Jason Wilnis Retains Middleweight Crown in Controversial Glory 37 Nod Over Israel Adesanya

By Mike Sloan Jan 21, 2017
Jason Wilnis retained his middleweight championship in the Glory 37 main event on Friday at The Novo in Los Angeles, but his bout with Israel Adesanya was much closer than the scorecards indicated.

Wilnis encountered tough sledding against the lanky and explosive Adesanya, who seized control early with his awkward striking style and blistering speed. While Adesanya (65-4, 27 KOs) peppered the Dutchman with punches and kicks from all angles, the champion continued to plug away with vicious leg kicks and powerful punches to the head and body. Neither man was hurt in the battle, and the ringside judges awarded Wilnis (30-6-1, 8 KOs) a unanimous decision: 49-46, 48-47 and 48-47.

Many in attendance booed the outcome, but Adesanya was not outwardly irate by the verdict and exited the ring without protest. Wilnis will likely next defend his title against Simon Marcus -- the man he knocked out at Glory 33 to become champion.

Meanwhile, Switzerland’s Yoann Kongolo was a man on a mission, as he tore through two opponents to earn a crack at reigning Glory welterweight champion Cedric Doumbe. Kongolo (64-8, 46 KOs) dominated Karim Benmansour in the Glory Welterweight Contender Tournament final, dropping him twice before scoring the knockout in the third round.

Kongolo -- who earned a lopsided unanimous decision over Konstantin Khuzin (7-3, 1 KO) in the semifinals -- floored Benmansour with a vicious left hook to the liver in Round 2. It appeared as though the fight was over then, but Benmansour dug deep and somehow struggled back to his feet. He battled through the pain and did what he could to turn the tide, but Kongolo dropped him again in the third round. A left hook to the body followed by a right cross upstairs did the damage, and Benmansour (48-7-2, 22 KOs) was counted out at the 2:57 mark. Benmansour edged Alan Scheinson (48-4, 37 KOs) by split decision to advance to the final.

Finally, Ultimate Fighting Championship veteran Carlos Augusto Inocente Filho, author of Glory’s “Knockout of the Year” in 2016, walked away with a decision victory over promotional newcomer D’Angelo Marshall (14-2, 8 KOs). Curacao’s Marshall fought through an early knockdown to force a sudden-victory round. There, Inocente (33-7, 17 KOs) saw his experience shine through and carry him to a decision. All three judges scored the deciding fourth round 10-9 in his favor.

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