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Glory ‘Last Man Standing’ Preview: Breaking down the middleweight PPV tourney




Glory ‘Last Man Standing’ will be the first PPV for Glory WS and they have stacked the card. At the heart of the action is the Last Man Standing eight fighter middleweight tournament. The tournament is filled with eight of the most exciting kickboxers in Glory.

The tournament will feature speed and power from some of the best middleweights in the world. There are the five fighters at the top of the Glory rankings in; #1 Artem Levin, #2 Joe Schilling, #3 Wayne Barrett, #4 Filip Verlinden and #5 Simon Marcus. Joining them are #7 Alex Pereira, #8 Melvin Manhoef and #10 Bogdan Stoica. Anyone of these fighters could be the last man standing at the end.

In the first round Levin takes on Pereira. This will be an interesting stylistic matchup. Also they are two of the tallest fighters on this tournament.

Levin is 3-1 in Glory with the loss coming to Schilling. Along with a nastiness in the ring he brings a devastating combination of power, speed and aggression. He likes to get in his opponents face and pressure them with his attacks. He will use his kicks from distance and knees in the clinch but it is the hands you have to worry about. There is very little flashiness to his game except for the spinning back fist and an occasional spinning back kick to the body. Levin is excellent at working in close and getting his punches around his opponents guard.

Pereira is 2-0 in Glory. He also has a lot of speed and power as he displayed in his Glory debut against Dustin Jacoby. The quick KO came off of a sweet left hook and sent him into the finals of the Glory 14 tournament. There he took a three round decision over Sahak Parparyan to earn his spot in this tournament.

In the Jacoby fight,Pereira used his kicks and knees early to open up the hands. The left hook came after a right knee to the body. In the Parparyan battle he used his hands much more and really worked the body. We also saw the power as a one-two combination sent Parparyan down in the first round.

Pereira uses a little more movement than Levin who likes to big brother his way inside. He is excellent at throwing the spinning back fist both, when his opponents comes in and also on breaks when they are moving away. On the inside Levin likes to make it a little ugly while Pereira is a little cleaner. They both are extremely effective once they get there.

One thing that could decide this fight was a bad habit picked up by Duke Roufus in Pereira’s fight with Parparyan. Roufus noted that when Pereira backs up he breaks his stance and brings his feet together. This leaves him vulnerable to getting rocked as he does not have a solid base under him. Parparyan could not take advantage of it in their fight but Levin could and if he connects at one of those moments this fight will be over.

These opening fights are just ridiculous. Schilling versus Marcus could easily be the main event on a normal night. Here it is in the first round of the tournament. Marcus has one controversial win over Schilling at Lion Fight 5 and then took a close fought decision in their rematch at Lion Fight 6. They also have each defeated Levin; Schilling holds the only Glory win over Levin and Marcus defeated him just last year in a Lion Fight main event. Marcus is making his Glory debut and is 39-0-1 overall fighting against the best in the world.

Schilling shares similar traits with Levin in the ring. He is also a little nasty, he may have more power as he dropped Levin twice in their fight, and likes a little rougher fight on the inside. That does not mean he is a brawler. He uses fakes and feints and blends kicks, knees and punches into combinations. This is combined with an excellent sense of timing making him a very dangerous fighter in the Glory tournament format.

Schilling won the middleweight tournament last year at Glory 10. That event was also in Los Angeles his hometown, which means there will be a lot of his fans in attendance for this one.

When you watch Schilling fight it is easy to see that he is a classic “hit you back type of fighter.” Which means if you kick him hard in the body then he comes back with his own hard body kick and punch to the head. You hit him twice, he is looking for a three or four strike combo in response. If you knock him down he wants to knock you down. Make that knock you down more because he basically wants to knock you down right from the start.

He showed his tremendous heart in the his fight with Barrett. In that fight he was knocked down twice in the second round and he almost finished Barrett in the third round. Dropping him with a beautiful knee halfway through the round that almost ended the fight. From there he just missed with a couple of spinning back fists.

First up he gets a rematch he wants against the undefeated Marcus. Their first fight ended with a lot of controversy due to a trip that result in Schilling hitting the back of his head on the canvas. Marcus finished the clearly already dazed Schilling off with two quick knockdowns. The second fight was close, exciting and fans cannot wait for the third one.

Marcus is not undefeated by accident, he is able to fight at different ranges. He is one of the shortest fighters in the tournament and his weight class. As expected he fights well on the inside both in the clinch and the pocket. With his explosive techniques he is able to do damage from the outside. It also helps him close the distance and get inside.

