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GLORY 31 SuperFight Series and Main Card Results

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GLORY returns to Amsterdam for GLORY 31, featuring the big rematch between Lightweight Champion Robin van Roosmalen and challenger Sitthichai Sitsongpeenong. Also fighting will be Ismael Londt against Hesdy Gerges and a welterweight tournament. The SuperFight Series will see a new Light Heavyweight Champion crowned, another Women's Grand Prix bout as well as the debut of Saenchai and Josh Jauncey against Anatoly Moiseev.

GLORY 31 

Lightweight Title: Sittichai Sitsongpeenong (R5 - Split Decision) Robin van Roosmalen(C) -- Much like the first fight, this one was pretty close and the result left people wondering. Sitthichai very clearly won rounds 1 and 2. Robin clearly won 4 and 5. Round 3 everyone seems split. I'm not upset about this, because it was a closer fight than their last one, although I could have easily seen Robin getting the win here for sheer volume alone. Robin clearly disagreed with the decision and stormed out after the decision was announced. With him already talking about perhaps pursuing MMA full time I wouldn't be shocked if this is what sends me packing from kickboxing, although that would be a shame. 

Welterweight Finals: Murthel Groenhart (R3 - Decision) Yoann Kongolo -- Close first round, close second round and then Murthel connected with a huge flying knee that put Kongolo down. He followed up with a flurry of strikes and continued after the bell, much to everyone's chagrin. Groenhart controlled the rest of the fight and got the win, then took the mic from Todd Grisham, climbed the turnbuckles and called out Nieky Holzken.

Ismael Londt (R3 - Split Decision) Hesdy Gerges -- This was a closely-contested bout, probably should have had an extra round, but Hesdy looked great. Londt was stumbling around a lot. Something about his fighting style is just really ugly and hard to enjoy. Stefano Valenti is a terrible, terrible referee. Every time he's in the ring there is a fear that he'll ruin the fight. In this fight he docked both fighters a point in the third round for clinching. What? Why is this man allowed to ruin fights?

Semifinal: Yoann Kongolo (R3 - Split Decision) Harut Grigorian -- Solid back-and-forth with both guys throwing heavy leather at each other. It really could have gone either way, but Kongolo picked up the victory.

Semifinal: Murthel Groenhart (R3 - TKO) Karim Benmansour -- Benmansour did his best against Murthel and survived some scary stuff, but Murthel threw everything at him before scoring the TKO in the third round.

SUPERFIGHT SERIES

Interim Light Heavyweight Title: Zack Mwekassa (R1 - TKO) Mourad Bouzidi -- Bouzidi has had problems getting knocked out in the past, but it was usually against heavyweights. At Light Heavyweight and even Middleweight he's shown a lot more resilience. But I doubt many in these weight classes hit like Zack Mwekassa. Zack Mwekassa just steamrolled through him with three big knockdowns.

Saenchai PKSaenchaiMuayThaiGym (R3 - Decision) Eddy Nait-Slimani -- The real story of this fight was Stefano Valenti making crap calls. Saenchai was kind of trolling the ref for a while there, but a crappy point deduction in the second made this closer than it had any right to be. Saenchai is a next level talent, a once-in-a-lifetime talent and he really was having fun out there.

Women’s Grand Prix: Isis Verbeek (R3 - Decision) Irina Mazepa -- If this wasn't a hometown decision, then the judges weren't watching the fight. Verbeek looked okay in the first round, but in the second round Mazepa was finding her chin with ease, had her backing up for the next two rounds and was just winning the fight.

Anatoly Moiseev (R3 - Decision) Josh Jauncey -- This is a fight that you absolutely need to see. This wasn't a crazy bout where guys were getting dropped left and right, this was a taught, technical battle between what is very clearly two of the most skilled Lightweights in the world. It was a round apiece going into the third and Moiseev snuck his right hook through Jauncey's defenses and stunned him, which pretty much won him the round. This was kickboxing at it's best. Both guys have a very high ceiling to their careers.

Eyevan Danenberg (R3 - Decision) Maximo Suarez -- Poor Maximo. He's just really undersized at Welterweight. Eyevan was towering over him, lording over him with his reach. Maximo got knocked down in R2, which more or less sealed the deal for Danenberg's victorious debut.

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Van Roosmalen vs. Sitthichai II: A King and His Potential Usurper

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(C) GLORY Sports International

For many years the Lightweight (70kg/MAX) division was one of the most competitive in all of professional kickboxing. For good reason, too; K-1 was the world’s largest kickboxing organization and they opted to go with 70kg as their big, second weight class, built around a handsome young talent named Masato. For years fans got to watch as fighters like Masato, Andy Souwer, Buakaw Banchamek, Mike Zambidis and Giorgio Petrosyan wowed crowds with their amazing fights and dominated the landscape of the packed division. 

The division was richer than K-1’s heavyweight division, which tended to be the same 12 or so fighters competing each year with another four fighters swapping out periodically. When everything changed back in 2010 it was promotions like It’s Showtime that were the vanguards for a change in kickboxing by highlighting multiple weight classes and establishing champions across all of them. It was there that Robin van Roosmalen got his first chance to show the world what he was made of, all during a time when the climate was perfect for a new champion to rise.

Giorgio Petrosyan was the undisputed king of the 70kg division at the time, with back-to-back K-1 World MAX championships and a nearly spotless record that went along with his slick style he looked unbeatable. The only thing that could stop Petrosyan was a recurring hand injury that left him sidelined. When It’s Showtime was planning their 70kg MAX Fast & Furious tournament it was going to highlight all of the best talent in the world, with Petrosyan as the showcase. Many had predicted an Andy Souwer vs. Giorgio Petrosyan showdown, with the winner settling the score once and for all as to who really was the king of the division.

