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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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UPDATE: GLORY 14 Zagreb Ratings on Spike TV

  • Published in Glory

Kiria

GLORY 14 Zagreb this weekend was an awesome show for all that tuned in, Kickboxing fans old and new. A hot topic since GLORY has gotten onto Spike TV has been television ratings, as TV ratings determine how many viewers were watching and heavily influence the television network's decisions for the product moving forward. GLORY 13 saw a rating of 659,000 viewers, which was not only an increase, but a steady increase that showed that GLORY was here to stay. Saturday night's GLORY 14 delivered even more viewers than that.

According to reports, GLORY 14 Zagreb pulled in 851,000 viewers on average, which is another almost 200,000 viewer increase from GLORY 13. If Spike TV were to still have their doubts about GLORY and the Kickboxing product as a whole, GLORY 14 pulled in comparable ratings to Bellator 110, which featured Quinton "Rampage" Jackson and King Mo Lawal. Considering that some of the criticism towards GLORY has been not having ratings on the level of Bellator, this is a great step in the right direction and I wouldn't be surprised if we saw GLORY eclipse Bellator in the ratings in short order.

It is an exciting time to be a Kickboxing fan.

UPDATE: Interestingly enough, a blog dedicated to Nielson ratings got it wrong on this one. They didn't pick up 200,000 viewers, they shed 200,000 viewers. GLORY 14 Zagreb, after a three month absence on Spike TV, on tape delay going head-to-head with a Canelo Alvarez PPV got an average of 495,000 viewers with a peak of 588,000. No, those aren't the original, over-the-moon ratings reported, but they still aren't bad. Still around your average Bellator territory, honestly.

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Why Giorgio Petrosyan on Free Television is Must-See

  • Published in News

Petrosyan

There is a term that fans in the combat sports community tend to throw around a lot, to the point where the meaning has become dubious at best. That term is GOAT. If you are somehow blissfully unaware, GOAT stands for “Greatest of All Time.” In a lot of cases, it is difficult to use such a term as, well, let’s be honest here, most of these fighters haven’t been competing for long enough to really get a beat on where they’ll stand in the Pantheon of Combat Sports. This preface is to explain how the term shouldn’t be taken lightly just so I can really explain to you how important it is to be able to use this label for Giorgio Petrosyan without any sense of irony.

Giorgio Petrosyan is other-wordly. There is just no doubt about it, when you are watching Giorgio Petrosyan you are watching the most skilled Kickboxer that we’ve ever seen in the sport’s rich history. Petrosyan earned the nickname “The Doctor” for his surgical-like precision with his hands and feet, with his ability to take little-to-no damage against some of the best strikers in the world while slipping strikes and landing them from every angle imaginable. In fact, the only knock on Petrosyan seems to be his proclivity to break his left hand, which has led to Knockouts becoming more and more scarce for him.

The fact that on Saturday evening American audiences will be treated with seeing Giorgio Petrosyan fighting (possibly twice) on free television seems to be lost on many with the leadup into GLORY 12 New York. Sure, there are a lot of great names on the card and a lot of great fighters featured, but none have accomplished the things that Giorgio Petrosyan has. Giorgio Petrosyan holds two K-1 World MAX Championships as well as last year’s GLORY 70kg Slam Championship with many believing that this year will be yet another 70kg tournament victory for him.

I’m under no illusion of Giorgio Petrosyan becoming a huge draw in the United States or that American fans are going to tune in by the millions this weekend to watch the best pound-for-pound fighter -- potentially in all combat sports -- compete and make the best in the world look like frustrated amateurs, but the hope is that maybe, just maybe a few new fans will see the technical master that is Giorgio Petrosyan and fall in love with the sport in a whole new way.

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The LiverKick.com GLORY 12 Preview

  • Published in News

Glory

GLORY 12 New York is tomorrow, live on Spike TV at 9PM Eastern featuring a one-night, four-man Lightweight tournament as well as a main event showdown between Joe Schilling and Wayne Barrett. This is GLORY’s second outing on Spike TV, which makes it a pretty big deal, this also means that you should be tuning in without doubt or question, as the best in the world, Giorgio Petrosyan, is going to be live on free television.

