GLORY Kickboxing visited the Mecca of fight sports once again, as Glory 48 took place at Madison Square Garden in New York City this past Friday, Dec. 1st, 2017. The event featured a great card highlighted by two title fights, one of which was the highly anticipated super bantamweight world title fight between USA’s Tiffany “Timebomb” Van Soest and Anissa Meksen of France. The Striking Corner’s Victor Alvarez was on hand with his camera to capture all of the action on this amazing night of fights. Check out the full results and images from the event below:
GLORY 48 New York:
– Kevin Vannostrand def. Anvar Boynazarov by KO at 1:06, Round 1; Vannostrand claims interim GLORY featherweight title
– Robert Thomas def. Mike Lemaire by KO at 0:18, Round 3; Thomas wins GLORY middleweight tournament
– Thiago Silva def. John King by unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
– Robert Thomas def. Wayne Barrett by unanimous decision (30-26, 29-27, 29-27); Thomas advances to GLORY middleweight tournament semifinal
– Mike Lemaire def. Matt Baker by unanimous decision (extra round); Thomas advances to GLORY middleweight tournament semifinal
GLORY 48 SuperFight Series:
– Anissa Meksen def. Tiffany Van Soest by unanimous decision (49-46, 49-46, 49-46); Meksen claims GLORY women’s super bantamweight title
– Chris Camozzi def. Kyle Weickhardt by TKO at 3:00, Round 3
– Elvis Gashi def. Nate Richardson by unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-26)
– Ivan Galaz def. Paul Banasziak by majority decision (29-28, 29-27, 29-27)
– Itay Gershon def. Justin Houghton by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
News recently emerged that Dutch kickboxing promotion, Enfusion Live are headed to Canada on July 8, 2017 with further details of the venue for Enfusion Live 51 and the overall fight card, to be announced in due course.
However, Iman Barlow had some very interesting things to say in her post-fight interview after winning the Muay Thai Grand Prix bantamweight title against, Therese Gunnarsson at MTGP 7. “Pretty Killer” thinks she could be facing Canadian fighter, Ashley Nichols in her next fight come July 8.
“Maybe Canada. Enfusion Live in Canada which, would be wicked in July. Then Lion Fight hopefully, return to Lion defend that belt end of July.”
“Its a Canadian girl. Ashley Nichols I think, I think, I think. But obviously she’s Canadian so I’m guessing I think it might be her and she’s returning home from Thailand; and she’s a good fighter and obviously we were together on the ‘Reality’. We didn’t fight each other but we were there together, so we will see.”
The kickboxing and Muay Thai platform for international female fights in the North Americas seems to be building momentum, especially with Tiffany Van Soest from California, becoming GLORY Kickboxing‘s first female champion; and GLORY having recently signed multiple world champion, Anissa Meksen.
Both Van Soest and Meksen’s careers enter a very interesting stage this year along with Barlow. All three are widely regarded as three of the very best in their division, with Meksen having a second round stoppage win over “Pretty Killer” in 2014. However, after MTGP 7, she was accused by Iman’s Dad, Mark Barlow, of twice pulling out of rematches with Iman for Enfusion.
Then there’s the beef that’s brewing between Van Soest and Barlow. Tiffany isn’t one to pull her punches when verbally lambasting any of her rivals, especially Barlow, after the latter didn’t sign a GLORY contract due to, alleged miscommunications between her manager, Edwin Van Os (owner of Enfusion Live) and GLORY, over the proposed terms for fighting under the GLORY banner.
The coming weeks and months seem likely to unfold with some interesting developments for all three women and it will be interesting to see if Barlow vs. Van Soest could possibly happen this year, with their being no restrictions for such a match-up by Enfusion. However, Iman’s contract with Enfusion prevents her from fighting Meksen outside of the Dutch promotion, for reason explained in her post-fight interview.
Jason Wilnis retained his GLORY middleweight title against Israel Adesanya at GLORY 37 Los Angeles but the decision left countless kickboxing fans on social media at loggerheads as to how a unanimous decision was awarded to the defending champion. If anything, there was nothing unanimous about the controversial decision awarded to Willis who, in typical fashion, fought with a tight high guard and kept coming forward with venomous low kicks and aiming punches for Adesanya’s head.
