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GLORY 17 Los Angeles Featuring PPV Tournament

  • Published in Glory

Glory 17

When it comes to GLORY events, semantics are vital. Numbered GLORY events have been airing on Spike TV and television around the world while the undercards are the GLORY SuperFight Series. When it comes to GLORY 17 Los Angeles things are going to be a little bit different. GLORY 17 Los Angeles will air on Spike TV, like usual, but this time around that will not be the main attraction. Oh no.

The main attraction?

The GLORY Last Man Standing Middleweight tournament on PPV. We told you that GLORY PPV was coming and here it is. This will be an 8-man tournament, which GLORY has announced six of the names thus far. Those names are as follows; Joe Schilling, Simon Marcus, Alex Pereira, Bogdan Stoica, Melvin Manhoef and Wayne Barrett. The big surprise is the inclusion of Simon Marcus, who has a long history with GLORY 10 Middleweight tournament winner Joe Schilling. The new names are Bogdan Stoica, brother of Andrei Stoica and Melvin Manhoef. We all know Melvin.

This is a huge deal, obviously, we'll have more information when it becomes available.

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Glory 17: Glory Prepares to Distinguish Itself As a Combat Sports Brand

  • Published in News

Glory 17 is a turning point for Glory in many ways, marking its entry into the American PPV market by staging the largest, most significant kickboxing tournament on American soil in decades. But even more noteworthy than that, this event signifies the opportunity for Glory to truly distinguish itself as a unique combat sports product that is capable of delivering where other brands may falter, particularly the UFC. The UFC’s present difficulties are well known: problems with a ballooning roster, complaints about “boring” fights, and problems marketing fighters have led to great inconsistency in the quality of UFC events. Glory, on the other hand, has experienced few to no difficulties in this regard--and for very interesting reasons. In this article, I will talk about some of the things that I think make Glory a fairly unique entity in the combat sports world.

1. Each Glory weight class has more elite fighters than a single card can accommodate.

The Last Man Standing tournament is essentially a display of the entire Middleweight division, and it is a scary division, featuring Artem Levin, Joe Schilling, Simon Marcus, Wayne Barrett, Filip Verlinden, and Melvin Manhoef as well as dangerous contenders like Alex Pereira--all of these men are either champions, former champions, or fighters who have distinguished themselves against championship-level competition. Whereas some promotions might struggle to fill fight cards with less accomplished talent, Glory has the unique problem of struggling to fill fight cards with overqualified talent, bumping the likes of Levin to the non-televised SuperFight Series. If you ever find yourself wondering why a fighter like Giorgio Petrosyan gets to occupy the fourth slot on the Glory main card, it’s frequently because any Glory card could offer you a choice of several main event fights.

2. Glory has complete control of the rules of the sport.

No matter how many three or four-letter-name sanctioning bodies Glory will claim accountability to, the fact remains that Glory, as an organization in today’s combat sports market, is unique because of the complete control that it has on the rules of the sport. By frequently changing its clinch rules, its knockdown rules, and its 8-count rules, Glory has crafted and refined a viewing experience that is more fast-paced and exciting, producing a high volume of memorable fights and highlight reel moments. This is an ability that neither the UFC nor any other MMA organization possess, and the end result for them is a perpetual struggle to reconcile the Unified Rules of MMA with the type of fights that UFC wants to sell. Glory, by contrast, can eliminate any rule that negatively affects the viewing experience.

The flipside is that we also don’t have to talk about drug testing in the sport of Kickboxing. Glory is in a peculiar position here as well, operating between the lines of an oversight structure that is very dated and arguably unequipped to handle a multimillion dollar professional sport. Indeed, WKA’s official rules, published in 2011, leave drug testing up to the discretion of the “WKA supervisor, tournament promoters, and the official doctor,” who “can and may perform tests” but don’t necessarily have to do so unless directed by local law, making WKA’s actual responsibility very unclear. The procedure, standards, and logistics of testing are either mentioned in vague terms or not outlined at all. Glory, for its part, hasn’t forced the issue, leaving us to enjoy the fruits of ambiguity. In other words: don’t ask, don’t tell, and Pride never die.

