GLORY announced today the launching of the Rivals series in 2022. It will be a series of joint events co-promoted by GLORY and other kickboxing and combat sports promotions from around the globe. The main goal is to showcase the world’s best kickboxers and strikers.
In an official press statement, GLORY Executive Vice Chairman Scott Rudmann said:
It’s time for the best fighters in the world to fight, regardless of organization. At GLORY, we’re confident we have the best talent and we’re willing to prove it. We welcome the challenge of any MMA, boxing, or kickboxing organization that believes their fighters can compete against ours. It’s time for a change in the combat landscape and we’re excited to lead the way.
GLORY Rivals will allow various promotions to book matchups between their best fighters in order to fulfill fans’ dreams of seeing them and bring them to the new markets. The series will kick off with an event held in cooperation with RISE in Tokyo, Japan in spring and with Enfusion in Europe in May.
Partnership with RISE
Rudmann spoke on the idea of joining forces with both promotions:
We’re excited to partner with both organizations and create new events together. Many of GLORY’s top fighters debuted with Enfusion, including Middleweight Champion Donovan Wisse and top contenders Levi Rigters, Mohammed Jaraya, and Luis Tavares. RISE is the leading kickboxing organization in Japan and features some of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world, including Tenshin.
He also spoke about RISE and GLORY’s first tenure in Japan:
We are very thankful to Chairman Ito and the whole RISE organization in Japan for the collaboration opportunity. RISE is one of the premier stand-up combat leagues in the world. For GLORY, we are proud of our 10-year history, but it’s a tribute to the strength of RISE and the popularity of kickboxing and martial arts in Japan that RISE has been putting on successful events for 19 years.
GLORY has a proud history in Japan, starting with GLORY 4 back on 31 December 2012 with a 16-man, one-night heavyweight tournament that set a new worldwide standard for combat sports.
We are delighted that talented RISE athletes will now have a chance to face GLORY opponents, and with our combined reach of GLORY and RISE, more fans around the world will see our amazing sport. We look forward along with RISE to sharing more details about the first event.
RISE CEO Takashi Ito released his own statement on the subject:
We will develop fighters who are able to fight against world-level fighters and will enhance the popularity of Japanese kickboxing! We will have GLORY vs. RISE fighters matches and other exciting events together with Glory.
More Details to be Released Shortly
At this moment no more details were given, except the name of the series and the announcement of two first events. In the aforementioned press release, it is stated that GLORY is reaching out to other promotions, including organizations in the United States and Brazil.