After covering my first professional kickboxing event, Glory 27 at the Sears Centre Arena in Hoffman Estates, IL this past Friday night, I have come to the conclusion that I have been missing out on a pivotal part of Mixed Martial Arts. I have watched kickboxing and Glory specifically for many years and loved what I watched, but seeing it live made me realize that I like pro-kickboxing much more that I thought. I have come up with a list of more my thoughts after leaving Glory 27. They are as follows:
• As much as I love grappling and jiu-jitsu, I was perfectly fine with the fights never going to the ground and being broken up after five seconds of holding.
• Seeing a heavyweight throw and land a spinning heel kick, which knocked out his opponent cold was crazy….and also felt kind of normal.
• The UFC might want to think about bringing back the tournament format every once in awhile. It was pretty impressive to see guys fight twice in one night.
• The post-fight press conference felt like a conversation amongst friends, and I liked that.
• After watching the champion (now former champion), quit in the main event of the night in the ring because he felt like the referee was picking on him was weird and out of left field and I hope I never see an ending like that again.
As ESPN and UFC Fight Pass both making announcements in the past few weeks that they would be partnering with Glory to broadcast their events in the next few years, it’s obvious that kickboxing seems to be more popular now that it has been in a long time. And I know that MMA isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, but I feel like we should all get ready for a kickboxing resurgence in 2016 and beyond.
Pictured: Glory 27 middleweight tournament champion Dustin Jacoby.