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About That GLORY 18 Poster Being Passed Around

  • Published in Glory

Over the past few days we've seen the leaked GLORY 18 poster being passed around quite a lot and gotten a few questions about it. We were going to ignore it and just let it disappear, but, it wasn't about to do that. That's a good thing, though, because fans are hungry and want to know more about the next GLORY event. So anyway, this poster for GLORY 18 has been floating around with a date of August 9th listed as the date, featuring Davit Kiria and Robin van Roosmalen on it.

We've spoken to a few people at GLORY and can confirm that you can indeed be excited, but that the poster was leaked out with a projected date, not the final date. We don't have a final date for GLORY 18 yet, but we know for sure that it's not August 9th. So hold your horses, for now.

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Glory 18 Posters

  • Published in Glory

Today there have been two Glory 18 posters floating around the internet, neither of them have a location, and neither of them are on Glory's website, Twitter of Facebook. To me it still feels like we are one step closer to the next event, and by the match ups on the poster it seems to be a great one.

First if all it has Glory's lightweight champion Davit Kiria defending his belt against Robin Van Roosmalen also Wayne Barrett against Jason Wilnis for the single fights. There is also a light heavyweight contender tournament featuring Andre Stoica vs Saulo Cavalari and Brian Collette Vs Zak Mwekassa.

So far so good I'd say, now we just wait for the official announcement.

 

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Hesdy Gerges Sentenced to Five Years in Prison on 2011 Cocaine Smuggling Case

  • Published in Glory

If you remember all the way back to 2011, you might remember that Hesdy Gerges was arrested for drug trafficking in connection to a case involving his half-brother. Gerges was charged with trafficking 128 kilos of cocaine (not joking). He wasn't actually caught with the drugs, his half-brother was, but he was linked to the case for potential smuggling. That case came back to bite him on Friday, when he was sentenced to five years in prison. 

Gerges made a statement on his Facebook page yesterday refuting the charges yet again.

"I was truly shocked about my conviction today. But trust me, I am NOT guilty! So I will fight this battle in court.

Meanwhile, I will keep training hard, and will be fighting my battles in the ring.

To all my loyal friends and fans: Thanks for your trust and support!!!

Osu!"

His lawyer went on Twitter to express his frustrations, with many believing that Gerges and his legal team are going to fight the charges.

"Unbelievable that Hesdy Gerges is convicted in Belgium about a file case that didn't have any evidence at the time in 2011, for any involvement with coke."

In the meantime all eyes are on GLORY to see if they publicly react to this. Considering the gravity of the charges and the penalty, if Gerges is to spend time in prison chances are he won't be able to compete. It is also a black eye for the promotion who recently had him fight for a chance to challenge for the GLORY Heavyweight Championship. We've heard word that GLORY has privately dismissed Gerges for the time being, but like they dismissed his former opponent, Jamal Ben Saddik, after Ben Saddik attacked him in the ring during a fight for another organization. Although, keep in mind that it is not official until it is announced. 

We hope that this situation is resolved quickly, for the sake of the fans and the sport. 

UPDATE: It looks like Gerges has been officially cut. Here's a statement from Jon J. Franklin to BloodyElbow.

"Hesdy Gerges has been cut from the GLORY roster and removed from its rankings. GLORY does not tolerate any type of illegal activity and will remove athletes that violate our code of conduct in or out of the ring."

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GLORY 18 Rumored for November 7th in Oklahoma City

  • Published in Glory

So things have been very quiet on the GLORY front over the last few months, which has been both troubling and peaceful in many ways. The thing is, the people demand blood, they demand action, they demand Glory. GLORY's new CEO had announced that there would be a show in late October, but it looks like early November is more like it. November 7th to be exact, which yes, is indeed a Friday. What's interesting about that is that Bellator is currently not scheduled to run anything on that week, leaving Friday on Spike TV wide open.

Is this a part of a new strategy? It very well could be. We've received reports from a few fighters and a few other sources stating that November 7th in Oklahoma City will indeed be the time and place for GLORY 18. Now we just have to wait and see if everything pans out according to plan. 

Remember this is indeed a rumor, even if we have multiple sources pointing to this happening. 

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Video: Josh Jauncey vs. Jae-Gil Noh From GLORY 18

  • Published in Video

GLORY 18 might be in the books and we might be kind of frustrated with the lack of information about GLORY 19, but we can at least bask in the glory (no pun intended) of watching from the SuperFight Series the fight between Josh Jauncey and Jae-Gil Noh. Watch Jauncey just dismantle Noh in the second round here in what was just a beautiful display.

