GLORY recently released the top 8 seeds for the GLORY 4 Tokyo sixteen-man heavyweight tournament taking place on on December 31 at the Saitama Super Arena in Japan.
Each seeded fighter will be matched with a randomly selected, un-seeded competitor in an attempt to make sure the highest caliber fighters don't eliminate each other in the first round.
Ranked number 1, predictably, is Semmy Schilt. Schilt has been one of the most consistently dominant HW's of the last decade, and is coming off a TKO win over Errol Zimmerman where he captured the GLORY Heavyweight title.
Coming in at number 2 is Gohkan Saki, who most recently won a decision over Mourad Bouzidi at GLORY 3 Brussels.
Rounding out the top 3 is Daniel Ghita. Ghita is one of the most recent acquisitions of GLORY, and many consider him to be the rightfully ranked #2 Heavyweight in the world behind Semmy Schilt. The third seed is an understandable spot for him though, considering his participation in the grand slam tournament will be his first fight under the GLORY Banner.
At somewhat of a surprise is the number 4 seed- Remy Bonjasky. Bonjasky made his re-debut at GLORY 3 Brussels with a decision win over Anderson Braddock Silva. While Bonjasky is obviously a big name, it's interesting he would be seeded so high considering his long layoff from the spot.
Peter Aerts rides in at number 5, coming off two losses to Tyrone Spong and Alistair Overeem, but a massive win over Semmy Schilt in the semi-finals of 2010 K-1 GP.
The sixth spot is held by Errol Zimmerman, which is another interesting choice. Zimmerman technically should have been the number 2 seed considering his only loss since 2011 has been in the GLORY tournament finals against Semmy Schilt, with wins over Rico Verhoeven and Mourad Bouzidi.
Ranked 7 is Anderson Braddock Silva, who is coming off three losses in a row against Catalin Morosanu, Badr Hari, and Remy Bonjasky, which are obviously all big names. Silva has been steadily improving, and looked very crisp in his last fight.
Rounding out the top 8 is Sergei Kharitonov, who is an odd choice in my opinion. Kharitonov's last win was a KO over Mark Miller in March. Other fighters rumored to be in the tournament, like Rico Verhoeven, have a much more impressive record and were left out of the seeded group.
GLORY has also announced that Brice Guidon, Rico Verhoeven, Filip Verlinden, Fabiano Aoki, Igor Jurkovic, Jamal Ben Saddick, Raomaru, and one other fighter will be competing in the grand slam tournament. The first round match-ups will be determined in a draw that will take place in Tokyo on Tuesday, Nov. 20 and will stream live, free-of-charge on GloryWorldSeries.com, beginning at 8 p.m. local time/8 a.m. EST/5 a.m. PST.
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TOP EIGHT SEEDS ANNOUNCED FOR GLORY 4 TOKYO – HEAVYWEIGHT GRAND SLAM TOURNAMENT ON NEW YEAR’S EVE
WORLD NO. 1 RANKED SEMMY SCHILT, KO ARTIST GOKHAN SAKI AND SAVAGE SAMURAI DANIEL GHITA AMONG TOP SEEDED COMPETITORS
DRAW DETERMINING OPENING MATCHUPS FOR HISTORIC 16-MAN TOURNAMENT, TO STREAM LIVE ON GLORYWORLDSERIES.COM TUESDAY, NOV. 20
TICKETS GO ON SALE SUNDAY, NOV. 25
Tokyo, Japan (Nov. 15, 2012) - Glory Sports International (GSI) announced today the top eight seeds for the star-studded GLORY 4 TOKYO - Heavyweight Grand Slam, 16-man, single-elimination tournament at Saitama Super Arena on December 31.
Heavyweight champion Semmy Schilt (39-6, 18 KO’s) of Netherlands has been named the No. 1 seed in the tournament draw. Seeds No. 2 through 8 have been assigned to Gokhan Saki (77-15, 53 KO’s) of Turkey, Daniel Ghita (44-7, 34 KO's) of Romania, Remy ‘The Flying Gentleman’ Bonjasky (76-14, 40 KO's) of Netherlands, Peter ‘The Dutch Lumberjack’ Aerts (104-30-1, 78 KO’s) of Netherlands, Errol Zimmerman of Curacao (76-16-1, 41 KO’s), Anderson ‘Braddock’ Silva (32-8-1, 22 KO's) of Brazil and Sergei Kharitonov (22-7 12 KO’s) of Russia, respectively.
A draw that will decide the tournament’s quarterfinal round matchups will take place in Tokyo on Tuesday, Nov. 20 and will stream live, free-of-charge on GloryWorldSeries.com, beginning at 8 p.m. local time/8 a.m. EST/5 a.m. PST.