Yet none of it worked out that way.

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Media

(C) GLORY Sports International

For many years the Lightweight (70kg/MAX) division was one of the most competitive in all of professional kickboxing. For good reason, too; K-1 was the world’s largest kickboxing organization and they opted to go with 70kg as their big, second weight class, built around a handsome young talent named Masato. For years fans got to watch as fighters like Masato, Andy Souwer, Buakaw Banchamek, Mike Zambidis and Giorgio Petrosyan wowed crowds with their amazing fights and dominated the landscape of the packed division. 

The division was richer than K-1’s heavyweight division, which tended to be the same 12 or so fighters competing each year with another four fighters swapping out periodically. When everything changed back in 2010 it was promotions like It’s Showtime that were the vanguards for a change in kickboxing by highlighting multiple weight classes and establishing champions across all of them. It was there that Robin van Roosmalen got his first chance to show the world what he was made of, all during a time when the climate was perfect for a new champion to rise.

Giorgio Petrosyan was the undisputed king of the 70kg division at the time, with back-to-back K-1 World MAX championships and a nearly spotless record that went along with his slick style he looked unbeatable. The only thing that could stop Petrosyan was a recurring hand injury that left him sidelined. When It’s Showtime was planning their 70kg MAX Fast & Furious tournament it was going to highlight all of the best talent in the world, with Petrosyan as the showcase. Many had predicted an Andy Souwer vs. Giorgio Petrosyan showdown, with the winner settling the score once and for all as to who really was the king of the division.

Yet none of it worked out that way.

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Next »

Badr Hari Reportedly to be in Attendance for GLORY 31

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In perhaps one of the more interesting developments for GLORY of late, Badr Hari will be in attendance at GLORY 31, as will Rico Verhoeven. Verhoeven will be there for Spike TV Netherlands, being an on-air personality for Spike TV in the Netherlands. Rumor has it that he'll be attempting to interview Badr Hari live on air as well, which would be immensely interesting. 

This would serve as a great opportunity to announce Badr Hari vs. Rico Verhoeven, live from the Netherlands, but don't get your hopes up just yet. Until we've heard that the fight is official a ton of stuff could happen in the meantime.

(Source)

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GLORY Parting Ways with Former Champion Artem Levin

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(C) GLORY

In a move that should surprise no one, GLORY has opted not to be in the Artem Levin business any further. Artem Levin's last bout for the organization was against Simon Marcus in a bout for the GLORY Middleweight Championship that ended in controversy when Levin simply walked out after feeling that the referee was being too harsh on him while being lenient on Marcus. This has rustled feathers of some, claiming that Levin walking out was unprofessional, while others saw what he saw in that the referee completely decided who was going to win the fight and wanted nothing to do with it. 

To us, that looked like the last time that we'd see Levin in a GLORY ring and thanks to words from Jon J. Franklin over at MMAMania, it's official. Artem Levin's contract has expired and GLORY has opted not to negotiate with him or prevent him from looking elsewhere. Essentially, Levin is free to go as he wishes and won't be competing for GLORY anymore. 

Simon Marcus and Artem Levin are not a good pairing, the fights that we've gotten have always been a mess and I'm not sure what people expected of this last fight. Levin was a solid champion for GLORY and is, without a doubt, one of the best fighters in that weight class. Recent shifts over the past few months meant that the top three fighters in the division; Marcus, Levin and Schilling, will now not be competing under the same roof. 

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Glory 31- Super Fight Series Fight Breakdown

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Glory 31 super fight series will be airing live on UFC fight pass next saturday morning at 10:30 am PST/1:30 pm EST. Since its coming up quick I figured it was about that time to breakdown the fights a little.

Zack Mwekassa vs Mourad Bouzidi

The main event puts power punching, South African Zack Mwekassa against a real kickboxing veteran Mourad Bouzidi. I feel like the biggest thing in this fight is Bouzidi has to really avoid being hit cleanly. Bouzidi has the experience, and the kicks but his chin doesn't always hold up to big punches. If Bouzidi can keep his hands up, feet moving and keep consistent low kicks he will have a good night. As for Mwekassa he needs to use his jab to set up his big left hook, uppercut, or right hand. I don't think just throwing big haymakers will work on someone with the experience Mourad has, but if he can set something up and land a clean punch his power will hurt Bouzidi.

Saenchai vs Eddy Nait-Slimani

First of all I want to mention how excited I am for Saenchai to be kickboxing for Glory but Nait-Slimani will not be an easy fight by any means. In his Glory debut Slimani put on a masterful performance against Maykol Yurk, he showed beautiful spinning back kicks, front kicks to the face, and great timing. These are all techniques that Saenchai uses, plus many more. There have been many times I thought Saenchai was in for a hard fight and he made it look easy, but he has also done the opposite and had a little trouble in fights I expected him not to. Slimani needs to push the pace on Saenchai and not allow him to get a rhythm. Saenchai is not young anymore and I think Slimani can tire him out with lots of pressure and fast combinations followed by low kicks. Saenchai well, he will just be himself as always and entertain us no matter what happens, he will just have to be aware of Glory's clinching rules.

