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GLORY Teases Badr vs. Rico With GLORY Collision Promo

Yesterday the news broke that GLORY would be promoted Badr Hari vs. Rico Verhoeven in December, most likely in Germany. GLORY has now officially acknowledged that with promo materials for it, including banners and a hype video. The video simply says "December," while Badr Hari released a version himself via social media that says December 10th.

Chances are the date and venue aren't nailed down just yet, but that December 10th is the most likely date.

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Badr Hari vs. Rico Verhoeven Set For December Thanks to GLORY

The fight. 

If you follow kickboxing you know the one fight that everyone has been asking about; GLORY Heavyweight Champion Rico Verhoeven vs. Badr Hari. Badr Hari may not be a regular in the realm of high-level kickboxing right now, but he's the lone holdover of a generation of heavyweights that defined the sport from the heyday of K-1. 

Hari, never a K-1 World Grand Prix Champion -- in part thanks to his volatile temper leading to a DQ loss in 2008 -- was seen as the heir apparent to the heavyweight throne, only for FEG's K-1 to go bankrupt and the international kickboxing scene changed forever. Since then, GLORY has emerged as the world leader in the sport, albeit in a scaled-back form compared to the opulence of FEG's K-1. 

Since then both Hari and Verhoeven have had very different paths. Hari chased paydays from rich sheikhs and warlords where he could find them while Verhoeven competed with the best of the best, transitioning from being a tall, awkward kid to an unstoppable force in heavyweight kickboxing. Outside of the ring Hari has been plagued with legal issues thanks to his temper and for a while it looked like he would never, truly, find a way back to fighting the best. 

Hari has remained a public figure, his every indiscretion stealing international headlines all while being accentuated by a fairly rabid social media following. For Verhoeven, this became the fight to make, the fight that made sense. All of the old heroes had retired; Semmy Schilt, Peter Aerts, Jerome Le Banner, Ernesto Hoost and Remy Bonjasky. 

With wins over Gokhan Saki, Daniel Ghita, Errol Zimmerman and Benjamin Adegbuyi it was all starting to feel a bit "academic" for Verhoeven. He is the best and all of the challengers that are lining up are talented individuals, but what can they bring to the table? 

An issue that arises with a dominant champion is that it's difficult for other stars to flourish. Adegbuyi, in any other generation, would be a huge star, but now he's been defeated twice by Verhoeven, as have Daniel Ghita and Errol Zimmerman, making it lonely at the top for Rico, who has only suffered one errant loss in China to Anderei Gerasimchuk while Rico's wife was in labor and his mind was elsewhere. 

Speculation has run wild for the past few months, smaller promoters have tossed their hat into the ring with very public, very unrealistic offers to host the fight, but there was always going to be one promotion where it would go down; GLORY. GLORY has worked with Verhoeven and Hari's team and now it's official. According to a report from Gareth Davies, the fight is happening in December in Germany. 

As for the stakes? Simply pride.

Hari is not under a longer contract to GLORY, thus no title will be on the line. 

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GLORY 33 New Jersey Featuring Rico Verhoeven vs. Anderson Silva

On Friday, September 9th in Trenton, New Jersey GLORY returns to action with GLORY 33. GLORY 33 is set to feature two huge world title bouts, first on the GLORY SuperFight Series Jason Wilnis will get his title shot against champion Simon Marcus in the main event, then on the main card GLORY Heavyweight Champion Rico Verhoeven defends against Anderson "Braddock" Silva.

Silva is coming off of a KO victory at GLORY 32 against Gordon Haupt, while Jason Wilnis is coming off of a win over Joe Schilling. 

The GLORY Women's Bantamweight Tournament continues as well with one of the more interesting bouts of the tournament in Zoila Frausto vs. Daniela Graf. 

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Glory 32 Virginia and Superfight Series Predictions

Glory 32 Virginia is in a little over 24 hours so its prediction time. We will predict the winner and how they will win, feel free to give us your opinions as well. You can watch the Glory 32 Superfight series on UFC fight pass and the main card on Eversport.tv or ESPN 3.

Main Card

Serhiy Adamchuk vs Gabriel Varga (Adamchuk Unanimous Dec) Adamchuk will win fighter of the night bonus

Brian Collette vs Myron Dennis (Collette Split Decision)

Finals - (Zhuravlev KO) Pavel Zhuravlev will get he KO of the night bonus

Semifinal - Manny Mancha vs. Zinedine Hameur-Lain (Hameur-Lain Unanimous Dec)

Semifinal - Pavel Zhuravlev vs. Ariel Machado (Zhuravlev KO)

Superfight Series

Chi Lewis-Parry vs. Maurice Greene (Lewis-Parry KO)

Anderson Silva vs. Gordon Haupt (Silva Unanimous Dec)

Funda Alkayis vs. Vanessa De Waele (Alkayis Unanimous Dec)

Francois Ambang vs. Michael Stevens (Ambang KO)

Giga Chikadze vs. Chris Mauceri (Mauceri Unanimous Dec)

Armed Forces Exhibition - Cedric Smith vs. Roger Corbin (Smith TKO)

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Glory Announces "Fighter of the Night" and "Knockout" Bonuses

This week Glory announced that starting on July 22nd they will be offering a "fighter of the night" and "knockout of the night" bonus. Each bonus will be an extra $5000 so it is possible that one fighter get both bonuses and make an extra $10k which is definitely a decent incentive. 

Any fighter on the card, superfight series or main card are eligible for the bonuses and well the KO of the night is pretty self explanatory but the fighter of the night bonus is always a little vague to me. It really all depends on what the person who makes that final decision likes to see but as of now Glory announced that it will be awarded to the fighter that has the most impressive performance in the ring regardless of winning or losing. They may implement some sort of fan voting system at some point to help with awarding it too.

