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GLORY's Dustin Jacoby Victorious in MMA Return

Dustin Jacoby made a big splash on the kickboxing world when he entered into GLORY after little notice. He entered a Road 2 GLORY tournament without much notice and was able to steamroll it, earning himself a spot on the main GLORY roster. Since then he's gone 1-5, but that has been against some of the best fighters in the world. He is still really learning to love kickboxing and there is definitely a possible future for him if they maybe scale down his competition to something more of his level.

This past weekend he fought for Titan Fighting Championship in his return to MMA where he made short work of Lucas Lopes with his striking. If you were to ask me if his striking has improved I'd probably give a big 'yes.' Jacoby's next fight is September 5th against King Mo Lawal in Bellator.

GIF via ZombieProphet.

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GLORY Suspends Jamal Ben Saddik

On June 29th in Azerbaijan GLORY fighters Jamal Ben Saddik and Hesdy Gerges clashed in a non-GLORY ring where the outcome saw a frustrated Jamal Ben Saddik take Gerges to the mat and begin viciously attacking him as if it were in MMA rules. Of course, it wasn't, it was kickboxing rules and a "GLORY-ranked" fight. Since the incident occurred we've been hearing that Jamal Ben Saddik would be released by the organization, but there was radio silence on the issue until today.

Today GLORY released a statement announcing that Jamal Ben Saddik has been handed down a six month suspension, during which time his GLORY contract is set to expire and GLORY has opted not to renew that contract. That means that Ben Saddik is effectively out of the organization and out of action for the next few months. 

“GLORY will on occasion give permission to fighters to take part in third-party events. But when they do so, they are still bound by GLORY rules and regulations, this is part of the agreement,” said Cor Hemmers, Head of Talent Operations.

“In their contracts with GLORY, fighters agree to abide by the company’s rules and regulations. Failure to do so is a breach of their agreement with the company and leaves the fighter open to disciplinary action.

“Mr. Ben Saddik breached his agreement with GLORY and also conducted himself in a manner liable to bring the sport into disrepute. For this reason a multi-department disciplinary panel was convened, leading to today’s action against Mr. Ben Saddik.” [source]

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GLORY Appoints New CEO, Next Show in October

Things have been quiet on the GLORY front, which to many has been a bad sign, but we've been hearing reports from within the company about "big things" happening, including some shifts. The first of those shifts was announced today when GLORY unveiled that Jon J. Franklin has been appointed as the new CEO for the organization, replacing Andrew Whitaker. Whitaker will remain with the organization in an advisory role, working mostly with the television aspect of the brand.

Jon J. Franklin, based out of Denver, has been working with GLORY for a while now with his company, The Sports Entertainment Company. Franklin has also served in senior roles for IMG-Media, was President of Golden Gloves Boxing and worked with AP-X. His extensive history within the realm of boxing can only help GLORY further at this point. 

Some might be concerned over the change at this point, especially after a period of relative silence, but this is actually a good thing. This shows that GLORY is thinking to the future and that they are looking to revise their direction for the future. As someone who worked previously within the world of corporate PR and IR, CEO changes are a very common occurrence in many organizations, with the idea being to keep fresh ideas and direction for organizations. 

Also, according to an interview given to MMAMania, Franklin stated that they would be returning in October, which aligns with a statement we received from within GLORY about a month ago.

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Watch Joe Schilling do the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has been all over social media for the past few weeks. The idea is to dump a bucket of ice water over your head, then call out three friends to do it themselves, all in the name of raising awareness and donating money for research into Lou Gehrig's Disease/ALS. We've seen it catch fire in the MMA world of late, now Joe Schilling of GLORY fame is taking the challenge and damn does he have a list of names that he calls out afterwards.

It's also awesome because his two sons, whom he'll usually lovingly refer to on Instagram as "Thing #1" and "Thing #2," take the challenge as well. His youngest son, Jax, is pretty endearing to watch try to run away from it, while Lil Joe takes it like a champ.

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Adidas Signs GLORY Fighter Wayne Barrett to Sponsorship Deal

GLORY competitor Wayne Barrett has been making a lot of waves since he joined the promotion in 2013, his kickboxing career has been on the rise and he's been one of the young American stars to be on the lookout for. He recently competed in GLORY's Last Man Standing tournament where he had a strong showing, defeating Bogdan Stoica before dropping a contested decision to rival Joe Schilling. 

Barrett inks his first big sponsorship deal with American sports apparel brand adidas, with the future looking bright for the young athlete.

“When I started to fight, the biggest thing that drove me was being around those that have been through the fire and still stood tall. When adidas offered me to chance to be part of the family, I knew that this was a company that would stand by me as an athlete,” said Wayne “Afro Samurai” Barrett. “Remaking yourself and staying ahead of the competition is what a fighter has to do in order to be on top. adidas has long been a force behind the  world of combat sports and martial arts and continues to stay on top of its game. I plan on doing the same.”