The skilful “Stylebender” was was more varied with his striking output (even throwing Saenchai style cartwheel kicks and some nifty spinning kicks into the mix) with plenty of strikes aimed to the body and head of Wilnis whilst displaying his confident ring-craft and not being a sitting target despite, being in a much smaller ring than usual compared to GLORY Kickboxing events in recent years.
If the early rounds might have been slightly in favour of Wilnis, the same cannot be said for the reminder of the fight as the rounds progressed. The champion was lacking the effective high volume of output that was being more obviously applied by Adesanya. Although the continuous forward pressure and counter attacks from Wilnis were always present, it was Wilnis who was starting to fade in the latter rounds and the challenger who, remained composed, slick and actively efficient enough to have edged the decision in his favour and be crowned the new middleweight champion.
However, when the official decision was announced confirming Wilnis as the defending champion, two of the judges had scored the fight as 48-47 for the champion but bizarrely one judge had scored it as 49-46 for Wilnis. An immediate rematch might be the most obvious thing to call for as a result of the controversial decision, however, it was announced by the commentary team that former middleweight champion, Simon Marcus, was set to face the winner of the main event of the night; and later confirmed by Marcus himself to Michael Steczkowski.
Image via GLORY Sports Int’l
Yoann Kongolo won the 4-man welterweight tournament to set himself for a second rematch with the new GLORY welterweight champion, Cedric Doumbe who, had recently defeated Nieky Holzken by decision at GLORY Collision. Although Kongolo was the obvious favourite to win the contender tournament, his emphatic performance in the final with a brutal body shot to drop Karim Benmansour will send a firm warning to Doumbe who, he has twice defeated before by decision.
Zoila Frausto won her GLORY debut by decision in a slug-fest with Daniela Graf and although both ladies might have got a bit punch drunk in their fight, neither was willing to back down and both were fully committed to punching the other’s lights out. Frausto who, is a Muay Thai champion and MMA fighter, certainly is the calibre of fighter that looks set to make a bigger impact in the women’s super bantamweight division this year.
Also, Tiffany van Soest was re-presented with her super bantamweight belt in-front of her fellow South Californians. It might seem as if GLORY are being smart with their selection of American female fighters but so far, both van Soest and Frausto are two female fighters that no kickboxing promotion can go wrong with at this early stage of developing their women’s roster.
Image via Glory Sports Int’l
Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be for Matt Embree who, lost by TKO in the fourth round against former featherweight champion, Robin van Roosmalen. Yes, former champion – van Rosmalen had missed weight by under one kilogram at the weigh-ins the day before and refused the opportunity to try again when a time extension offered. As a direct result, GLORY immediately decided to strip their champion before he even made his first title defence. However, had Embree won he would’ve been awarded the title but since he didn’t, van Roosmalen has now secured his number one contender status and will now fight again for the title in the near future against an opponent yet to be confirmed.
Could a rematch between Robin van Roosmalen and Gabriel Varga be in the pipeline anytime soon? Only time will tell especially as Varga had confirmed last year that he’d been informed by GLORY that the promotion were planning on hosting future events in Canada come 2017.
Image via GLORY Sports Int’l
GLORY 37 Los Angeles – Results:
Jason Wilnis (c) def. Israel Adesayna via UD – retains middleweight title
Yoann Kongolo def. Karim Benmansour via Rd3 TKO – wins welterweight tournament final
Guto Inocente def. D’Angelo Marshall via majority draw, extra round – heavyweight
Karim Benmansour def. Alan Scheinson via split decision – welterweight tournament semi-final
Yoann Kongolo def. Konstantin Khuzin via UD – welterweight tournament semi-final
GLORY SuperFight Series – Results:
Robin van Roosmalen def. Matt Embree via Rd4 TKO – featherweight title bout (but van Roosmalen stripped off title for missing weight; title was available for Embree to win though)
Jhonata Diniz def. Tomas Mozny via UD – heavyweight
Warren Thompson def. Mike Lemaire via UD – middleweight
Zoila Frausto def. Daniela Graf via UD – Women’s super bantamweight
Giga Chikadze def. Victor Pinto via Rd1 KO (liver kick) – featherweight
In this episode of the podcast Vinny & Eric are joined by Kickboxing journalist Anoop Hothi, also known as K1Anoop. A blogger, writer, journalist, and avid Twitter user, K1Anoop has been covering the Muay Thai and Kickboxing scene in the UK and in Europe for quite some time. A huge fan of K1/Glory rules Kickboxing, we talk to Anoop about the recent Glory Collision card, Enfusion, how promotions can better broadcast their product, and so much more! We also talk a bit about how screwdrivers seem to be the weapon of choice in street fights in the UK, how Eric has never been to a strip club, and other such nonsense. We had fun with this one and lost track of time a bit! Enjoy!
