Glory 18 is in the books, and it was a great night of action for kickboxing fans. Now it’s time to look ahead to what comes next for the kickboxing company. Here then are the 5 fights I want to see after Glory 18.
1.) Robin van Roosmalen vs. Giorgio Petrosyan – Roosmalen is the new Lightweight champion after a 3rd victory over Davit Kiria. With that, the rotating door at the top of the Lightweight division just keep turning. Since Glory 12 we’ve had Ristie, then Kiria, then Roosmalen at the top. But for any one fighter to really establish himself as the top man, there’s a significant figure that must be toppled – Giorgio Petrosyan, the clear cut kind at 70kg for years. He’s been out of action ever since his loss to Ristie, but he comes back early next year in a non-Glory fight. Time to get him in there ASAP and give him a shot at the belt.
2.) Davit Kiria vs. Marat Grigorian – This was a tough loss for Kiria, who has not found consistent success against the highest levels in Glory. The talk from matchmaker Cor Hemmers post-Glory 18 is that Kiria will need to win a contender’s tournament to earn a 4th crack at Roosmalen. If that’s what happens (and that makes sense to me), I would love to see him paired against the underrated Marat Grigorian in the semifinal round.
3.) Gokhan Saki vs. Saulo Cavalari – Easy call here. Cavalari won the contender tournament, so a showdown with the champion awaits. The Brazilian fighter looked great in his win, and with his only Glory loss being a decision defeat by Tyrone Spong, he makes a formidable challenge for Saki. This should be a good one.
4.) Zack Mwekassa vs. Andrei Stoica – He may have ended the night on his back, but in many ways, Zack Mwekassa was the big story of Glory 18. His show opening KO win over Brian Collette (pictured above) turned a lot of heads, and his incredible persona has made many instant fans in the past week. The loss to Cavalari is a setback, no doubt, but I hope to see Mwekassa back in there again soon. I can’t imagine a more perfect opponent for him than Andrei Stoica – that’s a fight that just screams violence.
5.) Josh Jauncey vs. Hinata – This one is a bit more obscure, but stick with me. Josh Jauncey has been on the Superfight Series at both Glory 16 and 18 and has looked tremendous in his two wins. A member of Team Souwer, Jauncey is the kind of young fighter who has a very, very bright future ahead of him. It’s time to get him a top 10 opponent, and Japan’s Hinata seems like a perfect fit – particularly if it can be on Spike.
Those are my picks – what about you Glory fans? What fights are you most looking forward to?
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