GLORY 50 Chicago delivered a memorable night for GLORY‘s first main event of 2018 with, Harut Grigorian dethroning Murthel Groenhart for the GLORY welterweight title in the headline bout; Benjamin Adegbuyi won the Heavyweight Contender Tournament in dominant fashion; and Sitthichai Sitsongpeenong retained his lightweight crown via unanimous decision against, Christian Baya at the UIC Pavillion.
The third instalment of Groenhart vs. Grigorian was cut short from a first round referee stoppage that some may say was “karma” (after Groenhart’s controversial victory at GLORY 42 Paris) but others questioning if the fight may have ended too soon. The trilogy between both welterweights now makes it one win for Grigorian and two previous victories for Groenhart – all by stoppages for the hard hitting rivals.
Harut Grigorian punches Murthel Groenhart down to the canvas in Chicago
Twitter outrage over referee’s first round stoppage of Murthel Groenhart by Harut Grigorian
The fans didn’t react too well to how referee, Chris Wagner, stopped the fight between Groenhart and Grigorian in the first round:
Comparisons were even made with the controversial ending of, Artem Levin vs. Simon Marcus at GLORY 27 which, happened two years ago in Chicago.
Could a a third rematch be on the cards in the near future between Groenhart and Grigorian?
The reason why referee Chris Wagner stopped Groenhart vs. Grigorian in the first round
However, referee Chris Wagner, explained his first round stoppage of Groenhart vs. Grigorian to US based reporter, Michael Stets Steczkowski and that it was to prevent Murthel Groenhart “from getting hurt even worse”.
Benjamin Adegbuyi reminds everyone why he’s still one of the best heavyweight kicboxers
The 4-man heavyweight contender tournament was won by Benjamin Adegbuyi who, emphatically KO’d D’Angelo Marshall, in the first round of their semi-final and then went on to win by second round TKO against, Junior Tafa, in the final.
The victories put Adegbuyi back in-contention for possibly another title-shot against, GLORY heavyweight champion, Rico Verhoeven, after a disappointing and controversial decision loss to, Guto Inocente at GLORY 43 New York. Adegbuyi will be eager to return to GLORY Kickboxing action as swiftly as possible no doubt, after being inactive for six months since GLORY 43.
However, Guto Inocente had actually defeated Junior Tafa in their semi-final on the night via unanimous decision but GLORY would then confirm that “due to a cut suffered in the semi-finals”, Inocente was not able to fight against Adegbuyi in the final and so, Tafa would replace Guto, despite the semi-final result.
The decision by GLORY for Tafa to replace Inocente in the final of the GLORY 50 Contender Tournament against Adegbuyi was best explained by Steczkowski as below in-light of, Haze Wilson vs. Anthony McDonald being cancelled (earlier) on the GLORY 50 SuperFight Series card (as potentially a reserve bout for the tournament if anyone was injured).
Sitthichai successfully retains GLORY lightweight title for a third time
Since defeating Robin van Roosmalen for the GLORY lightweight title at GLORY 31 Amsterdam in June 2016, Sitthichai Sitsongpeenong defended his championship for a third time in the headline bout of, the GLORY 50 SuperFight Series card against, Christian Baya via unanimous decision.
Kickboxing fans and enthusiasts online were all in-agreement that Sitthichai was the dominant of the two for all five rounds. The question that remains unanswered is as to who, can GLORY now bring in, to pose a serious risk to Sitthichai’s continued dominance as GLORY lightweight champion?
Full results for both GLORY 50 Chicago & GLORY 50 SuperFight Series are as below.
GLORY 50 Chicago – Results:
Harut Grigorian def. Murthel Groenhart by Rd1 TKO – For the GLORY welterweight championship
Richard Abraham def. Malik Watson-Smith via unanimous decision (UD)
Heavyweight Contender Tournament:
Benjamin Adegbuyi def. Junior Tafa by Rd2 TKO – Tournament Final
NOTE: Inocente was replaced by Tafa in the final due to injury/cut.
Benjamin Adegbuyi def. D’Angelo Marshall by Rd1 KO – Semi-final
Guto Inocente def. Junior Tafa via unanimous decision (UD) – Semi-final
GLORY 50 SuperFight Series – Results:
Sitthichai Sitsongpeenong def. Christian Baya via unanimous decision (UD) – retains GLORY lightweight championship
Haze Wilson vs. Anthony McDonald – Cancelled on medical grounds
Omar Moreno def. Casey Greene via UD (extra round)
Omari Boyd def. Daniel Morales via split decision
Diego Llamas def. Justin Houghton by Rd1 TKO