Isis Verbeek vs Irina Mazepar

This is an interesting fight in Glory's new female bantamweight division. Isis Verbeek is the faster fighter with more combinations and higher pace. Irina Mazepa is the harder hitting fighter who plods a little and finds good, hard shots to land. Mazepa has been focusing a little on MMA having two fights in One Championship last year, in my opinion this takes away from a fighters overall kickboxing game as they now have to focus a lot on their ground game plus training 5 minute rounds for MMA all the time is a much slower pace than 3 minute kickboxing rounds. If Verbeek pushes the pace I can't help but feel that Mazepa will be in rough shape by the last round, but Mazepa has the power so Verbeek will have to make sure she doesn't run into something as she tends to keep her chin quite high.

Josh Jauncey vs Anatoly Moiseev

Well I am not going to go into too much strategy for this fight since Josh is my brother and ill end up giving away game plans, but I can say that this could easily end up being  a candidate for fight of the night if not fight of the year. Both of them are young, hungry fighters with amazing technique, speed, and power. Moiseev suffered his first pro loss ever at the hands of Marat Grigorian earlier this year but since then has scored a huge KO over Serginio Kanters at Kunlun so his confidence should be back up. Jauncey is coming off two of his best performances ever, a TKO win over Johan Tkac and a head kick KO over Xu Yan. To say I'm excited about this fight is an understatement.

Maximo Suarez vs Eyevan Danenberg

Maximo Suarez is looking to rebound from his loss to Harut Grigorian where he just stood and traded which eventually led to his demise. Against Danenberg he will need to fight smart, Danenberg is a very tall, lanky fighter with good skills. Hes had some Pro boxing fights so his hands are good and he sets up his knees and low kicks well. Suarez will need to get inside and throw his fast combos or else he will get jabbed and kneed all night.

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Rumors About Badr Hari vs. Rico Verhoeven Heating Up After Dutch TV Appearance

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GLORY Heavyweight Champion Rico Verhoeven appeared on Dutch TV today (Monday) where the topic once again went towards the potential dream bout between Verhoeven and Badr Hari. Hari, the troubled former K-1 star, has been stealing headlines over the past few years for his antics outside of the ring more than inside of the ring. It's been known that Hari wants to have one last, big bout and that Verhoeven has become the logical target for his retirement bout. 

Since the initial appearance of Verhoeven on Dutch TV where he was pressed if that fight could happen it has been one of the bigger stories in kickboxing. We've seen smaller, relative-unknown promotions take to social media to brag about making "serious" offers for the fight along with rudimentary graphics and an attempt to hype up fans only for nothing to materialize. There have also been rumors that someone in China and Russia have put forth offers, but the chances of Rico taking a fight in Kadyrov's den seem thin and if you understand the market in China, while they are in a boom, it's still not quite what many fans believe it to be when it comes to actual money. The reality here is that GLORY has been the only potential home for the fight since the beginning. Verhoeven has been in negotiations for a contract renewal and his desire to take this fight has played a big part in those negotiations. 

Verhoeven has been playing the field a bit, but outside of an exclusive offer from the UFC it seems likely that he'll fight in the GLORY ring once more while being given his leave to pursue MMA as well. 

Verhoeven's appearance on PepTalk today included confirmation that if the fight is to happen that it'll be under the GLORY banner. Mike Passenier called into the show and more information was shared on just how close things really are. There has been a formal offer, lawyers would be looking over everything next week but Badr would need time to prepare. Andreas at MMAPlus has a translations from the show.

“[The fight] It is very realistic. We have spoken with the lawyers today. Next week we will sit down with the lawyers of GLORY. Then we will know if it will be arranged. But we never said that we didn’t want to fight,” spoke Passenier.

He added: “We always want to fight, that’s not a problem, but Badr needs four or five months in order to prepare. Besides, the fight still needs to be promoted, that also takes time.”

The decisive factor here will be Badr Hari's legal status and the timeline for the fight. If the fight can happen before Badr has to serve the remainder of his prison term or is brought up on charges for the Moroccan assault incident, things seem more likely. 

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GLORY 31 Sees Major Changes: Saenchai Debut, Interim Light Heavyweight Title

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Big news today as the upcoming GLORY 31 has had a few changes to the SuperFight Series portion of the card. Mosab Amrani has been forced to pull out of his fight with Eddy Nait-Slimani and in perhaps one of the best late replacements ever announced, Saenchai will be taking his place. Yes, that Saenchai. Eddy Nait-Slimani went from having to face a popular Dutch fighter in the Netherlands to having to fight a living legend in Saenchai PKSaenchaiMuayThaiGym. Ouch.

Another change is that due to Artem Vakhitov suffering an injury, he'll be out for an undisclosed amount of time. That means that Zack Mwekassa vs. Mourad Bouzidi is now for the Interim Light Heavyweight Championship. If that seems like a bit of a sudden decision, remember that Gokhan Saki held the GLORY Light Heavyweight title for 471 days without a single defense and GLORY is looking to keep their titles active. They've promised a bout between Vakhitov and the winner here when Vakhitov is healthy. 

GLORY 31 SuperFight Series

Light Heavyweight Interim Title Headline Bout: Zack Mwekassa vs. Mourad Bouzidi

Featherweight Bout: Saenchai PKSaenchaiMuayThaiGym vs. Eddy Naït-Slimani

Super Bantamweight Bout: Isis Verbeek vs. Irina Mazepa

Lightweight Bout: Josh Jauncey vs. Anatoly Moiseev

Welterweight Bout: Máximo Suarez vs. Eyevan Danenberg

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GLORY 32 SuperFight Series: Chopper's Comin'

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After being forced to pull out of a recent bout with Guto Inocente, Chi-Lewis Parry will finally be making his return to the GLORY ring at GLORY 32 on Friday, July 22nd in Virginia against Maurice Greene. That will be an interesting fight as Greene is coming off of a loss to Anderson "Braddock" Silva, but will be looking to dust himself off and take a win from the mouthy Brit. Chopper, on the other hand, he's just always itching for a fight. Francois Ambang returns after making it to the finals of the GLORY 30 qualifying tournament only to lose a close decision to Richard Abraham. 

