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Glory 18: Extended Trailer and Zack Mwekassa Pre Fight Interview

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

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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Glory 18: Kiria Vs Van Roosmalen and Saulo Cavalari Hype Videos

We are 3 weeks away from Glory 18, which means its time for the hype videos to begin. First of all we have the title fight between Robin van Roosmalen and Davit Kiria. Glory has given us their version of a small 24/7 type video for these 2 fighters. I can't help but feel that Roosmalen is a big favourite in this fight considering he has already beaten Kiria twice, both times by unanimous decision. Then again I think most people including myself underestimated the Georgian fighter against Ristie and we all saw how that went. The difference is Ristie is known to get tired in fights, he used to even have a hard time with 3 round fights, but hes adapted to those, where as Roosmalen has never really had a problem with his cardio, so the whole weather the storm game plan won't work this time for Kiria. I'd say Kiria has to capitalize on Roosmalen standing flat footed in front of him, he will have to move in and out and not get sucked into standing and trading combos or else hes likely to have a bad night.

Secondly we have a pre fight interview with Brazilian Saulo "Cassius Clay" Cavalari. He has probably the hardest first fight of the tournament against the favourite Danyo Ilunga. If he can get past Ilunga in the first fight he has a good chance to win the whole thing, Unless Mwekassa's left uppercut puts a dent in those plans.

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Danyo Ilunga Replaces Artem Vakhitov at GLORY 18

It's time to focus on something a bit more productive, don't you think? What could be more productive than GLORY 18's Light Heavyweight Contender tournament set to take place on November 7th in Oklahoma City? With less than a month to go there has been a major change to the event with Artem Vakhitov suffering a minor injury. While Vakhitov will be fine to compete in a few weeks this injury has made it difficult for him to prepare for the fight in November, with him having to pull out.

His replacement is none other than former It's Showtime 95kg Champion Danyo Ilunga of Germany. Ilunga was a finalist in the GLORY 9 Light Heavyweight tournament where he fought Tyrone Spong in a fight that saw Spong victorious. Since then Ilunga has had two first round stoppages within the GLORY ring and most than deserves this spot in the tournament. 

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Glory 18 Rumored Super Fight Series

Well Glory themselves have not put the super fight series on their website yet but we have heard some rumors, not to mention there are super fights listed on the page that you purchase tickets online. So lets say these are the rumored but not yet official fights for the superfight series for Nov 7th in Oklahoma.

Randy Blake had to be on the card considering Oklahoma is his home town, he will be taking on fellow American Warren Thompson. Both fighters have lost to Brian Collette in Glory, and Blake is on a 2 fight losing streak so he will be looking to get back in the win column in front of his home town fans.

There are 2 Canadians on the card Robert Thomas and Josh Jauncey. Both had their Glory debuts at Glory 16 in Denver and both fighters were thrown in with very experienced opponents. Robert Thomas was put in with #1 ranked at the time and now Middleweight champion Artem Levin. He put up a good fight and took Levin to a decision, but the skill and experience difference was obvious. This time he will take on USA's Mike Lemaire which will be much closer fight in the experience department. Josh Jauncey fought Dutch veteran Warren Stevelmans, who had over 4 times more fights than him. This was one of the best fights on the super fight series in Denver, Jauncey got dropped hard early in the first round with a big left hook but once he got up and realized he had to move Stevelmans really couldn't hit him again. It ended up being a draw, forcing the fighters to go an extra round, where we saw a younger fresher Jauncey outpoint the veteran. Now he is set to fight Korean K-1 Max veteran Jae Gil Noh, when he fought for K-1 he often went by the name "K-Max". He has fought a lot of top fighters including Albert Kraus but he usually fell short against them. He has a strong straight forward style and double the amount of fights that Jauncey does.

