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GLORY 31 SuperFight Series and Main Card Results

GLORY returns to Amsterdam for GLORY 31, featuring the big rematch between Lightweight Champion Robin van Roosmalen and challenger Sitthichai Sitsongpeenong. Also fighting will be Ismael Londt against Hesdy Gerges and a welterweight tournament. The SuperFight Series will see a new Light Heavyweight Champion crowned, another Women's Grand Prix bout as well as the debut of Saenchai and Josh Jauncey against Anatoly Moiseev.

GLORY 31 

Lightweight Title: Sittichai Sitsongpeenong (R5 - Split Decision) Robin van Roosmalen(C) -- Much like the first fight, this one was pretty close and the result left people wondering. Sitthichai very clearly won rounds 1 and 2. Robin clearly won 4 and 5. Round 3 everyone seems split. I'm not upset about this, because it was a closer fight than their last one, although I could have easily seen Robin getting the win here for sheer volume alone. Robin clearly disagreed with the decision and stormed out after the decision was announced. With him already talking about perhaps pursuing MMA full time I wouldn't be shocked if this is what sends me packing from kickboxing, although that would be a shame. 

Welterweight Finals: Murthel Groenhart (R3 - Decision) Yoann Kongolo -- Close first round, close second round and then Murthel connected with a huge flying knee that put Kongolo down. He followed up with a flurry of strikes and continued after the bell, much to everyone's chagrin. Groenhart controlled the rest of the fight and got the win, then took the mic from Todd Grisham, climbed the turnbuckles and called out Nieky Holzken.

Ismael Londt (R3 - Split Decision) Hesdy Gerges -- This was a closely-contested bout, probably should have had an extra round, but Hesdy looked great. Londt was stumbling around a lot. Something about his fighting style is just really ugly and hard to enjoy. Stefano Valenti is a terrible, terrible referee. Every time he's in the ring there is a fear that he'll ruin the fight. In this fight he docked both fighters a point in the third round for clinching. What? Why is this man allowed to ruin fights?

Semifinal: Yoann Kongolo (R3 - Split Decision) Harut Grigorian -- Solid back-and-forth with both guys throwing heavy leather at each other. It really could have gone either way, but Kongolo picked up the victory.

Semifinal: Murthel Groenhart (R3 - TKO) Karim Benmansour -- Benmansour did his best against Murthel and survived some scary stuff, but Murthel threw everything at him before scoring the TKO in the third round.

SUPERFIGHT SERIES

Interim Light Heavyweight Title: Zack Mwekassa (R1 - TKO) Mourad Bouzidi -- Bouzidi has had problems getting knocked out in the past, but it was usually against heavyweights. At Light Heavyweight and even Middleweight he's shown a lot more resilience. But I doubt many in these weight classes hit like Zack Mwekassa. Zack Mwekassa just steamrolled through him with three big knockdowns.

Saenchai PKSaenchaiMuayThaiGym (R3 - Decision) Eddy Nait-Slimani -- The real story of this fight was Stefano Valenti making crap calls. Saenchai was kind of trolling the ref for a while there, but a crappy point deduction in the second made this closer than it had any right to be. Saenchai is a next level talent, a once-in-a-lifetime talent and he really was having fun out there.

Women’s Grand Prix: Isis Verbeek (R3 - Decision) Irina Mazepa -- If this wasn't a hometown decision, then the judges weren't watching the fight. Verbeek looked okay in the first round, but in the second round Mazepa was finding her chin with ease, had her backing up for the next two rounds and was just winning the fight.

Anatoly Moiseev (R3 - Decision) Josh Jauncey -- This is a fight that you absolutely need to see. This wasn't a crazy bout where guys were getting dropped left and right, this was a taught, technical battle between what is very clearly two of the most skilled Lightweights in the world. It was a round apiece going into the third and Moiseev snuck his right hook through Jauncey's defenses and stunned him, which pretty much won him the round. This was kickboxing at it's best. Both guys have a very high ceiling to their careers.

Eyevan Danenberg (R3 - Decision) Maximo Suarez -- Poor Maximo. He's just really undersized at Welterweight. Eyevan was towering over him, lording over him with his reach. Maximo got knocked down in R2, which more or less sealed the deal for Danenberg's victorious debut.

