Matchmaker’s Breakdown: GLORY 16 DENVER

Published on Apr 29, 2014

Some of the best kickboxers in the world touch down in the Mile-High City this Saturday, May 3 as GLORY 16 DENVER hits the 1stBANK Arena in Denver, Colorado.

The event airs LIVE across the USA on SPIKE TV from 9pm ET/8pm CT, and will air in more than 150 territories worldwide.

GLORY’s World Welterweight Title is on the line in the evening’s headline fight, while the main card centerpiece is a four-man Heavyweight Contender Tournament.

The winner of that will go forward to the Heavyweight Championship Tournament later this year and will have a chance to fight for the World Heavyweight Title.

Also on this card is the GLORY debut of Pat ‘HD’ Barry, well-known to fight fans across the US thanks to his time with the UFC. He faces fellow debutant Zack Mwekassa, a professional boxer and kickboxer who thinks his dangerous hands can make a mark on the GLORY heavyweight division.

Cor Hemmers, GLORY Matchmaker and Head of Talent Operations, breaks down the matchmaking for a card which promises knockout action from start to finish.

Pat ‘HD’ Barry (16-5-1, 10 KO’s) vs. Zack Mwekassa (10-1, 9 KO’s)

Heavyweight (209lbs/+95kgs)

“Barry has only just returned to kickboxing after a long time in MMA. He has a big name but to be frank, we can’t say it would be fair to throw him in against the top guys right away.

“So he comes in at the entry level. Mwekessa has been pushing us for a fight for a while now. He is a tough guy with dangerous hands.”

“You’ve got a classic match here - two very aggressive fighters with a lot of finishes between them, one a puncher, one a kicker. It’s style vs. style.”

“And you’ve got two fighters coming from different disciplines as well - Barry has been fighting in MMA for seven years while Mwekassa has been boxing professionally.”

“Both guys have adjustments to make, so it’s interesting. To be honest, I can’t see this fight going more than one round or two. Whoever wins will find themselves facing a ranked opponent in their next outing.”

Heavyweight Contender Tournament

Sergey Kharitonov (5-3, 3 KO’s) vs. Anderson ‘Braddock’ Silva (37-10-1, 24 KO’s)

Errol Zimmerman (101-11-1, 42 KO’s) vs. ‘Banging’ Ben Edwards (36-9-3, 32 KO’s)

Heavyweight (209lbs/+95kgs)

“In the tournament we have top talents who are well ranked and known to the fans. These are four good, experienced heavyweights but only one of them can be the contender.

“Zimmerman is the bookmaker’s favorite with ‘Braddock’ Silva a close second. I would say that if they meet in the final you would be looking at a 50-50 fight with Zimmerman having the power advantage.

“Zimmerman’s disadvantage is that, by his own admission, he doesn’t always train as hard as he should. If he hasn’t prepared properly then he may have some problems.

“Silva has had some very tough fights, nothing but top-ranked guys, and he has been unlucky in some of the decisions he has received. So you can’t count all those losses against him, he certainly cannot be written off.

“Now he is in the Contender tournament and he has a chance to blast himself right back into the title contention picture.

“Kharitonov is known to most fight fans because of his time in STRIKEFORCE and PRIDE FC. He is an incredibly tough guy with a heavy-handed style and he is coming off a win over the great Jerome Le Banner.

“Edwards has serious power and he’s an entertaining fighter to watch. He isn’t an acrobatic kickboxer and he doesn’t claim to be. He knows what he is good at - using his power to land the knockout punches.

“We saw at GLORY 12 NEW YORK how he took out Jamal Ben Saddik after a tough fight, so his confidence is high coming off that debut KO win.

“Whoever wins here goes forward to the Heavyweight Championship Tournament later this year and that means they are in the running to win the World Heavyweight Title.

“It is a big prize so you can be sure there will be fierce competition in this Contender Tournament. And it goes without saying, GLORY heavyweight fights don’t often go the distance. Don’t blink when these fights are on.”

Karapet Karapetyan (43-9-2, 4 KO’s) vs. Marc De Bonte (86-11-1, 28 KO’s)

World Welterweight Championship Title Fight

170lbs/77kgs; 5 x 3-minute rounds

“Just before the Welterweight Championship Tournament at GLORY 13 TOKYO, De Bonte was ranked #2 behind Nieky Holzken. But he couldn’t enter the tournament because of an injury, so his place went to a ‘Wild Card’ fighter, Raymond Daniels.

“Now De Bonte is fit and ready to fight, and we kept in mind that he should have been in that tournament. He was matched with tournament-winner Holzken for this fight but then a recurring shoulder injury forced Holzken out.

“We offered the slot to ‘Bazooka’ Joe Valtellini, who came second in the tournament, but he was taking care of his own injuries and couldn’t be fit in time.

“Karapetyan effectively came third in the tournament and was fit and ready to fight, plus he comes off a very good win over Artur Kyshenko at GLORY 14 ZAGREB in March, so the slot passed to him.

“De Bonte and Karapetyan are both very technical fighters with an aggressive style. De Bonte has the power advantage and is maybe more creative while Karapetyan is just relentless; really constant attack, he is a grinder.

“Either man can win. Valtellini is now back in training and ready to go, he says he wants the winner as soon as possible, and of course Holzken will also come back straight to a title shot against whoever holds it.

“So there are some fierce wars coming up at the top of the welterweight division this year and this is the first of them.”

GLORY 16 DENVER takes place this Saturday May 3 and airs on SPIKE TV at 9pm ET/8pm CT

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