Emanating from Dubai in the United Arab Emirates will be GLORY 20. GLORY 20 is set to continue in the grand tradition of offering high level kickboxing with a tournament and two huge world title fights on the card. The event, which will air on Friday evening at 10pm Eastern on Spike TV, features some of the kickboxing world’s top talents in the Lightweight, Featherweight and Middleweight divisions. The main event will see the GLORY Lightweight Championship on the line between champion Robin van Roosmalen and challenger Andy Ristie. Also featured will be Mosab Amrani squaring off against Gabriel Varga for the vacant GLORY Featherweight Championship. Rounding things out will be a Middleweight Contender’s tournament between four of the brightest stars in the division. The first fight in the GLORY Middleweight Contender’s tournament is a big one, a battle between Canada’s finest and a rising American star. Canadian Muay Thai legend Simon Marcus (40-2-1) will compete for the second time in the GLORY ring against Wayne Barrett (5-2-0) in a clash of styles. The odds are pretty much dead even right now at -120 and for good reason; while Marcus might have more experience, most of that experience comes under muay thai rules. GLORY rules are a departure from full thai rules, including limiting his strongest tool in the clinch. Marcus tends to rely on linear movement whereas Barrett is more dynamic and packs quite a punch. It’s a battle of experience vs. raw talent and it could go either way. The second fight in the GLORY Middleweight Contender’s tournament features two rising stars within the division in Jason Wilnis (23-4-1) against Brazilian Alex Pereira (17-2-0). Wilnis might be the younger of the two but he is the more experienced in the sport of kickboxing. Pereira began his career in combat sports as a boxer before shifting over to kickboxing where he’s found his niche. Back in 2012 Wilnis defeated Pereira for the It’s Showtime 85kg championship, meaning that there is history here. That history has placed him as the favorite at -190 and Pereira as a slight underdog at +150, although there are many that believe that Pereira has the skills and experience now to defeat Wilnis. This brings us to the first of the two huge world title matches that are on the card. The first is for the vacant Featherweight Championship and will be contested between Canadian technician Gabriel Varga (25-2-0) and Dutch brawler Mosab Amrani (51-8-4). Amrani is know the world over for some of the most exciting fights that have ever unfolded under kickboxing rules and has defeated everyone that there is to beat within the division, placing him as the favorite at -215 at the moment at 5Dimes sportsbook. Of course Varga has the tools to neutralize Amrani’s assault, it’s just a question of if he can do it. It’s also a question of if you choose to take the +165 odds on him, considering that there is a good chance of him being able to out-point Amrani. Usually a champion has an advantage heading into a bout with a challenger, but that is not the case for the GLORY Lightweight Champion Robin van Roosmalen (33-6-0) against Andy Ristie (44-4-1). The two men have met before and it saw Ristie standing over a knocked out van Roosmalen after a night of shocking upsets from Ristie. This, on top of Ristie’s astonishing track record and skillset, has placed Ristie squarely as the favorite at -445 right now. Van Roosmalen at +315 isn’t an absurd bet, though, considering just how talented of a fighter that he is and how he was able to completely dominate Davit Kiria to secure the title, a feat that Ristie was unable to accomplish when vying for the championship. The talent level on this card is through the roof and it should be a tremendous night of fights. The fact that we’ll see two world title fights on one card is unique for GLORY, never mind the fact that all four men are the best in their respective weight classes. There are some compelling matchups here on paper and should deliver big.
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