The most anticipated event in the modern era of kickboxing didn’t quite live up to everyone’s great expectations. After half a year of buildup to Rico vs Badr, come fight night, not only did we have an overly drawn out online viewing experience split into two or three different online streams (depending where in the world you were); Tiffany van Soest made history winning the the inaugural women’s straw-weight championship in a borefest of a tournament; Badr Hari’s arm got broken just as his ‘Collision’ with Rico Verhoeven got exciting; and Sittichai vs. Marat Grigorian and Pinca vs Amraniwere overshadowed by the sheer volume of fights from having three overall fight cards.
Cedric Doumbe – Photo credit: James Law, GLORY Sports Int’l
However, Nieky Holzken was finally dethroned as GLORY welterweight champion by Cedric Doumbe, in what was a damn good fight to watch and witness how to unlock the four year puzzle that is the “The Natural”. Ismael Londt lost a thrilling decision to Moroccan-Dutch juggernaut, Jamal Ben Saddikand Michael Duut returned in spectacular fashion to GLORY Kickboxing with an enthralling decision win over Danyo Ilunga. Both Duut’s and Ben Saddik’s victories were crowd pleasers and will undoubtedly be YouTube favourites for the next couple of weeks or longer; and attract more casual fight fans to kickboxing.
GLORY Collision – Summary:
Rico breaks Badr’s arm up against the rope with powerful clinch knees before the referee could pull them apart.
Doumbe dethrones Holzken with an excellent performance showcasing: speed, confidence and a highly efficient game plan being executed.
Ben Saddik pulled off an amazing result against Ismael Londt and had “Mr Pain” in all sorts of problems.
Tiffany van Soest won the inaugural women’s straw-weight tournament (but the Iman Barlowquestion will continue to linger).
Tiffany van Soest – Photo credit: James Law, GLORY Sports Int’l
Unfortunately, GLORY seem to have a habit of learning things the hard way since they have existed. We all remember the consequences of airing a free undercard event (GLORY 17, headlined by Mirko Cro Cop vs. Jarrell Miller) immediately before the PPV for GLORY Last Man Standing which is, probably, their best event to-date. The promotion were well reported to have had their own recession after the PPV figures in 2014 were a failure, leading to the likes of Tyrone Spong and Gökhan Saki not returning to GLORY due to big name fighters allegedly having to take major pay cuts; As well as other contract negotiations and issues.
Schilling KOs Marcus, GLORY Last Man Standing – Image: Glory Sports Int’l
The UFC Fight Pass deal announced earlier this year was always good news for both GLORY and kickboxing. Although, it would seem that GLORY still need to smarten up their approach to broadcasting their events to the widest possible audience and fixing the overall structure of the fight cards; Hopefully, they will in the new year. Otherwise, they are going to risk losing out on attracting, potentially, hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of new fight fans to the GLORY brand of technical violence and exciting KOs.
Why? Online (or ideally TV) access to watch such grand events needs to be made much easier i.e. on one channel / portal with the fights altogether and not on a multitude of different platforms). Listen to episode 42 of The Striking Corner podcast this week because this is one of the many interesting talking points we dig into.
Overall verdict on GLORY Collision (plus, GLORY 36 and the SuperFight Series)?
Badr and Rico after their Collision – Photo credit: James Law, GLORY Sports Int’l
Disappointing. However, it’s not all doom and gloom.
There’s very promising and achievable room for improvement that could, ‘blow all the fish out of the water’ (i.e. their promotional rivals) in 2017. Most importantly, GLORY are on the verge of elevating mainstream media coverage to a whole new level for kickboxing on a long term basis, which the sport has been struggling with for decades. The knock-on effect of GLORY’s potential to boost the profile of the sport on a global scale will enhance the potential revenue streams for everyone involved in kickboxing, making the sport more of a commercially viable profession and industry too.