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Analyzing GLORY's Champions: Davit Kiria

  • Published in Glory

Man, if you are like me, you are kind of dying at this dry spell that we are going through with kickboxing right now. There is still stuff going down, but there is a decided lack of big events to get worked up over right now. So it’s time to start taking a long, hard look at the best fighters in the business today and if we think that they can hold onto their top spots. 

First up: Davit Kiria, GLORY Lightweight Champion

GLORY’s Lightweight division is probably one of the most stacked divisions in the world today. The 70kg range has always been talent-rich, thanks in part to K-1 relying upon the K-1 MAX division for years. But right now especially, it feels like as good as any one fighter is in the division, there is a line-up of guys that could probably defeat him. 

Davit Kiria was never a guy that we would have pegged to become GLORY’s Lightweight Champion. That’s not a knock against him as much as it is indicative of how deep the division really is. Kiria is a skilled guy, but his losses to both Giorgio Petrosyan and Robin van Roosmalen led to many doubting him. So when he went into GLORY 14 against Andy Ristie, the guy who knocked both of those men out in one night, not many expected him to walk out as the champion.

Then kickboxing magic happened and Kiria shocked the world, knocking out Andy Ristie in the fifth round. It was insanity and we had an unlikely champion of a guy who was considered “fourth best” to RvR, Petrosyan and Ristie. That is how stacked this division is. We have a good feeling that Robin van Roosmalen will get a shot at Kiria’s title soon (it was originally slated for August, actually), so the question is: Can Davit Kiria hold onto the GLORY Lightweight Championship.

The answer is: yes, but not for long. That title is going to be a hot potato for a while unless Petrosyan can stop injuring his hand. I think that Kiria has the skills to defeat Robin van Roosmalen, but it also goes the other way just as easily. In a five round fight we’ve seen that Kiria’s slow-starting style is perhaps best-served under these conditions and he’ll potentially be able to shine against Robin van Roosmalen.

But then when you have to face down a murderer’s row in Lightweight, it seems inevitable that someone will defeat him at some point. Whomever that is will also face the same exact challenges that Kiria faces now, knowing that the title probably won’t be secure for long. That makes GLORY’s Lightweight division so exciting right now; you don’t know who will end up on top. 

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The Ratings are in For GLORY 18

  • Published in Glory

GLORY 18 was this past weekend, emanating from Oklahoma and featuring a Light Heavyweight Contender’s tournament as well as a Lightweight title match between Davit Kiria and Robin van Roosmalen. By this point it had been over four months since GLORY had any live programming on Spike TV, another break that may have proven to be a bit too long considering that GLORY is still in its growth phase and doesn’t have the luxury of hoping that fans will stick around for months without much in the way of news. 

Like I mentioned before, the last live programming from GLORY on Spike TV was GLORY 17 Los Angeles on June 21st. After that it was just rumors and conjecture. In hindsight, maybe it wasn’t the best idea to take that much time to regroup, I don’t know.

There were some definite hurdles for GLORY 18 to overcome on Friday night, the first of which was being off of television for so long. The second factor that came into play here was that the UFC was running a card at the exact same time featuring Michael Bisping vs. Luke Rockhold. In an age of watered down UFC cards, the Bisping vs. Rockhold card turned out to be a pretty damned solid show and honestly, my Twitter timeline was full of people talking about it and it exclusively. Another big factor is moving from Saturday nights to Friday nights, which seemed like a good idea if unopposed, but then UFC happened. The other factor is less starpower on the card, which I’m not sure I take as seriously.

As a kickboxing fan do I love most of these bigger name guys like Gokhan Saki, Tyrone Spong, Daniel Ghita and a few others, but if we are entirely honest here, none have proven to be television draws here in the United States. It just is what it is. So I’m not sure that I buy that Davit Kiria vs. Robin van Roosmalen isn’t as much of a draw as Nieky Holzken being in a Welterweight tournament or Tyrone Spong and Gokhan Saki in a Light Heavyweight tournament.

The final numbers for GLORY 18 are 352,000 viewers with a peak of 648,000. Comparatively, those numbers fall in line with what has been the lowest rated GLORY event on Spike TV yet which was GLORY 15 with 354,000 viewers. Like I said before, there are a LOT of factors in play here, but the good news is that the pared-down and scaled back GLORY 18 was still able to hold a steady audience, which is nothing to scoff at.

