This morning two listings appeared on ESPN's web schedule for GLORY 25. One for the live event on ESPN3, the other for a tape delay on ESPN2. Expect official word later on.
Here is the live listing.
And the delay.
This morning two listings appeared on ESPN's web schedule for GLORY 25. One for the live event on ESPN3, the other for a tape delay on ESPN2. Expect official word later on.
Here is the live listing.
And the delay.
GLORY 17 and Last Man Standing were two incredible events jam-packed into one of the best nights in kickboxing history. Now you can relive some of those moments while getting a backstage view of what went down that night behind the scenes thanks to this awesome video from 2.One.Fly productions.
At GLORY 23 Las Vegas there is a tall task laid out for Raymond Daniels, one that many fans and insiders have proclaimed to be impossible: defeat Nieky Holzken and take the GLORY Welterweight Championship home with him. Back at GLORY 19 during a contender’s tournament the two men met for the first time in a fight that Holzken largely dominated with his smart cutting off of the ring and use of his experienced hands to keep Daniels from getting comfortable and doing what he does best, which is kicking from a distance. Since then the champion Joseph Valtellini was forced to vacate the championship due to complications from a concussion and GLORY has placed Holzken against Daniels in a rematch, the winner taking home the title.
Many see it as a foregone conclusion for Holzken. To them he’ll clearly be walking away with the championship, but there is just one thing that they are forgetting in this equation: Raymond Daniels. Daniels is known throughout martial arts circles as one of the best competitive martial artists of all time. That isn’t an exaggeration, if you look through the worlds of sport martial arts you won’t find anyone quite like Daniels. His record is immaculate, his accolades could fill a warehouse, yet he still looks for further challenges and his ultimate challenge is in the GLORY ring right now, his ultimate challenge is taking on Nieky Holzken.
Their first fight was a tough loss for Daniels, but he reflects on the fight as a positive learning experience for him. “It was a learning experience for sure,” he explained. “I get to watch that fight and see what I need to do to fix the holes in my game and to make myself a better fighter. That’s how you improve as a fighter and a person, by learning from your mistakes.”
When analyzing Daniels as a fighter and his game, it’s difficult not to see where his weaknesses lie. His background in Karate meant less of a focus on using his hands, but since turning professional in kickboxing there has been a marked improvement. “There’s always a learning curve, there’s always something that you can do better. I’ll never be perfect, even if I strive for perfection. You can see the maturity of myself as a fighter, you can see the evolution of my style over my last few fights. It’s a great feeling, I’m just so much more comfortable, so much more calm and collected in that ring now. I used to be really excited, hopping around a lot and trying to get things over quickly. Now I’m able to get my energy out in spurts.”
Daniels is a living legend in the world of sport karate, so the question has to be raised why he would even make such a transition to professional kickboxing. “I’ve been very fortunate in my sport. I’ve traveled the world, I’ve met great people but I’ve accomplished everything that I possibly could a few times over. The next realm with a similar system is kickboxing and GLORY is that vehicle that gets me out there, just like the World Combat League did before. Now GLORY is the biggest league on the planet, so they give me the opportunity to use my skillset. Everyone looks at my sport and says ‘oh it’s pitter patter, it’s Karate Kid, it’s Best of the Best’ or something. This gives me a chance to go out there and show that just because my sport is about control and technique, that I’m able to translate that technique into kickboxing and add speed and power to it. That’s what I love about this, I get to test my skills against guys with different skill sets and style and show them what my sport is capable of doing.”
The World Combat League, organized by Chuck Norris, was dismissed at the time for it’s relatively strange rules and team format, but it’s undeniable that they produced a ton of talent. WCL’s roster included not only Daniels but Uriah Hall, Jarrell Miller, Pat Barry, Anthony Njokuani, Lyman Good, Carlos Brooks, Rick Cheek, Felice Herrig and more.
“What was great was that my sport was dismissed in combat sports, written off as impractical or too old fashioned, but then you look at the WCL and some of the fighters that came from there,” Daniels said. “But you got to see the athletes from the WCL start to blossom afterwards.”
