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Glory (488)'s Glory 24 Predicitions

With Glory 24 in Denver just around the corner we figured it was a good time to do some predictions on the show and find out everyone else's opinions as well. All the fights on the main card seem quite well matched which always makes predictions a little more difficult. For example the main event between Joe Schilling and Jason Wilnis you could look at 2 ways. First of all with Joe Schilling you know you can expect excitement but sometimes that comes at the expense of his chin which makes him unpredictable. Also Schilling has never really fought a true dutch kickboxer in a kickboxing match, so we don't know how he will handle the constant forward pressure. On the other hand with Wilnis he never really changes his game plan which works for him most of the time, until he faces someone tricky and different like Artem Levin. So the "safe bet" you could say is Wilnis, but then you can never count out Schillings power and unpredictability.

Now the tournament is also a tough one, lets start with Benjamin Adegbuyi vs Mladen Brestovac. First of all if you don't know much about Brestovac check out his fight with Jahfarr Wilnis at Glory 14 in Zagreb HERE. Those type of high kicks from a heavyweight can change the outcome of any fight so Adegbuyi will have to make sure to keep his hands tight and out box Brestovac all fight. Then we have Ben Edwards vs Jahfarr Wilnis, when I look at this fight I feel the biggest factor at the moment is activity. Wilnis has been fighting consistently in china and recently became the Kun Lun heavyweight tournament champion by defeating Hesdy Gerges in the final, where as Ben Edwards has been boxing a little lately but hasn't had a kickboxing fight since Glory's last time in Denver which is well over a year ago, but Edwards always has one punch KO power and a huge heart.


Joe Schilling vs Jason Wilnis (JJ - Wilnis / DW - Joe)

Wayne Barrett vs Dustin Jacoby (JJ - Barrett / DW - Barrett)

Benjamin Adegbuyi vs Mladen Brestovac (JJ - Adegbuyi / DW - Adegbuyi)

Ben Edwards vs Jahfarr Wilnis (JJ - Wilnis / DW - Edwards)

Tournament Winner ( JJ - Adegbuyi / DW - Adegbuyi)



Year-End Mega Show GLORY 26 Amsterdam Announced

If your itch for a mega show just wasn't scratched by Dynamite you are in for some very, very good news. Today GLORY announced that on December 4th at RAI Amsterdam they will be throwing one of their biggest shows to date with GLORY 26. The event is to be headlined by two huge title fights featuring Dutch champions. The first is GLORY Heavyweight Champion Rico Verhoeven vs. the winner of the GLORY 24 heavyweight tournament and the second is Nieky Holzken vs. the GLORY 25 welterweight tournament winner. 

For longtime kickboxing fans it is interesting to note that Amsterdam is notoriously difficult to book kickboxing shows in. In fact, this was one of the big reasons that It's Showtime had so many problems during their tenure, as did the Ultimate Glory events. Dutch fans and promoters still struggle with the restrictive laws placed by Mayor van der Laan to keep the "criminal element" out of sporting events within Amsterdam. GLORY has been working on this for a very long time now and finally Dutch fans will get exactly what they want in a huge kickboxing event featuring Dutch champions. 

GLORY 26 will also feature a featherweight tournament featuring Mosab Amrani, the winner fighting Gabriel Varga.

What I really like about this show is that there is continuity involved for once. There is cause and effect. There are tournaments on the next two shows and those tournaments have an endgame that is clearly in sight. There is no "future title shot" that fans will have to guess at. Instead there is a future title fight with a firm date. This is the kind of foresight that GLORY has been sorely missing and can only help them moving forward. 


Robin van Roosmalen Reveals More on Upcoming MMA Debut

Robin van Roosmalen recently revealed that he'd be dipping his toe into the MMA waters after two years of training in the sport, all with the blessings of GLORY. Today, thanks to an interview from the Blackzilians website, there are more details on his pending debut. 

Van Roosmalen will be making his MMA debut on January 16th in Italy for the promotion FFC. FFC, run out of Croatia, runs events that are a mix of MMA and kickboxing. This seems like an interesting promotion to fight for considering they do have a kickboxing connection, but this is apparently all done with GLORY's knowledge. He had an exclusive contract with GLORY, but the promotion gave him the go ahead to pursue MMA as long as it didn't interfere with his GLORY obligations. 

As for the weight class? Robin fights at Lightweight in kickboxing but due to how much weight-cutting happens in MMA he has decided to fight at Featherweight in MMA. When asked about a possible future in the UFC, which doesn't allow for their fighters to participate in other sports, he said that he'd like to reach the highest level at some point, but that would be far down the line for him. There was a push to get van Roosmalen involved with Bellator (which we've known for a while), most recently a push for him to fight on the Bellator MMA Dynamite 1 card but Bellator didn't seem keen on it and those talks went nowhere. 


