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SuperKombat Releases Card for March 7th 5th Anniversary Event

SuperKombat is looking to kick off their 2015 in style with their first event of the year; SuperKombat World Grand Prix I in Ploiesti, Romania. The show will begin with a SuperKombat New Heroes undercard that will look to help them establish talent for future SuperKombat events. Over the years SuperKombat has developed quite a bit of talent that have made a splash on the world stage and this card serves as both a reminder and a sign of what's to come with the New Heroes fights. The main card features many of the names that SuperKombat fans have grown to know and love, including; Cristian Ristea, D'Angelo Marshall, Bogdan Stoica, Amansio Paraschiv, Andrei Stoica and Heavyweight bruiser Benjamin Adegbuyi. 

The event will be broadcast, as always, on EuroSport. We'll have more for you as the event approaches.

Interesting angle for the New Heroes event is that Bogdan Nastase is an actual sheepherder and will come to the ring in his full sheepherding gear.

SUPERKOMBAT WORLD GRAND PRIX I 2015 (22:00 CEST)
1. Super Fight – Super Cruiserweight bout (-95 kg)
Clyde Brunswijk (Suriname) vs Cristian Ristea (Romania)
2. Super Fight – Heavyweight bout (+96 kg)
Michal Wlazlo (Poland) vs D’Angelo Marshall (Curacao)
3. Super Fight – Super Cruiserweight (-95 kg)
Ibrahim Giydirir (Turkey) vs Laszlo Nemeş (Romania)
4. Super Fight – Cruiserweight bout (-92 kg)
Zinedine Hameur-Lain (Algeria) vs Bogdan Stoica (Romania)
5. New Heroes middleweight title – Middleweight bout (-71 kg)
Julian Imeri (Albania) vs Amansio Paraschiv (Romania)
6. Super Fight – Super Cruiserweight bout (-95 kg)
Marcelo Adriaansz (Suriname) vs Andrei Stoica (Romania)
7. Super Fight – Heavyweight bout (+96 kg)
Daniel Lentie (Cameroon) vs Benjamin Adegbuyi (Romania)
SUPERKOMBAT NEW HEROES (20:00 CEST)
1. Super Fight – Middleweight bout (-71 kg)
Robert Stoica (Romania) vs Andrei Ostrovanu (Romania)
2. Super Fight – Light Heavyweight bout (-86 kg)
Daniel Thomas (Great Britain) vs Stefan Szomoru (Romania)
3. Super Fight – Super Middleweight bout (-77 kg)
Bogdan Nastase (Romania) vs Alex Filip (Romania)
4. Super Fight – Cruiserweight bout (-92 kg)
Cosmin Ionescu (Romania) vs TBA
5. Super Fight – Female Lightweight bout (-65 kg)
Annalisa Bucci (Italy) vs Cristiana Stancu (Romania)
6. Super Fight – Lightweight bout (-63,5 kg)
Luca Donadio (Italy) vs Cristian Spetcu (Romania)
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Video: Watch Liam Harrison knock out one of Jordan Watson's teeth

In preparation of their upcoming title bouts, Bad Company's Jordan Watson and Liam Harrison were sparring in front of the Yokkao cameras, when Harrison landed flush with an uppercut, knocking one of Watson's teeth out. 

Despite the injury, it was all smiles between the two, who both are scheduled to headline Yokkao's double-event next month. Watson will be defending his 70kg Yokkao world title he won last October when he meets the ultra-talented Sanny Dahlbeck. Harrison on the other-hand, will need to claw the 65kg belt away from the grasp of pound-for-pound great Pakorn.

Yokkao's 12 & 13 will commence on March 21st from the Macron Arena in Bolton, Manchester. 

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Danyo Ilunga Signs with FFC

Former It's Showtime Champion and current GLORY Light Heavyweight standout Danyo Ilunga has signed on with Croatia's Final Fight promotion. While the promotion did not release details of the contract or when he will debut, they seem excited to have Ilunga on board considering how talented he is. 

Ilunga was the long-time top dog of the division until he ran into Tyrone Spong in the finals of the GLORY 9 Light Heavyweight tournament. From there he went on to defeat Michael Duut, Andrei Stoica and Ondrei Hutnik before falling to Saulo Cavalari in the GLORY 18 Light Heavyweight Contender's tournament. I don't expect him to stop competing in GLORY any time soon, though, so consider his move to FFC just in addition to that.

Final Fight's current Light Heavyweight Champion is Igor Jurkovic, which would be a potentially interesting match up down the line for FFC to make.

