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

Yousri Belgaroui on Learning How to Fight, His Love for Kickboxing and Simon Marcus

Yousri Belgaroui is a Dutch middleweight kickboxer of Tunisia descent who, is currently fighting for GLORY Kickboxing, having blossomed over the last couple of years fighting for, Enfusion Live and Superkombat.

Belgaroui trains out of Mike’s Gym in Amsterdam and (on what was the first episode of The K1Anoop Show on, the K1ANOOP YouTube channel), talked about his early days of kickboxing; how his journey as a martial artist began (at the age of 16) when he first started training under, Mike Passenier at, the old Mike’s Gym which, was tragically got burnt down in years gone by; and his aspirations to become one of the very best fighters of his generation.

That title-fight with Simon Marcus that was supposed to have happened

At the time of writing, Belgaroui is set to fight former GLORY middleweight champion, Jason Wilnis in the main event of, GLORY 45 SuperFight Series on September 30, 2017. However, Belgaroui recently won the most recent 4-man Contender Tournament, beating Alex Pereira in the final at GLORY 40 Copenhagen which, was supposed to secure him with an immediate title-fight with current champion, Simon Marcus.

However, for reasons unknown Simon Marcus vs. Yousri Belgaroui has not been scheduled and the young kickboxer will instead take on Wilnis in a fight that isn’t even for an interim-title which, has raised questions about the integrity of not only these contender 4-man tournaments but also Marcus’s reign as champion. Belgaroui had even lambasted Marcus for not being willing to fight him and alleged that they had been matched-up to fight at GLORY 43 New York; only for the champion to allegedly refuse the fight.


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Why wouldn’t Marcus be willing to fight Belgaroui at GLORY 43 New York?

There is a rumour that Simon Marcus could be holding-off from returning to action because GLORY are planning on hosting an event in his home nation of, Canada later this year; and this could possibly happen in Toronto come November 2017.

However, nothing has been officially confirmed as of yet by GLORY but over the last year, the subject has grown momentum in becoming more of an open taking topic even by Glory Sports International CEO, Jon Franklin.

Former GLORY featherweight champion, Gabriel Varga, had initially spoken publicly about GLORY’s intentions to host future events in Canada. Time will tell soon enough if this will happen in the coming months including, a potential title-fight between Marcus and Belgaroui but first, “The Baby Face Ninja” must deal with Jason Wilnis in September.

GLORY have listed October 14, 2017 on their website as a forthcoming event for GLORY 46 but the venue and fight cards are yet to be announced.

Road to Glory UK 3 announces Giannis Skordilis in 8-man tournament and more updates

Road to Glory UK 3 promoter, Dean Sugden, announced today that Giannis Skordilis is officially in the 70kg 8-man tournament on October 7, 2017 at, the Grantham Meres Leisure Centre. “Greekboy” is the fourth contestant to be announced in the tournament which, also features: Alex Bublea, Vinny Church and William Goldie-Galloway.

Interestingly, Bublea and Skordilis have previous with one another, having clashed twice before. Both fighters are currently tied at one victory each against each other and a potential trilogy between the two could now happen in the coming months, depending on how both are drawn for the quarter-finals.

The overall match-ups for the quarter-finals are yet to be confirmed and another, Road to Glory UK 3 announcement is expected in due course including, further details as to who, the remaining four contestants are. Both the winner and runner-up of the Road to Glory UK tournament, will secure themselves with a two-fight contract with GLORY Kickboxing.

Previously, Mo Abdurahman defeated Bailey Sugden in the final of, the Road to Glory UK 2 tournament and since then both have made their GLORY debuts at GLORY 43 New York; and Adrian Maxim was also rewarded with a GLORY contract by, GLORY’s Managing Sports Director, Cor Hemmers, after losing a very close (and controversial) decision to Sugden in the semi-finals.

However, any lingering doubts over Sugden’s credentials were put to bed in emphatic fashion with an ‘excellent performance’ against, Arthur Sorsor at GLORY 43 SuperFight Series, winning via unanimous decision.

Unfortunately, Abdurahman would lose his GLORY debut in a 4-man tournament against (the eventual tournament winner), Kevin Vannostrand by round one KO in a lively but short-lived affair. Whilst Maxim is expected to feature on a main card GLORY event in the near future.

Nevertheless, Bailey Sugden is expected to feature on the Road to Glory UK 3 fight card and an opponent for the GLORY featherweight will no doubt be announced soon enough too.

K1ANOOP will report again once the fight card has been updated.

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Road to @glorykickboxing UK promoter, Dean Sugden (@suggysgym) announced today that @giannisskordilis is officially in the 70kg 8-man tournament on October 7, 2017 at, the Grantham Meres Leisure Centre. “Greekboy” is the fourth contestant to be announced in the tournament which, also features: @alexbublea @the_leopard_church and @williamgoldie11. Interestingly, Bublea and Skordilis have previous with one another, having clashed twice before. Both fighters are currently tied at one victory each against each other and a potential trilogy between the two could now happen in the coming months, depending on how both are drawn for the quarter-finals…[Read more: www.k1anoop.tv – link in bio.] 📸Photo credits: Fahid Mohammed and @king.kombat #roadtoglory #glorykickboxing #kickboxing #k1neverdies #giannisskordilis #greekboy #Romania #Greece #alexbublea #thebodyhammer #muaythai #sidekick #deathbylowkicks #war #UKstanduptall #fighter #thepromisedland #areyoureadyforglory #k1 #k1anoop

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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

GLORY 43 SuperFight Series results: Pavel Zhuravlev crowned new GLORY interim light-heavyweight champion

Pavel Zhuravlev defeated Saulo Cavalari by unanimous decision at GLORY 43 SuperFight Series and was crowned, GLORY interim light-heavyweight champion at the prestigious, Madison Square Garden on July 14, 2017.

