GLORY’s Robert Thomas Weighs-In on Kickboxing’s Quest to Capture Main Stream Audience
By Kelsey Mowatt
Eyebrows were raised throughout the combat sports world this week, after it was reported that Spike will no longer be broadcasting GLORY events. Although the kickboxing promotion was never able to pull in massive ratings for the Viacom owned network, GLORY’s run on Spike did include several memorable events.
While the news wasn’t necessarily shocking, it has prompted some observers to question: why hasn’t kickboxing caught on with a wider audience in North America? Not only does the sport offer fans a steady stream of highlight reel finishes, but GLORY has drawn widespread praise for its production values.
Recently GLORY middleweight Robert Thomas appeared on Full Contact Fighter Radio, and when asked why he thinks kickboxing has struggled to become mainstream, he stated:
“Yeah. I don’t know man….I couldn’t tell ya,” said Thomas, who is coming off a split decision win over David Radeff at GLORY 24 earlier this month. “People love seeing exciting, stand-up fights, and that’s what GLORY’s offering. I don’t know. Maybe people like the more brutal aspect of it being in the cage with tiny gloves, and that’s why MMA’s so big and GLORY just hasn’t caught on.”
When Thomas was reached for the interview, the news regarding the end of Spike’s broadcasting deal with GLORY was just breaking.
“Ya. That’s news to me right now,” said Thomas, who has gone 2-2 thus far with GLORY, and has incurred his losses against middleweight champ Artem Levin and top contender Joe Schilling. “So I don’t know. I’ll have to process that. I don’t really know what to think right now.”
GLORY 25, meanwhile, will take place on November 6th in Milan, Italy. In the main event, lightweight champ Robin van Roosmalen will take on Sittichai Sitsongpeenong.
The event will be available via online pay-per-view.