Tonight Glory has its 19th event featuring a Heavyweight World Title fight and a Welterweight Contender Tournament live from the Hampton Coliseum in Hampton, Virginia.
The main event features Heavyweight Champion Rico Verhoeven (44-9-0, 10 KOs) defending his title against Errol “The Bonecrusher” Zimmerman (103-11-1, 44 KOs) in a trilogy that spans 3 years.
The first time the two met was in January 2012 for the “Its Showtime 2012 Leeuwarden” promotion. Zimmerman knocked out Verhoeven with a left uppercut in 59 seconds of the first round. Their second meeting yielded a unanimous decision for Verhoeven at Glory 9: New York making way for the rubber match against a newly crowned Heavyweight Champion in Verhoeven.
The co-main event features an explosive clash with two top-10 kick boxers, as #1 ranked middleweight Joe “Stitch ‘Em Up” Schilling (18-6-0, 11 KOs) takes on 21-year-old Canadian prodigy and #9 ranked Robert “White Dragon” Thomas (7-2-0, 5 KOs). Schilling is rebounding from his loss to Artem Levin at Glory 17: Los Angeles for the Last Man Standing Tournament Final Championship and Glory Middleweight Championship.
In addition there is a Welterweight Contender Tournament featuring Nieky “The Natural” Holzken (84-11-0, 44 KOs) who returns to Glory as a participant in the one-night, four man tournament. Initially, Holzken was slated to face Murthel Groenhart however he now faces Russian striker, Aleksandr Stetcurenko (49-8-0, 24 KOs) in the tournament’s first semi-final match-up.
The second tournament semi-final match-up has American karate word champion and #7 ranked Raymond “The Real Deal” Daniels (25-1-0, 15 KOs) against #6 ranked Brazilian prospect Jonathan Oliveira (20-3-0, 11 KOs).
The winners of each semifinal bout will then face off, fighting for the second and final time that evening, to earn the right to compete against reigning GLORY Welterweight World Champion "Bazooka" Joe Valtellini at a later date.
Glory 19 comes at a time when MMA and boxing are red-hot and kickboxing needs to define its place among its sporting cousins. We discussed the history of kickboxing in our two-part series where its origins in Japan and exportation into the U.S. paved the way for the Glory event tonight on Spike TV.
Make sure you check out the event tonight to see what the hype is all about!