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Glory 19: Guts, Glory and Beautiful Kickboxing

Lewis McLellan

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After I wrote an article hyping up last night’s Glory kickboxing event, I was worried I’d look like an idiot if the event was a snoozer. Fortunately, my hype was justified. In 11 fights, there was barely a dull moment. It’s rare to see such wall-to-wall talent right down to the undercard but that’s exactly what Glory delivered.

First, the lowlights.

A “Navy vs. Air Force” match served to illustrate the big skill difference between amateur and professional. Still, at least they gave us a knockout with Cedric Smith battering a game but out-classed James Hurley with heavy punches, kicks and knees for a second round TKO and a completely meaningless but very pretty belt.

In the main event, Errol Zimmerman came out swinging hard punches and his surprisingly crisp kicks against heavyweight champ Rico Verhoeven. Rico showed a side of him we haven’t seen: power and wild aggression. Rocking Zimmerman badly with counters then getting rocked himself as he blasted away throwing caution to the winds. Zimmerman looked hurt and tired but still very much game to fight in the second round until he blew out his knee throwing a spinning back kick. It was a premature end to what was shaping up to be an exciting contest.

Everything else on the card was pretty much striking gold.

Josh Jauncey’s bout with Max Baumert met a similarly unfortunate end. Jauncey’s impeccable head movement and diverse striking arsenal appeared to be too much for a gutsy Baumert until Baumert scored an impressive knockdown with a 3 punch combo right at the end of the second. Jauncey recovered and needed only 34 seconds of the third to land a knee which opened a deeply unpleasant cut above Baumert’s eye which ended the fight.

Francois Ambang and Xavier Vigney both notched beautiful first round knockouts. Ambang landed a beautiful right hand which left his opponent stiff on the canvas and Vigney, showing impressive hand speed for 6’8’’, put his man down with a slick boxing combination in the corner.

Andy Ristie weathered an early storm of overhand rights from his shorter opponent before finding his groove and scoring a brace of knockdowns with knees and body shots before finishing with a running right hand in a clinical one round destruction. Ristie will undoubtedly look for a title fight with his former opponent Davit Kiria or fellow title challenger Robin Van Roosmalen whom Ristie beat in 2013.

Joe Schilling, with his trademark mad dog style, overwhelmed a young Rob Thomas who showed great promise with his kicks and straight punches even as his youthful chin was put to the test.

In the welterweight tournament, Raymond Daniels used a flurry of spinning back kicks, spinning heel kicks, rushing knees and fast punch combinations to TKO a tough Jonatan Oliveira who looked to use Valtellini’s low kick and pressure strategy but fell victim to a spinning back kick in the second.

On the other side of the bracket, Nieky Holzken, shaking off a long injury-based layoff fought to an exciting decision win over Alexander Stetcurenko. Stetcurenko impressed but Holzken’s amazingly tight infighting, body hooks and leg kicks edged him for the win.

Both Holzken and Daniels appeared fresh as they entered their final match. Holzken shook off whatever rust might have been ailing him and began an incredibly high-pressure systematic boxing offence. Daniels backed himself into a corner repeatedly and launched jump knees. His spinning back kicks were largely smothered throughout the first and a crushing liver hook from Holzken sent him to his knees. Holzken continued his beautiful boxing attack mixing in leg kicks and showcasing his excellent defence.

His composure held despite a Daniels’ rally at the start of the second to force Daniels to his knees once with punches and once with a flying knee. Daniels’ approach of staying in the corner was costing him dearly but he did not appear to have a varied enough offence to develop a new strategy.

In the 3rd round, Daniels looked very smug as he sat Nieky down with a spinning back kick. Nieky smiled, got to his feet and motioned for the referee to start the fight again. Marching through a vigorous barrage of kicks like they were nothing, Holzken again forced Daniels to the corner, stuck his head in his chest and launched a couple of body hooks then stiffened Daniels with a flying knee, backed up, picked his moment then closed the show with his trademark hand trap to right hook and claimed his second consecutive welterweight tournament cup.

Glory 19 was a fantastic event and I strongly encourage you to check it out if you get the chance. Ristie and Schilling are as exciting and technical as any fighters in the world and there are plenty of great match ups for them in the future and, of course, I can’t wait for Holzken and Valtellini’s rematch for the belt.

No guts, no glory!

