Rick Glenn: A Fighter on the Verge

DES MOINES, IA - Mixed martial arts is quite possibly the most intense, violent, and grueling sport in the world today. As such, some of the most captivating stories involving it are often based on the very first time a rookie fighter stepped in the cage. For those of us who never experience the rush of the cage door closing behind us, it is all too easy to overlook the combination of excitement and sheer terror that accompanies the decision to fist-fight a grown man for sport.

For MMA fighter Rick Glenn, that decision was made on a whim. At just 17 years old, Glenn was a high school student and a low-level employee at the local Staples in Marshalltown, Iowa. He had one year of wrestling experience and a handful of boxing lessons under his belt when he was asked on short notice to fight in a small town promotion. Still in his Staples uniform, Glenn left work early and rushed to the venue, arriving in time for just a few stretches and warm-up strikes before being thrown into the cage with his opponent.

After surviving his first ever round in a sanctioned MMA fight, Glenn used the second round to serve his opponent with a beating so fierce the bout had to be stopped, not by the referee, but by a white towel being tossed into the cage by the opposing corner in surrender.

“He was a tough guy, but I cut him up really good. I was shocked, I mean, I was fighting for my life in there. I was fighting grown men when I was in high school, and that first win meant everything.”

From that moment, Glenn has proven to be virtually unbeatable. He would go on to fight another 16 amateur matchups, losing only 1 of them. As a professional, Glenn has fought 21 times, losing only 3 bouts, and 97% of his wins have been by way of knockout, submission, or TKO. As of today, the peak of Glenn’s career was reached when he was given the ranking of 14th best fighter in the world. He currently sits at a still impressive 32nd, but of course he aspires to climb back up the rankings as time goes on.

As is the case with far too many great athletes, however, the most impressive aspect of Glenn’s career has nothing to do with statistics, but rather his heartbreaking story of success in the wake of unimaginable tragedy. Just a short time before he was set to fight Georgi Karakhanyan for the World Series of Fighting featherweight title, Glenn’s family suffered the loss of Aubrey Glenn, Rick’s sister who was just 15 years old, and his grandmother Paulette Glenn, both of whom passed away from cancer. Of course, it would be entirely understandable, if not expected, for anyone in that situation to break down and give up on whatever it is they were pursuing – but that’s something that never even crossed the mind of Rick Glenn.

With the love and support of his family, friends, coaches, and teammates, Glenn continued to train day in and day out. He worked relentlessly to prepare for his big break in Las Vegas, and his time and effort would pay off in a big way. It took only 2 rounds for Glenn to claim his WSF title. His victory, accompanied by the tragedy he was forced to overcome, now serves as his fondest memory in his MMA career.

“It really made me feel like a champion. I couldn’t have done it without my family.”

On June 24th, Glenn will be returning to his home state to take on Junior Hernandez at VFC 51 in Des Moines, Iowa. Not only does he expect to leave the cage with a definitive win, but Glenn also expects this matchup to result a UFC contract.

“I plan on kicking some ass Friday [June 24th], getting a call from the UFC, and moving up from there.”

Glenn is fighting out of Puravida and 360 BJJ in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where he and his wife have now lived for 5 years. Obviously his coaches and teammates from both gyms have trained him to win, and the faith they have in Glenn seems to have boosted his own confidence as he left these last words for his opponent:

“Pack your bags. I’m going to give you a one way ticket to pound town.”


Tickets for VFC 51 start at $20.00 and are available through Cagetix.com and at the Buccaneer Arena Ticket Office.

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About Victory Fighting Championship:

Victory Fighting Championship is the premier mixed martial arts organization in the Midwest. Headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska, Victory has provided its thousands of fans with high-quality, competitive, and entertaining fights since 2002. A catalyst for success, Victory has launched the careers of numerous elite fighters such as former UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson, Spencer Fisher, Josh Neer, Kevin Burns, Jake Ellenberger, Jason Brilz, Anthony Smith, Justin Salas, Tecia Torres, Kamaru Usman, Chris Camozzi, John Halverson, Joe Ellenberger, Mirsad Bektic, Drew Dober, and Travis Browne. These Victory fighters have made their way to the largest, most competitive stages across the United States including the UFC Octagon®. As an organization that continues to grow, thrive and gain strong, consistent momentum, Victory Fighting Championship presents between eight-10 live events per year in the Midwest’s top venues, which can be seen exclusively through the world’s largest digital combat sports subscription service UFC FIGHT PASS.