Brian Collette will once again step into the GLORY ring against Karl Roberson who has had a rather rough go of things of late. The next Super Bantamweight bout will also happen between Funda Alkayis taking on Vanessa De Waele.

Oh yeah, and Shane Oblonsky will be back in action against Giga Chikadze in what is looking to be the best match-up on the entire card thus far. That really should be an incredible fight.

GLORY 32 SuperFight Series

Heavyweight Headline Bout: Chi Lewis-Parry vs. Maurice Greene

Welterweight Co-Headline Bout: Francois Ambang vs. Marcus Fisher

Light Heavyweight Bout: Brian Collette vs. Karl Roberson

Super Bantamweight Bout: Funda Alkayis vs. Vanessa De Waele

Featherweight Bout: Shane Oblonsky vs. Giga Chikadze

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Changes to the GLORY 31 SuperFight Series

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Hot on the heels of the announcement that Iman Barlow was pulling out of the GLORY Super Bantamweight tournament and, subsequently, her bout on June 25th at GLORY 31's SuperFight Series, GLORY has released a revised fight card for the GLORY 31 SuperFight Series. Filling in for Iman Barlow will be reserve fighter Irina Mazepa. Another big change comes to the headline bout of the card, originally slated to be a GLORY Light Heavyweight Championship bout between Mourad Bouzidi challenging champion Artem Vakhitov. 

Vakhitov has been forced to pull out thanks to an injury that he suffered in training and instead Zack Mwekassa will be stepping in to fight Mourad Bouzidi. 

GLORY 31 SuperFight Series

Light Heavyweight Headline Bout: Zack Mwekassa vs. Mourad Bouzidi

Lightweight Co-Headline Bout: Josh Jauncey vs. Anatoly Moiseev

Featherweight Bout: Mosab Amrani vs. Eddy Naït-Slimani

Super Bantamweight Bout: Isis Verbeek vs. Irina Mazepa

Welterweight Bout: Máximo Suarez vs. Eyevan Danenberg

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Iman Barlow Pulls Out Of GLORY Super Bantamweight Tournament

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Interesting update following the announcement of the GLORY Super Bantamweight Tournament, as one of the bigger names that was signed has already pulled out. That name is Iman Barlow, the UK-based fighter known as one of the best in the world. Her statement via Facebook points towards a lack of communication.

Unfortunately I have come to a decision that I am not going to be part of the Glory tournament. I was asked to fight on Glory 25th June to which I said Yes. I then later find out via social media that it was a tournament which is above my fight weight class. This was bad communication, I was never told it was at 55.5 or more than one bout. I can not commit to this as I have other commitments to fulfil. I would and am willing to fight Tiffany (as I know many want to see this fight) after the tournament if they want in a one off

Fight, but without signing a long confusing contract. I wish everyone in it the best of luck and I hope it's a great success for Glory. It's an amazing opportunity but for me just came across at the wrong time. 

I hope you all understand.Thanks X

So, according to Barlow, she didn't know the weight class that she was supposed to be competing in, didn't know that it was a tournament and it seems like she didn't understand that the contract with GLORY was a longer term one and not just one fight. This all feels like strange oversight considering how the tournament came together. Possibly her and her team agreeing to a deal without weighing deals she already had in place? Especially considering just the other day she posted a screenshot of the GLORY rankings (with the weight clearly listed) celebrating her #1 spot, she seemed excited about fighting in GLORY and being atop of their division.

This wouldn't be the first false-start that GLORY has seen with well-known muay thai fighters. GLORY had initially announced signing muay thai phenom Kevin Ross only for his previous contract with Lion Fight ultimately getting in the way. Here's to hoping that this gets worked out in the near future and that we're able to see more of Iman Barlow in the near future.

We've reached out to GLORY for comment.

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Ratings Up for GLORY 30 on ESPN2

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After a few disappointing performances for GLORY replays on ESPN2, GLORY 30 came back with stronger numbers. Maybe, in part, thanks to the appearance on ESPN SportsCenter late in the week featuring CEO Jon J. Franklin, Simon Marcus, Dustin Jacoby and Tiffany van Soest. Regardless, GLORY 30 aired on Sunday evening and the numbers were up. 

GLORY 30 on ESPN2 averaged 209,000 viewers at a 9pm time slot for the welterweight tournament, the incredible headkick knockout from Marat Grigorian and Simon Marcus defending his GLORY Middleweight Championship against Dustin Jacoby. [source]

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GLORY 32 Virginia Featuring Adamchuk vs. Varga II

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GLORY continues to march forward with their 2016, while GLORY 31 might be the next show, GLORY 32 takes place on July 22nd in Virginia, featuring a GLORY Featherweight Championship rematch between the new champion Serhiy Adamchuk and former champion Gabriel Varga. Varga lost the title at GLORY 25 to Adamchuk in what was a closely-contested bout that saw its fair share of controversy. Hopefully the rematch between the two is a bit cleaner when it comes to the action.

Varga will definitely be motivated to take his title back while Adamchuk is coming off of a defense of his title over Mosab Amrani at GLORY 28 and stepping in on late notice to fight Mohammed El Mir at Lightweight at GLORY 29 just one month later. 

