Glory Last Man Standing and Glory 17 are in the books, and in the night’s big fights, three world champions were crowned.
In the 8 man Last Man Standing tournament, Artem Levin emerged victorious to become the Glory Middleweight champion. Levin defeated Alex Pereira in the quarterfinals, Filip Verlinden in the semis, and Joe Schilling in the finals, all via unanimous decision. Levin walked into the tournament as the #1 seed and he demonstrated why tonight. Throughout the three fights, Levin was dominant, showcasing his superb technical acumen at all turns. He will be a very tough man to defeat at Middleweight. The other major story of the tournament was Levin’s final match opponent Joe Schilling. Schilling had a huge night of redemption, defeating longtime rival Simon Marcus in the quarterfinals in the Fight of the Night, then avenging his Glory 12 loss to Wayne Barrett in the semis. Unfortunately, those two long fights took too much out of Schilling, and he could not get it done in the finals, but it was definitely a big night for him as well.
The Heavyweight division crowned their inaugural champion, and after a close five round fight, it was Rico Verhoeven crowned the champion. Verhoeven took a decision win, 49-46, 49-46, 48-47. This was not the crazy fight we saw from these two the first time they met in Chicago, nor did it feature the heavy KO shots Ghita is known for. Instead, it was a very strategic war of attrition – one that ultimately favored the younger Verhoeven. Ghita landed some nasty body kicks, but Verhoeven outworked him to take the belt. After their first fight, Ghita complained that the wrong man had been given the decision; you can bet he won’t be happy about this outcome either.
Finally, in the Welterweight division, challenger Joseph Valtellini took the world title from newly crowned champion Marc de Bonte. Valtellini won via unanimous decision with scores of 47-46 across the board. There was a bit of controversy over the decision as many felt de Bonte should have won the fight. As expected, this was a very technical, razor close fight. The first big turning point came in round 3 when Valtellini dropped De Bonte with a head kick. The champion looked finished, but in an incredible display of heart, he shook it off, came back, and was right back in the fight. In the 4th round, he returned the factor, dropping Valtellini with a gorgeous jump switch knee. Valtellini never fully recovered, and though he did not go down again, he was staggered for the rest of the fight. With De Bonte dominating the last two rounds, many felt he should have won, but Valtellini’s early work gave him rounds 1-3 in the eyes of the judges. Great fight in a night full of great fights. Valtellini vs. Holzken is likely up next in the division, though De Bonte deserves fights with both.
Prior to the PPV, Glory 17 on Spike saw Mirko Cro Cop defeat Jarrell Miller, Andy Ristie score a 30 second KO over Ky Hollenbeck to earn a Lightweight title shot rematch with Davit Kiria, and Gabriel Varga win a tremendous four man Featherweight tournament over an incredibly game Shane Oblonsky.
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