Glory 52: Los Angeles Preview

This Saturday, March 31, Glory Kickboxing hits the west coast in Los Angeles, California for its 52nd event. The event will be held at the Pacific Room at the Long Beach Arena.

In the night’s main attraction, reigning Glory Featherweight champion Robin van Roosmalen will look to unify the belt against interim titleholder Kevin VanNostrand. The Dutchman van Roosmalen has garnered four straight victories since dropping down from the Lightweight back in 2016. New York’s VanNostrand has picked up five wins in his six Glory appearances.

Also on the main card, former Glory Middleweight champion Simon Marcus returns to take on Zack Wells while UFC veteran Chris Camozzi makes his second Glory appearance against Mike Lemaire.

The night’s SuperFight Series card features two current Glory champions, Pavel Zhuravlev who will take on Myron Dennis, and Anissa Meksen who will take on Ashley Nichols. Both fights will be non-title bouts.

The Glory 52 preliminary card will stream live on Pluto TV at 4:30 p.m PT / 7:30 p.m. ET. The Glory 52 SuperFight Series airs live at 6:00 p.m PT / 9:00 p.m. ET on UFC Fight Pass. The main card streams live at 8:00 p.m PT / 11 p.m. ET on ESPN3. Additionally, Glory content can now be found on XUMO.

Robin van Roosmalen vs.  Kevin VanNostrand

Van Roosmalen (50-16, 16-3 in Glory) has been a longstanding veteran and combatant of the Glory ring, holding one of the most pristine records. Van Roosmalen even competed at Glory’s inaugural event back in 2012 where he defeated Dzhabar Askerov by way of unanimous judges decision. Of his 16 Glory victories, four have come by way of knockout or TKO. Van Roosmalen is also the only man to ever win a Glory championship in two weight classes, having been the promotions Lightweight champion from 2014 to 2016 with two title defenses. As a now two-time Featherweight champion, Van Roosmalen has one title defense while having only lost the title the first time due to a failure to make weight in preparation for his fight with Matt Embtree at Glory 37 which was also held in Los Angeles.

VanNostrand (17-1, 5-1 in Glory) is currently riding a four-fight winning streak, two of which came on the same night where VanNostrand won the 2017 Glory Featherweight Contender Tournament at Glory 43. In the tournament, Kevin defeated both Mo Abdurahman via knockout in the first round, and avenged his lone Glory loss to Giga Chikadze by way of unanimous judges decision. Of his five wins in the Glory ring, three have come by way of knockout.

While VanNostrand has scored some impressive wins in his recent GLORY bouts, including victories over Boynazarov and Chikadze, he lacks the experience that van Roosmalen has. Along with this, he is likely to be at a skill disadvantage against the champion as well. Everything that VanNostrand does well, van Roosmalen does better. VanNostrand counters well, due to a well-polished karate background, but van Roosmalen is unlikely to give him any space. Van Roosmalen has supplied to viewers over the years much better boxing than the American, and his constant forward pressure is a nightmare for most of his opponents.

The best thing VanNostrand can hope for in this fight is to make it to the scorecards. VanNostrand has yet to face an opponent as well touted and highly ranked and skilled for as long as van Roosmalen has. Judging in combat sports is rarely consistent, so if the American can last five rounds, maybe he’ll catch a break. But this bout will be in California where the scoring tends to often be fair. However, look for van Roosmalen to pressure early and often, putting away VanNostrand before the championship rounds.

Simon Marcus vs. Zack Wells

Marcus (47-4-2, 6-3-1 in Glory) will be looking to bounce back after losing his championship title against Alex Pereira back at Glory 46 in China. Marcus, now a former two-time Glory Middleweight champion, holds victories over Jason Wilnis, Dustin Jacoby and Artem Levin. Of his 47 career kickboxing wins, 26  have come by way of knockout.

Zach Wells (4-0, 1-0 in Glory) is most definitely getting the most difficult test of his career as he takes on highly experienced Canadian star Simon Marcus. Wells has not competed in the Glory ring since 2015 at Glory 24. Wells has since looked to build a career in mixed martial arts. Going 1-1 thus far in mma before returning to kickboxing and taking a bout on the regional scene.

The experience difference here is astoundingly obvious, and by itself could easily persuade one to look at Marcus as the favorite in this bout. There is really little that says Wells could pull off what would most definitely be an incredible upset. Marcus is aggressive, composed when a fight gets high paced, and is always willing to reset and change up his tactics mid-fight. Wells will most certainly have his hands full against a former champion who will be looking to get back in the winners column following the loss of his championship.

Glory 52 takes place at the Pacific Room in Lon Angeles, California on March 31. The full fight card reads:

GLORY 52: Main Card (ESPN 3, 8:00 p.m PT / 11 p.m. ET)
Robin van Roosmalen vs. Kevin VanNostrand
Simon Marcus vs. Zack Wells
Mike Lemaire vs. Chris Camozzi
Stoyan Koprivlenski vs. Josh Jauncey

GLORY 52: SuperFight Series (UFC Fight Pass, 6:00 p.m PT / 9:00 p.m. ET)
Pavel Zhuravlev vs. Myron Dennis
Anissa Meksen vs. Ashley Nichols
Paul Banasiak vs. Troy Jones
Zakaria Zouggary vs. Bailey Sugden

GLORY 52: Preliminary Card (Pluto TV, 4:30 p.m PT / 7:30 p.m. ET)
Jermaine Soto vs. Alex Higley
Arthur Estrazulas vs. Chris Bonilla
Natalie Morgan vs. Gerrica Trias
Jose Palacios vs. Sovankesa Som

*Reminder: The Glory 52 preliminary card will stream live on Pluto TV at 4:30 p.m PT / 7:30 p.m. ET. The Glory 52 SuperFight Series airs live at 6:00 p.m PT / 9:00 p.m. ET on UFC Fight Pass. The main card streams live at 8:00 p.m PT / 11 p.m. ET on ESPN3. Additionally, Glory content can now be found on XUMO.

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Nick Peralta

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