VanNostrand Is Looking Past van Roosmalen At GLORY 52

Kevin VanNostrand (17-1), GLORY’s highflying and wildly unpredictable interim featherweight champion, has been on an absolute tear as of late.

VanNostrand, 30, won the GLORY 43 four-man tournament to secure a shot at the featherweight title. But an eye injury suffered by current champion Robin van Roosmalen thrust him into an interim-title bout against Anvar Boynazarov at GLORY 48, which he won via knockout in the first round.

At GLORY 52 on March 31, VanNostrand will get a chance to unify the two titles against van Roosmalen inside The Pacific Room at Long Beach Arena. The champion told FIGHT SPORTS recently he thought the interim title was ‘bullsh*t,’ and called VanNostrand a silver medalist, adding “I think he is a little too full of himself.”

The interim champion’s response when informed of van Roosmalen’s remarks?

“That knee that went to Boynazarov was for him,” VanNostrand told FIGHT SPORTS. “That should’ve been his knee, but I got something else for him, though. That’s alright. He should worry about himself and not about me.”

WATCH “that knee” via GLORY Kickboxing YouTube:

One thing that VanNostrand does not lack is confidence. In a sport filled with stone-faced warriors, the Liverpool, N.Y. native’s brashness can certainly rub some fighters the wrong way, but for fans who enjoy a fighter who walks with swag and talks a little trash, then he’s your guy.

“I don’t think I’m cocky,” he said, which can certainly be debated. “I’m confident enough that I was destined for this. It just comes together. Everything feels right. No doubts.”

The matchup with van Roosmalen, which VanNostrand called the biggest fight of his career, is a classic clash of styles. The Dutch champion will use his high guard, utilize tight defense, apply forward pressure, and probably throw a bevy of low kicks to try and slow VanNostrand down. Meanwhile, VanNosrand will be employing his trademark style of movement and unpredictable attacks to try and surprise van Roosmalen.

“No one has ever seen my style before, ever,” said VanNostrand, who mentioned former GLORY and current Bellator welterweight Raymond Daniels as an early influence. “And I can adapt and change in seconds to what I need to do. I listen to my trainer (Jim Andrello), and I think that I am years ahead of the fight game in my league.”

VanNostrand said he attributes his success to surrounding himself with the right people. One of those people, he says, is his long-time promoter Amer Abdallah, who runs Lace Up Promotions where he began his fight career. VanNostrand, who won a WKA amateur title and two other WKA titles while fighting in Lace Up, said he received some key life advice from Abdullah early on in his career, which has now finally sunk in.

Ameer told me, ‘If you surround yourself with five drug dealers you are going to become the sixth drug dealer. If you surround yourself with five successful people you are going to become the sixth successful person,'” VanNostrand explained. “So, pretty much I surround myself with as many head strong, focused people [as I can]. People that I know that are confident and I can trust and are on the right path. That’s what I’ve been doing. I’ve been staying focused and pushing forward.”

In addition to the 50-55 hours a week he says he puts into training, VanNostrand works full time for a beer distribution company called TJ Sheehan Distributing. He has a Class-A license and three days a week he drives a truck and delivers kegs and cases of beer in and around the Southern tier of New York to stops in Elmira, Binghamton, Cortland and Ithaca.

“They are pretty good to me,” said VanNostrand, who has worked for the company for the last four years. “They give me the time I need to travel for the fights. They’ve been very supportive of me.”

He’s put the work in, and he’s certainly confident he will triumph over van Roosmalen in LA on Saturday. But how exactly will he get it done? What does he think his advantages are over the Dutch champ, who has been one of the best in the sport for a very long time.

“I think height, reach,” he began. “I don’t know what his reach is, but I know I’m taller than him. People might think he hits harder, but I don’t really care too much for him.”

“Why is that?” he was asked.

“Because he’s in my way,” vanNostrand answered. “I’m looking past him already.”

“You’re looking past the featherweight champion?”

“Yeah, I just want to prove to the world that I’m the greatest,” he said. “That’s it.”

VanNostrand, who said he watched van Roosmalen’s last two fights, is not impressed with “Pokerface” in the slightest.

“He swings hard and he kicks,” VanNostrand said, making light of van Roosmalen’s skills. “But really, Robin is just … He’s just another fighter to me really. It’s not like I hate him or like him a lot, he’s just another fighter. We probably have a lot in common. We are trying to be the best in the world. Obviously, he is now. I have to just wait until the 31st.”

Some disparaging words for van Roosmalen, but VanNostrand wouldn’t make any any bold predictions for what will happen in the main event of GLORY 52.

“I”m not cocky. I’m not going to call my shots. I know my body and what I’m capable of.”


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