Glory Collision was Glory’s return to PPV, and, though it featured a stacked card, the focus was firmly on one fight and one fight alone. Rico Verhoeven vs. Badr Hari was built up as a dream match – the return of the former Heavyweight king against the current Heavyweight king. But given Hari’s turbulent past few years, no one, including Glory, really knew what to expect.
The gamble paid off, as Rico vs. Hari turned out to be exactly what it was presented to be – a one of a kind fight that brought the entire sport of kickboxing to life.
That’s not to say it wasn’t turbulent – far from it. The start of the epic fight had to be delayed when Hari’s notoriously passionate and rowdy fans stormed the ring, fought in the audience, and generally created the kind of madhouse atmosphere we so rarely see. Everyone will have to decide for themselves if this is a good thing or a bad thing, but it certainly was a memorable thing.
Once the fight started, Hari was shockingly poised, fighting at his best to bloody up Verhoeven and claim round 1. The champ gained more comfort in round 2, employing his technical game to turn the tide. Unfortunately, the back and forth was cut short, as seemingly out of nowhere, Hari turned away in pain, clutching his arm and the fight was waved off.
Disappointing ending aside, this was a great fight and a terrific spectacle. Post-fight, both men said they were up for a rematch – I can’t see how any fan would not approve.
- The other big result from the show was Cedric Doumbe upsetting Nieky Holzken to become the new Glory Welterweight champion. Doumbe used terrific movement to completely befuddle Holzken, leaving the champ in the dust and handing Holzken his first loss in Glory, and his first since 2012. What a great showing from Doumbe – let’s see where he goes from here.
- Tiffany van Soest became the inaugural Glory Super Bantamweight champion, winning the Grand Prix. For some reason, that GP never caught fire, with really no particularly memorable fights. That extended to this show, where semi-finals and finals all underwhelmed. Not a good launch to the division sadly.
- Main event aside, the craziest fight of the night was the Superfight Series headliner of Danyo Ilunga vs. Michael Duut. I questioned why this rematch was made, but clearly Glory matchmaker Cor Hemmers knew what he was doing as Duut and Ilunga came together to deliver a wild back-and-forth brawl that saw both hit the canvas. At the end of 3 rounds, the judges called a draw, leading to an extension round and a chance for more violence. The two never let up, with Duut pulling ahead to take the win. Tremendous, must-watch fight that is available now on Fight Pass.
- Other highlights from the card: Dylan Salvador scored a very impressive tournament win, with Salvador coming in as a replacement for Davit Kiria and looking strong in two wins. He earns a shot at Sittichai in what should be a very good fight. Sittichai himself earned a good win here, defeating Marat Grigorian in another impressive performance. Finally, Harut Grigorian scored another fast KO win. He now has two first round KOs in Glory, and a lone, close loss to Yoann Kongolo – he’s clearly a fighter to watch.
Full results from Glory 36 and Glory Collision below:
Rico Verhoeven def. Badr Hari, KO2 (injury)
Welterweight Title: Cedric Doumbe def. Nieky Holzken, SD
Jamal Ben Saddik def. Ismael Londt, UD
Women’s GP Finals: Tiffany van Soest def. Amel Dehby, UD
Michael Duut def. Danyo Ilunga, UD Ext Round
Harut Grigorian def. Danijel Solaja, KO1
Women’s GP Semifinal: Amel Dehby def. Isis Verbeek, UD
Women’s GP Semifinal: Tiffany van Soest def. Jessica Gladstone, UD
Tyjani Beztati def. Andrej Bruhl, UD
Glory 36 Germany
Lightweight Title: Sittichai Sitsongpeenong def. Marat Grigorian, SD
Lightweight Tournament Finals: Dylan Salvador def. Hysni Beqiri, UD
Fabio Pinca def. Mosab Amrani, SD
Semifinal: Hysni Beqiri def. Antonio Gomez, UD
Semifinal: Dylan Salvador def. Anatoly Moiseev, MD
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