Matchmaker’s Breakdown: GLORY Superfight Series 15

Matchmaker’s Breakdown: GLORY SuperFight Series 15

Wednesday, Jul 12 2017

Fights in the GLORY Superfight Series are single matches, as opposed to tournament bouts. These fights are the main way for fighters to accrue ranking points and climb towards the top of their division, where title shots and tournament spots away.

Every Superfight Series card features a mixture of rising stars, accomplished veterans and new talents looking to make their mark.

Cor Hemmers, GLORY matchmaker and Head of Talent Operations, breaks down the matchmaking for GLORY Superfight Series 15, which takes place in Istanbul, Turkey on Saturday, April 15.

Filip Verlinden (41-11-1, 16 KO's) vs. Israel Adesanya (31-1-0, 14 KO's)

Middleweight (187lbs/85kgs)

“This fight will be Verlinden’s middleweight debut, which is remarkable as he started his GLORY career as a heavyweight. But he was very small for heavyweight and was only bulking up to that weight because that’s where the money was.

“His natural frame is suited to middleweight - when he first went to light-heavyweight, he wasn’t making any kind of weight cut - and so it will be interesting to see what he can do at this weight. He has a tight technical game and his speed should be much increased now he is lighter.

“Adesanya is making his GLORY debut and comes into the organization after some great performances on the world’s regional circuits.

“His recent fight with Simon Marcus, though ending with a loss, showed that he has the skills to hang with the world’s best, so now he has an opportunity to test himself.

“Verlinden has suffered mixed results lately while Adesanya wants to get his GLORY career off to a good start, so both are hungry for this win and you can expect them to go all-out for it.”


Niclas Larsen (39-7-1, 19 KO's) vs. ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Moxon (34-7-1, 23 KO's)

Lightweight (154 lbs/70kgs)

“Larsen debuted in Los Angeles in a fight against Andy Ristie and he did well. He didn’t win the fight but he was stepping in on very late notice against an elite opponent. Larsen is a champion in his homeland of Denmark and he showed some nice skills against Ristie.

“Now against Steve Moxon we will see where Larsen stands. Moxon is a very serious guy, he has knocked a lot of people out. Moxon isn’t as high as Ristie in the rankings so its a fairer piece of matchmaking for a newcomer like Larsen.

“Larsen has a tricky Muay Thai style with a lot of movement and evasion whereas Moxon is a fighter like, say, Robin Van Roosmalen, he likes to get in close and throw big punches and look for the knockout. Its an interesting fight between two different styles.”


Atakan ‘Avatar’ Arslan (18-6-0, 14 KO's) vs. Jonatan Oliveira (19-3-0, 11 KO's)

Lightweight (154 lbs/70kgs)

“Atakan was recommended to us by several different people as the best fighter in Turkey at this weight and, as we are staging the event in Istanbul, we decided this would be the ideal GLORY debut for him.

“He trains a lot in Thailand with Tiger Muay Thai and he has had fights in Thailand as well as elsewhere. He has good conditioning and is an explosive fighter with a killer instinct. He is also a model and actor in Turkey so we can expect to see some female fans in the audience, ha!

“Oliveira made his debut in London against an Italian champion, taking the fight on week’s notice and while suffering a bad dose of the flu. He scored two knockdowns in the first round but gassed very badly in the third.

“So now he has a chance to show his level when he is prepared properly and taking a fight on full notice. This is a huge fight for Oliveira because it is the last one on his current contract with GLORY. A loss will see him return to the regional circuit so he really has to go hard for the win.”


Mourad Bouzidi (75-22-2, 34 KO's) vs. Randy ‘Boom Boom’ Blake (34-3, 15 KO's)

Light-Heavyweight (209lbs/95kg)

“Blake is an American fighter with a complete skill set, very dangerous and surprising kicks. He’s on the rise and here he is facing a very experienced fighter who has faced some of the best of the best.

“Bouzidi has been around for a long time and is now down at light-heavyweight, having spent most of his career as a heavyweight at the smaller end of the division. So he isn’t frightened of anybody’s power, he has spent his whole career facing powerful guys.

“He is coming off a loss to Saulo Cavalari at GLORY 12 NEW YORK. He suffered a really bad knockout in the first round of the fight and if he suffers another knockout in this fight, he probably has to think about retiring.

“But he will want to prove a point after that last loss and he’s going to try and be the one to inflict the knockout. This is a good test for Blake to see if he can break into that top-tier of fighters, and its a dangerous fight for Bouzidi as well.”


Raz Sarkisjan (30-6-2, 12 KO's) vs. Yodkhunpon Sitmonchai (82-21-1, 51 KO's)

Featherweight (143lbs /65kgs)

“Yodkhunpon is very young, only 18 or 19 years old, but is one of the hot new talents from Thailand. He is really good. Sarkisjan is from Armenia and he is someone we have wanted to give an opportunity to for a while now, he is a really good talent.

“With Yodkhunpon we have a situation similar to Aikpracha at GLORY 14, where we see a top Muay Thai stylist crossing over to fight under the Unified Rules of Kickboxing which we use in GLORY. It means he has to fight at a faster pace and with limited clinching so that will require him to make adjustments.

“Sarkisjan has wins over the likes of Maasaki Noiri, which says a lot. If you know about kickboxing you will know that wins like that mean Sarkisjan is a real talent. Take a close look at this fight because you might well see the birth of a new featherweight contender.”


Hesdy Gerges (43-13-1, 19 KO's) vs. Jhonata Diniz (8-4, 5 KO's) 


“This young Brazilian is a newcomer to the top level of kickboxing while Gerges has been around a while and had some good fights. He is also the former heavyweight champion of the old European organization Its Showtime, which GLORY bought in 2012.

“Diniz is in fact so new to the top level that his fight with Daniel Ghita at GLORY 4 was something like his third or fourth fight at the truly A-class level. That was really a baptism of fire.

“He has grown and learned really fast and now if you look at his last fight, where he KO’d Igor Jurkovic, you can see his skills and confidence are sky-high.

“Gerges was with Chakuriki for many years but last year he changed to the Vos Gym where he trains under Ivan Hippolyte, who in my opinion is one of the top trainers in kickboxing today. 

“He debuted for GLORY with a KO loss to Errol Zimmerman then scored a decision win over Ewerton Teixeira at GLORY 13 TOKYO, so now he wants to get some momentum going.

“Diniz is a tough fighter who likes to go forward, same as Gerges. We have seen that Diniz wasn’t KO’d by fighters like Ghita and Rico Verhoeven, and he hits hard. So it’s a tough fight for Diniz but Gerges cannot afford to take any chances.”