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Taking His Title, An Interview with Glory Middleweight Title Contender Simon Marcus

AJ Camacho

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Live on Spike TV, May 8th, Glory 21 will feature a much-anticipated rematch against current Middleweight Champion, Artem Levin and Glory 20 middleweight contender tournament winner, Simon Marcus. What makes this match so compelling though is that this is the second time that both fighters have faced each other. Their previous match occurred over two years ago under Muay Thai rules at Lion Fight 9, with Marcus winning decisively by unanimous decision.

Since that time, much of the talent has made an exodus to the popular Glory kickboxing promotion where Artem Levin has flourished, winning his last four fights by unanimous decision and earning himself the Middleweight title. Meanwhile, Simon Marcus debuted in Glory in what would be one of the best fights in the promotion’s history, losing by KO to Joe Schilling at Glory 17. With that shaky start behind him, Marcus has dialed in his game for the new Glory rule set and is currently riding a two-fight win streak to face an opponent that he’s already beaten before.

I contacted Simon to see how his adjustment from Muay Thai to Glory has gone and to discuss the state of his left over rivalries in kickboxing. Below is the transcript as well as an embedded link to the audio from the full interview.

The transcript below is edited for brevity and clarity and may differ slightly from the recorded interview.

I want to thank you for taking the time to talk with me. I appreciate it.

No problem man, it’s a pleasure of mine.

So, on May 8th you’ll be challenging Artem Levin in San Diego for the Glory Middleweight Championship. This is going to be your second match against the Russian. The last time you and Artem met you defeated him via unanimous decision.

The main question I want to ask is, as a challenger, where is your head at going into this fight knowing that you’ve literally already beaten him before?

My head is focused, man. Ha ha, my head is focused right now. He did his thing on the Last Man Standing [Tournament] to win his title. So, that was his work, that was good for him, but I’ve had my eye set on the title since [our last match] and even before that day. So it’s my chance to get it now.

Regardless, I beat him before. I know I can beat him again. People question my ability to do well under kickboxing rules, but that just makes it more fun for me. I get to show everybody what kind of fighter I am and what I bring to the table. And I think a lot of people will be really excited to see the kind of fight, and kind of style we’re going to put together on May 8th. I’m ready to bring the title back to Canada.

Your last fight was against Jason Wilnes. You just had that fight last month. How’s your recovery been from that fight?

Simon Marcus defeating Jason Wilnis at Glory 20. Photo courtesy of Glory.

Simon Marcus defeating Jason Wilnis at Glory 20. Photo courtesy of Glory.

Recovery so far has been great. I had a couple bangs and bruises, but I got a great team back in Toronto. A chiropractor, a physiotherapist, and a massage therapist that has been just working me every day. Everything is coming together perfectly and I expect to be in 100% condition by May 8th.

Have you had fights this close together before?

Oh yeah brother, haha. I come from a background where I basically fought as much as I could, anytime I could, just to get experience and to get better and get that recognition. I’ve fought as much as seven times in ten days before –

Geez –

I’ve fought in tournaments… where I’m fight four fights in five days or twice in a night. I’m used to fighting a lot and I feel it’s something that… especially as a Thai boxer or kickboxer, you have to embrace fighting a lot to get the opportunities that are available to you. So it’s no problem to me.

And speaking of the difference in the rule sets, Glory versus Muay Thai, do you think the new rule set favors you in this match up?

Now that I’ve adapted [to the Glory rules] and become more comfortable using [my power] I think I’m going to be a more dangerous fighter…

I do because… I’m used to fighting a lot of boxers, boxing oriented fighters. At my weight, there’s not many Thai boxers, or there’s not many good [thai] clinchers, there’s very few. Most fighters that I come across they’re boxers, so in the past naturally I would use my clinch because that’s a strength of mine and a strength of Muay Thai that most people can’t really deal with. So it’s just been a natural thing but now that I had to make the adjustment to use more boxing, and more punching, and kicking from the outside I think it actually plays into my strengths, which is my power.

Now that I’ve adapted [to the Glory rules] and become more comfortable using [my power] I think I’m going to be a more dangerous fighter as appose to the opposite. It just took me a couple fights and a couple mistakes to realize exactly what I needed to do and work on to make that happen.

Yeah, I’m looking forward to it… in your last match up with Artem, it seemed like he was the one that was using the clinch to break your combinations. He was constantly trying to throw you through the ropes –

Exactly. Well, he felt that I had power and he really didn’t want to trade so we ended up in the clinch a lot and the ref was letting it go, so I was just working in the clinch. But on May 8th, we won’t be clinching so much. It’ll be a little more exciting and everyone will get to see what I have to bring to the table.

You talk about adjustments you’ve made getting acclimated to the Glory rule set. Specifically, what are those personal adjustments you’ve made?