This, my friends, is our breakdown of the card from top-to-bottom with predictions included.

 

  • Lightweight Semi-Finals: Robin van Roosmalen vs. Davit Kiria -- This is going to be an incredibly exciting war between two of the world’s finest Lightweights. Davit Kiria is a guy who came from relative obscurity, given a chance due to training with Dave Jonkers and Semmy Schilt on early GLORY events before they realized that they had something special. These two fought back in 2011 while Robin van Roosmalen was on the rise, with Kiria’s technical style neutralizing RvR’s go-for-broke brawling style. Kiria has grown a lot as a fighter since this last fight and I feel like both men are going to look to put on a show. Kiria’s win over Murthel Groenhart shows how capable he is at handling aggressive fighters now, I think that he shocks fans with a win.
  • Prediction: Davit Kiria
  • Lightweight Semi-Finals: Giorgio Petrosyan vs. Andy Ristie -- Poor Andy Ristie. Ristie has been a star on the rise in the last few years, with his exciting style and his affable personality making him a fan favorite. Since stepping up in competition though, the fireworks have been halted for Ristie a bit, as he’s had problems running through the competition like he was known for before. Giorgio Petrosyan is his stylistic nightmare and outside of a cut or Petrosyan breaking his hand and being unable to continue, I think we all know Petrosyan walks away with the W.
  • Prediction: Giorgio Petrosyan
  • Lightweight Tournament Reserve Bout: Warren Stevelmans vs. Ky Hollenbeck -- After a bit of reshuffling we end up with this fight as the tournament reserve and honestly, Ky Hollenbeck deserves this spot. Hollenbeck is one of the few Americans who has made a big statement of late and has shown to have the skill and determination to be a player in the elite field. Warren Stevelmans is nothing to scoff at as a fighter, but I feel like Ky is on a roll right now. Man, whatever happened to Sanny Dahlbeck?
  • Prediction: Ky Hollenbeck
  • Jamal Ben Saddik vs. Ben Edwards -- A clash of the titans! A Heavyweight showdown between two burly guys! I’m mildly excited about the debut of Big Ben, who has really helped to refine his style over the past few years and has been showing a lot more in the way of technical chops. Jamal Ben Saddik is also a big dude with a lot of power, but I’m not sure how to really feel about him in the grand scheme of things at Heavyweight. Is JBS going to be an elite fighter, or is he just a guy who got a few good wins and will be a gatekeeper? This fight helps to determine this.
  • Prediction: Ben Edwards
  • Joe Schilling vs. Wayne Barrett -- It’s East Coast vs. West Coast in the battle of Middleweights. Joe Schilling has long been one of the biggest names in America for Kickboxing and Muay Thai and his huge win at GLORY 10 in the Middleweight tournament has shown that he had a lot of people talking about him for good reason. Wayne Barrett is a young hot shot who has had a few fights as a professional Kickboxer with them mostly being absolute annihilations of his skilled opponents. The thing is, his youth and inexperience run into Joe Schilling, who has fought all over the world and not only fought, but beaten the best at Middleweight. I think it seems like a forgone conclusion that someone is taking a nap, but whomever it is will probably not feel too much shame in the morning.
  • Prediction: Joe Schilling
  • Lightweight Tournament Finals: Giorgio Petrosyan vs. Davit Kiria -- I’m really most interested in seeing this rematch as opposed to any other possible Petrosyan match that could happen. Want to know why? I feel like Robin van Roosmalen is extremely skilled and can hit like a mack truck for the weight class, but that a fighter like Giorgio Petrosyan will not let his guard down long enough to let him do any work. A fighter like Kiria on the other hand has evolved his game a little bit to where it would be more of a chess match, plus Kiria is a bit less predictable with throwing the big spin kicks and all. I still pick Petrosyan in this one, but think that Kiria could show something new.
  • Prediction: Giorgio Petrosyan

 

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LiverKick.com Talks GLORY 11 with Tyrone Spong

  • Published in Interviews

GLORY

Tyrone Spong is a name that has jumped up in value over the past few years after cutting his teeth on the international muay thai and kickboxing circuit in a dizzying amount of weight classes. Spong has fought not only some of the best in the world in one or two weight classes, but in just about every weight class between 70kg and Super Heavyweight in the span of his career, with one fight against Nathan “Carnage” Corbett standing out as the one that fans wanted to see happen again. GLORY is making precisely this happen at GLORY 11 Chicago this weekend, live on Spike TV.

