This Friday, April 3, Glory presents Glory 20 Dubai. It’s an excellent show, with two title fights and a quality Middleweight tournament. Glory 20 airs on Spike TV this Friday, April 3 with a fight time of 9:00 p.m. ET. Bloody Elbow will have live fight night coverage, and to get ready for the show, we have you covered with our fight by fight previews.
Here, a look at one of the featured fights on the Superfight Series – watch the Superfight Series in a live stream right here Friday morning.
MOURAD BOUZIDI (76-22-2 Overall; 3-4 Glory) vs. DUSTIN JACOBY (4-4 Overall; 4-4 Glory)
It’s been a bit of a journey to get to this fight. When Glory 20 was first announced, one of the big names on the card was Pat Barry, taking on Mourad Bouzidi. A Barry injury dropped him off the card and Jacoby stepped in. The fight was scheduled for the main Spike card for some time, but a week before fight time, it was moved to the Superfight Series. It’s also at Heavyweight – one weight class up for Bouzidi, and two for Jacoby.
When looking at each man’s stats, one thing stands out: the records. Bouzidi is an incredibly well traveled veteran who has been in more than 100 fights. He’s faced a vast array of talent, and holds wins over Errol Zimmerman, Anderson Silva, and Hesdy Gerges (and, yes, Peter Aerts, though it was a clearly shot Aerts who should not have been in there). He trains under Aerts, and has been a part of Glory since Glory 2. But in that time, he has not found a ton of success, going 3-4. Those losses are all against incredible talents: Saki, Ghita, Ilunga, Cavalari. Still, it’s been a tough road for Bouzidi, never more so than at Glory 12 when he was knocked cold by Saulo Cavalari. He’s had one fight since – a good win over Randy Blake last April.
On the complete other side of the coin is Dustin Jacoby. The MMA fighter/kickboxer made his pro kickboxing debut at a Road to Glory show in 2013 and has fought his entire career on the Glory stage. After winning that tournament and starting his career 4-1, he’s now lost 3 straight, including his own nasty KO loss at the hands of Alex Pereira last March. This is his first kickboxing fight since, though he has been competing in Bellator.
Based purely on those records, it’s pretty easy to pick a Bouzidi win here, and such a pick certainly makes sense. Bouzidi, as you would expect, is a solid fighter with good technique. He has excellent leg kicks, and good speed in his combinations. Jacoby, again understandably, is much more raw, relying more on his power and brawling than his technical skills.
That said, to write this off as experienced technician vs sloppy brawler and hand Bouzidi the victory is an oversimplification. Yes, Bouzidi has the advantage, but there is a path for a Jacoby victory here. While Bouzidi does have strong technique, that strength is more focused in the area of offense. Defensively, he has never fully closed his gaps. When opponents push forward and throw a lot of hands at his head, they tend to get through the defense and land. This is why Bouzidi has been the victim of some big KOs by the likes of Cavalari, Badr Hari, and Ismael Londt among others.
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For his part, Jacoby has been improving his technical game considerably during his time in Glory, showing real progress in every fight. But perhaps his best chance here is to let go of those improving technical skills and try to outbrawl the hittable Bouzidi. However, to do so, he’ll have to overcome some significant deficits. Bouzidi is the faster fighter, and particularly at Heavyweight, I expect Jacoby to not come in at his peak physicality. Jacoby has a bad tendency to leave his jabs out there, opening himself up for shots, and particularly against a faster striker, that’s a bad thing. He’s also struggled against the more aggressive fighter – Pereira just ran him over at Glory 14, and Bouzidi, while not the same KO kind of striker, has the speed and combos to do the same.
In the end, I like Jacoby’s puncher’s chance here – not just because it’s a fight so you always have that chance, but because I can envision him making the most of that chance specifically against Bouzidi. But the talent gap and experience gap are just too wide, and realistically, Jacoby likely won’t be able to overcome that.
Prediction: Mourad Bouzidi by decision
Watch Bouzidi vs. Jacoby on the Glory 20 Superfight Series, available as a live stream here at Bloody Elbow Friday morning. Then join us for Glory 20, live on Spike TV this Friday, April 3 at 9:00 p.m. ET as Bloody Elbow presents live fight night coverage.
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