunga was outworked and outpointed by eventual tournament winner Saulo Cavalari. The loss moves Illunga down in the pecking order, however with a few wins under his belt he could easily be knocking on the door of a title shot. A bout with fellow tournament semi-finalist Brian Collette would make a lot of sense.

Benjamin Adegbuyi

Another one that is fairly obvious. Adegbuyi defeated veteran Hesdy Gerges over the course of three rounds in a bout that was declared by Glory as a number one contenders bout. With the win Adegbuyi stays undefeated under the Glory banner and will move on to face the winner of the Rico Verhoeven vs. Errol Zimmerman III, which headlines Glory 19 on the 19th of December. 

 

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GLORY 19 Officially Announced

  • Published in Glory

Along with yet another successful card Glory also announced their next event which will take place on Friday the 19th of December. Glory 19 is rumoured to take place in the USA however no official location is confirmed at the moment.

Headlining the card will be the Heavyweight title bout between the current  champion Rico Verhoeven as he takes on Errol Zimmerman for the third time. Zimmerman won the initial encounter with a brutal KO in less than a minute at It's Showtime in January of 2012 with Verhoeven leveling the score with a points victory in New York at Glory 9 in June of last year. 

Zimmerman earned the right to fight for the belt after winning the Heavyweight Contender tournament back in May at Glory 16. Zimmerman, who's been incredibly inconsistent throughout his career, needed just a single round on both occasions to finish both Anderson Silva and Ben Edwards. Zimmerman aims to finally live up to his potential and put a convincing end to his trilogy with Verhoeven.

Verhoeven is currently riding a 6-fight win streak with all victories coming by decision. Verhoeven has only competed once this year under the Glory promotion, defeating Daniel Ghita for a second time in a highly anticipated rematch at Glory's marquee event this past June. Verhoeven has kept busy in 2014 though, making his professional boxing debut back in April where he KO'd Hungarian fighter Janos Finfera inside two rounds. Verhoeven will be looking for his first stoppage victory since May 2011. 

Also due to feature on the card is the Welterweight contender tourney, with the winner facing Joseph Valtellini in his first title defence. The tournament features two intriguing match-ups between Raymonds Daniels vs. Jonatan Oliveria and Nieky Holzken vs. Artur Kyshenko.

Jonatan Oliveira is currently undefeated in Glory, winning both of his contests by decision. He'll be taking a big step up in competition though as he looks to take on the human highlight reel in Raymond Daniels. Daniels is fresh of his ridiculous spinning heel kick KO of Francois Ambang back in May and will be looking to win this tourney so he can take revenge on Valtellini, whom beat him via KO last December.  

Holzken is probably wondering why he wasn't given an immediate shot against the champion, considering he's widely regarded as the best Welterweight on the planet and already has a convincing win over Valtellini. Holzken will take on a man whom has defeated him previously in Artur Kyshenko. Kyshenko has competed twice for Glory, most recently losing a lacklustre decision to Karapet Karapetyan back in March. Kyshenko has always been regarded as supremely talented however his fluctuations in weight class and general inconsistency have held him back from reaching his full potential. 

In the coming weeks look out for more announcements regarding the location of this card as well as additions to the fight card. 

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Davit Kiria and Robin van Roosmalen Have Lots to Prove at GLORY 18

  • Published in Glory

Tomorrow night at GLORY 18 in Oklahoma there will be an epic showdown for the GLORY Lightweight Championship between two of the toughest fighters in the ultra-competitive 70kg division. Davit Kiria comes into the fight against Robin van Roosmalen as the GLORY Lightweight Champion, which should give him an edge, but in the eyes of many this is an uphill battle for the champion. Davit Kiria will be meeting van Roosmalen for the third time, with the previous two encounters ending in decision victories for van Roosmalen and leaving Kiria just out of reach of the top of the division. 

For Kiria he was the unlikely GLORY Lightweight Champion. When reflecting on GLORY's Lightweight division at GLORY 12 in New York, Kiria, out of the four men involved in the tournament, was the least likely to be wearing the GLORY Lightweight Championship any time soon. Why? Because Giorgio Petrosyan was unstoppable, being Robin van Roosmalen is a shrunken Gokhan Saki, because Andy Ristie is fast, powerful and technical. On that night everyone was right and van Roosmalen made it by Kiria for a second time before moving onto the finals against the unlikely opponent that was Andy Ristie, who had just knocked out the greatest 70kg fighter that has ever competed in kickboxing. 