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Jarrell Miller Handed CSAC Suspension After Failed Drug Test

This is definitely a first for GLORY in the United States, but the results from the drug testing has come back and one athlete from the GLORY 17/Last Man Standing event has tested positive for banned substances and has been issued a fine and suspension. The athlete in question was GLORY 17 main eventer Jarrell "Big Baby" Miller. The news comes from MMAJunkie's Steven Marracco via Twitter.

The drug in question, methylhexanamine, was primarily created as a nasal decongestant but has found its place among athletes as an appetite suppressor and metabolism booster. It was first listed as a banned substance in 2009, but is still up for debate in many places, with there being no clear cohesion across the sports world as to how to handle that. Methylhexanamine is still found in many over-the-counter supplements, which is what we assume was the case here.

Miller has been suspended for 9 months and faces a $2500 penalty. We've reached out to Miller for comment and will keep you posted.

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Analyzing GLORY's Champions: Davit Kiria

Man, if you are like me, you are kind of dying at this dry spell that we are going through with kickboxing right now. There is still stuff going down, but there is a decided lack of big events to get worked up over right now. So it’s time to start taking a long, hard look at the best fighters in the business today and if we think that they can hold onto their top spots. 

First up: Davit Kiria, GLORY Lightweight Champion

GLORY’s Lightweight division is probably one of the most stacked divisions in the world today. The 70kg range has always been talent-rich, thanks in part to K-1 relying upon the K-1 MAX division for years. But right now especially, it feels like as good as any one fighter is in the division, there is a line-up of guys that could probably defeat him. 

Davit Kiria was never a guy that we would have pegged to become GLORY’s Lightweight Champion. That’s not a knock against him as much as it is indicative of how deep the division really is. Kiria is a skilled guy, but his losses to both Giorgio Petrosyan and Robin van Roosmalen led to many doubting him. So when he went into GLORY 14 against Andy Ristie, the guy who knocked both of those men out in one night, not many expected him to walk out as the champion.

Then kickboxing magic happened and Kiria shocked the world, knocking out Andy Ristie in the fifth round. It was insanity and we had an unlikely champion of a guy who was considered “fourth best” to RvR, Petrosyan and Ristie. That is how stacked this division is. We have a good feeling that Robin van Roosmalen will get a shot at Kiria’s title soon (it was originally slated for August, actually), so the question is: Can Davit Kiria hold onto the GLORY Lightweight Championship.

The answer is: yes, but not for long. That title is going to be a hot potato for a while unless Petrosyan can stop injuring his hand. I think that Kiria has the skills to defeat Robin van Roosmalen, but it also goes the other way just as easily. In a five round fight we’ve seen that Kiria’s slow-starting style is perhaps best-served under these conditions and he’ll potentially be able to shine against Robin van Roosmalen.

But then when you have to face down a murderer’s row in Lightweight, it seems inevitable that someone will defeat him at some point. Whomever that is will also face the same exact challenges that Kiria faces now, knowing that the title probably won’t be secure for long. That makes GLORY’s Lightweight division so exciting right now; you don’t know who will end up on top. 

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Spike TV Airing GLORY Last Man Standing on August 8th

Interesting note here, that on last week's Best of GLORY that aired on Spike TV they announced that on Friday, August 8th they'd be airing GLORY Last Man Standing in some form. If we are to look at this objectively, the next day was scheduled to be the day that GLORY 18 was going to happen, so there is a chance that Spike TV had set aside television time for GLORY in early August. Then again, why not air it on Saturday? 

This is an interesting move from Spike TV and -- honestly -- a smart move. GLORY currently does not have an event planned for August and airing the GLORY Last Man Standing event will keep GLORY programming on Spike TV during an off-month, which will hopefully mean that GLORY won't lose viewers like they did the last time they took a break in between shows. The time slot is 2 and a half hours, the replay starting at 10PM Eastern time and running until 12:30, meaning that it will obviously need to be edited down a bit to fit into two and a half hours plus commercial breaks. Still, it is one of the best kickboxing events of the year being shown on Spike TV for free.

It's difficult to complain.

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Long Watch: GLORY's Ivan Farneti Talks Business and Kickboxing

Part of what makes GLORY such an interesting company is the guys who comprise said company. All of the people that we've spoken to which in the company are passionate and knowledgeable about the sport of kickboxing. They are fans, not just casual fans, but real fans. If you are looking for a fan, look no further than GLORY's Ivan Farneti. You can find him on Twitter or Facebook most of the time talking about combat sports -- and he's nowhere near just a casual fan -- he hangs with the most hardcore of us. In fact, I'd go as far as to call Ivan a kickboxing nerd. It's okay, he's in good company. 

Watch this uber-long interview with Ivan to learn more about him, his love for the sport, how he got started with the organization as well as some of the big picture, vision stuff for GLORY. For those that grow tired of hearing Dana White's brand of vitriol, listen to Ivan pretty much say everything you want to hear and really mean it. 

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