Written by Keith Varga
May 9, 2013, Victoria, BC (ISN)- Gabriel Varga returned home from Japan after fighting in the Glory 8 event on May 3rd in Tokyo.
Glory World Series events have risen and taken over the kick boxing world. This is a prestigious kick boxing event which showcases the best modified Muay Thai fighters on the planet.
I was told by both Gabriel and his brother / corner man Aaron Varga, that this was without a doubt the best organized, well run event they have ever had the pleasure to be part of or witness. The Glory Organization really knows what they are doing.
This 8 man elimination tournament featured the best Modified Muay Thai fighters in this weight class in the world. To say this was Gabriel’s greatest endeavour to date would not even remotely capture this challenge.
The other fighters in this tournament were the current top 7 Professional A Class fighters from around the globe. To win an 8 man tournament, a fighter must defeat 3 separate opponents in the same evening.
One of the greatest challenges Gabriel has had this past 3 years is even getting any fights. We have worked very hard trying to secure fight opportunities, but this is not an easy task. It is a real challenge to compete at this level at any time, then consider the disadvantage of only fighting once a year and you can understand how that adds an enormous hurdle onto the already onerous task of facing any of these assembled fighters, who are known as the best in the world.
Gabriel came into this tournament as the huge underdog. I know many people thought he could not possibly make it past the first fight.
Gabriel’s first opponent was 5 time French champion, WKN European Champion and former ISKA World Champion – Abdellah Ezbiri.
Ezbiri proved to be a talented fighter, but Gabriel went on to win every round of the fight for a unanimous judges decision and advanced to the next round of the tournament.
Gabriel’s next opponent was Yuta Kubo. For anyone who may not follow the world scene, Kubo is without a doubt regarded as the best fighter in the world at this weight class, as well as the top fighter in the weight class above. Kubo dropped weight to compete at the lighter weight of this tournament. Kubo is a very dangerous fighter at any weight with incredible skill and huge knock out power – I guess that would be why he is the reigning world champion.
Gabriel lost the first round of the fight, won the second, but found it difficult to overcome Kubo’s ring experience and expertise in the 3rd. Gabriel went the distance and lost a good fight by decision.
To not admit that Gabriel was very cognitive of the fact that the reigning champion – Kubo has incredible skill and amazing knock out power would just be an outright lie.
Having the opportunity to face and defeat a proven world class fighter such as Ezbiri and then being able to face and experience being in the ring against the recognized top fighter in the world, Gabriel now knows he has what it takes to stand with the best, what to expect and what he must do to win next year.
Thanks must go out to the people who rallied around Gabriel to help prepare and support him for this incredible event.
Gabriel’s brother Aaron who flew from his new home of Pasadena, California and Alin Halmagean from Iron Tiger Muay Thai in Ontario- these are two of the best corner men in Canada. Their support and ring advice is invaluable to Gabriel.
Steve Drane and his Island Harley Davidson dealership have faithfully been behind Gabriel since his first shot at an amateur ISKA World title years ago. Steve’s support and sponsorship has been greatly appreciated all these years.
Many Island fighters and clubs such as Artur Nowacki and his fighters at his Duncan club Nak Muay Gym, Nate Olsen and his boxer’s at Olsen’s Martial Arts, the entire group at Studio 4 Athletics on Yates St. in Victoria and to all of Gabriel’s sparring partners and trainers including Craig McWilliams, Wayne Li, and Derek Meddler.
Vincent Jauncey and his son Josh from World Kickboxing in Vancouver for recommending Gabriel to Glory as well as all of the help and support from ISKA President Cory Schaffer and lastly to the management of the Glory World Series Events for giving Gabriel this opportunity.
Thank you to you all from us at Varga Bros. Martial Arts