Ristie walked away with his hand raised and when it was announced that Davit Kiria would be his first challenger, many groaned or called for a rematch with Petrosyan or van Roosmalen. Kiria was once again the fourth man in a three-man division. Kiria stepped into the ring at GLORY 14 as a serious underdog against Ristie. Ristie was the man who defeated Giorgio Petrosyan, how could he lose to the slow-starting Kiria? Ristie was doing what Ristie does throughout the early rounds, with Kiria just holding on, picking his spots and landing whatever he could in between the onslaughts by Ristie.

Then something happened; Kiria connected. All of a sudden it was a brand new fight and the last two rounds were not only competitive, but Kiria was making one of the craziest comebacks in kickboxing's history. Kiria then put the cherry on top with a knockout blow that sent Ristie crashed to the canvas and secured him the GLORY Lightweight Championship. He was not the fourth man anymore, he was the top fighter in one of the most competitive divisions in the world.

For Robin van Roosmalen the story is a bit different. Robin's career began slowly, showing lots of promise, but having problems when stepping up in competition. He was aggressive, hit hard, focusing on killer combinations, but he ran into fighters who were able to nullify his gifts and shut him down. He found a nemesis in Mootje Khamal, with many seeing Khamal as the man to take the 70kg kickboxing world by storm. Khamal earned his way into the K-1 World MAX tournament only to run into Gago Drago. But trouble was brewing within the K-1 system and It's Showtime decided to hold their own 70kg tournament -- 70kg Fast and Furious. 

Van Roosmalen entered the tournament, a virtual "Murderer's Row" in the 70kg division, featuring Andy Souwer, Artur Kyshenko, Gago Drago, Chahid Oulad el Hadj, Murat Direcki, Harut Grigorian and Chris Ngimbi. Of course, missing from that lineup was 70kg ace Giorgio Petrosyan, who was forced to pull out due to the reoccurring injury to his right hand that seems to always gum up the works. Van Roosmalen wasn't expected to win the tournament, even with Petrosyan out. Instead, it was seen that Andy Souwer, Chris Ngimbi or Artur Kyshenko would walk away the victor in what was the "substitute" 2010 K-1 World MAX tournament. 

Van Roosmalen shocked the kickboxing world by knocking out Chahid, fending off Chris Ngimbi's ariel assault and then putting Artur Kyshenko down and out in one round. Robin van Roosmalen went from an interesting prospect to the default #2 fighter in the 70kg division, who was only #2 because of the elephant in the room that was Giorgio Petrosyan. Van Roosmalen wouldn't have to wait long, with GLORY buying out It's Showtime and a good portion of the kickboxing world and staging the GLORY 3 70kg Slam tournament. The fans got exactly what they wanted in a final of Robin van Roosmalen vs. Giorgio Petrosyan for the official title of the #1 70kg fighter in the world. Van Roosmalen fought valiantly, but Petrosyan did as Petrosyan tends to do and walked away with a decisive, clean victory over the slugger.

Robin wasn't done yet, oh no. He ran through everyone that GLORY put in his path, fighting a smarter, more conservative style without as many defensive holes being opened up on his path to GLORY 12's Lightweight tournament. When Petrosyan was knocked out he saw opportunity against Ristie, but on that night Ristie was able to find a hole and put van Roosmalen down and out with a huge uppercut. 

For both men their claim to the throne of 70kg is clear. They've both achieved so much and share one frustrating similarity; they'd be easily considered the best in the world if it wasn't for Giorgio Petrosyan. After Petrosyan's loss to Andy Ristie his claim to the #1 spot has relented, leaving things wide open for either man. Right now Davit Kiria is that man, but many consider van Roosmalen's two prior victories as a Sword of Damocles dangling above his head by a thread, just waiting for it to snap and for van Roosmalen to claim the throne.

For van Roosmalen there is no Petrosyan in his way this time, just a man that he's beaten twice before. A victory here would cement his legacy, but does he have what it takes to dethrone the newly-crowned king in Kiria?