These Bonuses will begin at Glory 32: Virginia and will continue on to every Glory event after.

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Glory 32 Armed Forces Title Bout On SuperFight Series

The Glory 32 Superfight Series are once again going to play host to a US Armed Forces bout. Since the armed forces bout was such a hit last time in Virginia (which had one of the best atmospheres out of pretty much all the Glory events I have been too) Glory has decided to have Cedric Smith return to defend his Glory military championship belt that he won at Glory 19. He will defend his belt against Roger Corbin who is coming fresh off a 1st round KO victory on July 8th.

Cedric Smith will again be representing the US Airforce while Roger Corbin will represent the US Navy. The bout will be at a catch weight of 195lbs and will be Live on UFC FIGHT PASS on July 22nd at 7:30pm ET or if you are in the area you can go watch the whole event in person at the Ted Constant Convocation Center in Norfolk, Va.

Here is how Cedric Smith won the military championship 

GLORY 32 SuperFight Series

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

Heavyweight Co-Headline Bout: Anderson Silva vs. Gordon Haupt

Super Bantamweight Bout: Funda Alkayis vs. Vanessa De Waele

Welterweight Bout: Francois Ambang vs. Michael Stevens

Featherweight Bout: Giga Chikadze vs. Chris Mauceri

US Armed Forces (195 lb Catchweight) Exhibition Bout: Cedric Smith vs. Roger Corbin

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Full Fight Card Announced For GLORY 32

GLORY has released the full fight card for GLORY 32, which will include the GLORY Featherweight title being defended in a rematch between new champion Serhiy Adamchuk and former champion Gabriel Varga. Also on the card is a Light Heavyweight contender tournament featuring the debut of Pavel Zhuravlev, which to longtime kickboxing fans is exciting. The GLORY SuperFight Series sees the Women's Super Bantamweight tournament continue, Anderson "Braddock" Silva looking to climb back up the rankings and Chi Lewis Parry taking on Maurice Greene.

GLORY 32 Virginia

Featherweight Title Headline Bout: Serhiy Adamchuk (c) vs. Gabriel Varga

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

Light Heavyweight Co-Headline Bout: Brian Collette vs. TBA

Light Heavyweight Tournament Bout B: Manny Mancha vs. Zinedine Hameur-Lain

Light Heavyweight Tournament Bout A: Pavel Zhuravlev vs. Ariel Machado

GLORY 32 SuperFight Series

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

Heavyweight Co-Headline Bout: Anderson Silva vs. Gordon Haupt

Super Bantamweight Bout: Funda Alkayis vs. Vanessa De Waele

Welterweight Bout: Francois Ambang vs. Michael Stevens

Featherweight Bout: Giga Chikadze vs. Chris Mauceri

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GLORY Referee Stefano Valenti Responds to Criticism

(C) GLORY / Ben Pontier

During the last few events it has been notable that many fans, pundits and insiders within the kickboxing world have been vocal about the referees and judges at GLORY events. Stefano Valenti has been involved in some high-profile GLORY bouts over the last year, including a few of the fights at the recent GLORY 31. 

Three of the fights that he was involved with were the Saenchai vs. Eddy Nait-Slimani bout, Ismael Londt vs. Hesdy Gerges and the main event between GLORY Lightweight Champion Robin van Roosmalen and challenger Sitthichai Sitsongpeenong. I have joined in with the chorus of critics of Valenti and noted in our live coverage of GLORY 31 that whenever Valenti is in the ring there is a fear that something might go wrong. 

During the Saenchai bout he deducted a point from Saenchai, which seemed harsh considering the action in the ring, and during Ismael Londt vs. Hesdy Gerges he deducted a point from both fighters in the third round, just seconds away from the final bell. This comes after the notable point deductions from GLORY referee Al Wichers during Artem Levin vs. Simon Marcus which heavily influenced the outcome of the bout. We criticize because while rule enforcement is important, there seems to be a lack of coherence among referees and a very real fear among fans (and fighters) that referees can influence the outcome of their bouts.

Late this week LiverKick received an email from referee Stefano Valenti where he looked to explain his side of the story. 

In all organizations and federations for which I have worked, and continue to do so (I think not for luck but I hope for merit), they appreciated me to follow regulations and instructions that are given to me by the leadership of each organization. Glory, Bellator, Victory, Oktagon, Wako, WMF, ISKA, etc.

That you points as conduct "terrible", is the way that Glory wants for all events Glory sanctioned , the result of extensive discussions during the briefing on the day before the event and reported in the special "referee clinic" written by the head and coordinator of the Glory Officials: REFEREE MUST STOP IMMEDIATELY INACTIVE CLINCH ! It's not Muay Thai Clinching!

While I have been and will most likely continue to be critical of referees for their calls, their job is difficult and they are forced to make split-second decisions. What's important, though, is that these decisions can and will be criticized because of how they can impact the careers of fighters. As we've seen, every referee has a different style just like fighters do, and at times those styles are more intrusive than others (Joop Ubeda, for example). 

Valenti explains that his calls were justified because they were done in accordance to GLORY's wishes, which is difficult to argue with. It should be noted that it is also the responsibility of fighters and their teams to understand and respect these rules and not place referees in a position to make these calls. It should be noted, though, that GLORY doesn't have a hand in the officiating, instead the ISKA handles that.

LiverKick has reached out to Mr. Valenti for further comment.

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GLORY 31 SuperFight Series and Main Card Results

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

(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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