GLORY Announces Women’s Super Bantamweight Division and Grand Prix Tournament
By PDG Staff
Grand Prix Tournament to Crown Inaugural Champion; Beginning with Tiffany van Soest vs. Esma Hasshass on May 13th
During a special presentation at Citizens Business Bank Arena, streamed live via the official GLORY Facebook page, the world’s premier kickboxing league announced the formation of a women’s super bantamweight division, carrying a limit of 122 lb / 55.5 kg.
In order to crown GLORY’s inaugural super bantamweight champion, the organization will hold a Grand Prix tournament, playing out over multiple events.
The Grand Prix’s first quarterfinal bout will unfold tonight, May 13th, on UFC FIGHT PASS as part of the GLORY 30 SuperFight Series in Los Angeles, as Tiffany “Time Bomb” van Soest (14-2-1, 5 KO) comes home to California for her GLORY debut against Dutch-stylist Esma “Fight Queen” Hasshass (9-2, 3 KO), fighting out of Morocco.
Eight other super bantamweights will join Van Soest and Hasshass on the GLORY roster.
“We were only interested in the top fighters to debut our new weight class,” said GLORY Head of Talent Operations Cor Hemmers. “The best strikers in the world fight for GLORY and now that distinction includes our super bantamweights.”
Fighting in Amsterdam on June 25 at GLORY 31 SuperFight Series, 21-year-old prospect Isis Verbeek (8-2, 5 KO) of the Netherlands takes on muay thai phenom Iman “Pretty Killer” Barlow (83-5-3, 25 KO) of England in the second announced Grand Prix quarterfinal bout.
Three additional Grand Prix match-ups were announced for later this year, but exact dates and locations have yet to be revealed.
Comprising the final two quarterfinal bouts, former Bellator MMA strawweight champion Zoila “Warrior Princess” Frausto (4-0, 2 KO) will meet German boxer Daniela Graf (23-4-1, 2 KO), while World Kickboxing Network (WKN) world champion, undefeated Amel Dehby (27-0, 11 KO) of France battles Korean muay thai champion Ji-Waen Lee (13-2, 3 KO).
South Africa’s Ferial “Felix” Ameeroedien and Russian veteran Irina Mazepa will square off in a tournament reserve fight.
“The question about female fighters in GLORY has long been asked and now we’ve answered with ten fantastic super bantamweights,” said GLORY CEO Jon Franklin. “But we’re looking to sign more. We’re looking at this Grand Prix as a launching pad for women in GLORY.”
In addition to the prestige of holding GLORY gold, the Grand Prix winner and inaugural super bantamweight champion will earn a cash prize of $25,000.
Photo Credit: James Law, GLORY Sports International