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Gabriel Varga vs. Serhiy Adamchuk Pulled from Dynamite 1

  • Published in Glory

After rumors were abound yesterday that the GLORY Featherweight title fight between Gabriel Varga and Serhiy Adamchuk was off it has come out today that Adamchuk and Varga will indeed not meet at Bellator MMA Dynamite 1 on September 19th in the GLORY ring. While not one of the headline attractions it did help to bolster the GLORY portion of the card with a second title fight between the two Featherweights.

According to our bud Michael Stets GLORY officials informed him that the fight was indeed off but wouldn't clarify on where the injury was. From our own reports we've heard that the injury was on Varga's side, although the specifics of the injury remain unclear. Gabriel Varga was forced to pull out is all that we know. Here's hoping to a formidable bout replacing it.

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Joe Schilling vs. Artem Levin III Scheduled for GLORY 24 Denver

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There has been some trepidation when it comes to GLORY 24 being able to deliver on the rumors of a huge card, but today's announcement seems to assure that GLORY 24 will indeed be an event to remember. Today it was announced that GLORY 24 will see the third bout between rivals Joe Schilling and GLORY Middleweight Champion Artem Levin. According to our friend Michael Stets over at MMAMania the trilogy between the two will indeed go down on October 9th in Denver, Colorado. 

Levin is coming off of a draw with Simon Marcus while Schilling is coming off of a win over Robert Thomas. Of course, it is difficult not to mention that Schilling has been active in Bellator as well and is coming off of a knockout loss which prevented him from fighting on the Bellator MMA Dynamite event in September. The rubber match between Schilling and Levin has been talked about for well over a year now after they met for a second time in the finals of the GLORY Last Man Standing Middleweight Championship tournament in June. Schilling previously held a win over Levin in the GLORY 10 Middleweight tournament.

Many fans were calling for an immediate rematch between Simon Marcus and Artem Levin but it feels like the right decision to have the rematch between Levin and Schilling first. All three men have unfinished business with each other and any combination of the three is a tremendous fight. 

According to GLORY this event will also host a GLORY Heavyweight Contender's tournament with the winner going on to face Rico Verhoeven for the GLORY Heavyweight Championship. No names have been announced yet, but one would have to assume that Xavier Vigney, who qualified via a tournament win followed by a win over Daniel Sam, will be in, as well as Jamal Ben Saddik who recently picked up a win over Anderson "Braddock" Silva. Braddock would be another no-brainer as would possibly tossing Benjamin Adegbuyi back into the fray. Of course, if Daniel Ghita were to return nobody would complain, either.

Also, for those wondering, Simon Marcus is currently injured.

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GLORY 23 Draws 295,000 Viewers Live on Spike TV

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(C) James Law, GLORY Sports International

It's been difficult to gauge fan interest in GLORY kickboxing over the past year or so considering it has been pretty new to television here in the United States. GLORY 22 Lille saw a significant drop in television ratings due to airing early in the afternoon live from France without a replay. This,  along with the inclusion of Nieky Holzken vs. Raymond Daniels, two of GLORY's top fighters when it comes to drawing ratings, led to a belief that GLORY 23 would see a significant jump in ratings. 

The end result is the lowest rated GLORY event on Spike TV outside of GLORY 22, definitely the lowest rated live GLORY event to date. The preliminary numbers (not including DVR numbers) were released today on SportsTVRatings and they were 295,000 live viewers. We've reached out to Spike TV for the final numbers plus the peak, but this is a bit difficult to digest. 

There have been complaints online about the relatively late start time of 11pm Eastern time, which may have played a role in the disappointing numbers, but considering it was a Friday night it's a hard pill to swallow. It didn't help that to many of the more hardcore fans much of this show was unappealing to them, with there being complaints about the tournament and co-main event being relatively weak on star power considering how stacked GLORY's roster is. Then again, GLORY 21 featured a mostly American tournament with mostly newcomers and saw some of their highest ratings to date. 

GLORY's next time on Spike TV will be as a part of Bellator's Dynamite event on September 19th and will hopefully be their time to shine with a new Light Heavyweight Champion being crowned between Zack Mwekassa and Saulo Cavalari, as well as the Featherweight title on the line between champion Gabriel Varga and Serhiy Adamchuk.

Updates as they come.

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Paul "Semtex" Daley vs. Bellator's Fernando Gonzalez Added to Dynamite Kickboxing Card

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On September 19th Bellator and GLORY will present Dynamite to the world live on Spike TV. The hybrid MMA and Kickboxing card will feature Tito Ortiz vs. Liam McGeary for the Bellator Light Heavyweight Championship as well as Saulo Cavalari vs. Zack Mwekassa for the GLORY Light Heavyweight Championship. We found out on Friday that Serhiy Adamchuk vs. Gabriel Varga for the GLORY Featherweight Championship will also be on the card.

