Alan Scheinson (50-6, 37 KO’s) calls himself the unluckiest fighter on the GLORY roster and he might be right. He’s 1-3 in the organization with all three losses by way of split-decision.
Of those losses, he most strongly disputes the decisions that went to Murthel Groenhart and Thongchai. If the decision against Groenhart had gone his way back at GLORY 41, it could have a been a game-changer.
Instead he found himself suffering another split-decision loss, to Karim Banmansour, and then he met Thongchai in the semi-finals of the GLORY 49 ROTTERDAM tournament.
He was convinced he had won by a considerable margin and so were most observers. But the decision went to Thongchai. Look at Scheinson’s face when the decision is read out - it tells the story better than words can.
He wanted to bounce back in a big way and so he was supposed to face Mohammed Jaraya here in Lille this weekend. Jaraya is a fan favorite with a huge army of supporters and Scheinson wanted to take him on and try to steal some of that shine.
Well, Scheinson’s bad luck continued. Jaraya came down with a hand-injury and so instead of a high-profile fight, Scheinson now faces a newcomer. In fact, the first replacement opponent also dropped out so this is Scheinson’s third opponent in this slot.
Anghel Cardos is Romanian but based in London, where he trains with GLORY featherweight Adrian Maxim. He’s competed at a good level in Romania and he sees an opportunity here to make a name for himself.
Bad luck also for Yousri Belgaroui (23-4, 11 KO’s) and Jason Wilnis. They were due to rematch this weekend in a fight that would put the winner forward for a title shot.
But Jason unfortunately came down with quite a serious ailment in recent weeks and he’s not able to compete in Lille. We will see this rematch happen in the future, but for now Belgaroui faces a late replacement opponent.
Dawid Kasperski is stepping up to face Belgaroui on just four days’ notice. Obviously with Belgaroui being ranked #1 in the contender list right now that’s a huge challenge, but it says a lot about Kasperski’s fighting spirit.
Plus, this is exactly how opportunities are made. He’s certainly got our attention with his willingness to step up; we really respect that kind of fighting spirit so he’s certain to get a future opportunity with GLORY after this.
The injuries don’t stop there. Former welterweight champion Cedric Doumbé (68-6-1, 39 KO’s) was due to face Contender Tournament winner Eyevan Danenberg but then Danenberg got injured in training and had to withdraw.
Doumbé now faces Thongchai (137-36-0, 46 KO’s). If Doumbé wins, his next move depends on who wins the GLORY 54 BIRMINGHAM welterweight title fight between Harut Grigorian and Alim Nabiyev.
If Harut wins, then it could be that Doumbé gets a shot at him. But if Nabiyev wins, he and Doumbé just fought and I don’t think we need to see that rematch again right away.
One thing I’d like to see from Doumbé is fighting to finish an opponent. He’s got a very entertaining style with his showboating and playing around, but we’ve seen that already. Now let’s see him go for the finish.
This is also a high-stakes match for Thongchai. When he came into GLORY he had a very action-packed style that the fans liked, but as his opposition has gotten tougher he has found himself reverting to a clinch-heavy Muay Thai style.
It’s understandable, as he has trained in Muay Thai since his childhood years, but in GLORY we have very specific, very limited use of the clinch. His last couple of fights have been spoiled by excessive clinching and don’t fit the GLORY style.
Thongchai has been told that. He’s been advised that GLORY doesn’t want to showcase this kind of fighting. He needs to put on an impressive performance. If he doesn’t, we will likely release him. So he’s essentially fighting for his contract here in Lille.
GLORY 53 SUPERFIGHT SERIES takes place this Saturday, May 12 at the Zenith de Lille in Lille, France and streams live worldwide on UFC FIGHT PASS at 1 p.m. ET / 10 a.m. PT