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Wilnis vs. Marcus III Headlines GLORY 40 Copenhagen

Just ahead of GLORY 38 this coming week, GLORY has been on fire with announcing upcoming events. Looking to keep pace with itself, they have released the main event for GLORY 40 Copenhagen, which takes place on April 29th, which will be GLORY Middleweight Champion Jason Wilnis against former champion Simon Marcus. The two have built up a rivalry in GLORY over the Middleweight Championship and this rubber match is where they will hopefully settle the score once and for all.

Also featured on the card will be a Middleweight tournament featuring Alex Pereira against Burim Rama and Yousri Belgaroui vs. Agron Preteni. The SuperFight Series will feature a Light Heavyweight Title fight, the participants which will be decided at GLORY 38 this week thanks to a title fight and tournament. Josh Jauncey will return to the GLORY ring against Antonio Gomez and Freddy Kemayo will test his mettle against Imad Hadar.

GLORY 40 Copenhagen

Middleweight World Title Headline Bout: Jason Wilnis vs. Simon Marcus

Lightweight Co-Headline Bout: Niclas Larsen vs. TBA

Middleweight Tournament Final Bout: Winner of Bout A vs. Winner of Bout B

Middleweight Tournament Semifinal Bout B: Alex Pereira vs. Burim Rama

Middleweight Tournament Semifinal Bout A: Yousri Belgaroui vs. Agron Preteni

GLORY 40 SuperFight Series

Light Heavyweight World Title Headline Bout: TBD vs. TBA

Lightweight Bout: Mohammed El-Mir vs. TBA

Light Heavyweight Bout: Freddy Kemayo vs. Imad Hadar

Lightweight Bout: Josh Janucey vs. Antonio Gomez

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Updated Fight Card for GLORY 39 Brussels

While GLORY 38 is only a week away, GLORY is still hard at work on March's GLORY 39 Brussels. While most of the card has been assembled prior, they've went ahead and updated it with the participants in the GLORY Featherweight Tournament featured on the card. The tournament features former champion Serhiy Adamchuk vs. Anvar Boynazarov and Petchpanomrung Kiatmookao vs. Alexei Ulyanov.

GLORY 39 Brussels

Weltwerweight World Title Headline Bout: Cédric Doumbé vs. Yoann Kongolo

Featherweight Tournament Final Bout: Winner of Bout A vs. Winner of Bout B

Heavyweight Co-Headline Bout: Jamal Ben Saddik vs. Guto Inocente

Featherweight Tournament Semifinal Bout B: Serhiy Adamchuk vs. Anvar Boynazarov

Featherweight Tournament Semifinal Bout A: Petchpanomrung Kiatmookao vs. Alexei Ulyanov

GLORY 39 SuperFight Series

Lightweight World Title Headline Bout: Sittichai vs. Dylan Salvador

Lightweight Co-Headline Bout: Marat Grigorian vs. Hysni Beqiri

Heavyweight Bout: Hesdy Gerges vs. Chi Lewis-Parry

Welterweight Bout: Karim Benmansour vs. Harut Grigorian

Lightweight Bout: Tyjani Beztati vs. TBA

Catchweight (150 lb / 68 kg) Bout: Junus Majandinov vs. TBA

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Demoreo Dennis is Ready to Unveil The New and Improved Demoreo in 2017

Fulfilling the dream of being a top athlete is no easy task.  It’s not only physically demanding, but also calls for sacrifices in every aspect of your life.  It’s a challenge that few are actually willing to accept.  As armchair athletes, we all can talk at ease about what someone should or should not be doing; we can easily critique an athlete’s performance on their field of play.  When it comes down to visualizing a goal and putting that dream into action are you actually there or still on the sidelines?  The struggle is real, but Demoreo Dennis, no stranger to challenges is putting his foot down and has made up his mind to accept whatever challenges he faces and give it all to be the best. 

An Oklahoma native and the eldest of four children children, Demoreo was inspired to give martial arts a try on a whim to simply lose weight and remain active after leaving college.  Before that time, he and his brother Myron, who is now also a professional kickboxer and MMA fighter, had played football in college and in that arena the name of the game was to be big and athletic. Once football was over Demoreo found himself weighing 460 pounds and just being a self-described fat ass instead of an athlete.  It was at that time he and Myron stepped into Kentrick Coleman's Academy of Martial Arts.  The initial workouts, according to Demoreo were grueling but having never had anything in his life defeat him, his will to preserve inspired him to go further.

Today with a kickboxing record of 12-7 and an MMA record of 6-3, Demoreo has found a home with Glory Sports International and has marked 2017 as the time when he will show the world that all his hard work and effort has not been in vain. 

