The birth of Golden Glory started on the sunny island of Aruba on May 23rd, 1999. Producer and business man Bas Boon met business people in Aruba and after Boon successfully held the first ever Cage Fighting Championships in Holland in April 1996, plans were made to start organizing on the sunny Caribbean Island of Aruba.
After the first Cage Fighting Championships in Emmen, Holland, there washuge political pressure not to have any of these events again in Holland so for Boon this was a huge opportunity.
It only took a few years to follow up on the huge success in Holland, this time on a white sand beach in the Caribbean. A crew of a hundred and four people flew to the sunny island of Aruba, two months prior a cage was built on the island and the location was determined to be next to the disco, Havana Beach Club.
It looked like a Charles Bronson Street fighter movie (photo 1, 2, 3), huge sea containers surrounded the arena, in the open air with an entrance from the beach it looked like a movie set from a wicked producer with too much fantasy.
However Boon and and the new business partners were determined and with the help of the famous trainer Cor Hemmers the event became a huge success! Producer and entrepreneur Frederico Lapenda, a long time business partner of Bas Boon, created the World Vale Tudo Championships.
Boon and Frederico met in Japan where the first WVC was held. The corporation between everybody turned out to be a golden formula. Frederico brought the fighters from America and Bas brought the fighters from Europe.
Several others brought in the business aspect.
(photo 4, 5).
(photo 4) Group photo WVTC 8 on the beach
(photo 5) L to R – F. Lapenda, B. Boon, A, Muyales, Carcareco
(photo 6) Dutchman Willy Peeters
(photo 7) Willy Peeters again
(photo 8) Heath Herring vs. Carcareco
(photo 9) Sean McCully in the WVTC 9
(photo 10) Bob Schreiber wins his first fight
The winner of the eight man tournament in Holland, Dutchman Willy Peeters loved the island and loved fighting and he did not think twice when he got the offer to fight in Aruba. Unfortunately the referee stopped the fight because of a cut but Willy did not want to give up (photo 6, 7) and was very disappointed with the decision (great fighting spirit from Peeters).
The crowd loved the spectacle and when the finals came with Heath Herring from America against Carcareco from Brazil the audience was in for a show and a thrill (photo 8).
Thirty minutes with no break , these two gladiators fought bare hands old school for an enthusiastic Caribbean crowd, it was on live TV and the fight became a classic (photo 11). The fight should have been a draw but because the Brazilian was lighter he was given the victory (photo 12). Heath Herring was disappointed and wanted revenge, everybody liked the young 19 year-old Texas fighter and so he was promised a new fight which would be on the 25th of September, 1999.
The WVTC 9 returned to the island on the 25th of September, 1999, and was called “The Battle of the Titans.” (photos 9, 10)
The first event was a huge success but the follow up was doomed for failure, a battle against all odds and elements. Huge posters were printed for the Cage Fighting Championships WVC 9 to promote the event on the island, but after articles in the Dutch Magazine Revue, the Dutch government put pressure on the parliament of the Caribbean Island (called the Dutch West Indies/ Caribbean), a cage was not permitted anymore for fights to take place.
The posters were also not allowed as there was text which said “cage fighting” and the title “the fighting island” and it should be promoted as the sunny island, department of tourist protested and so the posters needed to be changed and no cage but a ring should take it’s place ( a lot of headaches pursued that a promoter does not need before an event).
Everybody (fighters and staff) stayed in the resort hotel Talk of the Town” (hotel near the Havanna Beach Club) All of the fighters arrived on the Island after some difficulties, but one fighter of the tournament wanted a nice holiday and claimed he (one day for the tournament) apparently sprained his ankle (later we found out he never wanted to participate he just wanted a nice Caribbean vacation).
But this was the least of the promoter and producer’s problems. three days of rain and the event was in the open air.
Many fighters came to Bas Boon at dinner and asked what he was going to do, Boon answered he would do a sun dance and not to worry everything would be fine.
The day before Piamonte (chutebox from Brazil) and Yvel almost fought in the hotel and it was only because of Hans Nijman and Dick Vry that an actual fight was prevented.
A lot of tension was building for the promoters and fighters.
On the day of the fight the rain stopped one hour before the event started, the whole event went smoothly with Heath Herring dominating all of his fights winning the WVC 9 belt. (story continues below)
(photo 11) Bas Boon (center) doing commentary for South American TV
(photo 12) Brazilian Carcareco wins WVTC 8
(photo 13) Erin Toughhill vs. Irma Verhoef
(photo 14) Gilbert Yvel victorious
Of course not too many people attended the fight because the posters were changed a few days before the fight and the rain.
When the event was over it started raining half an hour later, if there was a God he must have listened to Boon’s sun dance, that was incredible.
Despite the financial disaster the business partners made sure everybody got paid and looking back at the fights the event was really good.
The female super fight was awesome which ended in a draw (photo 13) with both girls fighting like crazy and pulling every trick out the book to become victors.
Piamonte vs. Yvel was one of the most vicious fights ever seen as bad blood was there between both fighters before the fight, they hated each other and it showed in the
fight, what a fight (photo 14)!!!!
Heath’s fight was the best of the night and he became the champion (photo 16); the group photo (photo 15) can be seen that the weather was far from sunny.
After this event Bas and the all the people involved spoke till deep in the night, there was a huge loss, not really what we deserved after working so hard to make this event happen.
