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GLORY Posts 283,000 Viewers on Spike TV for GLORY 24

In what was supposed to be a triumphant return to Spike TV after being showcased on Bellator MMA's Dynamite 1 show GLORY instead found itself stuck in the morasses of Spike TV's endless runs of COPS and their ever-shifting time slot. The steady decline of GLORY ratings on Spike TV has been ongoing now with there being natural peaks and valleys. GLORY 13 still posted the highest ratings to date with the Welterweight tournament along with a heavyweight-heavy card featuring Rico Verhoeven against the legend Peter Aerts and Daniel Ghita against Errol Zimmerman. 

GLORY 21 showed a slight bump up from the previous show but then GLORY 22 being shown live at 4pm in the afternoon, dragging them down once again. GLORY 23 was and improvement, albeit still under 300,000 with 295,000 and now that SportsTVRatings has published Friday's ratings we can see that GLORY 24 saw a decrease from the previous show coming in at 283,000 viewers. 

While there hasn't been official word just yet, it is widely speculated that GLORY 24 was GLORY's last outing on Spike TV and if so they went out with a whimper instead of a bang. The show still delivered in solid action, although the main event did have a rather disappointing finish. Those kinds of things cannot be predicted. Jacoby/Barrett and the knockout-heavy heavyweight tournament delivered solid thrills there was just no one there to watch at 11pm eastern time, apparently.

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Glory 24: Thin Air, Thin Ice, Solid Action

(C) James Law/GLORY Sports International

How is kickboxing doing now? It’s a question many of us have had on mind lately. There’s plenty of product out there, but the industry is feeling a lot like it did in 2011—stagnant with no clear indication of growth. It’s pretty clear that Glory has failed to live up to its initial expectations as the next major combat sports phenomenon, which may have been unrealistic from the get-go, and that for all the news—such as it is—that we have to report on, nobody’s making any big promises. That said, despite major questions looming regarding its TV deals and with Bellator dipping its toes into the kickboxing waters, Glory marches on with a surprisingly full schedule of events for the rest of the year with its first stop in Denver, CO, for Glory 24. This event featured a heavyweight contender tournament between four legitimate hopefuls as well as a middleweight main and co-main event that saw Joe Schilling make his return to kickboxing and Dustin Jacoby test the division’s very harsh waters. Read on for my breakdown of this event and its storylines:

(C) James Law/GLORY Sports International

Ben Edwards. Let’s address this first. Ben was clearly not in shape to fight, less so in the mile high city. He looked completely deconditioned, more so than I have ever seen him before. He’s spent time away from kickboxing over the last year and tried his hand in boxing, but I don’t think he would have been successful in a boxing ring last night, not to mention kickboxing. He’s a supporter and friend of LiverKick, and I can only assume that he took the fight under difficult circumstances. We hope he’s well and that things get better for him because he’s an excellent performer and comes off like an even better guy.

(C) James Law/GLORY Sports International

Jahfar Wilnis. The heavyweights in general had a difficult task competing at altitude, but Jahfar was very game and brought incredible aggression and technical kickboxing to the table, finishing Ben Edwards with hard low kicks and going three relentless rounds with Benny Adegbuyi. The tournament final was very close, and while I think Wilnis was stealing rounds and deserved the nod in the end, the fight was close enough not to call the outcome a robbery. If this were K-1, I think the matter would definitely have been settled with an extension round, but the Adegbuyi rematch with Rico Verhoven is desirable and with performances like that, Wilnis will undoubtedly get a title shot in the near future. Heavyweight needs new faces at the top, and Jahfar Wilnis may have just secured his spot.

(C) James Law/GLORY Sports International

Benny Adegbuyi. Is it just me, or was the audience going crazy for Benny? I’m not sure how it happened, but the man legitimately crossed over with the Denver crowd! As a consistently entertaining and top performing kickboxer, Benny deserves it, and I’m glad to see him earn that recognition. His rematch with Rico has a lot of momentum going into it now, and I’m excited to see what kind of heat it gets in Amsterdam.

(C) James Law/GLORY Sports International

Dustin Jacoby. He was groomed as a rising American kickboxing star after he swept the Road to Glory tournament field two years ago, but he was thrown to the wolves in his subsequent fights, taking on veteran and elite fighters like Michael Duut, Alex Pereira, Mourad Bouzidi, and Danyo Illunga. He came up short in these encounters but demonstrated his grit, athleticism and improving kickboxing technique with every fight. His win over Wayne Barrett established both the weight class that he should compete in and his legitimacy as a kickboxer. Jacoby has worked hard over the last two years, spending time with Hemmers Gym in the Netherlands and learning the kickboxing game from the ground up, and he demonstrated that technique in this fight. Some will argue that Barrett’s performance diminishes the win, but let’s face it, Jacoby has needed to prove that he can be an effective technical kickboxer, not that he can take anyone’s shots. His presence provides additional depth to Glory’s formidable middleweight division.

