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Interesting Note on Tyrone Spong's Contractual Status with GLORY

  • Published in Glory

Over the weekend there was some commotion about the possibility of Tyrone Spong heading to the UFC. Of course, that didn't seem to be in the cards considering Spong's favorable status with GLORY, where he is one of the top fighters in the organization. That means that he's also one of the better-paid fighters in the organization, in case you missed it. So Spong showing up at the UFC event and asking Dana White for a contract was a bit of a shock, but seemed more of a heat-of-the-moment thing than a possibility.

Well, hold on a second. 

This video from Sherdog (featuring the dulcet tones of our bud John O'Regan asking the questions) gives us some new insight into the contractual status of Tyrone Spong. According to Spong he is currently done with his GLORY contract. If he had won the GLORY Light Heavyweight Championship there would be a clause that put his contract into perpetuity, but that did not happen. This means that Spong may indeed be a free agent at the moment. He seems willing to work out a new contract with GLORY and if I'm GLORY I make sure that Spong is happy, but this is truly an interesting new twist.

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Body Matching Marc de Bonte's Description Found Near His Vehicle

  • Published in Kickboxing

After being missing for almost three weeks, it appears that the disappearance of former GLORY Welterweight Champion has come to a somber conclusion. While police have not made a positive confirmation yet, reports have surfaced that on Thursday a man spotted a body floating in the river near where Marc de Bonte's car was found abandoned over two weeks ago.

De Bonte was said to have gone out with friends in the Belgian town of Turnhout on that Friday evening that he went missing, although his car was found in Best on Wilhelmina Canal Street. According to one of the gyms that Marc trained at, Training Unit, they were told that a body was found and that there was a "99% chance" of it being Marc.

The Eindhoven police twitter account provided two brief updates on the find, one of which claimed that due to similar clothing the body was believed to be de Bonte's, the other that they won't know for sure until Saturday when they do an official identification on the body.

While there has been no official word just yet, the kickboxing world seems somber and already in mourning for the young fighter who was preparing to participate in the Kunlun 80kg tournament as well as upcoming Enfusion Live events. It seems like it is only a matter of time before the body is identified as de Bonte's and there are so many questions left hanging in the air still. 

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Pakorn vs. Greg Wootton Set for Yokkao 8

  • Published in Muay Thai

Yokkao

While Yokkao 7 is quickly approaching on the 19th of February Yokkao is still hard at work on March 8th's Yokkao 8 event, which is scheduled to take place in Manchester, England in cooperation with Supershowdown. The big bout announced so far for Yokkao 8 is Pakorn PKMuaythaigym vs. Greg Wootton. This is a huge fight as Pakorn is well known in Thailand and Greg Wootton has quite a following in the UK, making it an explosive bout for the fight-hungry fans of the UK.

Pakorn has also joined the Yokkao Fight Team along with countless other exciting Thais. Also scheduled to appear at Yokkao 8 is Rungravee Sasiprapa and many more. We'll have more information in the coming weeks.

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GLORY's Spike TV Debut Tonight is a Huge Deal

  • Published in Glory

GLORY

I've been kind of lamenting upon this for a while now and what it comes down to today is that tonight something huge is happening for the sport of Kickboxing. Kickboxing has had a strange journey in the United States, with the sport, in various forms, appearing to the public over the years. You could argue that the fall of the PKA all of those years ago was the last chance that anyone would give Kickboxing here in the United States, but you'd be wrong. It sure looked that way for a long time, but tonight is just proof that the sport has a strange way of enduring.

It is impossible to imagine being here today without having K-1 as the flag-bearer for the sport for so many years. K-1 had two chances at appearing on Spike TV and two management teams were able to ensure that it never happened. For K-1 right now they are going through a rebuilding process and it looks like America is a distant memory, riddled with failures and missed opportunities. But tonight we get to see GLORY make its debut on Spike TV. Spike TV is without a doubt the biggest platform that Kickboxing has ever had within the United States and I'm just unsure of how to process this right now.

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Post Glory 18 Matchmaking

  • Published in Glory

After 19 weeks without our beloved Glory the promotion returned last night with their 18th event, which took place in Oklahoma, USA.  Glory delivered once again making the wait worthwhile with a fantastic card top to bottom. Not only did Glory make up for lost time in terms of entertainment, but the event also solved several questions regarding title fights we can expect to see in 2015.

Saulo Cavalari

This one is quite obvious but for anyone who missed it, Cavalari defeated both Danyo Illunga and Zack Mwekessa last night to win the Glory Lightheavyweight Contender Tournament. Whilst Cavalari isn’t the most technically gifted striker at Lightheavyweight, he makes up for it with his aggressive approach and excellent output. He’ll be facing the current champion Gohkan Saki at some point in 2015 in what should be an absolute treat. 