Marcus also uses feints and fakes fighting with a high fight IQ. He is well-rounded and will attack all levels. He also possesses excellent timing.

It will be very intriguing to see how this fight plays out under the Glory rules. In his win in their rematch at Lion Fight 6 it was fought under Muay Thai rules. Marcus made full use of them as most people agree the difference in the fight was his work in the clinch. It will be very different as in Glory there are no elbows and they get very little time in the clinch.

That does not mean Marcus will struggle with the Glory rules. He has been very successful as a kickboxer. It is in this matchup that it may hurt him. Schilling seemed to have a slight edge outside of the clinch. That fight was also two years ago ad both fighters have evolved since then.

If Schilling does become the first fighter to defeat Marcus he could find himself in another rematch, this time against Barrett. That is if Barrett can get past Stoica who might the flashiest fighter in the tournament. He loves using the various flying techniques and the axe kick.

They make him the wildcard of this tournament. If he lands a flying knee or kick the fight could be over. However, if his timing is slightly off he will leave himself open and Barrett will end the fight quickly. Barrett brings serious power with him into the ring.

He is also a well-rounded fighter with excellent timing. One thing in the Schilling flight that Roufus pointed out was Barrett’s ability to disguise the path of his punches. He would loop a hook and then bring it in quickly around the guard and Roufus compared it to what Muhammed Ali used to do in his fights.

His win over Schilling was the most impressive in his short professional career. Barrett is 4-0 overall and 3-0 in Glory and has shown tremendous composure on the big stage already headlining Glory 12 with Schilling.

On paper this looks like the biggest mismatch of the opening fights with Barrett being the heavy favorite. That is despite Stoica having a huge experience advantage at 38-5 overall with 29 TKO/KO’s. It is that power that could be the difference maker. Barrett showed a great chin in the Schilling fight by being able to get up after getting blasted by a knee.

This is an example of the beauty of this tournament. Either fighter could win this fight and the whole thing. They both have the power to score an early knockout and that may be the difference in winning this tournament. If someone can score the quick KO that gives them a big advantage in their next fight especially against an opponent who went through a three round war.

The final matchup is more likely to be a three round battle as both Manhoef and Verlinden have more decision wins than TKO/KO’s. They can knock you out if you give them the opening but they are both more technicians than power punchers.

Verlinden has gone 4-3 in Glory all three losses were to bigger fighters. He dropped a decision to the legendary Remy Bonjasky at Glory 4. The other losses are to Saulo Cavalari and Tyrone Spong. He rebounded from those two losses with a win over in his middleweight debut Israel Adesanya at Glory 15.

As a heavyweight he was extremely fast. At light heavyweight his speed advantage was a little less, He did not slow down, it’s just that there is more speed at the lower weight classes. At middleweight he will not be the fastest fighter but he will not be slow. He could carry more power at this weight class.

If he does it will most likely come from the boxing side of the sport, as he prefers to uses his hands more than his kicks and knees. He will have to be careful about being one dimensional against Manhoef who can and will take advantage of any mistakes you make.

He has split time kickboxing but has spent most of the years focusing on MMA. This is his Glory debut and only his third kick boxing fight in the last two years. He is not known for his KO’s but he did stop Mark Hunt at Dynamite!! in an MMA fight via strikes.

Manhoef is fast and has a good sense of timing. It will be worth watching to see what he brings into the kick boxing world after spending most of his time concentrating on MMA. If he gets past Verlinden then he either gets Levin or the dynamic Pereira who just beat the number one middleweight in Glory.

There are no easy first round fights but they all should be exciting and then it will get even tougher in the next two rounds. Schilling could win the whole thing by fighting three straight rematches. He starts out against Marcus, Barrett could be his semi-final opponent and Levin potentially be awaiting him in the finals.

However this plays out the winner is going to have to beat three of the best middleweights in the world. Glory has put together one of the most exciting cards in combat sports this year. This Last Man Standing tournament is a big part of that.

An avid lifetime fight fan who loves to write about it. So kick back, get comfortable and let's have some fun! "Wants me to tell him something pretty." Al Sweargen "Going wrong is not the end of fucking things, Johnny. Fuck no! I have comeback from plenty of shit that looked like it was going wrong." Dan Dority "Deserve's got nothin' to do with it." Bill Munny