Saturday June 21, Bloody Elbow presents fight coverage of the Glory Last Man Standing PPV. Last Man Standing airs live on PPV, Saturday night at 10:00 p.m. ET, and is preceded by Glory 17 Los Angeles live on Spike at 8:00 p.m. ET. We will have live fight night coverage and discussion right here. Here, we break down the Glory Last Man Standing card in our fight by fight preview.
CHAMPION MARC DE BONTE (87-11-1 Overall; 2-1 Glory) vs. #2 JOSEPH VALTELLINI (11-2 Overall; 4-1 Glory) - Welterweight World Title
This world title fight is one for the technical purists. Both de Bonte and Valtellini are among the most technically sound fighters in Glory today - everything they do is correct and precise. The result of these two men coming together is going to be one high quality kickboxing fight - a fight appropriate for the first ever title defense in Glory history.
Champion de Bonte claimed the vacant title with a win over Karapet Karapetyan last time out at Glory 16 Denver. Like this fight promises to be, that one was a 5 round technical exhibition, with de Bonte steadily outlanding Karapetyan to take the decision win. In the ring, de Bonte has a very nice front kick and good movement. He's very skilled at the art of hitting without being hit and can fight from range throwing fast combinations to keep his offense up while making it difficult for his opponent to be offensive. Prior to the Karapetyan fight, he had a KO win over the highly regarded L'houcine Ouzgni, so even though his KO ratio is low (32%, with 28 of his 87 career wins coming via stoppage), he does have the ability to land a heavy shot. If there is an area of weakness for de Bonte it is his defense. He can get a bit too loose at times, particularly when he decides to engage in an ill-advised shoot-out. He also can get trapped against the ropes, which is what got him knocked out by Murthel Groenhart at Glory 2.
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Challenger Joseph Valtellini has had a great Glory run so far. Last time out, he made it to the finals of the Glory 13 Welterweight tournament, losing in the Fight of the Year to Nieky Holzken (currently injured, Holzken almost definitely awaits the winner here). Bazooka Joe is a young fighter with not a ton of experience, but you would never know that from watching him fight, as he brings to the ring a confidence and natural ease that belies his young years. Like de Bonte, Valtellini is a master technician who does a superb job stringing together shots in combinations. He's a tiny bit slower on the feet than de Bonte, but he throws with more power. Every shot Valtellini throws comes with picture perfect technique behind it, so that even if he is not throwing a heavy power shot, all of his shots land hard. He also has great accuracy, consistently landing roughly 50% of his shots, which is very impressive. Add in the tight defense and you again have a tremendous all around fighter in Valtellini.
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Head to head this is a perfect stylistic match-up to display the science and artistry of kickboxing. It's also a very close fight that could go either way. In the early stages, I expect de Bonte will land more, but Valtellini will do more damage. But as the fight progresses the difference maker may be Valtellini's endurance down the stretch. He is a fighter who gets more comfortable and strong as the fight goes on, as as this title fight moves into the later rounds, I anticipate Valtellini gaining confidence and hurting de Bonte more and more. The only question is, can he keep de Bonte's output low enough in those early rounds to not get too far behind on the scorecards? This will be a razor close fight that will be decided by increments, but I like the challenger when all is said and done.
Prediction: Joseph Valtellini by decision