Bailey Sugden
Photo: James Law/GLORY Sports International

Forget ‘GGG’, it’s all about ‘BBB’. After an impressive performance on the GLORY Redemption pay-per-view, Bailey Sugden (11-1) is showing great promise to fulfill the legacy of his family’s great kickboxing lineage. 

Sugden soared to a conclusive decision against Chinese foeChenglong Zhang (41-6). Three judges scored the bout 29-28, alongside two 30-27 scores, all in favour of the Suggy’s Gym fighter. 

When GLORY announced that “Bad Boy” Bailey Sugden would feature on the PPV card, the question wasn’t if the 20-year-old was ready for the opportunity, but rather if his talent merited the same spotlight as heavyweight champion Rico Verhoeven and a cohort of other established greats. 

The young Newark lad, though, managed to deliver in a forceful way, with a fearless performance against equally dangerous Zhang.

Entering GLORY Redemption, Zhang held the No.10 spot in the GLORY featherweight rankings, with three straight wins in the promotion. In contrast, Sugden occupied the unannounced No.20 spot after making a successful debut against Arthur Sorsor in July. 

“MANS NOT HOT,” the Ahoy Rotterdam sound system blurted, as Sugden loitered to the GLORY ring, unfazed by the occasion and the sold-out crowd. 

Zhang may have dwarfed Sugden with his in-ring experience – having fought 46 times – but with brothers, Chad, Regis, and Father, Dean, Bailey’s equalizer was almost a century’s worth of kickboxing in his corner.

Bailey Sugden shows vigour with his striking ability

In the fight itself, Sugden instilled a fiery approach where he utilised his boxing on the inside to great effect. Zhang of course, tried to use his range to keep the Brit away, but on almost every occasion, Sugden bit down on his mouth guard and propelled forward.

Bailey Sugden
Photo: James Law/GLORY Sports International

It was unbated stuff from Bailey, and even when Zhang used his thai sweep to discourage him, the “Bad Boy” would spring up from the canvas and go again. He continued to slip to the inside, and hurt his Chinese foe with a plethora of heavy hands and high kicks, the definitive facet of his victory.

The win for “BBB” puts him in a healthy position amongst the GLORY featherweights heading into 2018. We’ll have to wait and see what this win does for his ranking position, but with two strong performances in the space of six months, Sugden has certainly done enough to merit a spot in a Featherweight Qualification Tournament at the very least.

Before his first fight at GLORY 43: New York, Bailey Sugden made a bold promise to become GLORY champion within two years and with what we’ve seen from him already, his quest is looking fruitful.  

His brother, Chad Sugden rose to No.2 in the welterweight rankings when he was an active GLORY competitor, and as good as “2 Slick” is – holding a win over current champion Murthel Groenhart before moving to professional boxing – Bailey’s potential hints that he has the correct attitude and capability to surpass his brother’s achievements. 

Jamie Bates struggles against Eyevan Danenberg

Whilst it may have a great night for the Sugdens at GLORY Redemption, fellow Brit Jamie Bates struggled to deal with the pressing style of Eyevan Danenberg on the PPV undercard. 

Danenberg hunted down Bates from the first bell, as he targetted the head to effectively open up the Brit’s body. 

County Durham’s Bates showed great heart, however, surviving three knockdowns as Danenberg spammed the liver shot to great affect. 

All five judges awarded “Mister Cool” the fight unanimously, 30-24, a frustrating loss for Bates, who was hoping to impress enough in Rotterdam to be re-signed to the promotion.