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Van Roosmalen vs. Sitthichai II: A King and His Potential Usurper

(C) GLORY Sports International

For many years the Lightweight (70kg/MAX) division was one of the most competitive in all of professional kickboxing. For good reason, too; K-1 was the world’s largest kickboxing organization and they opted to go with 70kg as their big, second weight class, built around a handsome young talent named Masato. For years fans got to watch as fighters like Masato, Andy Souwer, Buakaw Banchamek, Mike Zambidis and Giorgio Petrosyan wowed crowds with their amazing fights and dominated the landscape of the packed division. 

The division was richer than K-1’s heavyweight division, which tended to be the same 12 or so fighters competing each year with another four fighters swapping out periodically. When everything changed back in 2010 it was promotions like It’s Showtime that were the vanguards for a change in kickboxing by highlighting multiple weight classes and establishing champions across all of them. It was there that Robin van Roosmalen got his first chance to show the world what he was made of, all during a time when the climate was perfect for a new champion to rise.

Giorgio Petrosyan was the undisputed king of the 70kg division at the time, with back-to-back K-1 World MAX championships and a nearly spotless record that went along with his slick style he looked unbeatable. The only thing that could stop Petrosyan was a recurring hand injury that left him sidelined. When It’s Showtime was planning their 70kg MAX Fast & Furious tournament it was going to highlight all of the best talent in the world, with Petrosyan as the showcase. Many had predicted an Andy Souwer vs. Giorgio Petrosyan showdown, with the winner settling the score once and for all as to who really was the king of the division.

Yet none of it worked out that way.

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Badr Hari Reportedly to be in Attendance for GLORY 31

In perhaps one of the more interesting developments for GLORY of late, Badr Hari will be in attendance at GLORY 31, as will Rico Verhoeven. Verhoeven will be there for Spike TV Netherlands, being an on-air personality for Spike TV in the Netherlands. Rumor has it that he'll be attempting to interview Badr Hari live on air as well, which would be immensely interesting. 

This would serve as a great opportunity to announce Badr Hari vs. Rico Verhoeven, live from the Netherlands, but don't get your hopes up just yet. Until we've heard that the fight is official a ton of stuff could happen in the meantime.

(Source)

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GLORY Parting Ways with Former Champion Artem Levin

(C) GLORY

In a move that should surprise no one, GLORY has opted not to be in the Artem Levin business any further. Artem Levin's last bout for the organization was against Simon Marcus in a bout for the GLORY Middleweight Championship that ended in controversy when Levin simply walked out after feeling that the referee was being too harsh on him while being lenient on Marcus. This has rustled feathers of some, claiming that Levin walking out was unprofessional, while others saw what he saw in that the referee completely decided who was going to win the fight and wanted nothing to do with it. 

To us, that looked like the last time that we'd see Levin in a GLORY ring and thanks to words from Jon J. Franklin over at MMAMania, it's official. Artem Levin's contract has expired and GLORY has opted not to negotiate with him or prevent him from looking elsewhere. Essentially, Levin is free to go as he wishes and won't be competing for GLORY anymore. 

Simon Marcus and Artem Levin are not a good pairing, the fights that we've gotten have always been a mess and I'm not sure what people expected of this last fight. Levin was a solid champion for GLORY and is, without a doubt, one of the best fighters in that weight class. Recent shifts over the past few months meant that the top three fighters in the division; Marcus, Levin and Schilling, will now not be competing under the same roof. 

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Glory 31- Super Fight Series Fight Breakdown

Glory 31 super fight series will be airing live on UFC fight pass next saturday morning at 10:30 am PST/1:30 pm EST. Since its coming up quick I figured it was about that time to breakdown the fights a little.

Zack Mwekassa vs Mourad Bouzidi

The main event puts power punching, South African Zack Mwekassa against a real kickboxing veteran Mourad Bouzidi. I feel like the biggest thing in this fight is Bouzidi has to really avoid being hit cleanly. Bouzidi has the experience, and the kicks but his chin doesn't always hold up to big punches. If Bouzidi can keep his hands up, feet moving and keep consistent low kicks he will have a good night. As for Mwekassa he needs to use his jab to set up his big left hook, uppercut, or right hand. I don't think just throwing big haymakers will work on someone with the experience Mourad has, but if he can set something up and land a clean punch his power will hurt Bouzidi.

