Japan’s New Years Eve MMA event, called DREAM 18 and GLORY 4 for the 2012-2013 edition, is coming together with several matches announced under both MMA and kickboxing rules. Of particular interest is the Glory 4 kickboxing tournament, which has announced a 16 man, fight 4 times in one day format that is filled with big names and young up and comers. The likes of Sergei Kharitonov, Semmy Schilt, Peter Aerts and Remy Bojansky will be familiar to most, and lesser known names such as Daniel Ghita, Mourad Bouzidi, Jamal Ben Saddik and Fabiano ‘Cyclone’ round out the field. Let’s take a look at the field and the first round match ups.
The opening round features Daniel Ghita (44-7, 34 KO’s) taking on Fabiano Cyclone (11-3). Ghita is considered one of the favorites, and he should make short work out of ‘Cyclone’, who is part Japanese. Ghita is new to this stage, but he comes with a daunting reputation from his most recent outings.
Continuing, Remy Bonjasky (77-14, 40 KO’s) will take on Filip Verlinden (38-6, 17 KO’s) in a matchup that will likely see Bojansky installed as the favorite. It is however a matchup where Verlinden has a real solid shot at the upset, as Bojansky’s athleticism and speed seem to have dropped off a bit after nearly 100 fights in his career.
Peter Aerts (104-30, 78 KO’s) will face Mourad Bouzidi (73-19, 33 KO’s) in a match of two men that know each other and have trained together. Aerts is more likely to prevail, as he has size and experience advantages that will likely prove too much for Bouzidi.
Errol Zimmerman (76-16, 41 KO’s) gets massive Jamal Ben Saddik (22-1, 19 KO’s). Zimmerman will have to use a lot of lateral movement to stay away from the hammers of Saddik, who is considered a prospect.
Anderson ‘Braddock’ Silva (32-8, 22 KO’s) will take on Croatian Igor Jurkovic (44-5, 29 KO’s). Igor is known as a brawler, and Silva is not one to shy away from a fight, so this match has fireworks written all over it.
Veteran Sergei Kharitonov (22-7, 12 KO’s) meets Rico Verhoeven (31-6, 2 KO’s). Keep an eye out for this one, as Kharitonov, despite his size and strength, may be outgunned by a more skilled fighter who has not split his career between kickboxing and MMA.
Overall, the tournament finals is likely to be Schilt versus Ghita in a fight that could come down, in traditional tournament fashion, at the man who comes into the match freshest. Look for the lines to start popping up at the sportsbooks in the days to come.
For more information, visit www.gloryworldseries.com.