MMA: Robert Jocz vs. Hracho Darpinyan
Welterweight Tournament MMA: Sergey Golyaev vs. Jon Alessio
Heavyweight Tournament Kickboxing
Mourad Bouzido vs. Anderson "Braddock" Silva
Brice Guidon vs. Filip Verlinden
Wendell Roche vs. Stefan Leko
Gokhan Saki vs. Nikolaj Falin
Superfight Kickboxing: Murthel Groenhart vs. Nieky Holzken
Welterweight Tournament MMA: Derrick Noble vs. Siyar Bahadurzada
Welterweight Tournament MMA: David Bielkheden vs. Tommy Depret
Hidouche Lahoucine vs. Allan Gozdizky
Uriel Albamonte vs. Nicky Covyn
Filip Verlinden vs. Frederic Sinistra
Omar Samb vs. Kriss Larcin
Davit Kiria vs. Robin van Roosmalen
Nicolai Falin vs. Nathan Van T Hoft
Errol Zimmerman vs. Zinedine Hameur
Frederic Hainni vs. Bob Van Boxmeer
Nieky Holzken vs. Wendy Annonay
Mourad Bouzidi vs. Brice Guidon
Welterweight MMA Tournament: Siyar Bahadurzada vs. Jon Alessio
Gohkan Saki vs. Wendell Roche
Igor Jurkovic vs. Pavel Zuravliov
Mighty Mo vs. Sergei Kharitonov
Mourad Bouzidi vs. Errol Zimmerman
Roman Kishev vs. Rasul Mirzaev
Dion Staring vs. Roman Savochka
Nieky Holzken vs. Artur Kyshenko
Tommy Depret vs. Siyar Bahadurzada
Gokhan Saki vs. Brice Guidon
Ilir Latifi vs. Denis Bogdanov
Ricco Rodriguez vs. Ruslan Magomedov
Nieky Holzken vs. Davit Kiria
Jamal Ben Sadik vs. Vitaly Oparin
Igor Jurkovic vs. Zabit Samedov
Semmy Schilt vs. Brice Guidon
Glory 70kg Slam Tournament First 16
Sanny Dahlbeck vs. Warren Stevelmans
Albert Kraus vs. Mohammed El Mir unanimous decision
Giorgio Petrosyan vs. Fabio Pinca unanimous decision
Super Fight: Nieky Holzken vs. Alex Harris TKO
Super Fight: Gokhan Saki vs. Carter Williams KO
Glory Heavyweight Title Decision Match: Semmy Schilt vs. Errol Zimmerman TKO
Marat Grigorian vs. Alex Vogel R2
Jahfarr Wilnis vs. Jamal Ben Saddik 3R
Jhonata Diniz vs. Sebastien van Thielen 3R
Filip Verlinden vs. Fabiano Cyclone 3R
Nieky Holzken vs. Murat Direkci R2
MPW 11/12/96: The Great Sasuke & Gran Hamada & Super Delfin vs. Dick Togo & Men's Teio & Shiryu
2012 70kg Slam Final 8
Davit Kiria vs. Shemsi Beqiri 3R
Robin van Roosmalen vs. Tim Thomas R2
Sanny Dahlbeck vs. Yoshihiro Sato R2
Giorgio Petrosyan vs. Davit Kiria 3R
Robin van Roosmalen vs. Sanny Dahlbeck R3
Final: Giorgio Petrosyan vs. Robin van Roosmalen 3R
Warren Stevelmans vs. Dzhabar Askerov 3R
Alessandro Campagna vs. Fabio Pinca 3R
2012 70kg Slam Final 8
Giorgio Petrosyan vs. Ky Hollenbeck R2
Davit Kiria vs. Shemsi Beqiri 3R
Robin van Roosmalen vs. Tim Thomas R2
Sanny Dahlbeck vs. Yoshihiro Sato R2
Superfight: Alka Matewa vs. Marco Re 3R
Giorgio Petrosyan vs. Davit Kiria 3R
Robin van Roosmalen vs. Sanny Dahlbeck R3
Superfight: Jordan Watson vs. Mustapha Haida 3R
Final: Giorgio Petrosyan vs. Robin van Roosmalen 3R
WCK 12/18/10 China Haikou Arena, WCK Muay Thai 4 Man Super Bantamweight World Tournament: Li Ning vs. Kunitaka Fujiwara 4R
GLORY Heavyweight Grand Slam Tournament FINAL 16
Semmy Schilt vs. Brice Guidon 2R. Schilt used his jab early, but generally fought very aggressively, closing the distance and bringing deadly knees to the head. Guidon just couldn't get into range, really only reaching Schilt with a Superman punch at the end of the first round. Schilt had Guidon hurt with the knees in the first, and put him down 30 seconds into the second with a left knee to the jaw followed by a left straight. I was sure Guidon was done, but he managed to get up only to be put right back down with a short left. I think Guidon was actually going to get up again, but the two knockdown rule advanced Schilt. Average match.
Rico Verhoeven vs. Sergei Kharitonov R2 2:00. Verhoeven had pretty much all the advantages, speed, movement, reach, experience, and so on. His technique was simply too advanced for Kharitonov. Kharitonov defended Verhoeven's kicks pretty well in the first, but Verhoeven kept him on the defensive and at least part of his combinations would always get through. Kharitonov did better in round 2 as he was able to make it ugly. He closed the distance and created chaos, turning it into a brawl. Verhoeven settled late though, and landed a series of good punches to secure the round and advance. Average match.
Gohkan Saki vs. Raoumaru R1. These two didn't belong in the same building together unless Raoumaru was buying a ticket or selling the artery cloggers. The speed and fluidity of Saki's combos was such that Saki landed 3 punches or two punches and a kick before Raoumaru even thought about reacting. And even then, Raoumaru was thinking rather than doing, as he just stood in front of Saki without throwing the entire fight. Saki would crunch him with a left to the body then a right to the head, mixing in some brutal left uppercuts and high kicks. The two knockdown rule was truly a mercy killing for Raoumaru. Joke of a match, but Saki looked unreal.
Anderson “Braddock” Silva vs. Igor Jurkovic R1. Started out as the most competitive match so far with furious 3 strike combos back and forth. Silva is a notorious slow started, but he began to take over quickly, mainly due to his height and punching power. Jurkovic couldn't seem to see Silva's left hooks and overhands, which were landing above eye level, but still with a ton of power. Silva landed a low kick between two of these for the first knockdown, and then Jurkovic crumbled again quickly for the TKO, more because he wasn't recovered from the first knockdown. A good minute before Silva became too much for Jurkovic.
Remy Bonjasky vs. Filip Verlinden 3R. This match lived up to the expectations and was the best on the show. Both fighters are known for their constant movement, and kept a crazy pace throughout. They were trying to figure out how to hit each other, and often just putting a barrage of punches toward the block. Verlinden was the one coming forward in the first round. Bonjasky was blocking all the punches, but just couldn't get off, and even when he did, Verlinden's footwork was extremely good defensively. After losing round 1, the veteran Bonjasky knew he had to just find a way to keep coming forward. He did a better job of angling in than Verlinden, and Verlinden was feeling the pressure, having to just push him away if he couldn't knock him back with knees. As with the first round, it was mainly the low kicks that were landing for both, and that was going to take it's toll going forward. Verlinden slowed down a little in the third, but was still scoring with the inside leg kick. Bonjasky's aggression and desire were just too much in the end, as he continued to move in and attack for the second round in a row. Good match.
Jamal Ben Saddik vs. Errol Zimmerman 2R. Ben Saddik is the 2nd tallest fighter in the tournament at 6'8 1/2”, and Zimmerman just couldn't deal with his overwhelming reach. Ben Saddik was super aggressive, starting his punch combos at distance and coming forward with each shot until he had Zimmerman against the ropes where he couldn't move. Once Ben Saddik had Zimmerman pinned, it was easy pickens punching around or through his block. Ben Saddik had a knockdown in the first and really put a beating on Zimmerman in the second, trapping him in the corner and landing one huge punch after another. Zimmerman finally crumbled after a right straight, but down a round and 2 out of 3 knockdowns with 40 seconds left, he didn't wilt. On the contrary, he almost made a miraculous comeback, countering with a big overhand left and charging forward with a punch combo, dropping a backpedaling Ben Saddik him with a left hook. The round was pretty much over by the time Ben Saddik was up, and as Ben Saddik had a 10-8 1st round and had dominated most of the 2nd round, you knew he was moving on, but it was the most disappointing implementation of the best 2 out of 3 rounds rule since Zimmerman had just got himself into the match. Good match.
Peter Aerts vs. Mourad Bouzidi 1R. Aerts fought a great first round against his stablemate Bouzidi. He came forward the entire time throwing mid-high kicks, forcing him to block everything with his arms. As Frank Shamrock was reminded of breaking his arm trying to block Cung Le's kicks in their classic 3/29/08 match, it was Aerts who suffered some sort of break to the hand or wrist when he threw a right straight to Bouzidi's head then defended Bouzidi's left high kick with his wrist. Aerts won the round, but couldn't come out for the second. Fine while it lasted, but just disappointing to see the great champion go down in this fashion.
Daniel Ghita vs. Jhonata Diniz 3R. Ghita had too much technique and experience for the young upstart injury replacement Diniz. When it was a normal fight, Diniz moved and defended well, but was just outclassed offensively. He was blocking and wasn't getting hurt, but he wasn't really getting off either. Ghita won the first round comfortably, but Diniz decided to go down fighting. He was super aggressive in the 2nd, stepping forward and throwing a short punch, then repeating the process the entire round. It was a big time blitz, and Ghita could never set his feet. Ghita was tired in the third, but Diniz also didn't have the energy to keep up that level of pressure, and when he wasn't charging in, Ghita was back in his comfort zone punching around Diniz's block. In the end, skill and maturity won out over youth and energy. Above average match.
GLORY Heavyweight Grand Slam Tournament Quarterfinals
Semmy Schilt vs. Rico Verhoeven 2R. Interesting for a while, but then business as usual for Schilt. Verhoeven knew what he had to do, and was able to execute while he had the energy. He was moving sideways so he wasn't in front of Schilt to get hit then coming in on a diagonal. Once he got inside, he was making it ugly. Schilt was cut above the left eye from an accidental headbutt. Schilt began to turn the fight when Verhoeven charged into a knee that could have been ruled a knockdown. As Verhoeven slowed, Schilt began to land his jabs and low kicks. I felt Verhoeven won the first round, but Schilt got it 3-2. It was all one-way traffic in round 2 with a tired Verhoeven standing in front of Schilt and getting hit by Schilt's long strikes. Schilt then closed the distance and brought the knees to the head, and Verhoeven continued to fade. Average match.
Gokhan Saki vs. Anderson “Braddock” Silva 1R. Saki fought a completely different fight than he did in the opening round, not moving much or throwing in combination. He basically stood in front of Silva, but Silva wasn't throwing or putting any pressure on him, and Saki's shots were so fast and explosive Silva simply wasn't quick enough to defend them. Saki was clearly winning the round, but I didn't expect the last second knockdown when he stepped in with a right straight then followed with a left hook. Silva was actually up and the round was over, but he kept stumbling so the ref stopped it. Average match.
Remy Bonjasky vs. Jamal Ben Saddik 2R. Bonjasky fought a poor fight here. He wasn't moving enough and was too tentative. It's really hard to beat the much bigger man in a slow paced fight, but Bonjasky seem puzzled. Remy was the slight aggressor, but when they exchanged Ben Saddik had so much reach he always caught him with the third shot as Remy was backing out. Ben Saddik did a great job of shutting down Bonjasky's kicking game, repeatedly catching his leg and then making him pay with a punch (since sweeping the leg is illegal, though he did that once, too). Ben Saddik wasn't hurting Bonjasky, but it looked bad because Bonjasky kept slipping and stumbling and generally getting off balance trying to escape. Below average match.
Daniel Ghita vs. Mourad Bouzidi R2. Bouzidi fought a smart first round, staying on the outside and using low, front, and middle kicks. Ghita was the more powerful striker, but I felt Bouzidi had a considerable advantage in volume and accuracy, so I was disappointed that the judges had it 3-2 Ghita. Needing the 2nd round to stay alive, Bouzidi got involved in a wild exchange to start the 2nd that he was getting the worst of. Somewhere in there, he suffered a freak injury to his right arm or shoulder and had to quit. Average match.
Super Fight: Jason Wilnis vs. Toshio Matsumoto 3R. Wilnis had the crisper, more evolved combinations and did a better job of landing multiple strikes at a clip. Matsumoto would start each round strong, particularly when he was working the left low kick, but stood in front of Wilnis too much, which wasn't a good strategy considering Wilnis had more technique and hit harder but Matsumoto appeared to be the quicker of the two. Wilnis took the first 2 rounds on the same 4 judges scorecards then had a questionable overhand right knockdown with a minute left in the third to seal the deal. Average match.
GLORY Heavyweight Grand Slam Tournament Semifinals
Semmy Schilt vs. Gokhan Saki 2R. Saki was the aggressor and did everything he could to close the distance, but the reach disadvantage was simply too overwhelming. Saki was taking all kinds of chances, but just missing spectacularly as Schilt would take a step back. Schilt would hold his ground and kick the body when Saki wasn't throwing movie kicks. The first round was pretty much a nothing round, with Schilt not getting hit but only landing some minor front and middle kicks. The second round saw a more effective Schilt as he got his jab going early. The scary thing is Schilt is Saki would miss because he was out of range and Schilt wouldn't even have to extend on his jab or front kick to land the counter. Saki landed a couple good overhand lefts, but that was about it. Average match.
Daniel Ghita vs. Jamal Ben Saddik 1R. Ghita started the fight with a crushing liver kick where the “foot knuckles” landed on the right bottom rib for the knockout. I thought Ghita must have landed a low blow the way Ben Saddik bent forward and crumbled.
Super Fight: Mutsuki Ebata vs. Sang Jae Kim 3R. Impressive speed and technique, but quite one-sided. Ebata was walking Kim down, scoring with an excellent lead jab then mixing the next couple shots up to keep Kim off balance. Kim was consistently beat to the punch and couldn't get his counters going because Ebata had his timing down and kept landing and knocking him backwards. Average match.
GLORY Heavyweight Grand Slam Tournament Final: Semmy Schilt vs. Daniel Ghita 1R. Dull and tentative final. Schilt was inching forward, but wasn't very aggressive and Ghita seemed to have no idea of how to deal with Schilt's reach advantage and wasn't throwing at all. Ghita landed 1 good punch before Schilt TKO'd him with a left high kick that was mostly blocked. Poor match.
Light Heavyweight Slam Reserve Fight: Artem Vakhitov vs. Luis Tavares R1 1:06
Light Heavyweight Slam Quarterfinal: Danyo Ilunga vs. Mourad Bouzidi 3R unanimous decision
Quarterfinal: Dustin Jacoby vs. Brian Collette 3R split decision
Quarterfinal: Filip Verlinden vs. Steve McKinnon 3R majority decision
Quarterfinal: Tyrone Spong vs. Michael Duut R1 0:31
Super Fight: Joseph Valtellini vs. Francois Ambang R3 1:04
Super Fight: Daniel Ghita vs. Brice Guidon R1 0:49
Semifinal: Danyo Ilunga vs. Dustin Jacoby 3R unanimous decision
Semifinal: Tyrone Spong vs. Filip Verlinden 3R unanimous decision
Super Fight: Wayne Barrett vs. Mike Lemaire R2 1:12
Super Fight: Rico Verhoeven vs. Errol Zimmerman 3R via majority decision
Final: Tyrone Spong vs. Danyo Ilunga R1 0:16
GLORY Middleweight Tournament Semifinals
Artem Levin vs. Jason Wilnis 3R. Levin was by far the most skilled fighter in the tournament. He has the freaky speed, quickness, and agility to keep the fight at his chosen range. He could be one of those dull boxers who just runs all fight so he can win the decision by landing his 10 keep the opponent away jabs per round, but luckily Levin believes in his defense enough to keep coming forward and being aggressive. He looks like Roy Jones Jr. holding his hands low and tilting, swaying, and bobbing his upper boby away from the punches, but offensively he's much more of a power striking brawler. Levin did big damage with the lead left body hook. Once he closed the distance with this, he'd look to grab Wilnis and work the clinch knees, which quickly swelled Wilnis' left eye. Wilnis did a good job of defending his head, but a good amount of the knees scored straight up the middle between his block, and he made no real effort to stop Levin's consistent body work, which was the more consistent and damaging aspect of his attack. Wilnis looked to counter, and did land some solid right hands, but you can't beat a fighter with such ability to avoid by only throwing single punches, and Wilnis just wasn't even trying to throwing any combos or set anything up. In fact, he was mostly waiting then missing a power punch. Levin won round 1 & 2 easily then just toyed with Wilnis in the 3rd, turning from entertaining to annoying. Levin did everything well, but he was a couple breeds apart, so it was too one-sided to be all that good. Levin won a unanimous 30-27 with Wilnis unable to even take the 3rd round that Levin coasted through. Average match.
Joe Schilling vs. Kengo Shimizu 3R. A remarkably more one-sided match than even the previous fight, which the stats certainly bared out, particularly Schilling landing 88 to the mere 67 strikes that Shimizu even threw! Perhaps even more embarrassing, Schilling landed 26 power kicks and knees to Shimizu's goose egg. Schilling won the fight by using his reach to dominate from a distance with kicks then closing the distance on his terms and working Shimizu over against the ropes with punches. Schilling did a better and better job with clinch knees as the fight progressed. Shimizu was hesitant when he actually had the opportunity to throw something. Poor guy was just so outclassed he became intimidated to the point of just being a punching bag. Highlight was Schilling landing a nice spinning heel kick to the head early in the 3rd. Schilling won a unanimous 30-27 decision. Average.
