Continuing on our series of kickboxers and Muay Thai fighters in MMA, we profile Konstantin Gluhov. Nicknamed "Lacplesis" which means bear-slayer in Latvian, you already get an idea of what he brings to the table. Although the term "Lacplesis" was made renouned from a Latvian epic poem, Gluhov is all but poetic when the cage door shuts.
At 31 years of age, Gluhov has been fighting for over ten years, spending the larger portion of that time in the realm of kickboxing. The likes of Pavel Zhuravlev, Mourad Bouzidi and Brian Douwes have all been in the ring with Gluhov while his hand was being raised. While not an elite kickboxer by any means, Gluhov is a solid heavyweight fighter that hovers around the middle of the pack. Despite not being among the best in kickboxing, he's definitely among the best in MMA when it comes to striking.
Gluhov had his first MMA fight back in 2006. The beginning of his MMA career wasn't stellar. Losses began to build up, losing three in a row at one point. He kept at it though, and now has won 14 out of his last 15 fights since September 23 of last year, including a current six fight win streak. Mind you, this has all come in less than a year. Gluhov's current tear includes multiple one-night tournaments, even winning four fights in one night on one occasion.. Take a look closer, and you'll see what's really spectacular about this up and coming heavyweight from Latvia.
Gluhov is a rib roaster to put it lightly. Five opponents in the past year have succumbed to his left hook to the liver. Gluhov may be one of the few fighters in MMA to have a "signature move" in which fights are regularly finished with. When you think of Konstantin Gluhov, you think of the left hook to the liver. Despite his obvious favoring of the left hook liver shot as his go-to move, Gluhov has a whole arsenal of weapons that a kickboxer would possess. He rarely uses his kicks in MMA, probably because of the threat of takedowns.
Gluhov's last kickboxing match came in November of last year, where he knocked out Awadh Tamim in the first round (Which was pretty awesome, by the way. You can watch that below.) It's not known if Gluhov will make a return to kickboxing anytime soon. With the success he's having in MMA, it wouldn't be surprising for an organization like Bellator to go after him. You could probably rule out kickboxing if that happened. Right now though, Gluhov can fight wherever he wants, in whatever sport he wants so I wouldn't rule out a return to kickboxing.
Like many strikers that enter MMA, the grappling deficiencies are obvious in Konstantin Gluhov. They'll probably stop him from being any type of top heavyweight in MMA. It's still fun to see him punching MMA fighters in the liver five times a year though, so you should look forward to whenever he fights.