"We are extremely proud that we have such a big name in Final Fight Championship. I think Danyo Ilunga needs no special introduction since he is the world's best fighter in light heavyweight division and No 1 on Glory raking lists. It is also an important indicator of the reputation FFC has in the international fighting sports scene since fighters such as Ilunga fight only in top promotions,“ said the FFC President Orsat Zovko and added: “We will soon reveal more details on Ilunga's debut in the FFC and we hope it will be as soon as possible.“

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Tyrone Spong Making His Professional Boxing Debut on March 6th

(C) Glory Sports International

It looks like Tyrone Spong's first fight back after his injury will officially be in a boxing ring. According to BoxingScene we can expect to see Tyrone Spong boxing in Germany on March 6th. Promoter Erol Cylan is in talks with Oczan Cetinkaya and Alexander Ustinov to possibly fight Spong on the card that will air on EuroSport.

While we are hoping to see Spong back to kickboxing soon and many have high hopes for his MMA career, we'll take seeing Spong back in any sport, hopefully healthy and looking strong.

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Glory 21 Announcement

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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Top Class Muay Thai Fighters, Top Class Fights At Lion Fight 20

(C) Bauzen

Foxwoods Casino, 2/20/15: Scott Kent and the Lion Fight crew delivered another great night of fights, showcasing what really makes Muay Thai the Sport of Kings. If you don’t already know, what sets Muay Thai apart from other combat sports is the sportsmanship, honor, respect and friendship amongst the fighters. Even after what was to some a questionable decision the fighters always maintained a smile on their face, and acknowledged the skill and ability of their opponent. By the end of the night there were two after parties. One at Scorpion, the bar across the hall from the Fox Theater, where UFC Veteran and BJJ Gold Medalist Gabriel Gonzaga and many other spectators were partying it up and burning off the adrenaline. The other, smaller party was fighters, coaches and cute medical staff only, and it was in the ambulances and emergency room of the local hospital, where at least half a dozen of the fighters got to bond. The pictures from the taxi’s, buses, ambulances and ER are great. They look like pictures from a kid’s 12th birthday party. But enough of this love in the hospital, let’s get to the war in the ring.

In the main event Jorina Baars was just too fast, too strong, and too accurate for the more experienced Chantal Ughi to handle. Starting with a one-sided first round in which Jorina came forward with a mix of punches, body and low kicks that kept Ughi moving back, defending, and still taking clean hits. Although Chantal posed no danger to Jorina, her own front leg was quickly in danger of collapse from Baars’ kicks. More of the same action followed in the second round. Sensing her imminent demise, Ughi began throwing elbows after clinching Jorina, but couldn’t find the space to make effective contact. She did have a brief flash of life before the end of the round, but it turned out to be naught but a last gasp. Although Chantal made it out of the round, she was unable to get off the stool, and surrendered from her corner before the third round could start.

The co-main event was one of those fights that could have been a disaster on paper, but in either direction. Joe Sittisak has a world of experience, but with that experience comes an older body which can break down in training or a fight. Chris Mauceri has youth, speed, height and reach on his side. Youth brings with it passion and aggression, whereas the elder has composure, patience, power and resilience. Watching this fight was like watching a young fighter training on a heavybag, or even more like a wing chun dummy, heavybags move too much. Mauceri came forward tirelessly, like an incoming high tide, throwing waves of punches, kicks and knees. But like a strong seawall, Sittisak just absorbed them and turned them back. He moved around the ring like tired old elephant, but when he felt his back touch those ropes, he would fire back with a solid combination, or a clean knee or kick to the body, or a sweep so smooth and effortless you’d think he was on ice. The rounds were close, and followed the same pattern for the first four rounds with Sittisak doing just barely enough to keep the Upstate New York product at bay. In the fifth the older Thai looked like he just wanted to get to the end and have a cigarette and a beer. He had put enough rounds in the bank and was now in cruise-control. Mauceri may have sensed he was behind because he hit the gas even harder, coming forward and almost literally swinging for the fences with huge arcing right hands that Sittisak either slipped, faded, or countered. One of those counters punched Chris’ ticket to the ER, opening up a gash over his left eye which was bad enough for the ref to ask the doctor to look at. After the pause, Chris opened up the throttle even more and poured on the pressure. It was a valiant effort, and a great fight, but in the end the heavy bag will always be hanging there ready for more, while we need to rest and ice. So to did Sittisak win by UNANIMOUS DECISION 48-47 x 3 judges.

I wish I could just skip the rest of the card, oh faithful reader, and list the results. But to do so would be an injustice of the highest order to both you and the fighters who had the crowd dazzled. So dazzled that they didn’t really know when to applaud or cheer. Or perhaps they were on Japanese manners that night? It was ironic because the theater was filled, but almost silent for most of the time during the fights. I think not having the traditional Thaiboxing music playing during the rounds opened up the ears to hear the silence from the crowd. The other pro fights were intense, but I’ll try to keep it short.

