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Analyzing GLORY's Champions: Davit Kiria

Man, if you are like me, you are kind of dying at this dry spell that we are going through with kickboxing right now. There is still stuff going down, but there is a decided lack of big events to get worked up over right now. So it’s time to start taking a long, hard look at the best fighters in the business today and if we think that they can hold onto their top spots. 

First up: Davit Kiria, GLORY Lightweight Champion

GLORY’s Lightweight division is probably one of the most stacked divisions in the world today. The 70kg range has always been talent-rich, thanks in part to K-1 relying upon the K-1 MAX division for years. But right now especially, it feels like as good as any one fighter is in the division, there is a line-up of guys that could probably defeat him. 

Davit Kiria was never a guy that we would have pegged to become GLORY’s Lightweight Champion. That’s not a knock against him as much as it is indicative of how deep the division really is. Kiria is a skilled guy, but his losses to both Giorgio Petrosyan and Robin van Roosmalen led to many doubting him. So when he went into GLORY 14 against Andy Ristie, the guy who knocked both of those men out in one night, not many expected him to walk out as the champion.

Then kickboxing magic happened and Kiria shocked the world, knocking out Andy Ristie in the fifth round. It was insanity and we had an unlikely champion of a guy who was considered “fourth best” to RvR, Petrosyan and Ristie. That is how stacked this division is. We have a good feeling that Robin van Roosmalen will get a shot at Kiria’s title soon (it was originally slated for August, actually), so the question is: Can Davit Kiria hold onto the GLORY Lightweight Championship.

The answer is: yes, but not for long. That title is going to be a hot potato for a while unless Petrosyan can stop injuring his hand. I think that Kiria has the skills to defeat Robin van Roosmalen, but it also goes the other way just as easily. In a five round fight we’ve seen that Kiria’s slow-starting style is perhaps best-served under these conditions and he’ll potentially be able to shine against Robin van Roosmalen.

But then when you have to face down a murderer’s row in Lightweight, it seems inevitable that someone will defeat him at some point. Whomever that is will also face the same exact challenges that Kiria faces now, knowing that the title probably won’t be secure for long. That makes GLORY’s Lightweight division so exciting right now; you don’t know who will end up on top. 

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Spike TV Airing GLORY Last Man Standing on August 8th

Interesting note here, that on last week's Best of GLORY that aired on Spike TV they announced that on Friday, August 8th they'd be airing GLORY Last Man Standing in some form. If we are to look at this objectively, the next day was scheduled to be the day that GLORY 18 was going to happen, so there is a chance that Spike TV had set aside television time for GLORY in early August. Then again, why not air it on Saturday? 

This is an interesting move from Spike TV and -- honestly -- a smart move. GLORY currently does not have an event planned for August and airing the GLORY Last Man Standing event will keep GLORY programming on Spike TV during an off-month, which will hopefully mean that GLORY won't lose viewers like they did the last time they took a break in between shows. The time slot is 2 and a half hours, the replay starting at 10PM Eastern time and running until 12:30, meaning that it will obviously need to be edited down a bit to fit into two and a half hours plus commercial breaks. Still, it is one of the best kickboxing events of the year being shown on Spike TV for free.

It's difficult to complain.

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Weekend Results: IFC in Spain; or, Melvin Manhoef's Bad Night

International Fighting Championship hosted their inaugural event this past Friday, July 25th from the Pavello Olympic arena in Badalona, Spain. The card featured a combination of Kickboxing, Muay Thai and MMA bouts. All MMA bouts were fought for 3x5 minutes whereas the Kickboxing and the single Muay Thai bout was contested for 3x3 minutes. 

Combat sports legend Melvin Manhoef headlined the card and was stopped with strikes by hometown favorite Cesar Cordoba in just under three minutes. Cordoba came into the bout six-inches taller than his foe and looked to make good use of his reach advantage early, keeping Manhoef on the end of his punches and kicks whilst avoiding the occasional hellacious flurry from the Dutchman. Midway through the first round Cordoba landed a right high-kick and subsequently swarmed Manhoef with punches against the ropes before sending him crashing to the canvas face-first with a knee, rendering Manhoef momentarily unconscious. Instead of halting the bout, the referee began the 10 count that Manhoef impressively survived, only for the bout to be stopped somewhat controversially moments later. As Cordoba continued his onslaught of punches and knees the referee intervened with Manhoef still standing, which lead to a rather angry protest from Manhoef.

198lbs Kickboxing: Cesar Cordoba def. Melvin Manhoef by TKO (Punches) in Round 1
156lbs Kickboxing: David Calvo def. Juanma Chacon by TKO (Corner Stoppage) in Round 1
147lbs MMA: Jose Luis Zapater def. Juan Carlos Berlanga by TKO (Punches) in Round 1
154 lbs MMA: Abner Lloveras def. Miguel Valverde by Submission (Guillotine Choke) in Round 1
165 lbs Muay Thai: Youseff El Hadmi def. Ibrahima Nijie by Decision
119lbs Women’s Kickboxing: Mari Curriki def. Maribel de Sousa by Decision
138lbs Kickboxing: Alfonso Grinan def. Oscar Garcia by Decision
145lbs MMA: Jesus Montero def. Alejandro Hernandez by Submission (Arm-Triangle Choke) in Round 2
138lbs Kickboxing: Khyzer Hayat def. Vardan Mnatsakanyan by KO (punch) in Round 1
125lbs MMA: Daniel Barez def. Francisco Asprilla by TKO (punches) in Round 2

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Weekend Results: K1ngs of Glory

K1ngs of Glory debut card went down this weekend from the Rainton Meadows arena in the North East of England. K1ngs of Glory is a sister promotion to the UK MMA promotion Made4theCage which was established by Steven Scott and Dale Percival. 

Glory competitor and top UK talent Reece McAllister headlined the event and showed why he’s one of the best up and coming talents at 67 kg. McCallister dominated Serbian-born Dragan Pesic from the opening bell before finishing him in the second round to claim the promotions inaugural 67kg world title. 

Former UFC competitors Colin Fletcher and Andre Winner met in the co-feature where Fletcher emerged victorious with a unanimous decision. ‘Freakshow’ controlled the bout largely with his kicks, which he utilized to help maintain his range as he consistently out-landed Winner throughout the bout.

Results:
Reece McAllister def. Dragan Pesic by TKO in Round 2
Colin Fletcher def. Andre Winner by Unanimous Decision
Danny Blankharn def. Shaun Lomas by Unanimous Decision
Duncan McLean def. Bradley Conway by TKO in Round 1
Garry Laws def. Javonne Morrison by Unanimous Decision
Ben Holdsworthy def. Craig Shadforth by KO in Round 2
Gary Head def. Andy Cona by TKO in Round 2

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