This past weekend saw Glory in action with Glory 20. The event held in Dubai featured the crowning of Gabriel Varga as the company’s first ever Featherweight champion, a tournament win from Simon Marcus, and a huge title defense from Robin van Roosmalen in what is the best performance of his impressive career. In the wake of Glory 20, here are the five fights I most want to see in the company’s future:
1. Robin van Roosmalen vs. Giorgio Petrosyan II – This one is number one with a bullet. This fight just has to happen, and as soon as possible. Petrosyan ruled the division in dominating fashion for years, but was upended by Andy Ristie at Glory 12. He was then sidelined for a year, and is yet to return to Glory, but he is about to fight his second return fight this weekend. Petrosyan holds a 2012 win over van Roosmalen, and it’s time to do it again. Many would write van Roosmalen out, but we did that this past weekend too and he proved us wrong. Make this happen Glory!
2. Artem Levin vs. Simon Marcus II – We know this one will be headlining Glory 21 on May 8, and I can’t wait. Prior to coming to Glory, Marcus was an undefeated Muay Thai beast and arguably the best Middleweight kickboxer/Muay Thai fighter in the world. Then he came to Glory and struggled. His performance at Glory 20 was not flashy, but it was effective and showed that he has made the needed adjustments for the Glory ruleset. Now, he will rematch the nearly flawless Levin. In recent years, Levin has only tasted defeat twice – one very controversial loss to Joe Schilling, and one loss to Simon Marcus. I am eager to see them matched up again.
3. Saulo Cavalari vs. Gokhan Saki – Glory Light Heavyweight champion Saki has been MIA from the company since winning the belt at Glory 15. This past weekend, he was in attendance, thankfully. A sign that perhaps the top LHW in the world is on his way back? I hope so, because with his win over Artem Vakhitov in Dubai, Cavalari again showed that he is a worthy challenger. He’s earned this shot – let’s see how he handles it.
4. Chi Lewis-Parry vs. Pat Barry – I may get some flak for this one, but I stick by it. Chopper Chi made a big statement in his Glory debut here, absolutely smashing Yongsu Park. But Park was also, sorry to say, something of a can. Still, Lewis-Parry is a charismatic, English speaking, heavy hitting Heavyweight, and those are important qualities. Time to give him a higher profile fight, but also not yet time for a serious top 10 opponent like Silva or Kharitonov. Barry seems just right.
5. Gabriel Varga vs. Tetsuya Yamato – We have a new FW champ, but unfortunately, not much of a division to challenge him. There are tons of great Featherweight fighters out there, it’s just that not too many of them are currently in Glory. Let’s change that, starting with former K-1 champ Yamato. Why him? Because he’s a super exciting fighter who just had a big win in Lion Fight over Kevin Ross. And because he’s the lineal FW champ, and I’m a nerd for that sort of thing.
5b. Josh Jauncey vs. Anatoly Moiseev – Sorry, I just couldn’t keep my list at 5! Moiseev looked good in his Glory debut, and has a reputation as a powerful fighter. A fight with rising Lightweight Jauncey sounded good, so I asked Jauncey his thoughts about it. His response: “If that is who stands in front of me, it’s my job to lie them down.” That is badass, and if that doesn’t make you want to see the fight, I don’t know what will.
Glory returns to action with Glory 21 on May 8 featuring Levin vs. Marcus and an American Heavyweight tournament.
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