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Bill Goldberg Presents GLORY's Top Ten Knockouts This Friday on Spike TV

  • Published in Glory

It didn't take long for GLORY to get Bill Goldberg involved with the organization now, did it? This Friday, March 27th on Spike TV, GLORY will air GLORY's Top Ten Knockouts and it will be hosted by none other than Bill Goldberg. This behind-the-scenes footage shows Goldberg in his gym, training as well as talking about kickboxing and his love for the sport, the GLORY product and how there is no way that a combat sports fan who gives GLORY a chance would be able to turn it off.

It's interesting to see GLORY embracing professional wrestling like this considering that the UFC would have never gotten huge if it wasn't for The Ultimate Fighter directly following Monday Night Raw on Spike TV. Lots of combat sports purists might hate wrestling, but if Bill Goldberg can draw eyes to GLORY we'll take it.

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Bill Goldberg Claims He Turned Down a Fight with Alberto Del Rio

  • Published in Glory

Bill Goldberg appeared on Ariel Helwani's MMA Hour this afternoon and the sole purpose was for Bill Goldberg to talk about his relationship with GLORY. That relationship has been much-publicized over the past few months after GLORY learned about Goldberg's admiration for the sport of kickboxing and the organization itself. Goldberg, of course, still trains seriously and there has been talk about a possible fight between Goldberg and an unnamed opponent.

According to Goldberg on the show the fight that was offered to him was none other than Alberto Del Rio/Alberto el Patron/Rodriguez, or the guy that was formerly Dos Caras Jr. and fought Mirko Cro Cop. The fight was offered to Goldberg for May 8th but he decided that it wasn't the right direction that he'd like to see GLORY move in but remains steadfast that he wants to work with GLORY in some capacity, possibly even fight if the situation was right. Apparently a fight with Del Rio was a bit too much of a freakshow fight for him to justify it.

Goldberg reiterated that he is willing to do whatever it takes to work with GLORY and to help promote the brand, even if it means working in the front office, hosting shoulder programming or appearing as a commentator on events. While Goldberg's heyday in WCW was just under 20 years ago now he still commands a loyal following and has been involved in Mixed Martial Arts and sports since departing the WWE. It'll be interesting to see where this goes from here.

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A Picture is Worth 1,000 Words: Bill Goldberg in Front of a GLORY Logo

  • Published in Glory

They always say that a picture is worth 1,000 words, right? So how about this one?

Rumors of Bill Goldberg fighting for GLORY in an exhibition bout have been swirling around for the past few months and while nothing has been made official just yet, this photo tweeted out by GLORY this afternoon sure is telling us that there will be some level of involvement from the former WCW and WWE pro wrestler, MMA commentator, actor and NFL player Bill Goldberg. Even if that something is just in a promotional extent and not fighting, which I'm sure most people wouldn't mind.

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Pat Barry Out of GLORY 20 -- Featherweight Title Fight Moves to Main Card

  • Published in Glory

For kickboxing fans there is some good news and some bad news regarding GLORY 20. The bad news is that Pat Barry vs. Mourad Bouzidi is officially off after Pat Barry suffered a hand injury while training for the upcoming fight. Bouzidi will still be on the GLORY 20 card but for now it looks like he'll be moved to the SuperFight Series undercard with a replacement opponent.

The good news is that the Featherweight Championship bout between Mosab Amrani and Gabriel Varga will no longer headline the SuperFight Series card and will instead be featured on the main card. That means that an astonishing two GLORY championships will be on the line for GLORY 20. The event, set to go down on April 3rd in Dubai, will air via tape delay on Spike TV that same evening.

GLORY has promised that Pat Barry will be booked on an upcoming card when he is healthy.

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Video: Glory 20 Pre-fight Interviews with Mosab Amrani, Gabriel Varga, and Mourad Bouzidi

  • Published in Glory

Glory has begun releasing the pre-fight interviews for Glory 20 in Dubai. First up is the Canadian Gabriel Varga, who also did an Exclusive Liverkick interview which will be coming soon. Naturally the next interview is with his opponent the Moroccan/Dutch Mosab Amrani. After listening to what they both had to say, I can't help but think of how exciting this fight is going to be, I always enjoy a clash of styles in a fight especially when it involves height as well. Only thing I wonder is who will the winner defend his belt against? I feel Glory will have to sign some new featherweights.

The latest interview is with Mourad Bouzidi who seems to have been in Dubai for quite a while already to prepare for this fight. There have been lots of videos posted of him training like a beast for this fight, I get the feeling he REALLY does not want to lose to Pat Barry.

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Glory 21 Announcement

  • Published in Glory

Glory 21 has officially been announced for May 8th at the Valley View Casino Center in San Diego. Wikipedia tells us that the arena holds 16, 100 people for mixed martial arts events if the whole arena is used, so this could be a huge show.

Artem Levin will be defending his title against the winner of the tournament at Glory 20 in Dubai. So it could be Jason Wilnis, Alex Pereira, Wayne Barrett or Simon Marcus anyone one of them against Levin will be an exciting fight as they all bring something different to the ring.

There is also an all American heavyweight tournament which will grant the winner entry into the Glory heavyweight contender tournament where the winner will fight Rico Verhoeven for the belt. The American heavyweights have yet to be announced.

Of course this will all be Live on Spike TV on Friday, May 8th. I'm so happy to see Glory announcing events more than a month before the show now and giving us all a chance to get excited and also more time to buy tickets.  [source]

 

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Glory 19: A New Way Forward?

