Glory kickboxing had a great showing in their premier show on Spike Saturday night. The headliner, Tyrone Spong vs. Nathan Corbett, was exactly the kind of fight American viewers love to see. The same can be said for the heavyweight tournament, though Gokhan Saki fell in the first round.
The Spong-Corbett fight was a rematch of a 2009 bout that ended in a no-contest, though Spong recognized the fact he was defeated in the bout. Spong used his intelligence in the ring and looked brilliant. He knocked out Corbett in the second round, and announced he will be finishing the year off in the boxing ring.
The heavyweight tournament was full of surprises. Saki was expected to be the winner of the whole thing, and it was expected that he would fight Daniel Ghita in the finals. Half of that prediction came true. Saki would fall to the dark horse of the tournament and eventual winner, Rico Verhoeven. Ghita knocked out Anderson Silva in the first round of their bout and lost a decision to Verhoeven.
Verhoeven’s success in the tournament was great for the event, though he is practically unknown. His three-round war with Ghita was exciting and probably kept those who watched at the end of their seats. Each fight was interesting and action packed, leaving those who watched wanting more. Now with their premier show behind them, it will be interesting to see where the organization will go.
Glory will need to promote their cards more in the future — only a handful of commercials for Glory 11 would be found on TV. They need to make their fighters stars in the eyes of casual fans. Then and only then will the organization thrive in the way many believe it can.