This quickly brought us to the topic of being dismissed and how Daniels has been dismissed by kickboxing fans and pundits almost across the board. “You know, I find it kind of comical in a way. I look at it like; the people that don’t understand a burning desire couldn’t understand what it is, what I want and how I feel. Just because you fail or you fall short on something that you want to accomplish doesn’t necessarily mean that your life is defined by those moments. I lost a fight, but that doesn’t define me. I see people who have that outlook as very close-minded individuals. Everybody has a setback in life. If this wasn’t challenging to me, why would I do it? If I wasn’t fighting world class athletes like Nieky why would I be doing this?
“This gives me an opportunity to grow,” he continued. “Not just as a fight, but as a person. It allows me to step outside of my comfort zone. It allows me to strive to be better, to learn more about myself. I see people who will dismiss a fighter as people that would probably give up as soon as they have a setback in life as opposed to finding a way to make it work, finding a way through and to persevere. I have a fire underneath me and am more motivated than ever. I have an opportunity to go out there and fight someone who has beaten me before, there aren’t a lot of people that can say that they’ve beaten me before in my career. With that being said, people that are overlooking me, I have that knock-it-out-of-the-park ability with every move that I throw. So I always find it funny. Don’t get me wrong, Nieky himself is a great fighter, but he’s a flawed fighter. He’s lost before and he has holes in his game -- just like I do -- that I can exploit. Nobody's perfect. I’m looking forward to going in there and being able to silence people. If you don’t believe, just watch. I want to show people what it is to have faith in myself, in my skillset and to prove these people wrong.”
There is another side to GLORY’s push of Raymond Daniels, though, one that is hard to explain. Daniels possesses a magnetism that many fighters don’t. His ability to do things in the ring that no one thought was practical and not only land, but score crazy knockouts with has earned him a reputation among fans as a can’t miss fighter. I got to see this first hand live at GLORY 16 where fighters like Rico Verhoeven, Errol Zimmerman, Andy Souwer and Ben Edwards were walking around throughout the night and went relatively undisturbed, but Daniels was a different story. He was being stopped for selfies, autographs and high fives throughout the night. He’s fought on some of the most-viewed GLORY cards of all-time on Spike TV and has been one of their featured attractions.
“That’s my whole goal at the end of the day, outside of fighting, I want to give fans something to talk about. I want to be able to give back to them,” he explained. “I want them to look at something that I did and say ‘my god, I saw that in a movie last week and he did it,’ you know what I mean? I also want the die hard fans to say ‘that stuff doesn’t work in a fight, Nieky has this Dutch style that’s gonna light him up’ and say, okay, come watch. As long as people want to come to watch, that’s cool. At the end of the day I don’t believe my own hype. You know, that’s not who I am. I have a Martial Arts school and I don’t even advertise what I do. Most of my students don’t even know that I’m going to fight for the world title right now.
“Some of my students will see some of my fights later,” he jokes, “and they’ll be like ‘oh my gosh that’s my sensei in there? He’s not like that when he’s in the karate school.’ It’s a different persona, you know, like wrestling. Wrestling isn’t real, but how many people follow that, watch it -- I mean people have tattoos of it. People watch it because they put on a show. What I’m doing is real, but it’s still entertainment. If I go out there and I can knock a guy out with a kick that you’d only see in the movies, how much entertainment value does that bring? That’s how I look at my fighting.”
Daniels brings all of this and more to the table, also bringing with him one of the gaping holes in the combat sports world of late by the way of traditional martial arts. Martial Arts are indeed about self-defense and technique, but are centered around improving the self and becoming a better person. “I feel that is missing from sports right now. The focus isn’t on that, the focus is on who is the best, who is the flashiest and who is making the most money. It’s absolutely missing from combat sports right now and I’m just glad that I can help bring some of those values with me into the ring.”
It is a monumental task for Raymond Daniels at GLORY 23 against Nieky Holzken, but Daniels seems ready for whatever might come his way. Tune in this Friday at 11pm Eastern time on Spike TV to witness Raymond Daniels vs. Nieky Holzken vying for the GLORY Welterweight Championship and see for yourself who comes out victorious.
For Kickboxing fans the name Steve Moxon is one that will not only ring a bell, but be incredibly familiar. The Australian Kickboxer has been competing with the best-of-the-best for years now, standing out as one of the best prospects at 70kg without ever getting his shot at the big time. At GLORY 15 this weekend Moxon will step into the GLORY ring for the third time, this time against the tough Niclas Larsen on the GLORY SuperFight Series undercard.