Saenchai vs Eddy Nait-Slimani

First of all I want to mention how excited I am for Saenchai to be kickboxing for Glory but Nait-Slimani will not be an easy fight by any means. In his Glory debut Slimani put on a masterful performance against Maykol Yurk, he showed beautiful spinning back kicks, front kicks to the face, and great timing. These are all techniques that Saenchai uses, plus many more. There have been many times I thought Saenchai was in for a hard fight and he made it look easy, but he has also done the opposite and had a little trouble in fights I expected him not to. Slimani needs to push the pace on Saenchai and not allow him to get a rhythm. Saenchai is not young anymore and I think Slimani can tire him out with lots of pressure and fast combinations followed by low kicks. Saenchai well, he will just be himself as always and entertain us no matter what happens, he will just have to be aware of Glory's clinching rules.

Isis Verbeek vs Irina Mazepar

This is an interesting fight in Glory's new female bantamweight division. Isis Verbeek is the faster fighter with more combinations and higher pace. Irina Mazepa is the harder hitting fighter who plods a little and finds good, hard shots to land. Mazepa has been focusing a little on MMA having two fights in One Championship last year, in my opinion this takes away from a fighters overall kickboxing game as they now have to focus a lot on their ground game plus training 5 minute rounds for MMA all the time is a much slower pace than 3 minute kickboxing rounds. If Verbeek pushes the pace I can't help but feel that Mazepa will be in rough shape by the last round, but Mazepa has the power so Verbeek will have to make sure she doesn't run into something as she tends to keep her chin quite high.

Josh Jauncey vs Anatoly Moiseev

Well I am not going to go into too much strategy for this fight since Josh is my brother and ill end up giving away game plans, but I can say that this could easily end up being  a candidate for fight of the night if not fight of the year. Both of them are young, hungry fighters with amazing technique, speed, and power. Moiseev suffered his first pro loss ever at the hands of Marat Grigorian earlier this year but since then has scored a huge KO over Serginio Kanters at Kunlun so his confidence should be back up. Jauncey is coming off two of his best performances ever, a TKO win over Johan Tkac and a head kick KO over Xu Yan. To say I'm excited about this fight is an understatement.

Maximo Suarez vs Eyevan Danenberg

Maximo Suarez is looking to rebound from his loss to Harut Grigorian where he just stood and traded which eventually led to his demise. Against Danenberg he will need to fight smart, Danenberg is a very tall, lanky fighter with good skills. Hes had some Pro boxing fights so his hands are good and he sets up his knees and low kicks well. Suarez will need to get inside and throw his fast combos or else he will get jabbed and kneed all night.

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Rumors About Badr Hari vs. Rico Verhoeven Heating Up After Dutch TV Appearance

GLORY Heavyweight Champion Rico Verhoeven appeared on Dutch TV today (Monday) where the topic once again went towards the potential dream bout between Verhoeven and Badr Hari. Hari, the troubled former K-1 star, has been stealing headlines over the past few years for his antics outside of the ring more than inside of the ring. It's been known that Hari wants to have one last, big bout and that Verhoeven has become the logical target for his retirement bout. 

Since the initial appearance of Verhoeven on Dutch TV where he was pressed if that fight could happen it has been one of the bigger stories in kickboxing. We've seen smaller, relative-unknown promotions take to social media to brag about making "serious" offers for the fight along with rudimentary graphics and an attempt to hype up fans only for nothing to materialize. There have also been rumors that someone in China and Russia have put forth offers, but the chances of Rico taking a fight in Kadyrov's den seem thin and if you understand the market in China, while they are in a boom, it's still not quite what many fans believe it to be when it comes to actual money. The reality here is that GLORY has been the only potential home for the fight since the beginning. Verhoeven has been in negotiations for a contract renewal and his desire to take this fight has played a big part in those negotiations. 

Verhoeven has been playing the field a bit, but outside of an exclusive offer from the UFC it seems likely that he'll fight in the GLORY ring once more while being given his leave to pursue MMA as well. 

Verhoeven's appearance on PepTalk today included confirmation that if the fight is to happen that it'll be under the GLORY banner. Mike Passenier called into the show and more information was shared on just how close things really are. There has been a formal offer, lawyers would be looking over everything next week but Badr would need time to prepare. Andreas at MMAPlus has a translations from the show.

“[The fight] It is very realistic. We have spoken with the lawyers today. Next week we will sit down with the lawyers of GLORY. Then we will know if it will be arranged. But we never said that we didn’t want to fight,” spoke Passenier.

He added: “We always want to fight, that’s not a problem, but Badr needs four or five months in order to prepare. Besides, the fight still needs to be promoted, that also takes time.”

