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GLORY 27 Ratings Up on ESPN2 to 225,000

(C) James Law/GLORY Sports International

Over the weekend we learned that GLORY and ESPN have inked a long term deal that will see GLORY kickboxing continue to air on ESPN platforms for the next few years. We've been promised future live cards on ESPN2, as opposed to ESPN3 live and delayed on ESPN2, and honestly, things are starting to look up for the promotion. While the ratings on ESPN2 thus far haven't been incredible, they haven't been bad, either, when compared to other programming in the same spot, historically. 

GLORY 25 drew 198,000 viewers for a late night spot, GLORY 26 was hurt a bit by going head-to-head with the NFL during the playoffs for 168,000, but came back strong with GLORY 27 scoring 225,000 viewers on a Sunday night. This was on Sunday evening at 9pm Eastern time and was, of course, a replay, so that's pretty good if you ask me. Here's to only seeing bigger and better things from both ESPN and GLORY in the future. [source]

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K-1 Japan -65kg Japan Tournament This Week

After a pretty uneventful January and February we're ready to kick things into high gear with a few huge fight cards coming up. The first of which is on March 4th in Japan and it's K-1 Japan's -65kg Japan tournament. The winner moves on to the world stage of their -65kg tournament later this year and my god is this card amazing. The tournament features Masaaki Noiri vs. Minoru Kimura, Terasaki Naoki against HIROYA, Soda Yasuomi against Teruaki Yamazaki and Yuta Kubo against Noman.

The Superfights are absolutely nothing to turn your nose up at, either, as Makoto Uehara takes on Nori in a heavyweight bout, Hirotaka Urabe fights Johanne Wolf and perhaps one of the best fights on paper this year thus far is Kaew Weerasakreck (formerly Fairtex) against Massaro Glunder.

Yep.

65kg Japan Tournament - Quarter Finals

Noiri Masaaki VS Kimura Minoru

Terasaki Naoki VS Hiroya

Soda Yasuomi VS Yamazaki Teruaki

Kubo Yuta VS Noman

Superfights

Kaew Weerasakreck VS Massaro Glunder

Urabe Hirotaka VS Johannes Wolf

Makoto Uehara VS Nori

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Saenchai's Influence Even Bleeds Over into WWE

The influence of Saenchai is almost impossible to ignore at this point. Like we talked about before, he called out UFC megastar Conor McGregor in a fight that has real fight fans salivating at just the thought, and now? Well, the famous Saenchai one-handed cartwheel kick has made its way to professional wrestling. We've seen American muay thai fighters do the move before, but it definitely was within their lexicon. What fighter wouldn't look at Saenchai as a potential hero? 

But in pro wrestling? That's kinda weird, right? The other night WWE's own Shane McMahon tweeted out some training footage from the Wat in New York with Phil Nurse. What exactly did he tweet? Himself doing the "Saenchai Kick."

Shane McMahon is no stranger to to the world of professional fighting and was even attempting to buy into the UFC at one point. Hell, he tried to convince his father to have the WWE build its own MMA promotion, which never came to fruition because Vince didn't see the point in building stars that he couldn't control the destiny for. Shane McMahon is scheduled to appear at this year's Wrestlemania squaring against WWE legend the Undertaker in a Hell in a Cell match and, uh, Shane will probably do this kick as well as fall from a really, really high place.

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Saenchai Calling Out Conor McGregor? Sure, Why Not.

Arguing against Saenchai being one of the all-time greats in muay thai is pretty much wasting your time at this point. He's earned his spot and wowed enough audiences worldwide to have earned his spot at the top and now it looks like Saenchai is trying to get paid. The biggest payday in combat sports outside of fighting Floyd Mayweather right now? It's probably fighting UFC's Featherweight Champion Conor McGregor. 

McGregor is the rare pairing of a guy who can talk and captivate audiences on top of a guy with some real knock out power to back up that talk. His next fight is against Nate Diaz, which seems to have MMA fans all hot-and-bothered, but this week Saenchai decided to toss his name into the hat for the McGregor games as well. Saenchai says that he's accomplished plenty in muay thai and is looking for a new challenge.

Dear god, imagine Saenchai annihilating dudes in the UFC?

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