Robin van Roosmalen vs. Sitthichai Planned for GLORY 25

The long-rumored for GLORY 25 battle for the GLORY Lightweight Championship has been confirmed today by none other than Cor Hemmers via his Facebook page. The GLORY matchmaker spilled the beans on one of the most hotly-anticipated GLORY title fights in a while pitting the Lightweight Champion Robin van Roosmalen against the tough challenger in Sitthichai. 

This is a solid contrast to the news earlier today of van Roosmalen looking to make his MMA debut in early 2016 and the usual fan panic that comes about fighters leaving kickboxing for MMA. Van Roosmalen faces one of his toughest tests to date in the young Thai who will be looking to take his place as the #1 Lightweight kickboxer in the world, which many believe he will do with relative ease. 

Van Roosmalen vs. Sitthichai adds to an already exciting card featuring a main event of Giorgio Petrosyan vs. Josh Jauncey and a welterweight contender tournament. GLORY's site also currently lists Danyo Ilunga vs. Artem Vakhitov, but as we've seen before that isn't always entirely accurate. 


Robin van Roosmalen Making MMA Debut in 2016

GLORY Lightweight Champion Robin van Roosmalen has been talking about dabbling in MMA for years now, to the extent of it being rumored that he'd make his MMA debut a few times without it ever coming to fruition. Now it looks like van Roosmalen is ready to make his MMA debut and that it will be in early 2016.

Van Roosmalen will absolutely be prepared for this debut, having trained in mixed martial arts and judo for most of his life, even having earned his black belt in judo recently. Who he'll be fighting for is still not clear yet, but it will sure be interesting to see how he fares in another sport.


Josh Jauncey Chosen as Giorgio Petrosyan's Opponent on GLORY 25

When we heard this one a few weeks ago it seemed pretty crazy. Everyone had assumed that the fight that Petrosyan would get upon his return to the GLORY ring would naturally be against Andy Ristie. Sadly, that fight is just not possible at this time due to Ristie's trainer being banned for life by the ISKA and Ristie refusing to fight under the ISKA's watchful eye without his trainer. Instead, we'll be seeing an entirely new matchup and one that could reshape the entire Lightweight division for years to come.

That bout is Canadian Josh Jauncey vs. Giorgio Petrosyan. Josh Jauncey has made quite an impression since he burst on the scene at GLORY 16 Denver. With wins over Warren Stevelmans, Jae Gil Noh, Max Baumert and Djime Coulibaly he has shown that he's a force within the Lightweight division. His lone loss in the GLORY ring is to GLORY Lightweight contender Sitthichai who should be fighting Robin van Roosmalen on an upcoming event. 

Since Petrosyan's loss to Ristie he has come back in force with wins over Erkhan Varol, Enriko Kehl and Xu Yan. Jauncey is a step up in competition over these names and a win over Jauncey would put Petrosyan right back in the running to be considered one of the best Lightweights in the world. On the inverse, a win over Petrosyan would undoubtedly be the biggest of the young Jauncey's career, making this an even more exciting fight.

This card will also feature a Welterweight contender tournament. As for the questions about where this will air, our bud Stets asked them today and this is the answer that he received.

We'll be paying close attention in the coming months to see where this will air in the United States if indeed the Spike TV contract is really up after GLORY 24. 


Bellator MMA: Dynamite 1 Draws 800,000 Viewers for Saturday Event

This past Saturday's Bellator MMA: Dynamite 1 was a frustrating event for a host of reasons when it came to the kickboxing card (no comment on the MMA portion) in a night that left fans who were new to the sport of kickboxing confused as to what all of the fuss was about. I've voiced some of my frustrations over this event and how it all played out, but what's done is done. There were big expectations for this event seeing as though it was being headlined by Tito Ortiz vs. Liam McGeary for Bellator's Light Heavyweight Championship, but as it turns out, college football is still king in the United States.

While Ole' Miss and Bama drew the eyes on Saturday, Bellator was left with a relatively smaller piece of the viewership pie drawing just 800,000 viewers on average for the mega-show, with a peak of 930. In comparison to other Bellator events this is, well, pretty average and nowhere near the numbers that they did for the big Kimbo Slice vs. Ken Shamrock event a few months prior. The talk going into this show was that GLORY would be seen by their largest audience to date and while that was possibly true depending on quarterly numbers, this wasn't anything too extravagant. 

It is probably safe to say that this show neither damaged or helped GLORY in the long run when it came to attracting new viewers. 


Saulo Cavalari Captures GLORY Light Heavyweight Championship

Saulo Cavalari and Zack Mwekassa stepped into the GLORY ring tonight in San Jose at Bellator MMA: Dynamite 1 and put on a rematch that was marred by strange referee decisions, a possible glove SNAFU and an apathetic crowd. In a way, it was one of the most disappointing things that I could imagine coming out of this show considering just how good both men are. The takeaways from fight fans was that it wasn't a great fight and to keep kickboxing away from their MMA on a night of MMA that wasn't anything to write home about. 

