Yousri Belgaroui was originally set to face former champion Jason Wilnis in a middleweight contender rematch at GLORY 53, but an ailment forced Wilnis to withdraw a week out.
He was replaced by Polish veteran Dawid Kasperski.
Kasperski has competed at a good level on the European circuit, but it was always going to be a tall order to handle a fighter of Belgaroui’s caliber on four days’ notice.
The Pole gave a good account of himself early on but Belgaroui’s sharpness soon made itself felt. And in the second round it sealed the deal: three knockdowns, the latter two with body kicks, ended Kasperski’s night.
Post-fight, Belgaroui turned his attention not to Wilnis, but to middleweight champion Pereira.
“The title has always been the goal and me and Pereira are 1-1 against each other, so let’s do this,” he said.
Yousri Belgaroui def. Dawid Kasperski by TKO (strikes). Round 2, 1:37