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Lone Undercard Kickboxing Bout for Bellator MMA: Dynamite 1 Announced

Bellator MMA's Dynamite 1 card has shaped up to be quite an event. It'll mostly be an attraction for MMA fans, but there will be kickboxing there for those who are willing to wait for it. The main card will feature three kickboxing bouts, only one of which will feature GLORY contracted talent, that being the Light Heavyweight title fight. The other two fights on the main card are between Bellator-contracted talent, which is Paul Daley vs. Fernando Gonzalez as well as Keri-Anne Melendez vs. Hadley Griffith. 

Bellator announced today that some of the undercard fights will happen simultaneously. This will only be in effect for four bouts (meaning the span of two fights in each ring). One of those bouts will be a kickboxing bout contested in the ring under GLORY rules, but was put together by the Bellator team, it is Jose Palacios vs. TJ Arcengal. Both are Northern California muay thai fighters.


Artem Levin Out -- Jason Wilnis in vs. Joe Schilling at GLORY 24

If you've been following GLORY on social media you've probably been wondering why GLORY initially announced Joe Schilling vs. Artem Levin but all of the promotional materials for GLORY 24 over the past week or so has just been of Joe Schilling. Wonder no more because Artem Levin has pulled out of the fight with Joe Schilling due to an undisclosed injury to his elbow while training. An upset Schilling was open about this last week but quickly deleted any evidence of it to give GLORY time to scramble for a new opponent. The new opponent is a very worthy Jason Wilnis in a fight that could shake up GLORY's Middleweight division.

Also announced today is an interesting fight. Pat Barry, after a long absence from the GLORY ring, will be back in Denver again. This time his opponent is someone from out of left field a bit in Karl Roberson. If that name sounds oddly familiar it is because Roberson was the man who fought Jerome Le Banner in his retirement bout and had him handily beaten before the local judges declared Le Banner the winner. Roberson showed a lot of promise there and while some fans might be seeing this as a walk in the park for Pat Barry, they should remember the last time that Pat Barry fought in GLORY that gave birth to a Light Heavyweight contender in Zack Mwekassa. 


Keri Anne Melendez vs. Hadley Griffith Added to Bellator MMA Dynamite 1 Kickboxing Main Card

The unfortunate reality of Gabriel Varga being forced to drop out of Bellator MMA Dynamite 1's GLORY portion of the card has led to what looks to be a replacement of sorts coming from the Bellator side of the equation, making that two fights on the GLORY portion of the card that have their origins in Bellator. The first was the Paul Daley bout and the second is the recently-signed Keri Anne Melendez (wife of Gilbert Melendez) will be competing on the GLORY portion of the card against Hadley Griffith.

Bellator announced the signing of Keri Anne Melendez late in the summer, claiming that her contract was both for kickboxing and MMA, so the her addition to this card is not surprising in the least. 


Giorgio Petrosyan Fighting on GLORY 25 Monza

There hasn't been word from GLORY just yet as they are still promoting their involvement in Dynamite 1 and the upcoming GLORY 24, but Fight 1 out of Italy announced that it's official: Giorgio Petrosyan returns to the GLORY ring on November 6th in Monza, Italy. You might be seeing rumors for match ups around the internet, but nothing is official just yet on that front. One would think the Ristie rematch would be in order, but there are some hurdles involved with Ristie fighting for GLORY without his now-banned trainer. 

Hopefully we'll see a card start coming together for this soon. Also, for the conspiracy theorists out there this show is taking place on a Friday, a move which GLORY made to please Spike TV and fit into their programming schedule of having fights on Fridays. Of course, there is also a Bellator event on that day, so unless they are planning on a double header with a taped GLORY event things could be afoot. 


GLORY's Future on TV Could Be With Showtime

Over the years the name "Showtime" has come up many times when it has to do with GLORY on American television. In fact, early on for the organization they were looking to Showtime as a potential home. This began with the relationship with CBS Sports Network, which aired some of their earlier events on tape delay, and many thought would lead to a deal with Showtime until Spike TV came along. Spike had initially reached an agreement with K-1 Global to bring kickboxing to the United States on Spike TV. That deal began with web streams on and after a few events both sides decided that it was best to move on.

That left Spike hungry for what they saw as potentially the next MMA in the United States and they looked no further than GLORY. Since then there have been ups and downs when it comes to GLORY on Spike TV. Kickboxing is a growing sport and as soon as Scott Coker took the helm of Bellator MMA Viacom's focus was on making Bellator MMA a viable brand and moneymaker for them. That is still a work in progress and somewhere along the way GLORY was left in the wake of the cult of personality that is Scott Coker. Bellator MMA has grown in popularity and television ratings since then while GLORY has been struggling with its identity within the Spike TV universe. 

