A lighter, fitter Errol Zimmerman? This I have got to see.
Daniel Ghiţă, Errol Zimmerman, Glory, Glory 13 Tokyo, Glory Welterweight World Championship Tournament, Jamal Ben Saddik, Japan, Joe Valtellini, Nieky Holzken, Peter Aerts, Rico Verhoeven, Tokyo, Tyrone Spong
Glory World Series are riding the crest of a wave at the moment. A moderate wave for sure, but a wave nonetheless. Glory is now two fights deep into a deal with American cable TV company Spike. Both those shows, Glory 11 and Glory 12, were received extremely well by those in attendance and those who watched the shows on TV. While the TV ratings of those two events, pulled less than 500,000 viewers on Spike, there has been growth in the viewership between the two events and this will be the key to Glory’s long term success.
Is kickboxing about to return to the level of prestige it attained during the golden years of K-1? Or can can Glory push the sport even further and achieve something close to the success that MMA has enjoyed in recent years? These are certainly exciting times for kickboxing fans, both old and new.
To cap off what can only be described as amazing second year of operation for Glory World Series, Glory will hold the the final event of the year, Glory 13 Tokyo, in Japan. There is something nicely encompassing about this. In the year that Glory has made considerable efforts to hold events in America and to get onto American TV, Glory will also return to Japan where kickboxing was once king not so long ago.
Glory 13 Tokyo takes place at the Ariake Coliseum, in Koto, Tokyo Japan, on the 21st December. That’s 17 days from now. Mark it in your calender, write on your hand, whatever, just don’t miss this event. Glory’s events have been amazing this year and have provided many upsets along the way and Glory 13 Tokyo is likely to be more great action.
The headlining fight is the retirement bout for kickboxing legend Peter “the Dutch Lumberjack” or “Mr K-1” Aerts (103-30-1). There is plenty written about the greats of boxing, plenty being written about the greats of MMA, but not enough has been written about the greats of kickboxing. Peter Aerts is one of those greats. Aerts has competed in all but one of the K-1 Grand Prix events since it’s inception back in 1993. In that time time Aerts won the title of Grand Prix champion three times and faced practically all the greatest heavyweight kickboxers to step into the ring. There in nothing left for Peter Aerts to do or prove in kickboxing, yet he’s hardly taken it easy over the last couple of years, facing top talent such as Tyrone Spong and Alistair Overeem.
Peter Aerts has decided to retire in much the same way he has fought in his whole career, by facing the very best. Aerts retirement fight is against Rico Verhoeven, currently the best heavyweight in the world.
I want to say thank you to my Japanese fans from the bottom of my heart, for supporting me for such a long time. And I promise from the bottom of my heart that my last fight for them will be a real fight.
“There’s no question this great retirement match on December 21 could be the toughest fight I’ve ever had. GLORY is serious about raising up young fighters – they brought me Rico Verhoeven, the heavyweight tournament champion as my opponent.
“Normally if you say ‘retirement match’ it’s an easy fight, right? But I don’t mind and I am not intending to lose the match. I would tell Verhoeven, ‘Listen, it’s not an easy job to knock me down
While Aerts best days are behind him, the man is still capable of surprises and you need look no further than his last fight, against Jamal Ben Saddik, for an example of the fire that still burns in Aerts (you can watch that fight here).
The co-main event will see Daniel Ghita (49-10-0) face Errol Zimmerman (101-10-1) in another heavyweight battle. Ghita is one of the top heavyweight kickboxers in the world, yet 2013 has had it’s highs and lows for the Romanian fighter and he hasn’t looked consistent this year. There are rumours of a relationship break-up and a split with former trainer Anil Dunbar as being the reason for Ghita dropping down a gear from his form in 2012. Whatever the reasons, Ghita will need to be on point to face Errol Zimmerman, who is coming off a good win over Hesdy Gerges back at Glory 11. While Zimmerman has struggled to defeat top 10 fighters, he packs brutal power in is hands that can and will change the fight in his favour very quickly.
The remaining three fights on the main card are filled up by the Glory Welterweight World Championship Tournament, a four man tournament featuring the some of the best welterweights in kickboxing. The star attraction here, at least in the promotion of the event, is Nieky “The Natural” Holzken (82-11-0) from the Netherlands. However Glory has unearthed a real talent in Canadian fighter “Bazooka” Joe Valtellini (10-1), a fighter whose relatively slim record belies a quality fighter who has only recently through Glory found the opportunity to compete against the best. Meanwhile, Armenian fighter Karapet Karapetyan (42-8-2) will also be looking to upset the apple cart. Karapetyan, who holds a masters degree in law, is an intelligent fighter that wins decisions rather than stopping his opponents.
The Press & Media and Weigh In events take place on the 20th December. I will do my best to post these as soon as they are available. Be sure to check back for updates leading into the event.
There is a bit of disquiet about the “flash knockdown” rule that has been used at Glory events.
What is a “flash knockdown”? Here is the definition from ringsidebygus.com:
A flash knockdown occurs when a boxer is knocked down but gets back on his feet before the referee begins the count. It’s also known as a no-count.
Under Glory World Series Regulations, the rule set used at Glory events, there is no allowance for flash knockdown. A fighter in such a situation is counted as “down” and the judges score it as a knockdown:
A fighter is deemed to be down when according to the referee’s evaluation, if as the result of a damaging attack any part of a fighter’s body other than their feet touch the floor or would have touched the floor if not for the ropes or holding the opponent. A fighter may also be considered “down” if a fighter goes down for another reason and fails to rise at the command of the referee.