All that GLORY really needs right now is some momentum. We spoke with GLORY CEO Jon J. Franklin yesterday and he wants fans to remain optimistic and remember the uphill battle that both GLORY and the sport of kickboxing are facing in the US today.

"You have to put this in perspective. We are not just building a brand; we are building a sport in the US and we now will be doing a better job of showcasing our product with regular events to build a fan base not just for GLORY, but for US kickboxing in general. It was a great night of fights and anyone who watched it will be back for our next SPIKE event on December 19th." 

Some might see this as a problem, but with Spike’s ongoing commitment to GLORY and GLORY’s commitment to bringing the best fighters in the world to your television screen this is just another challenge for the company to overcome.

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Davit Kiria and Robin van Roosmalen Have Lots to Prove at GLORY 18

  • Published in Glory

Tomorrow night at GLORY 18 in Oklahoma there will be an epic showdown for the GLORY Lightweight Championship between two of the toughest fighters in the ultra-competitive 70kg division. Davit Kiria comes into the fight against Robin van Roosmalen as the GLORY Lightweight Champion, which should give him an edge, but in the eyes of many this is an uphill battle for the champion. Davit Kiria will be meeting van Roosmalen for the third time, with the previous two encounters ending in decision victories for van Roosmalen and leaving Kiria just out of reach of the top of the division. 

For Kiria he was the unlikely GLORY Lightweight Champion. When reflecting on GLORY's Lightweight division at GLORY 12 in New York, Kiria, out of the four men involved in the tournament, was the least likely to be wearing the GLORY Lightweight Championship any time soon. Why? Because Giorgio Petrosyan was unstoppable, being Robin van Roosmalen is a shrunken Gokhan Saki, because Andy Ristie is fast, powerful and technical. On that night everyone was right and van Roosmalen made it by Kiria for a second time before moving onto the finals against the unlikely opponent that was Andy Ristie, who had just knocked out the greatest 70kg fighter that has ever competed in kickboxing. 

Ristie walked away with his hand raised and when it was announced that Davit Kiria would be his first challenger, many groaned or called for a rematch with Petrosyan or van Roosmalen. Kiria was once again the fourth man in a three-man division. Kiria stepped into the ring at GLORY 14 as a serious underdog against Ristie. Ristie was the man who defeated Giorgio Petrosyan, how could he lose to the slow-starting Kiria? Ristie was doing what Ristie does throughout the early rounds, with Kiria just holding on, picking his spots and landing whatever he could in between the onslaughts by Ristie.

Then something happened; Kiria connected. All of a sudden it was a brand new fight and the last two rounds were not only competitive, but Kiria was making one of the craziest comebacks in kickboxing's history. Kiria then put the cherry on top with a knockout blow that sent Ristie crashed to the canvas and secured him the GLORY Lightweight Championship. He was not the fourth man anymore, he was the top fighter in one of the most competitive divisions in the world.

For Robin van Roosmalen the story is a bit different. Robin's career began slowly, showing lots of promise, but having problems when stepping up in competition. He was aggressive, hit hard, focusing on killer combinations, but he ran into fighters who were able to nullify his gifts and shut him down. He found a nemesis in Mootje Khamal, with many seeing Khamal as the man to take the 70kg kickboxing world by storm. Khamal earned his way into the K-1 World MAX tournament only to run into Gago Drago. But trouble was brewing within the K-1 system and It's Showtime decided to hold their own 70kg tournament -- 70kg Fast and Furious. 

Van Roosmalen entered the tournament, a virtual "Murderer's Row" in the 70kg division, featuring Andy Souwer, Artur Kyshenko, Gago Drago, Chahid Oulad el Hadj, Murat Direcki, Harut Grigorian and Chris Ngimbi. Of course, missing from that lineup was 70kg ace Giorgio Petrosyan, who was forced to pull out due to the reoccurring injury to his right hand that seems to always gum up the works. Van Roosmalen wasn't expected to win the tournament, even with Petrosyan out. Instead, it was seen that Andy Souwer, Chris Ngimbi or Artur Kyshenko would walk away the victor in what was the "substitute" 2010 K-1 World MAX tournament. 