Zack Mwekessa

Mwekessa’s boxing is not only some of the best at Lightheavyweight, but pound for pound he’s one of the best boxers in Glory at the moment. Cavalari exposed Mwekessa’s lack of kicking offence and defense, showing that he still needs to work on his overall game if he ever wants a crack at the belt. I think a bout with Andrei Stoica would be a good match for Mwekessa next.

Robin van Roosmalen

Van Roosmalen snatched the lightweight title from Kiria after defeating the Georgian for the third time. After 5 rounds of action it was van Roosmalen’s output that earned him the nod over the former champion, in a technically superb back and forth contest. Van Roosmalen first title defense will likely come against the last man to defeat him in Andy Ristie.

Davit Kiria

Unfortunately for Kiria it wasn’t third time lucky against Van Roosmalen. Despite scoring the only knockdown of the fight and remaining competitive throughout, Kiria lost the Majoirty Decision and his Lightweight title to the Dutchman last night. Unfortunately for Kiria this puts him in an awkward position so long as Van Roosmalen’s champion, as I doubt many will be calling for a fourth encounter between the two. Given that Ky Hollenbeck is also coming off of a loss a bout between him and Kiria makes a lot of sense, with the winner instantly being propelled back into title contention. 

Jason Wilnis

In what was the nights biggest upset, young Dutchman Jason Wilnis shocked the kickboxing world by defeating the #2 ranked Wayne Barrett. Wilnis refused to give Barrett the space he required and as a result he was able to capitalize with two knockdowns that swung the bout in his favor. With the win Wilnis evens his Glory record to 2-2 and will find himself knocking on the door of title contention. Due to the one-sided nature of his first loss to the current champ Artem Levin he’ll likely need at least one more convincing victory before he’s granted a rematch. A bout with Alex Perreira would not only give us a strong indication of where Wilnis stands within the Middleweight division, but it’d also be guaranteed fireworks.

Wayne Barrett

Barrett was heavily favored prior to the bout and looked to be on the cusp of a title shot. Wilnis’ aggressive approach appeared to be the answer to Barrett’s usual elusiveness as Barrett was hurt badly with punches in the opening two rounds. Even with a loss last night Barrett is one of the few Middleweights who’s yet to fight the champion, a win over a respectable opponent like Filip Verlinden would move him right back into title conversation.   

Danyo Illunga

In what was a disappointing performance by the perennial top 5 Lightheavyweight, Illunga was outworked and outpointed by eventual tournament winner Saulo Cavalari. The loss moves Illunga down in the pecking order, however with a few wins under his belt he could easily be knocking on the door of a title shot. A bout with fellow tournament semi-finalist Brian Collette would make a lot of sense.

Benjamin Adegbuyi

Another one that is fairly obvious. Adegbuyi defeated veteran Hesdy Gerges over the course of three rounds in a bout that was declared by Glory as a number one contenders bout. With the win Adegbuyi stays undefeated under the Glory banner and will move on to face the winner of the Rico Verhoeven vs. Errol Zimmerman III, which headlines Glory 19 on the 19th of December. 

 

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Pat Barry Out of GLORY 20 -- Featherweight Title Fight Moves to Main Card

  • Published in Glory

For kickboxing fans there is some good news and some bad news regarding GLORY 20. The bad news is that Pat Barry vs. Mourad Bouzidi is officially off after Pat Barry suffered a hand injury while training for the upcoming fight. Bouzidi will still be on the GLORY 20 card but for now it looks like he'll be moved to the SuperFight Series undercard with a replacement opponent.

The good news is that the Featherweight Championship bout between Mosab Amrani and Gabriel Varga will no longer headline the SuperFight Series card and will instead be featured on the main card. That means that an astonishing two GLORY championships will be on the line for GLORY 20. The event, set to go down on April 3rd in Dubai, will air via tape delay on Spike TV that same evening.

GLORY has promised that Pat Barry will be booked on an upcoming card when he is healthy.

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GLORY Helps New Divisions to Shine in Kickboxing

  • Published in Glory

Kickboxing has had a long history throughout Europe and Asia, but it really got bigger in the 90’s when K-1 started up in Japan. K-1 was aimed at an audience in Japan that was obsessed with Heavyweights, mainly from professional wrestling. Pro wrestling in Japan was all about Heavyweights, with the prestige of being called “Heavyweight Champion” holding a ton of weight with the local culture. So when K-1 got off the ground, of course Heavyweights were the primary focus.

