Glory 16 Denver is in the books, and it was another exciting show from the world’s #1 kickboxing company. After a series of shows on foreign soil shown in tape delay in the US, it was great to once again be able to watch the action unfold live. Fans who tuned in to Spike were treated to some great action including wild KO’s, and a highly technical world title fight. Here are the fight by fight thoughts:
- Marc De Bonte and Karapet Karapetyan were in a tough spot here. They are not well known fighters to the general Glory fanbase, they are supremely technical stylists, and the were fighting at the end of a wild Heavyweight slugfest kind of show. Their world title fight showed off supreme skills in a close, competitive fight. But it was such a different pace then the brawls we had seen in the previous five fights that it felt a bit slow. I loved this fight, but I can see why it drew some boos from the crowd.
- I told people not to sleep on De Bonte as a force in this division and he proved me right. Though he struggled in the final round, he got the job done, looking very good against the skilled Karapetyan. Up next for De Bonte will hopefully be the long awaited showdown with Nieky Holzken – that will be a good one.
- Because of his power and his overall game, Errol Zimmerman is a fighter who will always be a danger, and he showed that here. If he hurts you, he will finish, or die trying. Here, he pulled off the big finish twice, both in the first round. I would have a hard time picking him against either Verhoeven or Ghita, but his unpredictable nature makes anything possible. His emotional post-fight dedication to his late trainer Ramon Dekkers was powerful too.
- Anderson Silva looked very good in the first round against Kharitonov, but slowly faded all night after that. He had an incredibly tough road against Zimmerman, given how much lonber his semi-final was and the short downtime he had to get ready for the finals. I thought Silva looked good overall, but that disadvantage was too much.
- Speaking of Kharitonov, I thought he was done early in the 2nd round, and the fact that he came back was incredible. Not incredible enough to take the win, but still good. He’s far from perfect, but he’s developed into a solid kickboxer.
- What is there to say about Pat Barry? His Glory debut was much anticipated, but if we were being honest, we all knew it could end like this. Mwekassa is a powerful puncher, Barry has weak defensive skills and a sketchy chin, and the results played out as they tend to do in that kind of match-up. What next for Barry? Honestly, retirement?
- As for Mwekassa, he looked good, he has an incredible story, and he made a name for himself here. What could have been a one night only appearance in Glory is now, hopefully, a new home for Mwekassa. I would love to see him continue to be featured at Glory.
- The obvious highlight from the Superfight Series was the insane karate kick KO by Raymond Daniels, which you simply have to see to believe.
- Also on the Superfight Series, Benjamin Adegbuyi and Artem Vakhitov both looked very good in their wins, and showed that they are ready for main show tournament action. Josh Jauncey had a bit of trouble with the veteran Stevelmans, but pulled off the win for a successful Glory debut. Jamal Ben Saddik was his usual wild self, winning by KO in a nutty fight, and Artem Levin did what he does, grinding Robert Thomas down for the win.
- Finally, two big announcements on the show: Daniel Ghita vs. Rico Verhoeven for the Glory Heavyweight title on the Last Man Standing PPV June 21, and Mirko Cro Cop in the main event at Glory 17 live on Spike, also June 21. To both, I say: Awesome.
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