Middleweight Tournament Reserve Match: Wayne Barrett vs. Robby Plotkin R1. Barrett looks much more experienced than his couple of fights would suggest. He just overwhelmed Plotkin here with his power, knocking him down early with a right hand to the side of the head that didn't appear to even land that cleanly. A little later, he doubled up on left hook/right cross combos, rocking Robby with the right the first time and dropping him the 2nd time for the TKO. Granted, Plotkin took the fight on less than a week's notice when his opponent backed out of his MMA match, but it was more that Barrett looked good overwhelming him than he looked like he was some can they tossed in with Barrett.
Robin van Roosmalen vs. Shemsi Beqiri 3R. Finally, an even match, and oh how much more intense that made it. They traded wicked kicks to start, and generally fought angry, particularly throughout the first round, blasting each other back and forth with punishing blows. Though Beqiri is more cut, van Roosmalen was clearly the more powerful striker, to the point that Stephen Quadros and two of the judges scored the first round for Robin despite Beqiri outlanding him pretty handily. Van Roosmalen's power clearly was getting to Beqiri, who shifted to more of a finesse game after the first. This was the style you thought you'd see from the outset, but I felt this actually wound up playing into van Roosmalen's hands. Van Roosmalen was coming forward the entire fight, but his constantly walking Beqiri down more greatly magnified his advantages in power and aggression, especially since Beqiri had to try to get off first when he was standing toe to toe with van Roosmalen early, but once he shifted to counter punching he was obviously allowing van Roosmalen to get off first, and Robin just landed too high a percentage given the stylistic and power differential for Beqiri to win in a style that was, at best, resulting in both men landing the same number of blows. Usually it wasn't even though, as van Roosmalen threw one good punch combo after another, doing a great job of beating Beqiri's body up in the 2nd and adding the low kick to the left/right to the body combo in the 3rd. Beqiri never wavered, and was beating the hell out of van Roosmalen all fight as well, but van Roosmalen's combinations in the 2nd and 3rd were just too good. Van Roosmalen won a unanimous decision. Good match.
Middleweight Tournament Final: Joe Schilling vs. Artem Levin 4R. Levin came out really loose, looking more than ready for the occasion, and supremely confident that his hand would soon be raised. He walked Schilling down, landing the lead liver left at will and avoiding most of what Schilling had to offer, though Schilling did finally land a good high kick late in the round. Schilling relaxed in the second, and it was a different, highly competitive fight from here. Schilling pressed the action a lot more after the 1st, scoring huge with an awesome Superman right early in the 2nd that I thought was going to knock Levin out, but Artem just got up. Levin didn't have his legs for the rest of the round, but did a good veteran job of tying Schilling up to stall, and Schilling just missed too many shots to capitalize. Levin not only managed to survive the round, but came out strong in the 3rd, pressing hard to get the knockdown back. Levin was much less accurate than in the 1st, but did seem to finally have his legs back, and was certainly sending a message to Schilling that he was going to have to step up and seize the final. It was Levin's pressure though that was the difference in the round, as he broke down Schilling's defenses in the later portion, including a flashy spinning backfist. The knockdown made up for Levin winning the 1st and 3rd, sending them to the extra round. This round was pretty even for the first half, perhaps a slight advantage to Levin, when the referee blew a knockdown call that won the fight for the American. Schilling did land a decent right hand counter, but Levin only fell because his leg was still in the air from throwing a low kick. Levin had to step it up after that, so it's not quite fair to say he would have won had the slip been correctly ruled because Schilling didn't need to do anything but stay on his feet in the 2nd half of the round. Overall, both landed at just above a 40% ratio, but Levin was considerably more active, hence his 88-55 advantage in total strikes landed. However, “2” knockdowns to 0 resulted in Schilling taking the tournament via unanimous decision. Good match.
BF 8/25/07 Vancouver, B.C: D.J. Taiki vs. Eben Oroz 3R
GLORY Heavyweight Tournament Semifinals
Rico Verhoeven vs. Gokhan Saki 3R. Everyone expected Saki to plow through Verhoeven, but he really never got started. Referee Chris Wagner horribly blew a knockdown call at the outset to the point Saki could have been DQ'd for pushing the ref trying to call to his attention that Verhoeven's right was little more than a push to the breast. Saki was just out of sorts, coming up short on too many punches in round 1 and showing poor sportsmanship by kicking Verhoeven when he was walking away after taking a low blow (due to some more poor reffing, Wagner had yet to actually rule the borderline shot illegal). To his credit, Verhoeven really ran with his good fortune, gaining confidence and keeping Saki on the defensive most of the 1st round as he looked for a “2nd” knockdown that would result in an automatic TKO. Saki never used his speed or movement in this fight, just slugging it out and trying to rely on his punching power to get the knockdown back. Saki did relax after spending too much time in round 1 being frustrated and fighting with his back against the ropes, and both men delivered the right kind of tension and intensity in the final two rounds. I'd certainly rank Saki's punches above Verhoeven's low kicks for the rest of the fight. However, round 3 was close, and the toll of all the low kicks finally added up, allowing Verhoeven to come on in the last 30 seconds. What Saki did well was shift to the side of Verhoeven and then come over the top of his block with the overhand right that crossed through Rico's blind spot. I had it even with Saki winning R2 & R3 after the “knockdown” forced a 10-8 first, which would have resulted in an extra round, but two of the three judges gave Rico the third so he took the majority decision. Good match.
Daniel Ghita vs. Anderson “Braddock” Silva R1 1:56. It was pretty even for 2 minutes with neither doing any notable damage. Suddenly Ghita hurt Silva with a liver kick and miraculously knocked him out with a right something counter that seemed to at least 95% miss, but might have connected some with the bicep if Silva didn't completely duck it and definitely got him a bit between the shoulder blades. I always expect a lot from Anderson Silva, but tonight Braddock was Missing in Action.
Heavyweight Tournament Reserve Match: Errol Zimmerman vs. Hesdy Gerges R3 0:38. Zimerman's 3 losses in a row knocked him out of the main draw, but at least got him to take his training more seriously again. He did a good job of creating chaos here, sucking the technically superior striker into a brawl where he didn't have the space to throw his kicks. Zimmerman was at his best when he leapt in with a knee and flurried with punches. Gerges didn't have anywhere near Errol's power, but was ridiculously accurate, landing 3 more than Errol over the course of the match because he connected on a ludicrous 76% of his strikes. He mixed his shots well, and was scoring particularly well with low kicks (when he didn't fall from Zimmerman checking them) and left straights in between the block. Gerges also slowed Zimmerman's punching offense down by making him block middle kicks with his arms. Gerges could have won the 1st if not for Zimmerman coming on with a 4 punch combo where the two rights got around the block into the ear area, the 2nd dropping Gerges. Zimmerman rested on his laurels in the 2nd, doing well when he was willing to pressure Gerges and make it a brawl, but generally laying back and taking the round mostly off. Gerges landed a good knee and right hand at the end with Zimmerman against the ropes to secure the round. Zimmerman got his second wind after the break though, and dropped Gerges with a right hook counter to a right low kick. Gerges wasn't all there, and Zimmerman seized the opportunity, flying in with a knee that was mostly blocked then dropping Hesdy with an overhand right for the TKO. Good match.
Joseph Valtellini vs. Karim Ghajji R3 2:53. I don't have a problem with people enjoying this fight, but it just fell flat for me. They mostly traded low kicks in round 1, and it seemed pretty even because neither landed anything of note. Ghajji got a good overhand right in with Valtellini on the ropes in round 2, but just seemed too predictable as he was a kickboxer when he fought his natural left handed style, but only a power puncher who mostly missed when he switched to orthodox. Valtellini seemed very cookie cooker, a solid but unspectacular type whose offense wasn't flowing, but while most of his individual shots didn't stand out, it's hard to argue with a guy who keeps putting one combo after another on you to the tune of landing with over 85% accuracy. Valtellini did have a few big moments too, including an overhand right that should have been a knockdown because Ghajji's hand tounched the canvas when he was wobbling. This led to the best portion of the fight, as both opened up trying to take the round that rightfully belonged to Valtellini. I felt Ghajji actually landed the better punches in this round, but he never expanded his kicking game to include anything above the waist, while Valtellini just had a much vaster arsenal of strikes and was able to put them together in a multitude of ways to keep Ghajji guessing wrong, wearing him down from his precision. Valtellini landed a great spinning backfist in the 3rd that was called a knockdown even though Ghajji never touched the mat, but I felt this was a good call because Ghajji's knees buckled twice and he was very groggy. Valtellini kept the combos on him until the ref stopped it. Average match.
Tyrone Spong vs. Nathan Corbett R2 1:10. They stood toe-to-toe and blasted each other, particularly punishing the body. It was more a boxing match with low kicks to mix things up than anything else on the show, which makes some sense given Spong is training to make his boxing debut before the end of the year. He was doing a great job of digging the liver punch in. Spong staggered Corbett with a left hook counter late in round 1. Spong had been countering the low kick with the left body hook, but at the start of round 2, he switched it up, getting a knockdown countering a low kick with a left head hook. Spong soon put Corbett down again with a left hook, and the ref stopped it because Corbett was still wobbly. Above average match.
Heavyweight Tournament Final: Rico Verhoeven vs. Daniel Ghita 3R. Verhoeven may have been lucky to be in the final, and was once again a big underdog, but he really ran with the opportunity Chris Wagner gifted him all night, fighting confidently and as though he was the Bryan Danielson of kickboxing. His stamina was exceptional, especially for a guy his size, and that was really the difference in this fight. Verhoeven was able to run Ghita into the ground by coming forward to the point of smothering him, which forced Ghita to either hit or be hit for three rounds. There was no real defense or angling, hell it was often even hard to kick from as close as Verhoeven was to Ghita all fight. The first round was pretty even, but Verhoeven was backing Ghita most of the rest of the round, but also pursuing him just as quickly so Ghita couldn't get him out of his grill. Ghita was trying to use high middle kicks to slow down Verhoeven's boxing, but was tiring in round 2. Still, even though Verhoeven had taken Ghita totally out of his style, Ghita had landed 10 more strikes than Verhoeven through 2 rounds, and the fight was likely even. The 2nd round had clearly shifted the momentum in Rico's favor, and that continued in the 3rd. Round 3 was all heart, with both men giving all they had and just going for it. They'd throw a combo then eat a combo then throwing another combo and eat another combo until the 3 minutes were up. Heavyweights, especially in their 2nd fight of the night, aren't supposed to be able to keep this sort of pace for 3 rounds. Stats wise, it was still about even, but Verhoeven was the one setting the style, pace, and range, and his stamina held up better. Verhoeven won a unanimous 29-28 decision. Very good match.
AJ 9/6/97 Nippon Budokan (Ex VQ): Toshiaki Kawada & Akira Taue & Tamon Honda vs. Steve Williams & Gary Albright & Yoshihiro Takayama
GLORY Lightweight Tournament Semifinals
Robin Van Roosmalen vs. Davit Kiria 3R. Above average match.
Giorgio Petrosyan vs. Andy Riske R3. Average match.
Ky Hollenbeck vs. Warren Stevelmans 3R. Below average match.
Ben Edwards vs Jamal Ben Saddik
Wayne Barrett vs. Joe Schilling. Good
Lightweight Tournament Final: Andy Ristie vs. Robin Van Roosmalen
GLORY Welterweight Title Decision Tournament Semifinals
Nieky Holzken vs. Karapet Karapetyan
Joseph Valtellini vs. Raymond Daniels
Makoto Uehara vs. Dustin Jacoby
Daniel Ghita vs. Errol Zimmerman
Welterweight Title Decision Tournament Final: Nieky Holzken vs. Joseph Valtellini
Peter Aerts Retirement Match: Rico Verhoeven vs. Peter Aerts
12/14/95 Hakata Starlanes (Near Perfect VQ): Tiger Mask & Naohiro Hoshikawa vs. TAKA Michinoku & Shoichi Funaki. Hoshikawa probably gave his best performance up to that point in time, which really made the match because we knew TAKA vs. Tiger was going to be excellent, but the expected sizable dropoff when Hoshikawa tagged in wasn't there. Hoshikawa was doing all his moves really fast, and was a key to the macth being stiff. TAKA, of course, was the man though. The last 5 1/2 minutes were really what made the match. I've certainly seen better in Michinoku, but rarely in a regular four person tag match. ****
GLORY Middleweight Contender Tournament Semifinals
Sahak Parparyan vs. Jason Wilnis 3R split decision
Alex Pereira vs. Dustin Jacoby R1 2:00
Lightweight Title Match: Davit Kiria vs. Andy Ristie R5 2:22
Middleweight Contender Tournament Final: Alex Pereira vs. Sahak Parparyan 3R majority decision
Remy Bonjasky Retirement Match: Remy Bonjasky vs. Mirko Filipovic 3R majority decision
GLORY Light Heavyweight Title Decision Tournament Semifinals
Gokhan Saki vs. Nathan Corbett TKO R1 2:35. Saki was just too fast for Corbett, who couldn't even get off early. Saki was punishing Corbett with hooks around the guard and body shots, consistently backing Corbett into the ropes, where Corbett would just stand waiting for Saki to punish him some more. Corbett finally started getting more aggressive, but then his cauliflower ear blew up from a big left hook, and he immediately put his hand to his ear looking disoriented, leading to a doctor stoppage.
Tyrone Spong vs. Saulo Cavalari 3R unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27). Watching the fight, I thought Spong won R1 certainly, R2 was Spong's but Cavalari could have stolen it by finally coming on late, & Cavalari won R3 though Spong landed the couple best shots. Statistically, Cavalari threw 100 more and landed 31 more even though it seemed that, after the quick start from both, he wasn't active enough until late in round 2. Spong was definitely the more powerful puncher, and he appeared to be more accurate, but he wasn't very active, especially in the 2nd half of the fight. Both did some good work, but overall, the pace was kind of methodical after the hot opening. Average match.
Danyo Ilunga vs. Andrei Stoica KO R1 2:33. Ilunga was landing shots, but Stoica was looking so strong & sturdy, it seemed he might be too tough for Ilunga to hurt him. A good overhand right to the nose usually does the trick though, and Ilunga probably broke Stoica's nose on this KO, as it was spouting blood.
Robin Van Roosmalen vs. Marat Grigorian 3R unanimous decision (29-28, 28-29, 30-27). By far the highest level fight of the night. Roosmalen is one of the best fighters around, but this was the least impressive performance I've seen from him, though largely because Grigorian was so good. I loved the unpredictability of Marat's combinations, as though he typically finished with a low kick, he'd throw left hand/left low kick then right hand/right low kick then left hand/right low kick, and so on, mixing knees in as well. Roosmalen had great combos as well, but in addition to being harder to defend, Marat had the reach advantage and was getting off first most of the time. Roosmalen obviously hits much harder, and he scored with a big right hook midway through R2, but he was getting outmoved and outworked most of the first two rounds. Roosmalen turned it on late in the 2nd, and his aggression might have stolen the round. He continued walking Marat down at the start of the 3rd, but Marat did a great job of using Roosmalen's aggression and lack of reach against him the entire fight, so often hitting him when he was coming forward. Roosmalen kept the pressure on the entire 3rd round, but after the first minute of that round, Marat was just sniping Roosmalen, so I don't see any way you could give this round to Robin. I thought the worst Marat did was win 29-28, so I'm baffled by a judge giving all 3 rounds to Robin, especially when you look at the stats and see Marat threw almost 100 more (negating the idea Robin was the aggressor just because he was stepping forward) and landed 31 more. Good match.
GLORY Light Heavyweight Title Decision Tournament Final: Gokhan Saki vs. Tyrone Spong knockout (injured leg) R1 1:37. This was the match everyone wanted to see, but it turned out to be the most disappointing rematch since Chris Weidman vs. Anderson Silva, with Spong similarly breaking his lower right leg when Saki checked a low kick. Winning the inaugural championship in his sort of home country (he was born in the Netherlands) should have been such a highlight for Saki, who looked excellent in both fights, but it's such a shame that neither win was exactly satisfying due to both opponents suffering odd injuries. Saki came out fast here trying to use his speed and conditioning advantages and generally take advantage of having a much shorter first fight. He was off to a good start, getting in a few big single shots before the disappointing finish.
BodogFight: Vancouver 8/24/07: Julie Kedzie vs. Kelly Kobold 3R
GLORY Heavyweight Contender Tournament Semifinals
Ben Edwards vs. Errol Zimmerman R1 2:50. Fun back and forth fight. Edwards got off to a much better start, and actually was outworking Errol most of the fight. Errol just has too much power though, so where Edwards was just scoring with good combos, Zimmerman was putting him down with his comebacks, and in this format it only takes 2 in a round to end it. Edwards backed Zimmerman against the ropes with punch combos and began to tee off, but Zimmerman came back with a combo of his own, dropping Edwards with an overhand right. Edwards recovered quickly and again had Errol in trouble against the ropes, but this time Zimmerman circled off and worked the body with a knee and jab then finished with a big knee to the stomach and two right hooks.
