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Artem Levin breaks down the GLORY 20 Middleweight Contender Tournament

The next challenger for GLORY middleweight champion Artem ‘The Lion’ Levin will be produced by a four-man “Middleweight Contender Tournament” at GLORY 20 DUBAI on Friday, April 3. Levin, who recently formed part of Nick Diaz’s training camp for his fight with Anderson ‘The Spider’ Silva, will be keeping a close eye on the tournament. Two fighters in particular have his attention, but for very different reasons.

Artem Levin in action at GLORY 17 LAST MAN STANDING
Artem Levin in action at GLORY 17 LAST MAN STANDING
Glory Sports International

Levin (50-4-1, 33 KO's) is from Kuzbass in Siberia, Russia but moved to San Diego, California late last year. He has proven to be the most dominant fighter on the GLORY roster, with six victories in seven appearances for the organization.

He won the World Middleweight Championship in June last year after winning three fights in one night at the GLORY 17 LAST MAN STANDING eight-man tournament. He beat Los Angeles' Joe ‘Stitch ‘Em Up' Schilling in the final and avenged the loss he suffered at Schilling's hands in the GLORY 10 LOS ANGELES tournament.

The GLORY 20 DUBAI tournament has Wayne Barrett facing Simon Marcus and Alex Pereira facing Jason Wilnis. Levin has already faced three of these; he holds decision wins over Pereira and Wilnis in GLORY but Marcus holds a 2013 win over him under Muay Thai rules.

Understandably, Levin will be taking a close interest in the tournament. He gave a breakdown to the official GLORY website and, surprisingly, is picking Pereira as his favorite to win the competition. This is despite Pereira having a TKO loss to Wilnis in 2012 (Wilnis also beat Barrett at GLORY 18 OKLAHOMA in November).

However, Levin feels like Pereira has improved a lot since that fight and he also has a lot of respect for Pereira's punching power, Pereira being a former professional boxer. But is also clearly apparent that Levin is pulling for Marcus to win the tournament.

Marcus has struggled with the transition from Muay Thai to kickboxing due to the latter having an extremely limited clinch allowance. That hurts Marcus' game a lot; Levin ‘The Lion' is eagerly pacing his enclosure and hoping Marcus steps into it...


"He is a very strong fighter and has very good punches and interesting techniques. Maybe a little bit similar to me. But in his last fight he showed his weakness. Wilnis showed me the way you need to fight against Wayne Barrett. Wilnis [was too] strong for him in the last fight. But for me its a very interesting opponent."

SIMON MARCUS (40-2-1, 24 KO's)

"Simon Marcus...I don't know. I think Simon should take a little bit of rest. Maybe Joe Schilling] broke something down in him [with the KO at GLORY 17], I don't know. In my opinion Simon should rest a little bit. But I await the opportunity for rematch against Simon Marcus. This is very important for me."

ALEX PEREIRA (17-2, 10 KO's)

"For me he is the favorite in this tournament. I know his power; this is a very big guy, tall guy, strong guy. I watched his fights many times and this guy can knock out anybody in this tournament. He is my favorite."

JASON WILNIS (23-4-1, 6 KO's)

"This [guy] is a soldier, this is a warrior. He has an aggressive style. He will push, push, push. His last fight [against Barrett] showed what he can do."

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