The decisive factor here will be Badr Hari's legal status and the timeline for the fight. If the fight can happen before Badr has to serve the remainder of his prison term or is brought up on charges for the Moroccan assault incident, things seem more likely. 

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GLORY 31 Sees Major Changes: Saenchai Debut, Interim Light Heavyweight Title

Big news today as the upcoming GLORY 31 has had a few changes to the SuperFight Series portion of the card. Mosab Amrani has been forced to pull out of his fight with Eddy Nait-Slimani and in perhaps one of the best late replacements ever announced, Saenchai will be taking his place. Yes, that Saenchai. Eddy Nait-Slimani went from having to face a popular Dutch fighter in the Netherlands to having to fight a living legend in Saenchai PKSaenchaiMuayThaiGym. Ouch.

Another change is that due to Artem Vakhitov suffering an injury, he'll be out for an undisclosed amount of time. That means that Zack Mwekassa vs. Mourad Bouzidi is now for the Interim Light Heavyweight Championship. If that seems like a bit of a sudden decision, remember that Gokhan Saki held the GLORY Light Heavyweight title for 471 days without a single defense and GLORY is looking to keep their titles active. They've promised a bout between Vakhitov and the winner here when Vakhitov is healthy. 

GLORY 31 SuperFight Series

Light Heavyweight Interim Title Headline Bout: Zack Mwekassa vs. Mourad Bouzidi

Featherweight Bout: Saenchai PKSaenchaiMuayThaiGym vs. Eddy Naït-Slimani

Super Bantamweight Bout: Isis Verbeek vs. Irina Mazepa

Lightweight Bout: Josh Jauncey vs. Anatoly Moiseev

Welterweight Bout: Máximo Suarez vs. Eyevan Danenberg

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GLORY 32 SuperFight Series: Chopper's Comin'

After being forced to pull out of a recent bout with Guto Inocente, Chi-Lewis Parry will finally be making his return to the GLORY ring at GLORY 32 on Friday, July 22nd in Virginia against Maurice Greene. That will be an interesting fight as Greene is coming off of a loss to Anderson "Braddock" Silva, but will be looking to dust himself off and take a win from the mouthy Brit. Chopper, on the other hand, he's just always itching for a fight. Francois Ambang returns after making it to the finals of the GLORY 30 qualifying tournament only to lose a close decision to Richard Abraham. 

Brian Collette will once again step into the GLORY ring against Karl Roberson who has had a rather rough go of things of late. The next Super Bantamweight bout will also happen between Funda Alkayis taking on Vanessa De Waele.

Oh yeah, and Shane Oblonsky will be back in action against Giga Chikadze in what is looking to be the best match-up on the entire card thus far. That really should be an incredible fight.

GLORY 32 SuperFight Series

Heavyweight Headline Bout: Chi Lewis-Parry vs. Maurice Greene

Welterweight Co-Headline Bout: Francois Ambang vs. Marcus Fisher

Light Heavyweight Bout: Brian Collette vs. Karl Roberson

Super Bantamweight Bout: Funda Alkayis vs. Vanessa De Waele

Featherweight Bout: Shane Oblonsky vs. Giga Chikadze

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Changes to the GLORY 31 SuperFight Series

Hot on the heels of the announcement that Iman Barlow was pulling out of the GLORY Super Bantamweight tournament and, subsequently, her bout on June 25th at GLORY 31's SuperFight Series, GLORY has released a revised fight card for the GLORY 31 SuperFight Series. Filling in for Iman Barlow will be reserve fighter Irina Mazepa. Another big change comes to the headline bout of the card, originally slated to be a GLORY Light Heavyweight Championship bout between Mourad Bouzidi challenging champion Artem Vakhitov. 

Vakhitov has been forced to pull out thanks to an injury that he suffered in training and instead Zack Mwekassa will be stepping in to fight Mourad Bouzidi. 

GLORY 31 SuperFight Series

Light Heavyweight Headline Bout: Zack Mwekassa vs. Mourad Bouzidi

Lightweight Co-Headline Bout: Josh Jauncey vs. Anatoly Moiseev

Featherweight Bout: Mosab Amrani vs. Eddy Naït-Slimani

Super Bantamweight Bout: Isis Verbeek vs. Irina Mazepa

Welterweight Bout: Máximo Suarez vs. Eyevan Danenberg

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