Raymond “Real Deal” Daniels (25-1, 15 KO’s) returns to face Brazilian prospect Jonathan Oliveira (20-3, 11 KO’s) to complete Glory 19’s 4-man welterweight tournament. Along with Nieky Holzken and Murthel Groenhart, the tournament winner will have their shot to face World Welterweight Champion “Bazooka” Joe Valtellini in Spring.
Raymond Daniels has fought 3 times in the Glory arena, becoming most well-known for his “Knockout of the Century” of Francois Ambang. He executed a two-touch flying spin-kick that looks like a move straight out of a Street Fighter playbook. Daniels is a Kenpo karate practitioner, consistently top-ranked in the USA. His point karate tournament experience and style is evident in his movement. His fighting style has earned him a KO victory over the orthodox Ambang as well as in his debut against Brian Foster.
Daniels’ only loss in Glory was to Joseph Valtellini, which exposed some of the holes in his game. His elusive, high-movement style can be a curveball for many orthodox kickboxers. However, Valltellini found the chink in his armor by cutting off his ring movement and wearing Daniels down with leg kicks. Eliminating his ability to avoid damage allowed Valetellini to set up damaging combinations and one final KO head kick.
Jonathan Oliveira hails from Curitiba, Brazil, a city that has produced combat sports names like Wanderlei Silva, Anderson Silva, Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, and Glory’s Saulo Cavalari. Jonathan will make for an interesting opponent for Raymond Daniels. He has 2-0 record in Glory, defeating Nicola Gallo and Atakan Arslan both by unanimous decision. Valtellini has proven that Daniels’ karate code can be cracked, but will Oliveira be ready in Glory 19? He will have to be ready at a moment’s notice to avoid spinning back kicks, long distance strike and the unpredictability of Daniels’ style.
Who do you think has the edge in Glory 19? Who would you like to see compete most in the tournament finals?