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The Rumored Structure For This Year's GLORY Grand Slam Tournament

  • Published in News

Glory

We've been keeping our ears to the ground over the past few months in regards to everything GLORY, from possible television deals to upcoming shows to the format for their big Heavyweight tournament for this year. Last year's GLORY Grand Slam tournament was interesting, to say the least, using a one-night, sixteen man format with shorter rounds. It led to some quick action, but some of the more methodical, technical fighters like Remy Bonjasky were really hurt by such a ruleset and four fights in one night is just a lot of fights.

While some within the GLORY organization were steadfast in saying that they would repeat the format again this year, we've heard some conflicting reports on the format of the tournament. As GLORY gets closer to a larger American television deal (no insult to CBS Sports, but tape delay at 1am is simply not good enough for shows like this) they have to be concerned with time constraints and putting on a tighter, more unified production. GLORY already do a fantastic job with their pacing on their events, with the fights following each other in quick succession in a way that doesn't feel rushed, but natural. We can at least expect the quirks of last year's Grand Slam to not return.

So according to our source, who wishes to remain unnamed, this year's tournament will be shrunk down from sixteen men to just four to be able to properly fit on a two to three hour American television slot while putting on entertaining fights and being able to properly present the fighters to the audience. The first three participants will be based upon the GLORY World Rankings, although it should be noted that word is that Semmy Schilt will not participate. That means that Gokhan Saki, Daniel Ghita and Tyrone Spong are guaranteed spots in the tournament, with the fourth spot being a "Wildcard." That "Wildcard" spot will be determined by another tournament that will take place before the event, a Qualifying tournament. It is not clear who will participate in this tournament, but the next four in the rankings are Peter Aerts, Remy Bonjasky, Jerome Le Banner and Errol Zimmerman (although I believe that Rico Verhoeven is actually in that spot now after his win over Errol).

So, what do you think? Would you be upset to see the Final 8 format disappear, or is it time for something new?

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GLORY 19 Scheduled for February 6th in Hampton, Virginia

  • Published in Glory

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 World Series Press Conference and Weigh-Ins Video

  • Published in Kickboxing

If for some reason you were like me, that means that you were sleeping a few hours ago when the Glory World Series live presser went down. That is kind of a bummer, as it was live on YouTube for the whole world to watch, in English, and hosted by none other than Mauro Ranallo. Lucky for us who enjoy sleeping, the internet is a marvelous thing and it was archived. This means you can watch it at your leisure as you get hyped up for what is one of the biggest kickboxing weekends in a very long time.

What is important when watching this video is to note just how far Glory has come. This press conference was uber professional and exactly what you'd expect from a worldwide combat sports brand working its way to the top.

Don't forget to watch the Glory World Series live this Saturday morning at 10:00am Eastern time/7:00am Pacific time. If you are worried about where to watch it, well, never fear, as you don't have to leave the comfort of your chosen web browser or even leave this very site. Just load up this page right now and order the video by clicking on it and plonking down $15 USD. Seriously, if you don't have a problem buying multiple UFC PPVs a year to fund Dana White's Bruce Lee t-shirt collection, this should be no sweat. Help out Glory and help out LiverKick, by doing so you will help me expand my own Bruce Lee t-shirt collection, which as of right now is a lone shirt. I have to beat Dana White in this category guys, and you can help.

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LiverKick.com Interview with Errol "The Bonecrusher" Zimmerman

  • Published in Interviews

Errol Zimmerman

They call him "The Bonecrusher" and that’s exactly what he does. But more than just being a skilled fighter, Errol Zimmerman is a devoted father and a man with a vision for his future.

In a sport known for it's brutality, vicious knees, kicks and brutal knock-outs, I am always pleased to find how kind and well grounded many of its practitioners are. One such meeting was my encounter with Errol Zimmerman. During our time together we talked Glory, MMA, family and everything in between.

