When the two light heavyweights met last year at Glory 20 in Dubai, Brazilian Saulo Cavalari got the best of Artem Vakhitov. After licking his wounds and going back to the drawing board, the Russian altered his approach and became a much better all-around fighter. On Saturday in the main event of the Glory 28 Super Fight Series undercard, he proved that by upending Cavalari and taking the defending champion’s title.
Vakhitov (16-5, 6 KOs) used a nearly flawless gameplan to pick the powerful Cavalari apart. He stung the champ with punches to the head and ripped his body with vicious hooks. If that wasn’t enough, the Russian busted up his foe’s legs with nasty low kicks, negating much of the Brazilian’s offense.
Vakhitov rocked Cavalari with flurry of shots to the body in the first and then wobbled the titleholder with a scorching right-left to the head, but he was unable to finish him off. Cavalari never stopped trying to win but by the end of the fight, he was exhausted and badly hobbled, unable to do anything to pull off the come-from-behind victory.
When the dust settled inside the Glory ring at the Accor Hotels Arena in Paris, all three judges favored the challenger via tallies of 49-46 and 50-45 (twice) to award Vakhitov a unanimous decision. It was the first defense for Cavalari (59-4, 49 KOs).
Adamchuk Successful in First DefenseSerhiy Adamchuk was successful in his first Glory featherweight title defense but he had to earn it against number-one contender Mosab Amrani. The Ukrainian was warned by referee Tobias Gerold several times early on for excessive holding, but the champ was able to change his gameplan up and dominate the challenger. Amrani was warned early as well for tossing the champ to the canvas.
Adamchuk (32-5, 14 KOs) dropped Amrani late in the third with a terrific left hook, but the Moroccan never wilted. Though Amrani (55-11-4, 18 KOs) became exhausted in the championship rounds, his grit and heart kept him fighting until the end. A flying knee to the head scored another knockdown for the titlist in the fifth but Amrani was somehow able to hang on until the final bell, even while stumbling around the ring.
In the end, Adamchuk’s wide array of punches and kicks was more than enough to retain his belt, which he did via unanimous decision. All three ringside judges favored him with scores of 49-44.
Vigney, Wilnis Highlight Rest of Super Fight SeriesAmerican hulk Xavier Vigney stood tall in his biggest professional kickboxing test as he out-slugged longtime veteran Freddy Kemayo (65-23-1, 45 KOs) over three rounds to nab a unanimous decision. Vigney stood toe-to-toe with the Frenchman and took as much as he gave in a terrific back-and-forth battle of attrition. Overall, however, Vigney (10-1, 8 KOs) landed the harder shots and he was busier, thus allowing him to win 29-28 and two cards and 30-27 on the third.
Middleweights Jason Wilnis and Filip Verlinden both entered their duel coming off back-to-back losses so a win was critical for both men. And when the three scheduled frames were over, it was clear that the two warriors did everything they could to win, but it was Dutch fighter Wilnis who landed the harder overall shots. His combos to the head and body were a bit crisper and though each round was as close as they come, Wilnis (27-6-1, 7 KOs) officially won each one on all three official judges’ scorecards. Belgium’s Verlinden (44-15-1, 16 KOs) was disappointed but he didn’t argue the official verdict.
Josh Jauncey, one of the best lightweights in the world, was too much for late replacement Johan Tkac to handle. The Canadian tore into his counterpart with a plethora of punches to the head and body coupled with kicks wherever he wanted. Tkac (29-6-1, 22 KOs) was tough, though, and walked through everything Jauncey (24-6, 13 KOs) landed, but in the end, a broken nose betrayed him. Between rounds two and three, the ringside doctor advised referee Paul Nicholls to stop the bout. The local fighter protested, as did Jauncey, but it was no use; the fight was called off anyway.
Eddy Naït-Slimani was successful in his Glory debut as he dominated Brazil’s Maykol Yurk over three rounds, winning a unanimous decision. Yurk (8-5) threw plenty of crisp combos in the duel, but Slimani (60-1) was much more effective with his. The featherweight Frenchman landed plenty of push kicks to the head and body throughout and won via tallies of 30-27 on all three ringside cards.
« Previous Glory 28 Pictures Next Verhoeven Dominates Brestovac to Retain Heavyweight Title in Glory 28 Main Event »