The world’s premier kickboxing league today announced details of its first event in mainland China, taking place at the Guangzhou Gymnasium on Saturday, Oct. 14.
Chinese fans in attendance will be greeted by the globe's greatest strikers, including current and future stars from a deep roster of Asian talent, competing on two action-packed fight cards: GLORY 46 Guangzhou and GLORY 46 SuperFight Series.
"When I traveled to China earlier this year in search of talent, I stated my belief that these Chinese fighters would be able to claim top worldwide rankings," said Cor Hemmers, Managing Director Sports and Head of Talent Operations for GLORY.
"What we've already seen since then is a group of aggressive and exciting Chinese athletes seizing their opportunities with GLORY. It's truly impressive and my hope is that our event in October will inspire a new wave of kickboxers, taking the sport to even greater heights in China."
Since GLORY's first Chinese athlete, Qinghao Meng burst onto the scene in March, fighters from the nation have gone undefeated in competition. Their overall record is a perfect 4-0, including wins by Meng, Yuhang Xie, Chenglong Zhang, and Chenchen Li.
“GLORY is the global leader in live kickboxing events and television programming, with broadcast and digital partners in over 200 territories around the globe,” remarked David Han, Co-Founder and CEO of Yao Capital, a leading Chinese sports-focused private equity investment fund. “We invested in GLORY because we believe by marrying GLORY’s global brand with China’s thousands-of-years of martial arts tradition and massive sports market, we can greatly facilitate the development of this exciting combat sport.”
In a press conference (link to YouTube video) hosted earlier today at W Guangzhou, the fight cards for GLORY 46 Guangzhou and GLORY 46 SuperFight Series were revealed.
Streaming live and exclusively on UFC FIGHT PASS, GLORY 46 SuperFight Series will mark the debut of heavyweight Antônio "Bigfoot" Silva, the promotion's latest signing. His fighting resume includes black belts in Shotokan Karate, Judo, and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, as well as heavyweight titles held for Mixed Martial Arts promotions Cage Rage, Cage Warriors, and EliteXC.
During his run as a top heavyweight in the UFC and Strikeforce, Silva competed for the UFC heavyweight championship and notched wins over Fedor Emelianenko, Alistair Overeem, Andrei Arlovski, and Travis Browne. The Brazilian's MMA record stands at 19-12-1, with 14 wins coming by way of knockout.
A tough task awaits “Bigfoot” in October, as he will stand across from the undisputed heavyweight kingpin and one of the most accomplished strikers in heavyweight history. GLORY 46 SuperFight Series is headlined by a non-title superfight between Silva and GLORY heavyweight world champion Rico "The King of Kickboxing" Verhoeven (51-10, 14 KO, fighting out of the Netherlands).
With victories inside the GLORY ring over legends of the sport like Badr Hari, Peter Aerts, Daniel Ghita, and Gokhan Saki, as well as respected contemporaries Errol Zimmerman and Benjamin Adegbuyi, Verhoeven reeled off 13 wins in-a-row (including five title defenses) to become kickboxing's brightest star.
GLORY 46 SuperFight Series will be rounded out by Asia's best showcasing their skills.
In the night’s co-headline bout, Muay Thai fighter Khaial "Hulk" Dzhaniev (9-1, fighting out of Russia) will make his GLORY debut, taking on an opponent to be named later. At only 23 years old, Dzkhaiev has quickly established himself on the Asian fight scene, having defeated Thai legend Buakaw while still early into his professional career.
Jiangsu Province’s Wei Zhou (5-0, fighting out of China), a pressure fighter with devastating power, squares off against two-time IFMA World Championships bronze medalist Matt “The Butcher” Baker (20-5, 10 KO, fighting out of the United States) in a middleweight (85 kg) bout.
Meeting at a catchweight of 53 kg, 23-year-old "Queen of Muaythai" Zaza Sor. Aree (33-6, fighting out of Thailand) faces Liu “Lucky Girl” Jia (23-6, fighting out of China), a native of Henan Province and former member of the Chinese national Muay Thai team.
Following an attempt to capture the GLORY featherweight (65 kg) title, No. 2-ranked "The Professor" Petchpanomrung Kiatmookao (156-36-2, 25 KO, fighting out of Thailand) returns to the GLORY ring.
Lightweight (70 kg) Qinghao "The Sniper" Meng (12-2, 1 KO, fighting out of China) hopes to build upon his success at GLORY 39 Brussels in March, welcoming WAKO Team USA athlete Nate "The Natural" Richardson (10-2, 5 KO, fighting out of the United States) to the Far East.
The current GLORY 46 SuperFight Series fight card can be found below:
GLORY 46 SuperFight Series
Heavyweight Headline Bout: Rico Verhoeven vs. Antônio Silva
Catchweight (72 kg) Co-Headline Bout: Khaial Dzhaniev vs. TBA
Middleweight Bout: Wei Zhou vs. Matt Baker
Catchweight (53 kg) Bout: Zaza Sor. Aree vs. Liu Jia
Featherweight Bout: Petchpanomrung Kiatmookao vs. TBA
Lightweight Bout: Qinghao Meng vs. Nate Richardson
Following GLORY 46 SuperFight Series, the stage is set for GLORY 46 Guangzhou, a groundbreaking fight card that will feature the first global broadcast of a Professional Sanda bout.
Sanda is China's most popular combat sport, born from a modern application of the traditional Wushu and Chinese Boxing disciplines to including both striking and grappling techniques. The Professional Sanda fighters to compete at GLORY 46 Guangzhou will be announced shortly.
GLORY 46 Guangzhou is headlined by GLORY middleweight world champion Simon “The One” Marcus (47-3-2, 26 KO, fighting out of Canada) standing toe-to-toe with dangerous challenger Alex 'Po Atan' Pereira (24-6, 12 KO, fighting out of Brazil), the No. 3-ranked contender. Marcus, who has already achieved great career success on Chinese soil, reclaimed his middleweight title at GLORY 40 Copenhagen in April.
GLORY 46 Guangzhou will also feature the semifinal and final rounds of a one-night, four-man featherweight qualification tournament – with the winner being granted entry into an upcoming contender tournament.
Known as the “Animal Tamer,” Chenchen Li (28-5, 14 KO, fighting out of China) made a splash at GLORY 43 New York in June, knocking out Terrance Hill in under two minutes. Li will battle newcomer Masaya Kubo (16-8, 4 KO, fighting out of Japan) in the contender tournament opening round.
In the second semifinal match-up, 19-year-old prospect Chenglong Zhang (39-5, 11 KO, fighting out of China) tries to halt the momentum of New Zealand-born Quade Taranaki (5-4, fighting out of China). Zhang, who started training in Muay Thai at 13 years old, impressed in victory at GLORY 41 Holland in May. Taranaki, who now calls China home, is an aggressive fighter looking to make a name on striking’s biggest stage.
The current GLORY 46 Guangzhou fight card can be found below:
GLORY 46 Guangzhou
Middleweight Title Headline Bout: Simon Marcus vs. Alex Pereira
Featherweight Tournament Final Bout: Winner of Bout A vs. Winner of Bout B
Professional Sanda Bout: TBD vs. TBD
Featherweight Tournament Semifinal Bout B: Chenglong Zhang vs. Quade Taranaki
Featherweight Tournament Semifinal Bout A: Chenchen Li vs. Masaya Kubo
Additional matchups for both GLORY 46 Guangzhou and GLORY 46 SuperFight Series, along with complete ticketing information, will be announced in the coming weeks.
To learn more about upcoming events and activities in China, connect with GLORY on Weibo (GLORY荣耀格斗) and WeChat (GLORY荣耀格斗).