No one is more familiar with how things operate in Japan than GLORY founder Bas Boon. Having been there from the very beginning, he has seen the ups and downs of combat sports in Japan. ”For me it was a special day, after Pride and the bankruptcy from FEG, and the troubles for me in the US with strikeforce and the UFC, I have found the right partners to make Glory a real competitor and the number 1 brand in stand up fighting.” said Boon in an exclusive email to AsianMMA recently.
Boon got into the world of combat sports at age 17 when he started his brand, “Fight Game” and set out to promote his very first event. The event was held in a very small venue, as would be expected when first starting. At age 19, along with his partners Cor Hammers (who developed the tournament format GLORY uses today) and a man named Thom Harinck, Boon appeared to have found one of his destinies in life. Bringing up stars such as Peter Aerts and Ramon Dekkers bodes well to that statement.
Fast forward to December 31, 2012. Thom Harinck, who was with Boon in the early days, was present with Jerome Le Banner at the recent event, one of which made Boon reflect on the old days. Reflecting upon everything, Boon felt the fruits of his labor had finally paid off. ”After 30 years and over 1000 events, I am standing again in the super arena but now with Glory and with Dream.”
With the help of his partners, the GLORY brand grew overnight into one of the biggest brands in the world. ”This is the rebirth of MMA and kickboxing in Japan and the rest of the world and with the exccelent job of Marcus Leuer who with TSA did an amazing job to get deals like CBS and broadcast Dream and Glory in over 200 countries, Glory grew in record time as a brand.” said Boon. And without one individual, it is likely none of this would have ever happened. Pierre Andurand, who took the plunge into the world of combat sports, seemed to share the same enthusiasm as Boon with regards to the brand and the content involved. ”My thanks goes out to Pierre Andurand who followed my lead but not only that, he hired the best in the industry and also brought corporate finance to the table in a way I cannot describe.”
Reflecting on his 30 year career in combat sports, having attended almost every event both big and small, from K-1 to PrideFC to DREAM, it was now Boon who was running things in Japan. ”After 30 years I had tears in my eyes with the opening of Dream 18 and the beginning of Glory 4, the Saitama Super Arena brought back a lot of memories and the closing of the fight night felt like the new beginning we were all hoping for, the event was trending as number 1 in the world and it promises many more great things to come.”