clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Dynamite! Lineal title preview part 2: Kickboxing titles up for grabs

We've looked at the MMA titles, and now it's time to break down the kickboxing lineal gold on the line at Dynamite! this Saturday.

James Law, GLORY Sports International

Part two! With Dynamite! putting on their MMA/kickboxing hybrid show this Saturday thanks to the joint efforts of Bellator and Glory, here, we continue our Dynamite! themed look at lineal titles. Focus today is on the Glory half of the card and the kickboxing. Lots of good stuff here, and maybe a little something extra to excite those MMA fans who will be getting a taste of kickboxing this weekend. For those new to kickboxing, please let us know if you have any questions - we are ready to answer them! Now on to the title history, so here's Matt...

Hello again lineal title fans! Welcome to the thrilling conclusion of our 2 part series on the lineal title implications of Saturday's Dynamite! event. If you missed our first installment, fear not! Here's a link for you to catch up.

Or, if you're one of those terrible people who reads the last page of a novel first because 'who has the time?' here's the cliff notes versions of the MMA half of the event:

  • In the main event, Tito Ortiz has a chance to earn 4 lineal titles or 10% of all active titles in the 205 lb weight class
  • For Tito, a win would represent a return to Glory. 15 years ago, he was the first fighter in history to unify lineal titles when he beat Wanderlei Silva for the UFC and IVC belts
  • 3 of the 4 participants in the one-night Light Heavyweight tournament have had a history of lineal title success: Phil Davis (Strikeforce, M-1 Global), King Mo (Strikeforce, Shark Fights), and Emanuel Newton (Bellator, Shark Fights, PWP)
  • Both Paul Daley and Josh Thomson have enjoyed past success as lineal champions as well. Daley is competing as a kickboxer at Dynamite! so his lineal Welterweight Bitetti Combat MMA title will not be on the line

And now it's time for GLORY!!!

Saulo Cavalari vs Zack Mwekassa II

The kickboxing main event on this card is for the vacant Glory Light Heavyweight title (209 lbs). Which, unfortunately, means that the lineal Glory belt will not be on the line. That title, along with the lineal Glory tournament title, remains in the hands of Gokhan Saki who, due to a contract dispute, reportedly turned down the opportunity to defend his title against Cavalari at Dynamite!

Fortunately for us lineal title fans, Cavalari will still be defending 2 titles this Saturday. Here are the details:

SuperKombat 95 kg Title
Month/Yr Champion Defenses
Dec 2013 Andrei Stoica 0
April 2014 Danyo Ilunga 1
Nov 2014 Saulo Cavalari 2

Enfusion 95 kg Tournament Title
Month/Yr Champion Defenses
Nov 2011 Ondřej Hutník 7
Dec 2013 Andrei Stoica 0
April 2014 Danyo Ilunga 1
Nov 2014 Saulo Cavalari 2

As you can see above, Andrei Stoica was the one who originally unified these two titles in 2013. Since then, Saulo Cavalari picked up these belts with his win over former Glory #1 contender Danyo Ilunga.

Kickboxing does not have a standardized set of weight classes like MMA does. For this reason, Fraser and I had to agree on a range of weight classes to organize our lineal titles under. Here's the breakdown:

Saturday's match up highlights the 90 kgs+ division which is a weight class in transition. Historically, the big guys have been the flag ship of any kickboxing promotion. However, with the retirement of legends like Bonjasky, Schilt, and even Overeem from kickboxing competition, the division has been left without a clear heavyweight king.

To help us visualize, here's a big picture Dashboard view of the 90 kg+ division:

And, here is the current Lineal Pie:

Notice above that while Jahfarr Wilnis has recently pulled ahead of the field with 6 of a possible 19 titles, there are many other strong contenders to the throne. And, while Saturday night's contest could bring a bit more clarity the really exciting news came when Glory announced their Heavyweight tournament line up at Glory 24 in Denver which takes place in October:

Heavyweight Tournament Semi-Final Bout B: Benjamin Adegbuyi vs. Mladen Brestovac (1 lineal title)

Heavyweight Tournament Semi-Final Bout A: Ben Edwards vs. Jahfarr Wilnis (6 lineal titles)

Not only will the winner of this tournament walk away with 7 lineal titles and the lead in the division, it also brings the lineal Glory Heavyweight World and Tournament titles back to the promotion where they began. Currently recognized Glory champion Rico Verhoeven actually lost the lineal titles outside of the promotion before his last successful title defense against Benjamin Adegbuyi.

Here's a look at the details...

Glory HW Tournament Title 2013
Month/Yr Champion Defenses
Oct 2013 Rico Verhoeven 2
Jan 2015 Andrei Herasimchuk 2
Jun 2015 Hesdy Gerges 0
Jun 2015 Jahfarr Wilnis 0

Glory HW World Title (2nd)*
Month/Yr Champion Defenses
Jun 2014 Rico Verhoeven 0
Jan 2015 Andrei Herasimchuk 2
Jun 2015 Hesdy Gerges 0
Jun 2015 Jahfarr Wilnis 0

*1st iteration of the World title was retired along with Semmy Schilt

The winner of this tournament will likely earn an eventual title shot against Verhoeven which, of course, would represent another unification opportunity. Lastly, Zabit Samedov and Gokhan Saki have both been linked to an upcoming GFC Grand Prix final. This flurry of unification opportunities means that a clear king of the division could be determined within the next year.

Regardless of who comes out victorious at Dynamite! between Cavalari and Mwekassa, each fighter has experience fighting at Heavyweight. So, it's not a stretch to think that this contest could set up further unification opportunities down the road between the Glory 95 kg champion and the 100 kg+ champion. A lineal title fan can dream...

Lineal Title Updates:

A few quick pieces of news on upcoming defenses and other changes here.

  • As mentioned above, Glory 24 on October 9 will have Heavyweight gold on the line from both Jahfarr Wilnis and Mladen Brestovac. Get excited.
  • In just a few days on September 22, two title Lightweight champion Minoru Kimura faces Ren Hiramoto in K-1.
  • On November 21, K-1 holds a big event that will feature two lineal champions in Marat Grogorian and Koya Urabe, both against opponents yet to be determined.
  • Giorgio Petrosyan is coming back to Glory on November 6. He brings three titles with him, and hopefully this sets up a huge fight with current Lightweight lineal king Robin van Roosmalen.
  • MW/WW title holder Antonio Plazibat is in action today for FFC, taking on Daniel Skvor.
  • FW Pakorn fights October 3 against Aleksei Ulianov in Macau.