Tonight (Sat. Oct. 12, 2013) GLORY Kickboxing will make its debut on Spike TV at 9 p.m. ET with GLORY 11: Chicago. GLORY 11 is primed to be one of the biggest events in the top kickboxing promotion’s short history, as it is pulling out the big guns for its Spike TV debut with a four-man Heavyweight tournament featuring Gokhan Saki, Daniel Ghita, Rico Verhoeven and Anderson Silva. These four men will be vying to be called the best Heavyweight Kickboxer in the world, with three men going home disappointed. Then, to top it off, GLORY will be putting on a rematch that Kickboxing fans have been wanting to see for years now between top Light Heavyweights Tyrone Spong and Nathan Corbett in the main event. The main event between Corbett and Spong has been brewing since they met in 2009 in Montego Bay, Jamaica in a fight that saw Spong knock Corbett down in Round 2, only for Corbett to knock Spong out in the next round. The fight was ruled a no contest, though, as Corbett didn’t stop when the bell rang, which has made this fight a must-see for Kickboxing fans. Nathan Corbett (58-3-1) has been the kingpin for the Light Heavyweight division in Muay Thai for the past few years, while Tyrone Spong (72-6-1-1) has successfully made the transition from Welterweight to Heavyweight before settling back down at Light Heavyweight as of late. 5Dimes Sportsbook had Spong at a -350 favorite when the lines opened, with Corbett at +250, but it’s hard to ignore that Corbett had Spong knocked out in the last fight. One of the featured bouts of the evening will see Canadian fighter Joseph Valtellini (9-1) looking to prove his mettle against Kickboxing B-Boy Karim Ghajji (85 – 8 – 1). Valtellini burst onto the scene recently after cutting his teeth on the New York Muay Thai scene, but faces a stiff challenge in the veteran Ghajji. Ghajji’s experience has him opening at a -165 favorite over +125 for Valtellini, but Valtellini could surprise a lot of people here with a big win over a solid name by the way of Ghajji. The meat and potatoes of GLORY 11 will without a doubt be the Heavyweight tournament, with fans paying close attention to the reserve fight between Errol Zimmerman (76-18 -1-1) and Hesdy Gerges (42-12-1). What is really incredible is that both of these men have never met in the ring before, which in Heavyweight kickboxing is an ultimate rarity. Both men have had some major ups and downs in their careers, which is reflected in the odds for this one, with Zimmerman opening at -110 and Gerges opening at -130. Those odds tend to reflect just how close of a fight this should be on paper and should hopefully deliver fireworks in the ring. Moving on to the actual tournament matches, fan favorite Gokhan Saki (79-16-1) will meet up with the 24 year old Rico Verhoeven (40-7-1) in the first round of the tournament. Saki’s style is that of beautiful destruction, while Verhoeven is a more measured fighter. Saki is one of the tournament favorites right now, so the line in this fight opening at -300 for Saki and +220 for Verhoeven should come as no surprise. Many fans believe that this year will be the year that Gokhan Saki gets his big tournament victory, but Verhoeven is looking to make his name go down in history. The other opening round of the tournament features Romanian bruiser Daniel Ghita (48-9) against Brazilian standout Anderson “Braddock” Silva (36-9-1). Ghita is going to look to make a big statement in this fight and look for an early finish, while Braddock is going to continue to prove himself as an elite Heavyweight as he has done against Badr Hari and Remy Bonjasky in the past. Ghita, the other favorite in the tournament, opens at -400, while Braddock sits at +280 in the betting lines. In other Heavyweight action, former PRIDE and Strikeforce fighter Sergei Kharitonov (3-3) will step into the ring against British brute Daniel Sam (23-7) in a battle of the Goliaths. The lines open with Sam at -130 and Kharitonov at -110, as this fight is looking to be incredibly even. Then, rounding out the event will be a Light Heavyweight showdown between GLORY’s second ranked Light Heavyweight, Danyo Ilunga (46-5) against Dutch standout Michael Duut (38-4). Ilunga opens as the big favorite at -500, while Duut stands at +335, which seems fair for the former It’s Showtime Light Heavyweight Champion and current Remy Bonjasky protege in Ilunga.
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