This Friday, April 3, Glory presents the stacked Glory 20 Dubai. Glory 20 airs on Spike TV this Friday, April 3 with a fight time of 9:00 p.m. ET. Bloody Elbow will have live fight night coverage, and to get ready for the show, we have you covered with our fight by fight previews.
Here, a look at the night’s Middleweight contender tournament – winner earns a shot at champion Artem Levin at Glory 21 on May 8.
SEMIFINAL: #4 SIMON MARCUS (40-2-1 Overall; 0-1 Glory) vs. #5 WAYNE BARRETT (5-2 Overall; 4-2 Glory)
Marcus made his debut at the Last Man Standing PPV. He came in undefeated and one of the best stand-up fighters in the world, but lost a great, action-packed fight to his rival Joe Schilling. Since then, he has scored one win, but then a shocking upset loss in China to Fang Bian (Who? Exactly.). Marcus is a superb Muay Thai stylist, who has run through opponents for years. But he has shown real troubles making the jump to Glory rules. His greatest weapon in his clinch game, which is masterful, but Glory rules don’t allow those extended clinch battles, and without them, Marcus has shown that he’s not the same fighter. Schilling exposed his tendency to come in with his hands down, relying on the clinch to keep him safe. Bian exploited this same weakness, cracking Marcus clean as he came in to knock the veteran out.
Wayne Barrett is known for his meteoric rise in Glory, defeating Schilling in only his 4th professional fight. He lost a close and mildly controversial decision to Schilling at Last Man Standing, but still was seen as a future champion. Then Glory 18 happened. The confident Barrett went into his Glory 18 fight with Jason Wilnis talking a mountain of trash about Wilnis’s Dutch kickboxing style and how it was not as great as it is widely considered. He also went in the heavy favorite. And he walked out humbled. Wilnis took him apart, dropping him twice to take a dominant decision victory in the name of his home country. Word out of the Barrett camp is that he is extremely motivated to get back on track and move past that loss.
This is a huge, must win fight for both men. A Marcus loss here means his Glory run has to be considered a huge bust, and would put the former 39-0 fighter at 1-3 in his last 4. For Barrett, this will be the fight that tells if the Wilnis loss was an anomaly or a revelation about just how good Barrett truly is. They both need this win. It’s also an incredibly tough fight to call. If Marcus has learned from his losses and can make the needed adjustments to his game, he can perhaps be the best Middleweight in the world. If Barrett can similarly learn, he can be a future champion. The question is, who has taken what from that loss? My guess: Barrett comes in focused and on point, lands those heavy punches, and puts Marcus down. But don’t go betting your life savings here, because this is close.
Prediction: Wayne Barrett by KO
SEMIFINAL: #3 JASON WILNIS (23-4-1 Overall; 2-2 Glory) vs. #6 ALEX PEREIRA (17-2 Overall; 2-1 Glory)
Wilnis is a well travelled Dutch veteran who comes in off that career high performance against Barrett. Prior to that win, Wilnis was something of a journeyman – a fighter whose solid fundamentals always made him a challenge, but who had never crossed that threshold into the high level. Now, he’s there – the question is, can he stay there? Wilnis is a very technically skilled fighter, with nice fast combos that he likes to end on the low kick. He also showed great hands against Barrett, using punches in combination to drop him in Oklahoma.
Pereira is the Glory 14 Middleweight contender tournament champion, though he came into that fight a relative unknown in Glory. Fighting the bulk of his career in Brazil, Pereira used excellent boxing skills in Zagreb to earn that tournament win. He has fast hands, nice movement, and good combos, approaching the sport of kickboxing with a much heavier emphasis on the boxing than the kick, and has had nice success with that approach. He lost to Artem Levin at Last Man Standing, but has since scored two wins outside of Glory. He’s also a tall fighter with a big reach who uses that well – his knockdown of Sahak Parparyan came from a straight shot down the middle, which is a great punch for a tall fighter.
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These two have faced off before, with Wilnis defeating Pereira by 2nd round stoppage in Brazil in 2012. Pereira has made significant improvements since then, but Wilnis showed against Barrett that he has matched those improvements. It’s too simple to say that Wilnis won once so will win again, and had this fight happened between Last Man Standing and Glory 18, I would have picked the hands of Pereira to lead him to victory. But that performance against Barrett should have given Wilnis the confidence he needs to succeed. Look for him to match the boxing of Pereira, but use leg kicks to make the difference.
Prediction: Jason Wilnis by decision
I have this as Barrett vs. Wilnis II – the fight you almost have to want to see here. Does Wilnis have Barrett’s number, or are we going to see the next step in the evolution of Wayne Barrett? I suspect the latter, but would not be shocked at all if it’s the former.
Prediction: Wayne Barrett by decision
Watch the Middleweight tournament at Glory 20, live on Spike TV this Friday, April 3 at 9:00 p.m. ET, and join us here at Bloody Elbow for fight night coverage.
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