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Check Out Steven Wright's 2016 Year in Kickfighting Highlight

There was a lot of really great action in the sports of muay thai and kickboxing over the span of 2016. Promotions sprouted up, powered forward and put forth their best fighters in exciting fights and MMA striking and kickboxing coach Steven Wright has once again put together his annual "Best of Kickfighting" video featuring some of the greatest moments from the past year.

Check it out.

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The Narratives Leading Out of GLORY 37: Van Roosmalen, Kongolo and More

For a lot of people, GLORY 37 snuck up on everyone. It's easy to understand, there is a lot going on in the world right now and the brief reprieve that we had from the usual onslaught of kickboxing shows was perhaps a welcome one. But it's right back to it and GLORY 37 saw a lot of interesting things happen. So here we are, let's break them down.

The smaller ring meant more action. This was a product of the venue and what worked best there, I suppose, but man did it really impact the night. The larger, more standard ring makes a lot of sense when it comes to heavyweights duking it out, but for lighter weight classes it has always felt a bit large. The smaller ring absolutely impacted the fights and it was interesting to see who benefited from it and who didn't. The smaller ring meant that more technical, outside fighters like Adesanya and Embree found themselves against strong pressure fighters being pressured. In the case of Adesanya it is fair to say that a larger ring could have yielded a completely different result. While a fight is a fight, things like gloves, the size of the ring and the slickness of a mat might seem incidental but can have a huge impact on the action. 

Not everyone can instantly adjust to kickboxing rules. This feels like a big one. Zoila Frausto has primarily fought in MMA and muay thai, this was her first kickboxing bout and it showed. When the fight got close she couldn't throw elbows, clinch and start throwing knees and it led to the fight being exciting to watch, but a bit of a mess. The same can be said for Matt Embree, who is an incredibly talented fighter who had a bit of trouble when it came to van Roosmalen's Dutch style. 

California is a mess. The issue of Robin van Roosmalen's weight cut and him being stripped of the title is an interesting one. While Robin's post-fight speech did perhaps try to shift away the blame from himself and his camp for him missing weight, there is a valid point that I've heard from others in California that everything with the commission gets gummed up there. Robin didn't have an official scale during his cut, was "on" in his hotel scale only to find out that he missed weight. That can't feel good. Something was clearly not communicated well during this process and van Roosmalen seemed to feel that he could have made weight if things had gone more smoothly.

Expect judges to rule against logic. One of the problems with the growing pains of kickboxing is referees and judges that don't have a strong connection with the sport. According to the GLORY rules and what we can assume was a literal interpretation of them by the judges, Wilnis was always going to win that fight. It was an incredibly close fight that really could have gone to either guy. That is on both fighters. What isn't is how the judges score these fights. Adesanya landed the better shots throughout the fight and kept Wilnis on the defensive, unable to land many of his trademark bombs. Yet, Wilnis waded in with the earmuffs on and controlled the ring. I saw a lot of disappointment that Adesanya didn't get the nod, even people upset at one particular bad scorecard that gave Wilnis four rounds. 

Robin van Roosmalen is a beast at Featherweight. Seriously. Sure, the weight cut happened, but there's a difference between having to overcome the mentality of being done with a weight cut only to find out you were off and being able to know exactly where you stand. It was .8lbs, which in the grand scheme of things, isn't the end of the world. As long as Robin van make the weight he's going to be a near-unstoppable force in this division. 

Cedric Doumbe's first challenge is set. There's a natural narrative in Kongolo fighting Doumbe for a third time, with that being Kongolo holds wins over Doumbe. Doumbe has grown a lot since those fights and has looked incredible, but styles make fights. It'll be interesting to see how Doumbe holds up against Kongolo in their third outing and there is really a natural story built in to this fight. Embrace it.

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Glory 37 Live Results

Glory 37 starts in just under one hour on UFC Fight Pass with the super fight series followed by the main card Live on ESPN3 or eversport.tv in Canada. It should be a great night of fights so tune in, if for some reason you cannot we will have the live results here for you.

GLORY 37 Main Card Results

Middleweight Title Headline Bout: Jason Wilnis (c) def. Israel Adesayna by Unanimous Dec - Rd1: Israel throwing lots of hands and landing the straight right to the body at will but Wilnis countering everything with low kicks and landing 90% of them. Rd2: Israel landing some nice fancy kicks on Wilnis guard and sliding some nice uppercuts and body punches through. Wilnis still landing the low kicks and a couple left hooks this round that didn't phase Israel. Rd3: Wilnis lands a few right hands this round while Israel trying to slip all the punches. Adesanya still sliding a few straight punches through the middle. Rd4: Israel is being much more active in all these rounds but Wilnis is moving forwards and landing about 1 or 2 punches in the round and low kicks. Rd5: Adesanya got his groove this round and was making Wilnis miss everything while Israel was landing hard uppercuts and straight punches, great round for Adesanya.

