We've already told you why you should be excited for the arrival of Glory on Spike. However, some of you may have read about it and have some questions.
It's understandable. Although kickboxing is the top combat sport in many parts of the world, North American fans haven't had much exposure to it.
MMA and boxing fans will see many elements that seem familiar, particularly all the more exciting ones. But what's the difference? Is it boxing that allows kicks? Not quite. Nor is it MMA with no grappling.
To help guide you along and get you prepped for the debut of Glory on Spike on Saturday, October 12th, we've put together a primer to help you better understand, appreciate, and enjoy the action you'll see on Spike.
For fans of combat sports – e.g. MMA and boxing – a lot of this will seem familiar, if not self-explanatory. They're similar to the Unified Rules and what we see in boxing, with some variations to provide exciting, fast-paced fighting action, while also protecting the long-term health and safety of the fighters.
ROUNDS: Each fight is three rounds, each round is three minutes long.
STRIKES: All punches, kicks, and knees are allowed. Elbows are forbidden. Striking is only permitted while both fighters are standing.
CLINCHING: A fighter can grab a standing opponent in a clinch to strike and throw knees. A clinch is allowed for roughly three seconds, at which point the fighters are immediately separated and the action resumes.
All other forms of grappling, takedowns, and groundwork are forbidden.
HOW TO WIN: Fighters can win by KO, TKO, or a judges' decision. The standing 8 count is in effect, and three knockdowns in one round constitutes a TKO.
SCORING: It's just like MMA: a 10-point must system based on of effective striking, aggression, and ring control.
WEIGHT CLASSES: Glory currently has six weight classes, all of them parallel to their counterparts in MMA: Featherweight, Lightweight, Welterweight, Middleweight, Light Heavyweight, and Heavyweight.
Fans familiar with the Bellator MMA tournament format will be excited to learn that many of the same philosophies are applied towards matchmaking in Glory.
Glory cards include both tournament fights and non-tournament Superfight match-ups, including and especially the main event of the first Glory card on Spike that pits top five heavyweight and kickboxing superstar Tyrone Spong against up and coming rival Nathan Corbett.
TOURNAMENTS: There are four, eight, and sixteen man tournaments, all of which take place over the course of one evening.
SUPERFIGHTS: Tournaments will be used to crown champions, but Superfights are far from inconsequential. Similar to sports like tennis, Glory rewards victories first and foremost, and that alone determines a fighter's placement in the rankings. It's a clear-cut, straightforward system of determining the best of the best. Plus, with non-tournament superfights, fans can still see the fights they want to see, and not just the fights that need to happen. It's the perfect blend of pure sport and entertainment.
STARS/WHO TO WATCH
North American fans are just starting to gravitate towards elite kickboxing, but the fact is that in much of the rest of the world it's already a renowned sport with its own superstar attractions.
Naturally, like in any combat sport, most of the buzz surrounds the heavyweights. In Glory, you'll get to see kickboxing legends like Gokhan Saki and Daniel Ghita plying their wares. Plus, you'll see possibly the hottest young prospect in all of combat sports, Tyrone Spong, who will compete in the main event of Spike's first Glory broadcast.
But that's not all. Longtime MMA fans will recognize names like Semmy Schilt, Peter Aerts, and Remy Bonjansky. For years they've filled stadiums throughout Europe and Japan with their hard-hitting action, and now they've come to Glory with no signs of slowing down.
If you think the heavyweights are exciting to watch, wait until you get a load of the furious pace and athleticism of the lighter weight classes. In particular, keep your eye on Giorgio Petrosyan, the World Lightweight Champion with an absolutely astounding 78-1(!) record. The Featherweight Champion, Yuta Kubo (40-4), is a sight to behold. The Welterweight Championship is up for grabs, and could #1 ranked fighter Nieky Holzken's for the taking.
The Dutch and the Japanese have dominated the sport for the last several decades, but with the growth of the sport we're starting to see Americans quickly rise through the ranks. One of the fastest rising stars is blue-chipper Dustin Jacoby, currently ranked #8 at Light Heavyweight. Recently, after driving more than five hundred miles in one sitting to reach the "Road to Glory" developmental tournament in Tulsa, he plowed through three of the best Welterweights in North America to win the one-night tournament and earn a spot on the world stage. He'll face stiff competition from other top American fighters in the division, such as Randy Blake and Brian Collette.
Another top rising American prospect is Middleweight Wayne Barrett, who employs elements of karate in a way no other fighter has in a kickboxing ring. He's one of the more fascinating fighters to watch in any weight division.
Then, of course, there is Joe Schilling. A Los Angeles native, Schilling was ranked #5 at Middleweight going into last Saturday's Glory 10 event. He was impressive throughout the evening, which culminated in him winning the tournament and becoming the inaugural Glory Middleweight Champion.
With Glory just now making strides in the United States, expect to see more of these and other American fighters.
THE GLORY PHILOSOPHY
Glory is focused on providing non-stop action from bell to bell. It draws from the ancient traditions of martial arts, but with a modern pace and set of rules that keeps the fighters moving forward.
The focus on stand-up fighting means that there is no rest, no escape, and no excuses. Only the best fighters thrive, and that means only the best action makes it to a Glory ring.
We hope this helps you understand and get excited for the arrival of Glory on Spike. Trust us when we say you won't want to miss a moment of the action when Glory Kickboxing premieres live on Saturday, October 12th. Stay with Spike and go for Glory.