GLORY is the premiere kickboxing organization in the world. And even if you aren’t familiar with it yet, Spike TV is betting it will take off. Similar to the way Spike popularized the UFC with an unprecedented TV deal in 2005, the network is betting on the crossover appeal of kickboxing, featuring GLORY kickboxing events on a monthly basis.
“We really like this sport,” said Jon Slusser, Spike’s senior Vice President of Sports. “If you talk to people who like MMA, they love kickboxing. With the growth of MMA and the growth of combat sports over the last decade, a reintroduction of the sport is what we think will give this sport the boost it needs to really climb into the spotlight,” says Slusser.
Middleweight Wayne Barrett finds himself in the perfect place at the perfect time. On the mat is where his opponents have found themselves since the former Golden Gloves boxing champ turned pro.
As an amateur, Barrett compiled a 19-1 kickboxing and Muay Thai record. Barrett’s GLORY debut came in a September when he knocked out Robby Plotkin in the first round. In his second GLORY fight, he toyed with and then knocked out previously undefeated Mike Lemaire in round two. In a total of 23 fights, he has amassed 18 knockouts.
“I’ve never seen anything moving so fast,” said Barrett about his career coinciding with the rise of GLORY as an organization.
“Everything behind the scenes is being done so well, that at this time next year we will be really relevant. GLORY has done their homework and is doing it the right way, not trying to do it all overnight. As a result, I think you’ll see a lot of crossover; guys leaving MMA for kickboxing. There’s going to be even more money in this sport because there already is. Like Joe’s check for $150,000 for winning the middleweight tournament. That is the most money a kickboxer has ever made in the United States.”
The “Joe” Barrett referred to is fellow middleweight Joe Schilling, who back in September won the four-man, one-night GLORY Middleweight Tournament and a purse of $150,000.
Saturday November 23rd on Spike TV, Barrett faces Schilling at Madison Square Garden in New York City for the inaugural GLORY Middleweight Championship.