Glory held its 20th event Friday, and the capacity crowd in Dubai witnessed the Netherland’s Robin van Roosmalen retain his lightweight title against rival Andy Ristie. In the co-feature, Glory crowned a new featherweight champion as Gabriel Varga toppled Mosab Amrani for the vacant belt.
Popular Canadian Simon Marcus was victorious twice on Friday to win the finals of the middleweight contender bracket, as well.
But the featured attraction was the lightweight title tilt between Roosmalen and Ristie, with the Dutchman settling the score against the Surinamer. Ristie had already conquered Roosmalen via knockout back on the Glory 12 card to capture the strap, only to lose it to Davit Kiria by knockout. In the months since, “RVR” bested Kiria to snatch the title and on Saturday night, he retained his throne by unanimous decision.
The fight was a little more one-sided than most expected, as Roosmalen utilized a brilliant strategy to keep Ristie at bay, peppering him with scattered low kicks and sharp counters upstairs. Ristie was never able to find a rhythm in the contest as Roosmalen systematically picked him apart little-by-little. In the end, Roosmalen was awarded the win via margins of 49-44 on all three scorecards to remain the champ.
In the co-feature, Varga was on point throughout his encounter with Amrani, nailing him with a plethora of strikes throughout en route to a unanimous decision win. Amrani was always aggressive and tried to force his Canadian foe into perilous situations -- and did -- but Varga fought intelligently from start to finish. The fight was as exciting as you’ll see thus far in the year, but Varga’s timely countering, superb combos, and pesky low kicks thwarted the Moroccan’s attacks. Varga, the Glory 17 tournament winner, won with scores of 50-46, 48-47, and 49-46 to capture the vacant featherweight crown.
Veteran bomber Simon Marcus had to get through both Wayne Barrett and Jason Wilnis to win the middleweight contender tournament, but it wasn’t easy. Marcus won a unanimous decision over Barrett in his first fight, andeven though he won a unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28 twice), the American forced Marcus into a tougher fight than he likely anticipated.
After Wilnis defeated Brazil’s Alex Pereira (29-28, 28-27 twice) in an entertaining brawl, Marcus did just enough damage to eke out a dangerously close split decision that could have gone to either man. The Dutch fighter took as good as he got from Marcus, but when it was all said and done, it was Marcus’ better overall technique and power that prevailed.
Wilnis had his moments, though, as he tagged the Canadian clean several times. But Marcus landed the more telling blows throughout. He won via scores of 30-37 and 29-28 to win the bracket; one judge had Wilnis ahead 30-28.
Glory 20 Superfight Series Bouts
In a heavyweight encounter, Chi Lewis Parry made quick work of Yong-Su, dispatching him in just 25 seconds. A perfect right/left/right combo through the guard dropped Yong-Su and he never came close to recovering, thus ending the fight.
Light heavyweights Saulo Cavalari and Artem Vakhitov fought a tactical battle from the start, but it was Cavalari’s effective low kicks and counter punching that allowed him to eke out a split decision. Vakhitov fell behind on the cards early, but he had some success with his jab and counter right hand, which kept him close on the cards. In the end, two of the three judges had it in favor of the Brazilian, who won via tallies of 30-27, 29-28 and 28-29.
Mourab Bouzidi was the far superior man against fellow light heavy Dustin Jacoby, winning a unanimous decision by the margin of 30-27 on all three official scorecards. Bouzidi was more aggressive throughout their skirmish and landed the more impactful, clean strikes in each round. Jacoby, who was a late replacement for Pat Barry, hung tough but couldn’t get his offense into as much of a rhythm as he would’ve liked.
In welterweight action, Chad Sugden bested Atakan Arslan for three rounds, winning a unanimous decision in the process. Arslan was more aggressive in spurts, but Sugden landed dozens of precise punches, aided by powerful low kicks. Crisp counters, anchored by smoother boxing, and a better overall defensive shell powered the Brit to victory via tallies of 30-27 and 29-28 (twice).
Russian Anatoly Moiseev was ultra impressive in scorching Max Baumert in a featured lightweight bout. A terse combo to the body preceded a spectacular right head kick, which instantly crumbled Baumert like a stack of Jenga blocks. The German somehow struggled to his feet, but because he was extremely wobbly, referee Stefano Valenti waived it off, the official time being just 0:38 into the fight.
In a middleweight tilt, Samir Boukhidous toppled Mikhail Chalykh with a pair of scorching right hands in the first. Chalykh was felled with the powerful punch but he beat the count. However, almost as soon as the action resumed, he was floored with virtually the same punch. Referee Tobias Gerald waived off the mugging after the second knockdown, allowing the Moroccan Boukhidous the TKO victory.