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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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Ladies Fight Night 7: “Double Trouble” Preview

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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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The Wake-Up Report-UFC 218

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The Wake-Up Report is a way for you to get all the important info about the fights the night before. After letting it all sink in and letting all the carnage seep deep into your soul, we get to go back and take a second look at all the madness of the night. Last night the UFC pulled off one of the best PPV cards a true fight fan could imagine. Waking up after a night of fights like we had last night is like waking up from a dream that was also a bit scary. There was two ‘Fight of the Night’ in UFC president Dana White’s eyes but in the eyes of the millions of fans watching all over the world, there could have been so many more.

UFC 218 kicked off at 6:15 ET with the UFC Fight Pass Prelims, by 6:20 we already had the first knockout of the night. Justin Willis welcomed ‘Dana White Tuesday Night Contender Series’ fighter, Allen Crowder to the UFC with a massive left hand to the chin.

Official Result: Willis def. Crowder by KO in round 1

The prelims continued with a submission win for Dominick Reyes over Jeremy Kimball.

Official Result: Reyes def. Kimball by Submission in round 1

Proceeding that fight was a strange one between Abdul Razak Alhassan and Sabah Homasi. An early stoppage by veteran UFC ref Herb Dean led to the KO win by Homasi. Immediately, the stoppage was contested by Alhassan. Dana White agreed that the fight was ended too soon and announced in the post-fight media scrum that this fight will be run back on the UFC 219 card on December 30th.

Official Result: Homasi def. Alhassan by KO in round 1

The early prelims ended with a great win by Amanda Bobby Cooper over Angela Magana.

Official Result: Cooper def. Magana by TKO in round 2

We followed that strawweight fight up with another strawweight battle when Felice Herrig squeaked out the split decision victory over Courtney Casey.

Official Result: Herrig def. Casey by Split Decision 

David Teymur was on the winning side of a unanimous decision over his opponent Drakkar Klose. Teymur has now won four in a row since coming to the UFC and should be setting himself up for a ranked opponent in his next time out.

Official Result: Teymur def. Klose by Unanimous Decision

Right smack in the middle of this massive fight card was one fight that you can tell your grandkids about one day. Alex “Cowboy” Oliveira vs. Yancy Medeiros is the reason we all love MMA. That fight had everything you could want in a fight. Both men gave their all and pushed themselves to the brink in over to get the win. On this cold December night in Detriot, MI, Yancy Medeiros was the better man and he was able to stop Oliveira in the third round by TKO. Earning themselves a well deserved ‘Fight of the Night’ bonus, these two fighters have put the rest of the welterweight division on notice.

Official Result: Medeiros def. Oliveira by TKO in round 3

The next fight featured another Oliveira, Charles Oliveira. He took on ‘The Irish Dragon’ Paul Felder. Felder put on a dominant performance and took out Oliveira in the second round with a big TKO victory.

Official Result: Felder def. Oliveira by TKO in round 2

As if the FS1 free prelims didn’t already satisfy your fight needs for the night we happily moved right along to the PPV portion of the evening. The main card kicked off in the strawweight division with a pair of title contenders looking to be the first title defense for the newly crowned champ Rose Namajumas.  Both women started off strong, but it was Tecia Torres who shortly emerged as the stronger physical fighter. She was able to get Michelle Waterson up against the cage several times and eventually worked out the unanimous decision victory and perhaps a third date with Namajunas.

Official Result: Torres def. Waterson by Unanimous Decision

Following the strawweights were the coaches of this season of The Ultimate Fighter, Eddie Alvarez, and Justin Gaethje. This fight was one of the focal points for fans in the weeks leading up to the fight. These two men had a great deal of respect for one another and showed that inside the octagon as well. A back and forth of heavy hands and vicious leg kicks ended in the TKO victory for Alvarez and he handed Gaethje the first loss of his career. This fight also earned a ‘Fight of the Night’ bonus from the bossman, Dana White.

Official Result: Alvarez def. Gaethje by TKO in round 3

Next came a bout in the flyweight division. Perhaps not as exciting as the rest of the card, but, former gold medal wrestler Henry Cejudo did what he had to do to get the nod over young talent Sergio Pettis.

Official Result: Cejudo def. Pettis by Unanimous Decision

From some of the smallest guys on the roster to the monsters of the heavyweight division, in walked rising star Francis Ngannou and Alistair Overeem. We all knew coming into this fight that we would see carnage, but nothing prepared us of the ginormous KO that was about to ensue. Francis Ngannou was able to squash Overeems plan of wrapping him up in the clinch and immediately put his massive left fist right to Overeem’s chin. The world record holder for punching power used all of his might and unleashed on his opponent. With this win, Ngannou has solidified his title shot against champion Stipe Miocic. Dana White has plans for that bout in the first quarter of 2018.

Official Result: Ngannou def. Overeem by KO in round 1

As if things couldn’t get better than that, we still had a main event featuring one of the greatest fighters to ever grace the UFC octagon. Jose Aldo was looking to regain his title, and for a good portion of the first round it looked like that would be the case. Max Holloway saw it another way. Holloway absorbed all the shots from Aldo and imposed his strength on the exhausted Aldo. The fight, that went on in very similar fashion from the first meeting between these two fighters, ended in the third round when the ref stepped in and called the fight.

Official Result: Holloway def. Aldo by TKO in round 3

Max Holloway has secured a place in the history books as one of the greatest to fight in the UFC at 145 pounds. It would seem that Frankie Edgar will get the next shot at the champ. As for Aldo, only time will tell where the former champ goes from here. Perhaps there will be a change of weight classes as he looks for another shot at the man who robbed him of his title initially, Conor McGregor.

The fight fans of Detroit, MI received an early holiday present in the form of violence and mayhem. UFC 218 was a successful fight card and one for the record books. Like true fans of fighting we take a brief moment to reflect before quickly turning our attention to next week where we begin the madness all over again. The nest card will take place in Fresco, CA on December 8th. That card will be headlined by Cub Swanson vs. Brian Ortega.

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2017 IMMAF World Championships set to be streamed live on IOS and Android app

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This years IMMAF World Championships in Bahrain is only 4 days away now and competitors from around the world are preparing themselves for what will be an extraordinary event and opportunity to make themselves known. The prestigious event is being hosted by the BMMAF under the patronage of His Highness Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa.

For fans around the world good news came today as they will be able to watch their favourite amateur athlete take to the cage in the Khalifa Sports City Arena via an app. The BahrainTV app will be streaming all of the fights live for fans to watch at home or even on the go on their phone. You can also keep up to date via MyNextMatch.com for all relevant info for the event.

The links for the BahrainTV app are as follows:

Android: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=bh.iaa.bahraintv&hl=en

IOS: https://itunes.apple.com/ie/app/bahrain-tv/id992105518?mt=8

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