  • Published in Glory

(C) Glory Sports International

What I love most about the kickboxing community—and what I think redeems us regardless of what happens in the industry—is that we are all diehard fans of the sport who share a strong sense of ownership of it as well as a desire to see it succeed. This comes across very clearly in Joe Schilling’s recent appearance on the Joe Rogan podcast as well as Glory bigwig Ivan Farneti’s tweets and interviews—and hopefully, our work here at LiverKick. As writers, we’ve seen the sport go through challenging times and make many a false comeback, which poses great difficulty from an editorial standpoint. On the one hand, we feel obligated and committed to supporting the sport especially when it’s struggling to survive, which in the past—speaking for myself—has led me to cheerlead at the expense of my own personal doubts. 2011 was a particularly tumultuous year; I remember arguing passionately on the dark corners of the Internet that It’s Showtime would save kickboxing even when it became increasingly clear that the Dutch organization didn’t have the resources to do so. To this day I’m not entirely sure if I really believed it could, but at the time, when kickboxing seemed to be losing its last hope for legitimacy, it seemed like the right thing to believe. On the other hand, I think that willfully overlooking blatant problems and trying to paint a falsely optimistic picture of reality is dishonest. If these seem like conflicting motives, it’s because they are, and it’s why I support Glory today while still joining in the fandom’s shared confusion and doubt when it breaks its promises and disappears for three months.

Having said all of that, I believe Glory deserves all the credit in the world for what it accomplished in Virginia Beach at Glory 19. Something just felt right this time. The product finally showed signs of maturity, of beginning to break through its veil of obscurity into the peripheral consciousness of mainstream sports. For once, there was talk of Glory on combat sports blogs that was spontaneous and organic rather than forced—and genuine interest in fighters like Joe Schilling, Raymond Daniels, and Nieky Holzken. Glory turned in its second-highest ratings of all time—coming off of a 3 month hiatus! The Virginia Beach audience seemed energized and alive as if they actually knew what they had come to see. The fights and fighters delivered on every level, showcasing the intensity and technique of kickboxing to viewers tuning in for the first time. Even Mike Tyson seemed genuinely impressed, more so than he was probably paid to be.

Glory 19 set the tone of how it should conduct itself in 2015. If excess was the fault of Glory in its first two years of operations, then new CEO Jon Franklin is to be commended for making strategic and calculated decision-making Glory’s new credo. First, let’s talk Glory’s choice of venues. Since its return in October of 2014, Glory has targeted smaller, affordable venues in cheaper domestic markets over more prestigious venues in expensive locales such as Madison Square Garden. In addition to the cost of the venues themselves, touring through smaller communities has likely saved on lodging expenses and is likely a boon from a promotional standpoint through low cost grassroots partnerships with local gyms and media outlets. This is the model that regional pro wrestling has followed for decades and seems like the appropriate strategy for Glory at this point.

Next, let’s talk about the match-ups. What started out as a decent fight card with Rico Verhoeven, Errol Zimmerman, and Nieky Holzken turned into an event that was stacked from top to bottom, with later additions Joe Schilling and Andy Ristie considerably elevating the profile of Glory’s return to SpikeTV. Adding Schilling in particular was a smart move, capitalizing on his highly publicized knockout of Melvin Manhoef in MMA. It seems that Glory has finally realized the value of keeping its exciting fighters in the limelight and that it can put together a stacked fight card and deliver top tier entertainment without having to shell out for big ticket fighters like Gokhan Saki and Tyrone Spong, something which Jon Franklin indicated as a shift in strategy last year. The new approach is more economical and still effective, and while it may indicate an end to huge fighter paydays for now, it will help provide Glory with the staying power to find prosperity in the future.

Glory 19 also signaled a shift in Glory’s efforts to expand its fanbase, including new gimmicks like adding Mike Tyson as an “analyst” and featuring an amateur fight between two active military servicemen. While people may have mixed feelings about this, I interpret it as Glory seizing opportunities for self-promotion. The aggressiveness of these tactics is a welcome change, and as a fledgling promotion, it is precisely the style of marketing that it should have adopted from the start. Glory made a strong play to associate its brand with familiar things that people take seriously, from Iron Mike to the welfare of military veterans, and in both instances Glory put its fighters front and center. The veteran commercials in particular were a brilliant touch because they asserted that Glory exists in the real world rather than the void of late-night television. From this perspective, booking Goldberg could turn out to be a savvy move.

This is encouraging stuff from Glory, and the fact that Glory is still being talked about on the web demonstrates that its new strategies are working. The ratings are also encouraging, and with rumors circulating of SpikeTV planning a stronger push back into combat sports, the future may begin to look up for kickboxing. That said, it is up to Glory to keep the momentum going; it has had promising starts in the past only for long hiatuses to kill the hype. Dubai is an interesting destination for Glory in April, perhaps representing increased international interest and investment in the brand. That said, given Glory’s astute move to Friday nights, it will be interesting to see how the significant time zone difference between the United States and the Middle East will be negotiated.

 

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Bill Goldberg in Talks with GLORY. Why Not?

  • Published in Glory

If you grew up in the 90's at all there is a good chance that you know who Bill Goldberg is. If not, or if you were professional wrestling-adverse, Bill Goldberg was a muscle-bound ex-football player that WCW scooped up in the mid-90's, loosely trained how to be a pro wrestler and tossed him into the ring. He studied a lot of pro wrestling styles and the one that stuck out to him the most was shoot-style, funny enough, which led to him taking on a character that was sort of a "shoot fighter" and he did a quasi-UFC thing.

They treated him like a prized fighter, showing his entrances where he came from the backstage area with a full security detail like a professional boxer. He wore MMA gloves and was all about intensity and, well, crushing jobbers. He was best known for his "streak" where WCW brass booked him to crush enhancement talent (read: guys so low on the totem pole that they are paid to show up, make a guy look good and to lose). WCW was a complicated promotion, though, and eventually ruined the good thing that they had with Goldberg. 

Goldberg went on to WWE after WCW folded into the WWE, but he had no passion for professional wrestling and it showed throughout his run, culminating in a match with Brock Lesnar at Wrestlemania where both men were booed out of the arena because the fans knew that both men were leaving after that night. Brock went on to become UFC Heavyweight Champion, Goldberg went on to have some involvement in calling MMA and being a personality, but since then has been a bit under the radar. 

He mentioned how excited that he was watching GLORY 19 last week on social media, which led to GLORY's team to reach out to him and apparently they are in talks now for Goldberg to appear in a fight on GLORY programming, but of course, Goldberg states that it's "just for fun" seeing as though he is 48. 