We've known of Paul Daley's involvement in a kickboxing bout for a while now and today Bellator has released the name of his opponent. Paul Daley will be fighting Bellator's own Fernando Gonzalez. Gonzalez primarily fights in MMA now but has a background that includes boxing and muay thai, making him an interesting opponent for Daley. It should be noted that Daley has a long history in the sport of kickboxing and has defeated some of the top names within the Welterweight division within the past few years. 

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Gabriel Varga vs. Sergei Adamchuk Added to Bellator Dynamite

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Earlier this week we told you that Gabriel Varga would be involved with Bellator's Dynamite card that will be airing on September 19th on Spike TV. Now we have officially gotten word that Gabriel Varga will defend the GLORY Featherweight Championship against Sergei Adamchuk at Dynamite in his first title defense.

GLORY also announced that on October 9th they'd be returning to Denver with GLORY 24.

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Nieky Holzken Prepared for GLORY 23 and Raymond Daniels

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If you've watched kickboxing for any length of time, you've undoubtedly heard the name Nieky Holzken.  With in mind, it would be pretty condescending of me to tell you that he's fast, strong, extremely agile or that his boxing skills are absolutely sick.  Those in the know are also well aware that he's Glory's former welterweight champion (2013) and he's been back with a vengeance to claim the title again. Friday, August 8th, he'll have that opportunity as he is poised to face Raymond "The Human Highlight Reel" Daniels at Glory 23 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  What you may not know is that at 31 years of age Holzken sees the value of regaining and maintaining champion status, but also that there is life beyond the ring and that it's probably a good idea to have other plans for his future.   Holzken understands the value of family, friends and simply living.  Following open workouts I had an opportunity to speak to Holzken about life, his philosophy and the challenge he faces as he prepares to meet Raymond Daniels at Glory 23.  

With a record of 93-11 and 54 of his wins by KO, a dance with Holzken is by no means a walk in the park for anyone.  Holzken additionally see a few mire years ahead of him in the ring.  When it's all said and done Holzken hopes to open his own gym and continue to inspire participants in the sport as well as to be a positive role model for children. But again, that's later, possibly even five years down the line.  

Holzken 's match against Daniels came about in unexpected fashion following Valtellini's relinquishment of the  title. It had long been anticipated within the fight community that an eventual face off would occur between he and Valtellini and his dominance either would or would not be established based on the outcome of that bout.  Unforseen circumstances,  however, changed the hands of fate and brought him face to face with an opponent over whom he ha a recent win.  If you recall, Holzken faced Daniels in February of this year at Glory 19 in a bout that finished with a TO victory for him. Don't get it twisted though as Holzken has also KO'd Valtellini in the past.  By his own admission, things just got real as Friday night it's not just for another win on his record, it's for the thing he's worked his life for, a chance to be crowned champion albeit for a second time.  Once in his hands again, Holzken has every intention of riding it until the wheels fall off. He wants his belt back!   In preparation for this match-up, Holzken states he has continued to improve upon his boxing skills.   Since he last faced Daniels he has actually had three boxing matches all of which he won.  Holzken also reports improvement in his hand speed.  When asked what he though was his best skill, Holzken sees himself as a well rounded fighter while he views Daniels' best skills as kicking, jumping around and running. Holzken also isn't particularly impressed by Daniels' boxing skills.

If there was ever a fight that he has regrets about, Holzken cites his bout with Artur Kyshenko in, which suffered a decision loss following an accidental eye poke that left him unable to see clearly for the majority of the match.  

No matter the outcome of Friday's match, Holzken is definitely excited to be fighting, for the opportunity to have his family in Las Vegas to support him, for the support of his fans and definitely for the welterweight championship belt to be within his grasp. When asked what he's see for Friday, he simply stated, "action!" He feels that he has trained hard, he's ready and that his time has come again.   

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GLORY and Hayabusa Unveil New Gloves at GLORY 23 Open Workout

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Hayabusa has officially become the glove brand for Glory kickboxing. Prior to open workouts on Wednesday August 5th, an impressive demonstration of the high tech gear took place at Drysdale BJJ in Las Vegas. On deck for this demonstration was Glory welterweight conteder Nieky Holzken and former UFC Welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre. For those who might be wondering if GSP still has it, have no doubt he does. Both Georges and Nieky Holzken made Hayabusa's debut with Glory and open workout everything a fan would like to have seen. Each man alternately went four rounds displaying brutal kicks, knees and punches. Their finale was a round of light sparring between the two because, if you haven't heard, Holzken is set to take on Raymond Daniels Friday night at Glory 23 for the welterweight championship. So, the two took it easy on each other to prevent any injury.

For those who've never heard of Hayabusa, the company has been around several years offering participants in combat sports a host of products including clothing and equipment designed for maximum safety and comfort. In the industry, Hayabusa has developed a reputation for product superiority and definitely lives up to its name. Per their website, "The "spirit of the fighter" philosophy of honor, respect and tradition influences the design and construction of all Hayabusa products." On Friday, August, 7, 2005, the legion of combat sport fans around the world will be able to see whether the product can outlast the likes of Holzken, Daniels, Sam, Vigney and many others as they face off in the ring at Glory 23.

