It’s been over two and a half years since 23-year-old Rick “The Gladiator” Glenn last lost a fight, and the young man has every intention of continuing his streak until he gets his shot at a big promotion.
Glenn, 11-2-1 in his professional career, is a dazzling fighter that usually finishes his opponents in the first or second round. Since that last loss in March 2010, Glenn has gone 8-0-1, and, in 2011, he even earned an audition for The Ultimate Fighter: Team Bisping vs. Team Miller.
However, after making it pretty far in the auditions, he was ultimately passed over for a shot to get into the house for the fourteenth installment of the reality show.
“I’m kind of stuck,” Glenn said in an exclusive interview with The MMA Corner. “I thought I might get on The Ultimate Fighter show when they had the 145/135 [pound] season. I made it to the very end, and then I was just too quiet, I think. I made it to all the medicals and they have you in Vegas. They interview you one more time, I think I was just too quiet or something.
“I heard you just got to go in there drunk when you talk to the TV guys,” Glenn joked.
Joking or not, it’s a shame that Glenn did not get a chance to fight his way into the house. While many of the competitors that did get a chance possessed similar records, some of them had lost more recently to lesser opponents.
Glenn may not have been given the chance to make TUF, but he will inevitably get the chance to fight on the big stage.
In the meantime, his next fight is this Friday at Score Fighting Series 6 in Sarnia, Ontario, Canada, his second under the SFS banner. Glenn is scheduled to fight Canadian professional Lyndon Whitlock, another previous SFS competitor.
Whitlock, 7-2, like Glenn, is a finisher. In his nine-fight pro career, he has never gone to decision. In the win column, he holds four submissions and, more recently, three knockouts. However, his two losses have come by early TKO, with the most recent being to Tristan Johnson, who Glenn TKO’d ten months later.
Whitlock, at 27 years of age, is the elder of the two fighters, but Glenn has more experience in professional combat.
“The Gladiator” is not incredibly concerned about his opponent, but he will not let his guard down. He made it onto the SFS 6 card by reaching out to the promotion directly, and he was willing to take any challenge.
“They couldn’t find someone at first, and I said, ‘I don’t care. Whoever you want me to fight, I’ll fight him,’” Glenn stated. “So, they got Lyndon Whitlock. He got TKO’d in the first round against a guy I just beat, but I’m not going to underestimate him.”
Glenn feels that the training he has undergone since his last fight, in August, has really advanced his skills as a professional.
“There has been a huge improvement with my striking game and my footwork. My footwork has gotten a lot better, and I’ve gotten snappier, which is awesome,” Glenn explained.
The significant improvement can be attributed to his tremendous coaches at Duke Roufus’ famed Roufusport Martial Arts Academy in Milwaukee.
“Scott Cushman helps us a lot with our footwork and boxing,” said Glenn. “He’s a mad scientist, just like Duke. They’re both really good.”
Given that they coach fighters like Ben Askren, Erik Koch and the Pettis brothers (Anthony and Sergio), to say they’re “really good” may be a huge underestimation, but this is the type of guy that Glenn is. He is courteous, humble and family-oriented. However, when he gets in the ring, it’s another ballgame.
In regards to Whitlock, Glenn contemplates, “I don’t feel like he’s a better striker. His footwork’s a little squirrelly. I think he’s a good matchup.”
When all is said and done, Glenn feels he is a much better fighter than his next opponent.
“I see him coming out, trying to go wild or maybe go for a takedown,” Glenn predicted. “If I go to my back, I’m going to submit him. If I defend the takedown, I’m going to TKO him.”
His only concern about Whitlock?
“Probably his power,” Glenn admitted. “But, I’m not looking to make any mistakes. The last guy he fought, he knocked him out when the guy came in and threw a kick, even though the guy had beat him the whole round. I’ve got to watch out for his power. You’ve got to watch out for anyone at the level I’m fighting at now.”
Glenn’s gameplan is simple. “Just being sharp,” he stated. “I just don’t want to make any mistakes. I want go out there focused and whoop him.”
Confident and prepared, Glenn is ready to go out and make a statement, but he did have one distraction recently during his camp.
“Just this week, I’ve had some issues going on,” Glenn revealed. “My dad had a stroke. I just found out, but I went down there and found out he’s doing a lot better.”
Glenn was very fortunate to learn that his father is set to recover just fine. If anything, this could be even bigger motivation for the young fighter to go in and make short work of Whitlock.
After SFS 6, Glenn’s eyes are on the winner of the headlining contest of the night. The main event has former WEC competitor Chris Horodecki facing off against veteran Brad Cardinal. In his last interview with The MMA Corner, Glenn made it very apparent that he had Horodecki on his radar, and a fight between the two could come to fruition after Friday night.
“Hopefully, I won’t get banged up or anything,” Glenn cautioned. “I want to get right back in the gym. The plan is, after this fight, I get the winner of the Horodecki fight.”
For Glenn’s sake, that would be the perfect ending to the night. With a win over Whitlock, and a Horodecki win over Cardinal, Glenn will finally get his biggest name fight to date. A win over Horodecki would almost certainly give Glenn the nod he needs to earn a UFC contract.
Even though he is a humble guy, he does have words for the big promoters, such as the UFC, Strikeforce, Bellator and Maximum Fighting Championship.
“Give me a shot,” he implored. “I’ve been training hard and working a long time to be called by a big show. I want to be the best. I’ve been finishing all these guys, so let me fight some bigger name guys. They’ve never fought me before.”
Well, with a couple more wins, they will be fighting him soon.
Photo: Rick Glenn (Paul Fladten/Sherdog)