The UK has always been considered one of the hot bed markets for stand up fighting, which makes GLORY’s absence felt all-the-more by the residents of the area that have been hungry for combat sports. The UK has a thriving MMA, muay thai and kickboxing scene and after a five year absence GLORY will once again run the UK on Saturday, June 2nd with GLORY 54.
The card that they have lined up thus far is a doozy, as well, with Rico Verhoeven facing off with Mladen Brestovac in a rematch from 2016 that saw Brestovac challenger Verhoeven for the heavyweight title and take the champion the full five rounds. Now he’ll have a chance at Verhoeven yet again, but the x-factor here is that it’s a three-round non-title fight, meaning a win over the crowned king of kickboxing would not help him to acquire the championship. By the looks of it, GLORY will be following the same formula that they did last year where Verhoeven remained active throughout the year in non-title matches but would defend it at their big December event. It’s safe to say that Badr Hari vs. Rico Verhoeven II is the plan for this year, but with the title on the line.
What’s most fascinating is that Harut Grigorian will be defending the Welterweight Championship against a very game contender in Alim Nabiyev. Nabiyev has proven his mettle outside of GLORY and since joining the promotion has taken things by storm, easily proving himself to be one of the best at welterweight. Elvis Gashi is featured here against William Goldie-Galloway and Adrian Maxim fights Chenglong Zhang as well.
UK-based fighter Bailey Sugden will fight Anvar Boynazarov in perhaps the dark horse fight of the night on paper, with both men having some wars within the GLORY ring in their respective tenure.
GLORY 54 Birmingham
Heavyweight Headline Bout: Rico Verhoeven vs. Mladen Brestovac
Welterweight Title Co-Headline Bout: Harut Grigorian vs. Alim Nabiyev
Lightweight Bout: Elvis Gashi vs. William Goldie-Galloway
Featherweight Bout: Bailey Sugden vs. Anvar Boynazarov
Featherweight Bout: Adrian Maxim vs. Chenglong Zhang