Giga Chikadze, Matt Embree, Aleksei Ulianov, and Kevin Vannostrand Compete in One-Night Featherweight Contender Tournament
Published on May 16, 2017
Plus: No. 1 heavyweight contender Benjamin Adegbuyi defends his top rankingWith: GLORY debuts by Anissa Meksen and Road to GLORY UK winner Mo Abdurahman
The world's premier kickboxing league today announced nearly-complete fight cards for GLORY 43 New York and GLORY 43 SuperFight Series, including four top-ranked featherweight contenders battling for divisional supremacy in a one-night tournament.
The Theater at Madison Square Garden – located inside The World's Most Famous Arena – hosts GLORY 43 New York and GLORY 43 SuperFight Series on Friday, July 14.
Kickboxing and Mixed Martial Arts crossover star Giga Chikadze (37-5, 22 KO, fighting out of the United States), currently ranked No. 4 at featherweight, opens up the action at GLORY 43 New York when he faces Russian Muay Thai champion Aleksei Ulianov (22-3-1, 7 KO) in the first of two tournament semifinal matchups.
Chikadze, representing the country of Georgia and fighting out of Kings MMA in Huntington Beach, Calif., has scored highlight-reel knockouts in each of his last two bouts. The first, a signature liver kick finish, came inside the GLORY ring in January, while the second, an eight-second MMA knockout, followed in March.
On the other side of the tournament bracket, former featherweight title challenger Matt "Matics" Embree (39-8, 18 KO, fighting out of Canada) takes on American Kevin Vannostrand (13-1, 10 KO, fighting out of the United States), who broke into the top 10 with a TKO victory over David Moore at GLORY 33 last year.
Now ranked No. 5, the Canadian Embree attempts to replicate past success, knocking out Chibin Lim and Giga Chikadze during last year's featherweight contender tournament to earn a title opportunity.
No. 1 heavyweight contender Benjamin "Mister Gentleman" Adegbuyi (28-4, 16 KO, fighting out of the Netherlands) and No. 4-ranked lightweight dynamo Josh Jauncey (26-8, 15 KO, fighting out of Canada) will both compete at GLORY 43 New York.
Romania's Adegbuyi will put his top spot in the rankings and a three-fight winning streak on the line against the eventual heavyweight contender tournament winner at GLORY 41 Holland, taking place on Saturday, May 20.
Canada's Jauncey most recently earned "Fighter of the Night" honors at GLORY 40 Copenhagen, stopping Antonio Gomez via knee strike TKO. An opponent for Jauncey will be announced shortly.
The current five-fight card for GLORY 43 New York can be found below:
GLORY 43 New York
Featherweight Tournament Final Bout: Winner of Bout A vs. Winner of Bout B
Heavyweight Co-Headline Bout: Benjamin Adegbuyi vs. TBD
Lightweight Bout: Josh Jauncey vs. TBA
Featherweight Tournament Semifinal Bout B: Matt Embree vs. Kevin Vannostrand
Featherweight Tournament Semifinal Bout A: Giga Chikadze vs. Aleksei Ulianov
GLORY 43 New York will be carried live on ESPN3 at 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT and as-live on ESPN2 shortly after at 11 p.m. ET / 8 p.m. PT.
Two of New York's own look to thrill the hometown crowd at GLORY 43 SuperFight Series when Dominican-born middleweight Ariel "The Smash" Sepulveda (4-2, 1 KO, fighting out of the United States) returns to the ring against undefeated GLORY newcomer Joe "Son of a Legend" Taylor (2-0, 2 KO, fighting out of the United States).
Itay Gershon (12-4, 5 KO, fighting out of Israel), the first Israeli fighter to appear for GLORY, takes on Polish standout Rafal Dudek (19-11, 9 KO, fighting out of Poland) at lightweight.
After successfully navigating an eight-man featherweight tournament at Road to GLORY UK in March, 21-year-old contract winner Mo Abdurahman (24-6, 14 KO, fighting out of the United Kingdom) clashes with powerful Chinese prospect Chenchen Li (27-4, 14 KO, fighting out of China).
Also at featherweight, native New Yorker Chris Mauceri (9-5, 4 KO, fighting out of the United States) welcomes 19-year-old Road to GLORY UK tournament runner-up Bailey "Bad Boy" Sugden (8-1, 2 KO, fighting out of the United Kingdom) to the organization.
Recently-signed French superstar Anissa Meksen (88-3, 29 KO, fighting out of France) makes her highly anticipated GLORY debut, bringing a resume featuring 11 world titles into her super bantamweight matchup with Road to GLORY Brazil winner Jady Menezes (10-1, 5 KO, fighting out of Brazil).
The current fight-fight card for GLORY 43 SuperFight Series can be found below:
GLORY 43 SuperFight Series
Middleweight Bout: Ariel Sepulveda vs. Joe Taylor
Lightweight Bout: Itay Gershon vs. Rafal Dudek
Featherweight Bout: Mo Abdurahman vs. Chenchen Li
Featherweight Bout: Chris Mauceri vs. Bailey Sugden
Super Bantamweight Bout: Anissa Meksen vs. Jady Menezes
GLORY 43 SuperFight Series streams live and exclusively on UFC FIGHT PASS at 7 p.m. ET / 4 p.m. PT.
Tickets for GLORY 43 New York and GLORY 43 SuperFight Series, priced between $55 - $350, are on sale now. Tickets are available for online purchase at ticketmaster.com and at the Madison Square Garden box office.
GLORY will be working locally with promoter Lou Neglia and with Justin Blair's Friday Night Fights to bring New York this exciting evening of stand-up striking.