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GLORY 38: Antoine Pinto feels he’s ‘on a different level’ to Richard Abraham

Multiple Muay Thai champion, Antoine Pinto will engage with Chicago’s Richard Abraham tomorrow night in the Sears Center at GLORY 38. The match-up will be Pinto’s GLORY Kickboxing debut after having fought for almost a lifetime under Thai rules and the fight itself is the co-main event of the night. Artem Vakhitovs vs. Saulo Cavalari will headline the event which, will be Vakhitov’s first title defence.

So why change over to kickboxing after winning Muay Thai titles for the last 12 years?

“I think my brother and I got to a point where we weren’t really having any challenge in fighting Muay Thai. We’ve been fighting at the top for many many tears now and I pretty much won everything that you can possibly want win against some of the best fighters already. I just felt there’s no more challenges.”

“We got an offer from GLORY to go fight there and I just felt this is good you know, this is new challenge for me, you know, new rules, new weight, new. Its just the fun again being the challenger again and not being the champion so its good.”

Making the transition from Muay Thai rules to GLORY Kickboxing

“People say that its gonna be so hard, you guys changing rules, this and that. We’re not coming from MMA, we’re not coming from football whatever, you know. Its still fighting, its the same you know, especially fighting in Thai Fight where we don’t actually get to clinch. The only thing that I say we don’t have is the elbows. So its not like that much different, you know I feel like its still very similar. I’m use to fighting three rounds, this is also three rounds. So I don’t find it that much different, is just the style that the opponent have that’s a little bit different to be honest.”

Antoine had given himself six months to prepare properly for his GLORY debut and adopt to the change of rules and fighting style which, is something that hinders many fighters before him, from transitioning form one rule-set to the other with a high volume of success. However, making the necessary adjustments doesn’t bother the 26 year old in the slightest and he’s confident of being the victor after fighting Abraham at GLORY 38 tomorrow.

“I mean I’m gonna have to be honest I had no idea who he was until they told me I’m gonna fight this guy so I had to look it up and see what he looks like and see some of his fights with my team, my trainers and he’s a decent fighter, you know, he’s pretty good. He’s good but you know, I mean no disrespect towards him; I still feel we on a different level you know, he’s still baby in this game. I’ve been fighting for so many years and he’s got what like 30 fights? I had that when I was 15.”

Click here to listen and download the full podcast with Antoine Pinto.

 

Maurice Greene reflects on how GLORY Kickboxing changed his life for the better

Maurice Greene (4-3) might not be the most experienced of kickboxers on the GLORY Kickboxing roster but his willingness and desire to evolve and take opportunities that present themselves, no matter the enormity of the task, is why he finds himself facing Romania’s famous kickboxer and politician, Cătălin Moroșanu (42-10), at GLORY 38 on February 24 in the Sears Center, Chicago.

Moroșanu has a strong following in European kickboxing especially amongst his fellow Romanians for, his aggressive style of fighting and is a celebrity in his homeland. It’s probably fair to say that he is the most recognisable face to have repeatedly fought for Romanian kickboxing promotion, Superkombat and no doubt, with GLORY’s new wave of noticeable PR via social media of late, ticks most of the boxes for a fighter that will help to raise the profile of GLORY to, certain European markets where the promotion could possibly be hosting events in the second half of this year.

So, what can “Moe the Pirate” expect from Moroșanu and what does his strategy involve for taking on someone with eight times his amount of kickboxing experience?

“I don’t do much game planning because you go out there with a game plan and the game plan don’t work you gotta revert to plan B and I don’t have a plan, I just make adjustments. He’s a southpaw you know, I’m right handed so I’m orthodox but I may come out orthodox and see how it goes. I may come out southpaw and see how it goes. I can strike effectively from both places.”

Greene’s relatively late start compared to most kickboxers on the world stage, came about unintentionally and as a result of taking a chance on having his first fight approximately five years ago (he’s now 30 years of age), with only 30 days notice.  He once weighed 300 lbs before his first fight but the life changing influence of fighting in MMA (3-1) and then signing for GLORY has been remarkable to say the least.

“The funny part about it is the whole fighting and kickboxing aspect is just something I fell into but you know, I’m a fashion designer. What it does for me is it gives me confidence to be honest with you, it gives me confidence.”