Following the product/skill demonstration of St. Pierre and Holzken, Daniel Sam and Xavier Vigney, the co-main event of Glory 23, gave the press and fans a taste of what they can expect to see. Daniel "The Warrior" Sam was first to hit the mats during open workout. As usual, the never nervous and massively built Sam put on a display of power that was definitely meant to convey to the crowd at Drysdale BJJ that he is ready to take on the up and coming Vigney who as of late has devastated his opponents and endeared himself to fans. Xavier "X-man" Vigney provided the afternoon's finale demonstrating the agility, strength and power that has made him a winner in several sports. As is the case with any fight, either opponent can potentially be the last man standing either through skill, luck or a combination of the two. The displays by Holzken, Sam and Vigney at open workouts, at the very least, were an enhancement of the storm to come at the Hard Rock Casino on Friday night. 

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Check Out Fighting For Glory: The Joseph Valtellini Story

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When reflecting on the last few years in kickboxing it is hard to ignore that one of the best up-and-comers was hands down Joseph Valtellini. He took the kickboxing world by storm by competing against the best of the best in GLORY's Welterweight division. He rose to the top, winning the GLORY Welterweight Championship.

This new documentary follows Valtellini's fighting career and his life in and outside of the ring. It's great insight into the life and times of a champion and a must watch for fans. 

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Gabriel Varga Added to Dynamite Card

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With GLORY 23 just a matter of days away all eyes are focused on Holzken vs. Daniels, but it appears that we can already start looking ahead to the Bellator Dynamite show as well. We already knew that a Light Heavyweight Championship bout between Zack Mwekassa and Saulo Cavalari was headlining, now it looks like we could see another championship on the line.

Just popping up on GLORY's website is a listing for GLORY Featherweight Champion Gabriel Varga squaring off against Thomas Adamandopoulus. It does not say if it is for the title but one would have to assume as such. Adamandopoulos made his GLORY debut at GLORY 22 dropping a decision to Shane Oblonsky. If I were to posit a guess as to why Varga is not fighting Oblonsky I'd guess because he defeated him at GLORY 17.

Stay tuned for updates on this.

UPDATE: We've heard from a reliable source that Adamandopoulos was listed on accident. For now it will be TBA, but expect an update soon.

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Live Streams For GLORY 23 and SuperFight Series

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This Friday live from Las Vegas, Nevada will be GLORY 23. If you live in the United States it will be live on Spike TV at 11pm Eastern time, 8pm Pacific. If you aren't in the US then your mileage may vary on when you can watch it. To not miss a second of the live action you can check out the GLORY 23 stream (only if you don't live in the US or ex-Yugoslavia) via internet PPV. The GLORY SuperFight Series is available for everyone to check out live as well through internet PPV, all thanks to EverSport.

GLORY 23 SuperFight Series

GLORY 23

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Glory 23: who will win?

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August 7th will see one of the most anticipated events in this year’s kickboxing calendar, as a number of Heavyweight, Welterweight and Middleweight fighters do battle in Glory 23. The fight will be held in Las Vegas, which is considered the fight capital, and marks the very first time that the Glory World Series has visited this top location. There is no question that fans are eagerly anticipating this bout, with fights including Dustin Jacoby vs. Ariel Sepulveda and Xavier Vigney vs. Daniel Sam, but the main event is definitely the Welterweight clash between Nieky Holzken and Raymond Daniels.

This amounts to a title fight, and many consider Holzken the best Welterweight kickboxer – further adding to the excitement. His Glory record is seriously impressive: standing at 8 wins and no losses – with 7 KO’s amongst these. By comparison, Daniels has a record of 4 wins, two drawn bouts and no losses – which certainly do not count as poor stats. Nonetheless, it is not exactly surprising that most bookies have Holzken as the hot favourite – with odds of 1/6 showing just how highly rated he is. So you should just be putting your money on Holzken then? Well, not necessarily, with 7/2 odds for Daniels indicating that the bookies know he has a real chance.

Daniels has become noted for a kickboxing style that is really exciting (as anyone who has seen him live or watched his highlight reel can attest to), and this unpredictability could be his strongest asset against a superior opponent. However, there is no arguing with the stats which show that Holzken has landed 42 percent of strikes in previous bouts, compared with 16 percent for Daniels (the former’s punch and kick percentages are similarly superior). This is why the US bookmakers agree with the UK ones, making Holzken the odds-on favourite at -600 compared with Daniels at 350. Of course, Daniels has a lot less fights under his belt, but it is also important to bear in mind that one of Daniels’ two previous Glory defeats was inflicted by Holzken, in Glory 19, suggesting he has the edge on his opponent.

Whatever the result though, Glory 23 seems sure to be a humdinger of a fight, but if you can’t wait until August for your fix, why not try one of the fighting slots at http://www.casinoonline.co.nz like Fighting Fish. This five-reel slot has 30 paylines and a fishy flavour, with different kinds of fish vying to be crowned Deep Sea Boxing Champion – making it a pretty good casino option for kickboxing fans. Furthermore, it also offers a 5000-coin maximum jackpot, which makes it ideal for everyone.