His road in Glory has been no easy trek; currently he has no wins in this organization. In his Glory debut he faced the Englishman, Chi Lewis Parry at Glory 21 in San Diego, this bout ended with a KO loss.  Next, in early 2016, Dennis faced Glory newcomer, Guto Inocente at Glory 27 in Chicago. In a bout that stunned fans and critics alike Dennis suffered a devastating  KO via spinning kick early in round one.  In reflecting on that fight, Dennis stated that he could not have anticipated the spinning body kick and admits that Inocente’s style is quite different than his usual opponents.  Instead of getting tired, however, Dennis became inspired. The most significant inspiration being derived from his decision to travel to Holland and spend a few weeks at Mike’s Gym learning some new skills. The time spent under the tutelage of Mike Passenier gave him a renewed hunger for the sport, some new skills and a reshaping of his strategy.   Passenier who has trained some of kickboxing’s superstars including Murthel Groenhart, Melvin Manhoef and Badr Hari, introduced him to techniques which Dennis feels have improved his speed, balance strength and intelligence which has in turn, taken his game to a new height.  Dennis speaks fondly of his time in Holland stating that since that time he’s grown tremendously and he’s chomping at the bit to showcase the skills he’s been honing.

Like the mythological phoenix rising from the ashes, Dennis is now even more determined to ascend the world heavyweight kickboxing ranks.  According to his new philosophy, there is no such thing as ring rust or a day off; 150% effort must be given at all times in the gym.  He is not willing to waste any of his training days. 

On what he loves about combat sports in general, Dennis stated, that he started in the game to be a mma athlete, a sport which he still loves and practices regularly.  Kickboxing however is where his head and heart lies.

While he has no immediate fight plans Demoreo states that he will continue to train hard until he gets another shot in the ring.  Does he have any opponents in mind? Dennis states that his toughest opponent has always been himself, so taking on his own tendency to over-analyze and becoming more at ease in the ring is his first challenge.  After that? He’s ready for anyone.

While 2017 is just beginning, it will be interesting to see exactly what tricks Demoreo Dennis has up his sleeve.  In the meantime you can follow his progress on social media @SuperDemoreo on Twitter or on Facebook on his page of the same name. 

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Badr Hari To Return to Dutch Jail For Assault Charges

After Badr Hari's previous two-year sentence was partially suspended, Dutch Supreme Courts decided today that Badr Hari would need to return to jail to serve the remainder of his sentence. This comes as a blow to anyone hoping for a rematch between Badr Hari and Rico Verhoeven and also explains why the public talk shifted from that to Rico Verhoeven to Remy Bonjasky in recent weeks.

Badr Hari will now be forced to serve the remaining six months of his time in jail in a Dutch prison after his failed appeal. This should be the end of the long, sad tale of Koen Everink after the middle-aged business-man was assaulted at a Dutch dance party at the Amsterdam ArenA all the way back in 2012. Hari plead that he had only hit Everink once, but the evidence pointed towards a more sustained assault, including a plate in his skull and needing surgery on his ankle to hold him together. Everink was found murdered in March of last year in what looks to be an unrelated assault. 

With Everink deceased and Badr serving the remainder of his sentence this should all be behind us, for now. Of course, if Badr reports to prison. [source]

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GLORY Announces GLORY 39 Featuring Doumbe vs. Kongolo 3 and More

With GLORY 38 rapidly approaching GLORY has announced GLORY 39 Brussels, which takes place on March 25th featuring a headliner between GLORY Welterweight Champion Cedric Doumbe and career-adversary Yoann Kongolo. These two have a lot of history between the two of them, with Kongolo one of the few men to beat Doumbe, never mind twice. Kongolo earned his shot with a recent tournament victory, placing these two on a collision course.

Also featured will be a Featherweight tournament, entrants to be determined. The winner gets a shot at the champion, but if Robin was stripped it's unclear who that will be. Also on the card is Jahfarr Wilnis against Jamal Ben Saddik. One would have to think that someone is in line for a shot at Rico at some point and that somewhere along the line the division will sort itself out, but perhaps not yet. Jamal Ben Saddik beat contender Ismael Londt and Wilnis just lost in a tournament to Mladen Brestovac before Brestovac lost to Adegbuyi.

The SuperFight Series delivers, as always, with Sitthichai looking to defend his Lightweight Championship title against Dylan Salvador. What makes this more interesting? Dylan Salvador has a win over Sitthichai. Marat Grigorian fights Hysni Beqiri, Hesdy Gerges against Chi Lewis-Parry and Karim Benmansour fights Harut Grigorian to round out the card. 

