United Glory has announced a partial line-up for their next show, and there are some very interesting fights shaping up, particularly for kickboxing fans. The show will take place on March 23 in Moscow and will feature both MMA and kickboxing fights.
In the most notable development for MMA fans, Strikeforce Grand Prix semi-finalist Sergei Kharitonov is scheduled to compete, but it will be under K-1 rules. Kharitonov will face Mark Miller, the American fighter who returned from open heart surgery last year and took home the best kickboxing KO of 2011 in the process. Kharitonov has been off the radar since his GP loss to Josh Barnett, with his name not often coming up in the discussions of Strikeforce's future. With the Heavyweight division on its way out, and the Pride veteran now taking a fight that is not under the Zuffa banner, you have to wonder if he will be brought into the UFC at all, or simply released.
The big news for K-1 fans is the return of 4 time K-1 Grand Prix champion Semmy Schilt. Schilt has been completely MIA since his 2010 GP loss to Peter Aerts, and his absence has been notable in the Heavyweight kickboxing ranks. Particularly with Badr Hari's upcoming retirement, Schilt is a very welcome return. He'll be competing in a K-1 rules match against a yet to be determined opponent.
United Glory is the promotional arm of Golden Glory gyms, home to many of these fighters and rumored part owner in the new K-1. They have produced shows in Europe before, but it's important to note that that are also notorious for not delivering the expected line-up. Last July they announced an October 2011 show featuring Kharitonov and Alistair Overeem that never happened, and in the past they have advertised many fighters who ultimately were not on the show, including Shinya Aoki and Paul Daley. I spoke to Miller who confirmed that his fight is indeed set, which is a good step, and their website indicates more information to come at the beginning of February. So a great start to the card so far - just be prepared for changes, and take it all with a massive grain of salt.
The current line-up:
K-1 Rules: Semmy Schilt vs. TBA
K-1 Rules: Sergei Kharitonov vs. Mark Miller
K-1 Rules: Jerome Le Banner vs. Errol Zimmerman