The Heavyweight Grand Prix is back.
Today, GLORY announced the addition of the “GLORY Grand Prix,” a one-night, eight-man heavyweight tournament, to its event calendar. Beginning in 2023, The Grand Prix will occur annually each December, and participants will be determined through a series of qualifying matches and wildcard entries throughout the year. The winner of the tournament will earn a $500,000 cash prize.
The format of the Glory Grand Prix will be similar to the extremely popular K-1 World Grand Prix tournaments held in Japan between 1993 and 2013, which saw many legendary Dutch kickboxers such as Semmy Schilt, Peter Aerts, Remy Bonjasky and Ernesto Hoost rise to the top and become world champion, often multiple times in succession. Badr Hari, a two-time K-1 finalist, was also very successful in that period, which were the glory days of kickboxing. It seems Glory is taking a big step to bring back those times.
The first qualifier for the 2023 GLORY Grand Prix will be a four-man heavyweight tournament taking place this April at GLORY 85 on April 29. In addition to earning an automatic bid in to the 2023 GLORY Grand Prix, the winner of the GLORY 85 Heavyweight Tournament will also challenge for the Interim Heavyweight Championship against top ranked contender Antonio Plazibat at GLORY: COLLISION 5, taking place on June 17.
Originally set to take place in March of 2023, GLORY: COLLISION 5 was scheduled to feature an Undisputed Heavyweight title bout between reigning champion Rico Verhoeven and Plazibat. However, Verhoeven suffered a knee injury that will sideline him until late 2023. During his absence, his next challenger will be determined through an Interim title fight between Plazibat and the GLORY 85 Heavyweight Tournament Winner.
Along with GLORY 85 in April and COLLISION 5 in June, GLORY also announced that GLORY 86 will take place on May 27 in a soon to be announced location.