It’s more a mind set and getting my head more into fighting from a distance than fighting close. I’m very used to hitting someone with a combo and then grabbing them right away. Or looking for the elbows or working the knees but now that the clinch is very limited, [depending on] the referees in Glory.

It’s just getting used to not going inside as much… staying outside and doing more damage from afar than from close range. That’s pretty much the main adjustment I had to make.

Do you change your combinations? Do you extend them longer now knowing that it’s less likely you’re going to get grabbed?

I’ve worked on a few things but that’s not something I’ve necessarily concentrated on. It’s just more of a natural thing that will happen with not going inside. You will hit a little bit farther, a little bit longer to setup your kicks and your punches as appose to going inside to step in. So, it’s not necessarily something I change but it just naturally comes out that way.

In the last few fights that you had, I’ve heard you mention that you’ve been approaching your matches more strategically. Can you explain what you mean by that compared to how you used to fight, or how you used to approach your matches?

Basically, I’m a power fighter. I hit hard. I like to fight, I like to mix it up, and… I don’t necessarily have a game plan or a strategy but just recently, with going into Glory, with a couple of losses, I just felt I had to be a little more precise, and a little bit more clear on exactly what I was expecting and how I was gonna adapt to what was happening in the ring.

I’m just basically trying to use more technique and a little less power all the time, to set up my fight. And not rush, use my brain a little bit more, think a little bit more… which I’ve done a lot in the past. But again going into the Glory rules setting with a lot of punching… I tend to want to fight and I tend to want to go for the knock out and hit hard. It’s just [about] taking a little bit more time to think, set up, be a little calmer in the ring, and use more technique. Hitting what’s open and not just kind of rushing it. That’s pretty much it.

[Artem] won the last four fights by decision but none of them have been against me…

Artem has won his last four bouts by decision. Are you concerned with going the distance with him? Do you want to finish it early, because he seems like he has the game strategy of point fighting [nailed] down?

He’s won the last four fights by decision but none of them have been against me, man. I think when we fight, regardless… I will go for the knockout because that’s just how I fight. I always try to get the knockout if possible, but at the same time… I believe I can beat him decisively by points as well.

When I step into the ring on May 8th, it’s going to be a different story. It’s not going to look like he’s [picking me] apart and scoring points. It’s going to be a fight. I believe fullheartedly I’ll win that fight and everybody will see it, including the judges. So I’m comfortable either way it goes but of course any fighter would rather not leave it in the judges hands.

MMA isn’t really what I love to do. I love to standup and fight. So at this time I’m 100% focused on Glory, Muay Thai, and kickboxing.

Now, Artem is obviously one of your rivals and then you have another rival with Joe Schilling, who’s left to MMA. Have you thought about possibly crossing over to get a chance to finish that rivalry?

At this time in particular, I can’t say I haven’t thought about it… but it’s not really my sport. MMA isn’t really what I love to do. I love to standup and fight. So at this time I’m 100% focused on Glory, Muay Thai, and kickboxing. But who knows what the future holds? If certain opportunities open themselves or if in the future I feel like I want to make a change, or my heart tells me to do that then I’ll go with it. But at this time it’s not going to be something that I consider as a realistic option.

If Schilling were to come back to kickboxing, is that a match you would be looking for?

Absolutely.

You’re 2 to 1 on that rivalry with him.

I feel that the fight with Schilling was a great fight. You know, a lot of people call it the best fight in Glory history and it took fight of the year. It was a great show and it only makes sense for us to fight again. I came up on the short end but I felt like the fight was really, really, really close right until the last – punch, where we even exchanged as I went down.

I mean, I take nothing away from Joe, he put on a great performance that night and fought his heart out, and so did I, but I’d love to make it even on the Glory playing field.

Looking beyond the championship, do you see any other great match ups you’d like to have?

No one in particular that I would. In Glory right now I believe they got pretty much most of the best fighters our weight class in the world. Any fight would be a great match up for me. I put on an exciting style regardless of who I fight. Whoever tends to be the number one contender can get a shot at me after I win the title. It really doesn’t matter for me, personally.

Is there anything else you want to add before we wrap up? Any shout outs or anybody you want to thank?

Yeah, I want to thank my sponsors, In Fight Style. People can look out for my clothing brand coming out soon. It’s called Original Bad Bwoy Gear. It’s going to be some big stuff coming, t-shirts, shorts, and apparel. Also, you can follow me on twitter @SimonMarcusNo1. Thank you everybone who supports me and [for] everyone to look forward to May 8th, Glory. It’s going to be a fight you won’t forget and you can look forward to seeing me as the new Glory Champ. I’m going to hold it down, thank you.

Simon Marcus winning the Middleweight Contender Tournament, Final. Photo courtesy of Glory.

Simon Marcus winning the Middleweight Contender Tournament, Final. Photo courtesy of Glory.

