The worst kept secret in GLORY Kickboxing, Rico Verhoeven vs. Bigfoot Silva, was officially announced as the main event for GLORY 46 on October 14, 2017 at this morning’s press conference in China.
The ex-UFC heavyweight, infamous for being ‘juiced to the gills’ and failing a well reportered drug test after a bloodbath with Mark Hunt at UFC Fight Night 33, will certainly gain the attention of a much wider audience from the world of MMA.
However, for kickboxing enthusiasts the announcement is not the most exciting opponent for an undefeated champion in Verhoeven who, has run of out of competition in world kickboxing, let alone GLORY which, was topped-off with his victory over Badr Hari at GLORY Collision.
Although the majority of matchups were announced for both the GLORY 46 SuperFight Series and GLORY 46 Guangdong fight cards, there are still three Chinese fighters to be confirmed. (Full fight cards further below)
Interestingly, Simon Marcus will defend his GLORY middleweight title against Alex Pereira who, had lost the GLORY 40 Contender Tournament Final against Yousri Belgaroui which, will surely fuel Belgaroui’s frustrations and accusations that Marcus is ducking him after alleging he was denied his opportunity of a title-shot on, the GLORY 43 New York card from Marcus being unwilling to fight him.
However, in hindsight it can now be argued that Marcus was being lined-up all along for a Chinese bout with Pereira since the latter is more known to Chinese kickboxing fans having previously fought in Southeast Asia.
The announcements will certainly send a strong warning to Chinese kickboxing promotions, Kunlun Fight and WLF that the world’s leading kickboxig promotion is serious about entering, what is widely regarded as the biggest market of kickboxing fans in one nation.
Nevertheless, will GLORY 46 China endup being a flash-in-the-pan /once in a blue moon event? Or, will the world witness a lot more activity throughout 2018 (and beyond) by GLORY, in hope of capitalising on the potential riches of, a hugmoungous kickboxing fanbase in China which, could secure the future viability of GLORY to take risks in other parts of the world?
Full fights cards announced for GLORY 46 China and GLORY 46 SuperFightSeries are as below.
GLORY 46 China – Fight card:
Rico Verhoeven vs. Antonio Silva
TBA vs. Junior Tata, heavyweight bout
65kg Asian Qualifier Tournament:
Winner of (A) vs. (B) will qualify for Contender Tournament;
(A) Zhang Chenlong vs. Chibin Lin
(B) Chenchen Li vs. Masaya Kubo
GLORY 46 SuperFight Series – Fight card:
Simon Marcus vs. Alex Pereira – GLORY middleweight title defence
TBA vs. Khayal Dzhaniev, 73kg
Zhou Wei vs. Matt Baker, 85kg
Liu Jia vs. Zaza Sor Aree, 52kg
TBA vs. Petchpanomrung, 65kg
Meng Qinghao vs. Brian Bruns, 70kg