3. Glory is learning how to market its fighters.

This is an issue that we’ve discussed several times here on LiverKick and which Dave Walsh expounded on in his excellent piece comparing kickboxing to the history of regional pro wrestling promotion. Behind every fight is an evolving narrative with at least two central characters, and as viewers, we’re interested in not only the fight itself but also in how the fight will determine the next chapter of the story. The promoter’s job is to build anticipation and interest in the fight and to illustrate what it means in the grand scheme of the division. With Glory 17, Glory has been proactive in producing media which tells us the story, including an excellent video on the rivalry between Rico Verhoeven and Daniel Ghita. The authenticity of this rivalry (for the critics’ sake) is as irrelevant as the authenticity of the 2009 rivalry between Badr Hari and Alistair Overeem--it felt real at the time and it electrified the atmosphere at the Saitama Super Arena. As Glory gains screen time on television and PPV, promotional efforts like this will be increasingly vital to its success.

While Glory got off to a rough start, it seems like the organization has found its identity as a kickboxing promotion and major combat sports brand. It is undeniably a unique presence in today’s sports entertainment market. If this event is a success and the Glory audience continues to grow, I think that Glory could become a leading company. Until then, you will have to join me in keeping fingers tightly crossed.

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Badr Hari vs. Ismael Londt Cancelled

  • Published in Kickboxing

Badr Hari

In what might be the least shocking bit of news to Kickboxing fans, the fight in May between Badr Hari and Ismael Londt has been cancelled. This confirms reports that we've been hearing for at least the past few weeks that the Gunyar brothers, who were promoting the fight, were having issues acquiring a license to promote an event in Eindhoven (which shares Amsterdam's laws in this case). This, of course, comes as zero shock if you've been following Dutch Kickboxing.

There have been incredibly heavy restrictions set on Kickboxing events in Amsterdam and neighboring cities thanks to a law called BIBOB that is targeted at organized crime. The school of thought was that Kickboxing events held within the city would always pander to certain "VIPs" from the world of organized crime, thus making them meeting places for criminals. The city of Amsterdam wanted to clean up their reputation and saw this as a natural way to do so.

It didn't matter how legitimate of a business the Gunyars were going to run, trying to promote a convicted criminal with known ties to organized crime in an event in Amsterdam was never, ever going to work. According to Badr Hari's Facebook page, "May 29th in Dubai" seems to be his next stop.

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Glory World Series Press Conference and Weigh-Ins Video

  • Published in Kickboxing

If for some reason you were like me, that means that you were sleeping a few hours ago when the Glory World Series live presser went down. That is kind of a bummer, as it was live on YouTube for the whole world to watch, in English, and hosted by none other than Mauro Ranallo. Lucky for us who enjoy sleeping, the internet is a marvelous thing and it was archived. This means you can watch it at your leisure as you get hyped up for what is one of the biggest kickboxing weekends in a very long time.

What is important when watching this video is to note just how far Glory has come. This press conference was uber professional and exactly what you'd expect from a worldwide combat sports brand working its way to the top.

Don't forget to watch the Glory World Series live this Saturday morning at 10:00am Eastern time/7:00am Pacific time. If you are worried about where to watch it, well, never fear, as you don't have to leave the comfort of your chosen web browser or even leave this very site. Just load up this page right now and order the video by clicking on it and plonking down $15 USD. Seriously, if you don't have a problem buying multiple UFC PPVs a year to fund Dana White's Bruce Lee t-shirt collection, this should be no sweat. Help out Glory and help out LiverKick, by doing so you will help me expand my own Bruce Lee t-shirt collection, which as of right now is a lone shirt. I have to beat Dana White in this category guys, and you can help.

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Dzevad Poturak Announces Retirement

  • Published in Kickboxing

Poturak

Bosnian Heavyweight Kickboxer Dzevad Poturak has released a statement today announcing his retirement from the sport of Kickboxing at the age of 35. Poturak, who has competed in K-1, It's Showtime, SuperKombat and most recently Final Fight, will fight one last time at Final Fight 07, which is scheduled for September. Poturak's record currently stands at 50-22-1-1, with notable wins over Sergei Laschenko, Wendel Roche and Daniel Ghita under his belt.

