The past couple of days have been nothing short of amazing for combat sports fans. For mixed martial arts there was an amazing card top-to-bottom in UFC 146 where Junior dos Santos successfully defended his heavyweight title in dominant fashion against Frank Mir. On Sunday for kickboxing, K1 Uprising took place and saw returning icons like Mirko Cro Cop and Badr Hari go back to their winning ways in Spain.
Perhaps the most impressive event, hoever, took place on Saturday (morning if you were in America) when the Glory World Series 2012 kicked off. Featuring the start of their 70KG Tournament, MMA bouts and stars like Gokhan Saki and Semmy Schilt, there was a little something for everybody. You can be sure to see more exciting events from GLORY in the near future. Below is a press release of the event:
GLORY WORLD SERIES FIRST 16, SWEDEN, 26th May 2012
A night of GLORY
On Saturday night in front of a sold-out crowd in the Swedish capital Stockholm, the GLORY World Series tournament commenced with an event that even the most veteran kickboxing fans are declaring to be one of the best nights of fighting they have ever seen.
From top to bottom the event was stacked with the household names of the kickboxing world, legends of fighting drawn from every part of the globe on a mission to try and win the most prestigious tournament in the sport and progress, eventually, to the grand finale and a prize of $300,000.
The action was unrelenting – every fighter who entered the GLORY ring was ready for war. Some went the distance and put on a master class display of the skills they have spent a lifetime crafting, other fights were over quickly as
“We had an amazing night of GLORY in Stockholm. The show looked amazing, the fights were world-class and the fans loved it. We could not have asked for a better start for the new GLORY World Series – but this is only the beginning. If you enjoyed this first show, you will love what’s coming up,” says GLORY SPORTS INTERNATIONAL Managing Director Marcus Luer.
His comments were echoed by GLORY SPORT President Bas Boon, who has been involved in fight sports since the 1990s but has rarely witnessed an event that was so action-packed and so satisfying both for its producers and for its audience.
“I am very excited to be part of the new GLORY Sports International organization. What a way to start the First 16 here in Stockholm, Sweden,” he said immediately after the event had concluded. “I want to thank everybody in GLORY and also a special thanks to the production team – the Swedish promoter did a stand-out job.
“This is just the beginning – we are ready to conquer the stand-up fighting sport world and take it by storm. It’s time for GLORY!”
Last night’s event was broadcast to 110,000,000 homes worldwide by some of the world’s premier sports television networks, including EuroSport, Canada’s Fight Network and the Central European terrestrial television broadcaster KanalTurk.
The television broadcasts were complemented by a high-definition live pay-per-view stream which aired via www.gloryworldseries.com. Employing state-of-the-art technology, the stream was perfect throughout and – notably for a live stream of extended duration – suffered no technical difficulties, leading to a high level of fan satisfaction.
GLORY World Series: First 16 was headlined by the legendary Semmy Schilt, who reinforced his status as the world’s number one heavyweight kickboxer by putting a clinic on the young highly-regarded prospect Errol Zimmerman.
Zimmerman’s corner threw the towel in in the third round as Schilt’s dominance became impossible for their man to endure. The win earned Schilt the GLORY Heavyweight Title, the most prestigious kickboxing title in the world. Schilt in his post-fight interview acknowledged that he ranks this title on the same level as his previous titles in the other organization.
Also on the card, Gokhan Saki demonstrated his thrilling power with a quick stoppage of the American veteran Carter Williams and Nieky Holzken stopped rising Swedish star Alex Harris with a trademark body shot in the second round of their super fight.
In the centrepiece of the event, the eight opening-round fights of the GLORY World Series 70 kilo tournament produced action, surprises and excitement as the sixteen top fighters in the weight class fought tooth and nail for the chance to progress to the quarter-finals.
Giorgio Petrosyan outpointed the top French fighter Fabio Pinca to underline why he is the favourite to win the tournament, Albert Kraus had a tough battle with Denmark’s Mohammed El Mir to secure his own spot in the next round and American prospect Ky Hollenbeck smashed his countryman Michael Corley in under a minute to get his pass.
Upsets came via the unknown Georgian fighter David Kiria, who knocked down and out-worked the top Thai fighter Kem Sitsonpeenong, and Switzerland’s Shemsi Beqiri did the same with another tournament favourite, Japanese veteran Yoshihiro Sato, to take a split-decision win after an action-packed battle.
Fight of the Night was surely put on by Robin van Roosmalen and Dzhabar Askerov, who stood toe-to-toe and battered each other for nine minutes in a fight that had the fans in the arena going crazy. Van Roosmalen gradually edged ahead and took the decision win.
The final spots in the second round were taken by 21-year-old Swedish prospect Sanny Dahlbeck, who impresses with each outing, and the British fighter Tim Thomas, who stood in on late notice and had actually worked a full shift in a new job the preceding day.
For more information on GLORY visit our website at www.gloryworldseries.com and follow us on Twitter @GLORY_WS. Announcements will be coming soon regarding the location, date and matches for the next event.