Last Saturday I had the pleasure of doing photos at what many considered the most stacked fight card in kickboxing history. The Forum was the location for Glory 17 – Last Man Standing. First of all, I have to give props to Glory for choosing LA as the spot for such a great event. The night started with five undercard fights, and then was simulcast on Spike TV for the Glory 17 portion of the night. After that, it switched to PPV for the Last Man Standing 8 man tournament. That tournament was crazy. Three fights in one night to win it, and these guys brought it!
The undercard was great. A number of the fighters have also fought locally for Dennis Warner’s WCK, and to watch them on this kind of stage was exciting.
Jay Alvarez vs Chris Henry, pictured above, was a unanimous decision for Alvarez (red trunks).
That’s Spencer Mix on the left above, fighting Jules Wallace. It may not look like it, but Spencer won that fight.
The 3rd fight, and the main reason I wanted to do photos, was to shoot the Brian Bruns fight. Brian fights out of Riverside, and when a local fighter – and one I know personally – gets to fight in such a prestigious event I want to try and capture it.
Brian is a Karate Black Belt, and over the past number of years has really focused on his kickboxing and Muay Thai. Under the guidance of K1 fighter Joey Pagliuso, and USKO founder Joe Pagliuso, Brian has done well. Saturday he got to fight at the legendary Forum, on the same night as Mirko Cro Cop, Joe Schilling, and Artem Levin.
Brian fought Joe Davis, and it was a good fight – while it lasted. Brian had some kicks and knees that brought Davis down a few times.
Notice Brian in the corner below while Davis gets a count…
Davis is one tough guy. He stayed in the fight, but the kicks & knees kept coming…
The fight was stopped in the 2nd round with Bruns the winner by TKO. Brian was…. happy. All was good in Brian land.
Congrats to Brian Bruns, and the USKO fight team for representing the IE!
Next up was Ron Cruz (above in black trucks) vs ¬†Sonny Singh (blue), with Cruz winning.
The final undercard fight was Mike Lamaire (white trunks below) vs Dustin Jacoby….
…and while I am not sure Dustin agreed, Lamuire won.
Glory 17 was a 3 fight Featherweight tournament, with the winner of the first fight fighting the winner of the second fight. Along with the tournament there were two separate headline fights.
Fight A was Yodkhunpon Sitmonchai vs Gabriel Varga:
That’s Varga with the flying knee above, and he won.
Next up for fight B was Marcus Vinicius vs Shane Oblonsky…
Oblonsky won, setting up a finale between Oblonsky and Varga.
To give the fighters a break, the next fight was the Co-Headliner bought between Andy Ristie and Ky Hollenbeck, with Hollenbeck taking the win.
Then, the Glory 17 Featherweight Contender Tournament Final -¬†Oblonsky vs Varga.
And Varga wins!
The Glory 17 Headliner fight was awesome. I have been a fan of Mirko Cro Cop since the old Pride days, then UFC, and now Kickboxing with Glory. Mirko was facing American Jarrell Miller.
They had fought before in Mirko’s country, and (as I understand it) Miller thought his loss there was unfair. He wanted to beat Mirko, and he trash talked a lot leading into fight night. Mirko was not happy about that.
Mirko is known for his kicks, and as you can see above, this man has huge legs! This kick was so damn loud that I put my camera down in shock. Mirko clearly won this fight, although Miller’s facial expression seemed to say he disagreed again.
This was an 8 man tournament for $200,000! 3 fights to win – on the same night. The quarter finals were 3 round fights, unless there was a draw, at which point it would go to a fourth round. The results were:
Artem Levin defeated Alex Perrira
Filip Verlinden defeated Melvin Manhoef
Joe Schilling defeated Simon Marcus
Wayne Barrett defeated Bogdan Stocia
That 3rd fight, Schilling vs Marcus, was insane! It went 4 rounds, ending by KO in the 4th. I really wondered if Schilling would have enough left for the Semi Finals.
Inbetween the Quarter and Semi Finals they held the Glory Welterweight World Championship bought where Joseph Valtellini beat Marc de Bonte to capture the belt.
In the Quarter Finals, Levin defeated Verlinden and Schilling – after that crazy 4 round quarter final fight – defeated Barrett.
At this point, I am guessing the tournament fighter were dead tired, and they were able to get break while the Heavyweights hit the ring.
The Glory Heavyweight Championship Bout was between Daniel Ghita (above left) and Rico Verhoeven (above right).
See the marks on¬†Rico Verhoeven’s back? Those were from Ghita’s kicks.
In the end, Verhoeven won belt.
Before we get into the Last Man Standing Finals, and the winner of the $200k, I was happy to see the number of fight and entertainment stars in attendance. Evander Holyfield, Lyoto¬†Machida,¬†Dolf Lundgren, and even Gene Simmons of KISS.
In an interview that night Joe Rogan said he has been a Glory fan for a long time.
The finals between Joe Schilling, who had even been coming to Riverside to train with Joey Pagliuso, Brian Bruns, and the USKO team, and Artem Levin was amazing. Both these fighters are amazing. The best of the best.
In the end, Levin took the win. I will continue to wonder if the Schilling quarter final fight had not been so hard if that would have made a difference, but that is the whole idea. Three fights in one night, hoping you get through the early fights easily, but sometimes you can’t.
Congrats to Artem Levin!
In the interesting column, UFC middleweight¬†contender¬†Lyoto¬†Machida said he would love to get a one fight contract to fight Levin.
“I‚Äôd love to fight that guy (Artem). If I could do a one-fight deal to fight with him I would definitely do it. I like his style.‚ÄĚ
Personally, I’d love to see that fight,¬†like Dana White would ever allow that.