This is why we watch kickboxing and why it's so damned great.

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Watch GLORY 18 Live on LiverKick

  • Published in Glory

On Friday night GLORY will return with GLORY 18 on Spike TV. For those of you outside of the United States that wish to view the event live you'll have the chance to do so by purchasing a PPV stream live via LiverKick. This is guaranteed to be a great show, featuring the GLORY Lightweight Championship between Davit Kiria and Robin van Roosmalen. 

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Glory 18: Liverkick Predictions

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With Glory 18 one week away we have decided to do our LiverKick predictions for the main card and the superfight series. We like to hear everyone else's predictions as well so make sure you join in. 

Key: JJ = Jay Jauncey, DW = Dave Walsh

Main Card

Davit Kiria Vs Robin Van roosmalen - JJ: Van Roosmalen decision. DW: Kiria via decision

Wayne Barrett Vs Jason Wilnis - JJ: Barrett decision. DW: Barrett via KO

Brian Collette Vs Zack Mwekassa - JJ: Mwekassa KO. DW: Mwekassa via KO

Saulo Cavalari Vs Danyo Ilunga - JJ: Ilunga Decision. DW: Ilunga via decision

Lightheavyweight Tounament Finals - JJ: Ilunga KO. DW: Ilunga via decision

Superfight Series

Benjamin Adegbuyi vs Hesdy Gerges - JJ: Adegbuyi decision. DW: Benny via KO

Josh Jauncey vs Jae Gil Noh - JJ: Jauncey KO. DW: Jauncey via decision

Robert Thomas vs Mike Lemaire - JJ: Thomas decision. DW: Thomas via decision

Randy Blake vs Warren Thompson - JJ: Blake KO. DW: Blake via decision

Omari Boyd vs Ian Alexander - Alexander decision

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Tyrone Spong Confirms That His GLORY Contract Has Expired

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You gotta hand it to Tyrone Spong for keeping a positive attitude in the face of his horrific leg break against Gokhan Saki earlier this year. In this interview MMAFighting caught up with Tyrone Spong from this past weekend in Brazil, where he was cornering fellow Blackzilian Gilbert Burns. A few interesting points came up from this interview, the first being that he confirms that his contract with GLORY has expired and that there is no new contract just yet. He feels that he did a lot for the organization and is expecting an offer, but nothing yet.

He's still under contract to World Series of Fighting, but as we've seen before, if the UFC comes knocking, Ray Sefo and company aren't going to force him to stay by any means. Interestingly enough he's looking towards trying his hand at professional boxing to both let his leg heal up some more and to regain some of that confidence that he might be missing after the injury. 

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Glory 18: Extended Trailer and Zack Mwekassa Pre Fight Interview

  • Published in Glory

Glory has given us two more videos to prepare us for Glory 18. We will start with the pre-fight interview with African boxer Zack Mwekassa who shocked the world with his vicious knockout of Pat Barry in his last Glory appearance. Mwekassa wil be taking on Brian Collette in the first round of the 4-man light heavyweight tournament. Now, when Mwekassa fought Barry he fought at heavyweight but gave up at least 20lbs, so the light heavyweight division will be a perfect fit for him. He's very charismatic and well spoken which always makes his interviews interesting, but in the ring hes a different person, and as Zack puts it, hes just in there to create mayhem. (PS. Keep an eye out in the background of the video at 1:36 for a little surprise.)

We also have the 3 minute extended trailer for Glory 18, where we get to hear to a bit of fight analysis, and watch people get skillfully knocked all over the ring in traditional Glory fashion.

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Check Out GLORY's 20 Best Knockouts on Spike TV This Friday

  • Published in Glory

This Friday at 11pm Eastern time Spike TV will present a special one hour piece of programming highlighting some of the best action to happen thus far in a GLORY ring. Sure, it might be hard to contain all of that action into one hour, but they've opted to do a special on the 20 best knockouts, which is awesome. We've kind of been begging Spike for quite a while to give GLORY some more air time to promote their events and they are giving it to us right after Bellator this Friday.

This is all to promote GLORY 18, which goes down on November 7th live on Spike TV.

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