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GLORY Uploads Spike TV's Top 20 KO's Special to YouTube

  • Published in Glory

Last Friday GLORY aired a one hour special on Spike TV called Top Twenty KO's and if you missed it, well, GLORY has your back. They are posting it on YouTube, split up into four separate parts with the first two already up and ready for your consumption. Cool, right? Check it out.

Part 1

Part 2

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GLORY 19 Scores Second Highest Spike TV Ratings For GLORY

  • Published in Glory

(C) Glory Sports International

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

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

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

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K-1 World Grand Prix in Los Angeles Promo Videos

  • Published in K-1

The K-1 World Grand Prix in Los Angeles is just days away now, with the show going down this coming Saturday and the heat of the summer is still on. K-1 makes its return to US soil for the first time in years and on top of that, K-1 Global will promote their first official show on their own, so there will be a lot on the line. To add to that, the event will be broadcast live on Spike.com as the first step in a multiplatform deal with Spike TV. K-1 has gone ahead and uploaded a few new videos promoting the big Heavyweight fights, and we are glad to share them with you.

vs.

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With K-1's Spike TV Deal in Hand, It's Time to Re-evaluate K-1

  • Published in K-1

K-1

It was announced today that Spike TV and K-1 have come to terms and that Spike TV will be the new home of K-1. For the Kickboxing world in the United States, this could completely change everything in the blink of an eye, as K-1 has not had a chance like this in a very long time. K-1 did, for a brief period of time, have a broadcast deal with ESPN, but it was mostly for filler content on ESPN 2 late at night and was never given its proper due.

This time around, it is different as K-1 has been turning its attention to the United States in a big way with their new management. Of the four events left for the rest of the year, two of them are slated to take place in the United States, with the K-1 World Grand Prix Finals happening in New York City on December 26th, for the first time outside of Japan. The recent fracturing of the Kickboxing world has left talent scattered between K-1 and GLORY or in the middle of a legal limbo with contracts with both It’s Showtime (which Glory acquired) and K-1. The names that K-1 has been announcing might not be captivating the old K-1 fans like they’d wish, but the real question right now is; does that matter?

K-1 has the unique opportunity to start anew with this television deal on Spike TV. Yes, K-1 does have a rich history and there are a lot of legendary fighters who helped build the brand to be what it is today, but at the beginning of this year, EMCOM became the new owners of K-1 and the team in charge of operations is entirely new. For the UFC, Spike TV served as a savior of sorts, giving them a chance to show off their unique product and even developed a reality show which helped appeal to a broader audience and push MMA to the masses unlike ever before. There is a good chance that K-1 has a very similar opportunity with Spike TV, and that it might be time to stop turning to the past.

If there ever was a time to build K-1 up with a different format, different approach and with different stars, right now is it. Many of us are certain that some of the fighters on the K-1 Los Angeles show are not going to be the new stars that they are looking for. Rick Roufus, Mighty Mo and Seth Petruzelli have all had their time in the spotlight in one place or another, and this time might not be their time to shine. Instead, K-1 has signed a few new fighters that will participate on the card, including Jarrell Miller, Jack May, Randy Blake, Xavier Vigney, Justin Greskiewicz and more. These fighters, and possibly others, could be the names that truly impress and help re-launch K-1.

As much as we all love the one-night tournament format and the fighters that made K-1 what it is today, it might be time to simply let go of the K-1 of the past. There is a good chance that the “Japanese production” style could also be one of the relics of the past that is not needed to make K-1 a success in the United States, with that possibly deterring new fans due to the spectacle nature with less focus on the sport itself. Time can only tell what will work and what K-1 will ultimately do with this new television deal, but what is clear is that they have a very big opportunity placed in their laps right now, and that failure would probably mean the end of K-1.

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The GLORY 11 Weigh-Ins and Staredowns

  • Published in Glory

GLORY

Tonight at 9pm Eastern time GLORY 11 Chicago will be airing live on Spike TV. Pinch yourself, it's alright, we aren't judging. GLORY has graciously put up the weigh-in videos, so get your dosage of dudes in their skivvies having macho staredowns with each other before GLORY 11 goes down tonight. It's okay, we aren't judging, remember?