LiverKick.com caught up with Tyrone Spong earlier this week to discuss the fight with Carnage and he has a very mature way of viewing the first bout with Carnage, when asked if he considers it a draw or a loss; “Oh no, no man, for me personally it’s a loss. You know, according to the rules and the commission they call it a no contest. That’s not on me, you know, I don’t make the rules, I just fight according to them. To me personally though, I consider that a loss and now I have the chance to avenge that loss, so we’ll see.”

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Check Out These Post-Fight Interviews with Rico Verhoeven and Tyrone Spong

  • Published in Glory

Rico

We are all still coming down from this past weekend's GLORY 11 on Spike TV. I mean, that was just a monumental event by every stretch of the imagination. There were some really big winners at GLORY 11, two of which were Rico Verhoeven and Tyrone Spong, who got to be the stars of the show on Spike TV and could have just cemented themselves as huge Kickboxing stars here in the United States. GLORY has put up video interviews catching up with them after their respective wins and both guys seem pretty pleased, as they should be.

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GLORY CEO Talks About Preparing for a Bright Future with GLORY 23 and Dynamite on the Horizon

  • Published in Interviews

James Law/GLORY

GLORY’s next event is August 7th in Las Vegas, Nevada at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino. Las Vegas is known for being one of the fight capitals of the world and GLORY will finally make their debut there in the historic Hard Rock. The main event of the show is a GLORY Welterweight Championship bout between Nieky Holzken and Raymond Daniels, two men that have fought before and will meet for the newly-vacated championship. 

In a way, Daniels vs. Holzken is a perfect way to sum up GLORY as an organization at the moment. GLORY began with a bang, pushing out nothing but star-studded cards with fights between top names from K-1 and It’s Showtime, but things have changed quite a bit since then. Some would say the changes were unwelcome, while others would argue that the health of the organization and the sport in particular should come before glitz and glamour. Chief among them would be GLORY’s CEO Jon J. Franklin.

Franklin was involved with GLORY previously, but his role was in assisting them with television rights deals and not running the entire organization. After some reshuffling after GLORY Last Man Standing failed to deliver in PPV sales last year Franklin was placed into the unenviable position of the CEO of GLORY and basically just told, “fix it.” GLORY started off big, just as big as the shows it was replacing from Japan, but the problem was there was really no market for it anymore and the shows, while impressive, helped the organization to bleed money for the first few years. 

“You know,” Franklin explained to me when talking about the difficulties of taking over. “First thing I thought was that I was going to come in and trim the fat. Just come in and cut out everything that we didn’t need, make the whole operation leaner, more profitable and to ensure that we’ll still be running shows down the line. You can’t just cut everything, though, which I learned the hard way early on. There are contracts in place and if you don’t honor those contracts things can get messy in a hurry, even if those contracts were expensive for us at the time.”

That included some of the older, bigger name fighters who have now mostly retired or moved on to what they consider greener pastures for the time being. There was a marked change in direction for the organization after Franklin joined, which he is willing to admit wasn’t always perfect, but has been adjusted with some fine tuning. “Was the Oklahoma show maybe a bit of a stretch for us? Probably, in hindsight, yeah. That might have been a bit too far in the other direction, but if you look back at our recent shows I think that we’ve really found the right mix for us that keeps the fans in the arena happy and is enjoyable to viewers.”

Part of the change was removing some of the more costly aspects of the production, which meant cutting back on production staff that were attending events and even scaling back on travel expenses. “As cool as the ramp was to have, it was an expense and due to how tight our shows are on Spike TV, you’d never really see them anyway. On top of that, most of our more memorable entrances were fighters interacting with the crowd more, like Gokhan Saki at GLORY 15 Istanbul.” 

