On Saturday (16th April), the SuperFight Series from GLORY 29 in Copenhagen, provided plenty of entertaining action and multiple knock downs.
So, here’s K1Anoop’s round-up of all the action that had everyone thrilled in Denmark:
- Harut Grigorian (Armenia) vs Maximo Suarez (Spain)
From the way these two welterweights bolted out of their corners like a pair of wild buffalos, the opening fight of the night was not going to go past the first round. Grigorian won by KO but unfortunately my UFC Fight Pass feed decided to play up and eventually freeze before the stoppage (am I the only one to have had this issue?).
- Rhassan Muhareb (Denmark) vs Abdou Karim Chorr (Sweden)
The home fighter, Muhareb, was well and truly fired up by the support of the home spectators. However, his over eagerness and aggression lead to him being exposed when he would have one too many moments of being, over-committed and off balance, leaving himself and his chin open which, resulted in him getting knocked down by Chorr in round one.
An overuse of the superman punch by Muhareb which, is a low percentage shot but exciting to see, was something the Dane resorted to using far too often although one did eventually land well on Chorr but without the spectacular knockout.
Although Muhareb was providing entertainment for the home crowd and viewers online / TV, his lack of pendulum like head movement (think of Mike Tyson) when closing ground on his taller opponent was not helping him to successfully close ground and attack Chorr with a higher ration of clean and effective strikes over the three rounds.
Chorr, making his GLORY debut, grew in his confidence and composure and remained cool headed as the rounds progressed despite escalating pressure from the Dane and won the decision convincingly. It will be interesting to see his next GLORY kickboxing fight in the lightweight division and who it will be against.
- Jonatan Oliveira (Brazil) vs. Meran Zangana (Sweden)
I was looking forward to watching Oliveira’s fight and boy oh boy, did this fight entertain everyone around the world!
Zangana was the taller, physically bigger and stronger of the two but that wasn’t going to affect the mindset of the Brazilian nor, was the Swed’s dangerous left kicks from southpaw stance.
Oliveira was on the receiving end of two knockdowns in the first round, the first was from an inside low kick on the inside thigh followed up by a knee; and the second was as a result of a horrible knee to the lower right of his abdomen and the Brazilian was visibly hurt momentarily but managed to get up and continue.
However, Oliveira then knockdown the Swed as round two went underway with a punch to the head. Zangana was able to continue but Oliveira could smell blood and went ‘in for the kill’ resulting in another knockdown from the Brazilian from executing a clinch-knee to the head of Zangana.
This fight was like something out of a Rocky movie and Oliveira was able to clinch-knee the taller Swed a couple of more times after the second knock down which, was impressive since he was the shorter of the two. A right hook then landed and the Swed looked rocked to me but the referee harshly called it a punch to the back of the head and did not give the lucky Swed a third count who, then managed to survive round two.
Unfortunately, the third round would see a moment of refereeing controversy to end the fight. Oliveira lost his balance from another inside low kick from Zangana which, was followed up with a pulldown of Oliveira’s head and a knee to the head (didn’t make full contact) as the Brazilan lost his balance (again) going downwards and the referee stopped the fight giving the Swed a TKO victory.
Oliveira’s coach, Nicky Hemmers, was trying to protest to the referee at the end that it was more of a slip than an actual knockdown (and I have to agree with him) but the fight was the most entertaining of the five fights on the night, with five knockdowns.
A rematch in the near future would be good to see happen because these two welterweights clearly have unfinished business with each other after that controversial stoppage to a thrilling fight.
- Cihad Kepenek (Turkey) vs. Tomas Mozny (Slovakia)
Mozny began round one immediately with a superman punch (if I didn’t know better, I’d say Chi Lewis-Parry’s use of superman punches last year in GLORY has had an influence on some of the other GLORY fighters since then). Kepenek came firing back and from the way this fight exploded into life, it didn’t look like it was going past the first round, especially when the Turk planted a left on the Slovakian’s face, resulting in a knockdown with just over a minute remaining of round one but Mozny wasn’t harmed. Not longer after the knockdown, Mozny who was the taller of the two, landed a nice teep to the face of Kepenek.
The Slovakian is clearly still developing as a kickboxer but when he demonstrated his understanding of distance and good use of long straight punches and kicks, he was always going to get the better of his shorter but aggressive opponent who, would kept coming forward.
There were a couple of moments in the second round where Mozny left himself open when throwing a low kick and then a knee, however, Kepenek capitalised and came in with that overhand swinging right (he was throwing in high volume) but missed. If it wasn’t for the height (and length of limbs) difference those overhand rights might have landed and the resulting end could have been different.
In the third round, Kepenek only looked like having a puncher’s chance of winning when he would throw that overhand right whenever Mozny was momentarily open. I was impressed by the way Mozny improved as the rounds went by and how he was able to show some of his good technical abilities (and potential to develop himself further) in the third round. Mozny was delivering combinations with more success and even demonstrated a moment of smart, evasive movement when Kepenek came aggresively forward and the Slovakian maneuvered himself back and around to the centre of the ring, leaving the Turk to bulldoze through thin air and into the corner.
Kepenek continued to come forward and keep Mozny busy resulting in an extra round (after three rounds). However, Mozny was the more active with better striking and movement and won by decision.
As for Kepenek, he’s fighting in the wrong weight class in my opinion and should seriously consider dropping down to light-heavyweight as swiftly as possible otherwise, the more experienced heavyweights with better technical abilities will badly expose him.
- Zack Mwekassa (Congo) vs. Zinedine Hameur-Lain (France)
Mwekasa gave Hameir-Lain a ‘boxing for kickboxing’ lesson last night. Despite the Frenchman being much taller than Mwekassa, the latter convincingly won a unamious decision over Hameur-Lain.
Although it was very much the, ‘puncher vs kicker’ scenario on display, Hameur-Lain was instructed (by his corner after round one) to implement the kicking aspects of his abilities a lot more than he had done in the opening round. However, the Frenchman is currently lacking the ability to use his hands more efficiently to set-up kicks and vice versa to deliver more threatening striking combinations under pressure (and no doubt with more time and practice he will develop the ability to do so in the long term), unfortunately for him though, this was basically what worked against him and in favour of Mwekassa, securing a decision win.
The Frenchman did make it a good fight for Mwekassa with his threatening kicks which, were an obvious threat for the ‘Black Warrior’. However, Mwekassa’s ring craft is of a higher level than not only Hameur-Lain’s but also compared to the majority of other fighters in the light-heavyweight division.
Mwekassa certainly showed that he is evolving as a kickboxer with noticeable and continued improvements in his simple but effective kicking as the fight unfolded. I wouldn’t say he’s ready for an eventual show down with Gokhan Saki just yet though. I’d like to see him gain more kickboxing experience and fight more regularly this year under GLORY rules before a grudge match with Saki and another rematch with Saulo Cavalari (as them two have unfinished business too).