GLORY kickboxing returned to the United States with GLORY 16: Denver, live from the 1stBank Center in Broomfield, Colorado.
The main card featured a four-man heavyweight tournament. On one side of the bracket, Errol Zimmerman battled Ben Edwards while Sergey Kharitonov took on Anderson Silva.
The GLORY debut of Pat Barry also occupied the main card as he fought Zack Mwekassa.
The main event was a welterweight title fight between Marc de Bonte and Karapet Karapetyan, the latter of which replaced an injured Nieky Holzken.
Marc de Bonte vs. Karapet Karapetyan
Round 1: De Bonte looked fantastic early on. Karapetyan anticipated leg kicks to his lead leg and rarely planted his lead foot for more than a moment. de Bonte flipped the switch and rushed in from time to time with a berzerking attack, always ending with a leg kick.
Round 2: Karapetyan moved forward and didn’t waste a second of the round without advancing. It wasn’t always a fortuitous move for him however, as the slick de Bonte landed at a higher percentage. A counter from Karapetyan snapped the head of de Bonte back after a flying knee from the latter fighter missed.
Round 3: De Bonte was now backing up Karapetyan and while nothing truly significant landed, it was an eventful round and a tough round to score.
Round 4: De Bonte kicked the leg out from under Karapetyan after he caught his other leg. Karapetyan got back up to catch a lunging knee to the leg. de Bonte seemed to have a game plan that had yet to be revealed as he feinted and moved like he was setting up bigger things. Meanwhile, Karapetyan tried to roll with the punches and pardon the pun, but his offensive output was based on de Bonte’s, who always had the upper hand.
Round 5: Karapetyan tried to make up for lost time in round 5. de Bonte didn’t let himself get cut off. Karapetyan knocked de Bonte down with a flying knee but the knee knocked de Bonte off balance, rather than stunning him. de Bonte circled away from Karapetyan to finish out a strong fight.
Official Decision: Marc de Bonte def. Karapet Karapetyan via Split Decision (48-47, 47-48, 48-47)
GLORY 16 Heavyweight Tournament Finals:
Errol Zimmerman vs. Anderson Silva:
Round 1: Each man was knocked down in round 1. First, Zimmerman was knocked down coming forward. Then, Zimmerman timed a beautiful counter knee as Silva threw a punch. Silva was dropped but answered the count. Zimmerman smelled blood and attacked Silva, dropping him with a brutal combination. Silva again rose before he was counted out. Upon the restart, Zimmerman sprinted in and leapt forward with a flying knee. He was relentless and was knocked to the ground by a punch, but it had an effect closer to a push, than a clean punch, and it wasn’t ruled a knockdown. Zimmerman slowed a bit to regain his composure after attacking consistently for a good while. He finally found another opening and dropped Silva with a knee to the body, followed by a right hand, for the third time in the round.
Official Result: Errol Zimmerman def. Anderson Silva via Technical Knockout at 2:3 of Round 1. Zimmerman is crowned the GLORY 16 heavyweight tournament champion.
Pat Barry vs. Zack Mwekassa
Round 1: Barry landed first with a head kick. Mwekassa backed up and Barry thought he had him hurt. He rushed in and threw recklessly but was countered, forcing him to back up. Mwekassa began to dictate the fight, throwing first on his combinations. Barry was stunned with an uppercut and took a knee to try and survive. Barry got back up but Mwekassa was able to finish the fight with a huge uppercut on Barry that sent him flat on his back.
Official Decision: Zack Mwekassa def. Pat Barry via Knockout at 2:33 of Round 1.
Sergey Kharitonov vs. Anderson Silva
Round 1: Kharitonov waded forward towards Silva, who was diverse in his striking. Silva landed hard on Kharitonov and went hard on him with a lunging uppercut, which dropped Kharitonov. He rose to his feet and caught a beating to finish a one-sided round.
Round 2: Silva lit up an easy target in Kharitonov. Silva was bouncing well on his feet and remained active to set up a stiff jab. Silva began to slow halfway through the round and his slick combinations and kicks reverted to single shots. Clinches became commonplace during every exchange, with only the final clinch working in anyone’s favor, as Kharitonov landed a few knees to end the round.
Round 3: Kharitonov stepped on the gas in the final round as Silva’s tank was near empty. Kharitonov still clinched often, but initiated it only after a big uppercut, which he landed a few times. Khraitonov hit Silva with consecutive uppercuts and was now in desperation mode to steal the fight late.
Official Decision: Anderson Silva def. Sergey Kharitonov via Unanimous Decision (29-27, 29-27, 29-27)
Ben Edwards vs. Errol Zimmerman
Round 1: Edwards landed a nice one-two combination several times and snapped his leg kicks in on Zimmerman. Edwards landed a clean shot on Zimmerman and rocked him. Edwards tried to finish on a defensive Zimmerman against the ropes. Zimmerman countered and dropped Edwards with thudding punches. Edwards got back to his feet and the two slugged it out until Zimmerman stunned Edwards, and hit him over the top once more to get the stoppage victory.
Official Decision: Errol Zimmerman def. Ben Edwards via Knockout at 2:50 of Round 1. He advances to the GLORY 16 heavyweight tournament finals.
For complete coverage of GLORY 16 visit SciFighting.com