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GLORY Shows That Kickboxing Matters

Combat sports’ stepchild deserves a chance shine.

On Friday, Nov. 2, GLORY hosted GLORY 61 New York, GLORY 61 SuperFight Series, and the GLORY 61 prelims from the historic Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City.

The four-fight card for GLORY 61 New York was carried live on ESPN3, and the five-fight card for GLORY 61 SuperFight Series was streamed live and exclusively on UFC FIGHT PASS. 

And you still didn’t watch it. I know this because the only time most people talk about kickboxing is when there are replays of the movie Bloodsport featuring Jean Claude Van Damme and everyone’s favorite old school kung fu flicks heel, Bolo Yeung, on classic movie channels. 

Well I attended GLORY 61 and I must say, I was entertained. Don’t get me wrong, the rules exclude clinching and the point scoring system is a little weird to remember with the fast-paced action but there were some hitters on the card that actually were entertaining as well from a back hand side perspective.

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Charles “The Rockstar” Rodriguez (8-0, 4 KOs) fought Malk “Freesmoke” Watson-Smith (59-24-0, 36 KOs) to a weird victory but both fighters entrances were epic. Rodriguez came out to boy band Backstreet Boys seminal pop hit  “Want It That Way” and finessed the walk in a way you had to respect. His opponent Watson-Smith came out to Johnny Cash favorite “Walk The Line” which was a welcomed juxtaposition amid the majority Eastern European and general market white fans in attendance.

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When former Interim Glory Featherweight Champion, Kevin Van Nostrand (17-2-0, 12 KOs) won via a unanimous decision against Massaro Glunder (32-11-4, 20 KOs) not only was the fight entertaining but Van Nostrand was American kickboxing’s version of Anthony “Showtime” Pettis when he was truly highlight worthy.    

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Last, Myron Dennis fought former UFC fighter Chris Camozzi in a great bout that saw Dennis walk out to “Mo Bamba” by Sheck Wes to the crowd’s utter enjoyment and lost a tough unanimous decision that was nothing less than memorable for his brazenness.

In short, GLORY is dope and just as the UFC turned a curve for many with the development of the fighter’s backstories and increased exposure, so will GLORY over time. Get on it now or be a Mr. Me Too styled late bandwagon rider but trust and believe that GLORY kickboxing is here and it ain’t going nowhere. 

Shout out to Bolo.

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