There’s been a bunch of fussin and a feudin in regards to the future of kickboxing, and not a lot of clarity as to what would happen over the next year. K-1 is still trying to lift itself out of the stank of it’s sketchy past and currently has a show planned in LA for September. But for me, kickboxing has always been about one-night heavyweight tournaments in Japan. And that’s exactly what rival promotion Glory has put together for December:
Thirteen fighters have been announced for Glory World Series’ 16-man heavyweight kickboxing tournament, and five of them have previously competed in MMA.
Promotion officials announced Wednesday that Semmy Schilt, Sergei Kharitonov, Jerome Le Banner, Peter Aerts and Errol Zimmerman will participate in the one-night tournament. Remy Bonjasky, Gokhan Saki, Filip Verlinden, Ismael Londt, Braddock Silva, Brice Guidon, Jamal Ben Saddik and Igor Jurkovic have also joined the single-elimination field.
Dubbed “Glory Grand Slam — Heavyweight,” the competition takes place in Tokyo this coming December. Specific date and venue information will be announced shortly, according to the official release.
After an endless number of press releases and accusations, it’s finally time for the focus to turn back to the fighters and the fighting. At this point, so long as K-1 continues to pay their fighters I’ll support what they’re up to. But it’s hard not to get excited about Glory finally taking the reigns and going for broke in Japan. That isn’t just an expression either in this case. If the Japanese fight scene is really as dead as it’s seemed in the past, or people don’t care about guys like Aerts, Schilt, or Le Banner any more, Glory could find itself in a rough financial place very quickly.