Anderson Silva vs. Sergey Kharitonov 3R. What started off as a joke where Kharitonov just plodded forward eating countless kicks and punches without getting any of his own off turned into the ugly brawl Kharitonov needs where he consistently backed Silva into the ropes and worked him over with punch combos. Silva could do no wrong in the first, moving well and repeatedly rocking Kharitonov with punch combos. His overhand right was money, and he followed that with an uppercut for a knockdown. Silva couldn't quite get the 2nd knockdown to finish Kharitonov with the overhands, too quickly shifting to high kicks which he missed, and by the time he went back to the punches Kharitonov had recovered just enough that he could eat one big shot after another without going down. Silva seemingly landed 25 shots to every 1 Kharitonov landed in the 1st, but though the massive damage should have left Kharitonov with nothing in the tank, instead it was Silva who was done for the night, having punched himself out going for the finish. Silva's low kicks were scoring well early, and Kharitonov is such a poor mover at 100% you wouldn't want to see him at 98%, but once Silva tired Kharitonov took all his space away so he wasn't able to kick much anymore. Kharitonov just seemed to get stronger in spite of all the shots he took, and it was Silva who was just standing around in the later portion of the 2nd. Silva only outthrew Kharitonov 44-38 in round 2 after 73-22 in round 1, and it was Kharitonov who actually landed 3 more strikes, so this round could have gone either way though I gave it to Sergey since it was 1 way traffic toward the end. Round 3 was a continuation of that and then some, with Kharitonov just smothering Silva against the ropes and wearing him out with 1 punch combo after another. Silva's considerably higher skill level, not to mention his flair probably helped him edge the 2nd round en route to the 29-27 unanimous decision. Good match.
Pat Barry vs. Zack Mwekassa R1 2:33. A total legs vs. hands fight to the point where each landed 1 strike outside their specialty. This was entertaining back and forth stuff with Barry landing a big high kick early & following with a flying knee, which only seemed to wake the former boxer Mwekassa up. Barry could still land his low kicks and knees, but the problem was he wasn't getting back out of the pocket quickly benough, and Mwekassa has thunder in his hands, so it ultimately wasn't even an even exchange for the former UFC fighter. Mwekassa knocked Barry down following Barry's low kick with an overhand right and a left uppercut. Mwekassa landed a couple big left hooks then again dropped Barry with the left uppercut for the KO.
Heavyweight Contender Tournament Final: Anderson Silva vs. Errol Zimmerman R1 2:30. Silva was spent from his first round match, and just got blitzed here by the more powerful Zimmerman. Silva didn't start fast, but once Zimmerman dropped him with a perfectly timed knee counter to Braddock's overhand right, Silva was barely even moving or throwing random single punch in between Zimmerman's attacks. Zimmerman landed a handful of punches around the guard for the 2nd knockdown, and stayed on him with a big flying knee at the restart. Still, it looked like Silva's chin might carry him to the 2nd round, but Zimmerman got him with a right knee to the midsection & a right hook for the 3 knockdown rule.
First Glory Welterweight Champion Decision Match: Karapet Karapetyan vs. Marc de Bonte 5R. A thoughtful technical contest that was razor tight, but certainly more for purists than the previous exciting slugfests. Karepet isn't so much a fighter that looks good himself, as one who keeps the opponent out of their strike zone so they look bad. De Bonte knew how to beat him, and was able to execute the strategy, moving and angling so Karapetyan couldn't pick him apart with jabs and front kicks then rushing with combos when the time was right. The problem is this was a 5 round fight in high altitude, and de Bonte was already noticably slowing in the 2nd after outlanding Karapet 20-5 in round 1. When de Bonte was good, he was bouncing around, mixing leading with the jab for the combo and leading with the low kick for the single shot then evade. When de Bonte was bad, he stood around flatfooted and didn't throw any combos, which allowed Karapet to land single shots. Karapet didn't throw many “power” shots, and didn't have much power when he did, but his stamina was far superior. He was a different fighter in a positive way in the 5th, walking de Bonte down the entire round, landing punch combos & even finishing them with some knees. De Bonte spent the whole round backing, and was growing increasingly defensive as Karapet chased him down. Overall, de Bonte was the cleaner, crisper, and more powerful striker, so even though the stats were almost equal with de Bonte throwing 19 less, but landing 7 more, he had the quality on his side. I gave de Bonte rounds 1, 2 & 4, but 2 could have gone either way as Karapetyan came on late. De Bonte won a split decision 48-47, 47-48, 48-47 to become the first champion. Above average match.
Best of the GLORY Super Fight Series Part 1
Glory 12: New York 11/23/13: Mourad Bouzidi vs. Saulo Cavalari R1 1:23. Cavalari had the better combos and was getting off 1st. he used a left straight to set up the overhand right that sent Bouzidi crashing like a ton of bricks.
GLORY 10: Los Angeles 9/28/13: Brice Guidon vs. Jahfarr Wilnis R2 0:38. Guidon was doing a good job getting his shots through the guard and into the body. He started fast, but Wilnis came on late in the 1st with a big overhand right and continued doing good work early in the 2nd countering a kick with a right straight. Wilnis swarmed Guidon with wild loopy hooks. He got totally out of control once he got the 1st knockdown, but he was determined not to let Guidon recover, and since Guidon wasn't firing back, Wilnis eventually caught him with a hook for the finish.
Glory 11: Chicago 10/12/13: Raymond Daniels vs. Brian Foster R1 2:24. Foster was charging in, but didn't cut the ring off, so it was more that he was consistently chasing Daniels with his long, loopy punches. Both were throwing fancy spinning kicks early, but it was Daniels who made them good, dropping Foster with a spinning high hook kick. Foster got up, but was wobbly and had a huge mouse avove his eye so the ref stopped it.
Featherweight #1 Contender Tournament Semifinals
Gabriel Varga vs. Yodkhunpon Sitmonchai 3R
Shane Oblonsky vs. Marcus Vinicius 3R
Andy Ristie vs. Ky Hollenbeck R1 0:35
Featherweight #1 Contender Tournament Final: Gabriel Varga vs. Shane Oblonsky 3R
Mirko Filipovic vs. Jarrell Miller 3R
Middleweight Last Man Standing Tournament Quarterfinals
Artem Levin vs. Alex Pereira 3R
Filip Verlinden vs. Melvin Manhoef 3R
Joe Schilling vs. Simon Marcus R4 2:41
Wayne Barrett vs. Bogdan Stoica R3 0:58
Middleweight Last Man Standing Tournament Semifinals
Artem Levin vs. Filip Verlinden 3R
Joe Schilling vs. Wayne Barrett 3R
Middleweight Last Man Standing Tournament Final: Artem Levin vs. Joe Schilling 3R
Light Heavyweight #1 Contender Tournament Semifinals
Zack Mwekessa vs. Brian Collette R2 0:45
Saulo Cavalari vs. Danyo Ilunga 3R unanimous decision 30-27
Jason Wilnis vs. Wayne Barrett unanimous decision 29-26
GLORY Lightweight Title Match: Davit Kiria vs. Robin van Roosmalen unanimous decision 48-46, 48-46, 47-47
Light Heavyweight #1 Contender Tournament Final: Saulo Cavalari vs. Zach Mwekassa R3 0:20
Francois Ambang vs. Stephen Richards R2 2:14
Brian Collette vs. Myron Dennis 3R
Josh Jauncey vs. Max Baumert R3 0:37. You knew this fight was going to be good when Jauncey literally opened with a spinning back kick. Jauncey kept a high pace & just kept putting great, aggressive combos on Baumert. Baumert had a good low kick game, but it's hard to keep up when Jauncey is extending his combos to 4 or even 5. Baumert kept wanting to fight on the inside, hoping to land knees, which I didn't really understand given the only area where he was winning was the low kicks, and he could have landed them outside of Jauncey's range (especially since he had the reach) without being in the pocket to eat combos. Baumert got a knockdown with a 5 punch combination, though technically the knockdown shouldn't have counted because it came on a punch to the back of the head after the 2nd round bell rang. Baumert was unable to capitalize on the knockdown because Jauncey split his eyebrow so badly with a step knee at the start of the 3rd that the doctor had to stop it. Beyond the obvious, the finish was unfortunate because even though Baumert was getting badly outworked, he was actually up 19-18 due to the knockdown, so Jauncey would have had to put another huge round on Baumert to avoid a loss or draw. Good match.
Xavier Vigney vs. Everett Sims R1 1:44
Andy Ristie vs. Steve Moxon R1 2:43
Welterweight #1 Contender Tournament Semifinals
Raymond Daniels vs. Jonatan Oliveira R2 2:15
Nieky Holzken vs. Alexander Stetsurenko 3R unanimous decision
Cedric Smith vs. James Hurley R2 0:56
Joe Schilling vs. Robert Thomas 3R unanimous decision
Welterweight Contender Tournament Final: Nieky Holzken vs. Raymond Daniels R3 1:25
GLORY Heavyweight Title Match: Rico Verhoeven vs. Errol Zimmerman R2 2:17
Anatoly Moiseev vs. Max Baumert R1 0:38
Chad Sugden vs. Atakan Arslan 3R unanimous decision
Samir Boukhidous vs. Mikhail Chalykh R1 2:00
Chi Lewis Parry vs. Yong Soo Park R1 0:25
Mourad Bouzidi vs. Dustin Jacoby 3R unanimous decision
Light Heavyweight Title Eliminator: Saulo Cavalari vs. Artem Vakhitov 3R split decision
Middleweight #1 Contender Tournament Semifinals
Simon Marcus vs. Wayne Barrett 3R Unanimous decision
Jason Wilnis vs. Alex Pereira 3R Unanimous decision
Inaugural Featherweight Title Decision Match: Gabriel Varga vs. Mosab Amrani 5R Unanimous decision
Middleweight Contender Tournament Final: Simon Marcus vs. Jason Wilnis 3R split decision
Lightweight Title Match: Robin van Roosmalen vs. Andy Ristie 5R Unanimous decision
Omari Boyd vs. Chris Carradus 3R. 20-year-old Carradus did a good job of hanging in there with Boyd in his GLORY debut despite taking the bout on just 4 days notice. Carradus didn't have any particular offensive success, but what he lacked in technique he made up for in athleticism, and he was able to avoid most of what his far more experienced opponent threw at him. Boyd's primary success came in working the right side of the body with both kicks and punches. Boyd won every round, but none were decisive, and getting docked a point for his 2nd low blow gave Carradus enough confidence to at least pretend he was going to win the decision. Below average match.
Andre Walker vs. Manny Mancha R3 0:19. A wild brawl. Mancha is one of those big tough guys who just isn't the least bit athletic, maybe a kickboxing equivalent of Sean O'Connell. He's slow, lumbering, and gets himself offbalance lunging at his opponent with his wide sloppy strikes, but he can take a punch and even though his technique is really poor he's got a lot of mass behind his shot so you can't just trade with him. Walker started off circling figuring he'd use his superior speed, but quickly realized he could just stand in front of Mancha and beat him to the strike before moving. Walker was landing at will in the 1st, as Mancha literally showed no defensive capability. Still, you felt Mancha was baiting Walker into a brawl because that was his only path to victory. Mancha came out really aggressive in the 2nd with a left high kick, and rocked Walker with a big left hook then flurried on him. Walker was never able to get back to a place where he could make the necessary adjustments and use his many skill advantages to allow himself to recover and regain his foothold in the contest. Walker seemed to steady himself once and be ready to settle into landing the left hand and moving before Mancha could counter, but Mancha again rocked him with a left hook. Mancha trapped Walker in the corner and was punching himself out with more big left hooks on the covering Walker, who finally came back hurting Mancha with a right uppercut, but just didn't have any consistent offensive output after the 1st. The second round wasn't pretty, but it was crazy action with Mancha throwing one big ugly left after the other. Walker was still the more accurate fighter, but Mancha was so active in this round that Walker didn't have much chance to either move or throw. Walker had his moments when he actually got something off, but Mancha was consistently hurting him to the point it was surprising Walker didn't go down at some point during this round. The closest Mancha came to dropping him though was when he hit Walker after the bell as Walker had already turned and began making his way to his corner! Mancha got a 3rd wind in between rounds and came out aggressive again with a superman punch then finally dropping Walker with yet another left hook. Walker was up at 4, but was wandering in many directions and didn't come toward John McCarthy when instructed to do so after the mandatory 8 count, so the fight was stopped. Technically, this fight was a terrible kickboxing match, but action wise, it was undeniably a very good fight. Good match.
Ashley Epps vs. Maurice Greene R1 2:12. Greene is long and aggressive. He kept charging forward, and Epps kept losing his balance trying to escape Greene's rush. Epps was down more times in 2 minutes than I was the 1st time I put on a pair of skates, so while it was hard to tell what was really a knockdown and what was really a slip, Epps was so badly overmatched it never seemed to matter. Greene's left uppercut to the sternum that was called a knockdown probably should have been a slip, but Greene soon folded Epps in half with a left hook to the point he fell forward on his noggin for the KO! The fight was so one-sided that Epps was credited with landing just 4 strikes.
Giga Chikadze vs. Ken Tran R3 2:19. Incredibly entertaining fight with Chikadze putting on a clinic of how to be flashy, crazy, entertaining & wild, while still focusing on actually dissecting the opponent in order to win the fight. Chikadze is a fascination fighter to watch because his quick-twitch reflexes are so ridiculous he can literally stand still in front of his opponent then suddenly attack with no windup at all and no real tell to allow the opponent to anticipate. This style is obviously incredibly difficult to defend because it's so abrupt, and he actually hits hard, his speed somewhat making up for the lack of windup. Tran was no joke either, and generated a lot of power standing in the pocket and banging with Chikadze. Round 1 was entertaining, particularly at the end when Chikadze hurt Tran with a left body kick then unleashed a crazy flurry where he even thought about a Showtime kick and tried a rolling thunder. Chikadze hit a jumping knee & mixed in attempts at the hook kick, crescent kick, anything he could think of from the annals of pro wrestling, kickboxing, or MMA really to keep Tran off balance and guessing what angle he was coming from and what attack he was coming with. Tran was fairly predictable, coming forward and landing the low kick but generally failing when he took his kicks higher or tried to follow the low kick with the big haymaker hook. Chikadze again landed a big left body kick late in the 3rd, this time folding Tran for the knockdown. Tran was super winded by the blow, but just barely managed to beat the count, with a lenient ref allowing him to continue. Chikadze went right to the left head kick because Tran was too winded to do anything but block it and appeared to go for a 2nd one, but instead deposited the shin right back into the liver for the KO. Chikadze did miss some wild showy attacks, but when you look at his stats, he landed an amazing 52% including 66% of 44 kicks against a guy with some actual speed and defense, and was pretty balanced in punches and kicks with success on the few knees he tried as well. Very good match.
Mike Lemaire vs. Casey Greene 3R. What appaeared to be a one-sided fight where Lemaire cruised to a decision got really intense in the 3rd as Greene just refused to go away despite everything being in Lemaire's favor. Lemaire was longer & faster. He kept coming forward & getting off 1st, even repeatedly getting away with throwing lead left hooks. Greene was supposed to be the better boxer, but rarely landed more than a single punch or kick in the 1st 2 rounds, and nothing of consequence. Lemaire was the better puncher, kicker, and scored with a few step knees. He was simply much more active and accurate in the 1st 2 rounds. Despite taking the fight on 48 hours notice, Greene was the one who still had something left in the tank in the 3rd. Greene came out with desperation knowing he was down 2 rounds, and was able to put a lot of volume on Lemaire in the 3rd, evening the fight out as far as total strikes and actually surpassing Lemaire by the end but ultimately being unable to land a shot that could turn the tide. Lemaire got a good jumping knee in late, but Greene recovered and kept pushing for the finish. Greene's round 3 was ultimately by far the best round of the fight, showing what a game opponent he was despite failing to attain the knockdown he needed. Really an excellent 3rd round, and show of heart & will by Greene. Lemaire won a unanimous 29-28 decision. Good match
Heavyweight Qualification Tournament Semifinals
Xavier Vigney vs. Maurice Jackson R1 1:32. Vigney beat Jackson's legs up with kicks, backing him into the corner in the process where he was a sitting duck for his punches. Jackson eventually turtled up and walked against the ropes with his back to Vigney, taking punches to the back of the head until he crumbled. Jackson really didn't seem to want to fight tonight. I mean, once Vigney walked through his kicks it just seemed Jackson didn't like taking the punishment and just wanted out.
Chi Lewis-Parry vs. Demoreo Dennis R1 1:40. Dennis hurt Parry right off the bat with two big right hand counters, but then Parry adjusted to Dennis' big weapon and settled in, pressuring him with inside work where he got off 1st and kept throwing. Parry featured the right hand, but mixed a jab in later in his final combination before KO'ing Dennis with a big right.
Raymond Daniels vs. Justin Baesman R1 0:51. Really fun action with Daniels being the Cung Le of kickboxing, landing all sorts of spinning movie kicks. He hit a spinning high kick, tried a 720 kick, and KO'd Baesman with a spinning back kick all within just 40 seconds with Baesman obviously fast & fresh.
Heavyweight Qualification Tournament Final: Xavier Vigney vs. Chi Lewis-Parry R2 1:50. Big bombing boxing brawl with both men loading up on every punch. Parry was the less technical of the two, but hit a little harder. Both were tiring quickly because of their size & the fact they were putting everything into each punch, but the workrate was high because the defense was low, so if you weren't hitting your opponent you were getting hit. The first round was pretty even with both landing numerous powerful punches, but Vigney began to take over midway through the 2nd with short, chopping right hands. Parry got stuck in the corner, taking right after right, and once Vigney switched to working the body he folded him in two with a left liver hook for the win. To show just how boxing oriented the fight was Vigney outlanded Parry 42-26 overall, with neither landing a knee and Parry winning the kicking battle 6-1. Above average match.
