Joe Valtellini has vacated his Glory welterweight championship. | Photo: James Law/Glory
Glory welterweight champion “Bazooka” Joe Valtellini on Thursday announced that he was vacating his title in order to take a break from training and competition.
“I started suffering some random headaches and some other problems like abnormal sensitivity to light,” he told Sherdog.com. “I took a few weeks off training to see if it would sort itself out, but it didn’t, so I went and got checked out. Some scans got done and the doctors saw some things they found questionable. I was diagnosed with Post-Concussion Syndrome, and the doctors advised me to take some time away from contact sport in order to allow that to heal. In training, we go hard all the time and that just wasn’t allowing me time to heal up.”
According to the Mayo Clinic, Post-Concussion Syndrome is “a complex disorder in which various symptoms -- such as headaches and dizziness -- last for weeks and sometimes months after the injury that caused the concussion.” The symptoms generally last between three months and a year, although in some instances the effects can be permanent.
“Right now, I will be concentrating on my newly opened gym and also on some film and television opportunities which have been presented, including my recent role in the ‘Kickboxer’ remake,” Valtellini said. “There may also be a commentary opportunity with Glory, which would be interesting. I will give this some time and then consult with my medical advisors and see what my next move will be as an athlete. In the meantime, I am vacating the belt. It was an incredibly hard decision to make, but I think that it is the moral thing to do and it’s the right move for Glory, the sport and my fellow welterweights.”
Cor Hemmers, head of talent operations at Glory, spoke to Sherdog about the situation and Valtellini’s uncertain future.
“It was very unfortunate to hear about Joe’s injury, but I think he is being wise to think about his health,” Hemmers said. “It is very sad to see a great talent like Joe not being able to enjoy his belt. If he is not able to come back in the future, at least he was champion for a time and was able to realize his dream and show people who he is, but at the present time, I think it is sensible to listen to his doctors and take time off to see how things develop.”
Hemmers also revealed that the vacant belt will be contested in the Glory 23 main event on Aug. 7 at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.
“Nieky Holzken won the contender tournament and was due to fight Joe, but now that we have this bad news, we decided, in consultation with Joe and with his total agreement, that the belt will be vacated; so Nieky will fight for the vacant title. He has the right to do so,” Hemmers said. “When it comes to an opponent, we had to take someone from the top four. The most logical choice seems to be the runner-up in the contender tournament, and that is Raymond Daniels. Already he said that he wants to rematch Holzken in a five-round fight when he is completely fresh, not in a tournament, and it’s a fight that fans will really like. So we can announce now that the fight for the newly vacant world welterweight championship will be Nieky Holzken versus Raymond Daniels 2, live in the U.S. on Spike TV.”
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