Poturak had a strong showing at the K-1 World Grand Prix in March where he defeated Laschenko in a reserve bout and was called to fill in for an injured Badr Hari. Poturak was actually injured himself at the time, but opted to head to the ring and fight, putting forth a valiant effort against Ismael Londt. His most recent bout was at Final Fight 06 where he lost to Igor Jurkovic.

His retirement bout is slated for September 6th in Sarajevo under the Final Fight banner. Everyone here at LiverKick wishes Poturak well in his retirement.

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A Look at the Field For Glory 9's Light Heavyweight Tournament

  • Published in News

Glory 9

GLORY 9 takes place at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City this Saturday, June 22nd. Among the night’s major attractions will be an 8-man light heavyweight (209 lb./95 kg.) tournament, featuring much of the world’s top talent at that weight. The tournament field includes longtime divisional standouts, champions of all varieties, and a couple of American kickboxers with the chance to prove themselves on the international stage. Here is just a bit more information about each of the fighters in the field.

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Gokhan Saki Issues Statement About GLORY Contract Negotiations

  • Published in Glory

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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A Look at Xavier Vigney Heading Into GLORY 21's Heavyweight Tournament

  • Published in Interviews

Do you remember September 28th 2013? I remember that day, okay well I don't really, but thay sounded really good, didn't it? I actually do have a very vivid memory of one thing from that date, GLORY 10: Los Angeles and the impression one fighter left on me. Who is that fighter you might ask? The up and coming, Northern California heavyweight Xavier Vigney. It wasn't his first day on the job, but it was my first opportunity to witness a talent on the rise. The LA event was Vigney's debut with GLORY and by knocking out his opponent, Hyunman Myung, Vigney demonstrated that he had arrived and was ready to climb the ranks in the world's best kickboxing organization. Following GLORY 10 I anxiously awaited another opportunity to see more, at GLORY 19, I got my chance. At GLORY 19: Virginia, the 6'8" Vigney was matched against Everett Sims in a battle which would end with Vigney's TKO victory. Following this second GLORY win, I also had an opportunity to talk with Vigney, get a little history and find out what's next for him.

Hailing from Northern California, Vigney reports an early interest in boxing, but actually spent much of his youth on the football field. Naturally athletic and no stranger to spending hard days training, Vigney walks around normally at a svelte 109-113kgs. Making his pro debut in 2012 at a K-1 event, Vigney faced Seth Petruzelli. It was druing this event that Vigney proved that he was ready for the big stage as he repeatedly dropped Petruzelli throughout the first and second rounds. In K-1, Vigney also faced Zabit Samedov. While not victorious in this match-up, he has continued his pursuit of kickboxing glory. Vigney joined GLORY via their eight-man ‘Road to GLORY’ tournament. He took this tourney by storm, with three KOs in one night and thereby earning a coveted GLORY contract. he won by stopping three opponents in one night, one after another, earning himself a contract.

While he continues his rise in GLORY, Vigney has dabbled in boxing, a sport in which he's also had some success. He also voices no opposition to the prospect of MMA. And so at a youthful 24 years of age Xavier Vigney has gone from gridiron superstar to hot prospect in K-1 to rising star in GLORY. What's next? More hard work and GLORY 21: San Diego where he will face GLORY newcomer, Maurice Jackson. On Saturday, May 8th we will see what Xavier Vigney has in store for his opponent. Win or lose without a doubt those watching will be able to witness an exciting fight where Vigney will bring the strength, power and agility he has cultivated over the years.

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Photo of the Day: Giorgio Petrosyan, Gago Drago and Melvin Manhoef Partying with Alexander Gustafsson

  • Published in Kickboxing

If the average picture if worth a thousand words then I'm not really sure what this one is worth. Ruslan Suleymanov, the owner of LEGEND, recently turned 35 years old. What better way to celebrate turning 35 than by having a huge birthday party featuring some of the best fighters of the world just hanging out, right? Benson Henderson, Alexander Gustafsson, Andy Souwer, Giorgio Petrosyan, Melvin Manhoef and Gago Drago were among the names of fighters that were in attendance, but there were more, a lot more. 

Ben Pontier was there snapping up photos of the whole thing, which is when he captured this moment above. I don't even know.

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