 

 

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Watch Cor Hemmers Talk About GLORY 23 as Well As Saki and Spong

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Legendary Golden Glory trainer and GLORY matchmaker Cor Hemmers is a guy that knows kickboxing. That much we all know. He's in Las Vegas now preparing for GLORY 23, featuring the GLORY Welterweight Championship up for grabs between Nieky Holzken and Raymond Daniels. The guys behind Floyd Mayweather's YouTube channel caught up with Cor to talk about Saki, Spong and GLORY 23.

Cor, as always, has a lot of interesting things to say. He sees a lot in Xavier Vigney, which is interesting and seemingly upsetting a lot of fans. What do you think?

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Zack Mwekassa vs. Saulo Cavalari for GLORY Light Heavyweight Belt Added to Dynamite

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After Gokhan Saki's talk about why things didn't work out with GLORY that included trashing GLORY's Light Heavyweight division on the way out as no-names that he'd destroy easily we move on and a new champion will be crowned at Bellator's Dynamite event on September 19th on Spike TV. The Spike/GLORY co-branded event is set to have at least three huge kickboxing fights, one of which will probably involve Paul Daley.

The feature attraction, though, will be for the vacant GLORY Light Heavyweight Championship between Zakk "The African Warrior" Mwekassa and Saulo "Cassius Clay" Cavalari. This is a huge rematch from GLORY 18 where Saulo Cavalari ended the storybook rise of Zack Mwekassa with a vicious headkick knockout in the third round. Both men will be fresh this time around and the biggest prize in the game will be on the line so I expect heightened levels of violence from these two.

Of course, what is interesting is that Zack Mwekassa seems to have taken Saki's comments personally and is going off on him via Twitter right now.

 

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Gokhan Saki Issues Statement About GLORY Contract Negotiations

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It didn't take long for Gokhan Saki to want to share with the world his side of the contract dispute that has been ongoing with GLORY for the better part of a year and a half now. Earlier this week GLORY announced that the GLORY Light Heavyweight Championship was vacated due to Saki not defending it for well over a year, with them even extending that period to attempt to work out a deal between the two sides. They were unable to come to terms, which from what we've heard has mostly been about money. 

Saki was making in the range of $200,000 per fight before and GLORY simply didn't see the value in such a contract considering how their other stars are compensated. This isn't boxing and it isn't top level UFC, sadly. The money just isn't there to justify exorbitant contracts. Early on in GLORY many stars were signed to bloated contracts which simply don't reflect the current market for kickboxing. For Saki there is interest from GFC who is willing to pay him and has proven that they are willing to pay for name stars, as seen by Badr Hari's working agreement with them.

Saki released a statement through kickboxing blog Kickboxing Planet early this morning that attempts to explain his side of the story. What's clear is that Saki is very, very upset over this, but the statement itself is, well, a bit rough.

Bellator fans, the people in the USA are not going to see top quality kickboxing and this is bad for the sport. When you win the belt on Sept. 19 you can keep the price money but I expect the winner to hand the belt over to me and acknowledge that he didn’t beat the best. I mostly don’t talk like this and maybe there are a lot of emotions right now. But now that I offended anyone, I did that on purpose and I’m not sorry about it.

During this rant he describes his social media following as a point of value of him over the competition within the division, going as far as to make claims that the rest of the division are nobodies compared to him. This statement is... not a good look for a fighter in the public eye and chances are if there was an open dialogue between GLORY and Saki's camp that dialogue has most likely been shut down. 

It's easy to sympathize with Gokhan Saki as he is without a doubt one of the best fighters in the world and has worked extremely hard to reach that level. Before the market imploded he was without a doubt one of the more valuable stars. Hopefully he is able to make the money that he believes that he deserves and will continue fighting for his fans across the world. 

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Gokhan Saki's GLORY Light Heavyweight Championship Vacated

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When we spoke with GLORY CEO Jon Franklin he told us that 95% of their fights had kept with them through the lean times. There were, of course, outliers, though. The biggest of which was Gokhan Saki, the GLORY Light Heavyweight Champion. He won the championship in a battle against Tyrone Spong that saw Spong's leg break in a freak accident and has left him in boxing and MMA since then. Saki, on the other hand, was not about to take a pay cut.

Saki has not competed for GLORY since GLORY 15 back in April of 2014. Instead he has competed one time for the UAE's GFC back in April against an overmatched Sebastian Ciobanu. The word on the street was that Saki was not happy with GLORY and while he was open to negotiations he would not return until his demands were met. GLORY has been negotiating with him ever since, acting on good faith and not vacating the championship, even after a year of inactivity. 

The final straw for GLORY was trying to negotiate for Saki to fight on September 19th in the Bellator Dynamite event to defend the GLORY Light Heavyweight Championship. They were unable to come to terms in time and GLORY has been forced to vacate the championship for the time being. They haven't given up on Saki just yet, but for now the title is vacant.

