Thongchai Sitsongpeenong

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

Thai sensations, Thongchai Sitsongpeenong and Petpanomrung Kiatmoo9 sign for GLORY

GLORY Kickboxing continue to add strength to their roster of world class kickboxing talent, by signing up two of Thailand’s most talented young fighters: Thongchai Sitsongpeenong and Petpanomrung Kiatmoo9 – exclusively reported by Anoop Hothi.

The addition of two more Thais reinforces GLORY’s intention to establish themselves in both Thailand and Southeast Asia (with Saenchai and Sittichai Sitsongpeenong having already fought for the promotion) as they look to expand their brand of kickboxing across new TV markets in different continents as they had outlined in their post press conference at GLORY 31.

However, Petpanomrung had been tipped for great things especially earlier this year, following a decision victory in May at the Rajadamnern stadium, over Phetmorakot Wor Sungprapai – full fight video below:

The transition from Thai rules to kickboxing shouldn’t pose too much of a problem for Petpanomrung who, has a fighting style that is technically proficient but capable of coming forward aggressively (so hopefully there won’t be any ISKA judging or refereeing controversies on his GLORY debut).

As for Thongchai who, fights out of the same gym as GLORY’s world lightweight champion, Sitthichai (hence, Sitsongpeenong is their second name and is quite common for Thais to publicise their gym affiliation in this manner), he is only 20 years of age; whereas Petpanomrung is apparently 22/23 years old.

Thai boxing purists will know too well that Thongchai became a Lumpinee stadium champion at the age of 18 and one month later would knock out Khayal Dzhaniev (one of only a few men in the world to have defeated Buakaw); and if that wasn’t enough for any ‘noob’ of a kickboxing fan to take him seriously, Thongchai would then go on to defeat French-Italian Muay Thai legend, Fabio Pinca, a year later too.

Below is a recent fight of Thongchai vs Adrien Rubis (at Topking World Series – TK7):

Both of the above Thais will undoubtedly raise the bar of competition within GLORY who, have have been strongly criticised by fans in recent years, for the questionable ways in which some but not all of their kickboxers (lack much or any professional kickboxing experience), have managed to develop a career on the ‘world’s number one’ kickboxing promotion.

Petpanomrung is expected to fight at featherweight where, Gabriel Varga is the current GLORY featherweight champion (having regained the title from Serhiy Adamchuck at GLORY 32). Whereas Thongchai is expected to fight at welterweight and it will be very interesting to see if and when he can secure a title fight with GLORY’s undisputed welterweight champion, Neiky Holzken.

Two other fighters that have also been newly signed-up by GLORY (but are not Thais) are: Adel Ekvall Halila from Sweden and Konstantin Khuzin from Russia.

Adel Ekvall Halila v Abdou Karim Chorr 2

Adel Ekvall Halila v Abdou Karim Chorr 2

An interesting fact about Adel Ekvall Halila (apart from being technically good in all departments and competent in both orthodox and southpaw stances) is that in 2015, he was runner-up to another kickboxing Swede in the GLORY lightweight division, Abdou Karim Chorr. The two had previously met in the WKN Scandinavian (4-man tournament) final last year and Chorr who, won his GLORY Kickboxing debut at GLORY 29 in April, hasn’t fought since then. So, perhaps a (second) rematch between the two Swedes (they are 1-1 against each other) in the near future (on a European card) could be in the works as a potential decider between the two – similar to Murthel Groenhart and Nieky Holzken who fight again in December?

As for Konstantin Khuzin, the Russian is expected to fight at welterweight; and comes from a strong Thai boxing background like fellow countrymen, Artem Vahitov (GLORY’s current light-heavyweight champion) and former GLORY middleweight champion, Artem Levin who, no longer fights for the promotion after one of the most controversial rematches in recent times, forfeited the rematch with Simon Marcus at GLORY 27.

Khuzin had recently fought (but lost a decision) on the Tatneft Cup show against Nikolay Lushin:

Do you think GLORY are improving the overall level of competition by signing up more Thais or do they need to a lot more then this, especially in appealing to new fans in the North Americas? Let us know in the comments below (and don’t forget to subscribe to K1ANOOP on YouTube for exclusive interviews from the world of kickboxing too).