The next installment of GLORY's "Road to GLORY" Series will be in full effect this Friday in New York City, as the best of America's 77 kg division take the stage to compete for a spot in the #1 kickboxing organization in the world. Compared to the other Road to GLORY USA shows that have already taken place, this one is by far the most packed with national talent.
Anthony Nieves, Brett Hlavaceck, Marcus Fisher, and Eric Utsch are all some of the most promising Muay Thai fighters in America. A common misconception among fans not familiar with the state of kickfighting sports in the United States is that Americans are typically blessed with quick, powerful hands, but are sadly lacking in the kicking and knee'ing department. While this might have been true when boxers often tried their hand at kickboxing back in the 80's and 90's, the majority of USA's cross-over talent is now heavily based in Muay Thai. Hlavaceck and Fisher are especially reliant on the clinch, while Nieves is largely an "elbow" fighter. It remains to be seen how well they will make the transition in GLORY.
Tarek Rashed, Francois Ambang, Jeremy Carper, and Ryan Parker round out the rest of the tournament participants. Out of these final four, I believe Parker is the dark horse. He's an undefeated MMA fighter with a record of 14-0. We saw what Dustin Jacoby did to 95 kg tournament favorites Brian Collette and Randy Blake. It wouldn't be out of the realm of possibility that another mixed martial artist with heavy hands could make a sizable impact in America's developing kickboxing scene.
Concluding the card, veteran Cyrus Washington facs Chris Clodfelter in what might be one of the most exciting fights of the night.
As with most of the Road to Glory events, video is scheduled to be aired on tape delay sometime in the future. There will most likely be a highlight reel uploaded for all those who were not able to attend.
Full Tournament Line-up
Reserve Fight: Cyrus Washington vs. Chris Clodfelter