John Joe O’Regan caught up with Steve Moxon heading into his fight with Larsen this weekend to discuss a wide breadth of topics, everything from his training to family life and everything in between. So here is "Moxon on" various topics. Some you just have to read to believe.
Former It's Showtime Champion and current GLORY Light Heavyweight standout Danyo Ilunga has signed on with Croatia's Final Fight promotion. While the promotion did not release details of the contract or when he will debut, they seem excited to have Ilunga on board considering how talented he is.
Ilunga was the long-time top dog of the division until he ran into Tyrone Spong in the finals of the GLORY 9 Light Heavyweight tournament. From there he went on to defeat Michael Duut, Andrei Stoica and Ondrei Hutnik before falling to Saulo Cavalari in the GLORY 18 Light Heavyweight Contender's tournament. I don't expect him to stop competing in GLORY any time soon, though, so consider his move to FFC just in addition to that.
Final Fight's current Light Heavyweight Champion is Igor Jurkovic, which would be a potentially interesting match up down the line for FFC to make.
"We are extremely proud that we have such a big name in Final Fight Championship. I think Danyo Ilunga needs no special introduction since he is the world's best fighter in light heavyweight division and No 1 on Glory raking lists. It is also an important indicator of the reputation FFC has in the international fighting sports scene since fighters such as Ilunga fight only in top promotions,“ said the FFC President Orsat Zovko and added: “We will soon reveal more details on Ilunga's debut in the FFC and we hope it will be as soon as possible.“
Glory 34 is starting in just under 30 mins on UFC fight pass for the super fight series and then over to eversport.tv or ESPN3 at midnight ET for the main card. I have a strong feeling this is going to be a night of exciting fights and probably one of the best cards in America since Glory's 8-man tournament in LA. For anyone that misses it, the show will replay on Sunday at 7pm ET on ESPN2 or we have the results for you fight here.
GLORY 34 DENVER RESULTS
Welterweight Title: Nieky Holzken def. Murthel Groenhart by Unanimous Dec - Round 1: Feeling out round for the most part until the last minute of the round, Murthel landing nice jabs and a nice uppercut through the round while Holzken is landing hard inside leg kicks and looking busier than his usual first round. Round 2: All Holzken this round landing lots and lots of low kicks which are taking their toll now. Round 3: More of the same from Holzken hes running away with this fight. Murthel is not throwing enough and standing around too much to get low kicked. This is a different Holzken that we have seen in the past 2 years, no more standing around covering up, hes moving and kicking much more. Round 4: Closer round with Groenhart starting to go for broke, nothing landing clean though but Nieky keeps just losing his balance and getting up very slowly but that's been happening for the past 3 rounds. Round 5: Great round for Groenhart but it seems like too little too late he sat back too many rounds in the beginning of the fight, he landed lots of punches and some hard knees to the body but couldn't put hurt Nieky enough to drop him.
Middleweight Co-Headline Bout: Israel Adesanya def. Yousri Belgaroui by Split Dec- Round 1: Israel looking calm slipping punches and trying to counter but not landing too many clean strikes but still lands more than Belgaroui who is missing a lot. Round 2: Emotions getting to Israel a bit making him stand and trade instead of picking Belgaroui off like the first round allowing himself to be hit more, very close round. Round 3: Ugh, another close round Israel landing the cleaner, harder shots but Belgaroui throwing more and landing more little shots, hard fight to judge.
Simon Marcus def. Dustin Jacoby by TKO Rd 1 (doctor stoppage) - Round 1: Great round for Jacoby, countering kicks with his front kick (teep) and landing nice punches but Marcus lands a hard knee and hurts Jacoby right at the end of the round. Doctor ends up stopping the right before the 2nd round due to Jacoby having an injured (possibly broken) right arm.
Middleweight Tournament Semi-Final: Israel Adesanya def. Robert Thomas by Unanimous Dec - Round 1: Entertaining first feel out round for the 2 fighters Israel wobbling Thomas once during the round with a right hand giving him the round. Round 2: Hesitant Thomas ends up walking into a really hard left knee to the body and gets an 8 count. Israel didn't push too hard to finish the fight though so Thomas makes it through. Round 3: Again and all Adesanya fight controlling the fight and keeping Thomas guessing. With 15 seconds left in the round Israel lands a left high kick and drops Thomas for the 2nd time in the fight.