With GLORY's Light Heavyweight division being one of their deeper divisions it made no sense to hold up the title any longer. Hopefully this means that Danyo Ilunga and Saulo Cavalari can clash again, this time with the title on the line. Make it happen, GLORY.

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Nieky Holzken issues challenge to Paul Daley

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Glory Welterweight champion Nieky Holzken has today challenged to Paul "Semtex" Daley to a fight at 77kg on the Bellator: Dynamite card in September. 

Holzken, the consensus #1 welterweight on the planet, is currently scheduled to defend his strap in a rematch with karate extraordinaire Raymond Daniels at Glory 23 on August 7th, but that hasn't stopped him from looking for additional opponents. 

Paul Daley is recognised by most combat sports fans for his achievements in mixed martial arts, however Daley has also found success in kickboxing too. The 32-year old from Nottingham fought six times last year inside the ring, earning five stoppage victories including one over the ranked #8 Alexander Stetsurenko. 

Soon after the video was posted by Holzken, Daley was quick to respond via his Facebook page:

"The best 77kg kickboxer Nieky Holzken has called me out to fight him on glory/Bellator dynamite. Very surreal. I'm a massive fan of Holzken, but I am a fighter that won't back down. If he wants it, it's the motivation I need. Let's make it happen, and if he wins in Vegas for the GLORY, let's make it for the GLORY CHAMPIONSHIP BELT. Ok Nieky?......." 

Whilst it would be a huge step-up in competition for "Semtex", a championship bout between these two would gain some serious attention, as well as undoubtedly providing fireworks. 

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New Promo Video Goes Inside the Life of GLORY 23's Raymond Daniels

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On August 7th at GLORY 23 Raymond Daniels and Nieky Holzken are set to clash in a rematch from GLORY 19, only this time the vacant GLORY Welterweight Championship is on the line. There is a lot riding on this fight for both men, with Holzken looking to cement his legacy as the best at this weight and Daniels looking to prove that his success in martial arts can span over into kickboxing in a big way. 

We've already seen how Nieky Holzken is preparing for GLORY 23, now it's time to look at Raymond Daniels.

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Check Out GLORY 23's Nieky Holzken Preparing for War

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While there are some grumbles about the card for GLORY 23, the price of admission is easily paid for by getting to see Nieky Holzken in action. Holzken is one of the top kickboxers in the world pound-for-pound and on August 7th he finally gets a chance to compete for the vacant GLORY Welterweight championship against co-contender Raymond Daniels. Daniels and Holzken met before in a contender tournament which saw Holzken pick up the win. Will he be able to repeat that win? He sure looks ready.

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GLORY 23 Card Finalized for August 7th

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GLORY 23 will take place on August 7th live from the Hard Rock in Las Vegas, featuring a bout for the GLORY Welterweight Championship between Nieky Holzken and Raymond Daniels in a rematch from earlier this year. The title was vacated by Joseph Valtellini recently when it was revealed that he had suffered a concussion and was still dealing with the after effects of said concussion and wasn't sure when he'd be able to return to the ring. 

GLORY today released the finalized card (of course subject to change due to injuries, medical or visa issues as are prone to happen in this sport), which mostly just solidifies the fighters involved in the Qualifying tournament at Middleweight. Dustin Jacoby is the big name in this tournament with Casey Greene as the other GLORY veteran. The other two names are Quinton O'Brien and Ariel Sepuvelda.

GLORY 23

GLORY Welterweight Championship: Nieky Holzken vs. Raymond Daniels
Xavier Vigney vs. Daniel Sam
GLORY Middleweight Contender Tournament: Casey Greene vs. Quinton O'Brien
GLORY Middleweight Contender Tournament: Dustin Jacoby vs. Ariel Sepuvelda

GLORY SuperFight Series

Anderson "Braddock" Silva vs. Jamal Ben Saddik
Murthel Groenhart vs. Chad Sugden
Matt Baker vs. Edward Hyman
Giga Chikadze vs. Anvar Boynazarav
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Let's Relive GLORY 22

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GLORY 23 is less than a month away but that doesn't mean that we have to forget about GLORY 22, right? GLORY 22 France was one of GLORY's better events this year, featuring their Lightweight contender's tournament and Heavyweight title bout between champion Rico Verhoeven and Benjamin Adegbuyi. GLORY has put up a rewind show on YouTube highlighting GLORY 22 and it's a solid way to spend on hour on a sleepy Thursday.

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Joe Schilling Hit With 90 Day Suspension After Bellator Loss

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If you were looking forward to seeing Joe Schilling in the ring wearing bigger gloves at the Bellator/GLORY Dynamite event in September it looks like you are out of luck. On Friday evening he competed within the Bellator cage against a Japanese karateka Hisaki Kato. Kato, who was a virtual unknown to most was thought to be simply a guy being fed to Schilling but he has an extensive history of competing within the world of karate and had racked up four knockouts for four wins in his MMA career prior in Japan. Needless to say the guy is no can and Schilling found out the hard way just how good he was, Kato scoring a brutal knockout over Schilling in the second round.

