After 19 weeks without our beloved Glory the promotion returned last night with their 18th event, which took place in Oklahoma, USA. Glory delivered once again making the wait worthwhile with a fantastic card top to bottom. Not only did Glory make up for lost time in terms of entertainment, but the event also solved several questions regarding title fights we can expect to see in 2015.
This one is quite obvious but for anyone who missed it, Cavalari defeated both Danyo Illunga and Zack Mwekessa last night to win the Glory Lightheavyweight Contender Tournament. Whilst Cavalari isn’t the most technically gifted striker at Lightheavyweight, he makes up for it with his aggressive approach and excellent output. He’ll be facing the current champion Gohkan Saki at some point in 2015 in what should be an absolute treat.
Mwekessa’s boxing is not only some of the best at Lightheavyweight, but pound for pound he’s one of the best boxers in Glory at the moment. Cavalari exposed Mwekessa’s lack of kicking offence and defense, showing that he still needs to work on his overall game if he ever wants a crack at the belt. I think a bout with Andrei Stoica would be a good match for Mwekessa next.
Robin van Roosmalen
Van Roosmalen snatched the lightweight title from Kiria after defeating the Georgian for the third time. After 5 rounds of action it was van Roosmalen’s output that earned him the nod over the former champion, in a technically superb back and forth contest. Van Roosmalen first title defense will likely come against the last man to defeat him in Andy Ristie.
Unfortunately for Kiria it wasn’t third time lucky against Van Roosmalen. Despite scoring the only knockdown of the fight and remaining competitive throughout, Kiria lost the Majoirty Decision and his Lightweight title to the Dutchman last night. Unfortunately for Kiria this puts him in an awkward position so long as Van Roosmalen’s champion, as I doubt many will be calling for a fourth encounter between the two. Given that Ky Hollenbeck is also coming off of a loss a bout between him and Kiria makes a lot of sense, with the winner instantly being propelled back into title contention.
In what was the nights biggest upset, young Dutchman Jason Wilnis shocked the kickboxing world by defeating the #2 ranked Wayne Barrett. Wilnis refused to give Barrett the space he required and as a result he was able to capitalize with two knockdowns that swung the bout in his favor. With the win Wilnis evens his Glory record to 2-2 and will find himself knocking on the door of title contention. Due to the one-sided nature of his first loss to the current champ Artem Levin he’ll likely need at least one more convincing victory before he’s granted a rematch. A bout with Alex Perreira would not only give us a strong indication of where Wilnis stands within the Middleweight division, but it’d also be guaranteed fireworks.
Barrett was heavily favored prior to the bout and looked to be on the cusp of a title shot. Wilnis’ aggressive approach appeared to be the answer to Barrett’s usual elusiveness as Barrett was hurt badly with punches in the opening two rounds. Even with a loss last night Barrett is one of the few Middleweights who’s yet to fight the champion, a win over a respectable opponent like Filip Verlinden would move him right back into title conversation.
In what was a disappointing performance by the perennial top 5 Lightheavyweight, Illunga was outworked and outpointed by eventual tournament winner Saulo Cavalari. The loss moves Illunga down in the pecking order, however with a few wins under his belt he could easily be knocking on the door of a title shot. A bout with fellow tournament semi-finalist Brian Collette would make a lot of sense.
Another one that is fairly obvious. Adegbuyi defeated veteran Hesdy Gerges over the course of three rounds in a bout that was declared by Glory as a number one contenders bout. With the win Adegbuyi stays undefeated under the Glory banner and will move on to face the winner of the Rico Verhoeven vs. Errol Zimmerman III, which headlines Glory 19 on the 19th of December.