The 22-year-old Jimmy Vienot (58-12, 33 KO’s) is a rising star of the Muay Thai scene in his native France and holds a WBC Muay Thai world championship belt to prove it.
On Saturday night he will take on a new challenge when he steps into the ring at GLORY 47 LYON for his first fight with the world’s premier kickboxing organization.
For the Montpellier-born Vienot, fighting is all about challenge. From a young age he wanted to test himself and the chance to fight under GLORY rules is an extension of that.
“I'd like to progress, to learn about kickboxing’s technical aspects. GLORY represents a new challenge and I want to succeed in this area too,” he says.
“I'm an athlete. To me, the word ‘athlete’ means somebody who is dedicated to improvement, learning, challenge, competition, training. GLORY Kickboxing represents the best kickboxing organization and so it’s natural I want to participate in this.
“Here you have fighters like Nieky Holzken, Yoann Kongol, Cedric Doumbe, Murthel Groenhart… I realize most of these guys are more experienced than me in kickboxing but I’m training hard to be up there with them and I'm looking forward to fighting them.”
With more than half of his wins coming inside the distance - 56%, to be exact - Vienot certainly brings the kind of power to the ring that those other more established names will respect.
For him though, securing a knockout is more about tactics than power. “You have to be a technician, create openings… that’s where you find the KO.”
Despite his natural talent for the striking arts, Vienot’s martial arts career actually started with a grappling style.
“I needed a sport to let off steam so first I started with judo. I did that for seven years and then I wanted something with more contact, so I tried Thai boxing. As soon as I started with it, something happened - I just knew I would succeed,” he says.
“When most kids my age were looking forward to their exams and planning for college, I as focused on this career. My parents supported me. They saw how focused I was and they became my first fans and my biggest fans.”
Opposite Vienot on Friday will be Alim Nabiev, also making his debut. The talented Azerbaijanian welterweight had originally been set to face Nieky Holzken at GLORY 45 HOLLAND but that fight was cancelled due to Holzken pulling out injured.
GLORY 47 LYON takes place this Saturday, October 28 at the Palais de Sport de Gerland in Lyon, France.
The main event sees light-heavyweight champion Artem Vakhitov defend his belt against Brazilian challenger Ariel Machado. The card also hosts a French welterweight showdown between Cedric Doumbe and Yohan Lidon.
How to watch:
GLORY 47 SuperFight Series airs worldwide on UFC Fight Pass at 1pm ET / 10am PT
GLORY 47 Lyon on ESPN3 at 3:30pm ET / 12:30pm PT on October 28th!