He is undisputedly one of the best heavyweights in kickboxing today and having fought professionally for the last twelve years, Zimmerman's record is a veritable who's who in the sport. He has notable wins over Mourad Bouzidi, Teixeira, and Gerges, LeBanner and Rico Verhoeven. Even on those occasions when he didn't win, Errol demonstrated that he could go the distance with greats like Aerts, Schilt, Bonjasky and Badr Hari. He has even tried his hand at MMA, facing off against Minowa in 2008. Regarding this match, Zimmerman looks back fondly at this fight and states that he went into the match thinking he would easily overtake this opponent who was much smaller. After a defeat via toe hold Zimmerman muses that he learned that the size of the man is not always the main determining factor in victory.

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Post-Glory 17 Matchmaking - Rematches galore

  • Published in Glory

As the dust settles after Glory's inaugural pay-per view event, I play role as matchmaker for the winners from this weekend’s epic night of fights.

Artem Levin vs. Joe Schilling III

Who honestly wouldn't want to see a third fight between these two? Levin was clearly the better man on Saturday however it was evident that Schilling was most definitely the most battle-worn going into the tournament final, after avenging previous losses over Wayne Barrett and Simon Marcus earlier in the night. A 5 round title fight later this year for the Glory Middleweight title seems like the perfect way to separate these two and would be a fitting end to a memorable trilogy for Glory. Expect to see it before the year is out.

Rico Verhoeven vs. Errol Zimmerman III

Verhoeven and Ghita’s rematch this weekend may not have been as exciting as the first meeting between the two, it finally cleared the air on who the number 1 heavyweight is as Verhoeven outpointed Ghita for a second time by Unanimous decision. Whilst many would argue that a third encounter between Verhoeven and Zimmerman would most likely play out similarly to their last fight, Zimmerman has since earned his right to fight for the belt by knocking out both Ben Edwards and Anderson Silva earlier this year to win the Glory Heavyweight contender tournament. It’s also worth noting that besides the champion Verhoeven and up and coming Romanian starlet Benjamin Adegbuyi, Zimmerman is the only other top 10 Heavyweight who is currently on a win streak. Zimmerman is owner of perhaps the most decisive loss of Verhoeven’s career, as he knocked out the champion in less than a minute back in 2012.

Joseph Valtellini vs. Nieky Holzken II

Whilst a few have disagreed with the decision, Joseph Valtellini became Glory's Welterweight champion this past Saturday with a split decision victory over now former champ Marc de Bonte. Valtellini controlled the first half of the fight by being the more active of the two fighters, with his best moment coming in the third as he sent De Bonte crashing to the mat courtesy of a right-high kick. De Bonte came alive after the knockdown though as the tide began to turn. De Bonte utilized his superb technical skills to pick away at Valtellini before an incredibly well timed step-in knee nearly separated Valtellini from consciousness. Although Valtellini recovered, it was clear he didn’t have much left in the tank, as de Bonte clearly won the last two rounds. Had it not been for Joe Schilling and Simon Marcus contributing a Fight of the Year candidate, the fight between De Bonte and Valtellini would probably have been most peoples pick for Fight of the Night. Although 'Bazooka' Joe will currently sit atop of Glory's stacked Welterweight division, most would argue that Dutchman Nieky Holzken is still guy to beat at 77kg. Holzken and Valtellini previously met last December, with Holzken finishing Valtellini with a crushing right-hook in the dying seconds of the fight.

Mirko Filipovic vs. Sergei Kharitonov

Kharitonov is still somewhat finding his feet in the Glory ring and has done relatively well in his short-stint thus far. Whilst a win over a 2014 Cro Cop doesn't do as much for Kharitonov's career as much as it would have a decade ago, Cro Cop is still 7-1 since returning to kickboxing in 2012 with the only loss coming consequence of controversial decision to the recently retired Remy Bonjasky. A victory for either guy will not likely propel them into title contention, it still allows to veterans of combat sports to finally do battle after years of competing on the same cards as each other.

