GLORY is adding a Light Heavyweight title bout between top-ranked light heavyweight contender Luis Tavares and third-ranked Sergej Maslobojev, taking place on August 20th at GLORY 81. The fight will serve as the co-main event for the heavyweight battle between Jamal Ben Saddik vs. Benjamin Adegbuyi.
Tavares and Maslobojev are competing to become the fifth undisputed title holder in the division's history.
Due to the Russian government’s invasion of Ukraine which GLORY condemns, GLORY has encountered a variety of obstacles that have made it impossible to arrange bouts for its Russian athletes, barriers like travel bans, safety concerns, payment blockages in an environment of worldwide financial sanctions against Russia, and unwilling opponents. Current GLORY Light Heavyweight Champion Artem Vakhitov was amongst several Russian athletes to have their contracts released, thus vacating the Light Heavyweight title.
GLORY adopted the International Olympic Committee’s recommendation since last February of allowing Russian athletes to fight only as neutral competitors without any national affiliation. However, as the war has continued, the organization determined it is in the best interest of the careers and safety of these athletes to release their contractual obligations to GLORY, thus removing them from the rankings and allowing them the opportunity to compete elsewhere.
"We'd like to deeply thank our Russian athletes for their cooperation during this challenging time and for their historic performances in our league. We value them as athletes, competitors, and friends, and this regrettable situation is not their fault. It’s not our fault either” said GLORY Executive Vice Chairman Scott Rudmann. “We respect their careers and commitment to the sport, and we’ve gone to enormous lengths to try and make various bouts happen for them, but the real-world challenges are insurmountable in today’s environment.”
"Hopefully this terrible war initiated by the Russian government will get resolved as quickly as possible, and Artem Vakhitov and other Russian fighters will be able to return to the GLORY ring where they will be welcomed.”
“The light heavyweight division is exciting - athletes have massive power combined with great agility and speed. This new era in the division starts with a compelling fight between Luis Tavares and Sergej Maslobojev," added Rudmann. "Both of these men are outstanding fighters and skilled martial artists, and with the GLORY World Light Heavyweight Championship title as the prize, the bout goes to a new level.”