Gokhan Saki has officially been stripped of the Glory Light Heavyweight championship. The former champion had not defended the belt since winning it over a year ago in April 2014, and the company has now made the decision to strip him of the title due to inactivity.
Saki won the inaugural Glory Light Heavyweight title by defeating Tyrone Spong at Glory 15. In the 15 months since, he has fought only once, a non-Glory fight with Sebastian Ciobanu in Dubai.
Holding things up for Saki has been money. A 15 year veteran of the sport who has fought for K-1 and It’s Showtime among many others, Saki has been clear that he feels he should be paid more than what Glory is currently offering. Glory and Saki have tried to come to terms, and a few months ago he told Bloody Elbow’s own John Joe O’Regan: “I’m not done with GLORY. We are talking. Maybe something can happen in the summer.” Obviously, that is not how things played out. According to LiverKick.com, the final deal-breaker was Saki refusing to defend the title on the upcoming Bellator/Glory Dynamite event in September, at which point, the company decided to strip him of the belt.
No word yet on when a new champion will be crowned or who will fight for the vacant title. Clearly one of the fighters will be Glory’s #2 ranked Light Heavyweight Saulo Cavalari. Cavalari won the Glory 18 Light Heavyweight tournament, and has been owed a title shot while Saki has sat things out. His opponent is a bit tougher to predict, as Cavalari already holds recent wins over #1 Danyo Ilunga, #4 Zack Mwekassa, #6 Mourad Bouzidi, and #9 Artem Vakhitov. It’s a shame this was not announced earlier as the April fight with Vakhitov would have been a perfect title fight. As it stands right now, a rematch with Ilunga makes the most sense.
Glory is back in action next Friday, August 7 with Glory 23, featuring Nieky Holzken vs. Raymond Daniels for the Glory Welterweight title.
About the author