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Glory 18 Officially Announced

  • Published in Glory

Finally the silence is over and the time that most of us Kickboxing fans have been waiting for has arrived. Glory have officially announced Glory 18 at the Grand Casino Hotel and Resort in Oklahoma City on November 7th and will once again be Live on Spike TV. It's great to put all the rumors that have been circulating about Glory being finished to rest and now look forward and spread the word about their next event. 

The main card is pretty much the same as we posted yesterday with the exception of Artem Vakhitov taking Andre Stoica's place in the tournament. I would have to say that Vakhitov would be the favourite to win the tournament based on what he has shown us in Glory so far. There will still be undercard fights to announce that I'm sure Glory will announce throughout the next little while. Now that Glory has done their job, we need to do ours as Kickboxing and Combat sports fans and make sure this event is packed and the ratings are high.

Here is the main card once again and the Link to the event.

GLORY 18: RETURN TO GLORY

Tournament Final Bout: Semifinal Bout A Winner vs. Semifinal Bout B Winner

Headline Bout: Davit Kiria vs. Robin van Roosmalen

Co-Headline Bout: Wayne Barrett vs. Jason Wilnis

Tournament Semifinal Bout A: Saulo Cavalari vs. Artem Vakhitov

Tournament Semifinal Bout B: Brian Collette vs. Zack Mwekassa

 

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For Joe Schilling Last Man Standing is About His Legacy

  • Published in Interviews

This weekend at GLORY Last Man Standing Joe Schilling has a date with a second GLORY tournament. The first one was a victory for Schilling at GLORY 10, putting him atop of the heap of GLORY’s stacked Middleweight division. At least for that night. We can easily say that GLORY 10 was a great night for Schilling, but GLORY 12 was not a great night for Schilling, although he’ll be the first one to tell you that it wasn’t his best night.

Heading into GLORY’s Last Man Standing tournament Joe is faced with three past opponents in Wayne Barrett, Artem Levin and Simon Marcus, each of which are involved in the tournament in different parts of the bracket, with there being a chance of him meeting each one on Saturday if things turn out that way. Revenge doesn’t seem to be on the mind of Schilling this time, though, nor does calling out a round for a knockout. Instead, he seems refocused.

At Last Man Standing Joe Schilling’s night starts off with not only a rematch, but a third meeting with an old adversary in Simon Marcus, but that is the furthest thing from his mind right now; “You know, everyone is asking me about rematches, they are all really excited about that. I guess there is more of an emotional connection to the previous fights than even I do. Rematch with Simon, rematch with Barrett, rematch with Levin, and I’m not thinking about that at all. It doesn’t even cross my mind, I’m a different fighter and I don’t expect them to be the same fighter. I’m really just focused on winning the tournament.

“Gotta go through Simon Marcus first, then I gotta go through Barrett, but if it’s Barrett I’ll beat Barrett, if it’s Stoica then I’ll be Stoica. Who even knows who comes through that other bracket. It’s crazy. I’m really focused I’m being the best Joe Schilling that I can be that night. I’ve made some changes in my game, in my lifestyle and the mental side of it. I feel like I’ll really be able to express what I’m capable of on the 21st. I’m really excited to show everybody what I’m capable of, but also show myself what I’m capable of. The rematches, though? They really mean nothing to me. At the end of the night, when I’m holding my belt, I’ll probably be laughing like, ‘Oh I knocked out Simon,’ but it’s not what I’m focused on right now.”

GLORY 12 was a tough night for Joe, but it wasn’t the first time that he’s had to face a loss in his career. “Yeah, when I lose a fight I really get very internal; why I lost the fight, what I was thinking, what I was doing. There are a lot of mistakes that I’ve been making for a long time in my career, stylistically, and we’ve really been focused on changing those things. The sparring has worked out really well and I’m really excited about it. After the Eddie Walker knockout I came back stronger, after I lost to Simon the second time I had to go to Thailand to fight Karapet on short notice, so I really look at my losses as big chunks of experience.

