For most of his career, current World Series of Fighting featherweight champion Rick “Gladiator” Glenn feels he’s been overlooked in one way or another.
Going into his title fight this past June with then titleholder Georgi Karakhanyan, he felt like few people believed he could win the bout, but Glenn was able to get the win and claim his first major MMA championship.
“I came in as an underdog, but I thought I performed great,” said Glenn. “I got caught in a bad situation, but luckily I’ve been able to get out of bad situations and stay calm, and I came back and whooped him.
“Georgi ended up quitting on the stool (between rounds). It’s kind of crazy how in the most important fight of his life he had to quit coming into the third round. That was pretty cool to be able to take a champion’s belt like that.”
Being the underdog is a driving force for Glenn, and continues to push him even now that he’s a champion.
“It definitely motivates me,” he told MMAWeekly.com. “Ever since I started fighting, people have underestimated me. Maybe I don’t look like much or something, but that just fuels the fire.”
For his first title defense, Glenn (15-2-1) will face highly touted contender Lance Palmer (8-1) on Saturday night in Sacramento, Calif., at WSOF 16.
“I knew we were going to meet some day when I saw him fight for the RFA title,” said Glenn of Palmer. “I’ve been watching him. I’ve studied him. I’m definitely prepared and am ready to go.
“I think a lot of guys underestimate my grappling, so if he takes me down, I’ll just have to work my jiu-jitsu and catch him in a submission.”
While he’s a champion in a major promotion, Glenn still feels there is even more for him to accomplish. For one thing, proving he’s one of the best fighters at 145 pounds anywhere is something he’s seeking to do in 2015.
“I think (defeating Palmer) is going to bump me up further, just like my last win,” said Glenn.
“I know a lot of guys are looking at him. He’s pretty popular and has a good fan base, so beating him will bump me up more in the spotlight, I think.”