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Catalin Morosanu vs. Badr Hari Postponed Due to 'Conditions'

For Badr Hari and Morosanu fans the upcoming bout between the two sluggers was a highlight for the year. It was Badr Hari's return to the ring after some time off and it was against the best competition that he's faced since Zabit Samedov in 2013. But, much like the proposed fight with Patrice Quateron from a previous GFC event, it looks like the fans will have yet another Badr Hari fight fall through for the time being.

The official statement is vague, citing "conditions" of the fights as the reason. Morosanu isn't one to pull out of a fight and if Badr Hari's social media is any indication he seems ready to go, so one has to assume that there is something strange going on here. Much like when Patrice Quateron was pulled from the Hari fight for not "creating a family friendly atmosphere" before, we are hearing rumors of Badr Hari being unhappy with something heading into this fight. 

For now the entire event is postponed, so it looks like GFC will try to keep the fight between the two together, but if Hari is truly unhappy with the arrangement it may simply not happen. GFC has also promised a more entertaining event than the last one, for what that is worth.

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The Trial and Error of GLORY 21

Photo (C) James Law/GLORY Sports International

Last night was of course GLORY 21, which has seen mixed reviews. A lot of hardcore kickboxing fans were upset with the card and of course the outcome to Artem Levin vs. Simon Marcus. A lot of MMA twitter seemed to be enjoying the event, though, which was an interesting contrast. While those are topics to take into account, I performed a bit of an experiment last night of my own. I had a good friend come over to watch the fights with me who had never watched kickboxing or GLORY before, but had seen his share of boxing and MMA to have a base level understanding of combat sports. 

Last night's GLORY 21 event was a further extension of the search for the homegrown GLORY kickboxing star. The first attempt was the Heavyweight Qualifying tournament featuring three American Heavyweights and the British Chi Lewis Parry. The tournament, originally announced as an all-American affair could have been an all-American affair, but the man known as "Chopper" had proven to be adept at promoting himself and was coming off of a knockout win, meaning that if he could back up his talk with more knockouts GLORY could have another star in Chi Lewis Parry. 

The tournament itself was perhaps best suited for the undercard, although I understand the logic of it being on the main card in hopes of big knockouts and building stars. I knew that I'd be able to see through certain things (like Maurice Jackson's 31-0 record that nobody can find much proof of), but would my friend? His comments on the tournament bouts were "most of these guys seem like amateurs, they just aren't impressive at all, is the whole sport like that?" There in lies the problem with promoting fights like this. While there will indeed be people who say "wow, lots of knockouts here! What action!" There will be people who compare the action to your average UFC event that they've seen and see telltale signs of fighters who aren't at the elite level and the entire affair will unravel.

Now, while Justin Baesman did not do much to impress, the feats that Raymond Daniels were capable of immediately caught his attention and he commented on how Daniels was doing things that you'd only see in movies. The main event was another story altogether, where he commented on how Levin and Marcus moved unlike anyone he had ever seen before and that they were clearly many levels above anyone else on the card that night. This was coming from a guy who spent time in Thailand last year and checked out some muay thai, so there was some recognition of the muay thai style that both bring over, albeit diluted and different due to GLORY's modified rules. 

I commend GLORY on looking to build up new stars on Spike TV, but the GLORY name comes with a certain level of prestige and history to it for a young promotion. That history and prestige involves the best of the best fighting in the ring for our collective amusement. A gimme fight or two is never going to hurt the product, but a card like GLORY 21, if we are brutally honest, was a one-fight card. I'm not attempting to take anything away from any of the competitors, but the truth is that as much promise as we see in Demoreo Dennis, Xavier Vigney and Chi Lewis Parry, they've yet to prove themselves on the big stage just yet. The level of competition that they faced was about right to help nurture their growth, but sadly, it was not the right level of competition for a GLORY television show while some of the best fighters in the planet are sitting by waiting for the phone to ring for their opportunity on a Spike TV main card. 

As an entertainment product it would be hard to call GLORY 21 a failure by any stretch. It delivered two hours of exciting, fast-paced action that was capped off by a fight between two of the very best fighters in the world. I could think of shows from the UFC within the past few years that have been endless marathons that tested my patience to a level that pushed me to just stop watching. I'm not sure that GLORY will ever be able to promote anything on that level. The result between Levin and Marcus was not perfect, no, but that was outside of the control of just about everyone involved and there is no way that I'll be able to complain about a rematch between the two.

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Glory 21 Live Results

After some issues with the eversport stream, we are now Live with the super fight series!

