Tonight GLORY Kickboxing will once again take over the airwaves live on Spike TV at 9pm Eastern in GLORY’s second outing on US television in GLORY 12 New York. GLORY 12 New York is a big deal for a number of reasons, including taking place at the Theater at Madison Square Garden in the heart of New York City. For the past few weeks GLORY and Spike TV have been bombarding Times Square’s digital billboards with GLORY 12 advertisements with high hopes on the shoulders of two Americans in a main event; Joe Schilling and Wayne Barrett. GLORY has been pulling out all of the stops to make the event appealing to New Yorkers, including local legend Brian Collette (20-2-0) squaring off against Atlanta’s Warren Thompson (9-2-1). Collette has made a strong name for himself in the New York Muay Thai scene over the past few years, with the lines opening up for him at 5Dimes at -505 reflecting just that. He’s riding some serious momentum with his recent win at GLORY 10 over Randy Blake but will run into a hungry competitor in Warren Thompson. Thompson recently made a name for himself as a late replacement in ENFUSION’s latest Thailand reality series where he advanced in their Heavyweight tournament only to have to pull out due to injury. The odds are stacked against him against a veteran like Collette, leaving him at +335 tonight. Also on the undercard is two of America’s best kept secrets squaring off. Francois Ambang has been fighting beyond what his 10-3-0 record lets on and that skill was shown in winning a Road 2 GLORY tournament earlier this year in New York City. 5Dimes has the line on Ambang opening at -125, a slight favorite over the competition in Eddie Walker (11-3-1). Walker is the quintessential working man who splits his time between his full time job, his family and his passion for Kickboxing. Tonight he’ll step into the ring against Ambang in a new weight class of 170lbs after having mixed results at 185lbs, with the odds opening for him at -115. Of course, mixed results for Eddie Walker include a Knockout victory over GLORY Middleweight Champion Joe Schilling, so there is definitely power in his hands ready to be unleashed, which should make for an entertaining scrap with Ambang. In one of the more exciting undercard bouts for the hardcore fan, Artem Vakhitov (9-4-0) will make his second appearance in GLORY against the very busy Serbian, Nenad Pagonis (98-6-0). While numbers can tell the story a lot of the time, Vakhitov’s star is very much on the rise right now as a Light Heavyweight in GLORY, with the lines reflecting that, opening up at -185 to Pagonis’s +145. Pagonis will be a huge challenge for Vakhitov and another chance for him to prove himself as a future star of the Kickboxing world here at GLORY 12. GLORY 12’s big attraction for fans across the world will without a doubt be the one-night, four-man Lightweight tournament featuring the best fighters at 70kg from across the globe. The first of the two semi-finals features Semmy Schilt-apprentice Davit Kiria (21-8-0) squaring off against top ranked contender Robin van Roosmalen (30-5-0) in a rematch from 2011. Both men have had their share of battles since the initial bout, which saw RvR walk away with a decision victory, but van Roosmalen’s place as a Finalist in last year’s GLORY Welterweight Slam helps to push the odds in his favor, with lines opening on Robin van Roosmalen at -160. If there was smart money to bet on an upset it would be here with Kiria, as the lines open with him at +120, especially after the victory over 2012 K-1 World MAX Champion Murthel Groenhart. In the other semi-final the indomitable Giorgio Petrosyan (78-1-1) will battle exciting up-and-comer Andy Ristie (39-3-1) in a battle of technique and skill versus speed and power. Petrosyan’s absolute dominance over the division since 2009 has led to the lines being skewed heavily in his favor at -855 with Ristie at +485, making those looking for a big upset that’ll pay out take a serious look at Ristie. Ristie indeed has a plethora of impressive Knockouts in his favor, but against top competition he has yet to really find his groove, a problem which will only be amplified against a tactician like Petrosyan. Spike TV’s featured bout of the evening features none other than GLORY 10 Middleweight Champion Joe “Stitch ‘em Up” Schilling (16-4-0) against New York’s knockout of a prospect in Wayne Barrett (3-0-0). This will be just another day at the office for Joe Schilling, who has been fighting professionally for years on top of running The Yard Muay Thai gym in Los Angeles, but he rides a tremendous wave of momentum after his tournament victories over Kengo Shimuzu and Artem Levin at GLORY 10, with the lines opening up in his favor at -260. What Wayne Barrett lacks in experience he makes up for in brute force and has racked up three impressive knockout victories in his young Kickboxing career. Many point to Schilling’s last loss against Eddie Walker as proof that if Barrett can connect that he should be able to put Schilling to sleep, making +180 on Barrett a tempting bet. The question is; will Barrett’s brute force be enough to overcome Schilling’s defenses, or will Schilling land that big superman punch that floored one of the best fighters in the world, Artem Levin, again? GLORY 12 airs tonight live on Spike TV at 9pm Eastern in the United States and internationally via internet pay-per-view.
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