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GLORY Announces Women's Super Bantamweight Division and Grand Prix

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Today in Los Angeles at a press conference streamed live to the world via Facebook GLORY announced that they would be creating a Women's Super Bantamweight division, the weight at which Tiffany Van Soest fights. It makes sense considering the signing of Van Soest. They've announced a Super Bantamweight Grand Prix, which Van Soest vs. Hasshass is the first quarterfinal bout in said tournament. The second fight will be at GLORY 31 Amsterdam as Isis Verbeek takes on Iman Barlow.

The addition of Barlow is perhaps the other biggest bit of news as she can easily be considered one of the best female fighters in the world. In fact, Steven Wright ranked her as the #2 pound-for-pound woman in the world right now. GLORY has built a ten-woman division, with future match-ups being Zoila Frausto vs. Daniela Graf and Amel Dehby vs. Ji Waen-Lee, while Ferial Ameeroedien vs. Irina Mazepa will serve as the reserve fight.

There are some solid names in there for the division and hopefully this takes off in a big way. You can watch the full announcement below.

We're thrilled to announce a new division with a Grand Prix tournament, tune in LIVE!

Posted by GLORY Kickboxing on Thursday, May 12, 2016

 

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GLORY Heavyweight Champion Rico Verhoeven is Considering a Full-Time Move to MMA

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The UFC is in the Netherlands for an event there and that means that the MMA media world has also made its presence shown. MMAJunkie's Mike Bohn is over in the Netherlands posted this video today where he spoke with current GLORY champion Rico Verhoeven.

While there will be some who swarm on the headlines for this that "Rico Verhoeven is going to switch to MMA," nothing is a done deal quite yet. Verhoeven speaks about the possibilities open to him, including saying that Bellator has already expressed interest in his services and that WSOF seems interested. He talks about being excited about MMA because it's so new to him still and he feels that he has a lot to offer. What he does mention is that while his current GLORY deal has ended, there is still a three month negotiation period that they are in the midst of and that he's not technically a free agent until the end of that period. Verhoeven claims that it was a good offer, although he seems to want a bit more.

Having multiple opportunities available to top athletes like Verhoeven is important because it allows for them to have leverage in contract situations. Where Verhoeven ends up is ultimately in his control right now and while he seems interested in the idea of fighting for the UFC, it's unlikely that they make a move for him just yet. Time will only tell where Verhoeven ends up, but my gut tells me that he's not done kickboxing just yet.

As for the Bellator offer? Our bud Stets reached out to Bellator and they denied any sort of offer being made to Verhoeven. 

So time will tell. [source]

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GLORY 31 Card Updated: Ismael Londt vs. Hesdy Gerges

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GLORY released further details on GLORY 31 Amsterdam on Saturday, June 25th. We already knew that Robin van Roosmalen would be defending his GLORY Lightweight Championship against Sitthichai and that there would be a GLORY Welterweight tournament featuring Murthel Groenhart and Karim Benmansour. Now we know more, a lot more. Groenhart will square off against Karim Benmansour in the first round of the tournament while on the other side of the bracket Yoann Kongolo will take on Harut Grigorian. 

The other fight of note is the co-headline bout where Hesdy Gerges returns to the GLORY ring after a lengthy legal battle over an alleged drug trafficking incident. Gerges has been cleared of these charges and is a free man, so GLORY is looking to quickly bring one of the best heavyweights in the world back into the fold by having him square off against GLORY's top heavyweight contender in Ismael Londt. It's interesting to note that Londt will fight Gerges here and not wait for a shot at Verhoeven. 

GLORY 31 Amsterdam

Lightweight Title Headline Bout: Robin van Roosmalen (c) vs. Sittichai

Welterweight Tournament Final Bout: Winner of Bout A vs. Winner of Bout B

Heavyweight Co-Headline Bout: Ismael Londt vs. Hesdy Gerges

Welterweight Tournament Semi-Final Bout B: Yoann Kongolo vs. Harut Grigorian

Welterweight Tournament Semi-Final Bout A: Murthel Groenhart vs. Karim Benmansour

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Tiffany Van Soest's New Opponent and Complete Cards For GLORY 30 and SuperFight Series

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There have been some changes for GLORY 30 Los Angeles as the event approaches. As reported prior, Van Soest's original opponent of Jeri Seitz was forced to pull out due to an injury and replacing her will be Esma Hasshass from Morocco, looking to make a name for herself against the debuting Van Soest. On the main card the co-main event is now Marat Grigorian vs. Djime Coulibaly.

GLORY 30 Los Angeles

Middleweight Title Headline Bout: Simon Marcus (c) vs. Dustin Jacoby

Lightweight Co-Headline Bout: Marat Grigorian vs. Djimé

Welterweight Tournament Final Bout: Winner of Bout A vs. Winner of Bout B

Welterweight Tournament Semi-Final Bout B: Francois Ambang vs. Daniel Morales

Welterweight Tournament Semi-Final Bout A: Casey Greene vs. Richard Abraham

GLORY 30 SuperFight Series

Middleweight Headline Bout: Joe Schilling vs. Jason Wilnis

Heavyweight Co-Headline Bout: Brian Douwes vs. Guto Inocente

Middleweight Bout: Mike Lemaire vs. Karl Roberson

Light-Heavyweight Bout: Manny Mancha vs. Warren Thompson

Super Bantamweight Bout: Tiffany van Soest vs. Esma Hasshass

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GLORY 29 Ratings: Stiff Competition From NBA Playoffs, UFC and Bellator

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Ben Pontier / GLORY Sports International

This past Saturday was GLORY 29, which was live in the afternoon on ESPN3 here in the United States and was aired via tape delay at 7pm on ESPN2. That start time was moved up from 9pm at almost the last minute, about a day or two prior. Their competition for that day was somehow even worse than the last event, which faced NCAA playoffs. This time around they faced a full day of NBA playoff games, a tape delayed Bellator event on Spike TV and the UFC on Fox event which pulled in over two million viewers.

