Polish veteran lightweight Rafal Dudek (20-12, 9 KO’s) can expect plenty of crowd support when he takes to the ring at GLORY 44 CHICAGO later this month to face Minnesota’s Nate "The Natural" Richardson (10-2, 5 KO’s) on the SUPERFIGHT SERIES section of the card.
Chicago is home to one of the largest Polish communities in the United States - the city’s third language is Polish, behind English and Spanish, and around 1.1 million people in the Chicago area identify as Polish or Polish-descent.
Dudek debuted in New York last month on the GLORY 43 card but lost a decision to Itay Gershon of Israel, who was also making his debut. Chicago was already Dudek’s target though, due to the city’s ties to Poland.
“In America there are many people who are from Polish heritage and fighting in front of them is an honor,” he says. “I want to show that Polish kickboxing is a good level and that we can fight with the best in the world.”
Richardson rides a five-fight win streak into his GLORY debut, with three of those wins coming inside the distance. Now he’s looking to extend that run to six and make an impression on the GLORY lightweight division in the process.
He was born in Liberia, West Africa but moved to the United States with his mother at the age of ten after his homeland was engulfed by civil war for the second time in his short life.
“Our family was broken up, my mother was on her own. We fled first to the Ivory Coast and then to America,” he says. “My early life was a grind. My mother says we were literally dodging bullets when we fled Liberia.
“Now I want to make a success of myself to make a better life for me and for her, because I support her.”
GLORY 44 SuperFight Series streams live and exclusively on UFC FIGHT PASS at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT on Friday, Aug. 25.
Tickets for GLORY 44 Chicago and GLORY 44 SuperFight Series are on sale now, available for online purchase at searscentre.com and at the Sears Centre Arena box office.