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Gabriel Varga Added to Dynamite Card

With GLORY 23 just a matter of days away all eyes are focused on Holzken vs. Daniels, but it appears that we can already start looking ahead to the Bellator Dynamite show as well. We already knew that a Light Heavyweight Championship bout between Zack Mwekassa and Saulo Cavalari was headlining, now it looks like we could see another championship on the line.

Just popping up on GLORY's website is a listing for GLORY Featherweight Champion Gabriel Varga squaring off against Thomas Adamandopoulus. It does not say if it is for the title but one would have to assume as such. Adamandopoulos made his GLORY debut at GLORY 22 dropping a decision to Shane Oblonsky. If I were to posit a guess as to why Varga is not fighting Oblonsky I'd guess because he defeated him at GLORY 17.

Stay tuned for updates on this.

UPDATE: We've heard from a reliable source that Adamandopoulos was listed on accident. For now it will be TBA, but expect an update soon.

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Live Streams For GLORY 23 and SuperFight Series

This Friday live from Las Vegas, Nevada will be GLORY 23. If you live in the United States it will be live on Spike TV at 11pm Eastern time, 8pm Pacific. If you aren't in the US then your mileage may vary on when you can watch it. To not miss a second of the live action you can check out the GLORY 23 stream (only if you don't live in the US or ex-Yugoslavia) via internet PPV. The GLORY SuperFight Series is available for everyone to check out live as well through internet PPV, all thanks to EverSport.

GLORY 23 SuperFight Series

GLORY 23

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Watch Cor Hemmers Talk About GLORY 23 as Well As Saki and Spong

Legendary Golden Glory trainer and GLORY matchmaker Cor Hemmers is a guy that knows kickboxing. That much we all know. He's in Las Vegas now preparing for GLORY 23, featuring the GLORY Welterweight Championship up for grabs between Nieky Holzken and Raymond Daniels. The guys behind Floyd Mayweather's YouTube channel caught up with Cor to talk about Saki, Spong and GLORY 23.

Cor, as always, has a lot of interesting things to say. He sees a lot in Xavier Vigney, which is interesting and seemingly upsetting a lot of fans. What do you think?

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Zack Mwekassa vs. Saulo Cavalari for GLORY Light Heavyweight Belt Added to Dynamite

After Gokhan Saki's talk about why things didn't work out with GLORY that included trashing GLORY's Light Heavyweight division on the way out as no-names that he'd destroy easily we move on and a new champion will be crowned at Bellator's Dynamite event on September 19th on Spike TV. The Spike/GLORY co-branded event is set to have at least three huge kickboxing fights, one of which will probably involve Paul Daley.

The feature attraction, though, will be for the vacant GLORY Light Heavyweight Championship between Zakk "The African Warrior" Mwekassa and Saulo "Cassius Clay" Cavalari. This is a huge rematch from GLORY 18 where Saulo Cavalari ended the storybook rise of Zack Mwekassa with a vicious headkick knockout in the third round. Both men will be fresh this time around and the biggest prize in the game will be on the line so I expect heightened levels of violence from these two.

Of course, what is interesting is that Zack Mwekassa seems to have taken Saki's comments personally and is going off on him via Twitter right now.

 

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Gokhan Saki Issues Statement About GLORY Contract Negotiations

It didn't take long for Gokhan Saki to want to share with the world his side of the contract dispute that has been ongoing with GLORY for the better part of a year and a half now. Earlier this week GLORY announced that the GLORY Light Heavyweight Championship was vacated due to Saki not defending it for well over a year, with them even extending that period to attempt to work out a deal between the two sides. They were unable to come to terms, which from what we've heard has mostly been about money. 

Saki was making in the range of $200,000 per fight before and GLORY simply didn't see the value in such a contract considering how their other stars are compensated. This isn't boxing and it isn't top level UFC, sadly. The money just isn't there to justify exorbitant contracts. Early on in GLORY many stars were signed to bloated contracts which simply don't reflect the current market for kickboxing. For Saki there is interest from GFC who is willing to pay him and has proven that they are willing to pay for name stars, as seen by Badr Hari's working agreement with them.

Saki released a statement through kickboxing blog Kickboxing Planet early this morning that attempts to explain his side of the story. What's clear is that Saki is very, very upset over this, but the statement itself is, well, a bit rough.

Bellator fans, the people in the USA are not going to see top quality kickboxing and this is bad for the sport. When you win the belt on Sept. 19 you can keep the price money but I expect the winner to hand the belt over to me and acknowledge that he didn’t beat the best. I mostly don’t talk like this and maybe there are a lot of emotions right now. But now that I offended anyone, I did that on purpose and I’m not sorry about it.

During this rant he describes his social media following as a point of value of him over the competition within the division, going as far as to make claims that the rest of the division are nobodies compared to him. This statement is... not a good look for a fighter in the public eye and chances are if there was an open dialogue between GLORY and Saki's camp that dialogue has most likely been shut down. 

It's easy to sympathize with Gokhan Saki as he is without a doubt one of the best fighters in the world and has worked extremely hard to reach that level. Before the market imploded he was without a doubt one of the more valuable stars. Hopefully he is able to make the money that he believes that he deserves and will continue fighting for his fans across the world. 