GLORY Collision – Results:
Rico Verhoeven def. Badr Hari via Rd2 TKO (injury)
Cedric Doumbe def. Nieky Holzken by split decision (SD) – new welterweight champion
Jamal Ben Saddik def. Ismael Londt via UD
Tiffany van Soest def. Amel Dehby via UD – Women’s straw-weight tournament final
Glory 36 – Results:
Sittichai Sitsongpeenong def. Marat Grigorian by SD, retains lightweight title
Dylan Salvador def. Hysni Beqiri, UD – Lightweight tournament final
Fabio Pinca def. Mosab Amrani, SD
Hysni Beqiri def. Antonio Gomez, UD – Lightweight semi-final
Dylan Salvador def. Anatoly Moiseev, MD – Lightweight semi-final
SuperFight Series – Results:
Michael Duut def. Danyo Ilunga via UD (extra round)
Harut Grigorian def. Danijel Solaja by Rd1 KO
Amel Dehby def. Isis Verbeek, UD – Women’s straw-weight semi-final
Tiffany van Soest def. Jessica Gladstone, UD – Women’s straw-weight semi-final
Asa Ten Pow was on the wrong end of a decision loss against Carlton Lieu in what was one of the (if not most) entertaining fights of the night at MTGP 6 – Muay Thai Grand Prix, in the O2 Indigo, London on October 15.
Lieu was outmuscled for the majority of the fight and on the back foot as Pow continually came forward with a variety of striking skill including, some very crafty spinning backs kicks to the body. However, the first three rounds were not scored in Pow’s favour by all of the judges; and these were the rounds in which Pow had much success with: effective teeps (front / push kicks) to the body, imbalancing Lieu, clinching and use of elbows.
In the fourth and fifth rounds, Lieu fared much better against Pow especially as he was noticeably countering more often (than the first three rounds) to most of Pow’s attacks. The American’s industrious output fight have marginally decreased in the latter two rounds but overall, the fight was very close but many fans would seem to strongly disagree with the decision.
The decision win for Lieu secures a future title shot for the Lion Fight light-welterweight championship in the new year (date to be confirmed). However, a rematch between the two in the near future would be just – especially if it were on US soil under the Lion Fight banner. Both Lion Fight and MTGP are in-partnership to promote international Muay Thai asScott Kent and Kieran Keddle explained (separately) at MTGP 5 earlier this year which, was headlined by John Wayne Parr defeating Pavlos Kaponis by decision.
In the main event of the evening, Salah Khalifa defeated Giannis Tsigkos in another close affair. Tsigkos, fought valiantly and was very handy with his boxing (for Thai boxing) prowess but Salah’s kicking was the notable difference between the two fighters. However, Tsigkos made it a very tough night for Salah who, as the fight reached the latter rounds, significantly improved with his evasiveness from the Greek’s attacks.
However, Tsigkos and his corner were ‘disappointed for the decision and believed he won’ the fight and that it ‘wasn’t very close’. Tsigkos believed he not only attacked more but also landed more effective strikes that should have scored the fight in his favour. In his post-fight interview, he made it clear that he wants a swift rematch to ideally be arranged on the next MTGP event which, should be confirmed for later this year in Greece.
Who’s next for Bernise Alldis?
Bernise Alldis successfully defended her 57kg MTGP world championship against Elna Nilsson with another dominant win by decision. A lot has happened for Alldis away from the sport since losing to Tiffany van Soest at Lion Fight 22. However, now she’s back fighting, it really is about time Alldis was given more opportunities to fight in the USA on Lion Fight; where she would undoubtedly face more challenging opponents across the Atlantic than outside of the US in the current climate.
Ash Uddin steamrolled Jamie Ahern to emphatically KO him (via body shots) within the first minute of round one. There was no feeling out process as you may expect in the opening round of full Thai rules. Uddin explained in his post-fight interview, how he had decided on a very aggressive approach after noticing Ahern had looked like he’d been through a gruelling weight cut, having weighed-in a kilo lighter than him the day before.
Kelly Haines had a superb performance to win the 52kg ISKA K1 rules English title against, Mina Lamoure. In what was only her fourth fight, Haines displayed the skill set and self-confidence that we would expect from a more seasoned veteran in the ring. It wasn’t just her spinning back-fists and hook kicks that were threatening (and landed), they were thrown at the right time too when for example, Lamoure would be on the back foot near the ropes.
Muay Thai Grand Prix 6 – Results:
Salah Khalifa def. Giannis Tsigkos via UD for, 69kg MTGP world title (FTR)
Bernise Alldis def. Elna Nilsson via UD, retains 57kg MTGP world championship (FTR)