Now on to the Heavyweights, Hesdy Gerges vs. Benjamin Adegbuyi, I feel this has a high possibility of being fight of the night. The Romanian Adegbuyi has looked amazing lately, he absolutely dominated Daniel Sam at Glory 16 Denver and technically looked pretty much perfect. I'm very excited to see him take the step up and fight a higher ranked opponent. Hesdy Gerges is on a 3 fight win streak and has been a top 10 heavyweight for quite sometime. He is a tough fight for anyone but often gets into a habit of standing in front of people and covering up, against AdegBuyi this would not be wise considering the Romanians movement and technical combos, standing still will not work. I am very curious to see how this fight plays out and to see how Adegbuyi handles Gerge's relentless pressure and low kicks.

Rumored Super fight series

Omari Boyd vs. Ian Alexander

Josh Jauncey vs. Jae-Gil Noh

Robert Thomas vs. Mike Lemaire

Randy Blake vs. Warren Thompson

Hesdy Gerges vs. Benjamin Adegbuyi

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Joe Schilling Reveals That GLORY Let His Contract Expire

Ah jeez, here we go, right? It came out last week that GLORY 10 Middleweight Champion and GLORY Last Man Standing finalist Joe Schilling would be fighting for Bellator on Spike TV. Joe had made it known for a while now that he was looking into making the jump back into MMA and has been training with some of the best of the best just in case the opportunity came up. Needless to say it wasn't a shock to hear that Scott Coker had eyes for Schilling and that Schilling will be fighting Melvin Manhoef on the undercard of the Stephan Bonnar vs. Tito Ortiz event on November 15th. 

GLORY issued a statement through us from GLORY CEO Jon J. Franklin about an agreement of sorts between Bellator and GLORY to exchange talent with Schilling vs. Manhoef being the first such fight. It turns out that Joe Schilling has another story, one that involves the company letting his contract expire without talks of renewing and that they had absolutely nothing to do with his move to Bellator outside of being unresponsive to him. 

"We thought that there was another fight on the contract, but after going back over it, it was a two-fight guaranteed with a third-fight option," Schilling explained. "My contract expired along with Spong's and Saki's. So GLORY is taking credit on the internet -- Liverkick did a write up about it -- trying to give GLORY credit for co-promoting it or allowing me to go. They had absolutely nothing to do with it. I'm a free agent. My contract expired and Bellator offered me a good deal and we took it, but it had absolutely nothing to do with GLORY."

"We've been told they want to start to negotiate a new one, but nothing is happening with that yet. They allowed my contract to expire. Bellator offered me a new one and we took it. The wording in the Bellator contract does allow me to fight outside of Bellator for kickboxing. It doesn't have to be just GLORY, there are other promotions available as well. I'm out of my contract with GLORY, this deal had nothing to do with GLORY and It's kind of shocking to me that they would let my contract expire."

Here's hoping that we see Joe back in a kickboxing ring again soon.

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Joe Schilling Entering the Bellator Ring Against Melvin Manhoef, the Beginning of a New Relationship

GLORY Middleweight Joe Schilling is no stranger to the world of Mixed Martial Arts, dabbling in the sport early on in his fight career before he found his home in the worlds of muay thai and most recently kickboxing. His success and popularity in the GLORY ring is undeniable, with him being one of the few breakaway stars that have come from GLORY's march onto Spike TV over the past year. It's no surprise that there are other people interested in Joe's services, especially the team of Rich Chou and Scott Coker in Bellator.

Coker's experience with making stars out of kickboxers can be traced back to current UFC star Cung Le, who Coker promoted as a San Shou star in the Bay Area, then in kickboxing fights and ultimately MMA bouts. Coker and Chou pushed a lot of kickboxers heavily in Strikeforce and look to be continuing the trend with additions like Melvin Manhoef and Paul Daley. Now GLORY's star Joe Schilling is set to move into the Bellator ring, the first time that a GLORY star will appear in the Bellator cage to represent GLORY. It turns out that Joe Schilling will be fighting fellow GLORY Middleweight slugger Melvin Manhoef.

We spoke with GLORY's CEO Jon J. Franklin about the historic fight and it seems like there have been some discussions between GLORY and Bellator and that we can expect to see more cooperation between the two organizations in the future. 

