UFC 130 is the big story this weekend, but over in Moscow, United Glory also staged an excellent, action-packed show today. United Glory is essentially the event producing arm of Holland's Golden Glory gyms. The event was the culmination of their World Series of Kickboxing and MMA tournaments, which started in October. The finals of the tournaments were Gokhan Saki vs. Brice Guidon in kickboxing, and Siyar Bahadurzada vs. Tommy Depret in MMA. The show also featured Strikeforce Heavyweight Sergei Kharitonov among others. Here are the full results:
Kickboxing: Igor Jurkovic def. Pavel Zhuravlev (TKO, R2)
MMA: Denis Stojnic def. Mladen Kujundzic (Submission via Rear Naked Choke, R1)
Kickboxing: Errol Zimmerman def. Mourad Bouzidi (Unanimous Decision)
MMA: Rasul Mirzaev def. Roman Kishev (Submission via armbar, R1)
Kickboxing: Mark Miller def. Nikolaj Falin (KO, R1)
MMA: Dion Staring def. Roman Savochka (TKO, R1)
Kickboxing: Sergei Kharitonov def. Mighty Mo (KO, R1)
Kickboxing: Ali Cenak vs. Zabit Samedov (Draw)
MMA: Jason Jones def. Shamil Abdoulmouslimov (KO, R3)
Kickboxing: Artur Kyshenko def. Nieky Holzken (Unanimous Decision)
MMA: Siyar Bahadurzada def. Tommy Depret (TKO, R2)
Kickboxing: Gokhan Saki def. Brice Guidon (Unanimous Decision)
A few items to point out:
- The most spectacular story of the night is definitely the KO by Mark "Fightshark" Miller. This was Miller's return fight after undergoing open heart surgery. It was amazing that he came back at all, but even more amazing was how he did it. In only 3 seconds, he landed a clean, one punch KO. Just a great moment there.
- Sergei Kharitonov had surprisingly little trouble defeating K-1 veteran Mighty Mo. Kharitonov is very new to the kickboxing game, but he is showing definite improvement. Add in his Strikeforce KO of Andrei Arlovski, which earned him a spot in the semi-finals of their Heavyweight Grand Prix, and the former Pride fighter is looking surprisingly relevant in 2011.
- Great job done by both Siyar Bahadurzada and Tommy Depret in the MMA finals. Siyar, a Golden Glory fighter, has developed quite a name amongst fans in Europe. I wouldn't be surprised to see the UFC give him a shot after this tournament win.
- A big win for Gokhan Saki as well. He came into this tournament the favorite, and he delivered. Saki has clearly established himself as one of kickboxing's very best heavyweights today. Hopefully he will have a chance to move up the ranks at the K-1 Grand Prix later this year.
- Some very good kickboxing action on the night, as both Kyshenko vs. Holzken and Zimmerman vs. Bouzidi were excellent, entertaining fights. In a rough year for the sport, it's good to see top names facing each other and putting on these kinds of performances.
- The World Series tournament got off to a rather rocky start, with some major names announced, then cancelled, plus some planning issues with the semi-finals. But this event absolutely delivered, with an inexpensive online PPV stream, and a series of very fun fights with big finishes. It's hard to be disappointed with how this final show went down. My hat is off to the United Glory team for this one.