Main card (SPIKE at 11 p.m. ET)

Middleweight Title - Artem Levin vs. Simon Marcus ends in a Majority Draw (Artem remains Champion)

HW tournament final - Xavier Vigney def. Chi Lewis-Parry by TKO Rd 2 (flurry of punches, ref stoppage)

Raymond Daniels def. Justin Baesman by KO Rd 1 (spinning back kick to liver)

Kyle Stewart def. Devin Goodale by Unanimous Dec

HW tournament - Chi Lewis-Parry def. Demoreo Dennis by KO Rd 1 (right hand)

HW tournament - Xavier Vigney def. Maurice Jackson by TKO Rd 1

Glory Superfight Series

Mike Lemaire def. Casey Greene by Unanimous Dec

Giga Chikadze def. Ken Tran by KO Rd 3 (liver kick)

Maurice Greene def. Ashley Epps by KO Rd 1 (left uppercut hooky punch)

Manny Mancha def. Andre Walker by KO Rd 3 (left hook)

Omari Boyd def. Chris Carradus by decision (29-27, 29-27, 28-28) 

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Simon Marcus is Ready for GLORY 21 and the Responsibilities of Being a Champion

"You're always training to fight someone who is training to fight you..."  That is a fighter's life according to Simon Marcus, and that's a very accurate portrait when you think of it. Simon Marcus, is not an enigma, he's not one for shadow games or deception.  Who he is however, is a man of ordinary means and on Friday, May 8th, a man with an incredible opportunity, the chance to become the middle weight champion of GLORY, the world's premier kickboxing association.  Ahead of this event, I had to opportunity to speak with Simon about what we can expect on Friday night as well as a peek into the life of the "Bad Bwoy".

For people who are unaware, Levin and Marcus have faced each other before.  During that bout that was conducted under Muay Thai rules, Marcus was the victor.  While he admits that a previous win over an opponent may inspire some level of confidence knowing that you have previously beat that person.  Today,  Marcus chooses to focus on the task at hand and what it will take to be victorious again. Marcus has also made the choice not to focus on the what ifs, especially 'what if he loses'.  He stated that in his life, he continues to strive and even in those instances when a fight does go his way he has a desire to continue to improve and get better as a person. Of the things that has striven to improve in the ring, Simon stated that he has upped his cardio which he demonstrated during open work outs at The Boxing Gym on Wednesday as well as during his hard fought victory during the middleweight tournament last month in Dubai.   Marcus also stated that he has challenged himself in improving his conditioning, strength and overall pushed himself to his limits in preparation for GLORY 21. He states that even on the winning side he is never satisfied with his performance and is always looking for ways he can improve. While he is highly critical of himself, Marcus also expressed that he is attempting to learn how to enjoy those successes.

Coming into the world of a disciplined fighter at age 18, as in the case of many other fighters, provided an outlet and an opportunity for him to turn a negative into a positive.  Instead of getting into trouble for fighting, it has now become his passion and something for which he now receives praise.  As for his personal road to GLORY, Marcus stated that he trained as hard as he could, fought as much as he could and believed in himself.  In addition to that Marcus stated that he travelled and made a lot of sacrifices.  He also stated that many times he fought for free and did everything he could to get experience, good training and anything he could to get better, not necessarily looking at the immediate pay out but his long term goal of getting to the top.

What does he bring to the ring?  Simon Marcus brings a warrior spirit and an intellectual mentality, not to mention a lot of power and heart.  Additionally Simon Marcus brings excitement and a willingness to pull out all the stops to get the win.

As for the future, Marcus plans to completely focus on GLORY and winning/defending the title.  His vision does not stop there.  Simon Marcus would like to be a person who will take GLORY to another level and having people interested and seeing what the best striking in the world is about. 

To anyone who might be interested in embarking on a journey such as this, Simon Marcus stated that he would not discourage anyone from pursing a fighter's life, but he quickly differentiated between having a calling vs. having an interest. He stated if a person is just interested in being a fighter for the accolades or whatever comes along with it, that might not be the way to go.  He added that if someone has a love for fighting or a person has fighting in them, and they feel that fighting brings out the best in them or develops them, then that would be a more satisfying path to take.  Fighting as a career and as a lifestyle is difficult emotionally and physically.

After retirement, which Marcus stated at this point he doesn't know when that will occur, his love of fighting, teaching and martial arts directs his future to remain on its current path, in the realm of combat sports entertaining options of possibly promoting or opening a gym and in that way continuing to pass the tradition on.  If we hadn't met Simon Marcus as the Muay Thai/kickboxing practitioner that we see today, Marcus stated that it's very difficult to guess where he'd be today as he was always fighting and getting in trouble doing it.  He admits that when he was younger he had an interest in basketball and was a good player in high school but didn't have the focus on school to continue on this path. From where he sits now Marcus appears to be happy, he is an accomplished fighter, a father and fighting in an organization that he feels is right on the cusp of becoming something huge!

Beyond Friday night, Marcus has no one in particular on his radar, stating that he believes his greatest fight is with himself because he has the belief that in anything you do, there is a constant inner battle to become the best version of you.

So while on Friday night at GLORY 21 we won't get to see Simon Marcus vs. Simon Marcus, we will witness a continuation of this young man's journey to champion status in a battle between two of the best middleweights in the world.  On Friday night, Simon acknowledges that he has tremendous opportunity and when it's one man's time, it's his time and critics can say what they like, but Friday is his time.  He feels he has done the things necessary to have earned this opportunity.  To his fans, Simon Marcus sends out a sincere and heartfelt thanks.  To those who have supported him and all the friends and family who have traveled to San Diego he expresses sincere gratitude.

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