GLORY Middleweight Title Match: Artem Levin vs. Simon Marcus 5R. Levin, in particular, tried to make this a muay thai fight even though he claimed the clinch was the aspect he wanted to avoid. In the opinion of the announcers and this observer, it wasn't winning him the fight even before he got docked a point for excessive hugging as Marcus was actually the one who was landing the knees, it was just making things ugly and boring. Luckily, the point deduction forced Levin to engage Marcus in a kickboxing match, and the fight became interesting from there as a technical chess match. Marcus' left low kick was working all night against the southpaw & he generally seemed the more effective range fighter, landing the more powerful shots, though overall the connect numbers were consistently just about even. Ultimately, Marcus outlanded Levin 75-70, with Levin only credited with 8 knees despite all the time he spent clinching. Really, the big difference is Marcus was definitely the one who was pressing the action, while Levin, although mostly in the 1st half, was the one who was stalling. None of the rounds were what you could call decisive, but I thought Marcus won at least 3 rounds, so given the point deduction against Levin, I don't see how this wound up being a majority draw other than to say that any time Cecil Peoples is employed, idiocy abounds. Interestingly, judge Luis Cobian gave Marcus the final 3 rounds while Peoples gave Marcus rounds 3 & 5 & Nelson Hamilton gave Marcus rounds 4 & 5. The controversial decision will no doubt set up a 3rd and deciding match between the two, Marcus having won a unanimous decision in their first fight on 3/15/13, but given this was technical at best and outright boring at worst, I'm doubting they can expect a repeat of this shows high ratings. Average match
Shane Oblonsky vs. Thomas Adamandopoulos 3R unanimous decision
Serhiy Adamchuk vs. Marat Grigorian 3R unanimous decision
Yoann Kongolo vs. Cedric Doumbe 3R unanimous decision
Mourad Bouzidi vs. Filip Verlinden 3R unanimous decision
Jamal Ben Saddik vs. Mamoudou Keta R1 1:59
Lightweight Contender Tournament Semifinal: Sitthichai Sitsongpeenong vs. Davit Kiria R2 2:09
Lightweight Contender Tournament Semifinal: Josh Jauncey vs. Djime Coulibaly R3 2:59
Zack Mwekassa vs. Carlos Brooks R1 1:58
Lightweight Contender Tournament Final: Sitthichai Sitsongpeenong vs. Josh Jauncey 3R unanimous decision
GLORY Heavyweight Title Match: Rico Verhoeven vs. Benjamin Adegbuyi 5R unanimous decision
Anvar Boynazarov vs. Giga Chikadze 3R split decision
Chad Sugden vs. Murthel Groenhart 3R split decision
Matt Baker vs. Edward Hyman 3R unanimous decision
Jamal Ben Saddik vs. Anderson "Braddock" Silva R3 2:55
Middleweight Qualification Tournament Semifinal: Dustin Jacoby vs. Ariel Sepulveda R1 2:59
Middleweight Qualification Tournament Semifinal: Casey Greene vs. Quinton O'Brien 3R unanimous decision
Xavier Vigney vs. Daniel Sam 3R split decision
Middleweight Qualification Tournament Final: Dustin Jacoby vs. Casey Greene R2 1:19
GLORY Welterweight Title Decision Match: Nieky Holzken vs. Raymond Daniels R3 1:36
Light Heavyweight Tournament Semifinal: Muhammed Lawal vs. Linton Vassell 2R unanimous decision
Light Heavyweight Tournament Semifinal: Phil Davis vs. Emanuel Newton R1 4:39
Keri Anne Taylor-Melendez vs. Hadley Griffith 3R unanimous decision
Paul Daley vs. Fernando Gonzalez 3R unanimous decision
Josh Thomson vs. Mike Bronzoulis R3 0:39
GLORY Light Heavyweight Title Decision Match: Saulo Cavalari vs. Zack Mwekassa 5R majority decision
Light Heavyweight Tournament Final: Phil Davis vs. Francis Carmont R1 2:15
Bellator Light Heavyweight Title Match: Liam McGeary vs. Tito Ortiz R1 4:41
Jason Lee vs. Steve Paprocki. Lee fought a patient, tight, technical style against the more brawl oriented Paprocki. Paprocki seemed to want to angle & swarm, but ultimately did neither. With Lee dicating, the output from both was low in the 1st. In the 2nd, Lee floored Paprocki with a right/left hook combo that should have ended the fight. Paprocki couldn't raise his hands any of the 3 times the ref asked him, but although the round was coming to a close, Lee had no problem finishing Paprocki before it ended. Passable fight from two inexperienced fighters.
Chris Tramell vs. Zach Wells. Wells was impressive with his punches both on the inside and on the outside. He used long jabs to the body then closed the distance and finished combos with brutal short right crosses. Tramell barely withstood the right cross the 1st time, but was quickly finished off afterwards.
Kevin VanNostrad vs. Justin Houghton. VanNostrand seemed to dominate the fight. His movement was really good, fighting particularly effectively from the side stance while switching in and out to stay unpredictable. Statistically, VanNostrand only landed 5 more strikes, and connected at a lower percentage, but he was the one who was making Houghton find the answers. I agreed with the two judges that had it 30-27 VanNostrand, but on paper, & especially since Houghton was local, it's not shocking that 1 judge had it 29-28 Houghton. Above average match.
Casey Greene vs. Francois Ambang. Ambang got off to a good start, outboxing Greene & landing 50% of his shots. Ambang won the 1st round, though I thought Greene had a knockdown at the end of the round rather than it being a slip as the ref ruled. Greene hurt Ambang early in the 2nd though with a high right knee, and combo'd him out with a right uppercut. Very nice comback from Greene, and an entertaining fight where both had their moments. Good match.
David Radeff vs. Robert Thomas 3R. Thomas kept getting off 1st, knocking Radeff back with his push kicks and generally bullying him. Thomas scored well with his knees, but otherwise the totals were virtually identical, with Radeff landing 50% to 40% overall. Radeff, while being accurate & having his moments, was more effected by the altitude & was consistently a little too hesitant. Thomas landed the better shots, but also controlled the fight with his pressure and activity. I was surprised this was a split decision, as Radeff looked better on paper than in actuality. Good match.
Heavyweight Semifinal: Jahfarr Wilnis vs. Ben Edwards R2 1:30
Heavyweight Semifinal: Benjamin Adegbuyi vs. Mladen Brestovac R3 1:47
Dustin Jacoby vs. Wayne Barrett R3 1:40
Heavyweight Final: Benjamin Adegbuyi vs. Jahfarr Wilnis 3R Split decision
Joe Schilling vs. Jason Wilnis R2 3:00
Anatoly Moiseev vs. Teo Mikelic 3R. Both fighters were missing early & often, but Moiseev was a better athlete, and he capitalized on that with quicker combos & better movement in & out of the pocket. The first round was close, but Moiseev scored a knockdown in the 2nd with a left hook counter to take control. Mikelic was aggressive throughout & landing low kicks early, but had a hard time being successful once he had to press because he was down on the cards. I was surprised 1 judge gave Mikelic a round, but he performed admirably; he was simply in with a superior fighter. Moiseev won a unanimous decision. Above average match.
Stefano Bruno vs. Hosam Radwan R2 2:37. A very action packed fight except for late in the 1st when they were sucking wind from the fast start. These two didn't have as much technique or movement as the previous match, but they were really trying hard to impress, & it was an intense, action packed fight. Bruno was getting inside & landing some impressive knees. Both men scored near (or should have been) knockdowns within the 1st minute. Bruno landed the majority of the strikes in the 1st, and connected big a minute into the 2nd with a left knee/right cross for a delayed knockdown. Bruno followed up well, but the ref somehow missed Radwan dropping to a knee after a left hook, which was just baffling. Bruno should have won via the 3 knockdown rule a minute later, but luckily the ref simply stopped the fight. Ultimately, this was rather one-sided but highly entertaining contest. Good match.
Vittorio Iermano vs. Samir Boukhidous R2 2:30. Not a super eventful match. Iermano was the better puncher & Boukhidous was the better kicker, with the knees being about even. Iermano landed a few more shots overall, but it was a knee that opened up a nasty cut that lead to the immediate stoppage. Below average match.
Danyo Ilunga vs. Artem Vakhitov 3R. A really good, competitive fight. Ilunga began utilizing his reach advantage, and was scoring with low kicks from distance, but Vakhitov had quick and powerful hands and took over on the first good punch he connected with. Vakhitov was just unloading on Ilunga with Ilunga trapped on the ropes, but Ilunga managed to hang in there despite taking a flurry of clean punches. Ilunga fought smarter to start the 2nd, using kicks on the outside to set up closing on his terms with knees, and avoiding boxing as much as possible. Round 1 was arguably a 10-8 round for Vakhitov, but Ilunga really stepped up his ring generalship & technical kickboxing in the 2nd & 3rd. Vakhitov's punching, especially his uppercuts, were the most damaging technique in the fight, but Vakhitov really wasn't able to use kicks, & ultimately the rangier fighter tends to win when they use it well & are able/allowed to fight at their distance. I had it 29-28 Ilunga, because he was considerably more active and generally more technically skilled & better conditioned, but it could easily have been a draw or 29-28 Vakhitov. Apparently, the judges preferred Vakhitov's power and accuracy, both of which were quite impressive with Vakhitov landing 52% en route to the unanimous decision. Very good match.
GLORY Featherweight Title Match: Gabriel Varga vs. Serhiy Adamchuk 5R. Adamchuk was very much straight in & straight out, and Varga was just walking him down. Varga regularly landed a single lead roundhouse kick, and had Adamchuk on the ropes, basically turning him into a counter puncher. Varga's face was cut up badly, but that was from Adamchuk leading with his head. Adamchuk increasingly turned it into a brawl, doing a lot of holding. Basically the fight became, Varga comes in with a shot, Adamchuk tries to counter, and then clinches without actually throwing a knee until the ref finally breaks them up. Adamchuk landed a solid shot here & there, but for the most part, his answer to Varga's fight was to cease the fight with his hugging. For me, that alone was enough to give Varga the rounds because Varga was at least trying to fight. Nonetheless, at some point, Varga probably should have switched to a more mid-range or distance style rather than constantly walking into Adamchuk's overhooks, but I felt Adamchuk was basically just fighting cheaply when he fought. Somehow Adamchuck was never docked a point for clinching due to the poor reffing of Stefano Valente, & to make things worse, the judges found 3 rounds that he won, so his non fighting was rewarded over a guy who at least kept coming in trying to make something happen. I could somewhat see this as a fight where no one really won any of the rounds, but that just makes it all the more baffling that the title changed hands here. Poor match.
Welterweight Contender Tournament Semifinals
Murthel Groenhart vs. Nicola Gallo R2. A glorified sparring session for Murthel. Groenhart wasn't mugging Gallo, but he was literally the only one landing any shots, to the point that Gallo only landed 1/25 in R1. Groenhart controlled the distance, utilizing his big reach advantage & closing in for knees & body work when he saw fit. Let's just narrow it down here, Groenhart controlled every other aspect of the fight as well. He dictated with his high pace attacking style, and although he wasn't looking great, he was doing a superb job of making Gallo look absolutely awful. Gallo was cut horribly between the eyes early in round 2 from a knee, and the doctor put Gallo out of his misery, waiving it off as soon as she saw it. Average match.
Yoann Kongolo vs. Karim Ghajji 3R. Referee Valenti ruled a knockdown for Ghajji on an openhand right hook swat that clearly just caused Kongolo to slip. This fired Kongolo up, & made him fight desperately, leading to some heated, winging heavy handed exchanges, though both were mostly missing. Had it not been for the "knockdown" the fight would have been pretty even, as Kongolo had more volume, but Ghajji was more accurate. Kongolo won the 2nd round, and the 3rd round was close, but probably advantage Kongolo. This made things complicated, as due to the bogus knockdown, the fight was probably 28-28. 2 of the judges had it 29-27 Ghajji, which wasn't a bad decision given how close the 3rd round was. It was a really tough, hard fought fight that made Groenhart the favorite in the final because Ghajji had to put so much into it to get through. Good match.
Giorgio Petrosyan vs. Josh Jauncey 3R. I've never seen a fighter who understands the distance and the angles the way Petrosyan does. I mean, it's almost hard to see why he's unhittable because he's in range and he's landing his own shots, but just the subtleties of position & movement & his amazing balance kept Jauncey from almost ever connecting & Petrosyan landing the one and only available shot. Petrosyan did such a great job of mixing his attacks up, not only keeping a balance between punches & kicks, but finding a way to target the area his angle exposed while still not being available for return fire. Petrosyan has the reputation of being a defensive fighter, but this wasn't defensive in terms of staying away & running, Petrosyan was in the pocket the majority of the fight & throwing at a pretty high rate, he simply wasn't getting hit back anyway. Petrosyan was just running away with this, outlanding Jauncey almost 5-1 & busting his right eye up. Jauncey was outclassed against his childhood hero, but didn't give up & did a good job of making it entertaining. In the end, the biggest surprise was Jauncey managed to land 19%. Above average match.
Welterweight Contender Tournament Final: Murthel Groenhart vs. Karim Ghajji 3R. One of the best GLORY matches of 2015, especially considering the effort, heart, & generally crazy pace they were able to keep despite having fought earlier. Groenhart used his reach to work the left jab early then closed the distance and landed some good clubbing short downward right hooks in a flurry to drop Ghajji. Groenhart just blitzed Ghajji for the remaining minute plus of the 1st, landing more good short hooks & a couple jump knees. Ghajji was lucky the ref gave him a break when his mouthpiece conveniently popped out, but I'm still surprised he didn't at least get put down a 2nd time. Groenhart put everything he had into getting the finish, & then some, making it a truly excellent, albeit one-sided action packed round. Groenhart started the 2nd round the way the first ended, and while he landed some powerful shots, at this point he was firing wildly too often, & trying to sustain such a ridiculous pace while firing at that power began to catch up to him when he couldn't actually finish. Groenhart continued fighting on the inside after he'd clearly slowed down rather than backing out & going back to moving & jabbing, and this allowed Ghajji, who had barely had a moment to breath much less fire back, to finally get into the match. Ghajji didn't come back enough to take the 2nd in my opinion (the judges disagreed), but he was clearly in with a chance & the fresher fighter going into the 3rd. Groenhart recovered well, & came out strong with his knees to start the 3rd, but Ghajji had a good segment landing punches with Groenhart's back against the ropes. This was really a hell of an effort from both, & even though the statistics were completely lopsided in Groenhart's favor, you believed Ghajji had a chance to at the very least get a knockdown in the 2nd half. Groenhart won a unanimous decision. Very good match.
GLORY Lightweight Title Match: Robin van Roosmalen vs. Sittichai Sitsongpeenong 5R. Sitsongpeenong did a nice job of keeping the right jab out to hold van Roosmalen at bay & maintain the distance for one of his own punishing left kicks. Sitsongpeenong wasn't actually landing any of these jabs, but as long as he kept van Roosmalen on the outside, he was able to comprehensively outpoint him with his kicks. This isn't the comment I'd expect to target Van Roosmalen with, but he needed to be more aggressive, and not allow Sitsongpeenong to just sit back relaxed & fight his fight. Van Roosmalen put on some muscle for this fight, but it wasn't helping him, as it was adding to Sitsongpeenong's quickness advantage, and at the same time, van Roosmalen wasn't sitting down & throwing with near his usual power either. Technically, van Roosmalen actually outlanded Sitsongpeenong 82-67 with Sitsongpeenong dominating in the kicking department & van Roosmalen running away in the punching department, but with Robin's punches lacking the impact we've come to expect from him, mostly because he was always a little out of distance, that advantage actually didn't translate the way one would expect. Sitsongpeenong fought his fight, and always seemed totally in command. It was simply a very effortless performance from him. Sitsongpeenong should have become the 1st Thai champion in GLORY, but the judges all had it 48-47 van Roosmalen. I was rooting for Robin, who is 1 of my favorites in GLORY, but I thought it was 1 of his worst performances ever, partially because of how uninspired his gameplan was but mostly because Sitsongpeenong executed so well that Robin could never get going. Van Roosmalen fought his opponent's fight because his opponent was better & forced him to do so, and he won no more than a round in my opinion. For me, this result was the exact opposite of the Varga fight, where Varga didn't do much but still was the one making what fight there was, so it was all the more puzzling that the title changed hand there but not here. Above average match.
Perviz Abdullayev vs. Aziz Kallah 3R. I was impressed at Abdullayev's ability to land spinning shots at such close range. He was very fast & explosive. He just kept coming forward, putting massive pressure on Kallah & outworking him. Both fighters were very accurate with their kicks & knees, but overall, Abdullayev threw 219 strikes to Kallah's 106, and that pressure was the difference. Abdullayev won a unanimous decision. Above average match.
Yoann Kongolo vs. Karapet Karapetyan 3R. Kongolo did his best to keep the pressure on Karapetyan throughout, closing the distance and trying to push him back. This was working, but Karapetyan was landing some punishing shots, particularly body kicks, when the smaller Kongolo was coming in. Kongolo did a good job of ducking down inside and using the uppercut & overhand right. Also, he was working the body then landing punishing leg kicks on the exit. Karapetyan had such a reach advantage though, and when he could use it he was dangerous. The strikes were dead even through 2 rounds, so it may have been a round a piece though I gave both to Kongolo. Kongolo was the much stronger fighter in the 3rd, having taken Karapetyan's movement with his body work in the 1st 2 rounds. Kongolo was now able to open up, dominating the 3rd with jumping knee/right hook combos. Kongolo won a unanimous decision. Good match.
Fred Sikking vs. Zinedine Hameur-Lain 3R. Hameur-Lain used his reach early, but then it turned into an absolute shootout. Sikking had little technique, he basically comes straight in or out, but he's a bomber with a ton of heart. Hameur-Lain really caught Sikking with a huge overhand right counter 75 seconds into the 2nd, but Sikking not only survived the round, he hurt Hameur-Lain back a few times. The second round was great, not from a technical perspective by any means, but certainly as a pure slugfest & display of desire. Sikking was very good on the inside, especially with his hands, though if he didn't push his shots as much he'd be lethal. Hameur-Lain scored a knockdown early in the 3rd with a long right uppercut from the outside followed by a short left hook. Hameur-Lain had a lot more stamina in the 3rd because, beyond the fact he'd taken a lot less damage, he's more effortless & fluid with his strikes & moves better rather than just biting down on the mouthpiece & coming straight in with one power punch after another. Although it was pretty one-sided on the score cards, Sikking made it a memorable fight on willpower alone, just being a juggernaut. Hameur-Lain won a unanimous decision. Very good match.
