Simon Marcus was hellbent on reclaiming his lost Glory middleweight title and he vowed to conquer rival Jason Wilnis in the main event of Glory 40: Copenhagen. When the smoke cleared and the dust settled inside the squared circle on Saturday, the Canadian was right.
Marcus (47-3-2, 26 KOs) avoided most of the incoming attrition from “Psycho” and unloaded nasty kicks to Wilnis’ legs and body, slowing him down. Each round was close, but Marcus was on point and much more accurate with his strikes than the defending champion was. Marcus applied tons of pressure down the stretch and caught the judges’ attention with his more powerful kicks, specifically the ones to the Dutch fighter’s midsection.
In the end, Marcus was just a hair better than his foe and won a split decision. The official scores were 48-47 (twice) and 49-46 for Marcus, while the other two officials favored Wilnis 48-47 and 49-46. The win not only allowed Marcus, a former Kunlun Fight and Lion Fight champion, to reclaim his Glory 185-pound crown, it gave him the edge over Wilnis (30-7-1, 8 KOs) in their three matchups. Marcus triumphed over Wilnis at Glory 20 then was toppled via third-round TKO at Glory 33.
In the Glory 40 middleweight contenders four-man one-night tournament, it was Tunisia’s Yousri Belgaroui who reigned supreme, earning a shot at Marcus for the title later this year. Belgaroui was masterful in both of his bouts as he dominated both men he faced. In the tourney finals, he picked apart Brazil’s Alex Pereira (24-6, 15 KOs) for three rounds from the outside, easily winning a lopsided unanimous decision. All five judges saw it 30-27 for Belgaroui (22-3, 11 KOs), who battered Croatia’s Agron Preteni (21-4-1, 6 KOs) via unanimous decision to reach the finals. Pereira took out Sweden’s Burim Rama (37-14-1, 15 KOs) via third-round TKO (1:32) in his first bout.
Tournament reserve fighter Nikola Kovacevic was not needed.
In the co-featured bout, lightweight Niclas Larsen returned from a career-threatening leg injury to completely flummox Thailand’s Yodkhunpon Sitmonchai (89-28-1, 54 KOs) for three rounds to win a surprisingly dominant unanimous decision. Larsen (46-8-2, 24 KOs), fighting in front of his hometown fans in Copenhagen, was masterful with his movements and precise countering. In the end, the judges favored Larsen with tallies of 30-27 (twice) and 29-28 (thrice) to give him the victory.
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