This weekend's GLORY 9 New York event featured the GLORY Light Heavyweight Slam tournament, which was won by Tyrone Spong in a controversial bout with Danyo Ilunga. The ref, Mufadel Elghazaoui, stepped in as soon as Spong swarmed Ilunga with punches, stopping the bout while Ilunga was still of a clear mind, defending and on his feet. Since then fans have been speaking out against Mufadel, who has a history of poor stoppages in the past, much like we saw with former GLORY head referee Joop Ubeda.
Glory released a statement earlier today about it.
We agree with most viewers of June 22nd's telecast that the fight stoppage at Glory9 of Spong versus Ilunga, the final fight of the night, seemed premature. However, a professional referee is going to see things that we, and the audience, might not. He is the one who has the best vantage point to determine whether a fighter is capable of continuing the match and we must respect that. In this way, the referee acted fully within his authority and the rules of the sport. Anytime a fighter fails to intelligently defend himself, the referee must effectively end the fight.
Overall it was an amazing evening for our first event in the US and one few of us will forget. There were some real back-and-forth wars during the night, and the fighters, almost to a man, brought their best selves to the Glory ring in New York City at the historic Manhattan Center. We thank them and congratulate Tyrone Spong, the winner of the 8-man tournament and the $200,000 in prize money.
We look forward to another great night of fights this September on US soil and we will keep the fans posted on those details shortly.