“Honestly, when I think about the sort of kickboxing and MMA if it did anything for me, it changed my life and the path that I was going down. I was going down a rough path prior-to and it gave me something to focus my negative energy on. It made me excel, I had a lot of negative energy I spent on doing other things that I now spend on doing, getting better in the gym and sharpening my tools.”

“So, I’m always game to fight and who said I can’t be the best in the world? Only person that can tell me that is me.”

 

GLORY 38 Chicago and SuperFight Series preview and fight card

GLORY 38 takes place at the Sears Center, Chicago on February 24, 2017 with a stacked line-up of fights on both the main event and SuperFight Series sections; headlined by, a rematch between defending light-heavyweight champion, Artem Vakhitov, making his first defence against, Saulo Cavalari, in what will be the pair’s second rematch (both have a win over each other).

As always with a night of GLORY Kickboxing, there is also a 4-man light-heavyweight tournament featuring, GLORY‘s former (interim) light-heavyweight champion, Zack Mwekassa; a Muay Thai vs. Muay Thai clash in Richard Abraham vs. Antoine Pinto; and Romanian kickboxing politician, Cătălin Moroșanu making his GLORY debut against US kickboxer, Maurice Greene.

GLORY 38 Chicago – Fight card:

Artem Vakhitov (c) vs. Saulo Cavalari – Light-heavyweight title defence for Vakhitov

Richard Abraham vs. Antoine Pinto – Welterweight

Light Heavyweight Tournament:

Final: Winner of semi-final A vs. winner of semi-final B

Semi-final A: Zack Mwekassa vs. Zinedine Hamuer-Lain

Semi-final B: Danyo Illunga vs. Ariel Machado

Niclas Larsen returns to GLORY Kickboxing after almost three years away, due to serious ill-health and the reoccurrence of a major staph infection (three separate times) that almost resulted in the, 70kg WKU world Muay Thai champion, having to have a leg amputated. Larsen has had an incredibly tough time in recent years but after learning to walk again and being cared for by his wife (and mother to their two young children), is more than ready to return to the biggest stage for kickboxing and resume his promising career against Polish kickboxer, Łukasz Pławecki.

Murthel Groenhart is also back in action since losing to former GLORY welterweight champion, Nieky Holzken at, GLORY 34. “The Predator” will face former Lumpinee stadium champion, Thongchai Sitsongpeenong who, is coming off a very impressive KO win over Casey Greene on the same night Groenhart last fought too.

GLORY 38 SuperFight Series – Fight card:

Benjamin Adegbuyi vs. Anderson Silva – Heavyweight

Cătălin Moroșanu vs. Maurice Greene – Heavyweight

Murthel Groenhart vs. Thongchai Sitsongpeenong – Welterweight

Paweł Jędrzejczyk vs. Daniel Morales – Welterweight

Łukasz Pławecki vs. Niclas Larsen – Lightweight

Lion Fight 34 – Roundup and results: Controversial loss for Chasteen, Barlow and Eersel rule supreme

Regian Eersel and Iman Barlow both retained their title last night in dominant fashion at Lion Fight 34 in Las Vegas. However, the night was marred in controversy by a debatable decision win for Gabriel Mazzetti over Nick Chasteen in an action packed affair and fight of the night. Both men gave it their all for a very entertaining match-up but Chasteen who, churned-out a ‘career breakout performance’.

One side of the argument would support Chasteen (6-4) seeming to have had more success in delivering his volume of striking more consistently throughout the fight compared to the 18 year old Peruvian phenom. However, the judges had seen the fight quite differently and awarded an unanimous decision (UD) to”El Nino” (14-2) which, was strongly remonstrated and booed by the spectators when officially announced  at the Tropicana Resort Casino.

Unfortunately, the contentious decision magnifies the ongoing issues that the State of Nevada Athletic Commission (NSAC) are experiencing when it comes to scoring Muay Thai bouts. Something that colour commentator and ambassador of the sport, Michael Schiavello, lambasted NSAC about post-fight.

“Another terrible decision by the Nevada State Commission who showed us tonight they don’t know how to score Muay Thai.”

Barlow

Iman Barlow retains her title at Lion Fight 34 | Photo credit: Bennie Pallmore/Lion Fight Promotions

Iman Barlow (87-5-3) showcased her ‘art of kicking’ and effectively strong clinch-knees to differentiate her from Meryem Uslu (62-12-1). The two had fought once before with “Pretty Killer” securing the decision six years ago. However, on this occasion Barlow technically outclassed the determined title challenger who, managed to struggle on, despite enduring some brutal knees to the body and head. As well as a nasty cut to Uslu’s forehead from an elbow (late on into the fight) as Iman secured a UD to retain her super-bantamweight title.

