Photo: James Law/GLORY Sports International

Cedric Doumbe defeated Nieky Holzken at GLORY: COLLISION to win the welterweight title in December of last year, and in the much-anticipated rematch at GLORY 42 on Saturday, he beat him once again.

Doumbe (67-4-1), 24, defeated Holzken (90-13) by split decision inside AccorHotels Arena in Paris, France. Four of the five judges scored the bout in favor of Doumbe with three 49-46 score cards and one 48-47. The fifth judge scored the bout 49-46 for Holzken.

The French champion utilized his tricky and unorthodox style to out land Holzken throughout the five-round title fight, and used some of his in-ring antics to antagonize the former title holder also. At one point after a missed Holzken leg kick, Doumbe looked down in both directions. Later on in the fight he feigned being hurt from a punch to the liver and then sprung up to throw a punch.

Holzken had his moments and landed some significant strikes, but didn’t land at the volume of his counterpart, who was able to land multiple-strike combinations with consistency. When Holzken did connect, it was usually only with one big hook and he wasn’t able to follow it up.

In the final round, Holzken connected on a spinning-back kick, which sent Doumbe through the ropes and onto the ground, but referee Paul Nicholls did not rule it a knockdown.

“First of all, I want to thank Nieky Holzken,” Doumbe told Whitney Miller after the bout. He told me, ‘Man, you are always running in the ring. I answered, ‘Come on, man, that’s my style. I respect your style. Respect my style. I beat you by running. The judges decide, so respect the decision.”

In many ways this fight was a passing of the torch in the GLORY welterweight division. Holzken, 33, had won 12 straight fights and defended the title three times before dropping the belt to Doumbe in December, and at GLORY 42 he lost to him once again. The Dutch veteran has now lost two in a row. His first two-fight losing streak in over eight years and only the third time in over 100 fights he has dropped two straight fights.

In the co-main event, Murthel Groenhart viciously knocked out Harut Grigorian in controversial fashion and was then attacked by fans afterward in what erupted into a wild scene inside the ring.

In the opening seconds of the second round, Groenhart landed a jumping knee, which caused Grigorian to turn his back and walk away. With Grigorian facing the other direction, Groenhart walked up and unloaded a huge right hand, which knocked the already dazed Armenian-Belgian fighter out cold and sent him crashing to the canvas.

While Paul Nicholls was tending to the fallen Grigorian, who had a huge cut over his left eye, Groenhart was up on the ropes in celebration when two fans ran into the ring and attacked him. The first landed a right hand to the face of Groenhart, which caused him to cover up in the corner. The second tried to hit him also. After Grigorian’s coach Nicky Hemmers, and Groenhart’s coach Big Mike Passenier, pulled the assailants away from Groenhart, order was quickly restored.

Groenhart won the bout by knockout. The official time of the finish was not given.

On the broadcast, it was mentioned that Groenhart may have a broken jaw, but Passenier confirmed to MMA Plus that was not the case.

“We will take the appropriate action,” GLORY CEO Jon J. Franklin told MMA Plus late on Saturday night. He said he doesn’t think an arrest was made. And since the fight took place in Paris, France, Franklin said they have to look into what the proper protocol is under French law. He also said Groenhart doesn’t want to press charges and the fighter that hit him called Passenier afterward to apologize. Passenier confirmed that to MMA Plus and said GLORY executives now have his information. “Now it’s up to them,” Passenier said. “They have to take care of our safety.”

“Regardless of what Murthel does, we are going to do something,” Franklin said. “We will find out what the appropriate course of action is and we will take it. We are not going to just let it lie.”

It was an unfortunate incident, but GLORY should be commended for how quickly they were able to restore order in the ring and continue on with the fight card. It looked like a brawl was about to ensue, but luckily for their sake that did not happen. Franklin said security measures were in place, and said they have a reinforced barricade that surrounds the ring, which is much sturdier than a typical “bike rack” that is used for most combat sports events. Franklin said the fans hopped over it and then ran past security to get into the ring.

As it turns out, one of those fans is an Armenian MMA fighter named Hracho Darpinyan. That news was first reported by Dave Walsh of


Christian Baya (57-5-1) won the one-night, four-man, lightweight “Contender” tournament to earn a future title shot against current champion Sittichai Sitsongpeenong.

Baya defeated Mike’s Gym teammate Massaro Glunder (30-10) by split decision in the tournament final, and Anatoly Moiseev (16-3)by split decision in the semi-finals to earn the Ramon Dekker’s Memorial Trophy.

Glunder punched his ticked to the tournament final by knocking down Niclas Larsen (46-9-2) twice in the first round to earn the TKO victory.