Posted on October 04 2013

Courtesy Fraser Coffeen for

The GLORY World Series will present its second US show of the fall season on Saturday, October 12 as it heads into the Windy City for GLORY 11 CHICAGO.

Not only does this show feature a Heavyweight Championship Tournament and a much-anticipated main event rematch, it also marks the debut of Glory on SPIKE TV. That will give nearly 100 million households across the US the chance to take in all of the action.

Whether you’re a longtime kickboxing fan or someone just getting to know GLORY, this is a show that you have to see. There’s no better time to get on board with the GLORY World Series, the world’s premier kickboxing league. Here’s what to watch for in Chicago:




To fully appreciate this huge main event, we need to take a look back four years to June 27, 2009. That’s the night Tyrone Spong and Nathan Corbett first squared off - and it’s a night that has forever followed both men.

At the time of that fight Spong was a highly respected fighter beginning to make the transition up to heavyweight. Corbett was a name known only to the diehards and looking for a wider audience. That fight was a great one, but is forever tainted by an awkward ending.

Early in the third round Corbett was able to put Spong down on the canvas. The referee counted Spong out but he waved the fight off in an awkward fashion which went unrecognized by some observers. Corbett, not realizing the fight was over, charged in and knocked Spong down again.

The end result was a ‘No Contest’ due to Corbett’s actions though in reality this is a Corbett KO win. Poor officiating led to a bad situation but both Corbett and Spong consider the result to be a KO victory for Corbett.

Fast forward to the present day. Spong is now the talk of the kickboxing world and the #1-ranked light-heavyweight fighter in the world. He’s the GLORY 9 tournament champion and has recently defeated the likes of Peter Aerts and Remy Bonjasky. He is one of the hottest fighters anywhere in combat sports.

Meanwhile Corbett, the man who should have defeated Spong, continues to earn tremendous respect from the faithful but only a percentage of Spong’s mainstream press. Now the Australian fighter has a chance to steal Spong’s spotlight. All he has to do is accomplish the same thing he did four years ago - put Tyrone Spong down for the ten count.

It won’t be easy – Spong has shown great improvement in recent years - but fans can look forward to seeing him try.



Semi-Final 1:

GOKHAN SAKI (79-16; 5-1 Glory) vs. RICO VERHOEVEN (40-9; 3-1 GLORY)


Semi-Final 2:



Reserve Fight:

ERROL ZIMMERMAN (100-10-1; 1-3 GLORY) vs. HESDY GERGES  (42-12-1; 0-0 GLORY)

Fight fans love tournaments and with the tournament format being a central part of GLORY’s operation, they have a lot to look forward to. This Heavyweight Championship Tournament is a great place to start - four of the top heavyweights in the world and the possibility of a massive rematch between bitter rivals in the final.

On one side of the draw you have Gokhan Saki vs. Rico Verhoeven. Saki is a veteran who has been around the sport for over a decade, yet only now seems to be hitting his complete stride. He’s faced so many of the world’s best – Badr Hari, Semmy Schilt, Tyrone Spong… the list goes on and on.

He suffered an injury in 2009 that slowed him down for a bit, but has been on a roll ever since, winning 14 of his last 17. If it’s true that the great Semmy Schilt has now retired, then it’s Saki who now carries the mantle of #1 Heavyweight in the world.

Included in those 14 wins for Saki are two of particular note for this event – a pair of wins over Daniel Ghita. The two men most recently squared off at Glory 6 earlier this year, with Saki scoring the very impressive 2nd round KO win.

But if Saki is #1 in the world, Ghita is right at his heels at #2. The powerful Romanian fighter has used his devastating leg kicks and punching power to brutalize opponents in recent years, establishing himself as one of the most feared men on the kickboxing scene.

Fans were incredibly excited for their first epic meeting in 2010, eagerly anticipated the rematch at GLORY 6, and now we may get round #3 in Chicago.

But not if Rico Verhoeven and Anderson “Braddock” Silva have anything to say about it. While it’s easy to look ahead to a Ghita vs. Saki final, anyone ruling out either Verhoeven or Silva is making a big mistake.