The Spike TV/GLORY deal comes to an end in the near future and right now we are in the part of the deal where both sides consider the future. A part of that consideration is for GLORY to check for other deals and of course, Showtime once again is in their sights. Rumors earlier this year involved Floyd Mayweather possibly becoming involved with the promotion, which seemed like a backdoor of sorts onto Showtime, although things never quite panned out in that regard. Now we see GLORY's SuperFight Series airing on CBS Sports Network and FrontRowBrian tweeting about GLORY CEO Jon J. Franklin meeting with CBS officials. We've had confirmation on that for days now, but it all is just a part of the puzzle. 

Our friend John Joe O'Regan at BloodyElbow spoke with Franklin today and Franklin confirmed that there were talks, but that it is just business. The relationship with Spike is still there and it is safe to note that Franklin was the impetus for the Spike TV deal in the first place, before he worked in an official capacity for GLORY.

"Operating in the best interests of all Glory stakeholders, it behooves us to discuss broadcast opportunities with all networks that reach out to us," Franklin told Bloody Elbow.

What is clear is that GLORY is ensuring that fans in the United States will be able to consume GLORY programming moving forward. Where GLORY will be airing in a few months is still a mystery, but there are plenty of options it seems. Franklin's background in boxing and television can only help. If Showtime is where GLORY wants to go and that is within their reach it could be a truly interesting time for them. Showtime has less of a reach of a Spike TV, but as a premium network with a rich history of their sports broadcasting with boxing and Strikeforce previously, it would deliver GLORY to an engaged audience and also have Showtime's PPV know-how at their disposal. Never mind the possibility of airing on CBS proper. 


Gabriel Varga vs. Serhiy Adamchuk Pulled from Dynamite 1

After rumors were abound yesterday that the GLORY Featherweight title fight between Gabriel Varga and Serhiy Adamchuk was off it has come out today that Adamchuk and Varga will indeed not meet at Bellator MMA Dynamite 1 on September 19th in the GLORY ring. While not one of the headline attractions it did help to bolster the GLORY portion of the card with a second title fight between the two Featherweights.

According to our bud Michael Stets GLORY officials informed him that the fight was indeed off but wouldn't clarify on where the injury was. From our own reports we've heard that the injury was on Varga's side, although the specifics of the injury remain unclear. Gabriel Varga was forced to pull out is all that we know. Here's hoping to a formidable bout replacing it.


Joe Schilling vs. Artem Levin III Scheduled for GLORY 24 Denver

There has been some trepidation when it comes to GLORY 24 being able to deliver on the rumors of a huge card, but today's announcement seems to assure that GLORY 24 will indeed be an event to remember. Today it was announced that GLORY 24 will see the third bout between rivals Joe Schilling and GLORY Middleweight Champion Artem Levin. According to our friend Michael Stets over at MMAMania the trilogy between the two will indeed go down on October 9th in Denver, Colorado. 

Levin is coming off of a draw with Simon Marcus while Schilling is coming off of a win over Robert Thomas. Of course, it is difficult not to mention that Schilling has been active in Bellator as well and is coming off of a knockout loss which prevented him from fighting on the Bellator MMA Dynamite event in September. The rubber match between Schilling and Levin has been talked about for well over a year now after they met for a second time in the finals of the GLORY Last Man Standing Middleweight Championship tournament in June. Schilling previously held a win over Levin in the GLORY 10 Middleweight tournament.

Many fans were calling for an immediate rematch between Simon Marcus and Artem Levin but it feels like the right decision to have the rematch between Levin and Schilling first. All three men have unfinished business with each other and any combination of the three is a tremendous fight. 

According to GLORY this event will also host a GLORY Heavyweight Contender's tournament with the winner going on to face Rico Verhoeven for the GLORY Heavyweight Championship. No names have been announced yet, but one would have to assume that Xavier Vigney, who qualified via a tournament win followed by a win over Daniel Sam, will be in, as well as Jamal Ben Saddik who recently picked up a win over Anderson "Braddock" Silva. Braddock would be another no-brainer as would possibly tossing Benjamin Adegbuyi back into the fray. Of course, if Daniel Ghita were to return nobody would complain, either.

Also, for those wondering, Simon Marcus is currently injured.


Glory 23: who will win?