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Bellator

Bellator 194, Nelson vs. Mitrione Pre-Fight Notes

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Bellator takes over the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut later tonight. The promotion hosts, Bellator 194: Nelson vs. Mitrione from the venue, beginning at 6:30 pm (ET). Bellator 194 marks the 17th trip to the Mohegan Sun Casino. Their last trip, took place a little more than a few months ago in October of 2017, Bellator 185. The first trip to the Connecticut casino, occurred all the way back in April of 2009, and the second ever event held by the promotion, Bellator 2.

Twenty four fighters will make the walk later tonight, giving fans 12 bouts to watch from prelims to main event. Of the 24 athletes set to compete, five make their professional debuts. Peter Nascimento, Mike Kimbel, Pat Casey, Ross Richardson, and Ronnie Leon all fight for the first time, professionally. As amateurs, the group holds a combined record of 18-12. Only Ross Richardson maintained an undefeated amateur record (3-0).

In recent cards past, only some full broadcasts brought forward newly professional fighters. Events such as Bellator 191, 190, and 187, only broadcast short main card. While events like 193, 192, 189, 188, and 186 broadcast full fight cards. Since November of 2017, 15 fighters made their pro debuts with the Bellator promotion. Including Khonry Gracie in his unanimous decision loss to Devon Brock (Bellator 192), and Ty-wan Claxton, in his amazing KO finish of Johnny Bonilla-Bowman in the first round of Bellator 186. Claxton makes his second pro appearance tonight at Bellator 194 against Jose Antonio Perez, whom also fights for the second time professionally.

Upon completion of Bellator 194’s broadcast, 50% of the promotions first round matches in their Heavyweight Grand Prix will be decided. It is nearly impossible to choose, one match-up more interesting than the others. Yet, the Mitrione vs. Nelson match up is not only puzzling to fans and media alike. One half of the main event, at least, was once annoyed by the prospect of fighting his former TUF cast mate. Mitrione spoke to MMAJunkie about his reaction to the match-up, “Well, I asked them, how does that make sense? Roy is arguably the #2 guy in the division… Explain that to me, is there any seeding?…” He continued, “But the more I thought about, the less I really cared. Either I beat Roy when I have the strap, or I beat Roy to get the strap. What the hell difference does it make?”

In one bit of event news, fan favorite flyweight, Heather Hardy missed weight, in what turned out to be an odd set of circumstances. According to Hardy, she believed she made weight, without stripping down and using the towel. It was her understanding that the Mohegan Tribe Department of Athletic Regulation gave her a weight allowance for the bikini top and bottom she wore while on the scale. Hardy weighed in at 126.25 lbs. with the aforementioned bikini top and bottom.

This understanding was not shared by president of Mohegan Tribe Department of Athletic Regulation, Mike Mazzulli. The president made the decision to record Hardy’s weight without allowing her to disrobe, or take use the extra two hours allotted to make weight. It was his understanding upon examining and attempting to communicate with Hardy whilst she stood on the scale that brought him to the decision. After renegotiation of the bout agreement, Hardy was fined 20% of her purse which goes to her opponent Ana Julaton.

 

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Bellator

Bellator 194 Weigh Ins Live Video

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Bellator 194 takes place Friday, February 16th at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut. The stacked main card features the second bout in the Bellator Heavyweight Grand Prix matching Roy Nelson against Matt Mitrione. Both former members of the UFC roster, Mitrione and Nelson look to make a further impact in the Bellator Heavyweight division with a potential step towards the divisions championship crown. In the co-main event, MMA veteran Patricky Pitbull takes Derek Campos. The two will most likely battle for the next shot at the promotions Lightweight title, following the Brent Primus (c) vs. Michael Chandler rematch. Other notable bouts on the card include Liam McGeary vs. Vadim Nemkov, Heather Hardy vs. Ana Julaton, and Tywon Claxton against Jose Antonio Perez. Bellator 194 airs live on the Paramount network, main card beginning at 9 pm.

The official weigh-ins took place earlier today, the results are listed below.

Main Card (9 PM ET, Paramount Network)

Roy Nelson (23-14) vs. Matt Mitrione (12-5) Heavyweight bout.

RN: 265 lb.

MM: 255 lb.

Patricky Freire (18-8) vs. Derek Campos (19-6) Lightweight bout.

PF: 155 lb.

DC: 154 lb.

Heather Hardy (1-1) vs. Ana Julaton (2-3) Women’s Flyweight bout.

HH: 126.25 lb*

AJ: 125 lb.

Liam McGeary (12-2) vs. Vadim Nemkov (8-2) Light Heavyweight bout.

LM: 203.75 lb.

VN: 205 lb.

Tywan Claxton (1-0) vs. Jose Antonio Perez (0-1) Featherweight bout.

TW: 145 lb.

