GLORY 50 Chicago: Murthel Groenhart vs. Harut Grigorian post-fight results and roundup

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 soonThe 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:

https://twitter.com/sari__1993/status/964738449449172994

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?

https://twitter.com/Bamboo_mic/status/964737515176517633

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

GLORY 44 Chicago: Cédric Doumbé vs. Murthel Groenhart fight card

Cédric Doumbé vs. Murthel Groenhart headlines GLORY 44 Chicago on August 25, 2017 at the Sears Centre Arena, in a much anticipated grudge match between, two of the very best welterweights in the world; Doumbe had previously beat Groenhart at GLORY 28 Paris via unanimous decision.

As well as another 4-man contender tournament consisting of: Antoine Pinto, Casey Greene, Karim Benmansour and Harut Grigorian. Plus, Richard Abraham vs. Daniel Morales co-headline, in a battle of east coast bragging rights.

There’s no love lost between defending champion, Doumbe and former K-1 Max champion, Groenhart. The two rivals have been taking countless aim at one another via online and social media for almost couple of years now. With a return to winning ways and more consistent form by ‘The Predator’, Doumbé is facing a different type of offensive pressure-fighter compared to, his previous title defence against, Nieky Holzken at GLORY 42 Paris.

Antoine Pinto returns from both, recent knee surgery and a win (outside of GLORY) against, Aydin Tunkay at Thai Fight Paris in April. In his last GLORY appearance, Pinto defeated Richard Abraham at GLORY 38 Chicago by decision and on this occasion, Abraham has been matched-up against Daniel Morales who, is coming off a win over Pawel Jedrzejczyk from that same event too.

Casey Greene returns to the GLORY since his devastating loss via second round KO (and foot injury) to Thongchai Sitsongpeenong at, GLORY 34 Denver; and features in the 4-man (welterweight) contender tournament. Whilst Harut Grigorian returns from that controversial KO against, Murthel Groenhart, at GLORY 41 Den Bosch.

Karim Benmansour who, is coming of a split-decision win over, Alan Scheinson at GLORY 37 Los Angeles, has been matched-up against Grigorian, in the opposing semi-final (bracket) of the 4-man tournament.

Full fight card below and click here for the GLORY 44 SuperFight Series fight card too. 

GLORY 44 Chicago – Fight card:

Welterweight Title Headline Bout: Cédric Doumbé vs. Murthel Groenhart
Welterweight Tournament Final Bout: Winner of Bout A vs. Winner of Bout B
Welterweight Co-Headline Bout: Richard Abraham vs. Daniel Morales
Welterweight Tournament Semifinal Bout B: Casey Greene vs. Antoine Pinto
Welterweight Tournament Semifinal Bout A: Karim Benmansour vs. Harut Grigorian

Anissa Haddaoui set to fight Kamila Balanda after Kunlun Fight triumph, ‘still waiting’ on GLORY Kickboxing

Anissa Haddaoui has had a turbulent year so far fighting for Kunlun Fight. However, her fortunes dramatically changed last week when she ended-up replacing,  Laetitia Madjene in Kunlun’s Mulan Legend Final; winning the 8-woman tournament at Kunlun Fight 64.

In May, she lost her quarter-final bout in the Mulan Legend tournament by decision to French kickboxer, Laetitia Madjene. At the time, Haddaoui felt she had done enough to win a ‘close’ fight but the Kunlun judges had seen it differently.

However, under even more controversial circumstances at Kunlun, Madjene would allegedly pull-out (or be replaced) from the Mulan Legend final against (eventual runner-up), Wang Kehan, due to injury and was replaced by Anissa Haddaoui.

Haddaoui

Haddaoui lands a right cross on Kehan | Photo credit: Kunlun Fight

Haddaoui is now set to fight Kamila Balanda in Poland on August 26, 2017 at Ladies Fight Night as she continues to build momentum and targets a future with GLORY Kickboxing. However, the task at hand is an interesting challenge for the Mike’s Gym fighter.

Balanda has impressive victories over the likes of multiple world champions: Daria Albers and Katrin Dirheimer but has a way of playing mental war games with opponents; giving her a reputation (amongst her many adversaries) as being the, ‘foul-mouthed bad girl’ of Polish kickboxing.

Despite her notoriety for unsettling her rivals, Balanda is a considered to be “one of the most successful” female kickboxers to come out of Poland. On the European circuit, she’s accumulated numerous kickboxing titles for organisations such as WAKO and K-1, reportedly.

Reflecting on her Mulan Legend success, Haddaoui recapped her victory over Kehan who, was coached and cornered by K-1 legend, Artur Kyshenko:

“After the third round they gave in the final a draw. In Kunlun they give two extra rounds. She was very tired and after the fourth round I won. It was a close fight.”

