New York featherweight Kevin VanNostrand (11-0, 9 KO’s) has been handed the biggest opportunity of his career three weeks out from GLORY 27 CHICAGO.
He has agreed to step in and face Giga Chikadze (33-4, 20 KO’s), a training partner of UFC lightweight champion Rafael Dos Anjos, after Chikadze’s originally-scheduled opponent was forced out of the match due to injury.
VanNostrand fights out of Team Andrello in Syracuse, New York under head coach Jim Andrello. He has already competed on two GLORY undercards to date – GLORY 19 VIRGINIA and GLORY 24 DENVER – and was successful in both outings. Now, chance propels him to the main card in a bout which will air in the US on ESPN.
“This is an opportunity that isn’t given to everyone so I am going to make the most of this experience and make my mark for history,” he says.
VanNostrand went 18-1 as an amateur with 15 wins inside the distance. His sole loss was to Canada’s Chris ‘The Polish Hammer’ Horodecki, who subsequently moved into Mixed Martial Arts and fought for the IFL, WEC and Bellator.
As a professional VanNostrand has stopped nearly 90% of his opponents. His manager describes him as “a silent killer… humble and quiet outside the ring but absolutely ferocious inside of it”. True to form, VanNostrand’s GLORY debut in Virginia ended with his opponent flat on the canvas in just two minutes.
His amateur credits include the WKA North-East, United States and World titles, all of which were accrued inside just 24 months. Now he is looking to get on track for a shot at the GLORY World Featherweight Championship.
Chikadze also debuted with a knockout, finishing Ken Tran at GLORY 21 SAN DIEGO with a brutal body kick. The finish put the final seal on a standout performance from Chikadze, who won the crowd over with a dazzling array of kicks.
In his second outing, Chikadze dropped to featherweight and lost a split-decision to Boynazarov at GLORY 23 LAS VEGAS. He blames the loss on a hard weight cut and wants to score a decisive victory in Chicago to form the basis of his own title shot campaign.
GLORY 27 CHICAGO takes place Friday, February 26 at the Sears Center in Hoffman Estates, Chicago, Illinois. The headline fight sees Artem ‘The Lion’ Levin defend the world middleweight championship against Simon ‘Bad Bwoy’ Marcus for a second time in a bitter grudge rematch.