Dustin Jacoby (9-7, 7 KO’s) and Simon Marcus (44-3, 24 KO’s) have already met once before. Jacoby challenged Marcus for his belt at GLORY 30 LOS ANGELES earlier this year but fell short over five rounds. With Marcus now back in the contender ranks, Denver native Jacoby is getting a second chance at solving the puzzle.
GLORY 33 was Marcus’ first loss in the GLORY ring since a highly controversial draw with former champion Artem ‘The Lion’ Levin in May 2015. He avenged that draw in a rematch – albeit by way of Levin being disqualified for storming from the ring in frustration – and followed that with a shutout of Jacoby at GLORY 30.
But then in his GLORY 33 defense against Wilnis, technicality quickly went by the wayside in favor of relentless aggression. Marcus got wild and paid for it as Wilnis cracked him with hard counter-attacks and eventually stopped him by way of three knockdowns in the second round.
It’s a quick turnaround for Marcus to jump back in the ring just weeks after that fight. Whether that gives Jacoby any benefit is debatable, but certainly his confidence will have been boosted by watching Marcus get stopped. Jacoby is a notoriously hard-hitter – 78% of his GLORY wins are inside the distance and he rode a five-fight KO-win streak into his GLORY 30 fight with Marcus.
Jacoby is to kickboxing what Daniel “Rudy” Ruettiger was to college football. He won a regional US tournament with three KO’s in one night to land a GLORY contract, only to find himself thrown to the wolves in GLORY proper and go on a losing streak. His continued presence on the roster was widely resented by international kickboxing fans, who saw him as a token American in a Euopean-dominated sport, but Jacoby buckled down and set to work on turning himself from a hard-hitting brawler into a fully-fledged kickboxer.
Training camps in the Netherlands followed, and improvement was marked, but much of the credit lies with coach Mark Montoya at Factory X Muay Thai in Denver. Their work together has made Jacoby into a legitimate striking artist. Jacoby’s hard work and determination took him from washout to contender and changed public opinion in the process; fans respected the effort and now tune in for him because of his likeable personality and do-or-die style.
Whether the gap between GLORY 30 and this Friday’s GLORY 34 DENVER has been enough for Jacoby to figure Marcus out remains to be seen, but fireworks are almost certainly guaranteed. One advantage Jacoby does have is being a resident of the Mile High City – his body is fully attuned to Denver’s altitude and oxygen deficit, something travelling athletes have been known to struggle with. You can check out their original bout below.
GLORY 34 DENVER takes place this Friday, October 21 at the 1st Bank Center in Denver, Colorado and is headlined by welterweight champion Nieky ‘The Natural’ Holzken defending the belt against bitter rival Murthel Groenhart in what will be their trilogy match. The event airs live on ESPN3 at midnight ET / 9 p.m. PT with a replay broadcast on ESPN2 at 7 p.m. ET / 4 p.m. PT this Sunday, Oct. 23. The ESPN card is preceded by a live broadcast of the GLORY 34 SUPERFIGHT SERIES preliminary card on UFC FIGHT PASS from 10pm ET.
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