Glory 8 Tokyo preview: Tradition, tournaments, and the last ride for K-1 legends Aerts and Le Banner?

Legend Peter Aerts lands a kick on Mourad Bouzidi at Glory 4 - Ben Pontier/GLORY

Get ready for Glory 8 Tokyo with this Bloody Elbow preview as we break down what to expect from Glory 8 this Friday, featuring Peter Aerts, Jerome Le Banner, and a one night tournament.

This Friday, join Bloody Elbow for live fight coverage of Glory 8 Tokyo, the latest event from top kickboxing organization GLORY. Glory 8 Tokyo airs live from Japan this Friday, May 3 with a fight time of 1:00 a.m. ET (yes, that's 1:00 a.m. Friday morning/Thursday night. Such is life with a show live from Japan). We'll have a Glory 8 live stream available right here at Bloody Elbow, and join us for live fight coverage and discussion.

Glory has had a pretty terrific year so far, with strong shows from London, Istanbul, and Milan. They are also already looking ahead to a big New York show on June 22. But in many ways, this is the show I am most looking forward to from Glory this year. No, it doesn't have a marquee fight like Daniel Ghita vs. Gokhan Saki, or Tyrone Spong vs. Remy Bonjasky. But it does have one very important factor.

Tradition.

Glory 8 hails from the home of modern-day kickboxing - Tokyo, Japan and the famed Ariake Coliseum. Japan was of course the long-time home to K-1, and the site of the vast majority of kickboxing's highlights. Now, Glory, the clear heir to the K-1 mantle, is back in Japan. And they come back bringing legends.

Two of K-1's greatest fighters of all time will compete this weekend. Three time K-1 Grand Prix champion Peter Aerts headlines the show, facing Jamal Ben Saddik. Also, one of K-1's most popular fighters of all time, Jerome Le Banner, fights Koichi Watanabe. It's a chance to see these legends in action, and at the ages of 42 and 40 respectively, it is likely one of the last times you'll get this opportunity.

Sadly for K-1 fans, neither man is in for an easy night. It's been three years since Le Banner defeated Tyrone Spong in K-1, and in that time he has either faced unranked opponents and won, or faced stiffer competition and lost. Le Banner and Koichi have met once before at Glory 4, with Le Banner taking the win. I see him getting the win again here, but it won't be easy.

Aerts may have a tougher night ahead of him. Jamal Ben Saddik is coming off a pair of huge wins over Remy Bonjasky and Errol Zimmerman, and he'll look to spoil Aerts's homecoming here. Aerts is a legend, but time seems to have caught up with him - he's just 1-2 in the past two years, and that win comes against a total unknown. Still, Mr. K-1 has defied the odds many times before - can he do it again, and in front of the Japanese faithful?

Elsewhere on the card, Glory puts an emphasis on the new generation of smaller fighters, with Andy Ristie in a feature fight against Albert Kraus and various other exciting fighters. But the big sell is the return of the one night, 8 man tournament, as 8 Featherweights compete. Included in the field are the likes of Yuta Kubo, Masaaki Noiri, Mosab Amrani, and Liam Harrison. I like Kubo as the favorite, but this is a stacked tournament.

Put it all together and you've got one fantastic show - a night that features tradition, legends, new talent, and the best kickboxers in the world. That's well worth a watch - even if it is the middle of the night.

Join us here at Bloody Elbow for Glory 8 Tokyo live stream, results, discussion, and live fight coverage early this Friday, May 3 (or late Thursday for those of you on the west coast).


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