August 7th will see one of the most anticipated events in this year’s kickboxing calendar, as a number of Heavyweight, Welterweight and Middleweight fighters do battle in Glory 23. The fight will be held in Las Vegas, which is considered the fight capital, and marks the very first time that the Glory World Series has visited this top location. There is no question that fans are eagerly anticipating this bout, with fights including Dustin Jacoby vs. Ariel Sepulveda and Xavier Vigney vs. Daniel Sam, but the main event is definitely the Welterweight clash between Nieky Holzken and Raymond Daniels.

This amounts to a title fight, and many consider Holzken the best Welterweight kickboxer – further adding to the excitement. His Glory record is seriously impressive: standing at 8 wins and no losses – with 7 KO’s amongst these. By comparison, Daniels has a record of 4 wins, two drawn bouts and no losses – which certainly do not count as poor stats. Nonetheless, it is not exactly surprising that most bookies have Holzken as the hot favourite – with odds of 1/6 showing just how highly rated he is. So you should just be putting your money on Holzken then? Well, not necessarily, with 7/2 odds for Daniels indicating that the bookies know he has a real chance.

Daniels has become noted for a kickboxing style that is really exciting (as anyone who has seen him live or watched his highlight reel can attest to), and this unpredictability could be his strongest asset against a superior opponent. However, there is no arguing with the stats which show that Holzken has landed 42 percent of strikes in previous bouts, compared with 16 percent for Daniels (the former’s punch and kick percentages are similarly superior). This is why the US bookmakers agree with the UK ones, making Holzken the odds-on favourite at -600 compared with Daniels at 350. Of course, Daniels has a lot less fights under his belt, but it is also important to bear in mind that one of Daniels’ two previous Glory defeats was inflicted by Holzken, in Glory 19, suggesting he has the edge on his opponent.

Whatever the result though, Glory 23 seems sure to be a humdinger of a fight, but if you can’t wait until August for your fix, why not try one of the fighting slots at like Fighting Fish. This five-reel slot has 30 paylines and a fishy flavour, with different kinds of fish vying to be crowned Deep Sea Boxing Champion – making it a pretty good casino option for kickboxing fans. Furthermore, it also offers a 5000-coin maximum jackpot, which makes it ideal for everyone.




GLORY 23 Draws 295,000 Viewers Live on Spike TV

(C) James Law, GLORY Sports International

It's been difficult to gauge fan interest in GLORY kickboxing over the past year or so considering it has been pretty new to television here in the United States. GLORY 22 Lille saw a significant drop in television ratings due to airing early in the afternoon live from France without a replay. This,  along with the inclusion of Nieky Holzken vs. Raymond Daniels, two of GLORY's top fighters when it comes to drawing ratings, led to a belief that GLORY 23 would see a significant jump in ratings. 

The end result is the lowest rated GLORY event on Spike TV outside of GLORY 22, definitely the lowest rated live GLORY event to date. The preliminary numbers (not including DVR numbers) were released today on SportsTVRatings and they were 295,000 live viewers. We've reached out to Spike TV for the final numbers plus the peak, but this is a bit difficult to digest. 

There have been complaints online about the relatively late start time of 11pm Eastern time, which may have played a role in the disappointing numbers, but considering it was a Friday night it's a hard pill to swallow. It didn't help that to many of the more hardcore fans much of this show was unappealing to them, with there being complaints about the tournament and co-main event being relatively weak on star power considering how stacked GLORY's roster is. Then again, GLORY 21 featured a mostly American tournament with mostly newcomers and saw some of their highest ratings to date. 

GLORY's next time on Spike TV will be as a part of Bellator's Dynamite event on September 19th and will hopefully be their time to shine with a new Light Heavyweight Champion being crowned between Zack Mwekassa and Saulo Cavalari, as well as the Featherweight title on the line between champion Gabriel Varga and Serhiy Adamchuk.

Updates as they come.


Paul "Semtex" Daley vs. Bellator's Fernando Gonzalez Added to Dynamite Kickboxing Card

On September 19th Bellator and GLORY will present Dynamite to the world live on Spike TV. The hybrid MMA and Kickboxing card will feature Tito Ortiz vs. Liam McGeary for the Bellator Light Heavyweight Championship as well as Saulo Cavalari vs. Zack Mwekassa for the GLORY Light Heavyweight Championship. We found out on Friday that Serhiy Adamchuk vs. Gabriel Varga for the GLORY Featherweight Championship will also be on the card.

We've known of Paul Daley's involvement in a kickboxing bout for a while now and today Bellator has released the name of his opponent. Paul Daley will be fighting Bellator's own Fernando Gonzalez. Gonzalez primarily fights in MMA now but has a background that includes boxing and muay thai, making him an interesting opponent for Daley. It should be noted that Daley has a long history in the sport of kickboxing and has defeated some of the top names within the Welterweight division within the past few years. 

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