The body of kickboxer Marc de Bonte has been found and identified by police. De Bonte went missing earlier this month on a drive from his gym to his girlfriend’s house. Shortly thereafter his car was found in a river and now, reports out of The Netherlands state that his body has been found in the river and positively identified by the police. De Bonte was 26.
A Belgian fighter who trained out of The Netherlands, de Bonte was only 22 years old when he made his Glory debut at Glory 2 in 2012, and had already generated a tremendous amount of buzz thanks to his amateur credentials. Though he lost that Glory debut to Murthel Groenhart, he bounced back with a huge win at Glory 6, defeating L’houcine Ouzgni – Ouzgni at the time was just one fight removed from a win over the great Nieky Holzken, and was considered by many to be the best Welterweight in kickboxing. De Bonte dominated him in one round, winning via spectacular knee KO.
After that fight, the big fight many hardcore fans were buzzing about was de Bonte vs. Holzken. Though scheduled on multiple occasions, sadly, that fight never materialized for a variety of reasons. While Holzken was out with an injury, de Bonte earned a shot at Glory gold, facing Karapet Karapetyan at Glory 16 in a fight to determine Glory’s first Welterweight champion. De Bonte won that fight, forever placing himself in the kickboxing record book. In his first title defense, de Bonte lost the belt in a terrific fight with Joseph Valtellini at the Glory Last Man Standing PPV.
In the aftermath of the Valtellini loss, de Bonte stepped away from kickboxing, citing his frustration with low fighter pay. He pursued a boxing career, putting together an 8-2 record.
Earlier this year, de Bonte made a much anticipated return to kickboxing, ending his 2 year absence from the sport with a big KO win in China’s Kunlun organization. He was expected to fight in the Kunlun 80kg title tournament semi-finals later this year, and was a favorite in that tournament.
Marc de Bonte’s time in kickboxing was brief, but notable. He will forever be remembered as a Glory champion, a world-class talent, and a gentlemen who was respected by all outside of the ring. He will be missed.
On behalf of the entire Bloody Elbow team, our condolences to the family and friends of Marc de Bonte.
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