No word as to who a potential opponent might be, but the wrestling fan in me would like to see Norman Smiley, Barry Horowitz or "Lightning Foot" Jerry Flynn at least considered. We do know, of course, that GLORY has been in talks with Alberto Del Rio/El Patron (Jose Alberto Rodriguez/Dos Caras Jr.) about a potential fight in GLORY, so they have pro wrestling on the mind. [source]

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GLORY 19 Scores Second Highest Spike TV Ratings For GLORY

  • Published in Glory

(C) Glory Sports International

There was some initial skepticism after GLORY 19 was postponed to February, but the reality was that some of the reshuffling of the GLORY 19 card was exactly what the promotion needed to return interest to the product. GLORY 18 under-performed, to say the least, scoring the promotion's lowest ratings to date on Spike TV, so GLORY came back with a vengeance with GLORY 19 and the numbers have come in and they are promising.

The initial, live broadcast numbers were 528,000 and the live+DVR numbers place GLORY 19 at a staggering 542,000, which is well over a 50% increase from GLORY 18 and makes GLORY 19 the second-most watched GLORY event on Spike TV. The first being GLORY 13 Tokyo that scored 659,000 viewers. GLORY 19 had a peak of 825,000 viewers, which is the third highest behind GLORY 17 and GLORY 13. 

It's unclear how much of this is from Mike Tyson or not, but an interesting tidbit of information is that Nieky Holzken was involved with a tournament on both GLORY 13 and GLORY 19, making Nieky Holzken one of the most-watched GLORY athletes in their history. The addition of American Joe Schilling and the Heavyweight Championship most definitely had their own impacts on the ratings.

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It's Time For Another GLORY Heavyweight Tournament

  • Published in Glory

(C) Glory Sports International

Friday night in Virginia live on Spike TV Rico Verhoeven defended his GLORY Heavyweight Championship against Errol Zimmerman. Of course Zimmerman went down to a knee injury in the second round and not to the fists of Verhoeven, but that's another story for another day. The story right now is that Rico Verhoeven is still the Heavyweight Champion and that when you look out over the rest of the division things are a bit muddled at the moment. 

If you look around it will be clear that the guy next in line should be Daniel Ghita, but of course, the only problem with that is that we've seen Daniel Ghita challenge for the GLORY Heavyweight title already within the last year. At this point Daniel Ghita is 0-2 against Verhoeven and it's not clear if a third bout would really be a smart move so soon after the last bout between the two.

Looking down through GLORY's rankings we see, well, a mess of a division. GLORY's rankings never did make much sense to me, but they are especially strange considering Sergei Kharitonov is in the #2 spot behind Ghita considering Anderson "Braddock" Silva defeated him last year at GLORY 16. While you might be able to make a case for Braddock, for Adegbuyi or maybe even Gerges in the future, I think that it is high time that we are returned to our kickboxing roots and get an old-fashioned Heavyweight tournament.

The last large-scale Heavyweight tournament was GLORY 4, which was done via a 16-man field, which might have been too much for one evening. That tournament did, however, set Daniel Ghita apart from the pack as one of the top contenders in the division. The truth of the matter is, while GLORY might be able to turn a blind eye to Verhoeven's fight from January in China, those of us that follow the sport closely are well aware of it and the problems that it creates. Essentially Verhoeven's #1 spot in the Heavyweight division comes with an asterisk at the moment. The best way to alleviate some of that pressure and to make heads or tails of the division is to toss them all into the blender and see who comes up on top.

An eight-man field containing Verhoeven, Ghita, Braddock Silva, Zimmerman (once healed), Gerges, Edwards, Adegbuyi and Kharitonov would remove any doubts or concerns about the division and help to create more excitement around what has proven to be the money division in the sport. It would especially make sense considering how much more sense can be made of the Middleweight division after Last Man Standing last year. Four man tournaments have their place, but at the end of the day pitting the top contenders against each other is what will cause the cream to rise to the top and for the true king of the division to stand at the top.

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Andy Ristie vs. Robin Van Roosmalen Official For GLORY 20 Dubai

  • Published in Glory

After Andy Ristie's blistered performance last night at GLORY 19 it has become official that Andy Ristie will challenge GLORY Lightweight Champion Robin van Roosmalen on April 3rd in Dubai for the GLORY Lightweight Championship. Ristie made quick work of the tough-as-nails Steve Moxon last night in Virginia at GLORY 19 and Cor Hemmers confirmed at the post-show presser that Andy Ristie will get another chance at the title on April 3rd in Dubai, making two world titles on the line that night, considering the Featherweight Championship is on the line as well.

They last met at GLORY 12 in the Finals of the Lightweight tournament after Ristie had knocked out Giorgio Petrosyan. Ristie walked away victorious that night, but when he would vie for the Championship against Davit Kiria things did not work out as planned. Now after his win last night we will get to see a five-round rematch in Dubai.

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Big Night for Holzken, Schilling and Verhoeven at GLORY 19

  • Published in Glory

(C) Glory Sports International

GLORY 19 was an interesting night that was full of some truly tremendous action that had a bit of an underwhelming finish. 

The show's big draw, the Welterweight Contender's tournament, delivered in every fight. Raymond Daniels kicked off the night by absolutely demolishing Jonatan Oliveira with his fancy, traditional martial arts moves. Oliveira was able to cut off the ring and keep Daniels on the defensive, but Daniels found the openings for some truly highlight reel kicks throughout, making for an entertaining start to the evening. 

On the other end of the tournament we saw Nieky Holzken face the tough-as-nails Alexander Stetsurenko. Stetsurenko was a game opponent but Holzken was simply able to outperform against him. Many were looking for Holzken to make a big impression to start the night but Stetsurenko is simply too tough for that. 

Joe Schilling made his return to the GLORY ring against Robert Thomas. Many expected Schilling to steamroll through the young Canadian but Thomas was crafty and proved himself to be incredibly tough when being assaulted by Schilling's heavy hands. Thomas landed a few of his signature spinning back fists, but it was a spinning back fist by Joe late in the fight that sent Thomas crashing to the ropes and a few more punches that put him down in what would have knocked out anyone else. Thomas is tough, though, so he fought back up to his feet and was able to finish out the fight, but he clearly was outclassed by Schilling. 

