Lots of news this week from kickboxing company Glory as they draw closer to their next event on June 21. That event, which takes place in Los Angeles, is Glory's biggest to date - a single night featuring two events. Glory 17 kicks things off on Spike TV, followed by the Glory Last Man Standing PPV. Plenty of news for both events, so let's dive right in:
CRO COP OPPONENT SET
Originally, Mirko Cro Cop vs. Sergei Kharitonov was to headline the Spike program, but a Kharitonov injury left Cro Cop without an opponent. Now, the new main event is set. It will be Mirko Cro Cop vs. Jarrell Miller. Miller, who makes his Glory debut here, is certainly not going to be a name known to the casual fans the same way Kharitonov was. But this is a big fight. Since returning to kickboxing in 2012, Cro Cop was undefeated until his controversial decision loss to Remy Bonjasky at Glory 14. One of the men he defeated in that run was Miller, who fell to Cro Cop in the K-1 Grand Prix tournament. However, most fans who watched the fight agree that Cro Cop, fighting in Croatia, was gifted a decision in that fight and that Miller should have won. Cro Cop went on to win the GP; Miller has not fought kickboxing since as he has instead focused on his boxing career. Now, Cro Cop fights to prove he deserved the win and that he still has it, while Miller looks to right what he perceives as a wrong from last time. For the hardcore fans, this is big.
MIGUEL TORRES OUT
Former WEC champion Miguel Torres was set to make his Glory debut here as part of the Featherweight tournament, but he too is out with an injury. Tournament quarterfinals are now Shane Oblonsky vs. Marcus Vinicus and Gabriel Varga vs. Yodkhunpon Sitmonchai. This tournament takes place on Glory 17 on Spike.
MELVIN MANHOEF OPPONENT SET
A lot of exciting fighters are making their debut at Glory 17 and Last Man Standing, and one of the most exciting is MMA and kickboxing veteran Melvin Manhoef. The heavy handed, tremendously exciting Manhoef will be in the Last Man Standing tournament, vying for the Glory Middleweight world title. His opponent is now set - he will take on another solid veteran in Filip Verlinden.
In case you need more of a reason to get hyped for Manhoef's debut, check out the latest preview video from Glory, this time focusing on Manhoef. Once again, team Bloody Elbow is well represented with commentary from John Joe O'Regan and myself:
MORE TOURNAMENT FIGHTS
Also announced for the tournament is Glory 11 Middleweight tournament champion Joe Schilling vs. Simon Marcus. Marcus makes his Glory debut here, but he is my pick to win the title. Wayne Barrett, Artem Levin, Alex Pereira, and Bogdan Stoica round out the field and are still awaiting opponents.
What say you Bloody Elbow readers - are you ready for Glory?
Get more coverage of Glory 17 and the Last Man Standing PPV in the coming weeks, and join us live here at Bloody Elbow on Saturday June 21 for live fight night coverage.