Bellator itself had over 580,000 viewers, while the NBA games on during GLORY 29 averaged three million apiece. GLORY 29 scored 118,000 viewers after all was said and done, which would be their lowest television ratings to date on American cable. While this number doesn't include DVR numbers, it's still not a great number. The reality here for GLORY is that they need a regular television spot with ESPN2 and hopefully a live broadcast for their events, not tape delay. 

Currently GLORY 30 promotional posters only say "ESPN," not ESPN3 or ESPN2, and don't have a hard and fast start time listed. This would lead me to believe that they are at least working with ESPN2 to get the main card live on ESPN2, which would really be the litmus test to see where they stand. Here's to hoping that happens. [source]

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GLORY 30 SuperFight Series Card is Pretty Crazy

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While the plans for the GLORY 30 main card might not be setting much on fire, the GLORY 30 SuperFight Series is pretty much jam-packed full of interesting fights. As we reported previously, Tiffan Van Soest has signed with GLORY and will make her debut on this card. Her original opponent, Jeri Seitz, has been forced to pull out due to an injury, so they are currently searching for a new opponent for her. Joe Schilling vs. Jason Wilnis will headline the card in a rematch from their pretty crazy fight at GLORY 24 that saw Schilling walk away victorious after Wilnis suffered a foot injury.

Chopper is back, which means that the leadup to this event just got a whole hell of a lot more colorful and we can expect a lot of crazy interviews leading up to his fight against the impressive Guto Inocente. Karl Roberson gets another chance to prove himself against known quantity Mike Lemaire. Warren Thompson fights Manny Mancha as well in a Light Heavyweight bout.

GLORY 30 SuperFight Series

Middleweight Headline Bout: Joe Schilling vs. Jason Wilnis

Heavyweight Co-Headline Bout: Chi Lewis-Parry vs. Guto Inocente

Middleweight Bout: Mike Lemaire vs. Karl Roberson

Light-Heavyweight Bout: Manny Mancha vs. Warren Thompson

GLORY Debut: Tiffany van Soest vs. TBD

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GLORY Announces Matchups for GLORY 31 Amsterdam

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On Saturday, June 25th GLORY returns to Amsterdam with GLORY 31 Amsterdam. The show, headlined by Robin van Roosmalen vs. Sitthichai for the GLORY Light Heavyweight Championship was announced this weekend during the broadcast of GLORY 29. Also announced was Mourad Bouzidi challenging new GLORY Light Heavyweight Champion Artem Vakhitov to headline the SuperFight Series portion on UFC Fight Pass. Today GLORY announced that also on the SuperFight Series will be former Featherweight contender Mosab Amrani taking on Eddy Nait-Slimani.

Also featured will be a Welterweight Contender tournament featuring Murthel Groenhart looking for another shot at Holzken as well as Karim Benmansour.

GLORY 31 Amsterdam

Lightweight Title Headline Bout: Robin van Roosmalen (c) vs. Sittichai

Welterweight Contender Tournament Participants: Murthel Groenhart, Karim Benmansour

GLORY 31 SuperFight Series

Light Heavyweight Title Headline Bout: Artem Vakhitov (c) vs. Mourad Bouzidi

Featherweight Bout: Mosab Amrani vs. Eddy Naït-Slimani

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GLORY 29 and SuperFight Series Live Results

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Here we go! GLORY 29 SuperFight Series is live on Fight Pass and GLORY 29 is live on ESPN 3 at 4pm Eastern, replaying at 7pm Eastern on ESPN2. 

GLORY 29

Welterweight Title: Nieky Holzken (R5 - Decision) Yoann Kongolo

Heavyweight Finals: Ismael Londt (R3 - Decision) Jahfarr Wilnis 

Serhiy Adamchuk (R3 - Decision) Mohammed El-Mir

Semifinal: Ismael Londt (R3 - Decision) Anderson Silva 

Semifinal: Jahfarr Wilnis (R3 - Decision) Kirill Kornilov

GLORY 29 SuperFight Series

Zack Mwekassa (R3 - Decision) Zinedine Hameur-Lain

Tomas Mozny (Ext.R - Decision) Cihad Kepenek

Meran Zangana (R3 - TKO) Jonatan Oliveira

Abou Karim Chorr (R3 - Decision) Rhassan Muhareb

Harut Grigorian (R1 - KO) Maximo Suarez

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Larsen Out - Adamchuk in Against El Mir at GLORY 29

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After a long layoff from competing within the GLORY ring Niclas Larsen was looking to get back into the mix with a bout against Mohammed El Mir. If you'll remember back to GLORY 22 he was slated to fight Josh Jauncey in the Lightweight tournament until he was forced to pull out with a nasty staph infection. Now just days out from GLORY 29 he's been forced to pull out of yet another fight due to what is being said to be another infection. Truly an unfortunate incident for a promising young fighter who has a bright future ahead of him.

Thankfully GLORY Featherweight Champion Serhiy Adamchuk has stepped up on short notice and taken the fight against El Mir. This is a weight class up for Adamchuk, but this wouldn't be the first time that he's stepped up in weight on short notice to take a fight, either. Last year at GLORY 22 he stepped in against Marat Grigorian and was able to defeat the top lightweight contender before Adamchuk went on to successfully challenge for the GLORY Featherweight Championship. 

