Harut Grigorian and Cedric Doumbé is a really interesting fight. You’ve got the power-punching of Grigorian and the cleverness of Doumbé. Styles make fights and this is a complete contrast of styles.
Former champion Doumbé first made his way to the title with a tricky evasive style. He also trolled his opponents in the ring, showboating to make them angry and thereby make them predictable.
Alim Nabiyev has a similar style and people were expecting him to give Harut a lot of problems at GLORY 54, but the body shots Harut hit him in the second round really hurt him and changed the course of the fight.
People underestimate how hard Harut hits. You’d expect Doumbé maybe to want to avoid exchanges but if you look at the fights he had after losing his belt, he has been going in there to knock people out.
Harut is what he is: no nonsense, not super technical. He comes to knock people out and if Doumbé feels like trying to prove a point then this fight is never going to go the full five rounds.
Anissa Meksen (97-4, 31 KO’s) vs. Tiffany van Soest (18-3-1, 6 KO’s)
World Super-Bantamweight Championship
This is the biggest fight in the history of the GLORY women’s division.
Tiffany van Soest, former champion, lost her belt to Anissa Meksen at GLORY 48 NEW YORK and felt the weight of that loss even heavier because it happened on American soil.
Now she’s traveled to Meksen’s home country of France to try and regain the title and inflict the same pain on her that she felt that night in New York.
Easier said than done though: pound-for-pound, Meksen is the best female striker on the planet right now. And when she’s angry, like she was in her last fight, that’s a whole new level again.
As we all know, Meksen lost her belt to Jady Menezes by way of a hugely controversial decision at GLORY 56 DENVER last summer. She held on to her rage until November, when she entered the ring at GLORY 61 NEW YORK and channeled it all into her fists, stopping Menezes in the second round.
I was ringside for that fight and I remember saying to her coach Benoit Mateu that if she always fights like that, she’s going to be very difficult to beat. Her footwork, eyes, angles, explosiveness - she was really on a different level that night.
Tiffany has got great movement as well but she’s got less range and that means she has to close the distance and get on the inside.
She likes to use her hands a lot but in this fight low kicks are going to be key for her I think. She’s going to have to work Meksen’s legs and take that movement away, shut her space down and get to work.
It’s a really interesting fight and I am looking forward to it. Whoever wins this fight can legitimately claim to be the top female stand-up fighter in the world.
Another interesting fight on this main card is the light-heavyweight clash between Michael Duut (43-10, 20 KO’s) and Donegi Abena (23-5, 6 KO’s).
Michael Duut is predictably unpredictable: whenever he is in the ring, you’re going to see something crazy. Sometimes it’s him scoring a huge knockout win, sometimes it’s him on the receiving end of the same.
He’s got more experience than Abena, who is young and hungry. The two of them have a go-forward style, which means they are likely to meet in the middle of the ring and go to war until one of them is finished.
I actually think this one could turn out to be a classic, one of those fights that last about thirty seconds and rack up millions of views on YouTube.
Light-heavyweight champion Artem Vakhitov is waiting for news of his next challenger and this fight may have implications for that, but first let’s see how it turns out. Could be a short night.
GLORY 64 STRASBOURG takes place this Saturday, March 9 at the Rhenus Sport in Strasbourg, France.