Schilling was originally scheduled for the September 19th Dynamite event on Spike TV but it came out today that the Kansas commission has handed out a 90-day medical suspension for Schilling, which takes him to the end of September before he's allowed contact. Clearly that means he won't be able to compete on the Dynamite card, which is a bummer. For now we still know that Paul Daley is scheduled to participate on the Dynamite card and he's been calling out recent-Bellator signee Josh Koscheck. I'm not sure that I want to see Kos's brain get scrambled in a kickboxing ring, but that could be interesting. 

Scott Coker also made mention of wanting to have a GLORY title fight on the card, so there is hope yet. 

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GLORY Announces Hayabusa as Official Glove Provider

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There has been a lot of movement on the sports apparel and gear front over the last few months in the world of combat sports after the UFC struck an exclusive arrangement with Reebok that prevented other companies from having their usual pull inside of the octagon. From there we saw TapouT get partially bought out by the WWE and will be launching a co-branded initiative in 2016, Venum is sponsoring a kickboxing series in Europe called Venum World Series and now gear company Hayabusa will be providing GLORY with gloves for the next three years.

This is a switch from Leone, which provided gloves in the past for GLORY. Starting at GLORY 23 on August 7th Hayabusa's new World Class Competition Gloves will be used by GLORY competitors. The gloves are set to be unveiled during GLORY 23's fight week.

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GLORY 23 Card Details Begin to Emerge

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GLORY 23 Las Vegas is GLORY's next big event happening on Spike TV and we'll see a new Welterweight Champion crowned on this night. Unfortunately due to ongoing effects from a concussion the champion Joseph Valtellini was forced to vacate the title and now Nieky Holzken will get his chance at the title against a man that he defeated just a few months prior in the ever-evolving Raymond Daniels. Daniels holds a rare knockdown over Holzken from their last fight and has been evolving and growing as a fighter steadily, making the rematch between the two in a five-round affair an interesting spectacle for both old and new fans.

The co-main event of the show has been announced as American Heavyweight hopeful Xavier Vigney taking on one of his biggest challenges to date in the UK's Daniel Sam. Sam serves as a gatekeeper to the realm of the international elite for Vigney and while a win over Sam won't thrust him into the top ten, it will help to legitimize his ascending the ranks and prove that he's ready to take a big step up in competition. 

The show will also feature a Middleweight Qualifying tournament and thus far we only have two names associated with it, which are Casey Greene on one side of the bracket and Dustin Jacoby on the other. We aren't exactly holding out hope for this tournament involving many bigger names, but it should serve the same purpose that the recent Heavyweight Qualifying tournament did, at least.

Perhaps one of the best fights on the card is on the SuperFight Series right now, which is Murthel Groenhart vs. Chad Sugden. 

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Bellator Announces Dynamite!! September 19th in San Jose with GLORY Participation

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Yesterday there was a spark of this potentially huge event happening in September featuring Spike TV's premier combat sports brands of Bellator and GLORY. While there was some trepidation throughout the industry everything fell into place and today Bellator announced that Dynamite!! will happen on September 19th in San Jose at the SAP Center. GLORY's participation in the event will be a three-fight offering featuring fights from Joe Schilling, Paul Daley and more to be announced.

It will be interesting to have the Bellator cage set up in the arena as well as an area for a kickboxing ring as well, with Spike TV looking to present what should be their biggest combat sports card to date. In addition to the three-fight GLORY card there will be a lot of big stuff from Bellator, including a Bellator Light Heavyweight Championship bout between champion Liam McGeary and UFC legend Tito Ortiz. In addition there will be a one-night tournament at Light Heavyweight featuring King Mo Lawal, Phil Davis, Linton Vassal and Emanuel Newton, the winner challenging the winner of McGeary and Ortiz at a later event.

This should be a big deal for both MMA fans and kickboxing fans alike and is a very good thing for GLORY to be associated with Bellator like this. While Dynamite!! was a Japanese tradition that blended together DREAM and K-1, it will be interesting to see what a night of "Dynamite" featuring Bellator and GLORY can be.

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Possibility of a Co-Branded GLORY/Bellator Event under Dynamite!! Banner on Spike TV

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In what I'd consider an interesting turn of events, there is a possibility of seeing the Dynamite!! brand revived yet again, only instead of being on New Year's Eve in Japan, in the United States in September on Spike TV. While Dynamite!! was synonymous with DREAM and K-1, this would be a co-branded event featuring Bellator and GLORY.

According to Ariel Helwani this is exactly the case and it will be announced tomorrow. What's interesting to note is that GLORY is reaching the end of their Spike TV deal which has some insiders a bit antsy, but cooperation on this level would mean a continued future with Spike TV and finally making use of the resources at Spike TV to help to push the GLORY brand front and center. More when we have it.

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Catch Full GLORY 22 Fight Videos Here

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We are just a week past GLORY 22 but it is still fresh in our minds. A lot went down at GLORY 22 and if you somehow missed it, well, you are in luck. As GLORY is prone to doing, they released the entirety of the show on YouTube for the world to watch and you can catch it here. The playlist below features all of the fights in their entirety. So check it.