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GLORY Announces GLORY 30 Welterweight Tournament

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The card for GLORY 30 Los Angeles is starting to take shape. The GLORY SuperFight Series will be headlined by Joe Schilling rematching Jason Wilnis and will see the debut of Tiffany Van Soest, which leaves us with the GLORY 30 main card. The main event for GLORY 20 is Simon Marcus defending the GLORY Middleweight Championship against Dustin Jacoby and thanks to a press release from the promotion this afternoon, we learn that also on the card will be a Welterweight Qualification tournament.

These qualification tournaments operate different than contender tournaments. A contender tournament assures a shot at the champion while a qualification tournament assures a spot in a future contender tournament. This tournament is a qualification tournament featuring Casey Greene, Richard Abraham, Francois Ambang and Daniel Morales.

GLORY 30 Los Angeles

Middleweight Title Headline Bout: Simon Marcus (c) vs. Dustin Jacoby

Welterweight Tournament Final Bout: Winner of Bout A vs. Winner of Bout B

Welterweight Tournament Semi-Final Bout B: Francois Ambang vs. Daniel Morales

Welterweight Tournament Semi-Final Bout A: Casey Greene vs. Richard Abraham

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Heavyweights Vie for Supremacy at GLORY 29

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This weekend in Copenhagen we'll see GLORY's heavyweight division on display yet again as four men will vie for a shot at GLORY Heavyweight Champion Rico Verhoeven. While Verhoeven has been in the press peppering shots at the ever-troubled Badr Hari, his next challenge is most likely the winner of this tournament and not Badr Hari. The heavyweight division has changed a lot in the past few years since the formation of GLORY. What once featured some of the biggest names in the industry has seen quite a churn of late with Verhoeven at top and challengers like Errol Zimmerman and Benjamin Adegbuyi fall to the wayside at Verhoeven's hands.

Here's a breakdown of the four men in this tournament.

Jahfarr Wilnis -- Easily an early favorite heading into this, he was the runner-up of the last tournament that GLORY ran. An exhausted Wilnis found an extremely prepared Adegbuyi simply too much to contend with in the oppressive Denver elevation. Wilnis has been making a name for himself mostly outside of the GLORY ring, though, currently holding the Kunlun Heavyweight Championship as well as the Enfusion Heavyweight Championship. He actually holds a recent loss in Kunlun to top prospect Roman Kryklia, but his win in Enfusion over Ismael Laazar is freshest in everyone's memories. Wilnis is a tough and very much on the way up.

Anderson Silva -- Braddock has been a name within the division for years, but his chance at the top has always somehow just fallen out of reach for him. Braddock is the guy that when you check out his accolades, you see the term "runner-up" a lot. He's never shied away from a fight and has fought the best in the world at every step of the way. To say that he's ready to finally get his shot is an understatement. The only problem is that at times he'll fight a bit tentatively, which he can't do against Ismael Londt.

Ismael Londt -- Ismael Londt is a guy who has been a top ten guy and a guy residing on the fringes for a while now. Much like Braddock, he's had a few close calls of being on top, including making it to the finals of the 2012 K-1 World Grand Prix against Mirko Cro Cop in Croatia and, well, you finish that sentence for me, because if you don't knock out Cro Cop in Croatia you aren't winning. His most notable fight of late has been against Badr Hari in the ever-questionable Akhmat ring. He was able to knock Badr Hari down, but Hari roared back with warlord Kadyrov shouting at him to drop Londt multiple times to end the fight. Londt is making a fresh start in GLORY and has the chance to be the very, very top guy in the division.

Kirill Kornilov -- Kornilov is the kind of fighter that many fans aren't going to know a damned thing about, but might walk away impressed with him, win, lose or draw. He's been fighting mostly in Russia, but has experience in larger promotions like Tatneft and Kunlun. This is a big step up for him, especially against Jahfarr Wilnis, but it's safe to say that he has the right tools to take him far in the division. He's going to want to make a big impression on his debut, but many aren't expecting much out of him. That leaves the door wide open to burst onto the scene, though. 

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Tiffany Van Soest Signs with GLORY, Plus Schilling vs. Wilnis II at GLORY 30 SFS

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When Tiffany Van Soest's splinter away from Lion Fight became public knowledge the assumption was that she'd end up somewhere else. In the past she had expressed a desire to move into MMA, which her contract with Lion Fight prevented, and the whole debocle with her winning a championship and having pay issues seemed to be the final nail in the coffin of the relationship between the two parties. Speculation was that Scott Coker's Bellator Kickboxing would be hungry to scoop up a talent like Van Soest, especially with fighters like Denise Kielholtz, a former opponent of Van Soest's, under contract.

We heard rumblings about GLORY entering the female fight arena at some point in the near future, but not to this extent. Today an image leaked out via Twitter of Tiffany Van Soest on the poster for GLORY 30. While no opponent or formal fight was on there just yet, it reads that she'll be a special debut, meaning she should be at least at the show. MMAFighting ran a story on the tweet and we independently confirmed with GLORY officials that Van Soest has indeed signed to the GLORY roster. 

Interestingly enough, the leaked image also shows another fight of interest for GLORY 30 Los Angeles, with that fight being Joe Schilling vs. Jason Wilnis headlining the SuperFight Series. We've yet to get confirmation on this one just yet, but since it's on paper it seems like a pretty decent chance of this happening. 

UPDATE 4/8: Van Soest is confirmed for GLORY 30 in a rematch with Jeri Sitzes. The fight will take place on the SuperFight Series airing live on Fight Pass.

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The Life of Zack Mwekassa Continues to Be Insanity

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If there would be one thing that you could say about the life of GLORY Light Heavyweight Zack Mwekassa it is that it has been a storied one. Another chapter in that storied life apparently almost kept him from hopping on a plane this week to head towards Copenhagen for GLORY 29. So what exactly happened? It involved a gun, a misfire, a failed carjacking and a stolen passport. 

