With the UFC in hibernation, the kickboxing world continues to shine. Already this month we had Mirko Cro Cop vs. Ray Sefo - this week kickboxing action returns with a pair of exciting shows featuring, arguably, the top 2 kickboxers in the world. Today, we'll take a look at the United Glory show from Moscow, and check back later for this weekend's Fight Code show from Italy.
This Friday, March 23, United Glory presents the first show in their Glory World Series 2012. An offshoot of the famed Golden Glory gym, United Glory has been producing occasional shows for some time, but starting in late 2010 they began to focus more on a regular schedule. The current plan is to run this weekend's show, then twice more in 2012. The show will be available online in a live stream at GFL TV. The stream costs $15 US and begins Friday morning at 10 a.m. ET / 7 a.m. PT.
Headlining the show are three big kickboxing bouts, with a nice undercard of both K-1 and MMA action. Here are the highlights:
Semmy Schilt vs. Brice Guidon
The main event of the evening sees 4 time K-1 champion Seemy Schilt return to action for the first time since the 2010 K-1 Grand Prix. Schilt's style is not for everyone, and he has a lot of detractors, but there's no denying that he is still the king at Heavyweight. From 2005 to now he has absolutely dominated the Heavyweight ranks with those 4 big Grand Prix wins and only 3 men to have defeated him. The Heavyweight ranks just feel empty without him, and it's good to see him back at last. Guidon is a training partner of Jerome Le Banner. He had a good run in 2010, including a win over Hesdy Gerges, and was a top 20 fighter when the Heavyweight division dried up. During Schilt's absence, he's gone 3-1, with his only loss to Gokhan Saki. He's a good opponent, and a tougher challenge than I expected for Schilt here, but still, it's Semmy Schilt, and Guidon will be the heavy underdog.
More in the full entry.
Jerome Le Banner vs. Errol Zimmerman
If you know these two, you can'ty help but be excited for this fight. Le Banner is one of K-1's original heavy-hitting dynamic KO artists. He's been around the sport for nearly 20 years, and though he's definitely winding down his career, there's still some life in him - he's 5-1 in his last 6 including a win over Tyrone Spong. Zimmerman is the new version of JLB - the new generation's dynamic slugger. He burst onto the scene with a tremendous 2008, but then had a very rough run in 2009/2010, going 3-6 due to what seemed to be a general apathy towards the sport and training. Many wrote Zimmerman off, but he came back with a fury last year, and has won his last 7 straight - 5 of those via first round knock out. This is going to be great.
Sergei Kharitonov vs. Mark Miller
Strikeforce and Pride veteran Sergei Kharitonov returns to kickboxing rules here. He's dabbled a bit with kickboxing lately, going 2-2 since 2009 and using his stand-up to make the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix semifinals last year. Interesting to see him competing here though, as it seems to indicate that he is unlikely to make the jump to the UFC Heavyweight division soon. His opponent is Mark Miller, the American who last year made an amazing comeback after open heart surgery to defeat Nikolaj Falin in mere seconds in what I called the kickboxing KO of the year. He's a great story, and this is a well put together fight between two men at similar points in their careers, but also with some name value.
Plenty of other good fighters round out the undercard including Nieky Holzken, Zabit Samedov, and former UFC champion Ricco Rodriguez. Check out the full line-up below, and join us this weekend for more coverage.
Untied Glory World Series 2012
March 23, 2012
MMA -95 kg Ilir Latifi vs Vladimir Gerasimchik
MMA -65 kg Cesario di Domenico vs Murad Machayev
MMA -76 kg Anatoly Safranov vs Gasan Umalatov
MMA HW Ricco Rodriguez vs Ruslan Magomedov
KB -73,9 kg Nieky Holzken vs David Kiria
KB -72,5 kg Maxim Vyrovski vs Dzhabar Askerov
KB HW Jamal Ben Sadik vs Vitaly Oparin
KB HW Igor Jurkovic vs Zabit Samedov
KB -98 kg Ali Cenic vs Sergey Maslobojev
KB HW Sergei Kharitonov vs Mark Miller
KB HW Errol Zimmerman vs Jerome Le Banner
KB HW Sem Schilt vs Brice Guidon