Nieky Holzken and Raymond Daniels met in the tournament finals and there was a feeling that Daniels might actually have a chance against Holzken after the tremendous performance earlier on. What transpired in the ring though was completely according to the script with Holzken bullying him around the ring and utilizing his hands to hurt Daniels. He dropped Daniels with a liver punch early and continued to batter the karateka throughout the fight, dropping him a total of three more times before the fight was called in the third round. That isn't to say that there wasn't heart from Daniels, because there was. Daniels landed a huge spinning back kick that put Holzken onto his butt, the ref scoring it a knockdown, but definitely a questionable knockdown at that. It was Holzken's hands that sealed the deal and put Daniels down in the third, though. Holzken goes on to fight Valtellini in one has to be the most anticipated bout of the year.

Speaking of anticipated bouts, Rico Verhoeven and Errol Zimmerman fought for a third time with Mike Tyson at ringside to give in-between round analysis with Luke Thomas and sadly the fight ended after Zimmerman tweaked his knee in the second round. The first round was chaotic, though, with Rico scoring against Zimmerman in the first round and having him wobbled but not quite sure how to get him onto his back. Zimmerman was able to get Verhoeven wobbly as well, leaving both of them dazed and winging shots at each other. Needless to say they both looked mighty upset.

 

The fight took a turn in the second round, though, when Zimmerman when for a spinning back kick and landed on his right leg at an awkward angle, immediately falling into the corner and shrieking out in pain. The ref began counting him down, then for some reason called a time out and brought the doctor in. The doctor ruled Zimmerman unable to continue and that was the end of the fight. The Heavyweight division is kind of in chaos right now considering Verhoeven's little indiscretion in China last month, but such is life.

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Are We Too Confident Holzken Will Win?

  • Published in Glory

(C) Glory Sports International

There is no reason to doubt Holzken. Since 2010 he has been nearly unstoppable, punishing and brutalizing everyone placed in front of him like a well-groomed, excessively tattooed steamroller. The unfortunate wisdom awaiting his opponents on tape to prepare against him is not if he will knock you out but often when and whether it will arrive via left body hook or driving right cross. However, the surprise of an upset ensures that it will never die in our collective imagination and there have been a lot to relish inside and outside of kickboxing the last few years, and no doubt as they have a place in our memories for their defiance of our expectations, they should also be evoked to inform our interpretations of similarly considered mismatches.

No one, to my knowledge, has faithfully articulated a rationale argument for anyone other than Holzken to prevail tonight at Glory 19. Fraser Coffeen of Bloody Elbow, for example elevated the ability of Holzken’s first round opponent, Alexander Stetsurenko, to the standard of withstanding Holzken’s punishment for the full three rounds, yet did not forward the realistic possibility he would pull out the win.

Understandable.

Predictions are meant to be logical. It is the only way to survive.

And despite the proliferation of upsets recently and within the last few years, they do not become any more logical. Thus the only reasonable conclusion is that Holzken demolishes his opposition tonight per his superior craft and power, for once an expectation becomes reasonable it ceases to be an upset.

Chances are Holzken sends everyone out on stretchers, and then, to the salivating imaginations of fight fans everywhere, turns his attention to his assured rematch against Valtellini, but it should be considered far from a guarantee.

It might be wise for us to learn that by now, even if we’re destined to be wrong. 

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Glory 19: The State of the Heavyweight Division

  • Published in Glory

It’s been a long time since we’ve talked about the Heavyweight division. Who would imagine that? Less than a year ago, a vibrant Kickboxing scene without the Heavyweight division at its center seemed like an unthinkable notion. For decades, Heavyweight was synonymous with Kickboxing, with names like Ernesto Hoost, Peter Aerts, and Semmy Schilt long overshadowing skilled fighters in other weight classes. Fast forward to 2014, which was undoubtedly the year of Middleweight, producing what I still believe is the most brutal tournament in kickboxing history with legendary clashes between Joe Schilling, Artem Levin, Wayne Barrett, Simon Marcus, and more. Glory knows that its Middleweight division is a murderer’s row and is putting its Middleweight fighters to work with regular frequency. The Lightweight division was also set ablaze when Andy Ristie did the unthinkable and blasted through Giorgio Petrosyan and Robin van Roosmalen in one night. The belt has since changed hands several times but with longtime kingpin Petrosyan out of action. Robin van Roosmalen is currently the champion, but time will tell how long he can hold on to the title, especially with Petrosyan returning to fight and a hungry Andy Ristie waiting for the chance to annihilate Robin again.

Events for the Heavyweight division, on the other hand, have taken a significant downturn. Semmy Schilt is out of the picture. Gokhan Saki has moved down to Light Heavyweight. Rico Verhoeven had a successful 2014 but opened the New Year in China with an embarrassing loss to Andrei Hirasimchuk, a virtual unknown who was able to shut down Rico’s range for two rounds and give Rico’s future opponents a potential blueprint to success. Errol Zimmerman crushed Ben Edwards and Braddock Silva in one night, but Daniel Ghita seems to have always had Zimmerman’s number, stopping him in less than a minute during their last confrontation. Benjamin Adegbuyi appears to be a bright prospect, but he has yet to receive an opportunity to compete for a contender’s spot.

And that leaves us with Daniel Ghita, who had a frustrating 2014 with two losses to Rico Verhoeven. In many ways this is the ongoing story with Daniel Ghita: he’s proved himself capable of crushing nearly every Heavyweight in the world but always comes up short in world title fights. He brutalized his way through the insane 16-man Glory Heavyweight Grand Slam in 2012 but was bullied by Semmy Schilt en route to a stoppage in the final. When he fought Rico Verhoeven, he seemed to have all of the skills needed to beat him but seemed reluctant to pull the trigger on his devastating kicks. Many of us on the twitter sphere also noted some questionable instructions from his corner during those fights. Coaching continues to be an ongoing issue for Ghita as he has changed training camps several times in the last few years, relocating from Romania to the Netherlands. These changes make me wonder where Ghita’s head is at right now. After reaching out to him on twitter, Ghita has assured me that he will be returning to action soon. Let’s hope that he is able to find stability in his training camp in 2015 as well as consistency in his fights. A championship victory seems inevitable for the Romanian, but he will finally have to put it all together if he wants to win the title this year.