Danyo Ilunga vs. Mourad Bouzidi 3R. Bouzidi was dominating the fight, getting inside and outlanding Ilunga by a considerable margin, but his face wasn't holding up. He was cut just inside the nose in the 1st despite landing most of the strikes, and early in the 2nd the fight was nearly stopped due to a nasty gash on the forehead above the left eye from a looping elbow. Bouzidi was then docked a point for more pushing, so he became desperate because he knew his time might be short & he could no longer count on a decision if they'd allow him to continue that long. Bouzidi had fought an excellent first round, & despite being a bit lost mentally, upping the aggression considerably in the 2nd didn't hurt him as far as winning another round went. Ilunga began to come alive as well, but it was a matter of time before he got into the fight, and there were some excellent exchanges, particularly late in the 2nd. I thought Bouzidi won the first clearly and the 2nd marginally. The cut didn't wind up bleeding into Bouzidi's eye or being a factor toward a stoppage, but mentally it rattled Bouzidi & also made him push hard for a finish, which left him tired in the 3rd. Ilunga's confidence grew, and he was increasingly able to dictate, using his kicks on the outside to set up the hook, and coming in on his terms with knees. Ilunga outworked a tired Bouzidi in the 3rd, and with the point deduction in the 2nd, it seemed he couldn't lose outright on the scorecards despite Bouzidi landing 15 more strikes. Nonetheless, Bouzidi won a split decision 29-27, 27-28, 29-27. To me, Bouzidi clearly won the 1st & Ilunga clearly won the 3rd. I wish GLORY did the old, it's close so just send them out for the extra round bit. Good match.
Errol Zimmerman vs. Thomas Vanneste 3R. A shadow of the destroyer once known as Errol Zimmerman returned 10 months after a career threatening knee injury. I'm glad to see him back, but he didn't look ready at all. He wasn't really moving the entire fight, seemingly willing to lean on the ropes so movement wasn't a factor. That's not to discount Vanneste in any way, as he had a nice gameplan, aided by the fact he's just tough. He was just walking through Zimmerman's shots and coming forward until he had Zimmerman backed into the corner, where Zimmerman seemed content to stay despite eating too many short chopping hooks & inside kicks that spread his legs. Zimmerman was landing some kicks & uppercuts on the inside, but the willingness to lean on the ropes & allow Vanneste to fight his fight was losing him the fight. Vanneste fought with increasing confidence, believing Zimmerman incapable of hurting him & just working him over. Zimmerman did hurt Vanneste with uppercuts midway through the 2nd, but Zimmerman was unwilling to change his style to capitalize & Vanneste went right back to grinding it out in the corner. Vanneste kept pushing him with his left hand and was grabbing the ropes when he could get away with it, but the ref wasn't doing much to stop him, & neither was a fatiguing Zimmerman. It was ugly, but effective. Between the surgery & the layoff, Zimmerman was struggling that much more in the 3rd both with his movement & his conditioning. Vanneste just kept coming, controlling positioning and putting out a lot more volume. Vanneste outhrew Zimmerman by 100 & outlanded him by 32. Vanneste won a split decision 30-27, 27-30, 30-27. There might be some case for giving Error a round, but where do they find these judges who think he won 3, van Roosmalen & Holzken defended & Varga didn't, etc. etc.??? Below average match.
Featherweight Contender Tournament Semifinals
Shane Oblonsky vs. Maykol Yurk R2 1:30. A truly fun fight. These two fought aggressively. Fighting aggressively wasn't really working for Oblonsky because he was just dropping his head, charging in, & swinging wildly, which often led to him getting rocked, but he kept coming nonetheless, which was fun for the audience if not also for him. Yurk really took over after a few minutes, particularly hurting Oblonsky with a couple of late outside low kicks to his back leg. They threw almost the same amount in the 1st round, but Yurk outlanded Oblonsky almost 3-1. Oblonsky seemed to calm down a little to start the 2nd, and was throwing tighter strikes, but he kept walking into Yurk's big shots, and finally Yurk dropped him with a knee. Oblonsky didn't have his legs despite getting up, but Stefano Valente did a poor job with the stoppage as he ignored a York front kick that was below the belt then just allowed Yurk to push Oblonsky's head down until he fell after a good knee to the midsection and waived the fight off as Oblonsky got back to his feet at the 3 count. I get that there's a 2 knockdown in a round rule in the tournament, but either Valente needs to call the bout immediately for the TKO or actually call it accurately and allow Oblonsky to continue because he only fell due to Yurk weighing on his neck until he hit the canvas. I was missing Mauro Ranallo already because he was really laying into Valente's poor officiating on GLORY 25, but in any case, this was a highly entertaining contest. Good fight.
Mosab Amrani vs. Chibin Lim R1 1:32. Amrani was super impressive here, switching stances so fluidly even during his combos, working the body viciously, and controlling distance with such precision. Amrani had a lot of weapons, and his movement & positioning really allowed him to take advantage of them. Amrani did a great job of closing the distance, beating up the body - particularly with brutal knees - then landing a low kick on the exit. Amrani dropped Lim with a knee 75 seconds in, & I was shocked Lim got up because he was in agonizing pain, covering his face to try to hide how much it hurt. Amrani kept countering or finishing with powerful left hooks, and it wasn't long until Lim was truly done.
Heavyweight Title Match: Rico Verhoeven vs. Benjamin Adegbuyi R1 2:12. Rico gets better with every fight, and has now pretty much cleared out the division. I've never seen Verhoeven fight like this. Normally he's there to win the long game, using his technique, speed, athleticism, & cardio to outpoint the opposition. Adegbuyi is a hell of a fighter with ferocious power, but Verhoeven came forward, moving into the spots where he could land the left jab & follow with a big right. He made Adegbuyi look like a jobber here with this quick KO.
Featherweight Contender Tournament Final: Maykol Yurk vs. Mosab Amrani R1 1:51. Amrani looked awesome again, & was simply a few levels above Yurk, especially when he switched to the southpaw stance. Amrani got inside, landing big left hooks then mixing in the knee before finishing with the liver kick. Yurk planned to continue, but waited a little too long to get back up & Valente didn't give him the benefit of the doubt.
Welterweight Title Match: Nieky Holzken vs. Murthel Groenhart 5R. Groenhart fought a great strategic fight utilizing his speed, reach, & angles at a sustainable pace rather than trying to take Holzken out quick on the inside with knees & fighting 3 or 4 rounds tired if it didn't work. Outside fighting was thought to be advantage Holzken, but Groenhart was using his length & movement really well, sliding around landing stiff jabs & low kicks, and taking advantage of Holzken's stance switches to close the distance with his big knees. Holzken was being very patient, seemingly biding his time until Groenhart gassed, but that didn't really happen, & Murthel consistently outworked him the entire fight. Holzken was also trying to back Groenhart into the corner, but Groenhart's lateral movement was so good it wasn't working. I haven't seen all of Groenhart's fights, but although I've seen him buzzsaw many an opponent, I've honestly never seen him fight at this high a level. Groenhart wasn't fighting his typical fast & furious fight where he tries to get the quick finish with the powerful knees & inside shots. Instead, he was staying on the outside & using a diverse attack. Groenhart was outworking Holzken pretty badly, & had a lot more on his shots as Holzken wasn't loading up for whatever reason. Holzken finished the 2nd round strong, but Groenhart nearly (or arguably) knocked him down earlier in the round with a liver kick to go up 2 rounds. Groenhart was fatiguing a bit, but I felt Holzken surrendered the 1st 3 rounds, so he was going to need Groenhart to fade badly, & Groenhart wasn't in the mood for that tonight, as he was moving & angling extremely well. Groenhart wasn't loading up the way he normally does either, but that was to his advantage as instead of tiring himself out, he was able to use his length & put a lot of volume on Holzken. Holzken fared better in the 4th, as he was finally able to back Groenhart into the ropes. Groenhart came back late once he got back to the center of the ring, and that may have been enough to continue his shutout. Holzken hurt Groenhart's left knee with a left inside leg kick early in the 5th, and went to work on it as Groenhart's balance & movement were in doubt. Groenhart closed the distance while he recovered to stay out of kicking range then began to move sideways & pump the jab when he'd recovered. I'd definitely give Holzken the 5th, but he didn't land many strikes after the punishing kicks early, & it was Groenhart's movement that again was the difference once his knee recovered a bit. Groenhart outlanded Holzken 136 to 78. Somehow the moronic judges came up with 48-47, 46-49, 49-46 Holzken. I can see Holzken possibly getting the 4th & 5th, but anyone who thinks he won 4 out of 5 rounds when he was outstruck nearly 2-1 and Groenhart was the fighter landing with more power seriously needs to stop hanging around with Cheech & Chong. For me, the most frustrating thing is Groenhart won the fight by being smart, but since he wasn't rewarded by the judges, he's almost forced to go back to his knockout oriented style. Groenhart truly couldn't have fought a much better fight, as he had all the answers, and as such religated one of the sports true elite to the level of mediocrity. He should be proud of himself, and pretty much anyone with a pair of eyes could see he took at least 3 rounds here. Good fight.
Casey Greene vs. Daniel Morales 3R UD
Richard Abraham vs. Pawel Jedrzejczyk 3R UD
Guto Inocente vs. Demoreo Dennis R1 0:40
Anderson Silva vs. Maurice Greene 3R UD
Joe Schilling vs. Mike Lemaire 3R UD
Middleweight Contender Tournament Semifinals
Wayne Barrett vs. Robert Thomas 3R. You don't win tournaments by being passive, but these two seemed unwilling to try to win in any manner beyond points. Barrett is good at dictating distance, & for the 1st 2 rounds he was coming forward patiently and landing a punch & a low kick. Thomas would just land a low kick, and not as often as Barrett, thus Barrett was always on top & content to maintain that advantage. Thomas finally woke up in the third and actually tried to take the center & get aggressive. Even when he was on the defensive, Barrett did a good enough job of maintaining the space to take advantage of his 6" reach advantage that Thomas didn't have too much success. Thomas landed one big punch & did win the 3rd, but it was too little too late after allowing Barrett to be so relaxed in having his way the first 2 rounds. I was surprised that Barrett only landed 11 more strikes, as even though Thomas made up ground in the 3rd, I would have guessed that Barrett outlanded him 80-40 instead of 62-51. Barrett won a unanimous 30-27 decision. I'm not sure why the judges gave Barrett the 3rd round, but it didn't matter in the end. Below average match.
Dustin Jacoby vs. Karl Roberson R2 2:56. Calling this a contenders tournament was a bit of a stretch when two of the fighters are basically jobbers & the other two are good for Americans, but really green fighters who are barely over .500 with Barrett on a 4 fight losing streak before taking Thomas in the previous match. Jacoby was basically given a sparring partner here. It was such a mismatch there was no real intensity. Jacoby controlled the distance, backing Roberson & scoring from the outside with kicks. Roberson wasn't really even throwing anything in the first 2 rounds. In the 3rd round, Roberson actually landed a few good combos to the body, but just as he was coming on, he put out a lazy jab & Jacoby countered with a left jab/right cross combo to floor him. I love that Jacoby went for the finish even though he had the fight in the bag, landing a good left hook then dropping Roberson again with a clinch knee. The ref forgot the 2 knockdown rule, so Roberson actually had to get up for the last 3 seconds. Below average match.
Giga Chikadze vs. Kevin Vannostrand 3R. This was an amazing fight! Maybe the best match in GLORY history. The first round was simply insane. They just stood toe to toe & bombed away. Vannostrand was keeping a crazy pace, and was often actually even flashier than Giga, throwing several backfists including a big spinning backfist. Giga hit a nice axe kick in the 1st though. Great back & forth action, and when the pace slowed somewhat in the 2nd, all you could think was that it was understandable because they couldn't humanly fight at such a ridiculous level as the 1st. Vannostrand was adding movement and distance fighting in though, so they were showing a different dimension as the fight progressed. Giga's was having good success working the body, and that was also opening up his punch combos. The fight was likely even after 2 rounds with Giga winning the 1st & Vannostrand winning the 2nd. Giga fought more intelligently in the 3rd, as instead of standing toe to toe with Vannostrand or even allowing him to come forward to close the distance, Giga would back up into kicking range. blast the body, then work to maintain that range so he could land another kick. The body work was definitely slowing Vannostrand down, in addition to the crazy pace where they threw 400 combined blows in 3 rounds. This was one of those fights where you really felt bad that someone had to lose. I was surprised that Chikadze won the decision so easily 30-27, 30-27, 29-28. I thought he took the fight as he won the 3rd with his kicking, but it felt much more competitive than it was scored to the point I figured it would probably be a 29-28 split decision. Great match.
Middleweight Contender Tournament Final: Wayne Barrett vs. Dustin Jacoby R2 1:06. A rematch from GLORY 24 where Jacoby TKO'd Barrett in the 3rd. Barrett was doing okay early on, but he wasn't fighting with a lot of confidence. He mostly stayed out of trouble, but Jacoby had him Barrett retreating the entire first round. Barrett may have won the 1st round because he connected more, thought not with any real meat, except at the end if the 1st, Barrett got hit with a decent right hand and continued to circle away then shockingly went down 3 hops later. Barrett came out strong to start the 2nd, but again he got hit with a right hand and took a delayed flop. This was at least a big overhand right, and that ended the fight on the 2 knockdown rule. I don't know what was up with Barrett, but it was like both times he just decided, after much deliberation, that he should go down. Barrett actually outlanded Jacoby 22-13. Jacoby has one of the weirdest records I've ever seen, with 3 tournament wins but just a 9-6 overall record.
GLORY Middleweight Title Match: Artem Levin vs. Simon Markus R3 2:55. Levin's clinching was the story of the night again in this bizarre rematch of the clinchfest from GLORY 21. There wasn't really any kicking in this match. Either Markus came forward & Levin would clinch him or Levin would land a punch then clinch. Both men landed some big punches, but there were no real combinations because once the distance was closed Levin would hug. Markus wanted at Levin so badly that Al Wickers had to push him away a 2nd time before he could restart the fight after a clinch. Markus was closing the distance quickly & throwing some big bombs, but the aggression led right to the clinching. Wickers was losing his patience with Levin's clinching quickly, especially because it was such a point of controversy in the 1st fight & he didn't want a repeat. Levin really got robbed toward the end of the round, as Markus threw him toward the ropes & kneed him when he was trying to keep his balance, resulting in Levin winding up outside the ring & Wickers giving him an 8 count. Things didn't get better for Levin as Wickers deducted a point for excessive clinching in the 2nd, and when Wickers restarted the fight, Levin walked to his corner and made a gesture to quit. The only thing that prevented Levin from quitting is Markus attacked him when he had his back turned, forcing him to start fighting again. This woke Levin up & he began to really rip the punches, particularly to the body. The fight was getting really good at times, but then Levin would stop it dead by going right back to clinching. Wickers deducted another point in the third, and again Levin walked to his corner in disgust. This time Markus didn't charged him, and after Levin continued to refuse to fight, Wickers called the fight. The sad thing for Levin is he was actually getting the better of the fight in terms of strikes landed, and definitely quality strikes landed. I can't feel sorry for the point deductions, as Levin could easily have been docked 2 points in their previous fight, but the whole knockdown that wasn't a knockdown started the problems & made Levin a more sympathetic figure than a guy who quits over the refs calls would normally be. I can't really rate this fight, it was entertaining at times, but mostly just frustrating. Though the fight was incomplete, I'm pretty sure everyone will be better off if these guys don't rematch, as talented as they are, they just don't bring out the best in one another, or much that's good for the sport of kickboxing.
Eddy Nait Slimani vs. Maykol Yurk 3R
Lightweight Contender Tournament Reserve Match: Josh Jauncey vs. Johan Tkac 2R
Jason Wilnis vs. Filip Verlinden 3R
Glory Featherweight Title Match: Serhiy Adamchuk vs. Mosab Amrani 5R
Xavier Vigney vs. Freddy Kemayo 3R
Glory Light Heavyweight Title Match: Saulo Cavalari vs. Artem Vakhitov 5R. Vakhitov's accuracy in this match was simply obscene. Where else can you find a title match in any combat sport that went to a decision where one fighter landed 65% of their strikes? Beyond the ridiculous accuracy, Vakhitov's conditioning advantage was another key. It wasn't just straight cardio, but also that placing his shots smartly & accurately to debilitate Cavalari, working the body with punches & destroying Cavalari's lead leg with kicks to the point Cavalari may not have been able to bend it. Cavalari pushed a ridiculous pace early in the fight. Even in the end, he threw almost twice as many strikes as Vakhitov, though he landed 35 less. I had Cavalari winning the first, as beyond his crazy output he was doing a nice job of mixing his low kicks, which were a key to winning their first fight at GLORY 20, with middle & high kicks. He had a nice front kick to the face as well, after Vakhitov had begun to turn the fight late in round 1 by working his body punches. Cavalari was much too willing to fight on the inside, which was the big reason Vakhitov was able to have so much success with his body shots (Vakhitov wasn't the one working his way in most of the time). It just seemed that time & time again Vakhitov would block Cavalari's combo then land another shot to the liver. Cavalari was kind of in a no win situation though, as if he backed out & fought on the outside as he usually does, his progressively debilitated lead leg would have gotten chewed up that much quicker, so he opted for taking the short punches even though it was harder for him to get his offense through at this range. It's a tough decision, but I think Cavalari would have been better off taking the chance on having the fight stopped because he couldn't walk given at distance he could at least get his own combos in & have a chance of landing the KO blow. On the inside, Cavalari was just completely overmatched by a fighter with much quicker hands who also has a lot better inside technique. Vakhitov also wasn't throwing the low kick enough, especially considering the point had been reached where Cavalari was no longer able to even avoid/check a few. Cavalari was more than gutting it out, even in the 4th round he still managed to outthrow Vakhitov 2-1, he just didn't have the footwork or movement to generate the kind of power he did at the outset. Vakhitov won a unanimous decision 49-46, 50-45, 50-45. Just a great performance by Vakhitov, especially when you consider this was avenging a close split decision loss at Glory 20. Good match.
