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Andy Ristie's Trainer Barred From GLORY Ring After GLORY 20 Glove Mishap

If you'll remember back to GLORY 20 Dubai there was a moment at the beginning of the GLORY Lightweight Title bout between Robin van Roosmalen and Andy Ristie where the referee pulled Ristie aside and was forced to replace his glove. Apparently the thumb of the glove was cut, which has been described as giving an advantage when it comes to dexterity inside of the glove. It was not clear if it was intentional or simply an accident, but according to MixFight GLORY has made a ruling on it and it has resulted in Ristie's trainer, Roberto Flamingo, being barred from ringside at future GLORY events. 

MixFight has been all over the story, including a joint statement from Ristie and Flamingo claiming that there was no intentional wrongdoing and that Ristie will remain with Flamingo. Black Label Fighting, a management company, released a statement as well supporting GLORY's decision in this matter.


GLORY 21 Draws Strong Ratings on Spike TV for Levin vs. Marcus II

After a rather disappointing rating for GLORY 20 Dubai, thanks in part to tape delay, GLORY 21 shows the brand's durability by snapping back into line with a reported 488,000 average viewers on Spike TV. According to our bud Michael Stets over at MMAMania, Spike TV has disclosed that GLORY 21 drew an average of 488,000 viewers for GLORY 21, which is the fifth highest rating to date on Spike TV.

It's a solid rebound after GLORY 19 drew the second-highest with 542,000 viewers and for GLORY 20 to dip to the next-to-worst ratings with 359,000. A gain of 129,000 viewers is quite impressive for the brand on a Friday evening considering that the card was a bit underwhelming when it comes to star names outside of the main event between Simon Marcus and Artem Levin and the co-main event featuring Raymond Daniels in a feature bout. 

For now we will have to wait with baited breath for GLORY 22, which features a Lightweight tournament and a Heavyweight Championship fight in what many fans consider a very good card, and if the tape delay curse will strike again for GLORY. The peak numbers are not yet available, but we will update with them when it is available. 

UPDATE: Stets has the peak numbers now.


Catalin Morosanu vs. Badr Hari Postponed Due to 'Conditions'

For Badr Hari and Morosanu fans the upcoming bout between the two sluggers was a highlight for the year. It was Badr Hari's return to the ring after some time off and it was against the best competition that he's faced since Zabit Samedov in 2013. But, much like the proposed fight with Patrice Quateron from a previous GFC event, it looks like the fans will have yet another Badr Hari fight fall through for the time being.

The official statement is vague, citing "conditions" of the fights as the reason. Morosanu isn't one to pull out of a fight and if Badr Hari's social media is any indication he seems ready to go, so one has to assume that there is something strange going on here. Much like when Patrice Quateron was pulled from the Hari fight for not "creating a family friendly atmosphere" before, we are hearing rumors of Badr Hari being unhappy with something heading into this fight. 

For now the entire event is postponed, so it looks like GFC will try to keep the fight between the two together, but if Hari is truly unhappy with the arrangement it may simply not happen. GFC has also promised a more entertaining event than the last one, for what that is worth.


The Trial and Error of GLORY 21

Photo (C) James Law/GLORY Sports International

Last night was of course GLORY 21, which has seen mixed reviews. A lot of hardcore kickboxing fans were upset with the card and of course the outcome to Artem Levin vs. Simon Marcus. A lot of MMA twitter seemed to be enjoying the event, though, which was an interesting contrast. While those are topics to take into account, I performed a bit of an experiment last night of my own. I had a good friend come over to watch the fights with me who had never watched kickboxing or GLORY before, but had seen his share of boxing and MMA to have a base level understanding of combat sports. 

Last night's GLORY 21 event was a further extension of the search for the homegrown GLORY kickboxing star. The first attempt was the Heavyweight Qualifying tournament featuring three American Heavyweights and the British Chi Lewis Parry. The tournament, originally announced as an all-American affair could have been an all-American affair, but the man known as "Chopper" had proven to be adept at promoting himself and was coming off of a knockout win, meaning that if he could back up his talk with more knockouts GLORY could have another star in Chi Lewis Parry. 

The tournament itself was perhaps best suited for the undercard, although I understand the logic of it being on the main card in hopes of big knockouts and building stars. I knew that I'd be able to see through certain things (like Maurice Jackson's 31-0 record that nobody can find much proof of), but would my friend? His comments on the tournament bouts were "most of these guys seem like amateurs, they just aren't impressive at all, is the whole sport like that?" There in lies the problem with promoting fights like this. While there will indeed be people who say "wow, lots of knockouts here! What action!" There will be people who compare the action to your average UFC event that they've seen and see telltale signs of fighters who aren't at the elite level and the entire affair will unravel.

Now, while Justin Baesman did not do much to impress, the feats that Raymond Daniels were capable of immediately caught his attention and he commented on how Daniels was doing things that you'd only see in movies. The main event was another story altogether, where he commented on how Levin and Marcus moved unlike anyone he had ever seen before and that they were clearly many levels above anyone else on the card that night. This was coming from a guy who spent time in Thailand last year and checked out some muay thai, so there was some recognition of the muay thai style that both bring over, albeit diluted and different due to GLORY's modified rules. 

I commend GLORY on looking to build up new stars on Spike TV, but the GLORY name comes with a certain level of prestige and history to it for a young promotion. That history and prestige involves the best of the best fighting in the ring for our collective amusement. A gimme fight or two is never going to hurt the product, but a card like GLORY 21, if we are brutally honest, was a one-fight card. I'm not attempting to take anything away from any of the competitors, but the truth is that as much promise as we see in Demoreo Dennis, Xavier Vigney and Chi Lewis Parry, they've yet to prove themselves on the big stage just yet. The level of competition that they faced was about right to help nurture their growth, but sadly, it was not the right level of competition for a GLORY television show while some of the best fighters in the planet are sitting by waiting for the phone to ring for their opportunity on a Spike TV main card. 

As an entertainment product it would be hard to call GLORY 21 a failure by any stretch. It delivered two hours of exciting, fast-paced action that was capped off by a fight between two of the very best fighters in the world. I could think of shows from the UFC within the past few years that have been endless marathons that tested my patience to a level that pushed me to just stop watching. I'm not sure that GLORY will ever be able to promote anything on that level. The result between Levin and Marcus was not perfect, no, but that was outside of the control of just about everyone involved and there is no way that I'll be able to complain about a rematch between the two.


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