This Saturday June 10 is Glory 42 Paris. The show is headlined by a world title fight rematch, and will air live on UFC Fight Pass and ESPN2 (not ESPN3 where Glory typically airs). Here’s a look at the night’s big fights
CEDRIC DOUMBE vs. NIEKY HOLZKEN
The main event is Welterweight title fight. Champion Doumbe won the belt from Holzken in December. He’s since defended it once against Yoann Kongolo; Holzken has been inactive since the loss. Holzken had been the long-time king of the Welterweight division – even before he officially won the Glory title, he was the clear top dog. The Doumbe loss was his first ever loss in Glory and ended a 4+ year, 11 fight win streak that saw him rise to the top of some pound for pound lists. At the same time, there certainly has been evidence that he’s slowing down. Most agree that the judges helped him escape with his belt against Murthel Groenhart in 2015, and Kongolo came very close to taking the title as well. Holzken is a 15 year veteran with over 100 pro fights to his credit – if he’s slowing down at this stage, it’s certainly understandable.
Doumbe is a 24 year old fighter from the French scene, which means he’ll have a highly partisan crowd here. He looked fine in the early stages of his career, but it was 2016 where he really broke out, going an astounding 11-1 that included wins over Groenhart and, of course, Holzken. It was something of an upset when he took the belt, but momentum is on his side, and while Holzken remains a top level fighter, you have to give the edge to Doumbe to repeat the win here.
MURTHEL GROENHART vs. HARUT GRIGORIAN
The featured fight on the Glory 42 card is just a perfect piece of match-making. In Groenhart and Grigorian you have two dynamic, extremely exciting fighters who both go for it every time. Both have a lot of experience, through the edge there goes to Groenhart, a former K-1 MAX Grand Prix champion who, as mentioned above, most feel should have won Glory gold already. It’s worth noting that in that K-1 MAX GP back in 2012, Groenhart beat Grigorian. Since then, Grigorian has been very impressive, using an aggressive game to roll through opponents. He’s 3-1 in Glory, with his only loss coming to the tough Yoann Kongolo. If Grigorian can slow Murthel down, get it out of the first, and make it a more technical affair, he can win this. If it’s a slugfest, all bets are off. My guess is it’s the latter, with Groenhart walking away with the early KO.
Rounding out the ESPN2 card is a Lightweight tournament. The favorite has to be Niclas Larsen, a very good veteran who has momentum on his side, coming in off a huge win over Yodkhunpon in April. Look for him to make the finals against Anatoly Moiseev, a talented and exciting Russian fighter who already holds some good wins in Glory, including a victory over Josh Jauncey. If that’s the final, I see Larsen’s technique giving him the edge. Possible spoiler to all of this is Christian Baya, Moiseev’s first round opponent who made his Glory debut in November, defeating Jauncey.
The featured fight here is an excellent battle between two near contenders in the Welterweight division: Yoann Kongolo vs. Yohan Lidon. Both have big experience, though Lidon has been around much longer, traveling the world with his more classic Muay Thai style. He’s coming to Glory pretty late in his career, but I still expect him to make a splash. Also on the card is what should be a fun Heavyweight fight in Nicolas Wambs vs. Johnata Diniz, a Light Heavyweight fight that sees Zinedine Hameur-Lain tested by highly decorated and crafty veteran Freddy Kemayo, the brutal Marat Grigorian getting what should be a showcase fight against Antonio Gomez, and a really intriguing Featherweight battle that sees former champion Serhiy Adamchuk taking on Dylan Salvador. Salvador looked absolutely incredible in his Glory 36 tournament win, and comes in off a title fight loss at Lightweight to champion Sittichai. He’s dropping down in weight here – would love to see him win this to hopefully set up what would be a terrific title fight against Featherweight champion Robin van Roosmalen. But Adamchuk is a tough, wily opponent – that should be a very intriguing fight.
Glory 42 airs live this Saturday, June 10. The show begins at 12:30 p.m. ET with the Superfight Series on Fight Pass, and continues at 3:00 p.m. ET on ESPN2. Join Bloody Elbow for live fight coverage.
GLORY 42 PARIS
ESPN2, Saturday June 10, 3:00 p.m. ET
Welterweight Title: Cedric Doumbe vs. Nieky Holzken
Lightweight Tournament Final
Murthel Groenhart vs. Harut Grigorian
Semifinal: Anatoly Moiseev vs. Christian Baya
Semifinal: Niclas Larsen vs. Massaro Glunder
Fight Pass, Saturday June 10, 12:30 p.m. ET
Yoann Kongolo vs. Yohan Lidon
Nicolas Wamba vs. Jhonata Diniz
Zinedine Hameur-Lain vs. Freddy Kemayo
Marat Grigorian vs. Antonio Gomez
Dylan Salvador vs. Serhiy Adamchuk
Remy Vectol vs. Francois Ambang
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