Bas who was a promoter and producer for a long time did some management for the fighters – including fighters such as Aerts, Igor Vovchanchin, guiding them to be the best they could be at a very young age. Preparing them for the right opportunity. Boon suggested to start a management company to retain the losses.
The idea was well received. Golden Glory was born. We brainstormed for a good name, names like Pirates and other names came up but Golden Glory stood out and the name had
great energy! With Gilbert Yvel winning the WVC super fight and Heath Herring the eight man tournament title.
It was not difficult to get these fighters a contract in Japan.
(photo 15) Group photo on the beach at Aruba for WVTC 9
(photo 16) Herring vs. Mc Cully
(photo 17) Andre Rudokov and Eugen Lotin
(photo 18) Rob Kaman passes the GG torch
(photo 19) The Golden Glory logo
(photo 20) 2H2H DVD II
(photo 14) Gilbert Yvel victorious
WVC produced champions like Oleg Taktarov, Mark Kerr, Pedro Rizzo, Marco Ruas and all of them fought in Japan or the UFC and gained popularity worldwide.
With a huge article on the Caribbean fights in the Japanese magazines the champions became big names in Japan. Heath Herring came to Holland to live and train there,
he was given an apartment and transportation and was trained by champion trainer Cor Hemmers.
At the same Valentijn and Alistair Overeem were approached to join Golden Glory and Bas approached Semmy Schilt after his classic war of a fight with Yvel in Utrecht Holland
(Semmy was trained by the famous Dave Jonkers who then help to make Semmy a world champion in Karate and 2x King of Pancrase).
Bas Boon came up with Chalid “Die Faust” Arrab, Fatih “the Turkish Terror” and later Stefan “The Blitz Leko”
These character names would be memorable for the fans and great for marketing a fighter. Golden Glory was growing.
More fighters joined the team and Gilbert Yvel and Heath Herring both got a contract with Pride. First Gilbert became the World Champion at the Rings event in Japan,
it was business partners that made the step to Pride and that’s where the real fighting career started for both fighters.
Later fighters like Alistair Overeem became the World Champion at the IMA and also Chalid Arrab defeated Roman Zentsov by KO in round one and became European Champion Mix Fight in the Cage in St. Petersburg. Fatih Kocamis beat Gambarjan for the title in Russia. Murad Chunkaev defeated Andrey Semenov in only his second fight at 2H2H. Stefan and Chalid winning the K-1 GP in Las Vegas 2006 and Semmy Schilt became World GP Champion in 2005. Gilbert Yvel left the team and went his own way in 2004 and also Heath Herring went his own way after five years of training in Holland, he missed America and now trains at the Las Vegas Combat Club. Golden Glory wishes them success in their future careers.
Recently Evigeny Lotin and Andrey Rudakov from Russia joined the Golden Glory team. multiple winners of an eight man tournaments in the hardest league of competition in the world: the Absolute Fighting Championships (Kharitonov and Vovchanchin came from that organization). AFC works together now with Golden Glory and strong Russian young wrestlers will learn Stand Up in the Netherlands and the great strikers in Holland will learn more about the ground game (photo 17). It is incredible how much success Team Golden Glory gained and how famous they became worldwide. For more then seven years now Golden Glory is stronger then ever. Recently Fred Royers (famous Dutch muay thai trainer) hooked up with Golden Glory. 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, Bas Boon who already at young age promoted fights with Cor Hemmers like Aerts vs. Lobman, Ballentine vs. Dekker (that are all considered classic fights to this day)
Golden Glory is the most successful team out there. It is more then a team alone, it’s a family.
Golden Glory really became famous when the team collaborated with Too Hot To Handle and made a show together on March 18th 2001, the biggest and best European fighting show people ever saw,
up to that point. With the whole Golden Glory team fighting and winning every single fight it became the most successful event ever. A sold out crowd of over ten thousand in the famous
Ahoy stadium in Rotterdam. Ramon Dekkers fought his last fight at the Ahoy and he won by KO in round three over Marino del Florin.
The great Ernesto Hoost was fighting again on Dutch soil. Then after a huge promo spot being showed on four huge big screens about Golden Glory fighters,
Ramon Dekkers and Rob Kaman presented a huge torch with the Golden Glory symbol and gave it to the Golden Glory team (photo 18) a symbol of passing on their fighting spirit on to the new kickboxing generation. It was a very significant and emotional moment.
Golden Glory (two G.G in red and yellow, see photo 19) means the following: The red G stands for blood/life power and the yellow G stands for fire/fighting spirit, the black Japanese writing in the middle stands for energy/strength all these elements for an elite fighting team.
That’s why nobody else then Rob Kaman and Ramon Dekkers could pass the torch on to the Golden Glory team.
The whole international press from martial arts magazines and TV were in Holland, from Brazil and America and Japan. To witness the legendary moment.
The torch was specially made for this event. Commentators Stephen Quadros and Bas Rutten were presenting the event live and it became the biggest MMA show Europe has ever seen.
This was when Golden Glory was really put on the map, the creation of an elite fighting team and the start of many huge successes to come
(photo 20, 21). Golden Glory is currently working on a Golden Glory clothing line and Asian websites.
Story by Bas Boon / Lindsay Muro
Photo archive Golden Glory
(C)2006 Golden Glory (all rights reserved)