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Gokhan Saki's GLORY Light Heavyweight Championship Vacated

When we spoke with GLORY CEO Jon Franklin he told us that 95% of their fights had kept with them through the lean times. There were, of course, outliers, though. The biggest of which was Gokhan Saki, the GLORY Light Heavyweight Champion. He won the championship in a battle against Tyrone Spong that saw Spong's leg break in a freak accident and has left him in boxing and MMA since then. Saki, on the other hand, was not about to take a pay cut.

Saki has not competed for GLORY since GLORY 15 back in April of 2014. Instead he has competed one time for the UAE's GFC back in April against an overmatched Sebastian Ciobanu. The word on the street was that Saki was not happy with GLORY and while he was open to negotiations he would not return until his demands were met. GLORY has been negotiating with him ever since, acting on good faith and not vacating the championship, even after a year of inactivity. 

The final straw for GLORY was trying to negotiate for Saki to fight on September 19th in the Bellator Dynamite event to defend the GLORY Light Heavyweight Championship. They were unable to come to terms in time and GLORY has been forced to vacate the championship for the time being. They haven't given up on Saki just yet, but for now the title is vacant.

With GLORY's Light Heavyweight division being one of their deeper divisions it made no sense to hold up the title any longer. Hopefully this means that Danyo Ilunga and Saulo Cavalari can clash again, this time with the title on the line. Make it happen, GLORY.

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Nieky Holzken issues challenge to Paul Daley

Glory Welterweight champion Nieky Holzken has today challenged to Paul "Semtex" Daley to a fight at 77kg on the Bellator: Dynamite card in September. 

Holzken, the consensus #1 welterweight on the planet, is currently scheduled to defend his strap in a rematch with karate extraordinaire Raymond Daniels at Glory 23 on August 7th, but that hasn't stopped him from looking for additional opponents. 

Paul Daley is recognised by most combat sports fans for his achievements in mixed martial arts, however Daley has also found success in kickboxing too. The 32-year old from Nottingham fought six times last year inside the ring, earning five stoppage victories including one over the ranked #8 Alexander Stetsurenko. 

Soon after the video was posted by Holzken, Daley was quick to respond via his Facebook page:

"The best 77kg kickboxer Nieky Holzken has called me out to fight him on glory/Bellator dynamite. Very surreal. I'm a massive fan of Holzken, but I am a fighter that won't back down. If he wants it, it's the motivation I need. Let's make it happen, and if he wins in Vegas for the GLORY, let's make it for the GLORY CHAMPIONSHIP BELT. Ok Nieky?......." 

Whilst it would be a huge step-up in competition for "Semtex", a championship bout between these two would gain some serious attention, as well as undoubtedly providing fireworks. 

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New Promo Video Goes Inside the Life of GLORY 23's Raymond Daniels

On August 7th at GLORY 23 Raymond Daniels and Nieky Holzken are set to clash in a rematch from GLORY 19, only this time the vacant GLORY Welterweight Championship is on the line. There is a lot riding on this fight for both men, with Holzken looking to cement his legacy as the best at this weight and Daniels looking to prove that his success in martial arts can span over into kickboxing in a big way. 

We've already seen how Nieky Holzken is preparing for GLORY 23, now it's time to look at Raymond Daniels.

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Check Out GLORY 23's Nieky Holzken Preparing for War

While there are some grumbles about the card for GLORY 23, the price of admission is easily paid for by getting to see Nieky Holzken in action. Holzken is one of the top kickboxers in the world pound-for-pound and on August 7th he finally gets a chance to compete for the vacant GLORY Welterweight championship against co-contender Raymond Daniels. Daniels and Holzken met before in a contender tournament which saw Holzken pick up the win. Will he be able to repeat that win? He sure looks ready.

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GLORY 23 Card Finalized for August 7th

GLORY 23 will take place on August 7th live from the Hard Rock in Las Vegas, featuring a bout for the GLORY Welterweight Championship between Nieky Holzken and Raymond Daniels in a rematch from earlier this year. The title was vacated by Joseph Valtellini recently when it was revealed that he had suffered a concussion and was still dealing with the after effects of said concussion and wasn't sure when he'd be able to return to the ring. 

GLORY today released the finalized card (of course subject to change due to injuries, medical or visa issues as are prone to happen in this sport), which mostly just solidifies the fighters involved in the Qualifying tournament at Middleweight. Dustin Jacoby is the big name in this tournament with Casey Greene as the other GLORY veteran. The other two names are Quinton O'Brien and Ariel Sepuvelda.

GLORY 23

GLORY Welterweight Championship: Nieky Holzken vs. Raymond Daniels
Xavier Vigney vs. Daniel Sam
GLORY Middleweight Contender Tournament: Casey Greene vs. Quinton O'Brien
GLORY Middleweight Contender Tournament: Dustin Jacoby vs. Ariel Sepuvelda

GLORY SuperFight Series

Anderson "Braddock" Silva vs. Jamal Ben Saddik
Murthel Groenhart vs. Chad Sugden
Matt Baker vs. Edward Hyman
Giga Chikadze vs. Anvar Boynazarav
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