Former UFC light-heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida was in Los Angeles on Saturday night, having scored ringside tickets for the GLORY 17/LAST MAN STANDING event at The Forum arena.
Now down at middleweight and taking a run at the UFC title in his new weight class, the karateka watched with interest as GLORY’s own middleweight (185lb) eight-man tournament played out.
Local fighter Joe ‘Stitch Em’ Schilling had a savage Fight of the Year contender with Simon Marcus in the quarter-finals. He made it to the final but couldn’t overcome Artem Levin, who was on top form with his complete arsenal of tricks and evasive techniques.
“I’d love to fight that guy,” Machida told BloodyElbow, indicating Levin as the Russian was in the ring receiving his middleweight title belt and winner’s check for $200,000.
“If I could do a one-fight deal to fight with him I would definitely do it. I like his style.”
Machida is one of several fighters in MMA’s top echelons who could conceivably make a successful venture into GLORY. Of course, being under contract with the UFC, he is very unlikely to be allowed any such opportunity.
The UFC does allow its fighters to take part in grappling events such as ADCC but kickboxing is a different animal, especially for champions and contenders – Machida is facing Chris Weidman for the middleweight title next month.
However, if the organization continues to growing its US fanbase with each event, it is not inconceivable that some of MMA’s more stand-up oriented fighters may want to test themselves under GLORY rules in the not-too-distant future.
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