Alex Pereira seems to really want to win KO of the year in 2019.
After submitting a very solid flying knee entry back in May, he’s now scored one of the nastiest left hook KOs you’ll ever see over Donegi Abena. It was the middleweight champion’s light heavyweight debut and he answered any questions about whether he could handle the size of light heavyweights or his power would carry over. He looked on par size wise, if not a bit bigger than Abena, a solidly built light-heavyweight who enjoyed a noticeable size advantage over current champion Artem Vakhitov.
The Brazilian picked up the Glory interim light heavyweight title and became the first man to simultaneously hold two belts in Glory. Pereira’s expressed interest in defending either belt on the undercard of the Rico Verhoeven-Badr Hari rematch in December. A superfight with Vakhitov sounds like the most appealing option and an opponent of Pereira’s caliber might force the Russian champion out of his recent complacency. However, Vakhitov is nursing a hand injury and it is unsure that he could be ready to fight in December. In that case, Pereira has a very interesting fresh challenge waiting for him at middleweight in Donovan Wisse.
In the co-main event, US prospect Asa Ten Pow had a strange performance, largely abandoning his excellent offensive boxing in favor of a low kick based approach to win a decision over pressure fighter Bailey Sudgen. It worked well enough, and it is never really bad for a fighter to show a relatively new facet to their game. But I can’t help but think that using your boxing so little when you’ve got Ten Pow’s power against an opponent with a questionable chin is making your life harder than it needs to be. Anyway, Ten Pow also asked to fight on the Verhoeven-Hari undercard but only if it was a title shot. He might get it but I’m not quite sure jumping from Sugden directly to a title shot is so wise and maybe an elite level test like the winner of the upcoming Abdellah Ezbiri-Zakaria Zouggary fight is in order from a sporting perspective. Besides from a business perspective, Glory might want to save Ten Pow’s title shot for a card in the US.
At welterweight, Troy Jones looked absolutely fantastic, brilliantly setting up his offense with his jab and sending Ammari Diedrick to the canvas three times with a left hook to the liver, a straight right to the body and capping it off with a jumping knee for a quick TKO. He still needs to be tested against high level fighters but he’s a fantastic athlete who is not plagued by the sloppiness fighters sometimes develop when they can rely on such an athletic advantage. In addition to his size, speed and power, he’s got very clean technique and seems to have a natural eye for holes into opponents defenses. Jones is in my opinion America’s best hope for a title and at 31 years old, should be booked against contenders from now on.
Lightweight contender Josh Jauncey had a harder time than expected with LT Nelson, he scored a beautiful inside low kick to right knee knockdown in the second round but a very close first round and a solid comeback by the South African might have warranted an extra round. Jauncey got the decision and while it was no robbery, he’ll likely need another fight or two to get back to a title shot. I’ like to see him face some of the new blood in the division like Michaël Palandre or Guéric Billet next.
On the Superfight Series portion of the card, Tiffany Van Soest used her movement and kicking game to comfortably outpoint fellow former champion Jady Menezes. Van Soest is in a bit of a weird position in that she’s clearly the number two fighter in the division but also clearly lost twice to champion Anissa Meksen. Her talent, popularity and the relative lack of depth of the division means she’ll likely get another crack at Meksen in the not too far future, but I think she probably should have to take a couple more fights before that, maybe a rematch with Sofia Olofsson?
Rounding out the most interesting fights on the card, 24-year-old featherweight prospect Abraham Vidales smashed US veteran Justin Greskiewicz with some great puch kick combinations. Greskiewicz is years past his best and the result was expected but Vidales looks like one of the most intersting recent additions to the Glory roster and the Mexican is definitely a fighter to keep an eye on.
Overall, the card provided some good fights, a fantastic KO and was a good showcase of the exciting up and coming talent North America has to offer.
Glory 68 main card results:
Alex Pereira def. Donegi Abena by knockout (left hook). Round 3, 2:08 – for interim light heavyweight title
Asa Ten Pow def. Bailey Sugden by unanimous decision (29-28 x3)
Troy Jones def. Ammari Diedrick by TKO (three-knockdown rule). Round 1, 2:28
Richard Abraham def. Mike Lemaire by split decision (29-28, 27-30, 29-28)
Josh Jauncey def. Lowrant-T Nelson by unanimous decision (29-27 x3)
Glory 68 Superfight Series results:
Tiffany van Soest def. Jady Menezes by unanimous decision (30-27 x3)
Matt Baker def. Ivan Galaz by extra round unanimous decision (10-9 x3)
Abraham Vidales def. Justin Greskiewicz by TKO (four-knockdown rule). Round 3, 1:26
Omari Boyd def. Charles Rodriguez by unanimous decision (30-26 x3)
Aline Pereira def. Chommanee Sor Taehiran by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
Glory 68 Prelims results:
Nick Chasteen def. Keemaan Diop by unanimous decision (30-27 x3)
Ross Levine def. Sean Choice by unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)