Masaya Kubo and Chenglong Zhang were the bonus award winners at GLORY 46 GUANGZHOU.
Their performances in this past weekend’s debut GLORY event in China earn them an extra $5,000 in addition to their contracted purse payments.
Kubo, fighting out of Tokyo, Japan, came runner-up in the Featherweight Qualification Tournament. He booked his spot in the final with a spectacular first-round knockout of Chenchen Li.
Li, who scored a first-round knockout win in his own GLORY debut, was one of the tournament favorites and was winning the round up until the knockout happened.
With just a few seconds left on the clock, Kubo used his jab to shape Li into position and then fired off a left head-kick which ended the fight instantly.
The knockout booked Kubo a slot in the final, where he would meet Zhang, who had himself dominated New Zealand’s Quade Taranaki over three rounds to book his own spot in the final.
He and Kubo went to war in the final and had arguably the best fight of the night as they traded sharp combinations back and forth at a relentless pace.
Kubo hunted for another left head-kick finish but Zhang’s defense was too tight. The Chinese fighter’s pace and pressure ground had Kubo on the back foot for large parts of the fight and though the Japanese fighter surged back late in the third, it wasn’t enough for him to get the win.
Zhang now moves forward to a spot in the next Featherweight Contender Tournament while Kubo, who impressed in what was his GLORY debut, returns to Tokyo to await news of his next venture in the division.
GLORY 46 GUANGZHOU took place in Guangzhou, China and was headlined by Simon Marcus and Alex Pereira. Marcus entered as middleweight champion but left without the belt as Pereira outworked him over five rounds to become the division’s new champion.
GLORY’s next event takes place next Saturday in the historic French city of Lyon. The headline bout features Artem Vakhitov defending the light-heavyweight title against Brazil’s Ariel Machado - will two GLORY titles be making their way to Brazil in the space of a week, or will Vakhitov return to Russia with his belt?