If you want to be the best wrestler, you train at Team Jackson. If you want to become the best Muay Thai striker, you train in Thailand. If you want to become the best MMA boxer, you train with Freddie Roach. But if you want to become the world’s most feared, respected and devastating striker, you go train with Team Golden Glory. Founded in 1999 and ruled over by Bas Boon, Golden Golry is the most respected striker gym in the world.
Since the inaugural tournament in 1993, the roots of Golden Glory were already making their dominance felt in the sport. It took just two tournaments when Peter Aerts won the 2nd K1 Grand Prix in 1994. What followed than night cemented the club’s status in the sports history. In 1999, some of the worlds best united to train in the one gym. This year saw the 18th tournament, with Alistair Overeem winning this year. As a result, of the 18 Grand Prix’s, an incredible 8 tournaments have been won by fighters training out of Golden Glory. more than any other camp.
While Golden Glory might not be as well known as the likes of Xtreme Couture or Wand Fight Team, it houses a roster with a disturbing amount of talent. The gym holds some of the biggest known names in all of MMA, and surely should have been crowned MMA’s best gym? Not only home to K1 legends such as Peter Aerts (3x K1 GP winner) Semmy Schilt (4x K1 GP winner) and other K1 stand outs such as Gokhan Saki, Errol Zimmerman, Chalid “Die Faust” Arrab, Stefan Leko and Gilbert Yvel. Alongside them, some of MMA’s biggest talents train their, current Strikeforce Heavyweight Champion Alistair Overeem is proud to call Golden Glory his home, along with Marloes Coenan (Strikeforce women’s 135lbs Champ) Siyar Bahadurzada (Lightheavyweight Shooto Champion) and Sergei Kharitonov (PRIDE legend).
Since their humble beginnings as a fight organisation, Bas Boon and business man Ron Nyqvist held the first ever caged event in Holland back in 1996. Despite huge political pressure from the Dutch government, Boon couldn’t resist the opportunity, and took his operation to Aruba to hold more events. Shortly after this, Boon teamed up with TV producer and created of World Vale Tudo, Frederico Lapenda. The pair quickly realised the “golden” opportunity, and took WVTC to Boon’s Caribbean home, and brought with them Heath Herring, then just 19. At WVTC9, the event almost fell before it started, with some fighters almost coming to blows before the fights, and 3 days of rain prior to the event (it was open air). Government pressure also meant that only a ring would be allowed.
Despite all odds, WVTC 9 was a huge success, with Herring going home the winner. These tournaments saw soon to be big names such as Mark Kerr, Pedro Rizzo and Oleg Taktarov fight, but most importantly, it allowed Boon the chance to make some serious contacts. Shortly after, Boon decided to invite Herring to live and train in Holland, the Kickboxing capital of the world, and began to assemble a group of fighters as dominating and destructive as had never been seen before. According the the Golden Glory website:
“With master trainers like Cor Hemmers, Lucien Carbin, Dave Jonkers and Fred Royers and a lot of talented heavy weights this is a fighting factory spitting out champion after champion, guided by masterminds Ron Nyqvist, Bas Boon who already at young age promoted fights with Cor Hemmers like Aerts vs. Lobman, Ballentine vs. Dekker (who are all considered classics to this day) it’s the most successful team out there, it’s more then a team alone, it’s a family.”
And now, following Overeem’s recent K1 success, it seems Golden Glory is going from strength to strength, armed with all it needs: Determination, skills, heart, and some of the best stand up trainers the world has to offer.