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Sunday, Mar 09, 2014

GLORY 14: Kiria, Bonjasky and Pereira Discuss Victories

Davit Kiria with the lightweight belt (photo via GLORY)

By FCF Staff

GLORY 14 went down in Zagreb, Croatia yesterday, and the event saw Remy Bonjasky defeat Mirko “Cro Cop”, Davit Kiria take home the lightweight belt, and Alex Pereira win the middleweight contender tourney.

Here is some of what the skilled kickboxers had to say about their victories and immediate futures.

Davit Kiria (22-9-0, 7 KO)

GLORY World Lightweight Champion

“I started to train karate at nine years old and ever since then I dreamed of this day. I always wanted to be a champion and now it has come true. I think that this is the happiest day of my life.”

“I think I will sleep with the belt tonight. If not on me, then definitely near me. I like this belt and I am going to keep it for a long time.”

“I am happy to fight anyone. I am a fighter. I am not someone who picks his opponents. Whoever wants to fight me, bring them. But I do agree that there are some possible rematches. When you lose to someone it is never right in your mind, you know? So it is obvious that there may be rematches with Robin van Roosmalen and Giorgio Petrosyan; these are two guys I lost to and I would like to beat them of course.”

“Georgian people are a warrior people. All through our history we have had war and battle, so we have a warrior spirit. And I am a karate fighter, since I was a young boy. The spirit of karate is that you must keep going and keep going until your dying breath. You can never give up. So I think what kept me going was my Georgian heart and my karate spirit.”

“Where I come from in Georgia, everyone is very close. My street is like one big family. So when I go back I must take the belt to each house on my street and let them see it and touch it, because they will feel like it is their belt also – we won the belt, not I won the belt.” (laughs)

“Mawashi-geri (overhead rolling kick) is my favorite kick and I promise, in 2014 I will KO someone with it!” (laughs)

Alex Pereira after finishing Dustin Jacoby (photo via GLORY)

Alex ‘Poatan’ Pereira (13-1-0, 9 KO)

GLORY Middleweight Contender Tournament Champion

“I believed in myself and in my skills. I knew I could do it. I am very proud to have won this tournament. I wanted to show that Brazil is not only MMA and Jiu Jitsu fighters; we also have kickboxers.”

“Now I go into the eight-man World Championship Tournament and I’m ready to face anyone. I will prepare exactly the same as I did for this tournament and yes, whether it is Artem Levin or Joe Schilling, I am ready. Anybody at all.”

“There are many good kickboxers in Brazil. We can be as successful in GLORY as in MMA and the UFC. There is myself and also you have guys like Saulo Cavalari, Jhonata Diniz… they are in GLORY and there are more guys back home in Brazil who you didn’t see yet, but you will.”

“Ha! I don’t know… we will let the people decide.”

In response to, “Who is the best Brazilian striker, you or Anderson Silva?”

Remy Bonjasky (99-12-0, 36 KO)

Three-time K-1 Grand Prix Champion, Retired Tonight

“I have been in this fighting business for more than twenty years. I wanted to end my career with a big win but the people didn’t appreciate it. I was disappointed by the reaction. At first I was very emotional because you don’t want your career to end to the sound of boos. At first I took it personally, but when emotions calmed down, I realized the boos were because the Croatians were disappointed that their fighter didn’t win. It wasn’t aimed at me personally.”

“This was definitely my last fight. I won’t be back. I have had a good career. This most recent part of it was bittersweet maybe – my first KO loss, being booed tonight – but I think now is a good time to draw a line under it and move on. I have my academy and I have my television work, so I’m very busy and I’m looking forward to the next chapter in my life.”

“The difference between K-1 and GLORY is that with GLORY, even though it is less than three years old, already it feels like a family. I know everyone in the company, from Pierre [Andurand, majority owner] right down to the drivers. And already they are bigger in America than K-1 ever was; they have good promotion. GLORY is a great organization and I think the future of the sport is in safe hands.”

“Mirko left the ring and went to his dressing room after the fight, then he left the arena, so we didn’t talk yet. Obviously he wasn’t happy with the result and I know the fans felt the same. I don’t know; I felt I was winning the fight and then there were things like when he caught my kick and swept my leg – that is not legal under GLORY rules, so maybe he lost some points with the judges for things like this.”

Remy Bonjasky kicking Mirko "Cro Cop" (photo via GLORY)

Cor Hemmers

GLORY Head of Talent Operations

“I think this was one of the best fights we have ever seen in GLORY and it was exactly the kind of fight that a GLORY World Championship title belt deserves. Davit Kiria and Andy Ristie are both champion-level fighters and they should be very proud of themselves.”

“This was the first of the year’s inaugural titles to be awarded. This year we will crown a champion in each weight category. Some will be single title fights and others will be tournaments with the World Title on the line.”

“At GLORY 15 ISTANBUL, we have a four-man light-heavyweight tournament: Tyrone Spong, Gokhan Saki, Nathan Corbett, and Saulo Cavalari are fighting. The winner will be our first light-heavyweight champion.”


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posted by FCF Staff @ 11:24 am
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