Experienced Muay Thai practitioner Victor Pinto (75-29, 23 KO) of France was tasked with welcoming American Nate Richardson (11-3, 5 KO) to the featherweight ranks on the GLORY 55 main card.
Richardson came out throwing with volume. He landed a heavy left hand that backed up Pinto against the ropes. Pinto looked to score with kicks, but Richardson quickly closed the distance and utilized his boxing.
Richardson continued to score with his jab, preventing Pinto from finding a rhythm. Pinto put together his best combination of the round in the waning seconds, landing a heavy right hand near the bell.
The boxing attack of Richardson shifted to the body of Pinto to open the second round. He delivered power punches from inside the pocket, as Pinto struggled to match his output. A left hook from Richardson was met with a big body kick from Pinto.
The pair repeated the sequence once more, with Richardson snapping the head of Pinto with the punch before absorbing the kick to the body.
The output of Richardson continued in the final stanza, as he looked to outbox his French counterpart. A cut opened under the left eye of Richardson, but the American never stopped coming forward.
Richardson again popped the head of Pinto late in the fight with a series of jabs. The closely contested bout went to the judges who returned a split decision, handing Pinto the narrow victory.
“He was pressing so much that I had to use my boxing,” said Pinto. “I’m climbing up the rankings and hopefully in the future I can get a title shot.”
Victor Pinto def. Nate Richardson by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)