Andy Ristie vs. Davit Kiria II

Like the other rematches I've listed above, this bout seems like a given. Ristie was cruising in their first bout before Kiria pulled off one of the upsets of 2014 with an incredible come from behind KO in the final round of their fight for the inaugural Glory Lightweight championship. Ristie put away No. 4 ranked Ky Hollenbeck, whom many thought would provide Ristie with one of the toughest tests of his career. Ristie passed the test with flying colors, destroying the American with a devastating left-hook a mere 30 seconds into the bout. Ristie seems as motivated as ever and will likely go into his rematch with Kiria as a substantial favorite.

Gabriel Varga vs. Mosab Amrani

Top Canadian featherweight Gabriel Varga cruised through his tournament field on Saturday night by handily beating Californian Shane Oblonsky and 19 year-old Yodkhunpon Sitmonchai, both by clear-cut Unanimous decision. Varga seemed to be in a league of his own at Glory 17, only losing a single round on one of the judge’s scorecards. Despite only being 5-5 in his last 10 kickboxing bouts, Moroccan Mosab Amrani has impressed greatly since signing with Glory last year, picking up victories over notables Liam Harrison, Marcos Vinicius and Yuta Kubo with his lone lose coming via a close decision to Masaaki Noiri in Tokyo last year. Not only does this bout make sense in terms of ranking and form, but also stylistically this bout would be a treat for the fans, as Varga would aim to utilize his speed and high output attack vs. Amrani's heavy-handed Muay Thai. This would be the ideal fight to crown Glory’s first ever Featherweight champion.

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

  • Published in Glory

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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Video: Rico Verhoeven Feels That He Can Knock Errol Zimmerman Out

  • Published in Glory

Rico Verhoeven gets a chance at redemption against Errol Zimmerman this weekend in New York City. This video interview released by Glory shows Rico talking about the upcoming bout and how he feels like Errol runs his mouth too much and that Rico has grown as a fighter since their last battle, with plans on knocking Zimmerman out.

Stranger things have happened and Zimmerman is both hot and cold at times. This could be a huge win for Verhoeven.

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GLORY 16 Primer: Heavyweight Tournament Predictions

  • Published in News

GLORY

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

Anderson Silva vs. Sergei Kharitonov

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

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

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

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

Errol Zimmerman vs. Ben Edwards

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

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

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

Errol Zimmerman should win this, though.

Finals

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

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Errol Zimmerman Taking Sabbatical From Kickboxing for Boxing

  • Published in Glory

It was perhaps a bit anticlimactic how the rematch between GLORY Heavyweight Champion Rico Verhoeven and Errol Zimmerman ended at GLORY 20, but it's hard to ignore the impact that it'll have for the coming years in the Heavyweight division in kickboxing. The fight ended with Zimmerman down on the mat, grasping at his knee in what was a worst case scenario for a warrior like him. Zimmerman is a guy who prides himself as being tough and if he's going to lose a fight he's going to actually lose it, not go down to injury. Yet that is exactly what happened.

We knew that Zimmerman would be out for a while, but it looks like Zimmerman will be taking a year off from kickboxing and much like Tyrone Spong who suffered a horrific leg injury against Gokhan Saki last year, Zimmerman will be returning to the ring as soon as he's healthy but will be doing so in professional boxing instead of kickboxing. 

In an interview with Dutch FunX Zimmerman announced that he will need to take at least a year off from kickboxing to heal up his knee, but that he doesn't intend to just sit idly by and wait to return to the ring. Instead he'll focus on professional boxing much like we've seen from the likes of other GLORY stars like Marc de Bonte, Nieky Holzken and Tyrone Spong. Here's hoping that all goes well with his recovery and we get to see him in the ring again soon, even if it is a boxing ring.

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Inside Glory 19: Rico Verhoeven Vs Errol Zimmerman

  • Published in Glory

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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