GLORY, the world’s premier kickboxing league, presented their live televised event card entitled “GLORY 19” at the Hampton Coliseum on February 6. Providing the undercard action was local Mixed Martial Arts organization Spartyka Fight League. Fans got their money’s worth as they were treated to multiple match-ups in MMA and kickboxing over the course of 7 hours. You can find out the latest news and information regarding Spartyka Fight League, including results from the GLORY co-promoted event, by visiting SpartykaFightLeague.com.
Prior to the televised GLORY event on Spike TV, GLORY presented their Superfight series program. This 2-hour event will air on the CBS Sports network on Friday, Feb. 13 at 11 p.m. and on Sunday, Feb. 15 at 1 a.m. This Superfight program was headlined by Andy Ristie taking on Steve Moxon. A fight to look out for when this airs is Josh Jauncey vs Max Baumert. This bout was filled with excitement and some controversial actions. Francois Ambang, a Virginia native, competed in the opening contest, which came to a definitive conclusion.
Local performer Wendy Bungy sang the National Anthem and the main card of the night, GLORY 19, was ready to begin. One aspect of GLORY that makes them stand out amongst the competition is their one-night tournaments. The semi-final and final matches were held on this evening in the Welterweight division. The first contest saw California native Raymond “Real Deal” Daniels defeat Jonatan Oliveira via a second round TKO. Daniels had an entire row of diehard fans in attendance, sporting his merchandise and yelling their support. The final knockdown in the second round came by a spinning kick to the body of Oliveira. Daniels had an extended victory dance, but he wouldn’t be able to celebrate for long knowing that he would compete again later in the evening.
The second semifinal match in the Welterweight tournament had Nieky “The Natural” Holzken take on Alexander Stetcurenko. This contest lasted all three rounds – Holzken winning the first round and Stetcurenko coming back in the second. Holzken was able to pull out the victory by unanimous decision to advance into the tournament final.
In a battle of Navy vs Air Force, James Hurley (Navy) competed against Cedric Smith (Air Force). Hurley is a 3rd Class Petty Officer and Smith, who has ties to Virginia Beach, performs various tasks to support the flight line. Leading up to this fight, both men only had a week’s notice that the battle would occur. Hurley commented in his pre-match interview that he would not turn down a fight of this magnitude. Despite a close bout between the two men in the opening round, Smith was able to secure the victory for the Air Force in the second round with a knee strike that lead to a TKO. Jimi Partyka, founder of Spartyka Fight League, awarded Smith with the Spartyka Glory championship belt.
Joe Schilling defeated Robert Thomas in the next bout. Schilling gained the early advantage as he delivered a series of strikes that nearly sent Thomas through the ring ropes. Thomas rallied back in round 2, but Schilling regained the advantage to score the victory by unanimous decision.
The welterweight tournament final concluded with Nieky Holzken defeating Raymond Daniels. Holzken came out on the winning end after both rounds one and two. In round three, Daniels found himself cornered on two occasions, both resulting in devastating knee lifts by Holzken. The second knee lift put Daniels down for the TKO victory. Holzken received a trophy to recognize the accomplishment.
For the night’s main event, “Iron” Mike Tyson watched intently from the front row. Heavyweight Champion Rico Verhoeven defended his title against Errol Zimmerman. This was to be the rubber match as both men held a victory over each other in past encounters. Just after a minute into the second round, Zimmerman attempted a spinning heel kick to the body of Verhoeven. In this attempt, Zimmerman injured his knee and fell to the mat. After a doctor examined the injury, the referee ended the contest. Mike Tyson entered the ring to award Verhoeven with the heavyweight championship title.
In the post-show press conference, GLORY CEO Jon Franklin discussed the upward momentum the company currently has. The company has been represented on television for three weeks straight with content shown on both CBS Sports and Spike TV. The fighters were honored and energized to be able to compete in front of boxing legend Mike Tyson. Match maker Cor Hemmers and CEO Jon Franklin mentioned that they will be discussing the possibility for Tyson to become involved in future GLORY events. GLORY 20, from Dubai, will be presented on April 3 on Spike TV. Visit GloryWorldSeries.com for more information.
Jonathan McLarty is a contributing writer for The Flagship, as well as a local sports and event photographer. Connect with him on Twitter (@JonathanMcLarty) and view his photography at McLartyPhoto.Zenfolio.com.