“The fighters in this tournament are without a doubt the best heavyweights in the world. The top eight seeds alone would make for an amazing tournament but, when you consider that they are just half of the Grand Slam field, you realize that the Dec. 31 event is going to be something very special,” said GLORY Managing Director Marcus Luer.
“It is a great pleasure and considerable honor for us to present the top eight seeds to the Japanese fans and fight fans around the world. The complete line-up is the strongest there has ever been for any kickboxing event and it will be by far the most challenging tournament in the history of the sport,” observed GLORY Chairman Pierre Andurand.
GLORY determines its tournament seeds using the GLORY World Federation rankings.
Semmy Schilt (No. 1 Seed)
An Ashihara Karate sensei, Schilt faced Zimmerman in Sweden earlier this year in GLORY’s inaugural heavyweight championship bout, and his dominating win underlined his place at the top of the weight category and at the top of the pound-for-pound rankings.
Gokhan Saki (No. 2 Seed)
Saki’s performance against Mourad Bouzidi at GLORY 2 Brussels on Oct. 6 gave all his fellow heavyweights pause for thought. Few of them can match Saki’s speed and power, and his left hand that has ended many a fight.
Daniel Ghita (No. 3 Seed)
Ghita, known as ‘The Savage Samurai,’ is noted for his brutal leg-kicks and technical kickboxing. In 2011 and 2012, he dismantled all the opposition placed in front of him and is now at his absolute prime, touted as a future all-time great.
Remy Bonjasky (No. 4 Seed)
One of the sport’s decorated, all-time greats who has produced some of the most memorable moments in the ring with his high-flying, unorthodox style, Bonjasky recently returned from a long hiatus to take on and beat the very tough Silva in a grueling fight. During the bout, Bonjasky proved that his superior athletic ability and conditioning remains intact and that he still relies on his leaping knees and kicks which have made him such a fan favourite.
Peter Aerts (No. 5 Seed)
For many fans, Aerts is still the face of kickboxing. He has fought in Japan for 20 years and won the K-1 Grand Prix, once the top kickboxing tournament, three times. Aerts has also beaten Schilt three times.
Errol Zimmerman (No. 6 Seed)
Zimmerman came to fight for his shot at the GLORY heavyweight title on May 26 but, like many before him, he couldn’t overcome the dominant Schilt. Since their matchup, Zimmerman has been working hard in the gym and honing his fearsome right hand and, according to insiders, he has some new tricks for whomever he faces in the tournament.
Anderson Silva (No. 7 Seed)
The No. 1 heavyweight kickboxer in Brazil, Silva was invited to Amsterdam to become Aerts’ primary sparring partner for several years. He has faced Bonjasky and fellow top heavyweight Badr Hari in 2012 and impressed fans in both starts. In 41 professional fights, the 26-year-old has never once been knocked out.
Sergei Kharitonov (No. 8 Seed)
Russian bear and former paratrooper Kharitonov knows a thing or two about shock tactics. In keeping with his military training, Kharitonov likes to close the distance, overwhelm defenses and take the enemy out as quickly and completely as possible before returning to base for his next mission.
The card featuring the GLORY 4 Tokyo - Heavyweight Grand Slam tournament represents one half of the ‘GSI presents DREAM 18 and GLORY 4 Tokyo - New Year's Eve Special,’ double-header event at Saitama Super Arena. The action will kick off at 4 p.m. local time with DREAM 18, a Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) card stacked with world-class talent to be announced soon.
Tickets for GSI presents DREAM 18 and GLORY 4 Tokyo - New Year's Eve Special, go on sale on Sunday, Nov. 25. Broadcast details for will be announced soon. For more information, visit www.gloryworldseries.com.
The GLORY World Series (www.gloryworldseries.com) is the world's premier kickboxing, or stand-up fighting league, staging events across the globe and offering up to $1,000,000 in prize money to the winners of 16-man ‘Grand Prix’ tournaments, which are open to only the best fighters in each weight class. The fight series also includes 8-man tournaments and events with traditional, single bouts.
With television deals spanning every continent, plus a groundbreaking online video streaming system and the world's largest online martial arts library, GLORY is one of the world's most widely-broadcast sporting organizations.
Owned and operated by Glory Sports International (GSI), the organization has offices in Holland, the UK, Tokyo, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore. Its personnel includes a diverse mix of award-winning hedge-fund and private equity investors; principals from pioneering sports marketing agency Total Sport Asia; and senior level executives from several leading sports franchises, including WWE, FIFA, Golden Glory, Champions League and It's Showtime.