As exciting a fight as the upcoming battle at Glory 19 between Verhoeven and Zimmerman will be, it’s also somewhat underwhelming because this is all the Heavyweight division has to offer at the moment. The status quo is a far cry from the massive, star-studded division that inaugurated the Glory brand. If its champion is losing fights against no-name opponents in China, then Glory has a problem. The Heavyweight division needs new talent. It needs new stars. It needs a superstar who can sell a card on his name value alone. Verhoeven and Zimmerman are formidable fighters, but they are also European athletes who haven’t crossed over with American audiences and who were for many years overshadowed by the likes of Alistair Overeem and Badr Hari. If I were Glory, I would look to add new faces this year while seizing the opportunity to add an established star like Overeem—with the help of Bellator—especially if he becomes a free agent again. Heavyweight is in need of new growth and a fresh start. We’ll see in the coming months what Glory plans to do.

 

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GLORY 19's Open Workouts a Prelude to the Storm

  • Published in Glory

(C) Glory Sports International

Nothing gets the adrenaline flowing and excitement for a combat sports event like open workouts. So on Wednesday, February 4th Olympus Fitness and Martial Arts hosted the guys from Glory prior to their 19th event at the Hampton Coliseum in Hampton, Virginia. On deck for this event were current heavyweight champion Rico Verhoeven, his challenger, Errol "Bonecrusher" Zimmerman, and Raymond "The Real Deal" Daniels.

Daniels who faces Jonathan Oliviera in the four man Welterweight tournament is known as "The Human Highlight Reel" a name to which he has lived up to with aggressive and strong showings in Chicago in 2013 as well as Denver last year. At the workouts he demonstrated his usual speed, launching multiple flurries of quick, clean strikes. Will we see any of the devastating kicks that dismantled the defense of Francois Ambang? My guess is yes, but on Friday we will know for sure.

At 103-11-1, Errol Zimmerman, the second fighter to take the stage, has a reputation for power. Physically imposing, Zimmerman's goal is to knock out every opponent and this time his goal is no different. In the workout session, where the rule is to "go lightly" and to just showcase your skills, Zimmerman pounded the pads with conviction. An always unfazed Nicky Hemmers handled the pads with ease, but Errol's power showed that he is definitely in it to win it.

Reigning champ, Rico Verhoeven provided the finale to the open workout session. Initially demonstrating the footwork and shadow boxing that has made him a champ. Rico then donned the gloves and gave the crowd a demonstration of his power and speed .

As everyone in the fight game knows, it's a game where anyone can get caught. The excitement however is undeniable and Glory 19 promises to give the people what they want, ACTION and the fighters, a shot at GLORY.

 

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Hop Into LiverKick's GLORY 19 Kountermove Freeroll Game

  • Published in Glory

GLORY 19 goes down tomorrow night in Virginia and with the Heavyweight title on the line, Joe Schilling fighting on free TV and a Welterweight contender's tournament it's primed to be one of the better combat sports cards of early 2015 both on paper and in execution. I've seen a few people out there asking about being able to bet on GLORY cards and one of the better ways is to enter Kountermove's fantasy games. They revolve around you earning real money for making smart picks.

We've worked with them in the past and we've somehow convinced them to once again toss us a freeroll game, which means that it costs you ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to enter. Seriously, it's free. Sign up for an account, bet on who you think wins and if you chose correctly you walk away with money in your account. Seriously, there is no better deal in town if you know what to look out for and know your stuff. You'll get free money.

Check out the GLORY 19 LiverKick Kountermove game.

Now, not everyone is going to be going into this with a ton of confidence, especially considering just how close this thing really seems, so let's break it down for you.

  • Easy Money
  • Nieky Holzken ($5300) -- Nieky is one of the most expensive guys you can put on your Kountermove roster for this game, for sure, but Nieky Holzken is there for a reason; he's the best in the world and he's motivated to take the belt from Valtellini. In fact, many are even questioning why there is a tournament, because Holzken is that good and deserving. His hands are nothing short of amazing, some of the best in the sport and he's motivated to be seen as the very top fighter in the world. He's got some tough competition in Alexander Stetsurenko, but at the same time, Holzken is just about untouchable in this weight class.
  • The Underdog
  • Errol Zimmerman ($4600) -- The odds are not in the favor of Errol Zimmerman going into his rematch with Rico Verhoeven, but those odds are deceptive. Errol holds a win over Rico via knockout and his last few wins have been nothing short of vicious and show his determination. He's pushing hard for this to be an all-or-nothing affair where if he doesn't win he might not continue fighting. This is everything to Errol and he's serious. A serious Errol Zimmerman is scary, very scary and Rico is coming into this off of a loss last month on top of the birth of his second daughter, which both could be seen as very good distractions for Verhoeven. 
  • Too Close to Call
  • Robert Thomas ($4800) vs. Joe Schilling ($4800) -- Joe Schilling is one of the best Middleweights in the world, no one can take that away from him. This is a fight that Schilling should win, but the truth of the matter is, Robert Thomas is young, hungry and focused. He's also evolving with every fight, something that happens when you are young, hungry and focused. Joe Schilling has become a celebrity over the past few months, picking up a huge KO win in Bellator, filming for the Kickboxer remake with GSP and being an integral part of Nick Diaz's camp heading into UFC 183. Joe says that he's still focused, but if Robert Thomas ever had a shot at making a huge splash on the kickboxing world, that would be right now. 
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GLORY 19 Weigh-in Results: Zimmerman and Verhoeven Scuffle

  • Published in Glory

Tomorrow night on Spike TV GLORY returns to the airwaves with GLORY 19. The show will feature a Welterweight contender's tournament featuring Nieky Holzken, Alexander Stetsurenko, Raymond Daniels and Jonatan Oliveira. Then, the two featured bouts of the evening are Joe Schilling vs. Robert Thomas and the GLORY Heavyweight Championship between champion Rico Verhoeven and challenger Errol Zimmerman.