Van Roosmalen shocked the kickboxing world by knocking out Chahid, fending off Chris Ngimbi's ariel assault and then putting Artur Kyshenko down and out in one round. Robin van Roosmalen went from an interesting prospect to the default #2 fighter in the 70kg division, who was only #2 because of the elephant in the room that was Giorgio Petrosyan. Van Roosmalen wouldn't have to wait long, with GLORY buying out It's Showtime and a good portion of the kickboxing world and staging the GLORY 3 70kg Slam tournament. The fans got exactly what they wanted in a final of Robin van Roosmalen vs. Giorgio Petrosyan for the official title of the #1 70kg fighter in the world. Van Roosmalen fought valiantly, but Petrosyan did as Petrosyan tends to do and walked away with a decisive, clean victory over the slugger.

Robin wasn't done yet, oh no. He ran through everyone that GLORY put in his path, fighting a smarter, more conservative style without as many defensive holes being opened up on his path to GLORY 12's Lightweight tournament. When Petrosyan was knocked out he saw opportunity against Ristie, but on that night Ristie was able to find a hole and put van Roosmalen down and out with a huge uppercut. 

For both men their claim to the throne of 70kg is clear. They've both achieved so much and share one frustrating similarity; they'd be easily considered the best in the world if it wasn't for Giorgio Petrosyan. After Petrosyan's loss to Andy Ristie his claim to the #1 spot has relented, leaving things wide open for either man. Right now Davit Kiria is that man, but many consider van Roosmalen's two prior victories as a Sword of Damocles dangling above his head by a thread, just waiting for it to snap and for van Roosmalen to claim the throne.

For van Roosmalen there is no Petrosyan in his way this time, just a man that he's beaten twice before. A victory here would cement his legacy, but does he have what it takes to dethrone the newly-crowned king in Kiria?

This is why we watch kickboxing and why it's so damned great.

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GLORY 18 Live Results

  • Published in Americas

Tonight, after months and months of waiting, GLORY returns to the airwaves with GLORY 18 Oklahoma. We'll see Davit Kiria look to defend the GLORY Lightweight Championship against Robin van Roosmalen and a Light Heavyweight contender's tournament featuring Brian Collette, Zack Mwekassa, Saulo Cavalari and Danyo Ilunga.

Also in action will be Wayne Barrett vs. Jason Wilnis. So join us at 9pm Eastern time for GLORY 18. 

Light Heavyweight Tournament Final: Saulo Cavalari (R3 - TKO) Zack Mwekassa - This was an interesting fight, for sure. Saulo Cavalari was looking very concerned throughout the first round, backing up and legitimately afraid of Mwekassa's fists. Then he started scoring leg kicks. Round two saw a lot more leg kicks and Mwekassa was looking a bit slower and less steady on his feet thanks to those low kicks. Round three saw him continue to work the low kicks and then when Mwekassa was expecting a low kick Saulo connected with a crazy head kick that put Mwekassa down. Zack fought to his feet but was wobbly and the ref called it. 

GLORY Lightweight World Title: Robin van Roosmalen (R5 - Majority Decision) -- What a fun fight. Kiria tends to start off a bit slow, but he was landing single, clean shots against van Roosmalen. It was easy to score the first two rounds for Robin, but then in round three a huge left hand put Robin down. Round four was a close round, almost impossible to figure out which guy should get it, but Robin was landing more shots thoughout and in the fifth round was in control, securing the fight and the championship.

Jason Wilnis (R3 - Decision) Wayne Barrett -- This fight went into the opposite direction that everyone suspected that it would. Barrett came out strong, but Wilnis was able to overpower him, knocking him down a few times in R1 and once in R2 but Barrett surviving to the end.

Semifinal: Saulo Cavalari (R3 - Decision) Danyo Ilunga -- This was a messy, messy fight that saw Cavalari land more clean shots while Ilunga struggled to do much of anything.

Semifinal: Zack Mwekassa (R2 - KO) Brian Collette -- Oh my god. Collette is without a doubt the more complete fighter, but Mwekassa's hands are just leagues above most muay thai or kickboxing guys. The way that he was slipping in the jabs and the hooks were incredible. He downed Collette at the end of round one with a right hook, but Collette fought back to his feet. Round two was pretty quick with Mwekassa landing a hook that seriously looked like it killed Collette. Oh my god. 

GIF via ZProphet.

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Wayne Barrett ‘That belt will be mine’

  • Published in Interviews

Wayne Barrett steps into the ring next Friday to take on fellow top 10 Middleweight Jason Wilnis. I had the privilege of speaking to Wayne on Monday and here’s what we discussed.

