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.
Kunlun Fight have certainly made their mark on world kickboxing in 2016, with a series of 70kg 4-man tournaments throughout the year, building up-to their year end extravaganza in China. The new year’s day event will focus on the Kunlun World Max finals, featuring: Davit Kiria vs. Jomthong Chuwattana and Superbon Banchamek vs. Cedric Manhoef; headlined by, Buakaw Banchamek vs. Tian Xin.
Kunlun have featured a good few Thais on their events as they established themselves in Southeast Asia initially, with Buakaw being one of their key name fighters. Along with Artur Kyshenko as they have expanded, focusing more on attracting fight fans from the western world.
Davit Kiria vs. Jomthong Chuwattana
Kiria is a former GLORY lightweight champion and now trains with Nieky Holzken; Joining the recently dethroned GLORY welterweight champion at Team Holzken this year.
Photo credit: Kunlun Fight
Kiria made the move in an attempt to rejuvenate his kickboxing career after mixed results in the last couple of years. The change has done him well resulting in a couple of wins against Robbie Hagemanat Kunlun Fight 48 and Dzianis Zeuv at Kunlun Fight 52 – both by decisions and part of the overall qualifying process for the Kunlun World Max.
Jomthong on the other hand is a master of various striking skills and rule-sets including, a pro boxing record of 9-1 and three continental titles. He is also a three time Rajadamnern stadiumchampion but really made his name in Muay Thai with a huge win over Anuwat Kaewzamrit for the WBC featherweight crown in 2008.
Of the two, Jomthong has been the more active this year with six wins from seven fights, the majority of which were on Kunlun events this year including a notable decision win over Buakaw’s opponent on the night, Tian Xin at Kunlun Fight 53.
Superbon Banchamek vs. Cedric Manhoef
Of the four fighters in this year’s Kunlun Max semi-finals, Superbon is most probably the favorite to win the tournament, having defeated Sitthichai Sitsongpeenong at Kunlun Fight 48 in the previous round. The win was a rematch for the two following on from Kunlun Fight 37 where Superbon was on the wrong end of a knockout in the semi-finals of the Kunlun Max event in 2015.
Before Superbon had leveled the aggregate score, Sitthichai, who is currently the GLORY lightweight champion, had been undefeated for the 21 consecutive months, collecting nine wins in a row. The list of world class kickboxers that he had seen off in the last two years included: Mohamed Mezouari at Kunlun Fight 43, Marat Gregorian(twice), Robin van Roosmalen at GLORY 31 and even Davit Kiria (with a brutal knee to the body) at GLORY 28.
Cedric Manhoef is the ‘dark horse’ of the semi-finalists and although he has the heart of a lion and does his family name proud by hardly ever taking back steps in the ring (Melvin Manhoef is actually his nephew – yes, you read that right); the 23 year old is very much a work in progress still. However, Superbon cannot afford to underestimate the Surinamese fighter with any complacency to progress successfully to the final.
Buakaw Banchamek vs. Tian Xin
Buakaw has been fighting for the Chinese promotion since Kunlun Fight 32 in October 2015 and has had a great deal of success, excluding of course, the most controversial decision loss of 2016 against Yi Long at last month’s WLF event in Nanjing, China.
As for how Xin will fare against the living legend and ‘old skool’ K-1 veteran remains to be seen. However, from the Chinese kickboxer’s clash with Andrei Kulebin at Kunlun Fight 50 there’s a possibility that Buakaw could possibly capitalize on Xin’s fighting style with strong clinch-knee entries.
Nevertheless, Buakaw vs. Xin has all the makings for an exciting headlining fight in Sanya on January 1, 2017 since both have the ability to fight well at a high tempo. The new year will be very interesting to see if and how the talented Chinese fighters like Xin can enhance their profile globally along with the continued growth of Kunlun Fight.
