Photo: James Law/GLORY Sports International

A new GLORY middleweight champion was crowned in Guangzhou, China on Saturday as Alex Pereira (25-6) dethroned Simon Marcus (47-4-2) in the main event of GLORY 46.

Pereira, 30, defeated Marcus by unanimous decision inside Guangzhou Gymnasium. Two judges scored the bout 48-46, two scored it 49-45, and the last judge scored it 50-44, all in favor of the newly-minted champion.

“I’m very happy. I’ve been waiting for this for a long time,” Pereira told Whitney Miller after the bout through a translator. “Thank you everyone. This is a dream come true.”

Pereira, who looked sharp right from the start of the fight, dropped Marcus with a right cross in the second round and never looked back. Marcus was relying too heavily on big power punches, backing himself into the corner often, and wasn’t utilizing his kicking game the way he normally does.

Marcus, 30, recovered after the knockdown when things were looking grim, but only had a few moments of brief success throughout the fight. Pereira came out aggressive in the final frame and connected with a jumping knee and a big right hand in the opening seconds, which had Marcus in trouble again, but Marcus weathered that storm. Then as Pereira began to tire, Marcus emptied the tank trying in vain to connect with a big punch for the knockout, but he could not land one.

Pereira improves to 4-3-1 in GLORY competition and will likely face No.1-ranked middleweight contender Yousri Belgaroui next. Marcus falls to 6-3-1 under the GLORY banner in defeat.

In the heavyweight co-main event, Junior Tafa (18-1) dispatched Quanchao Luo (0-1) in rather short order, dropping Luo three times in the opening round for the TKO victory. The official time of the stoppage came at 1:34.

Chenglong Zhang (41-5) defeated Masaya Kubo (17-9) and Quade Taranaki (5-5) to win the featherweight “Contender” tournament and Ramon Dekker memorial trophy.

The tournament final was a highly competitive bout. Kubo had a solid first round, but Zhang raised the level of his game in the second, landing some big strikes including a spinning-back fist to take the momentum. In the final round, Zhang kept his foot on the pedal and earned the unanimous decision victory. One judge scored the bout 29-27, while the remaining four judges scored it 30-26, all in favor of Zhang.

Zhang earned his way to the tournament final with a unanimous decision win over Taranaki. Four of the judges scored that contest 30-27, and the last judge scored it 29-28, all in favor of Zhang.

Kubo punched his ticket to the featherweight tournament final with a vicious knockout victory over Chenchen Li (27-5) in the first semi-final bout of the fight card. Kubo connected on a perfectly timed left head kick, which sent Li crumbling to the canvas at the 2:50 mark of the first round.