Fights in the GLORY Superfight Series are single matches, as opposed to tournament bouts. These fights are the main way for fighters to accrue ranking points and climb towards the top of their division, where title shots and tournament spots away.
Every Superfight Series card features a mixture of rising stars, accomplished veterans and new talents looking to make their mark.
Cor Hemmers, GLORY matchmaker and Head of Talent Operations, breaks down the matchmaking for GLORY Superfight Series 16, which takes place in Denver, Colorado on Saturday, May 3.
“To be honest the main reason Levin is on this Superfight Series card is contractual, we needed to give him a fight and this was the available slot.
“Because of the upcoming LAST MAN STANDING tournament the top middleweights were booked up. Thomas had been pushing for a shot at GLORY for a while so we asked if he would be willing to face Levin.
“He didn’t hesitate, and I think that tells you everything you need to know about him. He is only 20 years old but he has really nice technique and has been doing some great things on the Muay Thai circuit.
“He’s making his debut against literally the #1 middleweight in the world - you have to give him a lot of credit for that and on May 3 we will see what he can do.
“Adegbuyi debuted at GLORY 14 ZAGREB in fine style, scoring a knockout with a beautiful head kick. He is one of a wave of guys coming out of Romania right now and he is an interesting addition to the heavyweight division.
“That division is in flux right now. You’ve got guys like Remy Bonjasky and Peter Aerts retiring and then new guys like Adegbuyi coming through, it is an interesting time.
“Daniel Sam is taking this one on somewhat short notice because Mladec Brestovac was forced to pull out. Sam has fought for GLORY several times now. He won his debut then suffered two losses in a row so he really needs the win in this one.
“He is a big guy with some real power but we didn’t really see that in his last fight. We want to see him bring that aggression to Denver.”
“Wamba’s father was an accomplished boxer so I think he has some genetic gifts in that department. When I watched him moving around I was very surprised and impressed.
“He’s fought internationally and won some world titles, so we were interested to see what he could do in GLORY and now we will find out.
“Ben Saddik has had some hard losses in GLORY but the fights have been thrilling. He rides an 0-2 run into this, the first being to Peter Aerts. Losing to Peter is nothing to be ashamed of and that fight was one of the most amazing comebacks we have ever seen.
“Against Edwards, Ben Saddik thinks he lost too much weight in his training camp and that his energy suffered.
“That’s what he blames the KO loss late in the third round. He needs to win this fight to get himself back on track and Wamba needs the win to show that he is capable of fighting at this level.
“Stylistically, Wamba is mobile and evasive while Ben Saddik likes to come forward and fight opponents who are ready to rumble, so there is a sharp contrast there.”
“Vakhitov debuted with a body-shot KO then got a decision in his next bout to go 2-0 in GLORY while Jurkovic made his light-heavyweight debut in March by knocking the established Michael Duut out.
“Duut is a serious opponent - he nearly took Tyrone Spong out at GLORY 9 - so you have to respect that win.
“Jurkovic has some good timing and some heavy hands, he is good at exploiting openings when they present themselves. I think Vakhitov is a lot tighter defensively than Duut is, he doesn’t open up so much when he is on the attack.
“Both fighters can win by KO here but it could also be that Jurkovic finds Vakhitov a tough nut to crack.”
“Daniels is one of the world’s top karate fighters but he had a hard time against Joe Valtellini, who really hurt him with leg kicks then was able to finish him.
“He’s very much a kicker - Daniels is one of those rare guys who doesn’t declare himself a complete kickboxers. His hands are secondary. But his kicks make up for that - his kicks are amazing and he has scored some big knockouts with spin-kicks and so on.
“Ambang is a tough guy with a nice kickboxing style but he is used to fighting opponents who have an orthodox Muay Thai or kickboxing style.
“Daniels presents difficulties because his karate background means you are facing things you aren’t used to dealing with. If he takes one of those spin-kicks to the jaw he is in big trouble.”
“Jauncey is a Canadian fighter who stood out to us after being recommended to us by our North American scouts. He’s facing Stevelmans, who is something of a gatekeeper in the division and a good test for a debuting fighter like Jauncey.
“Stevelmans is always ready to fight - anyone, anywhere - and he has some good skills. So this fight is a test to see where Jauncey is at. A win will show us that he is capable of fighting at this level.”