Two recent examples of a “flash knockdown” are arguably Artem Levin’s knockdown in round 4 of the Glory Middleweight Championship Tournament final against Joe Schilling, and Gokhan Saki’s first round knockdown yesterday against Rico Verhoeven.
Gokhan Saki is not a fan of the knockdown rule:
I am not a bad loser but what yestherday happend to me was not fair so next time not usa anymore for me sorry my fans from us i really love
— gokhan saki (@gokhantherebel) October 13, 2013
Jack Slack casts his eye over the Gokhan Saki vs Rico Verhoeven fight and offers his thoughts on how Verhoeven got the upset win over Saki.
Marvellous fight by Rico Verhoeven.
Glory 11 Chicago Full Results:
In the first semi-final of the HW tournament, Rico Verhoeven faced number 2 ranked heavyweight Gokhan Saki. Many expected Saki to not only win this fight, but to proceed to win the tournament. In the first upset of the evening, Verhoeven took control of the fight, soundly defeating Saki by unanimous decision.
Verhoeven faced number 3 ranked heavyweight Daniel Ghita in the final. Verhoeven fought in close to Ghita, keeping Ghita from being able to pick his shots and forcing Ghita to work at a fast pace. By the second round, Ghita was beginning to struggle to keep up with Verhoeven’s work rate and wilted further in the third round. The judges awarded the fight unanimously in Verhoeven’s favour.
This is a stunning achievement for Rico Verhoeven, beating two of the best heavyweight kickboxers in one evening.
WEIGH-IN RESULTS: GLORY 11 CHICAGO
Tyrone Spong (209lbs/94.8kgs) vs. Nathan Corbett (209lbs/94.8kgs) Light-Heavyweight
Karim Ghajji (169lbs/76.6kgs) vs. Joseph Valtellini (171lbs/77.6kgs) Welterweight
Errol Zimmerman (242lbs/109.8kgs) vs. Hesdy Gerges (223lbs/101.1kgs) Heavyweight
Daniel Ghita (248 lbs/112.5kgs) vs. Anderson Silva (245lbs/111.1kgs) Heavyweight
Gökhan Saki (226 lbs/102.5kgs) vs. Rico Verhoeven (257lbs/116.6) Heavyweight
GLORY SUPERFIGHT SERIES
Sergey Kharitonov (263lbs/119.3kgs) vs. Daniel Sam (268lbs/121.6kgs) Heavyweight
Danyo Ilunga (208lbs/94.3kgs) vs. Michael Duut (208lbs/94.3kgs) Light-Heavyweight
Raymond Daniels (167lbs/75.7kgs) vs. Brian Foster (171lbs/77.6kgs) Welterweight
Filip Verlinden (208lbs/94.3kgs) vs. Saulo Cavalari (207lbs/93.9kgs) Light-Heavyweight
Steve Moxon (154lbs/69.8kgs) vs. Reece McAllister (152lbs/68.9kgs) Lightweight
Gabriel Varga (143lbs/64.9kgs) vs. Jose Palacios (142lbs/64.4kgs) Featherweight
Troy Sheridan (155lbs/70.3kgs) vs. Michael Mananqui (153lbs/69.4kgs) Lightweight
Yang Rae Yoo (231lbs/104.8kgs) vs. Maurice Greene (239lbs/108.4kgs) Heavyweight
Aaron Swenson (140lbs/63.5kgs) vs. Billy Rose (138lbs/62.6kgs) Featherweight
Austin Lewis (170lbs/77.1kgs) vs. Ian Alexander (168.3lbs/76.3kgs) Welterweight
Axel Mendez (148lbs/67.1kgs) vs. Jordan Weiland (145.5lbs/66kgs) Catchweight
Gokhan Saki has been stirring things up leading up to tomorrow’s Glory heavyweight championship tournament at Glory 11 Chicago, firing the first shots in the war of words.
Saki started with some criticism of Daniel Ghita:
It was good to fight Ghita in Turkey. Either you’re a fighter or you’re not a fighter, and he’s not a good fighter. When you lose, you lose. You say “I’ll do better next time’. But he is [unable to] say that.
He still talks bulls–t but he will never forget those punches from Turkey. It’s [mentally] too soon for him to fight against Saki again, you know?
Saki also had some words for Rico Verhoeven as well:
Rico is not a talented fighter, you know? He’s a hard worker, but nothing special. He’s like 21, but I’ve never seen him knock anybody out. I’m better with everything, I’m more complete, and he knows that. I’m the most dangerous fighter [in the division].
I know that’s hard for him to hear but it’s the truth. He’s not a talented fighter, he is just a hard worker. I am only saying the truth. The only reason he is in the tournament is because Peter Aerts and Jerome Le Banner aren’t fighting. He should just be happy to be in the tournament. Its good to be self-confident but his winning streak ends on Saturday. I’m going to kick his f–king ass. I’m going to show America what real fighting is all about.
Daniel Ghita was not impressed with Saki’s comments and had this to say:
Saki, after this gala in Chicago you’re going to be depressed.
Rico Verhoeven was similarly unimpressed with Saki’s opinions:
Talk is cheap. Whatever he says doesn’t affect me. I think I have beat some good guys so, what is he saying, that these guys are not good either? That everyone below him is not good? I think it’s a pretty stupid thing to say.
Saki is the favorite for the tournament? It doesn’t matter to me. If everyone is happy with Saki let them be happy with Saki – until I f–king smash him this Saturday.
I think it’s great that Saki is bringing a bit of heat to the proceedings. We have some great fights lined up in the heavyweight card tomorrow, so a little spice just makes it that much better. Of course it also means someone will be eating crow tomorrow night…