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GLORY 22 Ratings Take a Hit From Afternoon Airtime

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By just about any metric GLORY 22 was a great event, both on paper and in execution. The Lightweight tournament featured some of the best and brightest in the Lightweight division and we walked away with Josh Jauncey looking like he's going to be a major player in the division for years and Sitthichai looking like he's marching to becoming a long-reigning champion. We also got some patented Zack Mwekassa violence and then we got to see Rico Verhoeven and Benjamin Adegbuyi stand toe-to-toe with Verhoeven walking away as champion still.

The issue, of course, came with GLORY 22 taking place in France. GLORY's main television contract is with Spike TV in the United States and while GLORY 22 did air on Spike UK, it aired on Saturday, when more people could be watching. One of the big complaints about past GLORY events emenating from Europe have been that Spike TV airs them on tape delay, which in a modern, internet-feuled age is liken to a form of self-sabotage. Spoilers are real and sporting events that you can DVR through the slower parts tend to lose the level of excitement that they bring when airing live. So Spike TV was going to make the "right" decision by airing GLORY 22 live. The problem here is that Spike TV opted not to air a replay of the event later on in the evening. 

The number being reported by SportsTVRatings is 152,000 viewers. This is of course excluding any possible DVR viewers that came afterwards, but is the raw, live number from Friday afternoon. It is, without a doubt, the lowest number that we've seen for GLORY programming on Spike TV. We spoke to GLORY officials who confirmed that while choosing France as the venue was their decision, when it aired on Spike TV was not under their control. GLORY was thrilled at the idea of airing the event live, but had begged for a replay later on in the evening due to 4pm Eastern and live at 1pm Pacific on a Friday seeming like suicide. 

One has to wonder why a network with the experience that Spike TV has with live combat sports and who seems dedicated to their Friday block of combat sports programming would make such an odd error. Spike TV has experience with the UFC, Bellator, professional boxing and now kickboxing to know how a show will fare at certain times and even the uninitiated saw 4pm Eastern as a bad time on a Friday. I have some serious questions here that there don't seem to be answers for as of press time and am starting to wonder if Spike has soured on the idea of partnering with GLORY or they are perhaps even looking to purchase the brand and "rehabilitate it" much like they did with Bellator years ago. 

GLORY 22 was a very, very good show that any combat sports fan should go out of their way to see. It's starting to look like Spike might not be overly enthralled with the brand that is still in its embryonic stages and if that is so, let's hope that GLORY does find a more commited partner in the future. 

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Storylines: A breakdown of Glory 22

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Glory 22 in Lille, France was a fantastic event that showcased top-tier kickboxing action before an enthusiastic and receptive audience of fight fans. Featuring a 4-man lightweight contender tournament as well as a heavyweight title fight between champion Rico Verhoeven and top contender Benjamin Adegbuyi, this fight card delivered on stoppages as well as tense technical battles which had fans on the edge of their seats. New chapters were written in the storylines for many fighters which will have a big impact on their future trajectories. In this article, I’ll break down some of these emerging developments:

1. A star is born: Josh Jauncey establishes himself as a top-10 fighter.

Josh Jauncey has been putting on impressive displays of kickboxing technique in each of his Glory fights, but he is very much an emerging talent on the scene who is relatively new to the professional tier of competition. I first became aware of him after his brother, our very own Jay Jauncey, uploaded videos of Josh’s amateur fights onto Youtube a few years ago. His skill was immediately apparent and he seemed destined for great things, exhibiting a style and proficiency that closely resembled that of his idol Andy Souwer. It subsequently came as no surprise to learn that Josh was going to Holland to train with Team Souwer, and he has only improved since then. Yet, Jauncey has been brought along slowly by Glory, and for all of the growing hype, he had yet to draw a top-10 opponent. That changed at Glory 22 as Josh deftly handled the veteran Djime Coulibaly and went three hard rounds with Thai phenom Sitthichai, who months ago bested Souwer and Murthel Groenhart in one night and who finished former champion Davit Kiria inside one round in the tournament semi-final. To say that Josh has arrived is a massive understatement. I believe his performance places him firmly in the top-10, and I believe his style and personality will make him a crowd favorite in the future. If you don’t believe me, then listen to that French audience chant his name again.

2. Sitthichai finally has the platform he’s needed.

Sitthichai is a top-2 lightweight. When he chooses to come out aggressively, there is very little that his opponents seem capable of doing to stop his onslaught of kicks and knees. Davit Kiria is one of the toughest, most durable lightweights in the world, and Sitthichai’s knees put Kiria in a world of pain that left the former champion unable to continue. Despite the variety of Josh Jauncey’s techniques and his craftiness in evading the full power and aggression of the Thai, Sitthichai thoroughly handled the Canadian, relentlessly chopping away with his tree trunk-sized legs. Mauro Ranallo aptly compared Sitthichai to fellow Thai kickboxing legend Buakaw Banchamek, and much like Buakaw, Sitthichai’s flaws mainly stem from pacing issues and an occasional lack of aggression. However, when Sitthichai is on point, he is an unstoppable force and a clear-cut world-beater, and Glory has finally given him the chance to face the world’s best lightweights. His coming title fight against Robin van Rosmalen will be the caliber of fight that Sitthichai has deserved for years as well as one of the toughest fights of Robin’s career.