John Nofer shocked everyone in the Muay Thai world except for him, his trainer Rami Ibrahim, and the Sitan family. After Jason Andrada started fast with some heavy leather and leg kicks, Nofer landed a solid right cross that make Andrada acknowledge it with a smile and nod. The emotionless Nofer just pushed his fists deeper into his gloves and came forward like the Terminator. Andrada’s movement and quick slickness weren’t enough in the second round to prevent a sudden knockdown that he popped up from but had to endure a count for. Then he got his with a solid and well placed left handed crossing elbow that cut Jason just above and behind his right eye. After getting up, smiling and wiping the blood from his face Andrada attacked. But attacking the Terminator never worked in the movies, and it didn’t work that night as the stoic young automaton put together enough punishing combinations that referee Tom Sconzo was forced to step in for a standing 8-count, effectively the 3rd knockdown of the round and thus end of the fight. Nofer wins by TKO at 2:58 of the second round.

In what started out at a slow simmer of a fight in the first soon heated up and boiled over as the rounds wore on between Rich Abraham, out of Chicago, and Jo Nattawut, up from Georgia. They started out with the traditional slow Thai pace, and I figured out quickly, as it appeared Jo did, that Abraham was a slugging boxer, throwing hard punches at every opportunity. Nattawut seemed made for this type of opponent as he figured out that his own kicks were as fast, if not faster from distance than Abraham’s arsenal of punches. The tough and aggressive Abraham continued to press forward and advance through all five rounds, including the fifth in which Nattawut really tried to step it up and put him away. Nattawut had tasted Abraham’s power a few times in the fight, but was not afraid of it, to the point that he would bait Abraham with lowered hands, and if not taunt, then at least toy with him, pulling out any trick he could muster, including a cartwheel kick that looked good until it missed and Jo landed heels over head in the ropes. Aside from that, Nattawut dominated, cutting up Abraham’s head, sending him to the ER Party, UNANIMOUS DECISION, Nattawut.

Dublin, CA sent us Gaston Bolanos and his interesting mix of traditional and exotic techniques to take on New York’s Caleb Archer and his tough Sitan style. A good match up with both fighters showing great skill and stamina, however a close eye could see that Gaston was building momentum and confidence as the fight progressed. He was looking for a spinning back elbow throughout, setting it up from afar with a right cross miss, then stepping through and spinning the left elbow. He missed it about 4 times, but like a good baseball player knows, with enough at-bats he’ll get the homerun, he stayed with it. And it paid off in the 3rd round; when he finally landed the right spinning back elbow flush to Caleb’s head, knocking him out at 1:05 in the round. A quick note here about the great refereeing of this moment in particular. Caleb was unconscious but on his feet. Veteran fighter and referee Coban Lookchaomaesaithong (yes, I had to look up the spelling!) stopped the action, waived off the fight, and caught the fighter in his arms before he could hit the mat and bounce his head off the floor. I can’t stress how important that is, because the concussive force of a limp person’s head hitting the floor compounds and amplifies the damage from the original blow, if not creating its own separate concussion. Kudos to you, Coban!

Julio Pena gave up height and reach, but carried the muscle needed to get inside and pound on Tom Evans. After a clinch had been broken, Tom turned his back momentarily and walked away. Pena seized the opportunity and jumped in front of Evans, unloading a barrage of punches. There is already a Vine of the knockout, title “One-punch KO” but that takes away from the effort that Julio truly exerted. He through punches non-stop for a good ten-seconds before landing that perfect right cross. Ten seconds of non-stop full power punching is no joke. Try it. I’ll wait… 8…9…10. Okay, now catch your breath, wipe the sweat and reassess the one-punch theory. All that work earned Julio a KO at 1:30 of the first, and Tom Evans a VIP ticket to the ER Party.

The first professional fight, which sadly didn’t make it to air on AXS TV was one of the most even match ups and a great contest. Bryce Lawrence showed some fluid movement and great combinations in the first round, scoring both a knock-down 8-count and a cut on Tim Amorim’s face. Tim is normally a slow starter, but picked his pace up quickly from the time of the knock down. Through the second, third and fourth rounds he stayed aggressive until Bryce checked his progress with strong punch combos followed by nice snappy kicks and forced him into the reverse. The very game and tough Amorim continued to fight back, but was moving backwards away from the smooth and confident Lawrence. In the fifth, just when Bryce was looking winded, he snapped a teep to Tim’s face that scored well and followed it with a right cross, spinning back-fist combo that put Tim down for another 8 count and sealed the deal for Bryce Lawrence, giving him a majority decision, 47-47, 48-46, 47-46.

