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Simon Marcus vs. Dustin Jacoby headlines GLORY 30 LOS ANGELES in May

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Former college football quarterback Dustin Jacoby's rise from unknown brawler to legitimate kickboxing talent has been heralded by GLORY CEO Jon Franklin as "a great American sports story." On Friday, May 13, another page will be added as Jacoby gets a shot at Simon Marcus and the middleweight belt.

Can tournament winner Dustin Jacoby complete the transition from underdog to top dog with title shot at GLORY 30 LOS ANGELES?
Can tournament winner Dustin Jacoby complete the transition from underdog to top dog with title shot at GLORY 30 LOS ANGELES?
James Law @ GLORY

GLORY today confirmed the fight at the same time as confirming GLORY 30 LOS ANGELES for the Citizens Business Bank Arena in the Los Angeles suburb of Ontario. The arena previously hosted GLORY 10 back in 2013.

The fight will be Marcus' first defense of the belt following his winning of it at GLORY 27 CHICAGO in February. Former champion Artem 'The Lion' Levin lost the title by disqualification after becoming frustrated with the referee and walking out of the ring in the third round.

Marcus (43-2-2, 24 KO's) debuted at GLORY 17 LOS ANGELES and came in as the world's #1 middleweight fighter under Muay Thai rules. He lost to Joe Schilling by stoppage in the quarter-finals of the LAST MAN STANDING eight-man tournament on that card, but the fight was a war which almost went the distance and was subsequently nominated for 'Fight of the Year' honors.

Jacoby (9-6, 7 KO's) didn't bring quite the same credentials with him on his debut. True, he was a UFC veteran, but he was 0-0 as a professional kickboxer when he entered a 'Road to GLORY' regional tournament on 48 hours' notice, driving across country overnight - cutting weight as he went - in order to make the weigh-ins and take part.

He faced the tournament favorite in the quarter-finals and scored his first big upset by stopping him. He then dropped jaws even further by stopping two more opponents to win the tournament and a GLORY contract. He then made his debut proper at GLORY 5 LONDON and had the tables turned, being stopped by experienced European opponent Michael Duut.

More losses followed as Jacoby was thrown in at the deep end against lifelong kickboxers with as many as a hundred fights to their name. But the former football standout, who only started training MMA when his college years were finished, never gave up. He threw himself wholeheartedly into training, including training camps in Europe, and gritted it out.

His stylistic evolution was obvious from fight to fight and then the tables turned. A GLORY 20 DUBAI fight with the veteran Mourad Bouzidi was a watershed moment; despite losing a decision, he gave Bouzidi a really hard fight and showed a full repertoire of offense and defense.

Jacoby is now riding a five-fight win streak with stoppages in each win. He sits at #3 in the middleweight rankings and is coming off winning the Middleweight Contender Tournament at GLORY 27, which has booked him a title shot.

"Simon is one of the top strikers on the planet, bar none, and has proven himself every step of the way since joining GLORY," said GLORY CEO Jon J Franklin. "The same goes for Dustin, who has been with us for his entire kickboxing career. He just won back-to-back tournaments and is knocking out everyone we put in front of him."

Last month, Franklin had more to say about Jacoby when he spoke to reporters at the post-fight press conference in Chicago.

"Jacoby's story is just amazing, it's a real classic American sports story. He came in as this guy with tons of heart but without all the necessary skills, showed some promise but then took some bad losses. But instead of giving up he went back to the grindstone and worked as hard as he could until he was at the level he needed to be at," he said.

"Jacoby has gone from promising newcomer to being written off to working and fighting his way back up the ranks and into a title shot. That is an incredible story by anybody's standards and Jacoby is such a great kid, he's a really nice guy and a great ambassador for the sport. It has been a privilege to watch his entire journey close up. His is an inspirational sports story, it's the kind of thing you see in classic American sports movies."

Additional bouts for GLORY 30 Los Angeles and GLORY 30 SuperFight Series, including the participants in a one-night, four-man Light Heavyweight Contender Tournament, will be announced soon.