On Friday night, join Bloody Elbow for kickboxing action as Glory takes the stage for Glory 24. Glory 24 Denver airs live on Spike TV this Friday, October 9 with a fight time of 11:00 p.m. ET.
The main card for Glory 24 was hurt by the loss of the originally planned Joe Schilling vs. Artem Levin main event, but it’s still a very good card highlighted by an excellent Heavyweight tournament. Here’s a look at what you can expect on Friday night from Glory 24.
Middleweight: #2 Joe Schilling (19-6; 5-2 Glory) vs. #3 Jason Wilnis (25-5-1; 3-3 Glory)
The main event of the night is a clutch fight in what has recently become one of Glory’s best divisions. Right now, Artem Levin is MW champion, with both Joe Schilling and Simon Marcus itching for trilogy rematches with the champ, and Dutch veteran Jason Wilnis just a hair outside of that big three. Winner here makes a strong case for the next title shot. And to add to the intrigue of this fight, it’s an incredibly close one to call.
Schilling is one of the big names for Glory thanks to his impressive performances at Glory 10 and the Last Man Standing PPV, and also thanks to his tenure in the Bellator cage. That time in Bellator hasn’t quite gone his way – he’s 1-2 there and coming in off a bad KO loss to Hisaki Kato. But he remains a force in kickboxing and one of the top MW fighters in Glory. Schilling brings an American Muay Thai style to the ring, mixing his shots together nicely and pushing his opponents to break them down. He’s a tough fighter who has been in there with many of the world’s best and defeated them.
Wilnis is a veteran of the European scene who had something of a breakout win over Wayne Barrett last year. Prior to that fight, Wilnis had been a bit of a journeyman, but he’s really put together his game well lately. Wilnis is firmly from the Dutch kickboxing model, with crisp, superb technique, particularly on his slicing low kicks. He’s an interesting stylistic match-up for Schilling, as I give the technical edge just to Wilnis, but the edge in power and ability to finish the fight to Schilling. Hard call here, but I like the upset.
Prediction: Jason Wilnis, decision
Heavyweight Semifinal: #1 Benjamin Adegbuyi (20-3; 3-1 Glory) vs. #5 Mladen Brestovac (49-9-1; 1-0 Glory)
The first fight in this loaded Heavyweight tournament sees Adegbuyi looking to bounce back from his world title fight loss to Rico Verhoeven earlier this year (Adegbuyi has since recorded one win outside of Glory). Prior to that title fight, Adegbuyi was on a real rampage with 9 straight wins. He also opened up strong against the champ, but was worn down as the fight progressed. He’s been one of the new Heavyweight talents developed in recent years, and seems just a small adjustment or two away from being champion. Brestovac is a Croatian fighter with 10+ years pro experience. He’s fought extensively for FFC and older regional K-1 shows. He’s also undefeated since 2012 when he lost to… Adegbuyi. In the 3 years since, he’s picked up a win over tournament participant Jahfarr Wilnis among others, defeating Wilnis via impressive head kick KO at Glory 14. Brestovac is a great pick up for Glory, and one I hope has a more permanent role, but he’s got a very tough out here. Still, this is a close fight.
Prediction: Benjamin Adegbuyi, decision
Heavyweight Semifinal: #6 Jahfarr Wilnis (27-5-1; 3-1 Glory) vs. #8 Ben Edwards (36-10-3; 1-1 Glory)
Wilnis is the brother of main eventer Jason Wilnis, and shares some similarities with his sibling. Like Jason, he is a Dutch stylist who is well travelled, and like Jason, he’s recently started to come in to his own, winning a very competitive tournament for Kunlun in China – a tournament that included both Hesdy Gerges and Andrei Herasimchuk, the man who defeated Glory champion Rico Verhoeven earlier this year. (And yes, that makes Wilnis the lineal Glory champ for those like me who nerd out on that kind of thing.) He’s a powerful striker, and has used that combination of power and technique effectively to defeat top fighters like Gerges and Jamal Ben Saddik. Ben Edwards makes a very welcome return to competition here. The heavy handed Aussie has been out of kickboxing action since last May at Glory 16 – very happy to see his return here. Edwards has some tremendous performances in his career, including winning a 2010 K-1 GP tournament by defeating 3 opponents in less than 4 minutes total, and knocking out Jamal Ben Saddik in an amazing come from behind win at Glory 12. Edwards has pro boxing experience, and it shows in his KO power. This is a great fight here – safe pick is Wilnis, but I like Edwards’s ability to stay in it and close the show.
Prediction: Ben Edwards, KO
Heavyweight Tournament Final
I have this as Benjamin Adegbuyi vs. Ben Edwards. Edwards will likely struggle a bit with two fights at altitude, leaving Adegbuyi to work him over and eventually finish him off.
Prediction: Benjamin Adegbuyi, KO
Middleweight: #4 Wayne Barrett (5-3; 4-3 Glory) vs. #10 Dustin Jacoby (6-6; 6-6 Glory)
Glory sometimes gets flak from hardcore kickboxing fans for their push towards using American fighters, but this is a really solid all-American fight between two fighters at intriguing points in their careers. Barrett was, at the end of 2013, arguably the #1 Middleweight in Glory, having just won over Schilling (who himself had just defeated Levin) in only his 4th pro fight. He looked good at the Last Man Standing tournament, losing a disputed decision to Schilling in the semifinals, and the sky appeared to be the limit for Barrett. But he’s 0-2 since with losses to Wilnis and Simon Marcus, and he’s looked pretty tentative and outmatched in both. He needs a win here in the worst way to right his ship. Jacoby is a stalwart of Glory, fighting high level talent again and again – all while in his first dozen fights as a pro kickboxer. He’s the epitome of being thrown in the deep end, and as a result, he’s struggled. But he looked good in a losing effort against Mourad Bouzidi at Glory 20, then dominated the field in an American qualifying tournament at Glory 23. Jacoby seems to really be settling into his own as a kickboxer right now – the question is, has he risen (and Barrett fallen) to the point that he can pull off the upset? I’m not sure, but this is another close call.
Prediction: Wayne Barrett, decision
Join us here at Bloody Elbow Friday night for live coverage of Glory 24.
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