Haddaoui’s team mates at Mike’s Gym such as Murthel Groenhart and Christian Baya are coming off recent victories at GLORY 42 Paris and Massaro Glunder is set to feature in his second GLORY event at, GLORY 45 SuperFight Series against, Zakaria Zouggery. However, it would seem that Anissa Haddaoui could potentially join her kickboxing companions and fight for GLORY in the near future too.

“They maybe interested but nothing concrete yet. They are interested in me as a female fighter but I’m still waiting and yeah, I want to fight for GLORY. Who knows, maybe I’m going to enter the super-bantamweight for GLORY.”

Haddaoui

Outside low-kick from Kehan countered by Haddaoui | Photo credit: Kunlun Fight

Tiffany van Soest was crowned GLORY’s inaugural women’s super-bantamweight champion after defeating, Amel Dehby via unanimous decision at, GLORY Collision last year. Haddaoui would certainly make an interesting contender to van Soest’s title but first she has to deal with Balanda who, awaits her in Poland.

Throwback Thursday: Nieky Holzken vs. Yoann Kongolo full fight video 

In the spirit of Throwback Thursday we revisit, Nieky Holzken vs. Yoann Kongolo which, headlined GLORY 29 Copenhagen. Holzken would win by decision but the fight was one of the most intense and entertaining title defences of the Holzken era as welterweight champion in GLORY Kickboxing.

It was announced earlier this week that both fighters will rematch one another as the co-main event of, GLORY 45 Amsterdam and the main event will be, Robin van Roosemalen vs. Serhiy Adamchuk; the latter challenging van Roosmalen for the GLORY featherweight title on September 30, 2017. As well as Jason Wilnis vs. Yousri Belgaroui headlining GLORY 45 SuperFight Series.

Holzken is no longer the GLORY welterweight champion having lost to Cedric Doumbe at GLORY Collision and failing to avenge that loss in their rematch at GLORY 42 ParisOn that same night, Kongolo defeated Yohan Lidon and declared that he wanted to rematch “real fighter” Nieky Holzken again.

Having lost twice in-a-row for the first time in seven years, has Holzken’s fear factor that us to strike fear into hearts of most mortals, diminished and will the tide have finally turned enough in favour of Kongolo, by the time these two adversaries clash once more?

GLORY 43 New York roundup and results: Adegbuyi ‘badly robbed’, Jauncey TKO’d and Vannostrand triumph

Benjamin Adegbuyi lost a shocking decision to Guto Inocente in the main event at GLORY 43 New York on July 14, 2017 as GLORY Kickboxing took centre stage at Madison Square Garden. Whilst Josh Jauncey was amazingly knocked-down three times, losing by second round TKO to Elvis Gashi and Kevin Vannostrand was triumph in the featherweight contender tournament.

US kickboxing officials orchestrate controversial decisions

Adegbuyi and Inocente would have each other in trouble with the number one ranked GLORY heavyweight scoring a knockdown in round one. However, the Romanian heavyweight was unable to capitalise and Inconete would regain his composure after surviving the remainder of the first and recovering before the second round commenced.

Inconete would display his skilful kicking as the fight went on but when it came down to who demonstrated the better technical kickboxing, there was only one winner in that department. Unexpectedly, the judges saw the fight very differently from the majority of viewers and awarded a shocking decision in-favour of Guto, leaving ‘Mr Gentleman’ looking speechless at the official announcement; and venting his frustrations on Twitter shortly afterwards.

Sadly, its not the first time that Guto Inocente has been at the epicentre of a shocking and horrendous decision. For example, his victory over Hesdy Gerges at GLORY 33 New Jersey was another fine example of inexplicably bad scoring. However, Guto can’t be blamed if ‘lady luck’ is somehow awarding him with victories that he may not (respectfully) deserve.

Once again, US kickboxing officials have made a mess of proceedings when it comes to being trusted with unbiased/fair decisions. It would seem that they either lack, real experience of practicing the sport to a reasonable level of technical competence, and or, they seriously lack awareness (or practical knowledge) of how kickboxing skills are effectively applied in combat, compared to, looking “flashy” but not really effective.

Elvis Gashi is the real deal and always has been

When it comes to the profiles of North American kickboxers, unless it’s either Kevin Rossor, former GLORY champions, Joe Schilling and Gabriel Varga (all of whom are currently signed to Bellator Kickboxing), the world outside of the North Americas doesn’t seem to take note.

The buildup to GLORY 43 New York was clearly missing big star names compared to, GLORY 42 Paris, with, Cedric Doumbe vs. Nieky Holzken 2; and GLORY 41 Den Bosch, headlined by, Rico Verhoeven vs. Ismael Lazaar. Therefore, developing new kickboxing stars for the US market has been of utmost importance to GLORY and rightfully so.

