This week it was announced that the DREAM 18/GLORY 4 card scheduled for New Year’s eve in Tokyo, Japan will air in the United States on CBS Sports. It will be a tape delay, with the GLORY 4 kickboxing portion of the card airing on New Year’s eve and the MMA portion airing New Year’s day (check local listings). The odds are out on the bouts, so there is still time to get some last minute action in for the New Year!
The main event is a lightweight fight between Shinya Aoki and veteran Antonio McKee. Aoki is an almost 3 to 1 favorite at -285, with the comeback on McKee at +215. McKee is a fine athlete and a strong competitor, but he will need a miracle to pull off this fight.
McKee does one thing in MMA freakishly well, and that is wrestle and control. On the ground, he will always be in danger with the slick Aoki, and even if he is able to stay safe, he is unlikely to do a lot of damage. If the match goes the distance, Japanese judges have a tendency not to reward take downs that do not lead to further offense, and McKee is basically a very strong hugger. If it ends early, it should be Aoki, and if it goes to the cards, it should be Aoki.
Also added to the card at the last minute is a ladies bout between Marloes Coenen of Holland and Australia’s Fiona Muxlow. Coenen is a longtime veteran and one of the top female MMA artists in the world, and Muxlow has a 6-1 record against relatively unknown competition. This one has Coenen by arm bar written all over it.
Another bout to keep an eye on is the Middleweight fight between stand outs Denis Kang and Melvin Manhoef. Right now, the books have Manhoef a slight favorite at -145 with the comeback on Kang at +115.
Manhoef is a predictable but thrilling fighter to watch. He will be working diligently to stay on his feet and to remove Kang’s head. Kang should want no part of the stand up fighting with Manhoef, so he needs the takedown. Fighting on the ground, Kang should be dominant. What you have to decide is can Kang get Manhoef down. Most bettors are saying ‘no’ at this point. Even if you don’t bet the fight, make sure to watch it, is a very high level matchup.
Overall, Glory has delivered a big time card when combined with the kickboxing portion, and in a noteworthy advance, the fights will air in the USA. To see my take on the kickboxing portion of the card, which is marquee and stellar, check out my previous blog at: http://blog.betdsi.com/mma-new-years-eve-card-in-japan-shaping-up/
For more information, visit www.gloryworldseries.com.
The complete MMA card is listed below:
Tatsuya Kawajiri vs. Michihiro Omigawa
Merloes Coenen vs. Fiona Muxlow
Shinya Aoki vs. Antonio McKee
Bibiano Fernandes vs. Yoshiro Maeda
Denis Kang vs. Melvin Manhoef
Georgi Karakhanyan vs. Hiroyuki Takaya
Phil Baroni vs. Hayato Sakurai
Will Brooks vs. Satoru Kitaoka