“I mean, look at the records of some of these other guys in the tournament. Sure, I have a much bigger record than Wayne Barrett, but for the most part I have less than everybody else in the tournament. Any and all experience that I can get I gotta take advantage of, but these losses are big for me, they are learning experiences. I’m humbled by my losses and it forces me to take a good look at me and it’s a good thing for my career.”

This brought about the topic of pressure and what kind of pressure that Joe feels going into this tournament. If you remember going into GLORY 10 Joe felt that he had to win the tournament to make a statement about Americans in Kickboxing, but now he sees more and more fighters from America stepping up and this is more about himself and his legacy. Joe is looking for not only a win, but a legacy like that of some of Kickboxing’s legends with back-to-back tournament wins.

“I’ve always put so much pressure on myself that I don’t really see other people’s pressure. I hold myself to a very high standard. In the past I’ve said stuff like, ‘well I’m gonna knock him out in this round’ and put even more pressure on myself, but for me there’s a ton of pressure on this fight for myself. I want to prove and really cement my legacy in Kickboxing. It means the world to me that I was the first American to win a global combat sports tournament like this and it’s really important for me to do it twice in a row. I want to go down in history with like Peter Aerts and Semmy Schilt, that’s the pressure that I feel. I don’t want to be in the back shaking my head and apologizing like I was after the Barrett fight and I have 100% myself to blame for that. I took him too lightly and I just,” Joe paused for a few seconds, searching for the right words. “I screwed up. I didn’t fight my fight, that wasn’t the best Joe Schilling.

“That won’t happen again,” he added, in regards to his frustrations in the fight with Barrett. “I was in there and I was frustrated, not even with Wayne, but I was frustrated with myself. Things picked up in the third round but even then it was sloppy, it was careless, it wasn’t me. So there is a ton of pressure for me not to do that again in this fight, but I feel like with the changes we’ve made there’s no chance of that happening again. There’s a lot less pressure knowing that I’m fighting the best fighters in the world. No one has ever watched a K-1 World Grand Prix and thought, ‘well that guy sucks.’ Everybody in there belongs in there, seven of us, the best Middleweights in the world, are gonna lose on Saturday. It’s gonna be a tough night, I’m not gonna be dancing afterwards. I have the utmost respect for all of the guys in the tournament, but it’s gonna be my night. It’s in my home city in front of my family and my friends, it’s gonna be epic.”

It’s also interesting to note that Schilling does have the homefield advantage going into this tournament, something that he had for the GLORY 10 Middleweight tournament as well. It was something that he was missing at GLORY 12 when he fought Wayne Barrett in New York, though; “Yeah, you know, I walked out and was getting booed. It’s happened twice in my career and both times it’s taken me out of my game. Actually, both times it was on the East coast, maybe I need to not fight on the East coast anymore?” He joked. “But for sure, I’m a lot more comfortable when I fight at home. No one wants to lose in front of their friends.”

So for Joe Schilling at GLORY Last Man Standing there isn’t revenge on his mind, instead it’s his legacy and taking his place as one of the greats in Kickboxing by winning consecutive tournaments. It is without a doubt a tall order considering the talent involved, but Schilling seems just as excited to watch the fights at Last Man Standing and GLORY 17 as he is to compete. He’s a kickboxing fan first and a fighter second and it’s very clear that this Joe Schilling is humbled and mentally prepared for what is before him.

Will it be his night again? Tune in on Saturday night at 10pm Eastern time on PPV for GLORY Last Man Standing, immediately following GLORY 17 on Spike TV at 8pm Eastern time. For more information, head to http://www.gloryppv.com

 

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GLORY 19 Welterweight Contender Tournament Entrants Confirmed

  • Published in Glory

Today we can officially confirm the entrants into the GLORY 19 Welterweight Contender's tournament. This tournament will feature some of the biggest names in GLORY's Welterweight division, including a surprise entry from a former K-1 World MAX Champion.

