Glory welterweight champion Cédric Doumbé was supposed to face Murthel Groenhart this weekend in Lyo,n to conclude his trilogy against the last man to beat him. Unfortunately, the French knockout artist had to pull out with an elbow injury less than two weeks prior to the fight. He was replaced on short notice by promising American fighter Troy Jones, and an interim title was created for the fight.
While Groenhart was a big step up from Jones’ previous competition in the pros, this didn’t seem like an insurmountable task given the American’s athletic gifts and very good technique. All in all, this was about as good a replacement fight as fans could hope, given the very short notice.
Jones got off to a good start, and won the first round with very good low kicks. But in the second round, the Dutch veteran floored him down with a right hand and swarmed him for the stoppage seconds later.
Despite the disappointing loss, Jones acquitted himself well on short notice against a top fighter. At 31-years-old, I don’t see much point in sending him back to lower competition. So, I’d like to see him against another high level fighter with a full camp next time. For Groenhart, this was a good win over a relatively unknown but dangerous fighter, against which he had little to gain. The victory cemented his shot at the title and we should see him against Doumbé as soon as the champion heals up.
In the co-main event, 22-year-old Donovan Wisse picked up a very impressive win over former champion Jason Wilnis—his second of the year, following his fight against Yousri Belgaroui. Wisse worked beautifully around Wilnis’ high guard and hammered with brutal left hooks to the body over the course of the fight. The win brought his record to 13-1, and probably earned him a title shot. But he doesn’t seem in too much of a hurry to face Alex Pereira.
Given his young age, waiting a bit more might not be the worst idea—but outside of trying to avenge his loss to Ertugrul Bayrak his options are limited. Pereira apparently intends to keep defending his middleweight belt, but he recently moved up to light heavyweight, and has options there. So, his challenger’s patience might not be the worst thing for him and Glory.
At featherweight, Zakaria Zouggary put on a great performance against Abdellah Ezbiri. He hurt Ezbiri early, handled the French veteran’s rally well – dodging punches in the corner – before he landing a flying knee and finished Ezbiri off with a brutal 1-2-3 combo. A KO of the year contender that puts Zouggary right back in the title hunt, after a year long absence from the ring.
Michael Palandre, coming off of a very good win over Vlad Tuinov, had a dissapointing performance against Bruno Gazani. Palandre couldn’t manage to keep Gazani at his preferred kicking range, and got pressured and soundly beaten over three rounds. Coming in, I thought Gazani was a good action fighter that would add depth to the division. But, he wasn’t a fighter I expected to really factor in among the other contender. However, I also didn’t expect him to beat Palandre, so he might make more waves than I anticipated.
On the Superfight Series of the card, Guéric Billet and Glory debutante Mohamed Hendouf stole the show, and put on by far the best fight of the night. Billet threw over 300 strikes in 9 minutes and was still over 100 strikes behind Hendouf’s hellish pace. Billet handled himself well but was drowned in Hendouf’s endless combination work and lost a clear decision in a tremendous fight.
Belgium’s Hendouf has had very good results on the French and Dutch scene recently (his only recent losses are to top 5 fighters Chingiz Allazov and Tayfun Ozcan) and is a fantastic addition to Glory’s lightweight division.
Matěj Peňáz quietly keeps being a very interesting middleweight prospect, he battered Yassine Ahaggan for a second round TKO. The win took his Glory record to 3-1 with 3 stoppages. His only loss being to Donovan Wisse. A step up in competition seems warranted for him at this point.
Despite the big blow losing its main event and local star represented, Glory 70 recovered well with a bunch of good fights and memorable finishes. Glory now looks forward to a double event in Chicago on November 22nd and 23rd before closing the year big with their Collision December show, headlined by the much anticipated Rico Verhoeven-Badr Hari rematch.
Here’s a complete rundown of the GLORY 70 results:
Murthel Groenhart def. Troy Jones via KO (punches) at 2:38 of Round 2, 2:38 – for interim welterweight title
Donovan Wisse def. Jason Wilnis via UD (29-28, 29-28, 30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Zakaria Zouggary def. Abdellah Ezbiri via KO (punches) at 2:25 of Round 1
Bruno Gazani def. Michaël Palandre via SD (29-28, 28-29, 29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
Nordine Mahieddine def. Kirill Kornilov via SD (29-28, 29-28, 28-29, 28-29, 29-28)
Matěj Peňáz def. Yassine Ahaggan via TKO (retirement) at 1:06 of Round 2
Jamie Bates def. Vedat Hoduk via UD (29-27, 29-27, 29-27, 30-26, 30-26)
Mohammed Hendouf def. Guerric Billet via SD (28-29, 29-28, 27-30, 30-27, 30-27)
Thong Fairtex def. Masaya Kubo via UD (29-28, 30-27, 30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Cedric Do def. Mehdi Kada via TKO (three-knockdown rule) at 1:04 of Round 2
Anaëlle Angerville def. Maria Lobo via UD (29-28, 30-27, 30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Said Ahamada def. Yoann Mermoux via UD (29-27, 29-27, 30-26, 30-26, 30-26)