Matchmaker's Notes: GLORY 41 HOLLAND
Published on May 16, 2017
Hesdy Gerges and Chi Lewis-Parry were supposed to be headlining this card in a showdown between two guys who started out showing mutual respect but quickly fell out and got into a personal dispute.
At GLORY 39 BRUSSELS their fight was cancelled while both fighters were backstage, with illness cited as the cause. Shortly after the cancellation was announced, an argument started between them in full view of the arena crowd and they had to be separated.
Comments were then made by both fighters online as they were rematched for this card. But a week ago Lewis-Parry pulled out with an injured hand and it took us until today to confirm a replacement.
Tomas Hron is from the Czech Republic but lately has been attached to the Coliseum Gym in the Netherlands, home of the Wilnis brothers. He has wins over a number of current and former GLORY fighters, including Errol Zimmerman, Andrei Stoica, Catalin Morosanu and actually Jahfar Wilnis as well.
He's used to fighting top names and he is a former training partner of Mirko CroCop also, so the top level is nothing new to him. Gerges of course is disappointed to not be fighting Lewis-Parry but he turns his attention now to getting a win and ending his recent run of losses; it's a tough prospect for Hron on this short notice but maybe he can surprise Gerges.
The centerpiece of this GLORY 41 HOLLAND card is a four-man Heavyweight Contender Tournament. Usually the winner of such a tournament is awarded a title shot but in this particular instance the tournament line-up consists largely of newcomers and so we are going to have the winner face another top-ranked opponent later in the year and he will need to win that to secure his shot.
Anderson 'Braddock' Silva is a familiar name to our fans and he's by far the most experienced fighter in the tournament. He has a very complete set of skills and he showcased that in his last fight, when he faced Benjamin Adegbuyi in Chicago. He lost a decision in the extra round after putting on a great display. Some people felt he won that fight actually, it could have gone either way. On the basis of his recent performances for me he is a guy who is still up there despite the results.
D'Angelo Marshall has had one fight for GLORY; the other two tournament fighters are new to GLORY. One thing which is always interesting to look at with new fighters is how they perform on the big platform that we represent.
Marshall did well in Los Angeles in January against Guto Inocente; he lost a decision in an extra round but it was a close fight. It's very possible he still needs to get used to being in GLORY, 'big show' nerves can be a thing. He's coming out of Mousid Gym and that's a place which has produced some great fighters over the years.
Mohamed Abdallah is from Germany but fighting out of Mike's Gym in Amsterdam. He's a big young guy, 22 years of age. I am curious to see what he has got. He's experienced at a national level but here we are at the top international level.
Stoforidis earns himself the distinction of becoming GLORY's first Greek fighter. He's the smallest of the four fighters in the tournament but he has done well on his way to joining us, he has stopped a lot of opponents. We had him on the radar last year actually to fight Hesdy Gerges but that fell through.
He's facing Silva in the semi-finals and while he clearly looks up to him, he can win that fight so long as everything is good between his ears and he does not become starstruck. He needs to not show Silva too much respect; he has got nothing to lose and everything to gain.
Even though Silva is the most experienced by far and has a ton of fights at the very top level, I don't want to make any prediction about the results in this tournament. I think it's very open and the fighters who are their best on the day will win.
Chenglong Zhang is one of a wave of Chinese fighters coming through this year. Thus far I feel like the Chinese have held their own and looked evenly-matched in their fights. It's worth bearing in mind that for a lot of Chinese fighters they are moving from their native SanDa system into our system of kickboxing and there are some subtle but important differences.
On the last show Yuhang Xie had a good fight with Chris Mauceri. He looked like he was in trouble in the first round but then he suddenly came awake and took over in the last round. He showed a real fighting spirit - both guys did, actually. I really enjoyed that fight from ringside.
Wilson Mendes Sanches trains in Rotterdam with Ismael Londt's coach. He is high speed, a very active guy. Both him and Zhang are very fast and I expect to see a constant exchange of techniques from them. Zhang has more experience fighting on the big stage in China and Asia, so maybe a slight psychological advantage for him there.
GLORY 41 HOLLAND takes place this Saturday, May 20 at the Brabanthallen in Den Bosch, Holland. Also appearing are Rico Verhoeven and Robin van Roosmalen, who will be fighting to regain the featherweight title when he faces Thai talent Petchpanomrung.