Amateur Results:

KRIS SILCK def. Brian Gamez by TKO Rd. 2.
GREG MULGREW def. Mike Carbonneau by KO Rd. 1.
STACEY SCAPECCIA def. Colleen Downey by UD
JULIAN NGUYEN def. Chris Malloy by UD
PHIL DaSILVA def. Ben Anton by SD
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Saenchai Drew Capacity Crowds for NYC Seminar

This past weekend in the snowy New York City Saenchai headed into the heart of the city with Yokkao promoter Stefania Picelli for a stint of three days jam-packed with seminars and private sessions. Saenchai, along with Manop Yuangyai shocked attendants by putting on a blistering three-hour long seminar for the attendees. The seminars were originally intended to be at the York College Arena where they could fit more people in, but due to weather they ended up having more intimate affairs at the Striking 101 Gym where they had to limit each seminar to 50 people.

In attendance were professional fighters and muay thai enthusiasts from all over the country, even attendees from as far as Canada and Brazil. 

Due to the success of these seminars Yokkao are looking to hold more seminars across the country with Saenchai. If your gym is interested in hosting one reach out to them; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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ShootBoxing 2015 Act.1 Fight Card

Shoot Boxing is doing their next show on February 21, 2015 at the Korakuen Hall in Tokyo, Japan. We are very glad to see Zouggari back in action after his impressive performance at the S-cup tournament, taking that fight on a days notice. It's going to be scary to see how he does with time to actually train and prepare himself properly but then again he is fighting Shishido who has a lot of experience. Also Nagashima is looking to get back into the win column after his last fight was a draw, and two losses before that, he really needs one. Overall sounds like its going to be a fun event, lets hope the judges aren't as bias as the 65kgs tournament this time.

Fight Card

Hiroki Shishido (Caesar gym) VS Zakaria Zouggari (Melvin F & F)

Yuki Sakamoto (Caesar gym) VS Nagashima Yuichiro (Sakigakejuku)

Hiroki Naito (striking gym Ares) VS Miyazaki (TARGET)

Shimada Ko(Caesar force dojo) VS Ishizuka Yuji (Caesar gym)

Kaito (Tatsushi Hall) VS TASUKU (REAL DEAL)

Iwashita "Southern Superman" MiyabiMasaru (Tatsuojuku) VS  Ashitaka Ryo (Caesar force dojo Shizuoka)

MIO (Oikawa dojo) VS Miho (KGF RAWA)

Sugawara Yutsugi (Caesar force dojo) VS Matsui Dai (striking gym Ares)

Omma Hiroaki (Caesar gym Shibuya) VS TBA

Kiyoaki Murata (Caesar gym) VS Saito Taku (y's glow)

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Pornsaneh Sitmonchai the Latest Muay Thai Legend to Join Evolve MMA

Pornsaneh Sitmonchai is one of the most entertaining Muay Thai fighters in the history of the sport and the 33 year old who has been in so many wars over the years this week announced he would be moving to Singapore to become a trainer at Evolve MMA in Singapore.

Pornsaneh hails from the province of Kanchanburi and began training at the Sitmonchai Gym at the age of 13 which is where he developed the fighting style which would make him a fan favourite all over the world.

During his career Pornsaneh has won the Rajadamnern 118 lbs title, the Lumpinee titles at 122 and 126 lbs, the Thailand 130 lbs title, the WMC 126 lbs title and is the reigning Siam Omnoi 126 lbs champion having successfully defended that belt only last week.

However in recent years he has become known more for his all action style than the silverware it has bought him and Pornsaneh has been involved in some of the most memorable fights of the century including a few of the best bouts ever seen at either Rajadamnern or Lumpinee.

His own personal highlight reel is so extensive that a list of the best Muay Thai fights of all time is likely to contain at least three or four involving Pornsaneh. Last year alone he was in wars with Pokaew Fonjanchonburi (see it here ) and ET Por Tor Tongtavi (see it here ) with the latter winning Rajdamnern’s ‘Fight of the Year’ award.

The most famous Pornsaneh battle of all was his 2010 match with Pakorn Sakyotin that won Lumpinee ‘Fight of the Year’ honours that year and is regarded by many as being the best Muay Thai fight of all time with round four providing some of the most amazing action ever captured on camera (see it here ).

The style of Sitmonchai fighters is distinctive in that instead of focusing on clinching and body kicks the Kanchanaburi camp produces Nak Muay who like to walk forwards and overwhelm opponents with punches and low kicks.

It is an approach to Muay Thai which is more conducive to scoring knockouts than winning decisions and no fighter embodies this fearlessly aggressive approach more absolutely than Pornsaneh who will start relentlessly attacking opponents right from the opening bell.

Pornsaneh will be joining a team of Thai trainers at Evolve MMA that already includes Namsaknoi Yudthagarngamtorn, Orono Wor Petchpun and Saketdao Petpayathai and will be sharing his unique knowledge and skillset with fighters like Shinya Aoki, Ben Askren and Tarec Saffiedine.

 

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Glory 19: A New Way Forward?

(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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