Middleweight Tournament Semi-Final: Yousri Belgaroui def. Ariel Machado by Unanimous Dec - Round 1: Even round, Belgaroui trying to keep distance while Machado landing good low kicks, fighters exchange some slightly angry nudges after the bell. Round 2: Machado slowing down a lot this round could be because he was a late replacement. Belgaroui trying many flying knees and just being the busier fighter but needs to start blocking low kicks. Round 3: Both guys looking extremely tired, I cant imagine either of them fighting again tonight. Machado landed all the more damaging shots this round Belgaroui took tired to throw any power at all. Lets hope for their sake there isn't an extra round.
GLORY 34 SUPERFIGHT SERIES RESULTS
Featherweight Title: Robin van Roosmalen def. Gabriel Varga by TKO Rd 4 (corner stoppage) - Round 1: Varga looking great with his hands keeping his punches long but still ends the round with a cut over the right eye and Robin with blood coming from his nose but varga still much more active, Vargas round. Round 2: Varga gets dropped with a left hook early and he stands up and tells the ref his corner had forgot to put his mouth guard in so that hook chipped his tooth. Robin drops Varga again with a combo, liver punch doing the most damage. Varga up at 8, not looking good but survives the round. Round 3: Another rough round for Varga getting pushed around the ring but Robin. Robin really looks strong at this weight and now hes landing a lot of leg kicks. Round 4: Robin again pressing Varga again and landing some hooks and seems to be gaining momentum. End of the round has Robin unleashing hell on Varga on the ropes, Varga is so tough and staying up. Vargas corner stops the fight after round 4.
Saulo Cavalari def. Brian Douwes by Unanimous Dec - Round 1: Both guys throwing heavy hands all round but Cavalari landing hard leg kicks as well. Douwes clinching a little too much and getting warned by the ref. Round 2: All Cavalari low kicking a tiring Douwes to hell. Round 3: Both guys tiring and nothing significant this round but still Cavalari's round.
Thongchai Sitsongpeenong def. Casey Greene by KO Rd 2 - Round 1: One sided round with Sitsongpeenong landing many punches and hurting Greene twice even dropping him at the end of the round but the ref called no down. Round 2: Sitsongpeenong smashes Greene with a few more right hands and knocks him down for an 8 count. Greene stands up and is on terribly wobbly legs but the ref lets him keep going and take some unnecessary punishment as the commission is waving it off from outside the ring, Greene gets floored with another left hook.
Richard Abraham def. Mike "Blood Diamond" Mathetha by Unanimous Dec - Round 1: Awkward first round for both guys Mathetha landing some hard left kicks though. Round 2: was going well for Blood Diamond until Abraham landed a front kick to his knee and hyper extended Mathetha's knee now hes got a nasty limp. Round 3: Mathetha has ridiculous heart, his leg was buckling with every kick he threw but he kept kicking all round and firing back at Abraham. Abraham really should have been kicking more he may have been able to at least score a knockdown.
Justin Houghton def. Jonathon Wyderko by Split Dec - Round 1: pretty even round Houghton throwing many flying knees with no success but probably won the round on being active. Round 2: no more flying knees by Houghton and a much closer round but his chin is getting very high he needs to be careful. Round 3: Both too tired tired to throw anything of note not a very good round.
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.
It looks like Glory has unveiled their plans for their Heavyweight tournament finals to go down in Tokyo, and they've partnered with promotional company G-Entertainment in Japan to help make this show a reality. Press release follows.
UPDATE: Fixed factual error on name.
GLORY Partners With Japan’s G-Entertainment To Bring “GLORY Grand Slam - Heavyweight” Kickboxing Mega-Event To Tokyo In December
Live event to return the world’s greatest stand-up fighters to the sport’s spiritual home
TOKYO, Japan (July 23, 2012) –The world’s best heavyweights are set to return to Tokyo at last. GLORY Sports International (GSI) today announced ‘GLORY Grand Slam – Heavyweight,’ which will take place in the Japanese capital this December.
The event will feature GLORY’s top fighters battling in a new and exciting format and promises the Japanese fans something they have been missing for a long time - a truly world-class kickboxing event featuring the sport’s most decorated superstars.
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.
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.