JS: 142.25 lb.

Preliminary Card (7 PM ET)

Ross Richardson (3-0, Amateur) vs. Ronie Arana Leon (2-5, Amateur) Lightweight bout.

RS: 155.5 lb.

RL: 156 lb.

Mike Kimbel (4-4, Amateur) vs. Geoffrey Then (0-1) Bantamweight bout. 

MK: 135.75 lb.

GT: 135 lb.

Regivaldo Carlvalho (4-2) vs. Thomas English (6-8) Featherweight bout.

RC: 145 lb.

TE: 146 lb.

Jarod Trice (2-0) vs. Walter Howard (3-4) Light Heavyweight bout.

JT: 205.5 lb.

WH: 203 lb.

Marcus Surin (4-1) vs. Dean Hancock (3-1) Lightweight bout.

MS: 156 lb.

DH: 155.25 lb.

Peter Nascimento (2-1, Amateur) vs. Kastriot Xhema (1-1) Catchweight (165 lb.) bout.

PN: 163.5 lb.

KX 164.5 lb.

Tyler Hamilton (1-0) vs. Pat Casey (7-2, Amateur) Lightweight bout.

TH: 154 lb.

PC: 155.5 lb.

*Heather Hardy missed weight by ¼ of a pound and subsequently fined 20% of her purse. The fine will go to her opponent Ana Julaton.

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UFC 221 Rockhold vs. Romero Live Results

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UFC 221 marks the first event hosted by the promotion in Western Australia. UFC 221 takes place in Perth, Australia at the Perth Arena. The co-main event features Australian star, Mark Hunt against Curtis Blaydes. In the main event, Luke Rockhold looks to earn the Middleweight interim title when he takes on Yoel Romero. Romero is not eligible to earn the interim Middleweight title due to the fact that the Cuban missed weight. Yoel Romero replaced the original headliner of the card, Robert Whittaker. Whittaker, current Middleweight champion, withdrew from the event due to a serious case of mistreated staph infection.

FIGHT NIGHT BONUSES:

Fight of the night: Li Jianliang vs. Jake Matthews

Performance of the night: Jussier Formiga, Israel Adesanya

MAIN CARD – PPV – 10PM/7PM ETPT

  • Yoel Romero (12-2) vs. Luke Rockhold (13-3) – Catchweight (187.7) bout
    • Result: Yoel Romero def. Luke Rockhold via KO (punch) 1:48 round 3
  • Mark Hunt (13-11, 1 NC) vs. Curtis Blaydes (8-1, 1 NC) – Heavyweight bout
    • Result: Curtis Blaydes def. Mark Hunt via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 29-27)
  • Tai Tuivasa (8-0) vs. Cyril Asker (9-3) – Heavyweight bout
    • Result: Tai Tuivasa def. Cyril Asker via TKO (punches and elbows) 2:18 round 1
  • Jake Matthews (12-3) vs. Li Jianliang (14-4) – Welterweight bout
    • Result: Jake Matthews def. Li Jianliang via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-26, 30-26)
  • Tyson Pedro (6-1) vs Saparbek Safarov (8-1) – Light Heavyweight bout
    • Result: Tyson Pedro def. Saparbek Safarov via submission (kimura) 3:54 round 1

PRELIMINARY CARD – FS1 – 8PM/5PM ETPT

  • Damien Brown (17-11) vs. Dong Hyun Kim (15-8-3) – Lightweight bout
    • Result: Dong Hyun Kim def. Damien Brown via split decision (29-28, 29-28 Kim, 29-28 Brown)
  • Rob Wilkinson (11-1) vs. Israel Adesanya (11-0) – Welterweight bout
    • Result: Israel Adesanya def. Rob Wilkinson via TKO (punches) 3:37 round 2
  • Jeremy Kennedy (11-0) vs Alexander Volkovski (16-1) – Featherweight bout
    • Result: Alexander Volkovski def. Jeremy Kennedy via TKO (punches) 4:57 round 2
  • Jussier Formiga (20-5) vs Ben Nguyen (17-6) – Flyweight bout
    • Result: Jussier Formiga def. Ben Nguyen via technical submission (RNC) 1:43 round 3

EARLY PRELIMINARY CARD – UFC FIGHT PASS – 6:30PM/3:30PM ETPT

  • Ross Pearson (21-12, 1 NC) vs. Mizuto Hirota (19-8-2) – Lightweight bout
    • Result: Ross Pearson def. Mizuto Hirota via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
  • Teruto Ishihara (10-4) vs. José Alberto Quiñónez (7-2) – Bantamweight bout
    • Result: José Alberto Quiñónez def. Teruto Ishihara via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
  • Luke Jumeau (12-4) vs. Daichi Abe (6-0) – Welterweight bout
    • Result: Luke Jumeau def. Daichi Abe via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-27, 28-27)
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