Glory 23 Las Vegas is a wrap, and what was not the most star-studded event on paper ended up being a very fun and enjoyable night of kickboxing. With that event behind us, we can now look ahead to the future for Glory. We already have the dates for their next two shows: September 19 for the Bellator co-promoted Dynamite event, and the just announced Glory 24: Denver on October 9. What we don’t know are the fights for those shows – only two (and a half) are set for Dynamite, none for Glory 24.
With that in mind, let’s look back at Glory 23 and try tackling the job of matchmaker Cor Hemmers – here are the fights to make for the Glory 23 main card fighters.
Nieky Holzken: The newly crowned Welterweight champion is in a tricky position. There are plenty of exciting options for him, but all have pretty significant obstacles. Joseph Valtellini is the fight we most want to see, but Bazooka Joe won’t be seeing a doctor until the fall, and even if he gets cleared at that time, it will be some time before a Holzken rematch is ready. Marc De Bonte has been a desired Holzken opponent for a long time, but he says he’s currently done with kickboxing and focused on boxing. And Holzken called out Paul Daley, but no way Bellator risks Daley vs. Koscheck II with this. My vote: Artur Kyshenko. Yes his last Glory fight was a loss back at Glory 14, but he’s a legend and he holds a win over Holzken. Plus it would be a great fight.
Raymond Daniels: It’s likely Glory will hand Daniels another low tier opponent for a flashy KO, but I would rather not see that. Last night he showed that he belonged in there against Holzken, so let’s keep him going against serious, top level opposition. My vote would be either Murthel Groenhart or Karapet Karapetyan.
Xavier Vigney: Daniel Sam was really the perfect opponent for Vigney, who is still developing and needed a solid, but lower level veteran opponent at this stage. He passed the test, so time to move up a notch. Jahfarr Wilnis would be perfect.
Daniel Sam: The big Brit is now 1-4 in Glory, so it’s entirely possible his run has come to an end. If not, he still does have value as a test for younger fighters. If he sticks around, make him that test for Glory 21 winner Maurice Greene.
Dustin Jacoby: He won a qualifying tournament, so next up for him should be a spot in a Middleweight Contender Tournament. Artem Levin and Simon Marcus have unfinished business, and I would like to see them rematch without Marcus having to go through a tournament, so perhaps put Jacoby in there with the likes of Robert Thomas, Jason Wilnis, and Joe Schilling.
Casey Greene: 1-2 in Glory, but made it to the finals here and is an entertaining fighter. He’ll get a softball next time out on the Superfight Series.
Quinton O’Brien and Ariel Sepulveda: Neither man made much of an impression, so pair them up on the Superfights and send the loser back for more seasoning.
Those are my picks. What do you think BE faithful?
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