‘Kicker vs. Puncher’ would sum-up the rematch between Zhuaralev and Cavalari, with the latter having a much higher kicking volume. However, there was more to the Ukranian’s performance than simply power punches as most would expect.

The Ukranian wasn’t just the stronger of the two, shoving the Brazilian to the canvas at one point, Pavel was the more composed and effective with his overall striking. Although there weren’t many (if any) high volume combinations by either of the two light-heavyweights, Zhuaralev’s rounded punches and movement at close range were decisive factors for the end result; knocking down Cavalari with a left hook in the dying seconds of the third and final round.

The victory secures Zhuaralev with a unification clash with the injured but official GLORY light-heavyweight champion, Artem Vakhitov. However, Cavalari has now lost three of his last four fights in GLORY including, two defeats to Vakhitov.

Cavalari will move on and focus purely on his professional MMA debut, against the UK’s Stuart Austin at Phoenix FC3 on, September 23 in London. However, are his days as one of GLORY’s top light-heavyweights behind him, especially with him transitioning into MMA where the rewards are potentially much higher?

GLORY debutant, Bailey Sugden, had an excellent winning performance against Arthur Sorsor and showcased his offensive fighting style and high volume work-rate, to announce himself as a future title contender in the GLORY featherweight division. Whilst another GLORY debutant, the American, Joel Taylor also had an existing win with three knockdowns to stop Ariel Sepulveda.

GLORY 43 SuperFight Series – Results:

Pavel Zhuravlev def. Saulo Cavalari via UD – new interim light heavyweight champion

Bailey Sugden def. Arthur Sorsor via UD

Joe Taylor def. Ariel Sepulveda by TKO by Rd2 TKO

Anissa Meksen def. Jady Menezes via unanimous decision

Itay Gershon def. Rafal Dudek via unanimous decision (UD)

Chenchen Li def. Terrance Hill by Rd1 KO


Photo credit: James Law/Glory Sports International.

Giga Chikadze on Georgian/Soviet upbringing and GLORY 43 New York | #TheK1AnoopShow

Giga Chikadze is a Georgian kickboxer, now living in the USA and fights out of Kings MMA. Chikadze competes in the featherweight division for GLORY Kickboxing and his upcoming fight is at GLORY 43 New York at Madison Square Garden on July 14, 2017.

Giga’s first opponent will be Russian fighter, Aleksei Ulianov and the winner will fight either, Mo Abdurahman, or, Kevin Vannostrand, to secure a title-fight with GLORY featherweight champion, Robin van Roosemalen.

1:42 Why Giga Chikadze moved to the USA
2:49 That old loss to Enfusion champion, Tayfun Ozcan
4:29 Cross training in different martial arts
5:33 Georgia’s kickboxing history, Davit Kiria and crazy kicks
9:15 From Karate to professional kickboxing
16:32 Giga’s family, wife and children
18:53 GLORY 33: Serhiy Adamchuk and Matt Embree
24:52 GLORY 42: Aleksei Ulianov
26:54 Third MMA victory a “few weeks ago”
27:36 Tayfun Ozcan continued
28:56 The beef with Robin van Roosemalen

The K1Anoop Show is hosted by Anoop Hothi. Recent guests have included: ‘The Voice’ Michael Schiavello; K-1 veteran and Muay Thai legend, John Wayne Parr; current Lion Fight champion, Regian Ersel; and Enfusion Live women’s champion, Iman Barlow.


Photo credit: James Law/Glory Sports International.

GLORY 43 New York: Featherweight contender tournament preview and updated fight card

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 SeriesAt 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.

GLORY 43 SuperFight Series: Saulo Cavalari vs. Pavel Zhuravlev for interim title and updated main card

Former light-heavyweight champion, Saulo Cavalari will be fighting Pavel Zhuravlev in a five round title fight for the interim GLORY light-heavyweight title in the headline bout of GLORY 43 SuperFight Series. The upgrade comes courtesy of current light-heavyweight champion, Artem Vakihtov, being currently injured from a broken hand/arm following his TKO win over Cavalari at GLORY 38 Chicago in February.

GLORY matchmaker and Managing Sports Director, Cor Hemmers, explained his reasoning for making the headline bout an interm title fight:

“With what is sure to be an incredible fight between two top-three light heavyweights [in Cavalari and Zhuravlev], we wanted to create stakes fitting of their ranking and the prestige of Madison Square Garden.”

“Our champion Vakhitov injured his hand following GLORY 38 Chicago and is working hard toward returning later this year. In the meantime, Cavalari or Zhuravlev will be established as interim champion.”

One other change to the previously announced main card is, Chenchen Li vs. Mo Abdurahman has been scrapped; Abdurahman replaced injured Matt Embree in the GLORY 43 New York featherweight contender tournament and Li will now fight Justin Houghton in a reserve bout for the 4-man tournament instead.

GLORY 43 SuperFight Series – Updated main card:

Pavel Zhuravlev vs. Saulo Cavalari – Interim light-heavyweight title fight

Arthur Sorsor vs. Bailey Sugden – Featherweight

Ariel Sepulveda vs. Joe Taylor – Middleweight

Anissa Meksen vs. Jady Menezes – Women’s super-bantamweight

Itay Gershon vs. Rafal Dudek – Lightweight

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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Photo credit: James Law/Glory Sports International