 

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Interviews

Exclusive: Derek Brunson: “Anderson was definitely a little lubed up”

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Derek Brunson fought Anderson Silva back in February of this year, at UFC 208. Brunson would go on to lose the fight by controversial unanimous decision. However, the controversies didn’t stop at the questionable decision, Brunson also claims Silva was greasing during the fight. The Wilmington, North Carolina native, posted about it on Twitter a few days ago:

Speaking with MMA Latest, Brunson explained why he believes Silva was greasing during the fight. “Anderson was definitely a little lubed up. Every time I grabbed him he was just slipping out of everything, and his takedown defense was really good that night. I was definitely curious to know why he was very slippery, which I definitely think he had some kind of substance on his body. He knows I’m a wrestler obviously, he’s an old, savvy veteran, so he was definitely trying to play all the rules and be very strategic, and make it harder for a wrestler to grab him.”

Brunson is set to face Lyoto Machida come October 28, when asked about whether he was worried about Machida greasing, considering Gegard Mousasi accused him of doing so in their fight, Brunson admitted he wasn’t too worried.

Well I’m not too worried, but like I said, I put it out there because I know they’re friends and I know, obviously, that’s kind of what the guys do when they know they’re fighting a wrestler. They want to lube their body up really good to make it hard to grab hold, Anderson did a great job defending my takedowns. It’s because he was all greased up so he was able to stop a lot of them. When I grab guys in the clinch, it’s very tough for them to get away and I’m pretty good with my Greco takedown. He was pretty much pulling through my clinch when I had a tight grip on him and if you have some kind of substance on your body it’s easy to pull them.”

Neither Silva nor his management have commented on the greasing allegations. Anderson Silva makes his return against Kelvin Gastelum later this year, in China. While Brunson makes his return to the Octagon on October 28th, in Brazil, where he looks to add Lyoto Machida’s name to his impressive list of victories.

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Announcement

Ovince Saint Preux Steps in to Face Corey Anderson at UFC 217

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UFC 217 just got even more interesting. Earlier this week, Patrick Cummins pulled out of his light heavyweight matchup with Corey Anderson due to a Staph infection. Corey “Overtime” Anderson was not happy with his opponents decision, even calling out his opponent on Instagram asking how Cummins could, “call it quits so far from fight night”.

The UFC left Anderson on the card, and he found an opponent through the magic of Twitter. Ovince Saint Preux tweeted out directly to Anderson stating:

It didn’t take long for Anderson to respond agreeing to the fight, tagging Mick Maynard and Dana White in his response.

Only a few short hours later, the fight announcement came from the official UFC twitter account.

 

This top 10 Light Heavyweight matchup should add to an already amazing card coming in November at Madison Square Garden. Saint Preux is coming off of back to back wins both due to the very rare von flue choke, he finds himself ranked #7th in the latest edition of the 205-pound rankings. Corey “Overtime” Anderson is 4-2 in his last 6 fights, but is coming off a brutal first round knockout loss to Jimi Manuwa in March.

With such a exciting fight added to this card, what do you see happening November 4th?  Will Corey Anderson bounce back and look to jump into the top 5 of the rankings, or will Ovince Saint Preux go for a third straight von flue choke? Let us know.

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Announcement

*Watch* Bellator 185 Weigh in: Live Stream, Results

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Watch the live weigh-ins for Bellator 185 here.

Gegard Mousasi takes on Alexander Slemenko live this Friday night October 20th at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville CT. This is the first appearance for Mousasi in the Bellator cage as he looks to secure a title shot with a win over the very tough former Bellator champion Slemenko. Joining these men of the main card will be a pair of welterweights as Neiman Gracie from the famous Gracie BJJ family takes on Zak Bucia in the co-main event.

Full Weigh-in Results: (Updated in real time)

Main Card:

Gegard Mousasi (185) vs. Alexander Shlemenko (186)
Neiman Gracie (170.5) vs. Zak Bucia (170)
Heather Hardy (126) vs. Kristina Williams (126)
Ryan Quinn (155.5) vs. Marcus Surin (155)
Ana Julaton (125.5) vs. Lisa Blaine (122)

Preliminary Card:

Jordan Young (200) vs. Alec Hooben (194)
Costello van Steenis (185) vs. Steve Skrzat (186)
Vinicius de Jesus (170) vs. Joaquin Buckley (171)
John Beneduce (154.5) vs. Dean Hancock (155)
Timothy Wheeler (144) vs. Pete Rogers (144)
Don Shainis (150) vs. Matthew Denning (149)
Frank Sforza (149) vs. Vovka Clay (150)
Kevin Carrier (156) vs. Jose Antonio Perez (153)
John Lopez (126) vs. Billy Giovanella (125)

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