As a guy who made the odd choice to provide full coverage to a sport five years ago that wasn’t getting full coverage, I feel pretty good about last night. Kickboxing is a sport that should be a huge hit with combat sports fans, but it has always just been out of reach of the general combat sports fan. I mean, K-1 was the king for a very long time, but until 2008 when HDNet began airing events it was nearly impossible to watch unless you were a complete nerd who used the internet to trade tapes (later on DVDs).
Last night GLORY got their big shot with GLORY 11 that aired live on Spike TV. Spike TV decided to take a gamble on the sport of Kickboxing yet again, after attempting to sign K-1 back in 2006 and then scooping up the rights to K-1 last year on the cheap, only to figure out that they weren’t prepared to offer them what they wanted, which was solid live events from the United States. Spike and K-1 parted ways, which led to the uneasy marriage of Spike TV and GLORY this year. Spike TV is the network that is probably best known for giving UFC their big break back in 2005 when they still had WWE to provide a lead-in, but now tries to shoehorn both Bellator and TNA into those spots. Spike is hungry for something more and GLORY was their next shot at that.
In my eyes, there were two new stars born last night; Rico Verhoeven for his huge tournament win and GLORY Kickboxing, which completely dominated social media last night and has seen nothing but universal praise from anyone who attended or watched. There were other combat sports events going on, which would usually show on Twitter and Facebook, but you’d be hard-pressed to see anything but GLORY talk throughout the night.