According to our friend over at BloodyElbow, John Joe O'Regan this happened about a week ago and saw carjackers surround Mwekassa on his way home from the gym, pulling a gun on him and attempting to take his BMW and everything else on him. Here's what Mwekassa had to say about it:

"So they stopped me, they came to the car, opened the door and put a gun my head. They searched my car and me; they took my money. Then the guy with the gun tried to shoot me. The gun clicked, nothing happened. He started to mess with it and the magazine dropped out. That's the second time [criminals] have tried to kill me in South Africa.

"So then they went away. After they left I looked to see what they had taken; I realized they had also taken my passport. It was a really sad moment for me because my passport is from Congo not South Africa and Congo isn't delivering passports at the moment. I thought I would have to cancel the fight. And because it would take some months to get a new passport, probably I would miss more than one fight."

Crazily enough, after offering a $1,000 reward for the return of the passport it was returned to him and everything worked out, but damn, has this guy seen it all, huh? Check out the entirety of the story over at BloodyElbow.

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Russian Heavyweight Kirill Kornilov Rounds out GLORY 29 Heavyweight Tournament

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GLORY 29's heavyweight tournament is finally complete, after weeks of speculation, with GLORY bringing a new fighter into the mix. Today they announced that Kirill Kornilov will be the fourth man in the GLORY 29 heavyweight contender's tournament. Kornilov is a 24-year old prospect who is perhaps best known for his appearances in Tatneft in Russia as well as an appearance in Kunlun. The 6'4, 7-1 fighter will be making his debut against one of the best heavyweights in the world in Jahfarr Wilnis, the current holder of both the Kunlun and Enfusion heavyweight championships, respectively, with hopes of moving on in the tournament and earning a shot at Rico Verhoeven.

Here's a look at the full card as it stands.

GLORY 29 Copenhagen

Welterweight Title Headline Bout: Nieky Holzken (c) vs. Yoann Kongolo

Heavyweight Tournament Final Bout: Winner of Bout A vs. Winner of Bout B

Lightweight Co-Headline Bout: Niclas Larsen vs. Mohammed El-Mir

Heavyweight Tournament Semi-Final Bout B: Anderson Silva vs. Ismael Londt

Heavyweight Tournament Semi-Final Bout A: Jahfarr Wilnis vs. Kirill Kornilov

GLORY 29 SuperFight Series

Light Heavyweight Headline Bout: Zack Mwekassa vs. Zinedine Hameur-Lain

Heavyweight Bout: Cihad Kepenek vs. Tomas Mozny

Welterweight Bout: Jonatan Oliveira vs. Meran Zangana

Lightweight Bout: Rhassan Muhareb vs. Abdou Karim Chorr

Welterweight Bout: Harut Grigorian vs. Maximo Suarez

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GLORY 28 ESPN Ratings See Dip Thanks to NCAA Action

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Do you have March Madness? I sure know that I don't, but I'm weird and don't really follow sports outside of ones where people punch and kick each other, so your mileage may vary. What I do know is that a lot of people get pretty obsessed with college basketball around this time of year and that much was for certain this past weekend when ESPN2 found a spot for GLORY 28 at 9pm eastern on Sunday. 

Weeks after the event happened and there was an ESPN3 live stream we finally got a basic cable airing of GLORY 28 and the ratings weren't spectacular. Then again, the competition was a NCAA showdown between Notre Dame and North Carolina which pulled in over 10 million viewers. A lot of factors went into the ratings for GLORY 28 coming in at 133,000 this time around and honestly, I'm not concerned. There was just a new deal announced between the two and we can look forward to some events even airing live on ESPN2. [source]

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GLORY 29 SuperFight Series Headlined by Zack Mwekassa

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On April 16th GLORY will present GLORY 29, with the main card headlined by Nieky Holzken defending the GLORY Welterweight Championship against Yoann Kongolo. While there will be some top notch action on the GLORY 29 main card, the GLORY 29 SuperFight Series has come together quite nicely as well, featuring a few interesting debuts as well as a main event that promises action. Zack Mwekassa will square off against Zinedine Hameur-Lain.

The co-main of the SFS is also quite a fight of note, as the ever-exciting Spanish lightweight Maximo Suarez will be facing a debuting Harut Grigorian.

GLORY 29 SuperFight Series

Light Heavyweight Headline Bout: Zack Mwekassa vs. Zinedine Hameur-Lain

Lightweight Co-Headline Bout: Harut Grigorian vs. Maximo Suarez

Heavyweight Bout: Cihad Kepenek vs. Tomas Mozny

Welterweight Bout: Alex Harris vs. Jonatan Oliveira

Lightweight Bout: Rhassan Muhareb vs. Abou Karim Chorr

 

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Simon Marcus vs. Dustin Jacoby Announced for GLORY 30 Los Angeles

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While GLORY 29 might still be a few weeks away that doesn't mean that we can't look forward to the future. That future is on May 13th in Los Angeles for GLORY 30 at the Citizens Business Bank Arena. Newly-crowned GLORY Middleweight Champion Simon Marcus will defend his title against newly-minted contender in Dustin Jacoby. Jacoby has clawed his way up the rankings within the division before winning this last tournament to earn his shot at the title, making huge strides in the few years he's competed as a kickboxer to be considered one of the best at his weight.

This should be an interesting battle for the title and really we'll see GLORY's first real homegrown star vie for a championship.

Also announced for the event is a Light Heavyweight contender's tournament.

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