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Artem Levin Out -- Jason Wilnis in vs. Joe Schilling at GLORY 24

If you've been following GLORY on social media you've probably been wondering why GLORY initially announced Joe Schilling vs. Artem Levin but all of the promotional materials for GLORY 24 over the past week or so has just been of Joe Schilling. Wonder no more because Artem Levin has pulled out of the fight with Joe Schilling due to an undisclosed injury to his elbow while training. An upset Schilling was open about this last week but quickly deleted any evidence of it to give GLORY time to scramble for a new opponent. The new opponent is a very worthy Jason Wilnis in a fight that could shake up GLORY's Middleweight division.

Also announced today is an interesting fight. Pat Barry, after a long absence from the GLORY ring, will be back in Denver again. This time his opponent is someone from out of left field a bit in Karl Roberson. If that name sounds oddly familiar it is because Roberson was the man who fought Jerome Le Banner in his retirement bout and had him handily beaten before the local judges declared Le Banner the winner. Roberson showed a lot of promise there and while some fans might be seeing this as a walk in the park for Pat Barry, they should remember the last time that Pat Barry fought in GLORY that gave birth to a Light Heavyweight contender in Zack Mwekassa. 


The 11th World Karate Championships – WKO Shinkyokushin


Kyokushin Karate has always been a breeding ground for professional full-contact fighters. Nicholas Pettas, Andy Hug, Francisco Filho, Glaube Feitosa, and Sam Greco, to name a few. Not to mention Georges St. Pierre, former Welterweight Champion of the UFC.

In more recent time, Full-contact karate is beginning to have it’s own “professional” bouts, with organizations like the World Fighting Kyokushin Organization sanctioning professional tournaments for prize. However, it is at the amateur level where these fighters get their start.

Since the passing of Masutatsu (Mas) Oyama in 1994, the founder of Kyokushin Karate, there have been many splinter groups formed by former students of his. While this has been good in some ways for the spread of what is known as the “Strongest Karate”, it has also created infighting amongst groups, and many groups have become siloed within their own organizations. Thus, tournaments are only for practitioners within a specific group. This is not uncommon within martial arts when there is a passing of a founder.

Some groups however, within Kyokushin, are beginning to open its doors. Forming larger tournaments, open to different organizations. The Kyokushin World Union, a non partial organization, with leaders from different organizations, is know for this. And most recently, the WKO Shinkyokushinkai, led by former Champion Kenji Midori, has opened it’s doors to others. This is will undoubtedly help in the push to have Full-Contact Karate be accepted into the Olympic games. A long-time goal of Kenji Midori.

This coming November the WKO will be hosting their 11th World Karate Championships, in Tokyo, Japan. An open weight tournament held once every four years. What makes this one different however is that the WKO has invited fighters from other organizations to participate.

Among those invited were Knockdown fighters from the International Karate Federation (IFK Kyokushin, which is a member of the Kyokushin World Union). The IFK have selected two Russian men and Emma Markwell from the United Kingdom. British fighter Emma Markwell, from the IFK / KWU, is well known in the British Open Championship and is currently the IFK European Champion. Aside from this, Markwell will also be fighting in the KWU World Tournament and the Kyokushinkan All Japan.

Emma Markwell

Other organization fighter within the female division includes:

  • Takayo Kimura - Buritsu Kaikan, Japan
  • Yui Kikukawa - Ashihara Kaikan, Japan
  • Irina Kriazheva – KWU, Russia
  • Momoka Oba – KWU, Japan

The men’s division includes:

  • Nikolay Maslennikov – KWU, Russia
  • Naoki Morita – KWU, Japan
  • Artem Nazaretian – KWU, Russia
  • Vasily Samadurov – KWU, Russia
  • Masaki Yamaoto – KWU, Japan
  • Igor Ryadnov – KWU, Russia
  • Alexander Komanov - KWU, Bulgaria
  • Yordan Yanev - KWU, Bulgaria

Many people are eager to see fighter Valeri Dimitrov of Bulgaria. Known as the “Prodigy”. Dimitrov is the 3-time World champion in Weight Categories, 3-time European champion in open weight and 12-times European champion in weight categories. Known for his humble and quiet appearance and his extremely dynamic fighting style.

Valeri Dimitrov

Other fighters to watch include Yuji Shimamoto, 2014 All Japan Champion and Kazufumi Shimamoto, 2010/11 WKO All-Japan weight Champion.

This tournament will prove to be a large event in Japan, with spectators and participants from around the world and will create better exposure for full-contact karate. And who knows. Perhaps it will spawn the next great Professional Full Contact fighter!



Keri Anne Melendez vs. Hadley Griffith Added to Bellator MMA Dynamite 1 Kickboxing Main Card

The unfortunate reality of Gabriel Varga being forced to drop out of Bellator MMA Dynamite 1's GLORY portion of the card has led to what looks to be a replacement of sorts coming from the Bellator side of the equation, making that two fights on the GLORY portion of the card that have their origins in Bellator. The first was the Paul Daley bout and the second is the recently-signed Keri Anne Melendez (wife of Gilbert Melendez) will be competing on the GLORY portion of the card against Hadley Griffith.

Bellator announced the signing of Keri Anne Melendez late in the summer, claiming that her contract was both for kickboxing and MMA, so the her addition to this card is not surprising in the least. 


Giorgio Petrosyan Fighting on GLORY 25 Monza

There hasn't been word from GLORY just yet as they are still promoting their involvement in Dynamite 1 and the upcoming GLORY 24, but Fight 1 out of Italy announced that it's official: Giorgio Petrosyan returns to the GLORY ring on November 6th in Monza, Italy. You might be seeing rumors for match ups around the internet, but nothing is official just yet on that front. One would think the Ristie rematch would be in order, but there are some hurdles involved with Ristie fighting for GLORY without his now-banned trainer. 

Hopefully we'll see a card start coming together for this soon. Also, for the conspiracy theorists out there this show is taking place on a Friday, a move which GLORY made to please Spike TV and fit into their programming schedule of having fights on Fridays. Of course, there is also a Bellator event on that day, so unless they are planning on a double header with a taped GLORY event things could be afoot. 


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