(C) GLORY Sports International/James Law

Joe Schilling. This is a frustrating time for Schilling. He’s a bankable fighter in search of a stable platform that will allow him to make the money he wants, but he happens to dominate in a sport that’s not lavishly paying out anymore. Attempts to build him up in MMA were unsuccessful, which I suspect is a much larger setback than anyone has revealed—hence Bellator: Dynamite, a way for Bellator to apparently promote kickboxers without promoting kickboxing. As an aside, it’s really not clear to me what Bellator’s goal is with Dynamite, especially as it concurrently blocks attempts by Paul Daley and LiverKick friend John Joe O’Reagan to sell a legitimate title fight with Nieky Holzken. That said, it’s hard to guage Schilling’s position in all of this, but it seems that for the time being, he’s back on track with Glory and wants to be a center attraction, calling for a spot on the Amsterdam show and calling out Artem Levin again. Seeing more of Joe Schilling is something that will absolutely get no complaint from me.

The future: where are we going? Will Glory still be on TV? I wish I knew. We come to these crossroads time and time again, but I give credit to Glory for trucking on in spite of this. I suspect that something is in the works but that we won’t find out any time soon. Until then, we’ll keep enjoying the action as it comes.

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Dustin Jacoby Proves Himself as a Kickboxer Against Wayne Barrett

(C) Glory Sports International/James Law

The name Dustin Jacoby has been causing mixed reactions for kickboxing fans over the past few years. Sure, his first foray into professional kickboxing involved him winning a Road 2 Glory tournament, earning him a spot on GLORY's roster, but from there Jacoby struggled against some of the opposition that he faced within the GLORY ring. His never-say-die attitude and willingness to take any fight thrown out him led to a less-than-stellar win-loss record and fans were beginning to cry foul of the amount of opportunities within GLORY that he was receiving.

Jacoby, though, much to his credit kept persevering and moving forward. He took his training very seriously and worked on refining his skillset. Initially when Jacoby would step into the ring it was very apparent that he had come from the world of MMA, moving more like a plodding MMA fighter and throwing bombs as opposed to tighter combinations. He simply didn't handle himself like a professional kickboxer. 

Not many people were looking at Dustin Jacoby vs. Wayne Barrett as a fight that would see Dustin Jacoby emerge victorious. Barrett was a kickboxer through and through, dedicating himself to the sport and proving himself to be a top level middleweight. Sure, he had a few losses, but many saw this as a tune up fight for Barrett on his road back to the top of the division. What they weren't expecting was for Dustin Jacoby to not only bring the fight to Barrett, but for Jacoby to actually move, strike and defend like a kickboxer. The awkward MMA style that never quite transitions well to kickboxing wasn't there like it has been before, instead was a polished professional kickboxer who did exactly what he needed to do to mentally break Barrett in the ring leading to a knockout victory.

Many fans had simply written Jacoby off but he has proven that hard work and dedication can pay off. No longer is he that MMA guy wearing big gloves, instead he is a professional kickboxer and holding a win over Wayne Barrett is a huge feather in his cap. After this win now I want to see what else Dustin Jacoby could do, did Wayne Barrett just "break" and Jacoby was simply there, or has he really arrived in the sport of kickboxing? I'm leaning towards the latter and GLORY has the manpower within the middleweight division to test Jacoby's mettle when he's ready.

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GLORY 24 Live Results and Discussion

Tonight live on Spike TV is GLORY 24 featuring Joe Schilling vs. Jason Wilnis in an exciting main event, the fight serving as a middleweight title eliminator. Schilling is coming off of a tough knockout loss in Bellator while Wilnis is coming off of a win at an event in Austria. Wayne Barrett returns to action against GLORY 23 middleweight tournament winner Dustin Jacoby and to top it off a GLORY heavyweight tournament featuring Benjamin Adegbuyi, Ben Edwards, Jahfarr Wilnis and Mladen Brestovac. 

GLORY 24

Joe Schilling (R3 TKO via foot injury) Jason Wilnis

Heavyweight Tournament Final: Benjamin Adegbuyi (Split Decision) Jahfarr Wilnis

Dustin Jacoby (R3 - KO via right hand) Wayne Barrett

Heavyweight Tournament: Jahfarr Wilnis (R2 - TKO via leg kicks) Ben Edwards

Heavyweight Tournament: Benjamin Adegbuyi (R3 - TKO via leg kicks) Mladen Brestovac

GLORY SUPERFIGHT SERIES FIGHT CARD:

Robert Thomas (Split Decision) David Radeff

Casey Greene (R2-Knockout) Francois Ambang

Kevin Vannostrand (Split Decision) Juston Houghton

Zack Wells (R1 - Knockout) Chris Tramell

Jason Lee (R2 - TKO) Steve Paprocki

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