The tournament features two big match-ups, including top Welterweight Nieky Holzken squaring off against former K-1 World MAX Champion Murthel Groenhart in a semi-final fight. Murthel has long been a man without a true weight class and many had felt that he had finally settled into 70kg, but after losses to Robin Van Roosmalen and Davit Kiria it looks like Groenhart will once again move up in weight to face the biggest threat to Valetllini's Championship in Nieky Holzken.

Holzken, of course, is not pleased with this. John Joe O'Reagan spoke with Holzken who expressed his frustrations with having to go through a tournament to get a shot at a man that he's already defeated before, especially considering he was originally supposed to fight for the title against Marc DeBonte but was injured. 

The other side of the tournament will feature GLORY 16's viral star in Raymond Daniels going up against Brazil's Jonathan Oliveira. Oliveira has two wins in GLORY already and this is very much a step up for him into the spotlight. 

GLORY 19 takes place on February 6th in Virginia and will air live on Spike TV.

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Nieky Holzken issues challenge to Paul Daley

  • Published in Glory

Glory Welterweight champion Nieky Holzken has today challenged to Paul "Semtex" Daley to a fight at 77kg on the Bellator: Dynamite card in September. 

Holzken, the consensus #1 welterweight on the planet, is currently scheduled to defend his strap in a rematch with karate extraordinaire Raymond Daniels at Glory 23 on August 7th, but that hasn't stopped him from looking for additional opponents. 

Paul Daley is recognised by most combat sports fans for his achievements in mixed martial arts, however Daley has also found success in kickboxing too. The 32-year old from Nottingham fought six times last year inside the ring, earning five stoppage victories including one over the ranked #8 Alexander Stetsurenko. 

Soon after the video was posted by Holzken, Daley was quick to respond via his Facebook page:

"The best 77kg kickboxer Nieky Holzken has called me out to fight him on glory/Bellator dynamite. Very surreal. I'm a massive fan of Holzken, but I am a fighter that won't back down. If he wants it, it's the motivation I need. Let's make it happen, and if he wins in Vegas for the GLORY, let's make it for the GLORY CHAMPIONSHIP BELT. Ok Nieky?......." 

Whilst it would be a huge step-up in competition for "Semtex", a championship bout between these two would gain some serious attention, as well as undoubtedly providing fireworks. 

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The State of Kickboxing: Glory’s Slow Crawl to Legitimacy

  • Published in Glory

What does it take to get over with fans? It’s the million dollar question that marks the dividing line between a gimmick of the moment and a product that has established its presence in the market—the continuum, in our case, that Glory finds itself inching along in its slow crawl to stability and legitimacy. There’s an expectation that ‘getting over’ amounts to finding a moment that will make its mark in the minds of fans—in the collective consciousness of the sports entertainment universe—and to seizing the opportunity to rocket the brand into orbit. Creating that moment is something that Glory has pursued relentlessly, putting its highlight-making fighters like Joe Schilling and Raymond Daniels on TV with regular frequency. For its trouble, the highlights are adding up, and Glory has amassed a fight library that could now fill dead airtime with countless hours of syndicated content (are you listening, SpikeTV?). There’s a sense that Glory’s efforts are adding up to something, but for many fans in the kickboxing community, talk is cheap and there exists a healthy skepticism about Glory’s future. After a very tumultuous 2014, one could be forgiven for continuing to feel let down by Glory, which is why I think it is important to take a step back and reevaluate Glory’s place in the kickboxing world during these last few months.

At this time, Glory is the only truly legitimate international outlet for high level kickboxing competition. Kunlun may be a rising product in China, but for now, its televised reach doesn’t extend far beyond its domestic borders. K-1 has the top-tier featherweight talent, but again, it’s strictly a Japan-only product. Other organizations have been promoting fights in Europe and China, but so far no other major international players have emerged. We’ve seen some activity in the Middle East with ‘family-friendly’ promotion GFC, but so far GFC hasn’t demonstrated that it will amount to more than yet another show that threw money around for a little while—with no international television distribution and questionable attendance, we can’t confidently speculate about its future.

