GLORY 45: Yousri Belgaroui wants to see if his “knee fits in” Jason Wilnis’s “mouth”

Yousri Belgaroui is on the verge of (re)securing his title-shot against GLORY middleweight champion, Simon Marcus. However, former champion, Jason Wilnis, is the last man standing before him come GLORY 45 Amsterdam tomorrow and the “Babyface Ninja” was in defiant mood after both fighters faced-off at the weigh-ins today.

“He looked fearful and smelt fearful. I feel that I’m now 1-0 in-front.” Belgaroui remarked. “I think I sense that in his eyes. I’m just gonna dominate him, three rounds, all night long; Lionel Ritchie style.”

“I’m gonna hit him from a distance, hit him hard when he try to come close, I’m gonna hit him even harder, see if my knee fits in his mouth.”


The 24 year old had been frustrated in past months after winning the 4-man Contender Tournament at GLORY 40 by defeating Alex Pereira in the final. Winning the tournament usually secures the winner with a title-fight against the champion in their next bout but not for Belgaroui who, was left disgruntled, after it was announced that Pereira would challenge Marcus next, for the title at GLORY 46 China.

“At first I didn’t like it but I set that aside because I think its a very logical step now to fight Wilnis. He’s number one ranked, I’m number two ranked. So not especially for me but for the fans, the fighting fans, for them it’s logical I think to see: Like ok, he can beat Wilnis and now he’s really ready for the title.”

Belgaroui’s rise over the last couple of years from, fighting domestically in the Netherlands to, competing in Europe and now for GLORY has been remarkable. Since signing for the promotion in 2016, Yousri has always been focused on dethroning Simon Marcus for the championship but before him stands the resilient and more experienced Jason Wilnis, in what will most certainly be the sternest test of the hometown fighter’s career to-date.

Photo credit: James Law/Glory Sports International.

Rico Verhoeven vs. Bigfoot Silva fight card announced for GLORY 46 China in October

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)

Verhoeven

Image via Rico Verhoeven on Twitter | Credit: Glory Sports International

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

GLORY 44 Video: Dustin Jacoby and Joseph Valtellini Breakdown the Kicking Prowess of Simon Marcus

Former UFC fighter now GLORY middleweight contender, Dustin Jacoby, returns to GLORY Kickboxing at GLORY 44 Chicago after having his left arm broken by the kicking prowess of former GLORY champion, Simon Marcus at GLORY 30 Los Angeles.

In this video, former welterweight champion, now GLORY commentator, Joseph Valtellini along with Jacoby, breakdown how Marcus’s powerful and skilful kicking, broke Dustin’s arm. As well as the detailing the complex surgery that was involved afterwards, prior-to his return fight with, Sean Choice on the GLORY 44 SuperFight Series fight card; headlined by, Tiffany van Soest, in her first GLORY super-bantamweight title defence against, Funda Alkayiş.

Yousri Belgaroui on Learning How to Fight, His Love for Kickboxing and Simon Marcus

Yousri Belgaroui is a Dutch middleweight kickboxer of Tunisia descent who, is currently fighting for GLORY Kickboxing, having blossomed over the last couple of years fighting for, Enfusion Live and Superkombat.

Belgaroui trains out of Mike’s Gym in Amsterdam and (on what was the first episode of The K1Anoop Show on, the K1ANOOP YouTube channel), talked about his early days of kickboxing; how his journey as a martial artist began (at the age of 16) when he first started training under, Mike Passenier at, the old Mike’s Gym which, was tragically got burnt down in years gone by; and his aspirations to become one of the very best fighters of his generation.

That title-fight with Simon Marcus that was supposed to have happened

At the time of writing, Belgaroui is set to fight former GLORY middleweight champion, Jason Wilnis in the main event of, GLORY 45 SuperFight Series on September 30, 2017. However, Belgaroui recently won the most recent 4-man Contender Tournament, beating Alex Pereira in the final at GLORY 40 Copenhagen which, was supposed to secure him with an immediate title-fight with current champion, Simon Marcus.

However, for reasons unknown Simon Marcus vs. Yousri Belgaroui has not been scheduled and the young kickboxer will instead take on Wilnis in a fight that isn’t even for an interim-title which, has raised questions about the integrity of not only these contender 4-man tournaments but also Marcus’s reign as champion. Belgaroui had even lambasted Marcus for not being willing to fight him and alleged that they had been matched-up to fight at GLORY 43 New York; only for the champion to allegedly refuse the fight.


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Why wouldn’t Marcus be willing to fight Belgaroui at GLORY 43 New York?

There is a rumour that Simon Marcus could be holding-off from returning to action because GLORY are planning on hosting an event in his home nation of, Canada later this year; and this could possibly happen in Toronto come November 2017.