GLORY 39 Brussels

Weltwerweight World Title Headline Bout: Cédric Doumbé vs. Yoann Kongolo

Featherweight Tournament Final Bout: Winner of Bout A vs. Winner of Bout B

Heavyweight Co-Headline Bout: Jahfarr Wilnis vs. Jamal Ben Saddik

Featherweight Tournament Semifinal Bout B: TBA vs. TBA

Featherweight Tournament Semifinal Bout A: TBA vs. TBA

GLORY 39 SuperFight Series

Lightweight World Title Headline Bout: Sittichai vs. Dylan Salvador

Lightweight Co-Headline Bout: Marat Grigorian vs. Hysni Beqiri

Heavyweight Bout: Hesdy Gerges vs. Chi Lewis-Parry

Welterweight Bout: Karim Benmansour vs. Harut Grigorian

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Rico Verhoeven and Remy Bonjasky Agree to Fight

If you thought that it sounded crazy that Rico Verhoeven and Remy Bonjasky would fight in 2017, you weren't the only one. As it turns out, it is perhaps closer to reality than we all thought. After the impossible happened last year and Rico Verhoeven stood toe-to-toe with Badr Hari in a GLORY ring, it looks like Remy Bonjasky will once again fight against the best in the world. 

Bonjasky, a three-time K-1 World Grand Prix Champion, will look to make his return after his retirement bout in 2014 with Mirko Cro Cop. Bonjasky had retired once prior after a recurring eye injury sidelined him in late 2009, only to return in 2013 with mixed results. Bonjasky challenged the winner of Rico/Badr and now it looks like he has his sights set on fighting Verhoeven. The video below if from Fight Stadium, as is the text below.

There has been no official confirmation from GLORY on the bout just yet.

Short translation:

Rico challenged Remy after Rico beat Badr in December. Remy said in december he would fight the winner of this fight (he expected Badr to win).

Remy told the Dutch tv-host Humberto Tan that he accepted Rico's challenge and that he needs 6 months to prepare himself. Despite his age (41) he is convinced he will beat Rico because he is still healthy. Remy also referred to George Foreman who was a boxing world champion at the age of 55.

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Zack Mwekassa vs. Zinedine Hameur-Lain Rounds Out GLORY 38 Tournament

The stage has been set for GLORY 38, now with the full card assembled in advance of the upcoming February 28th event. The one missing piece of the puzzle was in the show's Light Heavyweight Contender tournament, with rumors going around that it could be Stoica, or that it could be Duut. Instead we get a very-worthy Zinedine Hameur-Lain who holds a win over another tournament competitor in Ariel Machado. That means that Hameur-Lain will be taking on former Interim Light Heavyweight Champion Zack Mwekassa in what should be a slugfest.

Mwekass and Hameur-Lain is a rematch from GLORY 29, which saw Mwekassa score a decision victory over Hameur-Lain. Hameur-Lain would bounce back to win the GLORY 32 Contender's tournament, only to lose to Pavel Zhuravlev at GLORY 35. Both men want to be back in the hunt and a win here should be exactly that. 

GLORY 38 Chicago
Light Heavyweight World Title Headline Bout: Artem Vakhitov vs. Saulo Cavalari
Light Heavyweight Tournament Final Bout: Winner of Bout A vs. Winner of Bout B
Welterweight Co-Headline Bout: Richard Abraham vs. Antoine Pinto
Light Heavyweight Tournament Semifinal Bout B: Danyo Ilunga vs. Ariel Machado
Light Heavyweight Tournament Semifinal Bout A: Zack Mwekassa vs. Zinedine Hameur-Lain

GLORY 38 Chicago
Heavyweight Headline Bout: Benjamin Adegbuyi vs. Anderson Silva
Heavyweight Co-Headline Bout: Cătălin Moroșanu vs. Maurice Greene
Welterweight Bout: Murthel Groenhart vs. Thongchai
Welterweight Bout: Paweł Jędrzejczyk vs. Daniel Morales
Lightweight Bout: Łukasz Pławecki vs. Niclas Larsen

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LiverKick 2016 Awards: Event of the Year - GLORY Collision

When it came to deciding which of the many events that happened in 2016 was the event of the year it wasn't an easy decision. What metrics do you weigh this by? Attendance? Hype? Quality on paper? How exciting the show was? In a lot of ways, there wasn't one show that embodied all of these things, or even a majority of them. Unlike in the past where a K-1 World Grand Prix show would easily be the event of the year, now kickboxing is fractured and spread across the world. China is putting on shows that millions of people are watching, each show an epic, day-long affair. K-1 Japan is putting on some of the most exciting shows in the world and KNOCK OUT burst onto the scene with a KO-heavy first event.

Yet, which event actually did the most for the sport of kickboxing? That answer was simple; GLORY Collision. The sold out event in Germany was a triple-header, featuring title fights, tournaments and the dream bout between Rico Verhoeven and Badr Hari. While the question can be asked if the event actually delivered the action promised, the reality was that it was a full arena, it had fans across the world interested in kickboxing and there was a big fight feel for the first time in a very long time. How GLORY is able to capitalize on that is up to them, but it has people in Europe reconsidering kickboxing as a big sport again and had more eyes than kickboxing has had in quite a while. 

 

The 2016 LiverKick Awards

For more, listen to our year-end podcast.

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