The weigh-ins went down today in Virginia and here is how it looks heading into tomorrow;

GLORY 19 WEIGH-IN RESULTS
HW Title Bout: Rico Verhoeven (252 lb / 114.3 kg) vs. Errol Zimmerman (247 lb / 112 kg)
MW Bout: Joe Schilling (187 lb / 84.8 kg) vs. Robert Thomas (185.5 lb / 84.1 kg)
Catchweight Bout: Cedric Smith (206.5 lb / 93.7 kg) vs. James Hurley (206 lb / 93.4 kg)
WW Bout: Nieky Holzken (168.5 lb / 76.4 kg) vs. Aleksandr Stetcurenko (167.5 lb / 76 kg)
WW Bout: Raymond Daniels (167.5 lb / 76 kg) vs. Jonatan Oliveira (168 lb / 76.2 kg) 
GLORY SUPERFIGHT SERIES WEIGH-IN RESULTS
LW Bout: Andy Ristie (152.5 lb / 69.2 kg) vs. Steve Moxon (154.5 lb / 70.1 kg)
HW Bout: Xavier Vigney (242 lb / 109.8 kg) vs. Everett Sims (249.5 lb / 113.2 kg)
LW Bout: Josh Jauncey (152 lb / 68.9 kg) vs. Max Baumert (154 lb / 69.9 kg)
LHW Bout: Brian Collette (207.5 lb / 94.1 kg) vs. Myron Dennis (206 lb / 93.4 kg)
WW Bout: Francois Ambang (167.5 lb / 76 kg) vs. Stephen Richards (169.5 lb / 76.9 kg)

Then, to top it off, it looks like things got heated between Errol Zimmerman and Rico Verhoeven at the weigh-ins, which only makes this a hell of a lot more exciting.

The war has begun at #glory19 watch it live on #spiketv

A video posted by errolzimm (@errolzimm) on

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Joe Schilling's Next Fight in Bellator on April 10th

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On Friday evening at GLORY 19 we'll see Joe Schilling return to the kickboxing ring against Robert Thomas on Spike TV, but he won't be off of our television sets for very long after that. According to ESPN, Schilling will make his return to the Bellator cage at Bellator 136 on April 10th in Irvine, California against Rafael Carvalho. Carvalho is primarily a striker, setting us all up for what should be another exciting Joe Schilling bout under the Bellator banner. 

Schilling seems primed to become a true two-sport athlete this year and we spoke with him at length earlier this week about how he's primed to handle the increased attention. That interview should be up within a few hours. 

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PPV Stream For GLORY 19 Live on Friday

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If you live outside of the United States, Croatia, Slovenia, Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina then chances are you probably want to see GLORY 19 live and won't get the chance to do so. The good news is that if you don't have access to GLORY 19 live then you can purchase a PPV stream of the event and catch all of the action live here on LiverKick thanks to EverSport

The event begins at 6:30ET/23:30GMT.

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Part Two of Inside GLORY 19

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This Friday evening at 10pm Eastern time GLORY 19 will take over the airwaves of Spike TV with a jam-packed card featuring some huge fights. Joe Schilling is set to face Robert Thomas on top of a big Welterweight Contender's tournament featuring Nieky Holzken, Raymond Daniels, Aleksandr Stetsurenko and Jonatan Oliveira. The big feature bout of the night, though, is GLORY's Heavyweight Championship on the line between champion Rico Verhoeven and challenger Errol Zimmerman.

Zimmerman won the right to challenge for the title back in May, winning the GLORY 16 contender's tournament, now they will finally clash. This is part two of GLORY's Inside GLORY 19.

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Videos: Glory 19 Mike Tyson Interviews With Verhoeven and Zimmerman

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"Iron" Mike Tyson's interviews with the Glory heavyweight champion Rico Verhoeven and the challenger Errol Zimmerman have now been released and the full episode will be aired Friday evening on Spike TV.

I always find it makes the best interviews when a fighter is asking the questions. So you can just imagine when you have a legend like Mike Tyson giving his stories leading into each question. It really brings out both Verhoeven's and Zimmerman's personality and confidence and of course they want to impress Iron Mike, I mean who wouldn't?

Both interviews are very interesting and enjoyable, Mike really knows how to build a fighters confidence and bring it out by asking the right things. I have never seen Rico so animated, and excited and Zimmerman even mentions that hes got so much energy from the interview that he wants to go out and punch Verhoeven right now. Lets hope both fighters come into this fight with the same feelings as these videos then we will be in for a treat.

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Inside Glory 19: Rico Verhoeven Vs Errol Zimmerman

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This video actually got me really excited for Glory 19 on Feb 6th. First of all both Errol Zimmerman and Rico Verhoeven look as though they are training very hard and are hungry for the Glory belt. Secondly, rubber matches are the best. Both men already know each other, they have beat each other once and now we find out who can adapt and overcome to win the 3rd fight. Last but not least, Mike Tyson is going to be watching which might sound like it doesn't make sense, or like its not a big deal to many people but you can tell by both these heavyweights excitement just to talk to Iron Mike how much it means to them, every fighter wants to win with Mike Tyson ringside.

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Video: Nieky Holzken Pre-Fight Interview for Glory 19

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Glory 19 in Hampton, Virginia will include a 4 man Welterweight tournament where we will finally get to see the return of Nieky "The Natural" Holzken. Holzken believes he is already the champion considering he knocked out current champion Joseph Valtellini and has expressed the fact that he is surprised he still has to go through a tournament to fight for the belt again.

He was on the sidelines last year and couldn't compete in Glory due to a shoulder injury caused partly by his fight with Karapet Karapetyan and partly by a car accident. According to him Nieky's shoulder is not causing him pain anymore and he is prepared to win this tournament.

Nieky Holzken is the favourite in this tournament by far, he also has easily the best hair.