3. Rico Verhoeven proves the doubters wrong.

If beating Gokhan Saki and Daniel Ghita (twice) isn’t enough to prove that Rico is a top heavyweight, than a completely dominating performance against Benjamin Adegbuyi should hopefully silence the critics. It has been a tough road for Verhoeven, who has been around the scene for years but who has always stood in the shadow of fighters like Saki, Ghita, Badr Hari, and Errol Zimmerman. He has demonstrated great ability but has also suffered from consistency issues, dropping a decision to Andrei Gerasimchuk in a fight that as the world champion he really shouldn’t have lost. Indeed, his performance during the opening round of this championship fight was similarly troubling with Verhoeven letting Adegbuyi control the round with his stiff jab. He came alive as the fight went on, putting on the performance that a champion should—using his low kick to punish Benny’s boxing and dominating the Romanian in the championship rounds. Rico described his performance as “okay,” and his perception is understandable—he is arriving at his best years but has by no means reached his peak.

4. Mourad Bouzidi belongs at light heavyweight.

Mourad Bouzidi could be one of the most overlooked fighters in kickboxing, and it’s easy to see why: for years Mourad competed as an undersized heavyweight who was bullied by the likes of Daniel Ghita and other giants. In spite of this, he holds wins against the likes of Anderson “Braddock” Silva and Hesdy Gerges. His victory over Filip Verlinden firmly establishes the weight class he needs to compete in; it is one of the biggest wins of his career, and for the first time, it puts him in a serious title conversation.

5. Other stories.

Zack Mwekassa picked up another KO win here, but this match-up really did nothing to further his place in the division. I think his place as #4 on the Glory rankings is completely absurd (#3 is Brian Collette—even more so). Zack is a nice guy with a great story who has awesome KO power, but we really need to see what Zack can do as a kickboxer. Drawing any of the guys who rank below him on the Glory rankings (c’mon!) will be a good test for him, but in particular, I would like to see him face Michael Duut, a Dutch kickboxer in need of a comeback fight.

Jamal Ben Saddik: what can I say, the heavyweight division is going to need more fighters for Rico Verhoeven to face, especially if Rico beats Braddock Silva. But is Ben Saddik really the right guy? After unceremoniously dismissing him following his disqualifying ground attack against Hesdy Gerges, Glory has taken him back, giving him an opponent to KO for his trouble. I don’t think that Glory should give unsportsmanlike conduct a bye. We’ve been down that road before with FEG rewarding Badr Hari’s repeated misconduct with the lightest of wrist slaps. I think Glory is far better off giving Ben Edwards a call next time.

Overall, it’s good to feel engaged with kickboxing again. Glory is producing events consistently now, and the narrative momentum is very palpable. The anticipation over Nieky Holzken’s return at Glory 23 is already building—as it should. The Hard Rock in Las Vegas is a tested venue for combat sports entertainment and is the home of Lion Fight, which regularly draws enthusiastic supporters to its Muay Thai events. Glory is putting together events which feature the right fighters in the right setting, and I look forward to Glory 23 with great anticipation.

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Rico Verhoeven Retains GLORY Heavyweight Championship at GLORY 22

  • Published in Glory

It was a monumental event for Heavyweight kickboxing at GLORY 22 when Rico Verhoeven defended his GLORY Heavyweight Championship against Benjamin Adegbuyi. It was the first real Heavyweight title bout for the new generation of heavyweights, accentuated by Semmy Schilt, Ernesto Hoost and Remy Bonjasky in attendance and presenting the winner with the belt. It was the battle of the knockout artist against the cardio and combination machine and it cemented Verhoeven's spot at the top of the food chain.

Many have been critical of Verhoeven in the past and he was looking to prove that he wouldn't be satisfied squeaking out a win, but instead wanted to dominate. Early on Adegbuyi came at him with everything that he had and most men would have fallen to those blows, but Verhoeven held steady. The Verhoeven that came back at Benny in rounds two and three was an angry one, highly motivated to not just let Adegbuyi tire out. Instead Verhoeven came at Adegbuyi with his fists flying and we had a war on our hands for a while.

Benny began to tire, though, and as the fight moved into the deep waters it was clear that Verhoeven was in the better condition and that his combinations were flowing just as easily as they were in the early rounds. It became a thing of beauty to watch Verhoeven slip strikes and land eloquent combinations against the Romanian slugger. Adegbuyi came back in the fifth round but it simply was too little, too late against the technical brilliance of Rico Verhoeven.

Verhoeven retains but Adegbuyi put on a valiant performance and shows that he belongs in the pantheon of top heavyweights right now.

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