Kunlun Fight 56 – Fight card (and order of fights):
Abdullayev vs. Ma Shuo, 75kg
Denies Puric vs. Wang Wenfeng, 60kg
Felipe Stievano vs. Andrey Gerasimchuk, 100kg
Mohamed Mezouari vs. Dzianis Zuev, 70kg – Reserve bout, Kunlun World Max
Arthit vs. Khatal Dzhaniev, 70kg – Reserve bout, Kunlun World Max
Davit Kiria vs. Jomthong Chuwattana, 70kg – Semi-final A, Kunlun World Max
Superbon Banchamek vs. Cedric Manhoef, 70kg – Semi-final B, Kunlun World Max
Andrei Kulebin vs. Wu Xuesong, 70kg
Sergii Kulaiaba vs. Gu Hui, 67kg
Winner of semi-final A vs. winner of semi-final B, 70kg Kunlun World Max
Headlining the Bellator Kickboxing Florence card at Bellator 168 is Giorgio Petrosyan vs. Jordan Watson, in what will be an interesting clash of styles at the Mandela Forum on December 10. Watson is renown for being big, powerful and some might say, ‘Mr Right Kick’. As well as having previous with southpaws, most notably: Sanny Dhalbeck and Ben Hodge –from which, he’s certainly learnt and improved himself as a fighter. In his last fight with Hodge at Yokkao 20, Watson was flirting with switching stances from orthodox to southpaw and vice-versa but there’s more to simply switch hitting to bamboozling Petrosyan.
However, “The Doctor” has been there and seen it all including, winning a couple of K-1 Max trophies in the mix too. The last person to really put it on him was a certain Andy Ristie at GLORY 12, resulting in the biggest upset of the decade – Petrosyan being left KO’d on the canvas. Not to mention his GLORY 3 bout with two weight champion, Robin van Roosmalen. Although that decision went Petrosyan’s way, it strongly hinted at something – when his opponents are not only relentless with giving him a fight but most significantly, are of much higher calibre than your typical pressure fighter, they can cause the Italian kickboxing maestro all sorts of problems.
Nevertheless, Watson’s mindset and attitude will be key factors on Saturday which, he opened up about after Yokkao 20, regarding his past approach to his career. If his mind, body and soul are focused on the task at hand on Saturday then anything is possible. Especially as no one, not even Petrosyan, is unbreakable in the ring. However, the obvious favourite is the two time K-1 Max champion, whose kickboxing experience outweighs that of Watson’s.
Alessio Arudini is a very competent Thai boxer who, will be greeting Kevin Ross in the ring come Saturday. He’s also a very good kicker with a variety of kicks in his arsenal: whether he maybe attacking both the inside and outside of the lead leg, or, even pulling off more fancy stuff like, spinning back kicks and even ‘question mark kicks’ from his right leg.
In the buildup, Ross was complimentary of the Italian but don’t expect the switch from both of their favoured rule set to dampen how exciting this fight could turn out to be. “The Soul Assassin” is more than experienced enough to handle someone as threatening as Arudini and if anything, the level of competition he’s facing this time round, in Bellator Kickboxing, will be exactly what he’s been looking for to elevate his own performance too.
“He’s just a more, I’d say, traditional, solid Thai boxer. I’m looking forward to a more technical fight.”
Luca Novello is most probably out of his depth against the vastly experienced Karim Ghajji who, was formerly Bellator Kickboxing’s inaugural welterweight champion, defeating Mustafa Haida at Bellator 152 by split decision. However, whether or not Novello has developed some serious ringcraft since being overwhelmed by Antoine Pinto (at Thai Fight, November 2014) is the ultimate question and one that will be answered when he faces Ghajji. However, “Gadjetboy” mustn’t underestimate Novello who, turns 23 the day before their clash; he’ll be more determined than ever to get a win over someone of Ghajji’s profile, especially infront of his home corwd.
Denise Kieholtz gets her rematch with Gloria Peritore after what some had reported as controversial decision loss to the Italian at Bellator Dynamite 2. However, Peritore never stays still and will continuously keep moving away and around the ring until she decides to close range, exchange with a few quick strikes and then move out and away again. If anything, Peritore is always on the balls of her feet which, allows her to throw those nice head kicks and teeps to face, a lot easier compared to being a plodder; and the word, ‘plodder’ could be sum up the majority of the latter’s movement in their last fight.
