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GLORY 29: Ismael Londt expects to be a 'big problem' in the heavyweight contender tournament

"Mr. Pain" says he's a big problem for the other three heavyweights in the GLORY 29 heavyweight "Contender" tournament.

Ismael Londt (R) training at Team Furious with Michel Tholel
Ismael Londt (R) training at Team Furious with Michel Tholel
Michel Tholel

On Saturday night (April 16, 2016) Ismael Londt will make his his long-awaited GLORY debut at GLORY 29 in Copenhagen, Denmark, inside Forum Copenhagen.

Londt, 30, had been on the GLORY radar a few years back, but after he signed with K-1 for a heavyweight tournament, a contract never came to fruition.

"I think there was a misunderstanding with GLORY during the time I signed with K-1," Londt explained to "There was a little misunderstanding and it got a little out of hand. So we talked about it and stuff and then actually GLORY called me and were interested."

The heavyweight division could really use a shot in the arm with several of the biggest stars in the sport retiring or no longer fighting for GLORY like Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic, Remy Bonjasky, Peter Aerts, and Daniel Ghita, among others. Londt has long been considered one of the very best in the world, and now he is thrilled to be fighting for the world's leading kickboxing promotion.

"I'm really excited to fight in GLORY," he said. "I'm looking forward to fighting on the biggest platform now of the kickboxing world. We will see what is going to happen. One thing I can promise is I will make an spectacular fight. I drop explosive bombs. I have speed for a big guy, so I know it's a good thing for them to take me in GLORY."

"Mr. Pain," who got that nickname for inflicting punishment on sparring partners when he first began fighting, said he likes tournaments because "anything can happen." He will face Anderson "Braddock" Silva in the opening round of the four-man heavyweight "Contender" tournament, the fifth one in his eight-year career he has competed in. He's ready to compete and likes the other three heavyweights that are in it with him.

"I'm happy with the fighters in the tournament," said Londt. "I think Jahfar [Wilnis] can drop some bombs and Kirillo [Kornilov] can drop some bombs. "Braddock" is a very fast and intelligent fighter. So he's smart and you have to be smart with him also. I'm happy with this tournament. It's a good first step for me to introduce myself to GLORY with this tournament."

The Dutch-Surinamese fighter gave his thoughts on where he thinks his strengths lie in the matchup against Silva:

"I think my natural speed, my power and my way of fighting," said Londt, listing what he feels are his advantages. "I think people like the way I fight. Some people underestimate me. I think all three know that I am very dangerous. Especially when I am fit. For the fighters I am a big problem. They know I'm a big problem."

The winner of the GLORY 29 "Contender" tournament will, of course, get a shot at current champion, Rico Verhoeven's title. However, Londt is not putting the cart before the horse just yet.

"I take it one by one," he said. "The first fight vs. Anderson Silva is the most important fight for me. I don't think about the title shot or nothing else so far. I'd be excited if I got a title shot, but I'm thinking Anderson Silva first and then we will see."

As for his thoughts on the champion, Londt addressed the criticism Verhoeven often receives for lack of knockouts, but said you must give credit where it is due despite that.

"The thing is with Rico a lot of people talk about Rico like, 'oh he doesn't fight. He doesn't make a fight. He doesn't KO.' That's true, but still Rico is the real champion. He beat them all. He's smart, less injuries. It's his way of fighting. Would I fight that way? No, but I respect him for winning all of his fights his way. That's what I can say about Rico. A well-deserved champion in his way of fighting. He earned it. Doesn't matter what they say, Rico was the winner of those fights."

The Rotterdam, Netherlands native will be making his debut at GLORY 29 in Copenhagen, but now that he is a part of the promotion, he is very excited about the opportunity to fight in the U.S. Londt had fights scheduled in the States before, but they fell through, he said. So he's looking forward to making his American debut soon.

"I really, really like the states," he said excitedly. "For me it's really exciting to fight in the states.I hope I can show something different, not by bragging or something, but by my way of fighting. I like MMA, of course. I like boxing a lot. I got asked to train with an MMA fighter soon. I can't comment because the deal is not done yet. I think my future is in the states. If it's by helping MMA fighters with their standing work or sparring, but I think the future will eventually be in the states."

In his last fight, Londt lost by technical knockout to Badr Hari under the Akhmat FC banner in Chechnya, with Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov in attendance, who is a close friend of Hari. He suffered a knockdown only seconds into the fight, and got put down another time in the opening round, which was a questionable call. So not only did he have a slow start, the officiating wasn't exactly impartial either. He came back to floor Hari in the second, but also got dropped for a third time. In the final round there was another controversial knockdown and the fight was waved off do to a "four knockdown" rule.

"What can I say about the fight?" he began. "I'm not one for excuses and stuff like that. I took the fight on short notice and I got a little emotional and I got an eight count in seven seconds. Normal fighters and kickboxers... I don't want to comment, but when they get an eight count from Badr Hari they are gonna fight in defense. They are gonna fight backwards. I was like, 'fuck it. You are from Amsterdam. I'm from Rotterdam, we are just gonna make war. If I'm gonna die today I'm gonna die like a man.' Then I started fighting forward and I got another eight count. I gave him an eight count. And in the last round he gave me a right straight on my left hand--on my guard--and I slipped and then they stopped the fight. I was like, 'what? What are you doing?' If this is the way you want to win, well I respect that you won the fight. I can't say too much about it. I took the fight like a man and I took the loss like a man."

"Mr. Pain" is undoubtedly itching to get back into the win column and to make some noise in the GLORY 29 "Contender" tournament. He is putting the pressure on himself to make a surge for the top of the heavyweight kickboxing mountain and admitted that the clock is ticking and he must perform at his best.

"Yeah, of course. No doubt bro. I really trained hard for this fight and it's really important for me to win this 'Contender' tournament to show the people who I am and what I stand for. Now I've had the time to train and now is the time to prove myself. I'm 30 years old right now. I have to do it now. It's now or never."

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