When Adrian Maxim steps into the ring at GLORY 44 CHICAGO he will become the latest in a long line of Romanian fighters to fight for the world’s premier kickboxing organization.
Benjamin Adegbuyi, Daniel Ghita, Catalin Morosanu, Andrei and Bogdan Stoica have all made their presence felt on the famous white canvas. Now Maxim is also looking to make his mark.
The young featherweight entered the GLORY ranks via a standout performance in a ‘Road to GLORY’ feeder tournament held in the UK earlier this year.
Despite being eliminated in the semi-finals of the eight-man tournament by way of a controversial decision, Maxim’s showing convinced a ringside Cor Hemmers, GLORY’s head matchmaker, that he s a good fit for the organization.
“I can't contradict Mr. Cor Hemmers, I know he has seen right!” laughs the likeable Maxim. “For me the fans are the most important thing. Sometimes you can lose a decision but win the audience, and the fans, are those who will support the true winner.”
Maxim lost the decision to Bailey Sugden, who went on to make a solid debut on the recent GLORY 43 NEW YORK card, along with tournament winner Mo Abdurahman. Maxim has no hard feelings, but thinks he got short-changed by the result.
“[I saw the New York fights of Sugden and Abdurahman and] I think they are not adapted for GLORY as a style. And I think GLORY fans deserve more. I am in GLORY now, and I want it all!“
Maxim enjoyed an idyllic childhood in the rural Romanian town of Oradea - “A beautiful town surrounded by hot water springs, mountains and forests” - and at the age of seven he started training in Olympic-style wrestling.
Exposure to martial arts movies left him wanting a more complete style of martial art and he found his way to an Ashihara Karate dojo, Ashihara being a Kyokoshin-variant style, the same as used by former GLORY lightweight champion Davit Kiria.
That satisfied Maxim for a few years, although he wondered why the style (which practices bare-knuckle) did not allow head contact. He says that in 2003 he saw professional kickboxing for the first time and immediately knew it was what he wanted.
From that point he travelled first around Romania and then around Europe seeking instruction. Romanian kickboxing competition was thin on the ground at that point so he entered amateur boxing tournaments to gain more combative experience before entering the European kickboxing circuit.
“I have trained in most kickboxing gyms in Romania, then I have tried a lot of other gyms in Spain and Germany, but I wanted something more. I wanted a top trainer that knows kickboxing inside out,” he says.
“I’d heard about Horia Radulescu, who was part of Golden Glory Team Schilt. He moved his gym in UK and I decided to start training with him. We talked and it was good chemistry from the beginning.
“Since then I became the WLF featherweight world champion with a six-fight winning streak in China, and now signed with Glory, so I think it was a good move!”
Now poised to make his debut on the upcoming GLORY 44 CHICAGO card, Maxim is planning to make an impression. The most recent Chicago card hosted Catalin Morosanu and drew a huge number of fans from Chicago’s large Romanian community.
“Kickboxing is everything to me. I wake up in the morning with kickboxing, I feed my lunch with kickboxing and I go to bed with kickboxing. I love fighting and entertaining audience. That is everything for me,” he says.
“Both my self and Morosanu have styles that will entertain our fans. I know our countrymen will be there to support us and I cannot wait to fight in GLORY and in Chicago!”
GLORY 44 CHICAGO takes place Friday, August 25 at the Sears Center in Hoffman Estates, Chicago. The headline bout sees welterweight champion Cedric Doumbé defend his title in a rematch with Murthel ‘The Predator’ Groenhart.