Lightweight Contender Tournament Semifinals
Sittichai Sitsongpeenong vs. Davit Kiria 3R. Sittichai owned the distance, and thus the fight. He used his quick hands, particularly the right, to keep Kiria out of range. This allowed him to bring his signature left middle kick when Kiria was at distance, and when Kiria threatened to close the distance, Sittichai would also close & fire a clinch knee. The reach combined with the southpaw to orthodox matchup just wasn't working in Kiria's favor in the slightest, as he pretty much had to take a shot to get into range, and then Sittichai would just adjust the range either backing to maintain his kicking or closing with a knee before Kiria could get anything going. I was disappointed that Kiria never just committed to pushing through. This was a matchup where Kiria really had to bull rush & keep firing. When Kiria did anything it was when he had Sittichai backed against the ropes, but instead of just continuing to come forward, he'd always stop, thus allowing Sittichai to readjust again. Kiria also never really tried to throw combinations, and granted Sittichai wasn't making it easy, but logically once you concede taking a shot to get inside, the normal response is to try to make up for it by landing 2 or 3 or 4 once you get there. Kiria showed none of that activity though. The stats pretty much said it all here, with Sittichai landing 78, which was only 20 less than Kiria even threw. I don't want to rag on Kiria, he was simply overmatched here, and that says a ton because Kiria is the former champion & #2 contender, yet Sittichai comprehensively dismanted him with such ease it wasn't even a good sparring session. It also wasn't a good match because it was so one-sided, but I appreciated Sittichai's craft, and the effortless nature in which he employed it. Average match.
Marat Grigorian vs. Anatoly Moiseev 3R. Grigorian closed the distance immediately & brutalized the body. He was digging into the liver with punches & knees, scoring a knockdown with a knee to the midsection 2 minutes in. Grigorian was way too accurate when he had time to set up his punches. He was just storming in & landing 1 shot after another on the inside, dropping Moiseev again with a left body hook 30 seconds into round 2. Moiseev tried to push forward & take away Grigorian's time & space, but Grigorian was just too consistent with too much accuracy & firepower for Moiseev to even make any inroads toward holding him off. The ref kind of blew it in the 2nd, as Moiseev stopped fighting when he got hurt yet again waiting for a standing 8 count, except they don't have those in GLORY. Thus, this should have been considered the 3rd knockdown, which would have ended the fight. It wouldn't make a difference in a single fight, but as Grigorian had to face a much stiffer challenge in the final, the energy he could have saved, especially given Grigorian is such a high activity striker throwing around 100 strikes per round, might have made a difference. Though the fight was also very one-sided, Moiseev showed a lot of heart & did his best to keep moving & active so Grigorian couldn't just put one combination on him after the other. Grigorian took the pedal off the gas in the 3rd to some extent, allowing Moiseev to have his best round, but overall Grigorian still landed 105 while Moiseev only threw 104! Above average match.
Murthel Groenhart vs. Cedric Doumbe 3R. Doumbe was in Groenhart's head, & Groenhart fought too emotionally to be controlled & logical. Groenhart's advantage was his reach, but he didn't use distance & angles as he said he would, he either charged straight in or found himself being backed up. Groenhart barely threw a jab in three rounds, which was just unfathomable. The first round was pretty much a wash, as neither landed double figure strikes, but Doumbe landed a couple big shots early in the 2nd. Doumbe wasn't doing anything that well himself, but Groenhart was so distracted by everything that sporadic openings were going to present themselves. Groenhart had a point deducted in the 3rd for repeatedly catching the kick & holding the foot, which probably meant he needed a knockout, but so few strikes landed it was anyone's guess how this was being scored. Nothing really happened here other than some trash talking back & forth. Groenhart outlanded Doumbe 27-25 for the match, which obviously is just a pathetic output. I don't disagree with the 30-26, 30-26, 29-27 decision for the Frenchman Doumbe, but it shows how poor a performance Groenhart gave that he only won 1 round on 1 judge's scorecard despite outlanding Doumbe & only taking a couple good shots in the entire fight. Poor match.
Lightweight Contender Tournament Final: Sittichai Sitsongpeenong vs. Marat Grigorian 3R. Really competitive fight that was easily the best on the show. Grigorian was fighting a smart fight, though granted the style that has a chance against Sittichai is what he was already doing in his first fight & what Kiria doesn't do well so he didn't try. The weakness of Sittichai is that although his punches are accurate, comparatively speaking, they aren't that powerful. Grigorian was willing to take the punch to get inside the range of Sittichai's far more powerful kicks, and on the inside Grigorian could land his powerful punches. Though Sittichai didn't score many left body kicks, he instead used his short range variation, the left body knee, which unfortunately for Grigorian is nearly as devastating. Grigorian landed a few big shots late in the 1st, but overall, it was a pretty even round. Grigorian threw multiple shots when he got inside, but Sittichai was a lot more accurate in the 2nd, landing solidly with his hands, particularly the uppercut. Sittichai's punching was key here, as his accuracy was scoring points and, to the extent that is possibly, somewhat keeping Marat at bay. Grigorian is one of the kings of activity & fought almost a perfect fight strategically, yet Sittichai is so tough to deal with, Sittichai was still winning the rounds on volume. In the end, though Grigorian actually had the edge landing 38 kicks to just 25, but Sittichai overall landed 89 of 260 to Grigorians 75 of 179 due even more to the success he had punching than to his brutal knees. Each round was very close, but althought Grigorian is the harder hitter, I thought Grigorian only won the first, with even that being rating the damage of a few big punches to the consistency of Sittichai. Sittichai won a unanimous decision 29-28, 29-28, 30-27. Good match.
GLORY Heavyweight Title Match: Rico Verhoeven vs. Mladen Brestovac 5R. Basically a sparring session for Verhoeven. He just did his thing & was never really threatened. Brestovac couldn't fight his go for the KO aggressive style against Verhoeven because Rico is too quick & technical. To his credit, Brestovac knew this coming in & was picking his shots, looking to counter Rico's kick with a left jab. This isn't Brestovac's fight though, and the technique, accuracy, positioning edges of Rico were coming to the forefront as expected. Brestovac was very much in the match early & wasn't getting beat up, but Rico was able to control position, backing him into the ropes & scoring on the inside where Brestovac couldn't kick & didn't have much room to defend. One of Brestovac's many problems in this matchup is you can't work your way into a fight with Rico. Rico is the best conditioned fighter in the heavyweight division & gets stronger with every round, whereas Brestovac's stamina is questionable, and by the time his corner tried to wake him up, he was already slowing down. Brestovac did okay when he had distance, but didn't have anything going on to maintain that range, and allow him to get in any kind of groove or display any sort of consistency. Brestovac didn't change much up or offer any real disruption, so Rico was just rolling. Brestovac's big high kicks were never really a threat because he couldn't get the space & the setup. Rico was actually slowing down some in the 5th, which was doubly surprising because Brestovac never really hit him hard & wasn't that active, but Rico had 4 rounds in the bag so maybe he was just being conservative? Overall, both landed about 30%, but Rico was far more active, outlanding Brestovac 101 to 51. Average match.
Heavyweight Contender Tournament Semifinal: Jahfarr Wilnis vs. Kirill Kornilov 3R unanimous decision. Kornilov should be credited for stepping in on 3 weeks notice to fight one of the best fighters in the heavyweight division, but if GLORY wants these tournaments to be for title shots, it would be nice if they could roll out 4 real contenders to fight in them once in a while. This wasn't even hard gym sparring for Wilnis. He quickly saw (if he didn't already know) that Kornilov had no power for a heavyweight, and basically just coasted past an easy opponent who couldn't hurt him. Wilnis kept walking Kornilov down, blocking Kornilov's wimpy single punch, then landing a few of his own. Kornilov made it easy for Wilnis because he held his hands at the bottom of his rib cage the whole fight, so Wilnis just kept punching him in the face since it was open. Wilnis landed 1 big right in the 1st, and stepped up the pressure in round 2, mixing right straights with overhands, then slowed down in the 3rd since the fight was in the bag. He outlanded Kornilov 74-30. I was shocked a judge gave Kornilov a round. Below average match.
Heavyweight Contender Tournament Semifinal: Ismael Londt vs. Anderson Silva 3R majority decision. Braddock was mising in action here. Granted, the fight probably should have been a draw, but that's only because Londt didn't have a lot of stamina & was saving his kicks for the final. Londt would pressure at the outset of the rounds, but once he stopped moving his feet, Anderson would land punches on the outside and a low kick when Londt stepped forward again. This worked for the first two rounds because Londt wasn't being aggressive enough, trying to save what energy he had in case he had to fight again. Londt pushed hard in the 3rd because he was potentially down two rounds, and knowing he didn't have to worry about the other fight if he didn't win this round, he was a lot more consistently aggressive. Silva, unfortunately, didn't make any adjustments, just continuing to wait until Londt started standing around & he was an easy target. Londt got a knockdown midway through the 3rd with a right hook. Silva looked gassed before that, and with this added damage, really wastn't moving enough in the 3rd round. Silva still outlanded Londt 38-37 despite Londt having a big 3rd round. I had it 28-28, but the 1st round was a very close nod to Silva, so I don't have too big a problem with Londt getting the 29-27, 29-27, 28-28 majority decision. Above average match.
Serhiy Adamchuk vs. Mohammed El-Mir. 3R unanimous decision. GLORY did a great job here getting their featherweight champ to step up a weight class on just a few days notice & only a month after he last fought to replace Niclas Larsen. El-Mir was pumped for the battle of Denmark's best with Larsen, but basically just starstruck in this whitewash against the champion. Despite moving up a weight, Adamchuk had a decided power advantage to go along with the expected speed edge. He continually backed El-Mir into the ropes and landed fast, flashy, level changing combos that just had El-Mir scratching his head. El-Mir basically stood around watching & waiting all night. It was such a slaughter that El-Mir didn't land his first punch until the 3rd round, and only landed 2 for the entire fight. Adamchuk was way too quick and way too technical to the point the punching bag would only have put up marginally less defense. Adamchuk looked great landing 54 of 186 to El-Mir's 20 of 61, but it's hard to get into a match that's about as competitive as your average UConn women's basketball game. Average match.
Heavyweight Contender Tournament Final: Ismael Londt vs. Jahfarr Wilnis 3R split decision. An extremely close fight, almost too close to call. Both fighters stepped it up here, bringing more energy & their complete game, with lots of kicks from the outset after saving their legs in the opening round. The 1st round was the best, as it was so back & forth with both working the body & lead leg. Wilnis was doing a good job of backing Londt against the ropes in this round, but Londt did the better job of working the lead leg, so it kind of depended upon what you look for in terms of scoring. Londt was back to his traditional quick start in the 2nd, as well as his traditional slow finish with Wilnis coming on once Londt's burst of energy wore off. Londt looked out on his feet after Wilnis doubled up on the right uppercut midway through the 2nd, but he was mostly playing possum. I thought Wilnis won the 2nd, but surely it was anyone's fight going into the 3rd. Londt came out fast again in the 3rd, but was tired 30 seconds in. Wilnis was gassed too though, so he couldn't really capitalize. Nonetheless, both fought really hard in the 3rd, pushing through the fatigue with heart & willpower. If they hadn't fought a match earlier, the fight would likely have been a lot better because they were well matched & there were several positive aspects other than stamina, but even still, if you like a really close match where 2 guys just stand there flatfooted & bang away then this fight is for you. Wilnis was the more active fighter, and that was the difference for me. Though Londt had his impressive surges, he just wasn't consistent enough, and over the course of the fight, Wilnis outlanded him 100-72 with the big edge being 69 punches to 22. I had it 29-28 Wilnis, and was thinking that the easy 1st round fight probably turned out to be the difference in him winning the tournament, except Londt actually got the split decision 29-28, 28-29, 29-28. Above average match.
GLORY Welterweight Title Match: Nieky Holzken vs. Yoann Kongolo 5R unanimous decision. Definitely the fight of the night. Holzken got off to a strong start fighting out of his comfort zone of pressing forward in order to negate his opponent's boxing strength. By using his reach advantage, staying on the outside, moving, & scoring mostly with kicks, he kept Kongolo out of punching range. Holzken was the harder hitter, and more diverse striker. Though Holzken was winning the fight at distance, Kongolo somehow landed more strikes through the 1st 2 rounds according to the stats. Kongolo turned the fight in the 3rd, and for the next 2 rounds he was able to get his jab going and then come in behind it. He knocked Holzken down with a spinning back kick to the liver, but the ref ruled it a slip. I'm not sure what the right call was because Holzken didn't have full balance, but he was also hurt by the shot. This call could, really should, have been crucial in ultimately decided the fight. Kongolo, nonetheless, took advantage of the blow as much as he could, going all out for the rest of the 3rd round & delivering his best round of the fight. Kongolo continued to pressure Holzken in the 4th, backing Holzken with his jab then closing the distance & landing a combo while Holzken was retreating. Kongolo was doing a good job of mixing the left uppercut in during the later stages of the fight. Kongolo won the 4th, and although the fight was likely even on the scorecards, the momentum was all Kongolo's. Holzken answered the challenge in the 5th though. He really showed what a diverse kickboxer he is here, as he was mixing his strikes up so much Kongolo didn't know what or where to defend. Holzken was landing everything & everywhere in the 5th, really slowing some great, level changing combos. Holzken was almost impossible to defend in the 5th, and you wondered where this was the rest of the fight, but a lot of it was just needing the round & finding a way. Ultimately, when the harder hitting fighter also throws twice as many strikes, that's a tough combination to beat. Holzken outlanded Kongolo in every aspect, 43-21 in kicks, 15-2 in knees, and surprisingly even 51-38 in punches where he did a nice job of going head to liver. I was surprised that two judges had it 49-46, as I thought it was pretty clear R1 & 2 to Holzken, 3 & 4 to Kongolo, & 5 to Holzken, but ultimately the bottom line is the champ was able to elevate his game to retain against a truly worthy challenger. Good match.
Manny Mancha vs. Warren Thompson 3R UD
Mike Lemaire vs. Karl Roberson 3R UD
Tiffany van Soest vs. Esma Hasshass 3R UD
Guto Inocente vs. Brian Douwes 3R UD
Jason Wilnis vs. Joe Schilling 3R MD
Welterweight Qualification Tournament Semifinal: Richard Abraham vs. Casey Greene 3R unanimous decision
Welterweight Qualification Tournament Semifinal: Francois Ambang vs. Daniel Morales 3R unanimous decision
Marat Grigorian vs. Djime Coulibaly R1 1:56
Welterweight Qualification Tournament Final: Richard Abraham vs. Francois Ambang 3R split decision
GLORY Middleweight Title Match: Simon Marcus vs. Dustin Jacoby 5R
Welterweight Contender Tournament Semifinal: Murthel Groenhart vs. Karim Benmansour R3 1:08. Groenhart fought two great rounds here. When he was the aggressor, he wasn't merely flashy & exciting, he was dominant to the point there was really nothing Benmansour could do because he was so outclassed physically & especially athletically. Groenhart blitzed Benmansour from the outset, looking to punch his ticket to the final as quickly as possible. Groenhart was just too quick for Benmansour, who had no answer for his left knee or right hook. Groenhart scored a knockdown with a left knee in the corner early, & hit a great switch knee midway through the 1st. Groenhart wasn't nearly as aggressive in the 2nd, and that lack of conditioning & will is what got into trouble once again. Benmansour was able to relax & get himself into the fight now that he had time, coming forward & mixing his punches then tacking on a low kick. Benmansour probably won the 2nd round, & seemed poised to dictate the 3rd, but after backing Groenhart into the ropes, Groenhart reawoke & decided to make him pay for staying in the pocket with a switch high kick then knocked him halfway across the ring with a push kick. Groenhart was once again ready to go, & worked Benmansour over against the ropes until he dropped him with a left body hook. Benmansour managed to get up at the last second, but when Groenhart came in for the kill, he just kind of flopped for lack of any actual way to defend himself at that point. Good match.
Welterweight Contender Tournament Semifinal: Yoann Kongolo vs. Harut Grigorian 3R. A real crowd pleaser. Both were super aggressive, kept a really high pace, & pretty much just slugged it out in the phone booth. Kongolo was the more skilled fighter, but Grigorian has a ton of heart, & is one of those rare fighters who is more or less okay with getting knocked out as long as he gives himself the best chance to knock his opponent out first. Kongolo may have been up 2 rounds, but he took no chances, fighting the 3rd as though it were 1-1. He really broke Grigorian by pushing such a high pace in the 3rd. Grigorian was sucking wind & looking at the clock down the stretch, as Kongolo kept pressing & pressing, & putting yet another combo on him. I don't want to make it sound like Grigorian wasn't conditioned, he may have overdone it early, but a lot of his problem is Kongolo is more experienced, & with that comes more evolved combos. Both men were hitting hard, but there was more crispness & precision to Kongolo's blows that gave a boost to his impressive sheer power. Kongolo's hard work paid off because the scoring was all across the board. Even with a dominant 3rd round, 1 judge still had him losing 28-29, but he got 30-27 & 29-28 from the other two to advance. Very good match.