As for the travel? “I travel coach now, which a few of the older guys were kind of shocked by. ‘How does it look that our CEO is traveling coach?’ They asked me, just not understanding it, still worried about image. I think that it shows that we are very serious about our organization and for its longevity that we aren’t spending frivolously or concerned about things like that. I don’t mind doing it and I believe that it sets a good example for everyone else.”

In a way, Nieky Holzken vs. Raymond Daniels is the perfect GLORY title fight under Jon J. Franklin’s leadership, especially in the Hard Rock, a venue that as a boxing promoter he had worked to put on shows numerous times in the past. Holzken is one of the most renowned and revered kickboxers in the world while Raymond Daniels is an American fighter who might not have the same level of credentials as a professional that Holzken does, but has worked tirelessly to transfer his skills in karate to the sport of kickboxing. His work has resulted in some of GLORY’s most spectacular knockouts and for Daniels becoming one of the more viral and notable stars for the organization. 

“He’s incredible,” he said about Daniels. “I think that showcasing a fighter like Daniels helps to set us apart and really stand out. Nieky is an incredible boxer and Daniels is an incredible athlete who does things that nobody else does inside of the ring. The two-touch kicks, spinning back kicks, just everything that he does takes your breath away and leaves an impression.”

Many older fans see the fight between Daniels and Holzken as a forgone conclusion, but Franklin isn’t worried about a loss for either man hurting their image, instead noting that fighters with heart and personality tend to stand out. “I know that I’ll take some flak for this, but how can you not love a fighter like Dustin Jacoby? He’s still learning the ropes in our sport, but he entered the Road 2 Glory tournament on a day’s notice and won the whole thing, he fought Mourad Bouzidi on short notice and in Bellator stepped into the cage against King Mo on short notice. The guy is a fighter and he’s exciting to watch. I don’t think that losses define a fighter at all and I think that fans have certain connections with fighters and that doesn’t just fade away after a loss or two.”

GLORY is, of course, involved with the big Dynamite event in September that will showcase Bellator fights in a cage and GLORY fights inside of the GLORY ring. The event was in the works for quite a while and Franklin talks about how pleased he has been in the whole process. “How can you not like working with Scott Coker? I’d say he’s one of the top promoters in the world. He’s been a pleasure to work with and we are looking forward to putting on a great show. I mean, Bellator has an amazing platform that they’ve grown since Scott came in and we get to be a part of that with Dynamite.”

The inclusion of GLORY seems almost academic considering the caliber of events that they’ve produced in their short tenure and how Franklin and crew have been able to work miracles out in the previous few events with their reduced budget. Franklin does credit the fighters for sticking with them through the transition, as well. “What people don’t realize is that 95% of our fighters stuck with us through lean times. That is incredible, they really believe in what we are doing and believe that this is where they belong. Look at guys like Errol Zimmerman or Rico Verhoeven who stuck with us through everything and are just excited to get out there and fight.”

The card isn’t settled yet for Dynamite, but GLORY has promised to bring their A-game for this. There was talk of the event possibly happening without GLORY’s assistance, but the reality here is that GLORY’s stable of fighters are some of the very best in the world. The Dynamite event is a huge stage for kickboxing in general and GLORY has top talent in healthy supply to wow both old and new fans alike. It also speaks further for the health of the relationship with Spike TV, which Franklin feels strongly about.

“I was just out there at the Bellator show and I walked away from my meetings with Scott and everyone at Spike TV feeling very positive about it,” he explained. “We have a longterm deal with Spike with extension options and everyone who see GLORY programming feels strongly about it. Could the landscape change in the future, could our relationship change? It could, but that is the nature of television. We aren’t concerned, though, we have a healthy relationship and a lot more shows that we are planning right now.”

The market is ever-changing for combat sports but what is clear is that GLORY is in this for the long haul and is looking to help to grow the sport worldwide as well as the United States. While Spike TV is usually the hot topic, Franklin made sure to mention that they don’t plan on abandoning their international markets any time soon. They have healthy television relationships all throughout Europe and Asia and he notes how it is easier to fill up arenas throughout Europe with their top talent, like in Lille, France where Rico Verhoeven defended his GLORY Heavyweight Championship against Benjamin Adegbuyi.