JS: Good afternoon Wayne. You're only six fights into your professional career yet you have already become one of the poster boys for Glory. What do you attribute this to?

WB: I attribute a lot of my success to timing. I don’t like using the word but it’s kind of like destiny. I always said at the start of my pro career I’d give it my all for two years and if I wasn’t successful I’d return to corporate America. Look at me now. 

JS: Next Saturday you make your sixth appearance for Glory taking on the young Dutchman Jason Wilnis. What holes do you see in his game and how do you plan on exploiting those come next Saturday night?

WB: I definitely see some holes in his game and I also see some great things too. I’ve been watching him for a while, he’s got good jab, a good overhand right and he’s started utilizing his kicks a lot more now. I’d say I know his game pretty well. I know I can’t let him come forward because that’s when he’s most dangerous. As for how I’m going to exploit those weaknesses, we’re going to go at it and you guys will see for yourselves.

JS: Do you think a convincing win will be enough to earn a title shot against the champion?

WB: I think that’s what everyone wants to see. I’m here to do my job so if the fans and Glory believe I’m next then I’m not going to turn it down, but also if they think I need to improve then I’ll do that too. It doesn’t matter really as that belt will be mine.

JS: Artem Levin's unique and elusive style has given everyone he's fought problems. How would you attempt to solve the puzzle?

WB: To be honest he fights very similarly to some of my sparring partners; I’m very familiar with his style. He’s similar to Roy Jones Jnr and a little Ali-esque too; he has a different kind of timing. He does not follow the standard Dutch style of timing or pace and that’s what throws everyone off. I recognize it though; I’m ready for it and when it happens it’ll be a great fight.

JS: Besides a shot at the current champion, is there anyone else at Middleweight you'd like to fight or from a stylistic standpoint, you think you would match up well against?

WB: I’ve looked at the whole top ten and personally it’d be a great honor for me to know that at the end of my career, I could sit back and know I ran through the whole top 10. In terms of specific match-ups I’d quite like to fight Perreira and Verlinden. I’m a big fan of Verlinden’s style; his technique is perfect and for me he’s the epitome of a Dutch kickboxer. I’m not looking past Wilnis or Levin, but people couldn’t deny me my credibility if I beat Verlinden.

JS: Give us a little bit of background on how your martial arts journey started.

WB: I came to the US as an immigrant from Jamaica. Obviously being an immigrant we did things a little differently and because of that I was bullied which led to fights at school. So one day my Dad decided my brother and I needed an outlet so we joined a local karate school. Karate helped me straighten up elsewhere, our teacher would ensure our grades were acceptable before coming to class so I wanted to do better at school so I could go to karate. However unfortunately I my lost martial arts teacher in an unforeseen motorcycle accident and lost interest for in martial arts for a while but then fell in love with boxing.

After having a few boxing bouts some friends and myself randomly walked into a Muay Thai school one day. The teacher instantly recognized I was a boxing from my stance and asked me to put my hands up. He kicked me in the leg and it was an instant eye-opener, it completely changed my life. I signed up on the spot and since then I’ve never looked back.

JS: What do you think separates you from the rest of the division?

WB: My brain, I use my brain a lot. I’m always thinking in there. I don’t move the same, I use different angles, my pace and timing are different. I’m not afraid to move, a lot of guys have the one dimensional style where they meet in the middle and duke it out but I like to use as much of the ring as possible, I try to be elusive. I want to take as little damage as possible whilst inflicting as much damage as possible. 

JS: Your rival Joe Schilling is fighting in Bellator soon against Melvin Manhoef. Is competing in MMA something you'd ever consider?

WB: Oh yeah absolutely. It’s not out of the question, but the guys at Glory treat me so well, so I have to represent for kickboxing. They have me fighting on Spike, they pay me really well and I’ve had less than ten fights as pro. MMA is on my mind but my focus right now is on kickboxing.

JS: What’re your thoughts towards a potential third encounter with Mr. Schilling?

WB: He’s the only person who I haven’t knocked out as a professional. I want to knock him out but it’s nothing personal. I just know I can and I don’t know why I didn’t do it before.

JS: Thank you very much for your time and have you got anyone you’d like to thank?

WB: Thank you to Liverkick, you guys have always been awesome. Thank you to everyone who supports me and everyone who supports kickboxing. If you’ve got a dream believe in it and work hard and see what you can accomplish. 

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