This Saturday is Glory 28 Paris – one of the most loaded line-ups in company history. Glory 28 airs live Saturday, March 12 with a fight time of 4:00 p.m. ET for the main card on ESPN3. Before that, the Glory Superfight Series will air on UFC Fight Pass with a terrific card to rival the main show. The Glory Superfight Series has a fight time of 1:00 p.m. ET live on Fight Pass. Here, we break down the complete Superfight card – check back later this week for the main card.
C. SAULO CAVALARI (59-3 Overall; 6-1 Glory) vs. #4 ARTEM VAKHITOV (14-5 Overall; 4-1 Glory) – Light Heavyweight Title
The Superfight main event sees Saulo Cavalari make the first defense of the Light Heavyweight title he won in September. This was originally intended to be Cavalari vs Gokhan Saki – the former Glory LHW champ who never lost the belt in the ring. But a Saki injury changed those plans and the tough Vakhitov steps in. Both of these men are ferocious Muay Thai style fighters, with explosive power and a great pressure game. Expect a high volume of output here as the two try to wear each other down and win a 5 round war of attrition. Cavalari has been nearly flawless in Glory, with his only loss coming against Tyrone Spong, and wins over the likes of Zack Mwekassa, Danyo Ilunga, and Vakhitov, who he beat previously at Glory 20. Vakhitov has had similar success, though at an overall slightly lower level of opposition. His lone Glory loss is to Cavalari, and he comes in off a win over Ilunga plus another victory outside of Glory. With Cavalari already having won this battle, it’s hard to pick against him, but I have always felt Vakhitov is on the verge of a world title – perhaps this will be the night he takes that step.
Prediction: Artem Vakhitov, decision
C. SERHIY ADAMCHUK (31-5 Overall; 3-0 Glory) vs. #1 MOSAB AMRANI (55-10-4 Overall; 5-2 Glory) – Featherweight Title
Champion Serhiy Adamchuk makes his first title defense here. Adamchuk looked terrific in his Glory debut last year, upsetting Marat Grigorian and beating Anvar Boynazarov at Dynamite!! With a move down to Featherweight, he became an immediate title challenger, winning the belt from Gabriel Varga at Glory 25. That Varga fight was terrible – a clinch-heavy “bowling show ugly” kind of affair that made everyone involved look bad. Adamchuk needs to erase that image here, and he gets his chance against an extremely game challenger. Amrani is a highly decorated veteran who has fought all over the world against the division’s very best. He’s been a part of Glory since Glory 5, and the company has clearly seen him as a champion in waiting from the very beginning, but it hasn’t quite materialized. He was the favorite in the Glory 8 tournament, but lost to Masaaki Noiri, then fought for the inaugural belt at Glory 20 and lost to Varga. He comes in here off a very impressive and destructive tournament win at Glory 26. Amrani is the heavy favorite despite being the challenger, but I think he’s no longer at his peak, and Adamchuk can make him uncomfortable enough to get it done.
Prediction: Serhiy Adamchuk, decision
#10 FREDDY KEMAYO (65-22-1 Overall; Glory debut) vs. #6 XAVIER VIGNEY (9-1 Overall; 5-0 Glory) – Heavyweight
This Heavyweight fight is a terrific test for Vigney and a classic old guard vs rising star kind of match-up. Representing the young lion side of the equation is Vigney – a relatively inexperienced fighter who has none the less made a big name for himself in Glory, first winning the Glory 21 tournament, then beating veteran Daniel Sam. He’s had some time off to heal up, but is back here in his toughest fight to date against the road warrior veteran Kemayo. Making his Glory debut here, Kemayo is a former K-1 champion who has taken on fighters like Semmy Schilt, Daniel Ghita, and Peter Aerts, who Kemayo defeated in 2014. He’s the kind of accomplished veteran who will never be an easy win for anyone. I love this match-up – it has a great boxing vibe to it of testing the younger talent. I think he passes that test, but it’s a close call.
Prediction: Xavier Vigney, decision
#5 JASON WILNIS (25-6-1 Overall, 3-4 Glory) vs. #9 FILIP VERLINDEN (44-13-1 Overall; 5-5 Glory) – Middleweight
Perfectly matched fight here between two seasoned pros of the European scene. Both Wilnis and Verlinden have great pedigrees and are excellent examples of the Dutch style. They both have spent most of their career just outside the highest echelon, though the last 18 months have been big for Wilnis with a win over Wayne Barrett, a trip to the Glory 20 finals, and a tremendous fight with Joe Schilling that was sadly cut short due to a Wilnis injury. Verlinden made his Glory debut all the way back at Glory 2 and has fought many of the company’s best, though he’s never scored a real marquee win. Verlinden is a very tough fighter with a hard style, but he also just seems a tiny step behind Wilnis in most aspects of the game. For fans of the pure Dutch style, this should be a good one.
Prediction: Jason Wilnis, Decision
#4 JOSH JAUNCEY (23-6 Overall, 4-2 Glory) vs. JOHAN TKAC (27-5-1 Overall; Glory Debut) – Lightweight
This was scheduled as Josh Jauncey vs. Anatoly Moiseev, but an injury in the Glory 28 Lightweight tournament changed those plans. Now, Moiseev moves up to the tournament, and French fighter Johan Tkac steps in on 3 days notice to take on hot prospect Jauncey. Canada’s Jauncey quietly rose up the Glory ranks in 2014, then had a big 2015 with high profile fights against Sittichai and Giorgio Petrosyan. Jauncey may have lost those fights but he showed that he belongs in the ring against 2 of the top 3 fighters in the division. Jauncey is a part of Team Souwer, and brings much of that technical precision seen in his mentor Andy Souwer. Tkac has been fighting on the smaller European scene, where he is yet to face an opponent of particular note. He did score wins in Enfusion last December and at the local undercard for Glory 22. Honestly, there’s very little footage of him out there, so it’s difficult to evaluate him, but he’s taking a huge step up here and it’s hard to see him pulling this off.
Prediction: Josh Jauncey, KO
#3 MAYKOL YURK (8-4 Overall, 1-1 Glory) vs. #8 EDDY NAIT-SLIMANI (59-1 Overall; Glory Debut) – Featherweight
People are very excited for the debut of French fighter Eddy Nait-Slimani, and if you need to know why, take another look at that record. Slimani has been building up his reputation in Europe over the past few years, and he’s a very welcome and exciting addition to Glory’s relatively shallow Featherweight division. He takes on Brazil’s Yurk here, who had a good win over Shane Oblonsky at Glory 26 before being beaten down by Mosab Amrani. These are two Muay Thai fighters, but Slimani’s massive experience edge should be the difference maker, as a new star could be born here in Paris.
Prediction: Eddy Nait-Slimani, KO
Join us here at Bloody Elbow on Saturday for live Glory 28 coverage.
About the author