In a way, it is refreshing to speak with Franklin and to hear him be so candid about the past and future of the organization. They are very aware of their product and aware of any possible missteps that may have happened in the past and are always looking for ways to provide quality entertainment to all of their fans across the world, all while spending responsibility and ensuring that the company has a bright future. Because, as Franklin told me, having less opportunities for fighters to work and make money is good for no one, so all of the fighters are invested in the future of both the sport and the organization.

GLORY 23 is Friday, August 7th live on Spike TV from the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino.

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Bellator Announces Dynamite!! September 19th in San Jose with GLORY Participation

  • Published in Glory

Yesterday there was a spark of this potentially huge event happening in September featuring Spike TV's premier combat sports brands of Bellator and GLORY. While there was some trepidation throughout the industry everything fell into place and today Bellator announced that Dynamite!! will happen on September 19th in San Jose at the SAP Center. GLORY's participation in the event will be a three-fight offering featuring fights from Joe Schilling, Paul Daley and more to be announced.

It will be interesting to have the Bellator cage set up in the arena as well as an area for a kickboxing ring as well, with Spike TV looking to present what should be their biggest combat sports card to date. In addition to the three-fight GLORY card there will be a lot of big stuff from Bellator, including a Bellator Light Heavyweight Championship bout between champion Liam McGeary and UFC legend Tito Ortiz. In addition there will be a one-night tournament at Light Heavyweight featuring King Mo Lawal, Phil Davis, Linton Vassal and Emanuel Newton, the winner challenging the winner of McGeary and Ortiz at a later event.

This should be a big deal for both MMA fans and kickboxing fans alike and is a very good thing for GLORY to be associated with Bellator like this. While Dynamite!! was a Japanese tradition that blended together DREAM and K-1, it will be interesting to see what a night of "Dynamite" featuring Bellator and GLORY can be.

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Duke Roufus to Provide Color Commentary for GLORY on Spike TV

  • Published in Glory

Glory

If you're like me, commentary matters to you when you watch fights. For GLORY, who will soon be making a big splash on American audiences by debuting on Spike TV. According to our old friend Fraser, that will begin with GLORY 10 Los Angeles, which is good news indeed, but the question of commentary team is still a big one for fans. While Stephen Quadros has been a mainstay for GLORY, his broadcast partner has shifted a few times now without there really being a good fit between a myriad of broadcast partners, but it looks like luck will change. Duke Roufus, the trainer from Roufus Sport who is responsible for such talents as new UFC Lightweight Champion Anthony Pettis and a staggering amount of other top level talent will be providing the color commentary when GLORY makes their Spike TV debut.

So, if you are in the area and haven't gotten your tickets already, you should probably consider doing so, and if you'll be at home watching it on Spike TV, you'll be glad to have a knowledgeable team in control of the broadcast. The full card can be viewed here.

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GLORY's Spike TV Debut Tonight is a Huge Deal

  • Published in Glory

GLORY

I've been kind of lamenting upon this for a while now and what it comes down to today is that tonight something huge is happening for the sport of Kickboxing. Kickboxing has had a strange journey in the United States, with the sport, in various forms, appearing to the public over the years. You could argue that the fall of the PKA all of those years ago was the last chance that anyone would give Kickboxing here in the United States, but you'd be wrong. It sure looked that way for a long time, but tonight is just proof that the sport has a strange way of enduring.

It is impossible to imagine being here today without having K-1 as the flag-bearer for the sport for so many years. K-1 had two chances at appearing on Spike TV and two management teams were able to ensure that it never happened. For K-1 right now they are going through a rebuilding process and it looks like America is a distant memory, riddled with failures and missed opportunities. But tonight we get to see GLORY make its debut on Spike TV. Spike TV is without a doubt the biggest platform that Kickboxing has ever had within the United States and I'm just unsure of how to process this right now.

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