We often talk about MMA fighters needing to master many different sports. While the interplay of styles in the cage is fascinating and a big part of the appeal of MMA, there’s always something to be learned from looking at the masters in their own sports. The cutting edge of kickboxing, muay thai, boxing, wrestling, judo, jiu jitsu/submission grappling… is changing every day. Each week, I’ll be talking about a big non-MMA combat sport event happening that week or maybe doing a little talent-scouting for future MMA stars.
This week: Glory 19 Virginia
This Friday, February 6th, Glory Kickboxing promotions will be hosting their first event of 2015 live on Spike TV at 17:00 EST. Glory has been flying under the radar a little and their first foray into PPV shows was not a wild success in terms of numbers but, for fans of striking, it really is a must-watch.
Bouts take place under kickboxing rules and so do not allow elbows. The clinch is also limited to a couple of seconds in which attacks must be thrown immediately. A lot of Muay Thai purists (quite fairly) disagree with this but there’s no denying it makes for fast-paced, action-packed fights.
Glory has managed to amass an excellent roster of striking talent and the infrequency of their shows means that every card is packed top-to-bottom with kickboxing quality.
Joe Schilling, Glory tournament finalist, friend of Nick Diaz and now Bellator MMA fighter, will be facing off against Robert “White Dragon” Thomas, in another sure-fire crowd pleaser. His s greater experience should carry him through against the upstart Thomas but Schilling’s aggressive style often leaves him in harm’s way.
Andy Ristie, Glory title challenger and vanquisher of the once untouchable Giorgio Petrosyan is scheduled to meet Steve Moxon. Moxon is about 6 inches shorter than Ristie and will need to work hard to avoid Ristie’s beautiful counter knees and long left hooks in order to avoid becoming a stepping stone on Ristie’s path back to a shot at lightweight champ Davit Kiria.
Also featured will be Heavyweight Champion Rico Verhoeven faces off against former champ Errol Zimmerman against whom he is 1 and 1. Verhoeven is young and athletic with a diverse and intelligent striking arsenal. His inside leg kicks to disrupt his opponents combinations are particularly nice but, unusually for a heavyweight, he is a little short of knockout power. Zimmerman, by contrast, is definitely packing one-hitter-quitters, having notched 11 knockouts in his past 12 wins. Both have blemished records in Glory and, in any case, feel a little like placeholders anticipating the return of Tyrone Spong from his Anderson Silva-esque leg-break. Let’s hope his return, when it comes, is less mired in controversy than that of the Spider. Verhoeven and Zimmerman are certainly elite heavyweights and virtually guarantee an exciting fight. Look out for the 108kg Zimmerman to throw his flying knee!
The highlight of Glory 19 will be the welterweight tournament. Four top welterweights will compete for $100,000 and a shot at champion Bazooka Joe Valtellini.
The favourite in this tournament is undoubtedly Nieky Holzken: A Ramon Dekkers protege and veteran of 88 fights. His level of experience and beautiful boxing game, complemented, of course, by vicious chopping Dutch leg kicks carried him through the last welterweight tournament which included a 3rd round knockout of current champ Valtellini in an excellent fight. Holzken really showed his ability to stay calm under fire to pick up the knockout.
Sidelined by injuries sustained in a car-crash, Holzken was forced to watch as his defeated rival claimed the title in a close 5 round decision to Marc De Bonte. Now, the uncrowned king of kickboxing welterweights will have to fight his way through the tournament again.
In his way will be Alexander Stetsurenko who is 4 – 3 since 2013. Stetsurenko is no can but the veteran is certainly past his best and Holzken will look to get past him while staying fresh for the final.
On the opposite side of the bracket, Raymond Daniels will face relative unknown Jonatan Oliviera (2-0 in Glory). Daniels has become known for his flashy Kenpo style and his “knockout of the century” at Glory 16.
The brackets are obviously designed to see Daniels and Holzken in the final. They share a common opponent in Valtellini who destroyed Daniels’ lead leg with low kicks before going upstairs and finishing him with a headkick. Daniels had better have addressed the vulnerability to low kicks that Bazooka Joe exploited or Holzken will send him packing.
All in all, Glory 19 is set to be a really great night of fights with some of the most talented combat sports athletes in the world showcasing their skills. Ignore the terrible Mike Tyson promos but don’t miss it!
*WATCH* DaveNoseMMA – Aljamain Sterling Knockout Aftermath
Stipe Miocic vs. Francis Ngannou Official for UFC 220
UFC 220 in Boston, Massachusetts has its main event. Stipe Miocic (17-2) will put his belt on the line for the third time against rising heavyweight star, Francis Ngannou (11-1)
Rumors surrounded the match-up for UFC 220 after Ngannou’s first round knockout over Alistair Overeem, at UFC 218. The Cameroonian heavyweight called for the fight himself. In his octagon interview proceeding his most recent victory, Ngannou stated:
“I’m feeling good… I’m on my way to a title shot”.
— UFC (@ufc) December 10, 2017
The heavy handed Ngannou has finished all of his opponents in all of his six UFC bouts. A streak which includes a kimura submission over Anthony Hamilton and a TKO victory against former UFC heavyweight champion, Andrei Arlovski. Overall, he holds a ten fight win streak. His only defeat came by way of unanimous decision to Zoumana Cisse, in his second professional MMA fight.
If victorious, Ngannou would become the first African-born champion in UFC history.
Not to be diminished, Stipe Miocic rides his a streak of his own into the beantown match-up. Five consecutive wins, five knockouts and the past four of which, ended in the first round. A victory in Boston for the champ would make him the longest reigning heavyweight champion in UFC history. Currently, Miocic is one of three heavyweights, in the promotions entirety, whom has successfully defended the belt twice.
UFC 220 will be held at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts on January 20th, 2018. The pay-per-view (PPV) card will also feature light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier, as he faces challenger Volkan “No Time” Oezdemir.
Ladies Fight Night 7: “Double Trouble” Preview
Polish women’s federation Ladies Fight Night is going to celebrate their second birthday this year on the 15th to 17th of December. Two days, two events with a lot of great bouts.
LFN in Poland is being titled the new Invicta FC. The Polish owners created this federation to give European women a chance to fight on a big platform.
Hosting their first ever event in December 2015, LFN will hold two great cards next week, that will feature women who have fought under many prestigious promotions, such as the UFC, Invicta, Bellator, Glory, and Kunlun.
Two days of fantastic fights, intensified by a double dose of sports impressions. The name is not accidental, LFN 7 / LFN 8 combines two events, during which the best Polish fighters will be shown, as well as the best fighters from Europe (including France, Sweden, Italy, the Czech Republic and Romania)
The stakes are high, and we are electrified by the clashes between warriors such as Żaneta Cieśla vs Silvia La Notte and Patricia Axling vs. Cindy Silvestri. Mainly due to their vastness of their experience in the cage.
In the fight of the evening, the talented Romanian Cristina Stanciu will face Magdaléna Šormovádo. Stanciu fought twice in the UFC, but she was unfortunately cut from the promotion after suffering consecutive losses to Cortney Casey and Maryna Moroz.
Judyta Rymarzak vs Marta Waliczek is an amazing fight between two experienced kickboxers. Both making their pro MMA debuts on the night, we will witness a one-of-a-kind duel between two kickboxing perfectionists, as they look to transcend their skills into the MMA world.
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