Ismael Londt vs. Hesdy Gerges 3R. Another toe to toe brawl. Gerges backed Londt into the corner early, and while Londt had his moments with a big uppercut & switch knee, he was quickly hurt lunging into a short right hand counter. Gerges tried his best to take advantage with a lengthy flurry, but he was mostly punching Londt's block. Gerges kept coming forward, & Londt could only block for so long. Gerges was getting several low kicks through despite Londt's efforts to block, & hurt him with a right knee to the midsection. Londt not only managed to survive the 1st, he came out strong in the 2nd, establishing his boxing. Gerges was tired from failing to finish in the 1st, and was mainly outpunched in round 2, as he fought too much on the inside & thus didn't use his low kicks nearly enough to finish temporarily crippling Londt. With the fight being even going into the 3rd, the question was whether the better fighter, Gerges, or the better conditioned athlete, Londt, was going to pull it out. The chaos factor was horrible referee Stefano Valenti, and I thought he was likely deciding the fight in Londt's favor by deducting a point from Gerges for clinching, but in one of the most unorthodox officiating moves I've ever seen, he also deducted a point from Londt for clinching as soon as he was done docking Gerges, so the whole sequence actually did nothing beyond once again make the fans wonder why GLORY continues to employ Valenti. The third round was close. Gerges did his best to stay active, but didn't have the pop on his strikes he did early on. Londt was far better preserved, & throwing punches as well, but really never adjusted to Gerges' defense, & thus was mainly headhunting into Gerges' block rather than working the body to make him drop it so he could go back to the head. Overall, Gerges outlanded Londt 89-67, but the difference was his big 1st round. I felt Gerges won the fight taken as a whole, but the 3rd round was close enough that it was hard to call, so I wasn't annoyed that Londt got a 28-27, 27-28, 28-27 split decision. I really liked the 1st round, but as with most battles of big men, the fight degenerated quickly due to stamina. In that regard, Londt certainly deserved the fight because he looked like he could have gone a few more rounds despite the early beating & the toll of Gerges' low kicks on his lead leg. Above average match.
Welterweight Contender Tournament Semifinal: Murthel Groenhart vs. Yoann Kongolo 3R. Both fighters train at Mike's Gym, & they seemed to know each other too well. Groenhart knew he had to keep his distance, but while fighting disciplined, he wasn't really scoring from the outside. Kongolo spent too much time in the pocket, but he wasn't paying for it. He couldn't quite get into range for his jab, although I thought he landed a lot more than he was given credit for. Groenhart was looking for the kick from the outside or to step in with the big knee. Kongolo was generally defending it, but at the end of the 2nd Groenhart stepped inside a right hook & pushed Kongolo off him them followed with a huge right knee to drop Kongolo. Kongolo got up, but was a sitting duck for Groenhart's flurry & likely only survived because Murthel only had time to throw a handful of blows. Groenhart opened up in the 3rd, being far less patient from the outside, but wasn't making any headway toward finishing the now recovered Kongolo off. As he's been known to do, Groenhart hit the wall after the outporing of energy & Kongolo controlled for a minute or so with his boxing, looking surprisingly fresh, before Groenhart emptied the tank in the final 30 seconds. Groenhart landed almost twice as many punches as Kongolo, 47-25, and that's always going to be doomsday for Kongolo in this matchup because Groenhart has the length & is much more adept with his kicks & knees while boxing is Kongolo's bread & butter. All three judges scored it 29-27 Groenhart, but the fight was more competitive than the 74 landed to 33 would suggest. Above average match.
GLORY Lightweight Title Match: Robin van Roosmalen vs. Sittichai Sitsongpeenong 5R. Both fighters tried to make the changes they needed to win this rematch from GLORY 25 11/6/15, with Sittichai being more active & aggressive & Van Roosmalen being less willing to stay on the outside & fight Sittichai's fight, instead finding ways to fight more of his usual style, stalking, being aggressive & throwing with more power than his opponent. In order to be Robin, van Roosmalen willed himself to walk through Sittichai's shots & get & stay in range as much as possible. In the first few rounds, Sittichai would allow him in but use the right push kick or left straight to regain almost immediately distance. Thus Van Roosmalen's problem in this fight wasn't so much getting inside, it's that early on he wasn't able to get off first once he got there, & essentially was expending all his efforts to gain a position he couldn't really utilize. Van Roosmalen would counter the left body kick with a low kick if Sittichai didn't regain distance first, but even though van Roosmalen was blocking most of the kicks with his arms, that's maybe an okay tradeoff when it's not also your best & only tradeoff. Van Roosmalen's arms were quickly reddened from blocking so many kicks & you wondered what toll it would take on his boxing if he ever got to use it. Even when van Roosmalen seemed to be on the inside, he could never quite reach with his punches in the first couple rounds, but at least he was increasingly able to follow them with a low kick. I know van Roosmalen technically won their first fight, but it seemed like he'd need to find a way to transition from the low kick right into another combination if he was really going to be able to beat Sittichai because everytime Robin's feet stopped moving Sittichai would do something to regain his distance, & dictating distance is what allows Sittichai to be successful. Fortunately for Robin, Sittichai wasn't using his jab in this fight, & got further away from what actually works for him in the 2nd half of the fight, possibly as a reaction to the first fight not going his way & possibly because Robin kept so much forward pressure on him that he just couldn't sustain the pace & keep fighting Robin off. In any case, Sittichai was staying in the pocket more this fight, as he was trying to be more active. His lead uppercut that was the biggest positive difference from the first fight, but while he bobbleheading Robin with it early on, that went away as the fight progressed. The action & intensity picked up with each round, & the fight got more and more competitive. Van Roosmalen was doing a better & better job scoring with the inside leg kick, but Sittichai's left knee was money when van Roosmalen was in the pocket. Van Roosmalen began to make headway when he began countering the left kick or knee with a hook or two. This adjustment began to sway rounds in his favor, as although van Roosmalen's inside leg kicks bruised Sittichai's inner thight, his hooks were the cleanest & flashiest strikes landing in the fight. I gave the 1st 2 rounds to Sittichai, but the 3rd was more debatable as van Roosmalen was doing a better job of countering the body kicks with the inside leg kick & countering the left hand with his own hooks. I still feel like Sittichai won the round, but given van Roosmalen is the champ & he's fighting in his own country, I wouldn't have been shocked if some judges gave him the 2nd &/or 3rd round. I felt like the stats weren't matching the fight I was actually seeing, but if a strike is partially blocked it doesn't count on the scoresheet, so everything Robin got a forearm on made him redder & actually did damage but at the same time it also made his defensive stats look better. Still, even if van Roosmalen was landing cleaner when he hit, 116 landed for Robin to 64 landed for Sittichai through 4 rounds (147-89 for the fight) seemed an unreal advantage when Sittichai was the longer fighter & was getting off first the entire fight. In any case, the 4th round probably went to Robin, as his punch counters were the crispest strikes in the fight, & he was doing a better job of at landing two solid hooks when he countered. Sittichai also slowed down at this point, while Robin was able to maintain his pressure, and that was the difference late in the fight. Sittichai wasn't using the front kick or the left hand to back Robin up much anymore, which allowed Robin to be fairly accurate with his counter hooks & actually begin to do something with his advantageous positions. Van Roosmalen's power advantage was more noticable as the fight progressed, as he was able to maintain the zip on his shots, but began to connect more often & more cleanly as Sittichai's cardio regressed & he fell into more of a back & forth brawling type inside fight than his usual more measured & calculated distance maintaining style. I had it 48-47 Sittichai, but few rounds were decisive, and particularly as the fight progressed most of the rounds could have gone either way. Sittichai won a split decision 48-47, 47-48, 48-47, which was ironic in that this was a far closer fight than their first encounter & clearly a much better performance by van Roosmalen, who willed his way into the fight & finished strong after getting down early. Sittichai became the first fighter from Thailand to hold a GLORY title. Good match.
Light Heavyweight Contender Tournament Semifinal: Ariel Machado vs. Pavel Zhuravlev 3R Unanimous decision. Rather dull encounter where Zhuravlev pursued the entire match, but he never did anything to actually cut off the ring, so the quicker Machado moved & sometimes countered. Machado was basically just staying at distance & landing some kicks when the angle & distance presented itself, while Zhuravlev landed a punch once in a while when he actually got into range. There was lots of circling and chasing, but they couldn't even come up interesting highlights at the end of the fight, & it's not because this was a quantity over quality type of bout. Machado outlanded Zhuravlev 62-42, with neither landing anything particularly solid or telling. Below average match.
Light Heavyweight Contender Tournament Semifinal: Zinedine Hameur-Lain vs. Warren Thompson R1 0:12. Thompson came out aggressively, but took the wrong angle when Hameur-Lain made his way out of the corner, leaving himself exposed to a devestating overhand right that faceplanted him for the move of the night KO! It was such a clean shot with such a thumping, ton of bricks fall it looked like something out of a movie.
Brian Collette vs. Myron Dennis 3R Unanimous decision. Dennis had a strong first round, consistently closing the distance & working Collette over on the inside & against the ropes. Collette tried to fight back, but didn't have the weight of shot to keep a fresh Dennis off him. Midway through the fight, it appeared Dennis would avenge his GLORY 19 loss to Collette as he kept storming forward & bullying Collette, but then Collette completely turned the fight rocking Dennis with a left high kick. Though Collette's push for the finish wasn't successful & Dennis recovered enough to be a threat, Dennis was never able to apply the same type of relentless pressure, & Collette was thus able to get his game going now that he usually had room to breath. Collette got some more high kicks up, but Dennis was keeping his right hand high to defend them, which somewhat hampered his offensive mindset & output. Nonetheless, Collette was able to keep enough pressure on Dennis in the 3rd to take the decision, ultimately outlanding Dennis 94-75. I don't see how a judge gave every round to Collette, as he was generally getting overwhelmed in the first, if not actively chewed up on the inside, but Collette clearly took the next 2. Above average match.
Light Heavyweight Contender Tournament Final: Zinedine Hameur-Lain vs. Ariel Machado R2 1:00. Machado came out far more aggressive in this fight, surprisingly pushing the pace against his fresh opponent in the 1st. Whereas his semifinal was just getting the job done against an opponent they had a hard time getting anyone to face, here Machado was providing good action, using his fists now to outland his favored, & more experienced opponent. Machado landed 37 head punches in a round & a half, and had a 57-39 overall striking advantage. Sometimes it's not quantity though, as although Hameur-Lain only landed a couple of notable blows, he's a powerhouse & that's all it took to take Machado out. A short left hook counter set up a left knee to the liver that doubled Machado over & shut him down. Hameur-Lain certainly impressed with his finishing ability, showing in the first fight that he could do it with pure power & in this fight that accuracy worked just as well. Above average match.
GLORY Featherweight Title Match: Serhiy Adamchuk vs. Gabriel Varga 5R majority decision. The rematch from GLORY 25 was far more watchable and activity intensive, though still a rather uninspiring fight as these two just don't work together stylistically. Statistically it was razor close with Varga outlanding Adamchuk 122-120 despite throwing 70 more, but I always felt Varga was controlling the fight because he could use his reach to score from the outside, attack with a distance closing combo, or wait for Adamchuk to charge in with his head down & either counter him coming in or tie him up & regain his distance upon releasing. Adamchuk was warned for his headbutt inducive style in the 2nd after opening a surprisingly nasty cut on Varga's right eyebrow from a seemingly minor clash of heads in the first, but this wasn't an ugly stallfest like their first fight, he was trying to fight all the way this time, if not actually having much success. He did some decent work to the body once he got close enough, and quadrant was the only real difference statistically, with Adamchuk outlanding Varga 70-25 to the body compared to Varga's 73-43 advantage to the head. The key moment in the fight came in round 2 when Varga ducked under a right hand & followed with a solid short left to the body then caught Adamchuk on the chin while he was backing out with a big left hook to send him to the canvas. All the other rounds were close enough, with Varga seeming to dictate & being more active if not also aggressive, but admittedly not gaining a decisive advantage. I felt it could have been anywhere from 50-44 Varga to 48-46 Varga, but the judges had it much closer at 48-47, 48-46, & 48-48. For the sake of the fans, I hope this doesn't become a trilogy anytime soon, especially if they are going to put this on top of a tournament of inexperienced no names again. I feel Varga is capable of good fights, but Adamchuk is clearly not the guy that's going to pull them out of him. Average match.
Kevin Vannostrand vs. David Moore R2 0:35
Francois Ambang vs. Daniel Morales 3R UD
Women's Super Bantamweight Grand Prix Quarterfinal: Jessica Gladstone vs. Daniela Graf 3R MD
Chi Lewis-Parry vs. Anthony McDonald R2 3:00
Glory Middleweight Title Match: Simon Marcus vs. Jason Wilnis R3 1:14
Featherweight Contender Tournament Semifinal: Giga Chikadze vs. Serhiy Adamchuk 3R split decision
Featherweight Contender Tournament Semifinal: Matt Embree vs. Lim Chi-bin R2 3:00
Guto Inocente vs. Hesdy Gerges 3R split decision
Featherweight Contender Tournament Final: Matt Embree vs. Giga Chikadze R2 1:28
GLORY Heavyweight Title Match: Rico Verhoeven vs. Anderson "Braddock" Silva R2 2:57
Juston Houghton vs. Jonathon Wyderko 3R
Richard Abraham vs. Mike Mathetha 3R
Thongchai Sitsongpeenong vs. Casey Greene R2 2:58
Saulo Cavalari vs. Brian Douwes 3R
Featherweight Title Match: Gabriel Varga vs. Robin van Roosmalen R4
Middleweight Contender Tournament Semifinal: Yousri Belgaroui vs. Ariel Machado 3R unanimous decision
Middleweight Contender Tournament Semifinal: Israel Adesanya vs. Robert Thomas 3R unanimous decision
Simon Marcus vs. Dustin Jacoby R2 0:01
Middleweight Contender Tournament Final: Israel Adesanya vs. Yousri Belgaroui 3R split decision
GLORY Welterweight Title Match: Nieky Holzken vs. Murthel Groenhart 5R unanimous decision
Cedric Castagna vs. Vang Moua 3R UD
Petpanomrung Kiatmuu9 vs. Stanislav Renita 3R UD
Christian Baya vs. Josh Jauncey 3R MD
Women's Super Bantamweight Grand Prix Quarterfinal: Amel Dehby vs. Ji-Waen Lee 3R UD
Karim Benmansour vs. Eyevan Danenberg 3R SD
Nicolas Wamba vs. Nordine Mahieddine 3R UD
Heavyweight Contender Tournament Semifinal: Benjamin Adegbuyi vs. Hesdy Gerges 3R unanimous decision
Heavyweight Contender Tournament Semifinal: Mladen Brestovac vs. Jahfarr Wilnis R1 2:06
Pavel Zhuravlev vs. Zinedine Hameur-Lain R1 1:58
Heavyweight Contender Tournament Final: Benjamin Adegbuyi vs. Mladen Brestovac 3R unanimous decision
Light Heavyweight Title Unification Match: Artem Vakhitov vs. Zack Mwekassa R2 2:23
Tyjani Beztati vs. Andrej Bruhl 3R
Women's Super Bantamweight Grand Prix Semifinal: Tiffany van Soest vs. Jessica Gladstone 3R
Women's Super Bantamweight Grand Prix Semifinal: Amel Dehby vs. Isis Verbeek 3R
Harut Grigorian vs. Danijel Solaja R1 1:01
GLORY 36: Oberhausen 12/10/16: Michael Duut vs. Danyo Ilunga 4R. Match of the year! Probably the best match in GLORY history! These two don't like each other since Duut told Ilunga to stop whining about the early stoppage in his loss to Tyrone Spong at GLORY 9. This prompted a meeting at GLORY 11 where Dutt lost early because he tore a ligament in his arm in the 1st round. Duut fought in his usual hellbent style, as though he wanted to win this one before his arm gave out again, just throwing bombs the entire fight. This was pretty much the ultimate brawl, as defense was a dirty word here & hitting each other with the bigger, better bomb was the be all & end all. It looked like the fight wouldn't last the first round, certainly that's what Duut always aims for, but man, these guys just wouldn't back down & took helacious punishment. It was almost like a game, like some kind of dare, instead of playing chicken let's play you take my best shot & I'll take yours. Less than a minute in, Duut buckled Ilunga with a right cross then dropped him with a left hook. Duut went for the kill, but Ilunga fired back as though he were fine & had Duut rocked with the right hook within seconds. Ilunga found a nice rhythm, coming in with a punch to set up his powerful step knee. Had it not been for the knockdown, I would have given Ilunga the 1st because he was the more consistent fighter, & generally controlled the final 2 minutes. One of the reasons Ilunga was the steadier fighter is he scored regularly with kicks & knees whereas Duut was mainly just throwing mighty hooks to the head. Ilunga won the 2nd round, so the fight was still up for grabs in the third. These guys didn't need the extra motivation though, & it was just about knocking the other out & refusing to be knocked out yourself anyway. Ilunga started the 3rd coming over the top of Duut's left with a right hand for a knockdown. When Ilunga then buckled Duut with a step knee followed by a short right to the back of the head that Duut's corner was furious was ruled a 2nd knockdown (I think he went down from the knee which then made a legal punch by Ilunga wind up landing to the back of the head), you thought Ilunga surely had this fight in the bag because he's proven time & time again he knows how to win & how to finish. Duut had other plans though, & as Ilunga pressed too aggressively stepping forward with wide hooks looking for the finish, he timed him & caught him with a left hook counter that Danyo tried to walk through but wound up stumbling & falling forward into Duut's thighs. Both fighters had 1 foot in the grave by this point, but as Todd Grishman liked to say "Defense is not an option!" so they kept finding energy from somewhere to continue to bomb away. Power is the last thing to go, and down the stretch of the 3rd Duut had more firepower left as the standup slugger whereas Ilunga was more deteriorated because his power comes more from being quick, explosive, & athletic. You felt this was going to be one of those fights where both guys were going to collapse when the bell rang, and they'd have to be dragged up and/or assisted back to the locker rooms. However, with 2 knockdowns each, there was a good chance they were going to have to come out for a 4th amazing round. I don't know how they did it because even if Ilunga has fought a number of 5 round title fights in his day, each of these rounds was like 2 or 3 "normal" rounds. Shockingly, these guys weren't gushing blood all over, that was about the only thing the fight "lacked" as far as screaming all out battle to the death, but Ilunga's right eye was cut & almost swollen shut from a short right hand. I'd say that was a factor in the final round except Ilunga would have had to have actually tried to defend something for his inability to see to have prevented him from doing so! Ilunga kept coming forward the entire 4th round, but he was slower now, obviously, & Duut had his timing, so Duut was the more consistent fighter, able to land a big hook when he was coming in or when Ilunga had gotten inside & was standing in front of him. Still, it was another close round that could have gone either way until the final seconds when Duut ended this classic in almost the perfect manner, knocking Ilunga down with an overhand right with less than 10 seconds left! Great match.