However, nothing has been officially confirmed as of yet by GLORY but over the last year, the subject has grown momentum in becoming more of an open taking topic even by Glory Sports International CEO, Jon Franklin.

Former GLORY featherweight champion, Gabriel Varga, had initially spoken publicly about GLORY’s intentions to host future events in Canada. Time will tell soon enough if this will happen in the coming months including, a potential title-fight between Marcus and Belgaroui but first, “The Baby Face Ninja” must deal with Jason Wilnis in September.

GLORY have listed October 14, 2017 on their website as a forthcoming event for GLORY 46 but the venue and fight cards are yet to be announced.

Yousri Belgaroui vs. Alex Pereira full fight video – Contender Tournament Final: GLORY 40 Copenhagen

Watch Yousri Belgaroui vs. Alex Pereira full fight video from, the Contender Tournament Final at GLORY 40 Copenhagen, released by GLORY Kickboxing.

The “Baby Face Ninja” is schedule to fight Jason Wilnis at GLORY 45 SuperFight Series on September 30, 2017 in Amsterdam. However, Belgaouri was supposed to be fighting defending middleweight champion Simon Marcus next but for unknown reason that fight has been delayed.

GLORY 45 SuperFight Series: Jason Wilnis vs. Yousri Belgaroui fight card

Former GLORY middleweight champion, Jason Wilnis and Yousri Belgaouri will headline GLORY 45 SuperFight Series at the Sporthallen Zuid in Amsterdam on September 30, 2017.

Jason Wilnis is coming of a loss to Simon Marcus in their trilogy bout at GLORY 40 Copenhagen with Marcus recapturing the GLORY middleweight title. However, Belgaroui had won the most recent middleweight contender tournament at GLORY 40 and was supposed to be challenging Marcus next for the title; and alleged very recently that the champion is avoiding him for no valid reasons.

Four of the five match-ups that have been announced so far by GLORY including what could potentially be, contender for fight of the night in, Zakaria Zouggary vs. Massaro Glunder.

Zouggary had an exceptional promotional debut win at GLORY 41 Den Bosch against Yetkin Ozkul. Whereas, Glunder was runner-up in the GLORY 42 Paris lightweight contender tournament, despite fighting above his usual weight class and being a last minute replacement for, Stoyan Koprivlenski.

Here’s how the the overall fight card is currently shaping-up as:

Middleweight Bout: Jason Wilnis vs. Yousri Belgaroui
Featherweight Bout: Zakaria Zouggary vs. Massaro Glunder
Lightweight Bout: Tyjani Beztati vs. Yodkhunpon Sitmonchai
Welterweight Bout: Eyevan Danenberg vs. Wellington Uega

Yousri Belgaroui thinks GLORY champion, Simon Marcus, “grew a big pussy”

Yousri Belgaroui won the 4-man middleweight contender tournament at GLORY 40 Copenhagen and was expecting to make a swift challenge for Simon Marcus‘s title. Instead, the bout has been delayed until further notice and “The Babyface Ninja” who, was in-attendance at GLORY 42 Paris, alleges that the current GLORY middleweight champion, is deliberately stalling their title-fight.

“It’s getting on my nerves now. Because GLORY planned the fight, New York, Madison Square Gardens. I was really happy to get my belt there, show it to everybody but he said he don’t wanna fight. He didn’t give a good reason or something. So if he’s injured I say ok, I wait but he didn’t give a good reason, I just think he grew a big pussy. Now he got it with the belt, he’s afraid of me. That’s what I believe otherwise come with a good reason.”

“They are maybe planning on letting me fight Jason Wilnis first but it’s not confirmed. I said immediately yes, let’s do it because I know if I get the belt, he maybe first or second in the line to come and try fight me. So, yes let’s do it now, better soon than later. I don’t mind, I want to fight. I hope it’s going to be 25th August in Chicago.”

If Belgaroui vs. Wilnis were to happen at GLORY 43 New York, it will be interesting to see if this potential match-up could be for an interim middleweight title. No doubt GLORY Kickboxing will be making an official announcement soon enough and K1Anoop will keep you updated as the situation unfolds.

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Photo credit: James Law/Glory Sports International


 

K1ANOOP #13 – Jesse Saunders

Jesse Saunders is an international referee who, is highly experienced in officiating both kickboxing (K-1 rules) and Thai boxing for various promotions including, GLORY Kickboxing and Enfusion Live. Before becoming a professional official, Jesse had fought professionally too and is now head coach and gym owner of Shinkick in the UK. With all the recent controversies involving referees (IBMTO) and judges in the world of kickboxing this year alone, Jesse Saunders was at the top of the list of interviewees to ask about referees and judges in kickboxing and the difference between both K-1 and Thai rules.