Someone kick me, I must be dreaming: Glory 9 comes to NYC

I’ve been like a kid on Christmas morning all day today. I’m going to the Glory 9 New York event at the Hammerstein Ballroom, which not only brings some of kickboxing’s most elite talent from all over the world to our fair city for the first time, but also promises one of the biggest payouts in the U.S. to date to the fighters. While other combat sports like boxing casually boast big dollar purses pretty frequently, it’s way less common for fighters in kickboxing to get paid their dues, and this event will pay a $200,000 grand prize to the champion of the 8 Man Light Heavyweight tournament.

As if that weren’t enough of a big deal, the tournament card reads like a who’s who of kickboxing, but any of the undercard fights would be a main event on their own. There’s been a ton of buzz surrounding Tyrone “King of the Ring” Spong, but I am most excited to see Daniel Ghita smash some legs with his savage low kicks. I was lucky enough to meet him at the open workout earlier this week and had a complete fangirl meltdown which I was only somewhat successful at hiding because I was too starstruck to do anything other than stand and stare. I told my boyfriend that if I ever left him for Ghita, good luck getting me back from him – this is a man who was a bodyguard for the Romanian president. He fights for FUN.

The fights will be available to stream at the GLORY website here, and I just heard that CBS Sports will also televise it afterwards, so no one has any excuses for missing this historical event.


Muay Thai in the Movies: Only God Forgives

Muay Thai in the Movies: Only God Forgives

In a recent interview, Ryan Gosling expressed a desire to step away from acting for a little while, stating, “I’ve been doing it too much… I’ve lost perspective on what I’m doing. I think it’s good for me to take a break and reassess why I’m doing it and how I’m doing it. And I think this is probably a good way to learn about that. I need a break from myself as much as I imagine the audience does.”

I am fully supportive of anyone who wants to pursue a Vision Quest, but I’d also like to point out that thankfully Ryan made this decision after filming already wrapped for ‘Only God Forgives,’ which reunited him with ‘Drive’ director, Nicolas Winding Refn.  Ryan plays a British gangster running a Muay Thai boxing club in Bangkok whose brother is murdered, and is then forced to wreak violent vengeance on the killer. Oh, yes. ‘Drive’ + Muay Thai = 100% WIN.  I was even more excited when I found out that the cinematographer for this movie was Larry Smith, who shot ‘Bronson’ and pretty much guarantees that even if this movie is cheesy and sucks, I am still going to love it.  Is it too much to hope that there will be a full-on elbow throwing brawl ending with a face teep KO in an elevator?

UPDATE: New trailer just released!