Following his decision victory over Cedric Doumbe at GLORY 44 Chicago, the newly crowned GLORY champion, Murthel Groenhart, was in defiant mood about his future as the new welterweight champion.
“I’m telling you right now, I’m gonna stay champion for a long time. So it doesn’t matter who’s coming, I will definitely defend my belt for many years. So everybody who’s coming, come and get it.”
The former 2012 K-1 Max champion, finally won the GLORY welterweight championship on his third attempt at GLORY 44, having previously lost two decisions in exciting close fights with, former GLORY champion, Nieky Holzken.
Holzken would lose the GLORY welterweight title to Doumbe at GLORY Collision; and then the rematch at GLORY 42 Paris (both fights by decision) in what was Doumbe’s second title defence at the time. Although Doumbe’s reign was four months short of a year, it was certainly historic for bringing Holzken’s undefeated four year winning streak to an end.
However, Murthel’s journey since winning the prestigious ‘old skool’ K-1 Max has been a turbulent one, with the Mike’s Gym fighter having contemplated retiring from the sport which, he opened-up about after winning his rematch with Doumbe; and paid tribute to his head coach, Mike Passenier and the rest of his team, for their strong support over the years.
“I have a great team. If I listen, everything will come good. If I stay with Mike, he sees things. He’s a few steps in-front you know, he looks a few steps in-front.”
“He use to tell me if you stay with me you will be champion just keep your focus. Keep your mind game strong, focus there and you’ll become champion but don’t let yourself out of the game by what other people say about you and why you have to do. Listen to me and everything will come good.”
A potential third encounter now looms ahead with Harut Grigorian who, won the GLORY 44 Welterweight Contender Tournament which, should secure him with a title-fight in his next outing for GLORY. Whether this’ll be at GLORY 49 Rotterdam headlined by, Rico Verhoeven vs. Jamal Ben Saddik or, sooner will become clearer in the coming weeks.
However, the controversial KO and ring invasion from Murthel Groenhart vs. Harut Grigorian at GLORY 41 Den Bosch, will spark even fiercer rivalry come their trilogy bout in the near future.
Either way, the welterweight division in GLORY is heading into more interesting times ahead for fight fans, especially with a controversial head-hunting “Predator”, in Murthel Groenhart as the new welterweight champion.
Photo credit: Featured image by, James Law for, Glory Sports International.