GLORY 21: Simon Marcus Plans to Showcase “More Improvements” in Rematch With Artem Levin
By Kelsey Mowatt
Tonight, Simon Marcus will look to record his second victory over Artem Levin and become GLORY’s middleweight champ, and in doing so, cap off a title run that has featured some memorable setbacks.
Last year, GLORY buzzed the MMA world by signing Marcus, who at the time, carried a record of 39-0-1 and a lengthy list of Muay Thai championships. Not only that, but Marcus held wins over GLORY stars like Joe Schilling and the aforementioned Levin, and observers keenly understood that some big name fights were on the horizon.
Marcus was booked to face Schilling at GLORY 17 in June, and although the fight was an instant classic, “Bad Bwoy” was KO’d in his promotional debut. The 28 year-old returned to action in October, and decisioned Dmitry Valent while competing for Kunlun Fight. But in January, Marcus incurred his second loss to date, when he was stopped by Fang Bian at the Wu Lin Feng World Championship 2015.
So, as GLORY 20 approached, and Marcus prepared to fight in the promotion’s latest, middleweight tourney, one would think that the renowned fighter may have felt some extra pressure. But, when Marcus recently appeared on Full Contact Fighter Radio, he quickly dismissed that notion.
“No pressure for me, (not) more than what I put on myself every single time I step into the ring, which is to win,” said Marcus, who went on to win the April 3rd tourney, and in doing so, locked up another fight with Levin. “I really didn’t feel pressure.”
“I was confident, as I always am, and everything went as I planned it this time,” added Marcus. “I’m planning to keep that streak going.”
The Toronto fighter ended up scoring a unanimous decision win over America’s Wayne Barrett, and in the final, he earned a split decision win over the Netherland’s Jason Wilnis.
“I’ve watched both my fights and it was what I expected to a certain extent,” said Marcus, while discussing the victories. “I expected to go into the ring, use my skill, use my brain…I knew I was fighting Wayne Barrett first, so I kind of just mapped that out more than the other two.”
“So it went according to plan. Everything went well, and I performed well. I performed how I wanted to. Of course I always look at my fights to see what I could have done better, and what I can improve on, so I’m working on that now and you’ll see more improvements on May 8th.”
While Marcus emerged from the tourney unscathed, and is fighting again approximately one month later, some have wondered whether GLORY should do away with one night tourneys. One of the biggest names to express concerns that tournaments could be dangerous for fighters is UFC commentator Joe Rogan, who is also a huge GLORY fan.
“Nah man,” said Marcus, when asked if he thinks one night tournaments might be pushing the boundaries of fighter safety. “The thing is that kickboxing, and Muay Thai, this kind of striking sport is a different beast than boxing or MMA. It’s years of tradition from K-1, to GLORY style, to different organizations, to have more than one fight in one night, and it brings a different element of toughness, endurance, strategy and what not.”
“I understand where you’re coming from with the injuries part, being dangerous to a fighter, which is possible,” added Marcus. “But in the past, I haven’t heard of anything really bad happening from these tournaments. It’s not something that’s new. So, I mean, sure, someone could get hurt, but at the same time, I think that could happen in any contact sport, regardless of whether it’s fighting or not. Those risk factors are always there.”
GLORY 21 will be hosted by the Valley View Casino Center in San Diego, and the card will be broadcast on SPIKE beginning at 8 PM/PT.
To read more about Marcus, and his thoughts on facing Levin, head here.