However, a local talent like Gashi (born in Kosovo, living in the US and fighting for east coast promotion, Friday Night Fights), will only help to attract more of a US following, especially after such an emphatic TKO of a more globally known kickboxer in Josh Jauncey. With GLORY 44 Chicago scheduled for August 25, could GLORY look to build more momentum on their bright new star and find Gashi another well known name in world kickboxing as swiftly as possible?

Kevin Vannostrand is kickboxing’s King of New York

What an amazing night for for another New Yorker, Kevin Vannostrand, conquering all before him in the featherweight contender tournament. His first victim was one the most talented young prospects from the UK, 21 year old Mo Abdurahman.

In typical fashion, Vannostrand came out aggressively forward with relentless pressure throwing every limb possible, relentlessly and it paid off. First a front-kick to the chin connected, severely rocking “Mighty Mo” followed-up by a spinning back fist and somehow he was able to beat the count but the damage was done. Under high pressure and still in recovery mode, Kevin was able to land on Abdurahman’s head as he had him backing into a corner and despite picking himself up yet again, the referee would waive off the fight.

The final between Vannostrand and Giga Chikadze turned into a mean and menacing encounter between the two adversaries who, had clashed before at GLORY 27 Chicago.

Chikadze was coming off a very challenging and physically demanding semi-final win over, Aleksei Ulianov that had gone the distance. Whereas, Vannostrand had exerted a lot less energy and looked a lot less war-torn compared to Chikadze and was able to avenge his one career defeat (by decision) against, the one man he’d ever lost to, with a bitter sweet unanimous decision.

Usually, winning a GLORY contender tournament secures the winner with an immediate title-shot. However, Serhiy Adamchuck was expected to fight the current featherweight champion, Robin van Roosmalen next, having won a title eliminator against, Dylan Salvador at GLORY 42 Paris.

Vannostrand

Photo credit: James Law/Glory Sports International.

Nevertheless, depending on Robin van Roosmalen’s return to GLORY Kickboxing from MMA, Vannostrand could probably face the winner of, van Roosemalen vs. Adamchuck in the near future but instead, don’t rule out a possible title-elimantor with Adamchuck on, August 26 in Chicago.

GLORY 43 New York – Results:

Guto Inocente def. Benjamin Adegbuyi by split decision

Elvis Gashi def. Josh Jauncey by Rd2 KO

Featherweight contender tournament final:

Kevin Vannostrand def. Giga Chikadze via unanimous decision

Featherweight contender tournament, semi-finals:

Kevin Vannostrand def. Mo Abdurahman by Rd1 TKO

Giga Chikadze def. Aleksei Ulianov via split decision

Jordann Pikeur has ‘unfinished business with the K-1’ World Grand Prix

Jordann Pikeur was the runner up in the 2015 70kg K-1 World Grand Prix, having lost the final by round one TKO to the Grand Prix winner, Marat Grigorian. Back then in 2015, Pikeur had beaten former Yokkao champion, Sanny Dhalbeck in the semi-finals by way of a second round TKO. Pikeur spoke to K1Anoop after GLORY 42 Paris about his year so far and  his “unfinished business with the K-1”.

Both Dhalbeck and Pikeur return to Japan this year for the 2017 70 K-1 World GP on June 18 at the Saitama Super Arena, Japan. From the UK, Luke Whelan is a late replacement for the injured Jordan Watson who, broke his foot. Pikeur is the current KRUSH world champion and trains out of the legendary Mike’s Gym in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

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Yousri Belgaroui thinks GLORY champion, Simon Marcus, “grew a big pussy”

Yousri Belgaroui won the 4-man middleweight contender tournament at GLORY 40 Copenhagen and was expecting to make a swift challenge for Simon Marcus‘s title. Instead, the bout has been delayed until further notice and “The Babyface Ninja” who, was in-attendance at GLORY 42 Paris, alleges that the current GLORY middleweight champion, is deliberately stalling their title-fight.

“It’s getting on my nerves now. Because GLORY planned the fight, New York, Madison Square Gardens. I was really happy to get my belt there, show it to everybody but he said he don’t wanna fight. He didn’t give a good reason or something. So if he’s injured I say ok, I wait but he didn’t give a good reason, I just think he grew a big pussy. Now he got it with the belt, he’s afraid of me. That’s what I believe otherwise come with a good reason.”

“They are maybe planning on letting me fight Jason Wilnis first but it’s not confirmed. I said immediately yes, let’s do it because I know if I get the belt, he maybe first or second in the line to come and try fight me. So, yes let’s do it now, better soon than later. I don’t mind, I want to fight. I hope it’s going to be 25th August in Chicago.”

If Belgaroui vs. Wilnis were to happen at GLORY 43 New York, it will be interesting to see if this potential match-up could be for an interim middleweight title. No doubt GLORY Kickboxing will be making an official announcement soon enough and K1Anoop will keep you updated as the situation unfolds.

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Instagram: @k1anoop | @yousri_

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Photo credit: James Law/Glory Sports International