Glory, considered by many to be the world's premier kickboxing organization, will host its latest round of bouts Saturday at the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates. The fights also will be broadcast on Spike starting at 8 p.m.
Among those on the card will be Aaron Swenson, head trainer at UFC Gym in River North. The 27-year-old will be making his professional debut. He'll take on Billy Rose in the featherweight (145-pound) division.
"The fact that they're coming here and doing these shows gives us kickboxers a huge opportunity here in the States because we really haven't gotten any recognition," said Swenson, who has been competing for 10 years around the world. "This gives kickboxers here in the U.S. an opportunity to make a name for ourselves."
Fans will notice several differences between Glory and similar competitions, such as UFC. Chief among them are that Glory often utilizes tournament style fighting, whereas the UFC changed to single bouts years ago.
Saturday's heavyweight tournament at Glory 11 will consist of fighters such as No. 2-ranked Gokhan Saki and No. 3-ranked Daniel Ghita. The winner of the tournament will receive $250,000.
Also, Glory's rules permit only punching, kicking and knee strikes. Fans won't see any of the armbars or chokes common in the UFC.
Tickets range from $28-$153 and are available at searscentre.com.
Scott King is a RedEye special contributor.
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