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GLORY Renews Two Key Television Deals in Europe

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GLORY announced earlier today that they have renewed two of their key television contracts in Europe. While GLORY puts a lot of promotional effort into the United States, Europe is still one of their main focuses and will continue to be moving forward. The first deal was with French-based Kombat Sport and the second the Croatian-based Fight Channel.

Both of these networks give them key coverage throughout many parts of Europe and will be a home to their GLORY SuperFight Series cards as well.

"Europe is a very important market for us, where some of our most loyal and hungry fan-bases exist," said Jon Franklin, CEO of GLORY. "This partnership with Kombat Sport and Fight Channel will satisfy that desire for world class kickboxing through an exciting time in company history. GLORY 19 is one of our strongest cards ever from top-to-bottom and then we keeping rolling in April with GLORY 20. We can't wait to show viewers around the world what GLORY looks like in the new year."

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Four More Superfights added to Glory 19

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Glory Sports International have added four more superfights to the card this week. It seems they are bringing in quite a few new American fighters to test out the talent and hope for another American star to emerge.

Brian Collette will be back in action for the first time since getting knocked out by Zack Mwekassa in Oklahoma, last year. He will be facing Myron Dennis who won the Legacy Fighting Championship light heavyweight title last year against Paul Buentello and has an MMA record of 11-4. Dennis took part in the very first "Road to Glory" scouting event but lost his first fight, he also lost to Randy Blake in 2011.

Francois Ambang is also back after his crazy KO loss to Raymond Daniels. He will face Stephen Richards who has fought on Lion Fights before and is usually more of a Muay Thai practitioner but this time will make his Glory Debut.

Superfights

Andy Ristie vs. Steve Moxon

Josh Jauncey vs. Max Baumert

Brian Collette vs. Myron Dennis

Francois Ambang vs. Stephen Richards

Xavier Vigney vs. Everett Sims

Mitch ***** vs. Cedric *****

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Mike Tyson Eats an Apple and Unveils He'll Help Call GLORY 19

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Yes, you heard that correctly, former Heavyweight Boxing champion and all-around controversial figure Mike Tyson has signed on to be a part of GLORY's broadcast team beginning at the upcoming GLORY 19. GLORY had been hyping some mystery guest interviewing both Errol Zimmerman and Rico Verhoeven in preparation for GLORY 19 and now it has come out that Mike Tyson will be joining the GLORY team as an analyst.

Mike Tyson almost moved into the realm of kickboxing many years ago to fight Bob Sapp, only for things to fall through. There was even talk of him having a contract with PRIDE at one point but nothing coming of it. Mike Tyson has been an avid fan of Mixed Martial Arts and a good friend of Dana White, so he's no stranger to the world outside of Boxing that involves kicks and knees. It'll be interesting to see if he brings more positive attention to the GLORY product or if fans aren't interested anymore.

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New Year's Resolutions From GLORY Stars Zack Mwekassa, Randy Blake, Errol Zimmerman and More

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For as long as I can remember, at the beginning of each year I set goals and outlined projects I would like to complete during the coming twelve months. At the close of each year I then took on the angst inducing task of evaluating my progress toward those previously set goals. While sometimes I could give myself a pat on the back for a job well done, other times I had to analyze the how and why of what went wrong and also to find a way to possibly reshape those goals. This year, instead of engaging in this task alone I asked several of Glory's fighters to take a look at the year that was as well as give us a sneak preview of 2015.

Zack Mwekassa:

Hello to all fight fans that are taking time to read this.

I have no word big enough to demonstrate my appreciation for my friends, fans and supporters.

If I had to sum up my 2014 experience in one word it would be " stupendous".

It has been a phenomenal year for me, probably the best year in my fighting career.

From Johannesburg South Africa to Denver Colorado to take on the much respected, UFC veteran Pat "HD" Barry in a what was meant to be an absolute mismatch based on the fighting style "Kickboxing". To winning "Glory knockout of the year" and the hearts of thousands of fans across the world after that very fight. I can’t express well enough my gratitude to God and to the people who gave me credit. Shortly after Glory 16, across the ocean, on the African continent, in the most brutal fashion winning the Africa heavyweight championship was another highlight for me. It was for me a dream come true, especially because it was on the land that hosted "Rumble in the Jungle" the fight of the century between Muhammed Ali and George Foreman in 1974.

Looking back at where I come from gives a even bigger sense of gratitude.

Who I am ?

Who is Zack Mwekassa ?

A war survivor.

A man that fled his home country at age 19 due to war and tribulations.

A man that lost all he and his family had due to a volcanic eruption.

A man that survived gun shots during the mayhem in eastern Congo.

A man that survived venomous snake bites.

A man that still lives after being poisoned 3 times.

I may not be the best fighter in the world or even the most financially successful across the globe, but I probably am one of the best achievers there is.

From a modest family in one of the most dangerous countries in the world to world prominence, I thank God the creator of all things.

To my fans I would like to say one thing.

Don't be disappointed for not accomplishing what you swore to accomplish in 2014.

Try, try again. Just remember, you can’t do the same thing over and over and expect different results. Try again, but try to do it differently this time.

For me 2015 will be the year I reach outstanding heights or I am going to die on the 31st of December. Yes I am dead serious. Watch me! Be my witness.

God bless you, we still need a dedicated sponsor to join our brutal team, will you be the one?

Happy 2015 to you and your loved ones

Randy Blake:

2014 was a great and busy year for me . I had five fights this year and to sum it all up everything was a success! I learned some things in every fight, I grew and evolved racking up a 4-1 record for the year. For me that is a success to continue to grow as not only a fighter but a martial artist.

I have many goals for 2015. I have been offered to train with some awesome camps , I am looking forward to that and to continue to grow. Most importantly I plan to stay active and fight as much as I can and not only fight on a local circuit to stay busy and continue to fight, compete and win for GLORY!

Danyo Ilunga:

2014 was, I can not say a bad year for me, but a difficult year. I had several concerns. I didn't fight a lot and I lost one of my three fights. I have learned more then in all my career though and this kind of thing will never happen again..

For 2015 it is my plan to have the Glory belt, I will focus on it. The last two years I have lost one fight every year, this is one thing I will be training for, this will be my year!

