John Alessio file photo: Dave Mandel | Sherdog.com
Three days after kicking off its 2010-2011 MMA and Kickboxing World Series, United Glory has set the semifinal matchups for both tournaments, promoter Martijn de Jong revealed to Sherdog.com on Tuesday.
After dominating their respective opponents in the opening round of the MMA welterweight tourney, rising star Siyar Bahadurzada and resurgent veteran John Alessio will square off for the right to move to the $150,000 final round. Bahadurzada clubbed late replacement Derrick Noble in their match on Saturday -- his third first-round TKO in four fights -- while Alessio submitted Russia’s Sergey Golyaev, extending his current streak to six straight, all by stoppage.
On the other side of the bracket, Belgium’s Tommy Depret will meet Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt and UFC veteran Roan “Jucao” Carneiro. Depret notched a 34-second guillotine choke submission of another UFC vet, David Bielkheden, to punch his ticket to the semifinals, while “Jucao” took a somewhat controversial unanimous decision over countryman Luis “Beicao” Ramos.
In the kickboxing division, 2010 K-1 World Grand Prix quarterfinalist Gokhan Saki faces Suriname’s Wendell Roche, while Mourad Bouzidi and Brice Guidon meet in the other semifinal.
All four semifinal bouts will take place on Jan. 30 at the Spiroudome in Charleroi, Belgium. The show will mark Glory’s first time holding an event outside of Holland, a move which De Jong says is due to pressure from the Dutch government -- specifically, the mayor of Amsterdam -- who seek to ban combat sports.
"Right now, Glory won't do any more events in Amsterdam, because it was so frustrating,” De Jong explains. “We got permission from the government, so they couldn't change it, but they did a lot of police investigation in front of our doors, stopping people, searching cars, investigating the people who came to the show. They put every kind of pressure on us, so that was kind of hard. The people in the audience were so disappointed."
Less disappointing is Glory’s online presence: thanks to a partnership with Dutch production firm Eyeworks, highlights of every match from last Saturday’s show are available for viewing on YouTube.
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