One of the biggest nights in kickboxing history will take place this Sat. night (June 21, 2014) when GLORY invades The Forum in Inglewood, California, with not one, but two stacked fight cards. Starting things off will be GLORY 17 on Spike TV, which features a four-man featherweight tournament and a main event between kickboxing legend Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic and Jarell "Big Baby" Miller.
What immediately follows is what has been generating the most buzz and what has everyone's attention: GLORY "Last Man Standing," the promotion's first foray into pay-per-view (PPV) featuring a heavyweight title fight between Daniel Ghita and Rico Verhoeven, a welterweight title fight between Joe Valtellini and Mard de Bonte, and the highly anticipated, one night, eight-man tournament to crown the inaugural GLORY middleweight champion.
Eight will fight, seven will fall and one will know GLORY.
There will be seven total fights in the tournament and whoever wins will have to win three consecutive fights to do it.
The Last Man Standing tournament brackets:
Artem Levin vs. Alex Pereira
Filip Verlinden vs. Melvin Manhoef
Joe Schilling vs. Simon Marcus
Wayne Barrett vs. Bogdan Stoica
Levin/Pereira winner vs. Verlinden/Manhoef winner
Schilling/Marcus winner vs. Barrett/Stoica winner
Let's meet the eight middleweight participants of "Last Man Standing."
Joe Schilling: (16-5, 10 KO's, 2-1 GLORY)
Last fight: Unanimous decision loss vs. Wayne Barrett at GLORY 12
Last tournament: Won GLORY 10 four-man middleweight tournament
"Stitch 'em up" earned his nickname for cutting up his opponents with elbow strikes early on in his career. The American fighter is a three time WBC Muay Thai champion and has a record of 15-6 overall and is considered one of the elite fighters in the States. Schilling, 30, got his first taste of fighting by entering "Tough Man" competitions in his late teens. In his GLORY debut, Schilling defeated Kengo Shimizu and No. 1-ranked Artem Levin to with the GLORY 10 middleweight tournament. Schilling has been a training partner of Nick Diaz among several other UFC fighters.
Wayne Barrett: (4-0, 3 KO's, 3-0 GLORY)
Last fight: Unanimous decision win vs. Joe Schilling at GLORY 12
Last tournament: First professional tournament
A fellow American from New York, Barrett, 27, put himself on the map by defeating Schilling by unanimous decision at GLORY 12 in only his fourth pro fight. The Queens native is 4-0, but he brought a wealth of experience as an amateur with him, going 19-1 and winning a Golden Gloves championship in Georgia before turning professional. Barrett has great boxing skills and is developing a very unique style among his middleweight counterparts. "Last Man Standing" will be his first-ever tournament.
Artem Levin: (47-4-1, 33 KO's, 2-1 GLORY)
Last fight: Unanimous decision vs Robert Thomas at GLORY 16
Last tournament: Unanimous decision loss to Joe Schilling in GLORY 10 tournament final
Levin, 27, is widely considered among experts as the No. 1 middleweight kickboxer in the world and was a WBC, WMC and It's Showtime champion. The Russian has 44 career victories and is as technical and accurate a striker as they come with great timing and a unique ability to create opportune angles against his adversaries. He most recently bounced back in to the win column with a victory over Robert Thomas at GLORY 16 after the upset loss to Joe Schilling at GLORY 10 in a thrilling fight that went to an extra round to decide the victor.
Simon Marcus: (39-0-1, 24 KO's, GLORY debut)
Last fight: KO win vs. Vehas Topking at WLF: Kunlun Fight 2
Last tournament: Won WLF: Kunlun Fight 2 four-man 80kg tournament
The Canadian-Jamaican fighter owns an incredible 39-0-1 record and has two wins over Joe Schilling and one over Artem Levin, who are also in the "Last Man Standing" tournament. Marcus, 27, has won titles in the WCK, WBC and for the Lion Fight promotion. He does a lot of his dirty work in the clinch with elbows and knees. This will prove to be a difficult challenge for him -- as it is to all Muay Thai practitioners when they come to GLORY -- because clinching and elbows are forbidden. With his experience and who he has faced, Marcus will be a tough out for whoever he is matched up against.
Bogdan Stoica: (38-5, 29 KO's, GLORY debut)
Last fight: Unanimous decision loss to Jorge Loren at SUPERKOMBAT New Heroes 7
Last tournament: Won four-man Selectie Local Kombat in 2010
"The Bucharest Bad Boy" is part of the Romanian movement of kickboxers which includes: Andreic Stoica (his brother) Benny Adegbuyi and, of course, Daniel Ghita. At 24 years of age, Stoica holds a record of 38-5 and has been making a name for himself in the European circuit for the SUPERKOMBAT promotion. The Romanian fighter, who is currently ranked at No. 9 in the GLORY middleweight division, likes to throw flying knees as well as axe kicks and will be making his debut at GLORY "Last Man Standing."
Alex Pereira: (13-1, 9 KO's, 2-0 GLORY)
Last fight: Majority decision win vs. Sahak Parparyan at GLORY 14
Last tournament: Won GLORY 14 middleweight "Contender" tournament
"Po Atan" made his GLORY debut at GLORY 14 in Zagreb and the 26-year-old Brazilian looked outstanding, winning the night's four-man middleweight "Contender" tournament to earn his way into the "Last Man Standing" title tournament. Pereira has one of the longest reaches in the division, the power to go along with it, and can pose many problems for his opponents. Now 13-1 overall, Pereira showcased that power by knocking out Dustin Jacoby with a wicked left hook in the opening round of the GLORY 14 tournament, and In the final he won a hard fought majority decision over Sahak Parparyan.
Melvin Manhoef: (37-11, 27 KO's, GLORY debut)
Last fight: Unanimous decision loss to Zamit Samedov at Legend 2 Invasion
Last tournament: Lost to Samedov in semifinals at Legend 2 Invasion in Russia
A fighting legend who has fought for Strikeforce, DREAM, K-1, ONE FC, and It's Showtime, the 38-year-old has a 37-11 kickboxing record with 27 career knockouts. He hasn't had a kickboxing fight in over a year, and will now try his hand in GLORY in a tournament stacked with the elite talent of the division. The odds will be against the aging veteran, but he still has the punching power, leg kick arsenal and years of experience to upset someone's night on June 21st.
Filip Verlinden: (42-11-1, 16 KO's, 4-3 GLORY)
Last fight: Unanimous decision win vs. Israel Adesanya at GLORY 15
Last tournament: Unanimous decision loss to Tyrone Spong in GLORY 9 eight-man tournament semifinals
Verlinden is the NO.4-ranked GLORY middleweight, a two-time WKA Muay Thai champion and the only GLORY fighter to win fights in three different weight classes. This will be the 31-year-old Belgian's third tournament in GLORY. He fought in the heavyweight 16-man slam at GLORY 4, losing in the opening round to Remy Bonjasky, and the eight-man light heavyweight slam at GLORY 9, succumbing to Tyrone Spong in the semifinal round. Some knock his style as boring, but Verlinden has been very successful and has been in the ring with some of the best kickboxers on the planet and sports a record of 42-11-1.
There you have it.
For a complete look at the GLORY 17 and GLORY "Last Man Standing" fight card and line up click here.