Shane Oblonksy will be entering the Glory ring for the first time on June 21st to fight for the the featherweight contender belt. Not only will this be Oblonsky's first time in the Glory ring, but also his first tournament. He is coming into this four man tournament as one of the least experienced with 8 wins and 2 losses as a professional. He did beat Malaipet Sasiprapa who has over 179 fights in March of this year, which shows he can deal with crafty veterans. Oblonsky's first fight will be against the Brazilian Marcus Vinicius. Their professional records are almost identical but Vinicius has been on the Glory stage before against the very dangerous and #1 ranked Mosab Amrani where he lost by decision.
Oblonsky has shown he has big power for this weight class, so aslong as the Californian does not let the pressure of the big stage get to him and does not get too wild, i feel he can give any of Glory's featherweights a great fight.
When it comes to conventional wisdom how to make Kickboxing take off in the United States everyone always says the same thing; you need an American star. You need an American star, that is what everyone thinks, so therefore that is what it needs. That is sound logic, but the only thing is, when we look at the recent history of breakthrough stars in combat sports, we don’t see just Americans. Sure, Floyd Mayweather, Jr. is American and Oscar De La Hoya is American (but he associates as Mexican for many), but Manny Pacquiao is definitely not American, nor were many of the big UFC Champions.
So of course, you can’t talk UFC champions without talking about Georges St-Pierre, the Canadian former Welterweight Champion who was one of the UFC’s few “big” stars. Chuck Liddell, Tito Ortiz and a few others were important, sure, but GSP proved to be a real, tangible draw for the company and he wasn’t American. GSP was from Canada, he was also responsible for their biggest live gate in history.
GLORY continues its search for their breakthrough star and the feeling that I’ve been getting over the past few months is that as much as conventional wisdom tells me that it’ll be Joe Schilling or Wayne Barrett, the evidence has been pouring in that Canada’s Joseph Valtellini might indeed be that guy. Joe Valtellini might be the guy to break through and become a big star.
It’s difficult not to make parallels to the UFC’s own Georges St-Pierre, the humble Canadian fighter who was educated, well-spoken, personable, marketable as well as incredibly talented. If you were to tick off boxes in favor of Valtellini you’d be able to tick off every single one of those boxes. It isn’t crazy to think that GLORY’s big breakthrough star could be a Canadian fighter who is marketable, talented, educated and everything that you’d want in a fighter.
While speaking to Valtellini this week we even discussed how he’s never fought in his home country of Canada as a professional, in part due to that the Toronto area has yet to legalize professional Kickboxing. They were late to the game with legalizing MMA, but when they did and promoted a GSP fight they found themselves packing 55,000 fans into the Roger’s Centre in the UFC’s biggest gate to date, with it looking like the record won’t be broken for a very long time. Valtellini wants to be not only important to the sport of Kickboxing, but to his home of Canada as well. One would have to think that Canada could potentially be for GLORY what it has been for MMA in creating stars and passionate fight fans.
I’m sure you’ve noticed by now, but Joseph Valtellini is popping up everywhere. Interviews, television shows, all over social media and is being discussed by not only fans of Kickboxing, but fight fans everywhere. There is a general feeling that he’s going to take off and very soon. GLORY definitely needs that sharp, articulate fighter to present to the world and if Joseph Valtellini can do the work in the ring against Marc de Bonte on June 21st it’ll be interesting to see what the response is, because he hasn’t fought in a few months, but everyone is still talking about him already. If he becomes champion I only imagine it’ll be intensified.
It’s not a far stretch to imagine that Joseph Valtellini could be for GLORY what GSP was for the UFC.
On June 21st Wayne Barrett will do battle in the GLORY Last Man Standing tournament live on PPV. Barrett will be fighting Romanian sensation Bogdan Stoica in the first round of the Last Man Standing tournament, taking on the winner of Joe Schilling vs. Simon Marcus later that evening. Needless to say, this is the biggest night of Wayne Barrett's Kickboxing career by a long stretch. Phoenix Carnevale of Everything Martial Arts hit the gym with Wayne Barrett where he gives some insight into his training and mindset.
Definitely worth the watch.
It's just nine days away now from GLORY 17 and GLORY Last Man Standing and for those outside of the US who are looking for a way to watch the events live, look no further than here on LiverKick. You'll be able to purchase and watch both events live via the embeds below. GLORY 17 begins at 8pm Eastern time on June 21st while Last Man Standing begins at 10pm Eastern time.
Last Man Standing is available to those in the United States who wish to order it through here instead of through a cable system.
GLORY Last Man Standing