Disclosure: Yes, I did watch the last Glory event and the fights were very good. This is not a rant against Glory as a promotion. I personally think they are doing a great job of getting MMA fans interested into kickboxing events. Glory is full of talented fighters that put on extremely exciting fights. This is my beef with some of the rules that need to change.
As much as I love watching the Glory kickboxing event, some of the rules need to be changed to be more inclusive of Muay Thai fighters. Every time I watch a Glory event I get extremely frustrated watching fighters being limited to the techniques they can use. By eliminating elbows, clinching, catches, and throws, Glory is taking away exciting techniques that would only make the promotion better.
I know that Artem Levin won the tournament, but I would have loved to see him utilize his elbows and his awesome clinch.
Whenever I watch a guy stand in front of a fighter and rain 5-6 punch combos on him, all I am thinking in my mind is “STEP FORWARD WITH AN ELBOW” or “GRAB HIS NECK!” I hate watching these punchers have open season and not get punished for leaving themselves exposed.
If Glory is worried about too much blood or early stoppages in fights, I think the UFC has already proven that North American crowds want to see elbows used in fights. Glory is supposed to be the place for all the best stand up marital artists. They take the best of the Karate, Kickboxing, and every other standup art and put them in the ring to fight. By excluding certain techniques from Glory, they are taking away some of the core weapons that make Muay Thai the most effective striking art in the world.
If you want to have the a stand up promotion that can be as big as the UFC, adding elbows and limited clinching will only make the promotion more exciting. Even though Kickboxers don’t use elbows in their training, if you change the rules they will quickly adapt to them.
The Restrictions That Need to Change
1.2.9. Prohibited techniques, moves and conduct
- Elbow strikes; Striking with any part of the arm or wrist above the padded portion of the glove (The addition of Elbows would be HUGE for Glory)
- Throws, leg sweeps, foot sweeps or pushing of any kind as an effort to off-balance or down an opponent; any attempt to off-balance or down an opponent with anything other than a legal strike may be considered a foul. (Sweeps and Throws make things more exciting)
- Grabbing, clinching or holding for any reason other than to immediately attack with a knee strike (or strikes) is a foul; this includes holding to rest, or grabbing an opponent in order to stop them from striking. (Limited Clinching Should Be Allowed so Fighters can land some effective knees and elbows)
Clinching and elbows are two of the most effective weapons to neutralize a heavy puncher. By taking away these two techniques, you are essentially removing half of the weapons from a Muay Thai fighter. Yes, you can still punch and kick in a fight, but the scoring system in Glory rewards punches equally to other techniques.
If you had the privilege to watch the last fight between Toby Smith and John Wayne Parr you will see how effective elbows really are. Just because people are worried about getting scarred on their face, shouldn’t be the reason for a promotion to ban one of the most effective offensive weapons that you can utilize in a fight.
Limited Clinch Should Be Added
I am not advocated unlimited Muay Thai style clinching in the fights. I know that the GLORY promotion wants to keep the fights as entertaining as possible, and clinching is not as exciting as guys throwing punches and kicks. But honestly, when these guys are forced to tie up around the waist every time they come close, it does not simulate a real life situation.
If you added a 3 second clinch rule it would create a few opportune moments for fighters to land some nice knee strikes, quick elbows and tie up an oncoming opponent who is coming forward with punches. If you don’t want to have fights turn into clinch wars, then just limit the time they are allowed to clinch in the fights.
I am not saying that Muay Thai Guys can’t adapt to Kickboxing rules, many of them have already (Yes, I’m talking about Artem Levin, Aikpracha and Buakaw etc.). What I am am saying is that by limiting the rules, you take away a huge part of a Muay Thai fighters weapons. Modifying the rules would not only make Glory better, it would make the divisions so much more competitive with an influx of talented stars.
The Bottom Line
The truth is that only Muay Thai fans are going to be complaining about these rules in Glory. The casual fan who watches Glory will appreciate the standup (it is pretty dam entertaining). However, the Muay Thai fans will look at Glory and see so much potential that is wasted by not allowing certain techniques. I think any standup promotion should allow all the weapons of stand up, including elbows, throws and limited clinch.
Essentially I am saying they should make Glory full Muay Thai rules, with the exception of the clinch. I know that the clinch can be boring if guys are wrapped up the entire fight, so a 3 second rule would limit its use.
Since I don’t ever see Glory adding elbows or limited clinch into the mix, the next biggest thing in North America is Lion Fight. Lion is everything that you could possibly want in an organization because it is a Muay Thai promotion. That being said, I’ll definitely still watch the Glory fight cards because they are entertaining and feature great fighters. Just add bloody elbows at least and I will be happy. Rant Over.