Denise Kieholtz vs. Gloria Peritore – Image: Bellator / Oktagon
Previously, Kielholtz failed to keep constant pressure and spent more time waiting in the centre of the ring and just following her opponent; not cutting off the ring; and not keeping at close range and cutting angles to then blast Peritore all over the place with her Dutch kickboxing venom. Unless she fights more like her man, Hesdy Gerges, history could very well repeat itself in Florence between these two.
Joe Schilling has had a shocking run of three straight defeats after a decision win over Mike Lemaire to start the year at GLORY 27. However, Schilling’s brand image is too big an investment for Bellator to possibly risk by matching him up against a more talented fighter than Victorio Lermano at this moment in time. No disrespect but Lermano does not have the skill set nor power to compete with someone as technically violent as Schilling. So, don’t be surprised by anything other than a return to winning ways for “Stich ‘em up” to end the year but then again, the majority of people expected Schilling to take care of Hisaki Kato in their rematch under kickboxing rules.
GLORY, the world’s premier kickboxing league, today announced the full fight card for GLORY 12 NEW YORK, featuring a one-night, four-man Lightweight World Championship Tournament and a headline match-up between two rising American stars, broadcast LIVE on SPIKE TV from the Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York City on Saturday, November 23rd.
The world’s top-ranked Lightweights will square off in GLORY’s World Championship Tournament that pits #1 ranked Dutch powerhouse Robin van Roosmalen (30-5-0, 19 KOs) against karate stylist and world #3 Davit Kiria (21-8-0, 6 KOs). On the other side of the bracket, #2 ranked technical stylist Giorgio Petrosyan (78-1-1, 35 KOs), considered one of kickboxing’s top pound-for-pound fighters, will face exciting and unorthodox Andy Ristie (39-3-1, 19 KOs), who currently occupies the #4 spot in GLORY’s rankings. The winner of the one-night tournament will be crowned GLORY Lightweight World Champion and claim a cash prize of $150,000, while the runner-up will receive $30,000.
GLORY 12 NEW YORK is headlined by a bi-coastal clash between GLORY Middleweight World Champion Joe ‘Stitch ‘Em Up’ Schilling (16-4-0, 10 KOs) of California and New York’s own, knockout artist Wayne Barrett (3-0-0, 3 KOs).
The evening’s co-headline bout features Heavyweight finishers in action, as Morocco’s Jamal ‘The Goliath’ Ben Saddik (24-3-0, 20 KOs) faces Australian puncher Ben ‘The Guvner’ Edwards (35-9-3, 31 KOs).
Full card below:
GLORY 12 NEW YORK Wayne Barrett vs. Joe Schilling
Ben Edwards vs. Jamal Ben Saddik
Shemsi Beqiri vs. Ky Hollenbeck
Giorgio Petrosyan vs. Andy Ristie
Robin van Roosmalen vs. Davit Kiria
GLORY SUPERFIGHT SERIES Artem Vakhitov vs. Nenad Pagonis
Dustin Jacoby vs. Makoto Uehara
Brian Collette vs. Warren Thompson
Igor Jurkovic vs. Jhonata Diniz
Francois Ambang vs. Eddie Walker
Paul Marfort vs. Thiago Michel
UNDERCARD Nick Pace vs. Niko Tsigaras
Mohamed Fanzy vs. Alexy Filyakov
Jeff Brown vs. Mike Fischetti
Anna Shearer vs. Andrea D’Angelo
GLORY 12 NEW YORK will air live on SPIKE TV from the Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York City on Saturday, November 23rd at 9:00 p.m. ET / 8:00 p.m. CT.
Tickets for GLORY 12 NEW YORK are available at the Madison Square Garden box office and ticketmaster.com, starting at $35.
Doors open at 5:00 p.m. ET, with the first match beginning at 5:15 p.m. ET.