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A Look at Hesdy Gerges Leading into GLORY 18

Whenever I want to talk about the "Real" in kickboxing, I have a go to guy and that person is Thom Harinck. Yes, I know, not your average person, but someone who I trust and who trusts me with many of the secrets and stories of this long held tradition. It would only be natural then, that on the occasion of meeting Hesdy Gerges that I would consult Thom, after all, he trained with Hesdy for many years and probably has, or at least I thought, a very good interpretation of his persona both in and out of the ring. So, on the verge of interviewing Hesdy, Thom had this to say :

SW: Is he a hard worker?

TH: Yes, he is very committed. It doesn't matter how long it takes for him to learn something, he does it until he performs correctly. He also is very positive for other fighters because when he comes into the gym, he gives everything, so they look up to him which I think is good. Basically, no matter what is going on he tries, he is not afraid to be hit, he continues to punch and put forth his effort.

So this is the background and the effort he puts forth. With a career record of 59 wins, Hesdy has met and challenged many of the biggest names in kickboxing today including, Semmy Schilt, Badr Hari, Daniel Ghita, Ruslan Karaev and others. Even in the fights that he has not won, this 30 year old fighter has performed in spectacular fashion.

Ahead of Glory 18 Hesdy, now a member of Vos Gym, had not much to say about his upcoming fight with Benny Adegbuyi. Not known for trash talk in general, Hesdy stated that he had a great deal of respect for his opponent but, that the truth would be shown in the ring. Most recently off a disqualification victory over Jamal Ben Saddik, Hesdy appeared not worried about this fight, this is the work he's done his entire life, and what he plans to do for several years to come.

Saturday, November 7, 2014, the former It's Showtime Champion is set to face off with the Romanian, Benny Adegbuyi. This is a battlefield with which both men are familiar, although Hesdy has more experience, he also acknowledged the the skills of his opponent. " Benny is big", he stated,"in many respects very similar to me, he has good style, he's strong, but I can beat him". Both men have fought in SuperKombat, both men have faced difficult opponents, Hesdy, however, has had the opportunity to prove himself again and again in an arena not for the faint of heart. With more than fifty professional fights under his belt, Hesdy has had time, time to make mistakes, learn from them and time to take himself to a different level and continue to evolve with the sport. With no disrespect to his opponent, Hesdy acknowledges that he has more experience, more than fifteen years he's dedicated to the sport. He, like some of his peers came to the sport as a result of behavior that may have otherwise led to life in a different and more confined arena. What set him apart from some of the peers he left behind, however, was a growing love for the sport and the ability to discipline himself to finally achieve what he has today.

In a game where anyone can be king for a day, Hesdy is calculated in his strategies inside the ring. His plan for this fight, well, that's not known, but what Hesdy is known for is striking, defense and strength, both mentally and physically, to impose his will over his opponent.

Beyond life in the gym, Hesdy spoke of the desire to look toward a life with his family, his children, and whatever comes beyond the ring. He speaks as a realist with the knowledge that his opportunities as a fighter will not last forever so perhaps his skill to inspire those coming after him will be something that he will work toward in his future by owning a gym. For now, however, Hesdy recognizes his place among the top ranked fighters in the world and has a plan to seize that opportunity. Speaking less of becoming the number one fighter, Hesdy's focus seems to be being the best Hesdy he can be. Can anyone be better than that?

Spending twenty minutes with a fighter of this caliber is hardly enough time to capture the essence of his presence, past and future. All the same, Hesdy Gerges's name has been indelibly imprinted on the history of the sport and in the minds of those who will come after him. At Glory 18, the victor may be Hesdy, it may be Benny but there will also be Glory 19, 20 and many more after, so he's not intimidated. He is Hesdy and in the end he states, "Yes they will raise my hand." Need more be said.



A Look at Brian Collette the Man, the Fighter, Before GLORY 18

The words stealthy, calculated and deadly describe lions. In their natural habitat they roam, they play and ultimately they stalk their prey. Much of the same could be said of Brian Collette, with a record of 19-2 (2-1 in Glory), he's a man with a plan and for Glory 18 he's definitely on a mission. With experience in Tae Kwon Do, Muay Thai and Boxing, Collette is the perfect picture of a fighter and he has vision.

Ahead of Glory 18, I had the opportunity to speak with Brian and the results were far from ordinary. A Virginia native, Brian Collette, like many fighters entered the ring on the heels of trouble, trouble at home, trouble in the streets, but soon the trouble with Brian became the trouble with getting him out of the gym. Training early in Tae Kwon Do and boxing, Brian had early dreams of Olympic gold in one or the other the sports. While neither of those goals have yet to come to fruition, Brian has continued to pursue his path to success in the ring , accumulating two wins as a professional boxer and 19 wins in the kickboxing arena. 

What sets him apart is the fact that he flies under the radar. In my multiple meetings with this fighter, my first question is usually, "Where have you been?" to which I always receive a polite smile and the reply that he's been training and working hard, but not much more. Unlike many others, Brian is not in it for the name, he's not trying to gain a reputation through trash talk, his goal is simply to be the best and to achieve that end by doing whatever it takes. Early to bed, early to rise and plenty of training in between, Brian looks at his current challenge with Zack Mwekasa with a level headed view, they're both boxers, he respects that; they both have very dominant presences in the ring, he agrees, both want to win, without question. But what sets Collette apart in this match-up? 

If you ask Brian, he tells you with ease and the stealthy smile of someone who would be nicknamed "The Lion" is that he's trained very hard and that he has a plan. When asked about the specific plan, he melts into his enigmatic repose. Anyone who talks to him more than a minute, however, knows that there is much more behind that smile, and Glory 18 is a test that he is willing to take. This Eastern Academy fighter has put many of his eggs in a basket in the hopes of becoming the one to face Saki at a date which has yet to be determined. The key word here, however, is many, not all. When asked about his vision of the future, Brian Collette is a man who definitely has a plan. Recognizing an eventual expiration date on his career as a fighter, Collette, who has a degree in computer science has definitely looked beyond the ring and plans to use his other skills while he enjoying a life with his family and friends. 

End of story, no matter what the outcome of his match-up with Mwekasa, Brian Collette is someone who definitely is in this business for the long haul and is someone whose name, if you don't know it already, you will.



Brian Collette Feels That He Has the Advantage Over Zack Mwekassa at GLORY 18

Brian Collette steps into the ring tonight against Boxer Zack Mwekassa, after Mwekassa made his impressive GLORY debut at GLORY 16 against UFC vet Pat Barry. Collette understands that Mwekassa is a tough opponent and he isn't looking past him, but he seems content knowing that his experience in muay thai does give him an edge against the Boxer.

Our cameras caught up with him in Oklahoma this afternoon and Collette spoke candidly about the advantages that he has in the kicking department against Mwekassa and how he's not looking past Zack to the finals, but is still confident. 


Hesdy Gerges is Ready For Benny Adegbuyi at GLORY 18

At GLORY 18 Hesdy Gerges will be squaring off against SuperKombat and Romanian standout Benjamin Adegbuyi in a battle that will see a potential next contender for the GLORY Heavyweight Championship after Errol Zimmerman has his crack at Rico Verhoeven. There is a lot on the line for Gerges, whose career has seen its shares of highs and lows over the past few years.

Our cameras caught up with him and Gerges definitely saw some holes in the game of Adegbuyi, noting that Benny was a good fighter but that he wasn't particularly strong or skilled compared to him. This should definitely be one of the more interesting fights of the night, for sure. 


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