Lightweight Contender Tournament Semifinal: Dylan Salvador vs. Anatoly Moiseev 3R majority decision
Lightweight Contender Tournament Semifinal: Hysni Beqiri vs. Antonio Gomez 3R unanimous decision
Fabio Pinca vs. Mosab Amrani 3R split decision
Lightweight Contender Tournament Final: Dylan Salvador vs. Hysni Beqiri 3R unanimous decision
GLORY Lightweight Title Match: Sitthichai Sitsongpeenong vs. Marat Grigorian 5R split decision
Women's Super Bantamweight Grand Prix Final: Tiffany van Soest vs. Amel Dehby 3R
Jamal Ben Saddik vs. Ismael Londt 3R
Glory Welterweight Title Match: Nieky Holzken vs. Cedric Doumbe 5R
Rico Verhoeven vs. Badr Hari R2 1:22
Giga Chikadze vs. Victor Pinto R1 2:03
Zoila Frausto vs. Daniela Graf 3R UD
Warren Thompson vs. Mike Lemaire 3R UD
Jhonata Diniz vs. Tomas Mozny 3R UD
Glory Featherweight Title Match: Robin van Roosmalen vs. Matt Embree R4 2:00. A very interesting stylistic match as Embree tried to avoid standing in front of Robin by angling & staying off the center line, keeping Robin away largely with body shots, but van Roosmalen kept adjusting & cutting off the ring. The smaller ring was a big advantage for Robin, as there was no where for Embree to hide, and he'd keep chipping away with low kicks until he got close enough to land his punch combos. Sitthichai had the most success against Robin of any opponent in recent times because he can consistently land when Robin is just starting to come in, which to some extent holds his low kicks & often his punches because Robin is usually blocking a middle kick with his arm. Embree did a better job of making Robin follow him, but his first strike came a little later, thus letting Robin get too close to simply keep circling without taking damage, which meant he was stuck struggling to knock Robin back, as Robin would seemingly rather die than retreat of his own volition, in order to momentarily regain distance. Embree did a good job of taking what was available, working the body with hooks & middle kicks & landing some straight head punches between Robin's tight guard. He was competitive, but he never really got into his power punching game, and with each round Robin's constant pressure wore on him a little more, taking his cardio & his legs. Embree had landed 1 more strike through 3, but Robin was landing the more powerful shots. Robin really took over at the end of the 3rd getting front kicked while throwing a superman punch but landing a big punch combo on the inside anyway. Embree looked like he was fading on the bench, & Robin ratcheted up the pressure to start the 4th, now doing good damage with uppercuts that followed his hooks. Embree was starting to hobble from Robin's low kicks, & wasn't moving as much anymore, which drastically increased Robin's connect percentage. Robin landed a liver hook & followed with a series of hooks with Embree hunched over until Embree gave up. This actually wasn't a title match for van Roosmalen because he missed weight by .8 pounds, so by winning he maintained his spot as #1 contender & earned a decision match, defeating Petpanomrung at GLORY 41 to regain the strap. Good match.
Welterweight Contender Tournament Semifinal: Yoann Kongolo vs. Konstantin Khuzin 3R unanimous decision
Welterweight Contender Tournament Semifinal: Karim Benmansour vs. Alan Scheinson 3R split decision
Guto Inocente vs. D'Angelo Marshall 4R unanimous decision
Welterweight Contender Tournament Final Yoann Kongolo vs. Karim Benmansour R3 2:57
Glory Middleweight Title Match: Jason Wilnis vs. Israel Adesanya 5R unanimous decision
Niclas Larsen vs. Lukasz Plawecki 3R UD
Daniel Moraels vs. Pawel Jedrzejczyk 3R UD
Murthel Groenhart vs. Thongchai R3 1:45
Catalin Morosanu vs. Maurice Greene R2 0:23
Benjamin Adegbuyi vs. Anderson Silva 4R
Light Heavyweight Contender Tournament Semifinal: Zinedine Hameur-Lain vs. Brian Collette R2 2:46
Light Heavyweight Contender Tournament Semifinal: Ariel Machado vs. Danyo Ilunga 3R unanimous decision. Ilunga, a former 95MAX champ, is one of my favorite fighters from the It's Showtime era, a far more consistent period for match quality than we're seeing now in GLORY despite their far deeper coffers & greater reach. I'm somewhat at a loss as to why he's on a five fight skid, as even if he's lost some speed & explosion from his days mid 20's peak as the #1 ranked fighter in the division, he's still a very high quality fighter, & although he's obviously fought high level competition including current champion Artem Vakhitov, 2 of his losses (Mourad Bouzidi & a classic against Michael Duut) were to fighters he beat 2 years earlier when he was on a 17-1 run (losing only to the mighty Tyrone Spong). Ilunga came out looking to press the action, but Machado's lateral movement was ruling the day, as he landed the low kick & was gone before Ilunga could counter, refusing to be trapped against the ropes where Ilunga could use his big knees. Ilunga began to press a bit, throwing wide punches that Machado countered with straights. Machado got a big gash on the top of his forehead, but it was from a collision of heads. The 2nd round was much more competitive as Machado slowed down, & thus the pressuring Ilunga forced him into one of his typical fire fights. Now that Machado wasn't moving laterally nearly as much, Ilunga was able to block many of his low kicks & come back with knees. Machado still landed the most damaging shots in the round, including a big overhand right down the stretch, but this was good action & much more competitive. Ilunga needed to go all out for the finish in the 3rd, but it was Machado who steadied himself in the final round, landing more consistently with his hands against an opponent who wasn't urgent enough. A questionable knockdown where Machado landed a good left hook then 2 more punches were thrown & Ilunga appeared to take a bad step trying to disengage & then fell sealed the deal for Machado. Machado won a unanimous decision 30-26, 30-26, 30-27. Good match.
Antoine Pinto vs. Richard Abraham 3R split decision
Light Heavyweight Contender Tournament Final: Ariel Machado vs. Zinedine Hameur-Lain R1 2:43
Glory Light Heavyweight Title Match: Artem Vakhitov vs. Saulo Cavalari R2 2:43
Tyjani Beztati vs. Sabri Henia R2 2:05
Harut Grigorian vs. Pavol Garaj 3R
Meng Qinghao vs. Killian Moulun 3R
Marat Grigorian vs. Anton Petrov R2 1:59
GLORY Lightweight Title Match: Sitthichai Sitsongpeenong vs. Dylan Salvador R4 2:58. These two are extremely evenly matched, splitting decision victories outside of GLORY. The rounds in this third contest were so difficult to score because they just stood toe to toe & exchanged shot for shot. Though both tried to throw combos, neither would allow the opposition to gain traction throug activity, so it was rare to see anyone land more than a shot or 2 before getting countered back. Every round saw almost an equal number of blows landed by each competitor, so it was really a matter of what you liked. Sitthichai normally boasts the kick & knee advantage, but his boxing has been improving since he joined the Royal Thai Army Boxing Team. On the other hand, Salvador is also a lefty though, and this seemed to throw Sitthichai more off his usual rhythm than it did Salvador, with Sitthichai not defending the kicks that were now to his lead leg very well. The result was that Sitthichai wound up with a decided punching advantage, but Salvador evened the overall striking totals with his knee & kick advantage. Though both are muay thai fighters, they started fast, and continued the intense, high paced war throughout, constantly pushing each other harder & further to keep coming up with immediate answers for the latest attack. Round after round, both fighters refused to give an inch, and it just got more and more intense as they continued to bomb from close quarters looking for an advantage that didn't seem to be materializing. Salvador was the one coming forward, but their basic segment would be that he got hit with a punch closing the distance, but could at least land a low kick once he was inside. Sitthichai began to take over in the 4th by concentrating more on the body after Salvador seemed to slow from a knee to the midsection & started backpedalling for the 1st time in the match. With Salvador answering less, Sittichai finally gained momentum & began to headhunt less with his punches while looking to land more knees. Sitthichai finally buckled Salvador with a knee to the body with 12 seconds left, and although Salvador got up, he turned his back to the referee & spit his mouthpiece out in surrender. This was really a shame because although it was a crushing blow, I think he just got the wind knocked out of him rather than a rib injury, so given he wouldn't have actually had to engage before the 4th round ended, he might have been recovered if he gave himself the minute in between rounds. Even with the late run, Sitthichai only wound up outlanding Salvador 102-93. Very good match.
Featherweight Contender Tournament Semifinal: Petchpanomrung Kiatmookao vs. Alexei Ulyanov 3R unanimous decision
Featherweight Contender Tournament Semifinal: Serhiy Adamchuk vs. Nafi Bilalovski 3R unanimous decision
Jamal Ben Saddik vs. Guto Inocente 3R unanimous decision
Featherweight Contender Tournament Final: Petchpanomrung Kiatmookao vs. Serhiy Adamchuk 3R. Enjoyable high level fight with good strategy as well as good action. The individual advantages - Kiatmookao's kicks vs. Adamchuk's punches - were marked, but the sum total was razor thin. Kiatmookao took the early advantage, fighting at distance where he could land his middle kicks with Adamchuk out of range. Adamchuk quickly adjusted to this either eating a kick but stepping forward to counter with punches or just taking the lead & coming forward throwing. Kiatmookao, in turn, countered this by clinching then throwing kicks after the break. Once each fighter established their advantage, it was really back & forth with both fighters pressing to maintain their best position. I would have liked to have seen Kiatmookao use more push kicks to help maintain the distance because, though Adamchuk was the better of the two on the inside, the one big advantage here was when Kiatmookao was at distance. Though both had fought the full 3 rounds earlier, neither slagged off in the least. Adamchuk landed virtually everything to the head, while Kiatmookao landed virtually everything to the body. Statistically, Adamchuk was landing a few more shots, but Kiatmookao's kicks are more damaging than Adamchuk's punches, and anytime middle kicks are involved you should always factor in that even the blows that are scored as misses are often punishing blows to the arms. If I had to score, I'd give it to Kiatmookao 29-28, but both men rightfully thought they won, and honestly the best outcome given a shot a Robin van Roosmalen's title was on the line would have been to call for another round. I wasn't surprised that it was a split decision, but was very surprised that 2 judges gave Petchpanomrung every round. Good match.
Glory Welterweight Title Match: Cedric Doumbe vs. Yoann Kongolo 5R unanimous decision
Yuhang Xie vs. Chris Mauceri 3R UD
Josh Jauncey vs. Antonio Gomez R2 1:05
Freddy Kemayo vs. Imad Hadar R2 2:21
Mohammed El-Mir vs. Simon Santana 3R. High paced, all action contest from start to finish where both fighters had winning strategies, it was just a matter of who could impose theirs more. Santana started strong, stepping/circling right to get outside El-Mir's left leg where he could land a mix of overhand rights, right hooks, and low kicks around El-Mir's defenses. Santana was more active, and was landing more combinations, but El-Mir clearly had the power edge. Santana wobbled El-Mir 2 minutes in with a looping right, and flurried on him against the ropes, but El-Mir fought his way out of it. Round 1 was close to a 10-8 round for Santana, but El-Mir stepped it up in the 2nd, which I suppose could be said to be close to a 10-6 round for El-Mir, who had Santana on the canvas 3 times, though all were ruled slips. The change was El-Mir began pressing forward and landing big 1-2 combos down the middle rather than allowing Santana to use his movement & angle in when it was advantageous. Once El-Mir warmed up & got into his game of forward, down the middle pressure, Santana was forced to be much more reactive because he wasn't able to stop El-Mir's shots in between his block or damage him enough to keep him back. The first of the slips was a knockdown in my opinion, as although Santana was in the process of throwing a low kick which he finished after the punch connected, he was propelled off his feet from a solid right straight to the jaw. El-Mir really kept the forward pressure on this round, and Santana was virtually forced to exchange with him to get El-Mir off him so he could escape safely. The weight of shot was increasingly the difference, as Santana still had a high volume output in the 3rd, but he was worn down from El-Mir's constant pressure from R2 onward, and was really struggling to keep El-Mir away & off him. The final 15 seconds, which Todd Grisham described as "swinging like Neanderthals", was crazy with El-Mir trying to finish with a big flurry of punches while Santana was trapped on the ropes, but Santana bombing back with right haymakers. Santana got buckled with a right hook at the same time he landed his own right hook. Just great action! El-Mir won a unanimous decision. Very good match.
Jamie Bates vs. Richard Abraham 3R UD
Middleweight Contender Tournament Semifinal: Yousri Belgaroui vs. Agron Preteni 3R
Middleweight Contender Tournament Semifinal: Alex Pereira vs. Burim Rama R3 1:42
Niclas Larsen vs. Yodkhunpon Sitmonchai 3R
Middleweight Contender Tournament Final: Yousri Belgaroui vs. Alex Pereira 3R
Glory Middleweight Title Match: Jason Wilnis vs. Simon Marcus 5R. Wilnis vs. Marcus is such a compelling, difficult to score matchup because they can both be doing what they want to be simultaneously. Wilnis will constantly come forward & pressure, and is okay with taking strikes coming in, but does a very good job of blocking them & countering back. Wilnis' style does leave him prone to body shots, especially when he accomplishes his goal of getting inside, and Marcus was mainly scoring with these, while Wilnis had the advantage in head punches & low kicks. Despite Wilnis' pressure, Marcus was the more active fighter of the two because he's going to strike to maintain range or come in at the same time with a step knee. Wilnis was able to control the center & keep Marcus circling against the ropes. Most of the rounds could have gone either way because you had Wilnis dictating the pace, applying the pressure, & landing the more powerful shots, but Marcus getting off first & landing more often. Marcus probably won the 1st 2 rounds, but Wilnis' pressure slowed him in the 3rd. Rounds 3 & 4 were still very close with Marcus managing to be the more active fighter, but Wilnis clearly won the 5th on cardio, as Marcus' hands were sagging & he started taking too many clean shots to the face. Marcus was theoretically better staying on the outside & not getting pulled into a brawl, but at the end of round 4, he got frustrated & just started walking through Wilnis' blows & landed some big knees to the body. This should have been a Wilnis round, but Marcus might have impressed some judges by finally changing things up & closing more strongly. Wilnis was getting inside too easily in the 5th, as Marcus seemed to have to use all the energy he had left to keep circling away & didn't have much zip on the blows he did connect with. I thought Marcus probably won 48-47 the 1st time I watched it & Wilnis probably won 48-47 the 2nd time I watched it. The stats back up the later, as Wilnis landed more in rounds 3-5, and although that's not an accurate measure on it's own, it holds more weight in a fight like this where Wilnis is clearly the more powerful striker. Marcus won a split decision 48-47, 47-48, 49-46, 46-49, 48-47. With the winner alternating & title changing hands, the idea of these guys stopping at a trilogy are probably out the window. Good match.
Anderson Silva vs. Giannis Stoforidis R2 2:26
Heavyweight Contender Tournament Semifinal: D'Angelo Marshall vs. Mohamed Abdallah R1 0:48
Chenglong Zhang vs. Wilson Sanches Mendes 3R unanimous decision
Hesdy Gerges vs. Tomas Hron 3R unanimous decision
Heavyweight Contender Tournament Final: D'Angelo Marshall vs. Anderson Silva 3R unanimous decision
Remy Vectol vs. Francois Ambang
Dylan Salvador vs. Serhiy Adamchuk
Marat Grigorian vs. Antonio Gomez
Zinedine Hameur-Lain vs. Freddy Kemayo
Nicolas Wamba vs. Jhonata Diniz
Yoann Kongolo vs. Yohan Lidon
Lightweight Contender Tournament Semifinal: Niclas Larsen vs. Massaro Glunder
Lightweight Contender Tournament Semifinal: Anatoly Moiseev vs. Christian Baya
Murthel Groenhart vs. Harut Grigorian
Lightweight Tournament Final: Christian Baya vs. Massaro Glunder
GLORY Welterweight Title Match: Cedric Doumbe vs. Nieky Holzken
Chenchen Li vs. Terrance Hill R1 1:45
Itay Gershon vs. Rafal Dudek 3R Unanimous
Anissa Meksen vs. Jady Menezes 3R unanimous decision
Joe Taylor vs. Ariel Sepulveda R2 2:55
Bailey Sugden vs. Arthur Sorsor 3R Unanimous
Interim Glory Light Heavyweight Title Match: Pavel Zhuravlev vs. Saulo Cavalari 3R Unanimous
Featherweight Contender Tournament Semifinal: Giga Chikadze vs. Aleksei Ulianov 3R Split
Featherweight Contender Tournament Semifinal: Kevin VanNostrand vs. Mo Abdurahman R1 1:50
Elvis Gashi vs. Josh Jauncey R2 2:59
Featherweight Contender Tournament Final: Kevin VanNostrand vs. Giga Chikadze 3R Unanimous
Guto Inocente vs. Benjamin Adegbuyi 3R Split
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