Welterweight Tournament Final Bout: Yoann Kongolo def. Karim Benmansour by KO Rd 3 (liver punch, right hook combo) -  Rd1: Kongolo pressuring the savvy Benmansour and landing a few good punches but Benmansour making Kongolo miss and landing little kicks and punches once in a while. Rd2: Kongolo throwing nice combos all round but must have a sore shin because he hasn't thrown any kicks only knees. Right at the end of the round Kongolo set up a perfect left hook to the liver and dropped Benmansour who gets up and is saved by the bell. Rd3: Benmansour is a tricky customer but it looks like Kongolo has his number this fight, Benmansour throwing lots but just doesn't have the power to move Kongolo back again with barely any time left in the last round Kongolo throws a left hook to the head, left hook to the body, and right hook the head and drops Benmansour who can't beat the count, KO win for Kongolo. 

Heavyweight Co-Headline Bout: Guto Inocente def. D'Angelo Marshall by Split Dec - Rd1 - Marshall literally chasing Inocente around the ring non stop and not allowing him to make any distance to spin. Marshall landed some good punches and a few low kicks, while Guto was clinching moving to get away. Rd2: Starts off the same as the first, but then Guto clips Marshall with a right hand that drops him. Guto gets over aggressive after and gets caught a few times but seems to take them well. Rd3: Both big men tired but Marshall still able to land clean punches but he never seems to realize when he has Guto hurt. Looks like we should be going an extra round. ExRD: Sloppy round by two tired heavyweights, neither have power or balance anymore and mostly just clinching all round, minus a few right hands landed from Marshall, tough round to score.

Welterweight Tournament Semifinal Bout B: Karim Benmansour def. Alan Scheinson by Split Dec - Rd1: first time I've seen Scheinson, hes throwing powerful shots but looks a little stiff and not able to hit Benmansour clean, while Benmansour is landing his right hand often but with no power. Rd2: Nothing crazy happening in this round, neither fighter landing clean but lots throwing and missing. Benmansour is more active and landing more small stuff. Rd3: Benmansour landing lots of low kicks to the back leg of Scheinson this round and a nice spinning backfist while Scheinson looked tired and landed nothing all round.

Welterweight Tournament Semifinal Bout A: Yoann Kongolo def. Konstantin Khuzin by Unanimous Dec - Rd1: Khuzin doing well using his knee to keep Kongolo from getting too close but not landing it too hard, best shot of the fight was a right hand through the guard by Kongolo. Rd2: Kongolo getting inside better this round on the tall fighter, kongolo lands a nice spinnig back kick that hurts Khuzin but he stays up and still manages to keep Kongolo at bay for the rest of the round. Rd3: Khuzin looking worn out and Kongolo throwing combos like crazy, then Khuzin out of nowhere lands a very quick straight right and drops him but the ref doesn't count and Kongolo is very lucky, that would have caused a draw at least.

GLORY 37 SuperFight Series Results

Featherweight Title Headline Bout: Robin van Roosmalen def. Matt Embree by TKO Rd 4 (ref stoppage) - Rd1: Great round by both fighters, Embree's hands looking powerful and quick, but hes not blocking low kicks and ate about 6 or 7 clean. Embree used a few good front kicks to push Robin away. Rd2: Again Robin landing hard low kicks all round and Embree landing nice body punches and covering up well. Rd3: These are close rounds, Robin is pressuring but not landing clean punches, but neither is Embree, and it seems that unless Embree hits Robin on the chin hes just shrugging them all off. Rd4: Robin picks up the pressure and it looks like Embree is hitting a wall, RvR lands a liver punch that hurts Embree and then a barrage of punches and Big John McCarthy calls it off.

Heavyweight Co-Headline Bout: Jhonata Diniz def. Tomas Mozny by Unanimous Dec - Rd1: Mozny looking good early, keeping distance, landing some long punches and quick high kicks but Diniz stalking all fight and lands a right hand to drop Mozny with 10 seconds left in the round. Rd2: Mozny looking real tired and Diniz walking forward while Mozny falls all over the place. Nothing crazy landing apart from a good right hand from Diniz. Rd3: Diniz pushing forwards all round getting hit with a few jabs but not much else while landing decent low kicks and right hands on Mozny.

Middleweight Bout: Warren Thompson def. Mike Lemaire by Unanimous Dec - Rd1: Thompson pushing forward and throwing bombs when Lemaire is on the ropes while eating a few low kicks, but Thompson landed a good right hand that wobbled Lemaire. Rd2: More of the same this round, Lemaire can't handle the pressure that Thompson is bringing and is just ending up on the ropes for the whole round. Rd3: Both fighters are tired which works in Thompsons favor with his forward pressure and just leaning on Lemaire while throwing a few punches. Should be a first Glory win for Thompson.

Super Bantamweight Bout: Zoila Frausto def. Daniela Graf by Unanimous Dec

Featherweight Bout: Giga Chikadze def. Victor Pinto by KO Rd 1 (Liver Kick) - This fight was all Chikadze, he landed whatever he liked and Pinto landed nothing, 2:00 into the round he landed the liver kick and Pinto was in agony, game over.

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