There are few fighters on the planet that have accomplished what Remy Bonjasky has in the kickboxing ring. After three K-1 World Grand Prix titles and more than 75 wins, it appeared as if the Surinamese-Dutch fighter’s career was over in late 2009 after eye surgery.

Yet, in late 2012, it was announced that the veteran would be signing with GLORY and making his debut against Anderson “Braddock” Silva. Bonjasky earned his first win since the 2009 K-1 Grand Prix at the event.

“It didn’t feel like I was finished,” Bonjasky told The MMA Corner in an exclusive interview. “GLORY came along and asked me if I wanted to return and help to make this organization bigger and better. It felt like it was meant to be.”

The news of Bonjasky’s signing was big for the kickboxing community. After the fall of K-1 and the financial issues surrounding It’s Showtime, it was unclear which direction the sport was taking.

Bonjasky (R) connects with a right hand (Ben Pontier/GLORY)

“I am very happy that a new and big organization shot up to make things as good or even better than K-1,” said the 37-year-old. “New fighters, new action, new styles. This is very good for the sport.

“It is very important that GLORY is making the kickboxing world awake again. After K-1 stopped it felt like it was over for kickboxing. But now there is light at the end of the tunnel.”

At the promotion’s second event last October, Bonjasky picked up a decision win over Silva, but his time away from the cage was evident to those that followed his career. Instead of the perfectly timed flying attacks that earned him the nickname “The Flying Gentleman,” his attack was much tactical and methodic.

“I felt very good, but it still feels like I am a fast car that didn’t get the chance to get started for a couple of years,” he said with a laugh. “I need a new tune-up and some more time.”

Bonjasky’s own assessment of his performance proved true in his next outing as well, as the veteran bowed out of the GLORY 4 tournament in the quarterfinals. He defeated Filip Verlinden in the opening round, but could not put together much offense against Jamal Ben Saddik in the round of eight.

“It felt like I wasn’t there,” he admitted. “I was physically in shape, but in my head I wasn’t. It takes more time for me to get really in shape for the big tournaments.

Bonjasky (R) catches a kick (Ben Pontier/GLORY)

“I think you could see it in the tournament. It was rocky in the fights. My time away was very long, but I am sure you will see me in action like I was before. Soon, very soon.”

Now Bonjasky is tasked with facing fellow countryman Tyrone Spong in the main event of GLORY 5 on March 23 in London. Although Spong may not have the same credentials as Bonjasky, it doesn’t mean he’s not a dangerous opponent.

“I have to be tactical during this fight,” declared Bonjasky. “His power and aggressiveness will be in my advantage if I use my mind and play a smart game to win this fight.

“I think it will be a spectacular fight. It won’t last for three rounds, I think. He wants to make name, so he will be ready to kill. So I will need at least the same attitude.”

Despite the fact that both fighters have shared a similar path, moving to the Netherlands at a young age after growing up in Paramaribo, the more accomplished Bonjasky isn’t out to prove he’s the better Surinamese fighter.

“I am not thinking of where I was born,” he said. “Looking at my achievements, I can say that I will take that crown, but I understand that we have to see who is the best now.

“I will just make my own fight and be as strong as I will be.”

A win over Spong would go a long way in proving that Bonjasky has shaken off the rust from his layoff, but a loss might mean some more time in the garage for the kickboxing legend.

Top Photo: Remy Bonjasky (Ben Pontier/GLORY)