It wasn’t until 2002 when K-1 started to take another weight class seriously -- 70kg MAX -- mostly because of the young, handsome and talented Masato. Masato was a star in the making, but was at least 30kg less than most of K-1’s big stars, so they needed to create a new division. That division was the MAX division and since then has been one of the best divisions in the Kickboxing world.

Part of the problem, though, is that for many years fighters had to aspire to be either a Heavyweight or a MAX fighter, with there being no in between. For a lot of fighters who were too small to be Heavyweights and too big to be MAX fighters that left them to work the minor circuits in Europe and Japan without any hopes of the bright lights and world titles being in their possession. That has changed in the past few years, with It’s Showtime really making a name for themselves with expanded weight classes that highlighted more talent. Everyone followed suit and now with GLORY we finally get the realization of this.

If you don’t believe me, look no further than GLORY’s GLORY 17 and Last Man Standing events on June 21st. Sure, on GLORY 17 the big feature bouts are Heavyweight and Lightweight (70kg/MAX) between Cro Cop and Jarrell Miller and Ky Hollenbeck and Andy Ristie, but the card also features a Featherweight Contender’s Tournament. Then while Last Man Standing will crown a GLORY Heavyweight Champion in the main event between Daniel Ghita and Rico Verhoeven, the GLORY Welterweight Championship is on the line between Joe Valtellini and Marc de Bonte and the Last Man Standing tournament will crown a Middleweight Champion.

Even a few years ago the idea of a major Kickboxing event, probably the biggest of the  year, being headlined by a weight class that isn’t Heavyweight or Lightweight seemed like insanity, yet here we are. 

GLORY still recognizes the importance of Heavyweight and Lightweight, but are willing to feature some of these other weight classes as just as important, which has helped to create new stars. Joe Valtellini was a virtual unknown to the world just over a year ago, now not only Kickboxing fans know who he is, but combat sports fans in general. Someone like Nieky Holzken was always toiling away in Europe as one of the best in the world, but was virtually unchallenged with nowhere to house his talents and bring in opponents. 

There is a brave new world in Kickboxing right now and you don’t need to be in one of two categories to become a star anymore. You just need to be good.

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GLORY Heavyweight Champion Rico Verhoeven is Considering a Full-Time Move to MMA

  • Published in Glory

The UFC is in the Netherlands for an event there and that means that the MMA media world has also made its presence shown. MMAJunkie's Mike Bohn is over in the Netherlands posted this video today where he spoke with current GLORY champion Rico Verhoeven.

While there will be some who swarm on the headlines for this that "Rico Verhoeven is going to switch to MMA," nothing is a done deal quite yet. Verhoeven speaks about the possibilities open to him, including saying that Bellator has already expressed interest in his services and that WSOF seems interested. He talks about being excited about MMA because it's so new to him still and he feels that he has a lot to offer. What he does mention is that while his current GLORY deal has ended, there is still a three month negotiation period that they are in the midst of and that he's not technically a free agent until the end of that period. Verhoeven claims that it was a good offer, although he seems to want a bit more.

Having multiple opportunities available to top athletes like Verhoeven is important because it allows for them to have leverage in contract situations. Where Verhoeven ends up is ultimately in his control right now and while he seems interested in the idea of fighting for the UFC, it's unlikely that they make a move for him just yet. Time will only tell where Verhoeven ends up, but my gut tells me that he's not done kickboxing just yet.

As for the Bellator offer? Our bud Stets reached out to Bellator and they denied any sort of offer being made to Verhoeven. 

So time will tell. [source]

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Benjamin Adegbuyi Out of GLORY 21, Will Challenge Rico Verhoeven at GLORY 22

  • Published in Glory

Originally slated for GLORY 21 was Anderson "Braddock" Silva vs. Benjamin Adegbuyi in a bout that was known in by insiders to be a #1 contender's bout where the winner would go on to face Rico Verhoeven at GLORY 22 in France. Adegbuyi was forced out of the fight due to a late leg injury and now according to GLORY he will be the contender for Verhoeven's Heavyweight Championship on June 5th in France.

It is an exciting fight considering that Adegbuyi has been a rising star within the Heavyweight kickboxing scene over the past few years, although I am pretty disappointed because the fight against Braddock was his biggest test to date. A win over Braddock would have left no doubts as to him deserving that shot. It looked like Mladen Brestovic would be filling in for Friday against Anderson "Braddock" Silva but it looks like for now that fight is on hold.

I kind of feel for Braddock here, always a bridesmaid and never the bride. Let's hope that he gets his shot soon as well.

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GLORY Appoints New CEO, Next Show in October

  • Published in Glory

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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