Friday night it’s time for Glory with Glory 30 Los Angeles. Glory 30 airs live Friday, May 13 with a fight time of 12:30 a.m. ET for the main card on ESPN3 (that’s just after midnight Friday night to be clear) and 10:00 p.m. ET for the Superfight Series on UFC Fight Pass. We already took a look at the Superfight card – here’s a preview of the Glory 30 main card.
C. SIMON MARCUS (43-2-2 Overall; 3-1-1 Glory) vs. #3 DUSTIN JACOBY (9-6 Overall; 6-6 Glory) – Middleweight World Title
The main event at Glory 30 is a really intriguing fight that pits one of the most top-level elite fighters in the world against Glory’s real life Rocky story. Simon Marcus made his Glory debut in 2014 as an undefeated Muay Thai world champion with wins over both of Glory’s top two Middleweights – Joe Schilling and Artem Levin. He had a bit of a rough time adjusting to the Glory ruleset and style, but once he became comfortable, it was back to his winning ways. He fought to a very controversial draw with Levin, then beat him in an even more controversial fight earlier this year. Marcus is a superb technician with great kicks and punches, and a clinch game that was a major weapon in Muay Thai, and he’s now found a home for in Glory. He’s the total package, and should be in any discussion of the sport’s top fighters.
Meanwhile, Dustin Jacoby has taken the rough road to this title shot, coming to Glory as an MMA fighter and instantly being thrown to the wolves. He’s fought almost nothing but world class opponents, picking up both losses and valuable experience along the way. He became somewhat of an object of scorn to many fans – a sign that Glory was pushing American fighters instead of the true best in the world. But for anyone watching closely, it was clear that Jacoby’s experience was helping him develop into a very talented kickboxer. That all came to a head last year, when he knocked out Wayne Barrett – Barrett’s first ever KO loss (and that includes a fight between Barrett and Marcus). Jacoby repeated that accomplishment, knocking out Barrett again at Glory 27 to claim this title shot. Now, the fighter who couldn’t seem to find a win a few years back is on a 5 fight win streak, all via KO, and is a legitimate title challenger. He’s the huge underdog here, and rightly so. But it’s going to be great to see if somehow he can make it happen.
Prediction: Simon Marcus, Dec
#5 MARAT GRIGORIAN (45-9-2 Overall; 2-3-1 Glory) vs. #7 DJIME COULIBALY (51-13-4 Overall; 0-1 Glory) – Lightweight
The co-headliner is a good Lightweight battle between two top 10 fighters. Grigorian is a veteran of the European scene who has faced many of the sport’s best Lightweights. He’s always been so close to that big win, with very close losses to both Sittichai and Robin van Roosmalen. In the past year, he’s won a K-1 tournament, and scored a good win in Glory over Anatoly Moiseev, but that true top spot eludes him. Coulibaly lost his Glory debut to Josh Jauncey last year, and also has a 2014 loss to Buakaw on his record. He’s a good fighter, but this is Marat’s fight to lose, no doubt.
Prediction: Marat Grigorian, KO
SEMIFINAL: #15 FRANCOIS AMBANG (14-5 Overall; 2-3 Glory) vs. #12 DANIEL MORALES (Overall Record N/A; 0-1 Glory) – Welterweight
The Welterweight tournament here focuses on four rising American fighters, with the winner earning a spot in an upcoming Glory Welterweight Contender tournament. With his 14-5 record, Ambang is the veteran of the bunch. He’s a Road to Glory winner a few years back, and has been a bit up and down in Glory, with his biggest win coming against Eddie Walker at Glory 12. His last Glory fight was a loss to tournament participant Casey Greene in October. Morales just made his Glory debut at Glory 27, also losing to Greene. He’s a Chicago area fighter, with pretty limited experience. He looked decent in the Greene fight, and I think has enough to pull off the mild upset here.
Prediction: Daniel Morales, Dec
SEMIFINAL: #7 CASEY GREENE (5-5 Overall, 4-2 Glory) vs. #13 RICHARD ABRAHAM (8-3 Overall; 1-0 Glory) – Welterweight
At 4-2 in Glory, and with wins over Ambang and Morales, Greene is probably the tournament favorite. He’s still a pretty raw fighter looking to develop his skills in much the same way Dustin Jacoby did during his Glory run. He’ll look to make this fight rough and use his power shots to do more damage. Abraham made his Glory debut in Chicago at Glory 27 and looked terrific there, defeating Pawel Jedrzejczyk in an excellent fight. Abraham showed off terrific Muay Thai skills in that fight, outworking the tough Pawel. After that fight, Abraham was immediately on the radar of fighters to watch, so it’s good to see him getting the big opportunity here. Greene is a worthy test for him, but I see the ceiling for Abraham as much higher, so expect him to be the crisper fighter who uses his technique to earn the victory here.
Prediction: Richard Abraham, Dec
WELTERWEIGHT TOURNAMENT FINAL
I have this as Abraham vs. Morales, and that one’s a no-brainer to me. I may be overrating him, but I see big things in Richard Abraham’s future, and that starts here with an emphatic win. Regardless of who wins in the semis, look to the Greene vs. Abraham winner to take this whole tournament barring injury – that’s the much tougher side of the bracket, no doubt.
Prediction: Richard Abraham, KO
Join us here at Bloody Elbow on Saturday for live Glory 30 coverage.
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