Towards the end of June 2017, Matt Embree would reportedly sustain an injury, resulting in him withdrawing from the (4-man) featherweight contender tournament at GLORY 43 New York; and being replaced by GLORY debutant, Mo Abdurahman (24-6, 14 KOs) with two weeks notice prior-to July 14, 2017.
Abdurahman had previously been matched-up against Chinese kickboxer, Chenchen Li which, would’ve been the opening bout of, GLORY 43 SuperFight Series. At only 21 years of age, the young Brit is a technically proficient kickboxer who, had secured his GLORY contract by, winning the ‘Road to Glory UK’ 8-man tournament and defeating Bailey Sugden in the final earlier this year.
However, Kevin Vannostrand (12-1) awaits Abdurahman at Madison Square Garden come Friday. Vannostrand will have the home-town advantage of the crowd behind him being a native New Yorker, in his fourth fight for GLORY. Although, less experienced and in his late 20s, the east coast fighter will undoubtedly be looking to execute his aggressive, pressure-fighter style immediately on the British fighter, similar to his only one loss (by decision) to Giga Chikadze (37-5).
In the other semi-final of the 4-man 65kg/featherweight tournament, Chikadze will feature against, fellow European kickboxer, Aleksei Ulianov (21-3-1) who, in his previous outing, had lost by decision against, Petchpanomrung Kiatmookao at GLORY 39 Brussels.
Chikadze is originally from Georgia which, was once part of the old Soviet Union but now lives in the USA and fights out of Kings MMA, whilst Ulianov lives in Russia. Both are widely regarded as very talented kickboxers with Chikadze being the more known in the US, especially since his brutal ‘Giga Kick’ (liver kick) KO of Victor Lee Pinto at GLORY 37 Los Angeles.
Don’t be surprised to see stoppages in both semi-finals, especially when taking into account the skill-set and fighting styles of the four contenders. Both semi-finals have all the ingredients for technical violence and the tournament winner should secure a title-shot against, defending champion, Robin van Roosmalen in due course.
GLORY 43 New York – Fight card:
Winner of semi-final A vs. Winner of semi-final B – 65kg, 4-man tournament final
Benjamin Adegbuyi vs. Guto Inocente – Heavyweight, co-main event
Josh Jauncey vs. Elvis Gashi – 70kg
Mo Abdurahman vs. Kevin Vannostrand – 65kg, 4-man tournament semi-final B
Giga Chikadze vs. Aleksei Ulianov – 65kg, 4-man tournament semi-final A
Undercard: Chechen Li vs. Justin Houghton – Reserve bout for 65kg 4-man tournament.