Cavalari landed a head kick early on that the referee ruled a slip, which was somewhat excusable because everyone makes mistakes. Tonight was the second time that GLORY had used the Hayabusa gloves in the ring and just about everyone noticed that they looked larger than we've ever seen before. The usual glove size is ten ounces, many have posited that these were twelve ounces. Regardless, it was just another dimension to what was a confusing night for GLORY fans. Later on Cavalari was docked a point for holding after what seemed like no warning, which was somewhat cleared up when Mauro Ranallo pulled ISKA President Cory Shafer into the booth to clarify that there were warnings prior.

Mwekassa was working his hands like we all knew that he would, even working in a few kicks here and there and his kick defense looking vastly improved since their last meeting. Mwekassa's jab and body work really chipped away at Cavalari, leaving both men exhausted when the championship rounds kicked in, but Cavalari fought on, kept the pressure and kept landing the cleaner strikes. In the end Cavalari walked away with the decision victory, being crowned the GLORY Light Heavyweight Champion. 


Rico Verhoeven Rumored to Be Making MMA Debut in October

GLORY Heavyweight Champion Rico Verhoeven is in the news, this time rumored to be making his MMA debut in just about a month on October 19th in Romania, of all places. The promotion is RXF, perhaps best known to the world as the place where Alexandru Lungu still competes on a regular basis. Romanian Xtreme Fighting (...) will apparently be where Rico Verhoeven cuts his teeth with the four ounce gloves.

This move doesn't seem like a full career move by any leap, just him testing the waters in another sport where he could possibly make some money and have something to do in his down time. Still no word from Verhoeven or his camp just yet, but that banner above is advertising Verhoeven for the show. 



Dynamite 1 Preview: Mwekassa and Cavalari Rematch for the GLORY Light Heavyweight Championship

This Saturday evening in San Jose the vacant GLORY Light Heavyweight Championship will be on the line in a rematch between two of GLORY's heaviest hitters in the Light Heavyweight division when Saulo Cavalari will look to make history repeat itself against Zack Mwekassa. The first fight happened at GLORY 18 last November and saw both men fight a hard-fought battle to contend for Gokhan Saki's Light Heavyweight Championship.

Mwekassa was controlling the fight for the most part, cutting off the ring and backing Cavalari up towards the corners while utilizing his superior jab and following it up with his crisp boxing combinations. The only problem was that Cavalari was chopping away at him with leg kicks. Cavalari was playing the long game while Mwekassa was looking to dominate in the moment and look for the knockout. What happened was that Mwekassa wasn't expecting the high kick after taking so many right low kicks from Cavalari, so when Cavalari threw yet another right low kick the left high kick was not what he expected early into round three.

When fighting you look for rhythms and patterns in your opponent's game. Cavalari throughout this first fight was reliant on his right leg for kicks. There were a few kicks with his left leg, but by and large kicks were coming from the right leg, usually in the form of single low kicks to help give Cavalari some distance to start working with his hands against the aggressive Mwekassa. What Mwekassa may have missed is that some of Cavalari's most effective work was coming from following up his right low kick with a left hook.

In those first moments of the third round Mwekassa ate yet another right low kick, Cavalari once again backing up to create some distance and Mwekassa was possibly expecting their game of cat-and-mouse to continue forward, giving him a decision victory in the tournament. He wasn't expecting the left kick, even worse, he wasn't expecting the left high kick. 

The stakes are a lot different this time around. GLORY was unable to come to an agreement with Gokhan Saki to fight on Bellator MMA: Dynamite 1 and the title was stripped from Saki, leaving a rematch between Mwekassa and Cavalari for the vacant title. Mwekassa's boxing has been well-documented, but this time around he went to the Netherlands to train with Nick Hemmers to hopefully be prepared for the onslaught of leg kicks and to perhaps be a bit more comfortable kicking himself. 

Cavalari knows that Mwekassa is the marketable man, the guy who's very existence is inspirational, but that doesn't deter him from doing what he does best, which is being careful when he needs to be and aggressive when there is the right opening. This is the biggest fight of both men's respective careers in front of possibly their biggest audience to date. While fans might be upset that there is no Saki, neither Cavalari or Mwekassa are a joke and this is indeed the kind of fight that we deserve to be getting from GLORY on a regular basis. 

Most interesting here is that both men weren't big names in the world of kickboxing prior to their runs in GLORY. Cavalari had made a name for himself in Brazil under the WGP banner, but rarely did his name get passed around outside of those circles and Mwekassa had looked at kickboxing as something to keep him busy in between trying to hunt down boxing bouts. Mwekassa was dangerous and not many boxers were looking to take a fight from a relative unknown from South Africa who could embarrass them with a crushing knockout. In a way, Mwekassa vs. Cavalari is the genesis of the whole GLORY experiment and a bout between two homegrown stars on their biggest platform to date.

THAT is exciting. 

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