Former UFC exec Marshall Zelaznik returns to GLORY as CEO

Marshall Zelaznik is returning to the helm of GLORY Kickboxing as chief executive officer almost exactly four years after departing from the position.

Zelaznik, who has a wealth of experience in the combat sports space, including a stint with the UFC that ended in October 2016 when he was laid off after WME-IMG (now Endeavor) purchased the UFC for more than $4 billion, will re-take the role of GLORY CEO, effective immediately.

A GLORY official informed MMA Junkie of the move on Monday.

“I am delighted to be returning to combat sports and to my old home of GLORY,” Zelaznik told MMA Junkie. “I’ve spent the past few years in e-sports as CEO of Esports Engine, which was recently sold to Savvy owned ESL Faceit Group. So now is the perfect time to come back. I’ve always felt like there was unfinished business at GLORY due to my last run there ending as the COVID-19 pandemic hit us all.

“GLORY has persevered over the past twelve years but right now it is primed to take a major leap ahead. I am looking forward to reconnecting with the team. They have been doing a terrific job and my ambition is to help guide the company to even more success, continued growth, and make the product even more accessible to fans worldwide.”

GLORY’s most recent event took place March 9 and featured a one-night heavyweight grand prix tournament in the Netherlands. Legendary kickboxing standout Rico Verhoeven won three consecutive fights to become grand prix champion.

Zelaznik said GLORY intends to host additional one-night grand prix in 2024, with light heavyweight, middleweight and welterweight likely to be featured.

The next event for the promotion, GLORY 91, takes place April 27 at the Dome De Paris in France.

Although kickboxing has been erratic in terms of global popularity over the years, it’s an undeniable attraction in Europe. For Zelaznik, it’ll be a goal as CEO to take the GLORY brand to another level of exposure.

“GLORY is the most exciting combat sports promotion on the planet,” Zelaznik said. “I believe there is unlimited potential and my goal is to ensure we continue to build on promoting the best fights, with the best fighters, and the most entertaining sport in the space. While I have been away, the team at GLORY has done an incredible job growing our fans and awareness for the sport and brand”

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie