GLORY 46 Predictions: Dim Sum-thing’s Cooking in China

Photo Credit: GLORY Kickboxing

GLORY 46 will be touching down in mainland China (Saturday, October 14) for a historic event featuring a middleweight title fight and some of China’s toughest Sanda (Chinese kickboxing) practitioners.

In what should be a night of fireworks, current GLORY Middleweight Champion Simon “The ONE” Marcus will be looking to defend his title against hard-hitting Brazilian Alex “Po Atan” Pereira. Both men love to throw the leather so there is bound to be someone lying flat on the canvas, staring at the lights, when the fight is done.

The card will also feature a featherweight tournament to decide the next no. 1 contender. The winner will earn a title shot against current champ Robin Van Roosmalen, who recently defended his title at GLORY 45.

Since this card is taking place in China, GLORY will be showcasing some of the country’s toughest kickboxers from the renowned Tagou Martial Arts School. Heavyweight Xiang Ye, a decorated Sanda practitioner, will test his skills against a 6’6 giant ironcially named “Junior.”

Ye is one of China’s most decorated fighters but he’ll have his hands full against Junior Tafa, a protege of UFC heavyweight and K-1 Grand Prix-winner Mark Hunt. This fight will be under GLORY rules and is the co-main event of the evening.

The card also features the first global broadcast of a professional Sanda fight between Hongxing Kong and Yang Sun. This special attraction, which won’t be governed by the usual GLORY ruleset, takes place at 132 pounds and will be governed by traditional Sanda rules.

GLORY 46: China Card (reverse chronological order)

  • Middleweight Title: Simon Marcus vs. Alex Pereira
  • Featherweight Tournament Final: Winner of Bout A vs. Winner of Bout B
  • Heavyweight Co-Headliner: Xiang Ye vs. Junior Tafa
  • Professional Sanda (60 kg): Hongxing Kong vs. Yang Sun
  • Featherweight Tournament Semifinal B: Chenglong Zhang vs. Quade Taranaki
  • Featherweight Tournament Semifinal A: Chenchen Li vs. Masaya Kubo

 

Before the main card gets underway, GLORY will offer a dose of its standard Super Fight Series acting (available live on UFC Fight Pass). The Super Fight Series always has its fair share of great matchups, but one that stands out (maybe for all the wrong reasons) is heavyweight champ Rico Verhoeven facing former UFC fighter Antonio “Big Foot” Silva. This is a non-title slaughter-in-the-making and, quite frankly, it’s a complete freak show. That said, the rest of the card is solid and far more competitive.

Glory 46 Super Fight Series

  • Heavyweight Headline Bout: Rico Verhoeven vs. Antônio Silva
  • Catch-weight (72 kg) Co-Headline Bout: Shanghai Gao vs. Khaial Dzhaniev
  • Middleweight Bout: Wei Zhou vs. Andre Walker
  • Catchweight (53 kg) Bout: Zaza Sor. Aree vs. Liu Jia
  • Catchweight (68 kg) Bout: Lei Xie vs. Petchpanomrung Kiatmookao
  • Lightweight Bout: Qinghao Meng vs. Pascal Schroth

 

As usual, let’s preview the main events of the evening and pick some winners. Feel free to use my advice at one of our top-rated sportsbooks.


GLORY 46 PREDICTIONS

Simon Marcus (champion, -250) vs. Alex Pereira (challenger, +170) — Middleweight Title

Simon Marcus – Photo Credit: GLORY Kickboxing CC License

Back at GLORY 40, Canadian Simon “The ONE” Marcus (47-3-2) regained his middleweight championship by beating longtime rival Jason Wilnis via split decision. Now he is about to clash with one of the best strikers in the game in Alex Pereira (24-6-0) in what should be an action-packed fight.

The no. 3-ranked Pereira is a fan favorite who loves to bang, thanks in large part to his professional boxing background. The 30-year-old Brazilian is known to take risks, trying to land the big KO shot even when he’s up on the scorecards. This has led to him making some mistakes and it’s something that he might want to keep to a minimum when going against Marcus. But it’s also what makes him so unpredictably violent.

The current champ takes his own share of unnecessary risks, which is why this fight is so intriguing. You have two guys who don’t mind going for broke in order to entertain the fans.

This might be a bad matchup for the 30-year-old champ who has lost to heavy-handed punchers in the past. Marcus has a bad habit of leaving himself open while trying to land a fight-ending punch or kick. That’s a tactic that could prove costly — lose-the-belt costly — against Pereira.

Of course, it’s hard to hit something you can’t catch and Marcus is not a fluke champ. He pushes the pace from the opening bell and makes his opponent work in his range and at his speed. His ability to simultaneously pressure his opponent while keeping his distance makes for an incredibly elusive target. And his collection of weapons — tremendous kicks and knees plus a solid right hand — makes his attacks tough to defend. He’s a skilled clinch fighter who, if given the chance, has no problem making use of his Muay Thai background.

Photo Credit: WGP Kickboxing (YouTube) CC License

Who emerges with the belt around his waist may be determined by the style the fight takes. The challenger will want to turn this into a brawl. He needs to make this fight as chaotic as he can, slow Marcus down via leg kicks, and utilize the power he has in his hands.

The champ is going to have to remain calm and not play into Pereira’s anarchic, street-fighting preferences. He would be wise to let Pereira come out aggressive as the Brazilian is known to tire as fights go along. You saw that at GLORY 40 when he lost to Yousri Belgaroui. He can get beat up by a patient and technically-sound fighter who waits to counter punch.

When it comes to betting, however, the challenger is the better value. Leading up to his recent win against Wilnis, Marcus didn’t exactly set the world on fire; if he comes into this bout flat or doesn’t bring his A-game, it could be over as soon as it starts. In what has the makings of a true fight-of-the-night candidate, take Pereira in an upset. Styles make fights and, based on his previous bouts, I don’t think Marcus matches up well with the hard-hitting Brazilian.

Predicted winner: Alex Pereira (+170)


Rico Verhoeven (-1800) vs. Antônio Silva (+700)

This is a non-title fight that shouldn’t be happening. Shame on GLORY executives and matchmakers for allowing it.

You have the greatest kickboxer on the planet going against a former UFC fighter who is 38-years-old, has lost five straight, and has 0-0 record in kickboxing. Conor McGregor, he’s not.

“Big Foot” Silva (0-0) has never fought in a kickboxing match and has been KOed so many times in MMA that you wonder if this man is thinking straight. This is not a career trajectory to be proud of.

Here’s how this fight is going to go: Verhoeven (51-10-0) will kick Silva senseless; Silva will curl up on the canvas and pick up his paycheck; and we’ll all wonder why we were sucked into watching it.

It’s more of a spectacle than a fight, but it’s the co-main event on the Super Fight card, so I still have to say: take Verhoeven.

Predicted winner: Rico Verhoeven (-1800)