Massaro Glunder is not your average 22 year old. Let’s forget the fact that he’s the son of Rodney Glunder, or that he’s already faced many of the best and brightest in combat sports including a recent MMA bout that he accepted on two hours notice against Andy Souwer. Glunder has a 29-8-4 record overall and has been champion in both W5 and KOK. On Saturday, June 10th, Glunder will be on the biggest stage in kickboxing, making his debut in the Glory lightweight contender tournament, facing off against Denmark’s Niclas Larsen. At age 22 the road to the big stage has been an awesome adventure, but not without some pitfalls. Through it all, however, Glunder presents with a positive attitude, an appreciation for simplicity and passion. Ahead of Glory: Paris, Massaro sat down with me to share a little about his history and his plans.
LK: Tell me about your journey to Glory 42.
MG: I am from Amsterdam, I was raised by my father. I have been training since I was ten. I moved away from home when I was 17 years old and after that I had a few situations. I had to go to jail for one year. I had a fight on the street, I beat someone up , stupid thing, but everybody makes mistakes . I was in for one year and when I came out, Mike gave me another chance. I told him this is what I want to do, I want to train and fight. Two months later I fought against Masaaki and I won and since then I kept rolling.
LK: How do you remain motivated and focused in your sport?
MG: Sometimes it’s difficult to stay motivated, You sometimes don’t have a fight for at least six months but you have to keep training every day because you never know when an opportunity comes. You just have to keep believing. If this is what you want then you just have to follow your dream.
LK: How challenging do you find the discipline required for this lifestyle? It limits your socialization, diet, nearly every aspect of your life.
MG: Well, eating, it’s not so easy. In the last two years my weight went up. Before I ate everything, like an hour before class I’d eat a whole bucket of ice cream and stuff but I can’t do it anymore. Now if I eat fast food one time I have to train three times harder than before. Right now I feel good, when I eat good, I feel good and it pays off.
Glunder states his best/favorite fight was his first one, “It turned on a switch in my head, like I can do this. It’s the one that started it all.” He cites his least favorite performance was a fight with Kaew Fairtex. “It was a controversial decision and I was down for a few months because of that.”
On managing the losses Glunder stated, “ it’s hard in the beginning, you get emotional, but other chances keep coming and you just have to train harder and try to knock out your opponent the next time, that’s all you can do. You can sit and complain about controversial decisions, but it’s about that day and that’s what people remember, that you didn’t win that day.”
While combat sports has served as a refuge for some from a troubled life, this was not the case for Glunder. “I was training since I was 10 years old, I had everything and I just fucked it up one day, made a stupid choice and I had to pay for it”
Glunder doesn’t really keep track of his career record, he stated, “ Professionally? I really don’t count, I judge myself by my last fight always. I don’t keep track of records”
LK: By your last fight, what can the fans expect at Glory 42?
MG: That I just come to fight, it doesn’t matter if I’m prepared or not, I just come to fight, throw bombs.
LK: You’re in a difficult situation in this event you are fighting in a tournament with one of your teammates. How does this play out?
MG: Chris Baya is like a brother to me, but we told each other if we both reach the finals we’ll just fight and if I have to lose that day I would rather it be him than somebody else.
LK: And if you see the chance to knock him out?
MG: I will, that’s how it’s supposed to be. It’s a sport and it’s inside the ring and outside the ring it’s completely different.
Gunder has no ideal opponent with whom he’d like to match up with, he simply stated that he would like to fight the best guys who are the best at this moment so he can see where his level is. “Everybody in the category of 65kg-67kg can come and try.”, he stated.
LK: At 22 years of age, it’s probably difficult to think about plans beyond your time in the ring, but do you have any idea of how long you see yourself fighting and/or what you’d like to do after?
MG: I don’t know actually, as long as I like it. If in one year I don’t want to do it anymore then I’ll stop. As far as the future, nothing right now, I live day by day, if I live happy, that’s important for me.
To his fans, Massaro’s message is “Just keep following me, you never know with me. I fight everywhere and in any weight class. It’s a new chapter for me since Glory asked me to fight. For me it’s different now, I have something to look forward to, something to aim for now.”
If you’d like to keep track of Massaro Glunder you can check out his social media, check him out on Instagram, Facebook and/or Snapchat @massaroglunder.