Regian Eersel was initially matched-up against Samy Sana but the Frenchman was replaced for unknown reasons and with short notice by Dewitt Pratt. However, the last minute change of opponent did nothing to phase “The Immortal” who, violently rocked and battered Pratt to retain the Lion Fight super-middleweight title with a first round TKO. The power and explosive Muay Thai violence that Eersel continues to demonstrate (including his trademark flying knees), seriously raises the question as to who to match him up with next, for a more challenging threat to his championship.

Lion Fight 34 – Results:

Regian Eersel def. Dewitt Pratt via Rd1 TKO – wins Lion Fight super-middleweight championship
Iman Barlow def. Meryem Uslu via UD – retains Lion Fight women’s super-bantamweight championship
Anthony Njokuani def. Chris Harrington via Rd3 TKO
Gabriel Mazzetti def. Nick Chasteen via UD
Kevin Burmester vs. Kronphet Phetrachapat – majority draw
River Daz def. Diego Llamas via UD
Steve Walker def. Sedrick Sweet via Rd2 TKO
Gilbert Pimental def. Chris Rios via Rd3 TKO
Zhenya Chuprina def. Ardavan Moeini via split decision
Derrick Wheeler def. Dean Parker via UD
Garrett Jeppsen def. Derek Gottlieb via Rd1 TKO

 

Lion Fight 34: Eersel vs. Sana – Preview and Fight Card

Lion Fight 34 is headlined by Dutch powerhouse, Regian Eersel against French Thai boxer, Samy Sana in an international dust-up that has all the makings of a brutally violent affair on January 3, 2017 at the Tropicana Resort Casino in Las Vegas.

Eersel is the current Lion Fight super-middleweight champion having devastatingly KO’d Jake Purdy for the title at Lion Fight 33. Prior to that the “The Immortal” had emphatically executed one of the best right head kick KOs of 2016 to finish Jo Nattawut at Lion Fight 29.

However, Sana is no pushover and isn’t shy of a fire fight in the ring either, having been in with the best of them including, Yodsanklai Fairtex and Thongchai Sitsongpeenong. Neither the Frenchman nor the defending Dutch champion hold back with their aggressive styles of fighting and both have the natural power to rock anyone.

The ferocity of Eersel though is something else compared to the competition and he has always displayed explosive speed to take advantage of his adversaries with venomous violence and thunderous knockouts from any of his eight limbs. Sana will be in for a very testing time but the fans will certainly be entertained one way or the other.

https://www.facebook.com/lionfightmuaythai/videos/1322851821122452/

In the co-main event of the night, Iman Barlow defends her super-bantamweight title against Germany’s Meryum Uslu. The two female fighters are no strangers to one another having previously fought each other six years ago. Barlow had won their previous encounter by decision but Uslu will undoubtedly be very game to not only get even but end Barlow’s reign as champion.

Lion Fight 34 will be broadcasted on AXS TV in the USA and will commence from 1800 hours Pacific Time (PT) / 2100 hours Eastern Time (ET).

Lion Fight 34 – Main Card:

Regian Eersel vs. Samy Sana – Lion Fight Super Middleweight Title

Iman Barlow vs. Meryum Uslu – Lion Fight Women’s Super Bantamweight Title

Anthony Njokuani vs. Chris Harrington – Super Middleweight

Kronphet Phetrachapat vs. Kevin Burmester – Welterweight

Gabriel Mazzetti vs. Nick Chasteen – Middleweight

Diego Llamas vs. River Daz – Welterweight

Photos from Glory 37: Wilnis vs. Adesanya

The Striking Corner’s very own photographer, Victor Alvarez was on hand at Glory 37’s first card of 2017, which took place on Friday, January 20th, 2017 in Los Angeles.

As with every Glory event, the night was full of fast paced action, some upsets, some surprises, and a little controversy. But overall Glory’s first show of 2017 was solid with great matchups such as Matt Embree vs. Robin Van Rossmalen and the Glory Middleweight title fight between Jason Wilnis and rising star, Israel Adesanya.

Check out the great images form our photographer Victor Alvarez in the slideshow below.