GLORY Kickboxing are bringing the big boys for their UK return, Rico Verhoeven vs. Mladen Brestovac headlines


GLORY Kickboxing returns to the UK on Saturday, June 2 and they’re bringing the big boys for their GLORY 54 supershow at Genting Arena, Birmingham.

Kickboxing has always garnered a cult following in the UK and GLORY were able to experience that back in March 2013 with GLORY 5: London.

Since then, the number of elite shows and athletes in the UK has grown substantially. GLORY look to capitalize on this resurgence, harvesting a handful of homegrown talents like Bailey Sugden, Jamie Bates and Tommy King for the GLORY 54 and GLORY 54 SuperFight Series cards.

With a generous dash of British kickboxing on the bill, GLORY also ships over their biggest international star. The heavyweight champion of the world, Rico Verhoeven (53-10, 16 KO) fights No. 7-ranked heavyweight Mladen Brestovac (56-12-1, 35 KO) in a three-round, non-title affair.

The fight is a rematch from 2016, which Verhoeven won by unanimous decision.

Known affectionately as “The King of Kickboxing,” Verhoeven is no stranger to English soil, having spent time training under renowned boxing coach Peter Fury in Manchester.

Verhoeven may not be defending his big gold belt, but the British fans won’t be void of a title fight. In the GLORY 54 co-main event, welterweight champion Harut Grigorian (47-11, 33 KO) makes the first defense of his world title against Alim “Professor” Nabiyev (49-6, 21 KO).

Also on the main card, Newark’s Bailey “Bad Boy” Sugden (11-2, 2 KO) will look to rebound from his closely contested loss to Zakaria Zouggary when he faces No.6 ranked, former featherweight title contender Anvar Boynazarov (91-24-2, 53 KO).

Meanwhile, the GLORY 54 SuperFight Series hosts the semi-finals of a four-man welterweight qualifying tournament, with the final to be contested later this year.

Road to GLORY UK winner Jamie Bates (24-7, 3 KO) returns for the first time since GLORY 49 Redemption and he fights ISKA British champion and BAMMA fighter Tommy “K.O.” King (24-6, 12 KO). The opposing bracket sees Leicestershire’s Mark Timms (23-9-2, 10 KO) fight Irishman Dawid Blaszke (17-4, 11 KO).

Tickets for GLORY 54 Birmingham and GLORY 54 SuperFight Series go on sale Friday, April 18 at 9a.m. GMT and will be available for online purchase at

GLORY 54 Birmingham

Heavyweight Headline Bout: Rico Verhoeven vs. Mladen Brestovac
Welterweight Title Co-Headline Bout: Harut Grigorian vs. Alim Nabiyev
Lightweight Bout: Elvis Gashi vs. William Goldie-Galloway
Featherweight Bout: Bailey Sugden vs. Anvar Boynazarov
Featherweight Bout: Adrian Maxim vs. Chenglong Zhang

GLORY 54 SuperFight Series

Light Heavyweight Headline Bout: Danyo Ilunga vs. Fraser Weightman
Lightweight Co-Headline Bout: Christian Baya vs. Josh Jauncey
Welterweight Bout: Richard Abraham vs. Adam Hadfield
Lightweight Bout: Marat Grigorian vs. Liu Xu
Welterweight Tournament Semifinal Bout 2: Mark Timms vs. Dawid Blaszke
Welterweight Tournament Semifinal Bout 1: Jamie Bates vs. Tommie King