GLORY 17 Recap
We were LIVE on press row at GLORY 17, and our man on the scene (@sweetpappyjones) was there covering the play-by-play on Twitter. He also broke down the card beginning to end for anyone who missed it, or simply wanted to re-live one of the biggest kickboxing cards the United States has ever seen. Here’s the breakdown from our very own P-Money!
The atmosphere here at The Forum in Inglewood was electric from the outset. Multiple local fighters got a good response from the crowd in attendance for the early preliminary fights. Ron Cruz vs. Sonny Singh was a solid fight, with four fun rounds. Cruz hurt Singh several times, dropping him at least once officially. Singh came out on fire and dominated round four, but he needed a finish for the win and just wasn’t able to find it late. Brun vs. Davis was also a highlight, with both fighters having success, but Brun scored the only stoppage of the preliminary card with a Round Two TKO over Davis following a heavy series of strikes.
Glory 17 (Spike TV)
The Spike TV portion of the card didn’t let up one bit, starting with the first two fights in the Featherweight tournament. Gabriel Varga put on a clinic against Yodkhunpon Sitmonchai, throwing everything you could imagine at his opponent, and landing most of his attempts. Wheel kicks, spinning back fists, and great punching combinations earned Varga’s spot in the Featherweight Final.
Shane Oblonsky earned his spot in the final in a bout that was a little more competitive against Marcus Vinicius. Vinicius’ speed was causing Oblonsky problems, and allowing Marcus to get in his strikes, but Oblonsky was able to find a home for his attack and dropped Vinicius in the first and third, giving him the edge in both rounds, and the fight overall.
And although Ky Hollenbeck was the crowd favorite entering the fight against Andy Ristie, the cheers were as loud as they were all night when Ristie came out and blazed through Hollenbeck, earning a KO in a matter of seconds.
Oblonsky and Varga then fought for the Featherweight tournament title. It was a close fight, and the crowd was handily on the side of Oblonsky. Ultimately, Varga got the decision, and the tournament win. Fatigue seemed to be a slight factor as the fight entered the third round, the sixth round for each fighter. But the pace maintained relatively well.
Last Man Standing (PPV)
The biggest action of the night though was certainly the pay-per-view portion of the card. Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic took a decision against the much larger Jarrell Miller. Cro Cop displayed his classic leg kicks, working the body and even landing a signature head kick or two. Miller was game though, and kept trying to pressure Cro Cop until the end.
“Bazooka” Joe Valtellini and Marc de Bonte arguably stole the show, with a five round war for the Lightweight title. Joe seemed to win rounds one through three, displaying flashy technique and fantastic combinations. He dropped de Bonte with a devastating head kick in the third round, one many in attendance were surprised de Bonte recovered from. Somehow, de Bonte managed to come out and take rounds four and five, even dropping Valtellini in Round Four. However, de Bonte had already given up one round too many, and the judges crowned Bazooka Joe the new Lightweight champion.
Daniel Ghita and Rico Verhoeven did battle for five rounds as well, in a battle for the vacant Heavyweight championship. Ghita seemed to be pacing himself for the battle, picking and choosing his spots while perhaps being too patient. Ghita had the majority of his success landing body kicks to the ribs of Verhoeven, with noticeable bruising developing in the middle of the fight. Verhoeven was not deterred, however, as his defense was on point for most of the fight. His offense is what won him the match though, putting the pressure on Ghita, throwing and landing good volume with his punches and kicks. While not as dramatic as the lightweight fight, it was a good showing as Rico Verhoeven won the judges over, and the vacant Glory Heavyweight Championship.
The highlight of the Pay Per View, Last Man Standing, was the 8-Man tournament for the Glory Welterweight Championship. In a night of non-stop kickboxing madness, this tournament did not disappoint. Wayne Barrett, who was 4-0 as a professional, and the dark horse picked by many to upset the field, put on a fantastic showing. He dominated his first opponent, Bodgan Stoica, winning the first two rounds with a high pressure attack. Barrett then put an exclamation point on his performance, knocking out Stoica in mid-air in the third round while Stoica attempted a flying knee, in a KO strongly resembling Fedor Emelianenko vs. Andrei Arlovski.
Joe Schilling, another home town favorite, also put on a strong showing, making his way to the finals. His first fight was against Simon Marcus, a fighter whom he had previously lost to. It was as closely contested a bout as one would like, with the judges ultimately scoring the bout a draw. This sent the bout to sudden death, where Schilling came out like a man possessed. The referee took a point from Marcus for repeatedly spitting out his mouthpiece, condemning Simon to a loss in the eyes of many. Joe Schilling made the point deduction a non-factor though, as he brutally knocked out Marcus shortly after.
Schilling then met Barrett in the semi-finals, as Schilling looked to avenge another loss on his professional record. It was a close match, and one many thought Barrett had won. The crowd at the Forum was divided as the decision was read in Schilling’s favor.
Schilling would advance to the finals against Artem Levin, who seemed to be pacing himself through his first two matches. Levin was conservative for his first two bouts, but still fairly decisive in both matches, earning decision victories against Alex Pereira and Filip Verlinden. If Levin was pacing himself for the final, it paid off as he came out decidedly more aggressive for his bout against Schilling. A spinning back fist from Levin dropped Joe early in the first, and it was Artem controlling the pace from there on out. Schilling was game for all three rounds, having fought almost ten full rounds that night, but Levin would not be denied the Glory Welterweight Championship on this night as he took the unanimous decision from the judges.
(Follow P-Money on Twitter @sweetpappyjones)