Marc DeBonte:

2014 started bad for me with my fight for the world title getting pushed back a few times because of injury problems from my opponent ( Nieky Holzken). After some time Glory stripped Holzken of the title and vacated it, this ended with me fighting Karapet Karapetyan for the title. This fight was really tough not only because we know each other really well, but mostly with the location they held the fight, Denver which has a big altitude difference over Belgium. I came to Denver a week before the fight to get used to the altitude difference a bit, I would have preferred to do my entire camp there, but I don’t make enough money for that. During the fight I gassed very quickly but I noticed Karapet having a similar problem. So after round two it was the most I have ever suffered in a fight. In the end I won the title clearly and I couldn’t have been happier, everything I had worked for was finally there, I still daydream about that moment sometimes.

My second fight of the year was my title defense against Joseph Valtellini five weeks after I won the title. I still had some small injuries which made it a bit hard to keep training 100 percent, but we managed. The fight itself was a good fight I got a knocked down in the third round and gave one back in the fourth. After the fight I was surprised by the decision and I still am to this day , The judges gave the decision to Valtellini. Not just me but fans, commentators, famous trainers were shocked by that, but it is what it is and now we just have to move forward.

I took some vacation after fighting twice in 5-6 weeks to heal , but during the holiday I got contacted by a big German boxing manager, who said that he wanted to make me an offer after hearing that I also wanted to turn pro in boxing, ( this had been on my mind for a long time ). After meeting him and hearing what he had to say, we decided to sign to fight solely pro boxing with this manager and promoter. To part from Glory is still hard for me since I still wanted to fight a few names there, but this was an offer that made it possible to live purely for the sport and focus on it.

I have but one goal at the moment for 2015 and that is achieving what I did in kickboxing but now in pro boxing, to become world champion. We will go for it in steps, the first one is European champion. I believe in myself and my team is confident I can do it.

But who knows, anything can happen maybe a comeback to kickboxing is possible someday.

Benny Adegbuyi:

2014 was one of my best years in my career with three wins and my debut in Glory one of my big dreams came true, and I did it in a great way by knock out. I had no injuries this year. In my second fight against Daniel Sam, a big man and a difficult fight, but I won again by KO! I am very happy because people have started to look at as a rising star who can attack the title and the number1 spot in the world. This motivates me more! Finally my last fight for the year was a title elimination fight against a big fighter, I can say a star, Hesdy Gerges. Normally I would be the underdog, but I knew I was going to win. The result was another victory, this time by unanimous decision. Not a KO, but it's still good so my 2014 was a good one I think I have accomplished more than I had planned!

2015 I expect to be the best year! I want to take that title and keep it a few years and I will do all to accomplish this. I will push my limits and do what ever it takes to be the best. I think talent is on my side I only need a little luck and hard work! So don't miss 2015 to see me becoming the champion! Osu!!!

Francois Ambang:

2014 wasn’t my best year in the ring. I fought once in May at Glory 16 ending in a very disappointing loss to Raymond Daniels. To be on the other side of such a highly publicized knockout, was a tough pill to swallow. I have watched that fight numerous times. Not taking away from him, but I’ve had a lot of time to process what happened and what I could have done differently. Since that time I have re-focused, switched up my team a bit, and actually was hoping for a chance at a title, and a rematch, in the upcoming Glory 19 Welterweight Contender Tournament. Certainly, it has ALWAYS been my goal to gain a title. I embrace the opportunity to face the top contenders in my weight class, and again was hoping for a chance at redemption.

I will be in the ring again early in the year, as part of the Super Fight Series at Glory 19 in Hampton, Virginia. I am anticipating a great start to the new year. In 2015, I hope to have a more time in the ring. I am dedicated to introducing new fighters to kickboxing, as well helping individuals reach their fitness/training goals in my kickboxing program.

Errol Zimmerman:

In 2015, my number one priority is finishing Rico Verhoeven and that I will be champion. I'm looking forward to fighting everybody. That's my only thing, that's what I want to do is to fight and fight and fight. I want to show the people what I can do! I want to entertain the people! So, this is what I will do in 2015 also, 16, 17, 18....and then we will look further. I only want to train and beat people up and entertain the people!

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Former K-1 and GLORY Fighter Mark Miller Teaching at The Factory in Los Angeles

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Mark "Fightshark" Miller has been through hell and back not just once but a number of times now. The most recent clash with his health issues started when he was preparing for a fight at GLORY 12, only to end up in the hospital and since then (GLORY 12 was November of 2013) he's been dealing with daily dialysis, minor surgeries, on-and-off bouts of wearing an eye patch and awaiting a transplant for his kidney. Things haven't been easy.

But now he feels ready to get back out there. Not quite a return to the ring just yet, but instead the former K-1 and GLORY veteran will be training fighters of all experience at The Factory in Sherman Oaks, California inside of Los Angeles. He'll be training six days a week and will be available for one-on-one sessions and personalized training. If you are in the area Mark is a guy with a ton of experience in not only fighting, but life and business as well and it's definitely worth your time to pick up some techniques from him and to pick his brain about the fight industry in general. 

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GLORY Announces GLORY 20 Dubai for April 3rd

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For any major combat sports organization having a clear line-up of events is always the best way to keep fans engaged and ready for more. The key is to not overstimulate your audience but to keep them engaged and excited about what you have to offer. GLORY is doing exactly that with the announcement of GLORY 20 Dubai, which is set to take place in the United Arab Emirates on April 3rd. 

The event will be headlined by the long-awaited GLORY Featherweight Championship bout between Canadian Gabriel Varga and Dutch-Moroccan brawler Mosab Amrani. The card will also mark the return of former UFC fighter Pat "HD" Barry who will be squaring off against the always-dangerous Mourad Bouzidi in a Heavyweight bout.

In keeping with tradition, there will be a Contender's tournament on the card as well, this one being in the stacked Middleweight division. Jason Wilnis will take on the uber-tough Alex Pereira while Wayne Barrett will test his mettle against muay thai standout Simon Marcus. 

Tickets will go on sale on February 1st for those in the area or planning to attend and the event will be airing on Spike TV.

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