Both men have seen the same kind of world class experience shared by Saki and Ghita. Both have scored serious wins in their careers. And both absolutely can play spoiler here.

Silva is a Chakuriki Gym student where he trains alongside Peter Aerts. He had a great clash with Remy Bonjasky at GLORY 2, and is coming off a Glory 9 win over Daniel Sam. Verhoeven, like Silva, is a fighter who only loses to the very best.

He’s been a bit inconsistent at times, but has seemed to pull it all together recently, with some big wins including a Glory 9 victory over Errol Zimmerman. These guys are far more than easy semi-final wins, and they are out to prove it at GLORY 11.

Also part of the tournament is a reserve fight pitting former It’s Showtime champion Hesdy Gerges against Errol Zimmerman. Zimmerman is an all action fighter, one who comes at opponents with a fury. He was recently on an impressive eight-fight win streak, with seven of those wins coming via rattling KO.

He’s now dropped his last 3, but remains a serious KO threat at all times. Gerges is another accomplished fighter with big fight experience. He’s coming off a win over Pavel Zhuravlev. When fighters of this caliber are in the reserve fight, you know you’re looking at a stacked tournament.

The main event and the tournament are the big highlights, but there is plenty of other action that has to be seen at GLORY 11, starting with a heavyweight superfight which will see decorated MMA veteran turned kickboxer SERGEI KHARITONOV (23-8; 1-1 GLORY) take on DANIEL SAM (21-8; 1-1 GLORY).

Kharitonov was originally slated to headline GLORY 10 against Jerome Le Banner, but an injury to JLB forced that fight off the card, and Los Angeles’s loss is Chicago’s gain as Khartitonov now looks to win at GLORY 11.

The Strikeforce and Pride FC veteran is relatively new to kickboxing, but has already been in there with some of the world’s best, and continues to show improvement in his game. Opponent Sam has more experience, and will bring a more patient Muay Thai style approach against the hard hitting attack of Sergei. This one could be explosive.

The highly respected Remy Bonjasky-trained DANYO ILUNGA (53-5; 4-1 GLORY) looks to bounce back from his somewhat controversial loss to Tyrone Spong at GLORY 9. He takes on MICHAEL DUUT (38-4; 2-1 GLORY) in a very close, competitive match. Look for Ilunga to try and use his technical skill to outwork Duut.

The sleeper fight to watch for in the Superfight series is STEVE MOXON (33-6-1; 0-1 GLORY) vs. REECE MCALLISTER (36-4-1; 1-0 GLORY). Moxon is a KO machine out of the incredibly impressive Australian Muay Thai scene.

He’s yet to fully show what he is truly capable of in the GLORY ring, but he’ll try to do just that against McAllistair, a confident young fighter who also brings in great Muay Thai skills. Watch out for this one folks.

The flashy GABRIEL VARGA (22-2; 1-1 GLORY) returns here. Varga had a great run in the GLORY 8 tournament, losing to eventual winner Yuta Kubo, but not before turning some heads with an impressive performance that showed off a wide arsenal of strikes. He faces the debuting JOSE PALACIOS of Nicaragua.

Rounding out the card is veteran FILIP VERLINDEN (41-10-1; 3-2 GLORY) vs. Curitiba, Brazil native SAULO CAVALARI (26-2; 0-0 GLORY) and Kenpo Karate stylist RAYMOND DANIELS (20-0; 0-0 GLORY), a veteran of the World Combat League, vs. local fighter BRIAN FOSTER (0-0 GLORY), a UFC veteran who holds a win over Matt Brown.

In the night’s co-headline event, rising star ‘BAZOOKA’ JOE VALTELLINI (9-1; 2-0 GLORY) looks to keep his impressive KO streak going as he faces France’s KARIM ’GADJETBOY’ GHAJJI (92-8-1; 0-0 GLORY), a veteran with over 100 pro fights to his name.

It all goes down Saturday, October 12 at the Sears Center in Hoffman Estates, Illinois. GLORY 11 airs live on SPIKE TV in the US and will air in over 170 countries around the world. Get ready for action - It’s Time For GLORY.

By Fraser Coffeen


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