"Glory embraces our athletes competing in Bellator MMA.  We are entering a new era for Bellator and for us. There is the obvious overlap in our athletes and fan base and we anticipate that several of our kickboxers will compete in Bellator and that Bellator MMA athletes will test themselves in GLORY. We are both part of the SPIKE family and see this as a great opportunity to share our world class talent in both organizations. "

Add this in with Franklin talking about possibly running GLORY events the same night as Bellator events on Spike TV and the move to Friday nights and it looks like there is some synergy between the two brands, which is a good thing for combat sports fans. 

Joe Schilling vs. Melvin Manhoef is scheduled for November 15th.

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Daniel Ghita Leaves Seconds Out Gym

If there was one criticism that I had for Daniel Ghita it would probably be that Daniel Ghita needs to find a trainer and a gym and stick with them for a while. Daniel Ghita when we first saw him in K-1 was raw clay, he was unfinished and ready to be molded. That was where Anil Dubar came into play, all of a sudden Daniel Ghita's hands were tighter. He was throwing not only combinations, but solid combinations. He was defending, he was mixing up his levels and his strikes and he was waiting for the right moment to pounce. 

This is what Daniel Ghita could do when he was put with a coach who was willing to put in the work with him, this is what happens when Daniel Ghita is training like a professional. Then, all of a sudden, things went south with Dubar and Ghita was in the market for a new trainer after a few losses. It made sense, kind of, because Daniel Ghita needed to change things up. So then the switch was made to Seconds Out Gym in Almere with Eric Warmerdam. Now Daniel Ghita has announced that he is no longer training there.

It'll be interesting to see where Ghita ends up next.

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GLORY's CEO Talks About Saki, Spong and GLORY's Return

For those that were doubting the validity of the GLORY 18 news, it gets no more real than the CEO of the company talking about it on the internet. GLORY 18 is indeed set for November 7th in Oklahoma and will feature the much-anticipated rematch between GLORY Lightweight Champion Davit Kiria and Robin van Roosmalen. Also on the card will be a Light Heavyweight contender's tournament featuring some of GLORY's top Light Heavyweights.

GLORY CEO Jon Franklin spoke with our bud Michael Stets over at MMAMania and there were a few interesting things that he dropped in it, most of which were the confirmations that GLORY Light Heavyweight Champion Gokhan Saki and would-be number one contender Tyrone Spong are no longer under contract with the organization, but are in a negotiation process. It's the kind of public admittance that we've come to not expect, but it's refreshing to see. 

A few points to take away:

  • GLORY admits to retuning and maybe even scaling back on the scope of the events
  • Re-evaluating some of the contracts to fit in better with television performance
  • The SuperFight Series stays, for now, due to how many countries it is carried in
  • The Spike TV deal extends well into 2015
  • One our two more shows for 2014
  • The plan is for ten or eleven shows in 2015
  • The move to Friday nights is premeditated and an attempt to "cash in" on Bellator's regular Friday night spot
  • GLORY is open to working with Bellator in the future, possibly having shows on the same night on Spike TV
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Glory 18 Officially Announced

Finally the silence is over and the time that most of us Kickboxing fans have been waiting for has arrived. Glory have officially announced Glory 18 at the Grand Casino Hotel and Resort in Oklahoma City on November 7th and will once again be Live on Spike TV. It's great to put all the rumors that have been circulating about Glory being finished to rest and now look forward and spread the word about their next event. 

The main card is pretty much the same as we posted yesterday with the exception of Artem Vakhitov taking Andre Stoica's place in the tournament. I would have to say that Vakhitov would be the favourite to win the tournament based on what he has shown us in Glory so far. There will still be undercard fights to announce that I'm sure Glory will announce throughout the next little while. Now that Glory has done their job, we need to do ours as Kickboxing and Combat sports fans and make sure this event is packed and the ratings are high.

Here is the main card once again and the Link to the event.

GLORY 18: RETURN TO GLORY

Tournament Final Bout: Semifinal Bout A Winner vs. Semifinal Bout B Winner

Headline Bout: Davit Kiria vs. Robin van Roosmalen

Co-Headline Bout: Wayne Barrett vs. Jason Wilnis

Tournament Semifinal Bout A: Saulo Cavalari vs. Artem Vakhitov

Tournament Semifinal Bout B: Brian Collette vs. Zack Mwekassa

 

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