Marat Grigorian (62-11-1, 35 KO’s)retained his world lightweight championship status in the main event of GLORY 69 DÜSSELDORF with a dominating five-round performance against young challenger Tyjani ‘The Wonderboy’ Beztati (19-4, 6 KO’s).
Beztati, 21, was making his second attempt at becoming the youngest champion in GLORY history, having attempted to take the belt from former champion Sitthichai last year. That effort fell short in the face of a world champion at peak of his powers and so too did tonight’s.
Initial parity between the two fighters quickly gave way to Grigorian’s bespoke mixture of power and relentless pressure. Once Beztati lost control of the distance - and thus had his reach advantage negated - Grigorian was able to begin hurting him.
Ahead on the cards by the end of the third round, Grigorian cemented his victory with a knockdown in the fourth round. Beztati needed a knockout to win but Grigorian was in control and presented his challenger with no such opportunities.
Other notable main card performances included the return of Yousri Belgaroui to the win column and a huge upset win for Russian youngster Dimitri Menshikov (23-2, 8 KO’s), who used a knee to open an enormous cut over the left eye of the returning veteran Yoann Kongolo. The fight was waved off in the second round, the cut being deemed too deep for Kongolo to continue.
Menshikov, who now rises to 3-0 in GLORY, was unable to lay claim to ‘upset of the night’ though. That distinction fell to French light-heavyweight Stephane Susperregui (49-9-2, 28 KO’s).
Carrying an 0-2 GLORY record into the bout with Brazilian prospect Felipe Micheletti (20-9-1, 6 KO’s), he battled his way to a decision win which confounded the bookmakers and caused Micheletti’s title shot campaign to take a large step backwards.
Also in the light-heavyweight division, Luis Tavares (61-8, 22 KO’s)neutralized Michael Duut (43-12, 20 KO’s) and confirmed that newly-crowned interim champion Alex Pereira is next in his sights.
Standout performances earlier in the evening included a sure ‘Fight of the Year’ contender between Antonio Plazibat (17-3, 11 KO’s) and Tomas Mozny (20-9-1, 6 KO’s). The two heavyweights left it all in the ring over the course of a three-round war, with Mozny in particular surviving the kind of blows which might reasonably be expected to have felled an elephant.
Elsewhere on the card, Australian featherweightRiver Daz (26-0-1, 6 KO’s)maintained his perfect professional record in a win over Spanish taekwondo stylist Antonio Campoy and British super-bantamweight Christi Brereton (22-7-1, 5 KO’s)gave French prospect Sarah Moussaddak(10-1, 3 KO’s) the first loss of her career and then called out reigning champion Anissa Meksen for a showdown.
GLORY 69 DÜSSELDORF took place at the ISS Dome, Düsseldorf, Germany on Saturday, October 12.
Marat Grigorian def. Tyjani Beztati by unanimous decision (50-44, 50-44, 49-45, 49-45, 48-46)
for World Lightweight Championship
Michael Smolik def. Mohamed Abdallah by split-decision (29-28, 28-29, 30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Luis Tavares def. Michael Duut by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27 30-27 30-27)
Yousri Belgaroui def. Ulric Bokeme by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Dmitry Menshikov def. Yoann Kongolo by TKO (doctor’s stoppage). Round 2, 2:59
Superfight Series Card
Stéphane Susperregui def. Felipe Micheletti by unanimous decision (50-45, 50-45, 50-45, 50-45, 50-45)
(R4 - Extra Round)
Antonio Plazibat def. Tomas Mozny by unanimous decision (29-25, 29-25, 29-25, 29-25, 29-25)
Christi Brereton def. Sarah Moussaddak by split-decision (29-28, 28-29, 30-27, 28-29, 30-27)
Sergej Maslobojev def. Bahram Rajabzadeh by unanimous decision (30-26, 29-27, 29-27, 29-27, 29-27)
Arian Sadikovic def. Dani Traoré by unanimous decision (30-26, 29-27, 29-27, 29-27, 29-27)
Vlad Tuinov def. Artur Saladiak by unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-26, 30-26, 30-26)
Massaro Glunder def. Arbi Emiev by unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
River Daz def. Antonio Campoy by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Jakob Styben def. Kevin van Heeckeren by split-decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
Jos van Belzen def. Matthew Stevens by split-decision (30-27, 30-27, 28-29, 28-29, 29-28)