This is not to say that my outlook on Glory is any rosier, but it so far shows the most promise out of the promotions comprising the kickboxing landscape at this time. That said, some fans, including me, hold Glory responsible for possibly damaging the market for elite kickboxing talent during the promotion’s initial days, more-so than anyone who has come before or since. While for obvious reasons there is no specific information out there, the rumored story is that the talent acquired by Glory after the fall of K-1 was signed to compete under contracts which allegedly paid out hundreds of thousands of dollars per fight. These huge payouts readily attracted K-1’s superstars but also had the effect of greatly inflating their value. Some of these fighters, like Tyrone Spong and Gokhan Saki, may be in a position now where they won’t accept a contract for market value because it would mean not earning the money that they now feel entitled to make. However, it doesn’t make sense for Glory to continue compensating them at such a high rate if they aren’t going to be huge television draws, especially now that Glory has made forays into developing grassroots talent. It puts fighters like Saki and Spong in the position where they must seek out promoters who are willing to meet their new asking price. What that usually amounts to when it comes to the business of kickboxing are more inexperienced promoters who will throw that kind of money around in an effort to quickly establish a presence but who will also more often than not quickly fold after realizing the magnitude of loss associated with having no plan to achieve sustainability. At one point I would have included Glory in that category, but they’ve made sacrifices and changes to their roster and production which I feel reflect a desire to become sustainable. They—specifically Pierre Andurand—could have cut their losses and pulled out a long time ago like so many before him if that’s what they wanted to do. Instead, the Glory of today is a scaled-down organization that is focusing on developing talent at market value and establishing a presence on television.

Some may tout the European market and its potential, but there has never been any indication that operating there is any more sustainable than operating in the United States. Sure, attendance has been traditionally high, but so far no organization has become a breakout success. It’s Showtime is no more, and the other organizations like Enfusion are strictly small-scale. SuperKombat is looking like the only potential exception, and to its credit it has outlasted many competitors while occupying a solid spot on EuroSport. Nevertheless, it has stayed out of the elite-level talent market, opting instead to cultivate local fighters in Eastern Europe.

The real challenge of promoting the sport of kickboxing is not merely limited to putting butts in seats or big fights on TV—it’s in actually recovering money from the whole enterprise. If there is any market where the potential exists to grow kickboxing into a legitimate business, it is in the Americas. This is very much New World vs. Old World: in the New World, kickboxing has the chance to find its own legs and grow as a sports entertainment product on its own merit. In the Old World, kickboxing is an attraction traditionally staged by people with no apparent entrepreneurial aspirations, and we’ve seen—time and time again—the promotion of the week come and go. This doesn’t mean that Europe doesn’t have the potential for an organization to build itself up as a self-sustaining business, but so far the European kickboxing world has been anything but focused on that goal. I feel like the difference here needs to be more widely understood. Kickboxing has never had a more important opportunity than it does now with SpikeTV and Glory. People may (rightfully) criticize some of the talent and matchmaking decisions at Glory 21, for example, but don’t lose sight of the big picture and what Glory is trying to accomplish. It is trying to make money out of a sport that doesn’t make money.

And for it’s trouble, the effort seems to be adding up. Ratings are stable, DVR numbers are up, and Spike has taken enough of an interest in Glory to broadcast its first live overseas event in Glory 22, going down June 5 at 4pm Eastern time. The promotion has attracted the attention of sports entertainment celebrities like Bill Goldberg, who is lending his talents inside and outside of the ring—and especially where it counts: in front of the cameras. Glory is being name dropped by the likes of Dolph Lundgren, and Goldberg’s involvement has even attracted the attention of the TMZ. For all of the false starts and missteps over the last few years, the ball feels like it’s finally beginning to roll, and 2015 may turn out to be a bright year for Glory—if we give it a chance. Because, as it turns out, there is no alternative.

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