This weekend sees a momentous clash of the titans in GLORY kickboxing as lightweight champion Tyjani Beztati takes on Featherweight champ and striking legend Petchpanomrung Kiatmookao (Petch) in the main event of GLORY 84. This champion vs champion bout will be Beztati’s second defence of his title after picking up a split decision victory over Stoyan Koprivlenski at GLORY Collision 4. Funnily enough, Petch also fought on that same card and also was successful in picking up a decision win over hard hitting Mexican Abraham Vidales.
Glory 84 Main Event – Beztati vs Petch
It is certainly an interesting matchup between the two champions. While there is only 2 years in the age gap, the difference in experience is that of several life times. While Beztati’s certainly not an infrequent fighter with over 27 professional bouts at the young age of 25, Petch’s origins in Muay Thai means the Moroccan simply cannot compete when it comes to fight experience. With 210 recorded fights and only losing 38 of them, Petch is certainly no stranger to the big occasion and has defended his GLORY championship 5 times previous. However, it may take more than experience to beat the Beztati whose recent performances have proved without a doubt that he is among the best in the world.
Physically, the pairing may seem initially like a mismatch. Beztati, while only being a single weight class above Petch stands 6 inches taller at a towering 6’2. Petch meanwhile will certainly be unable to strike from the outside with his 5’7 inch frame. Beztati knows how to use this reach effectively also as can be seen in the fight with Koprivlenski who he managed to keep at a distance for the majority of the fight, utilising his long limbs to their full advantage. As well as keeping his opponents at a distance, he is more than capable of quick agile movements which make him incredibly hard to hit, darting away masterfully before countering with a shot to the body or head. Beztati can hit his opponents easily and is remarkably hard for them to hit in return,
While Petch may be at several physical disadvantages compared to Beztati, he possesses a remarkable skillset which of course comes along with his massive amount of experience. Known for his extensive use of kicks, Petch’s left leg acts almost as naturally as a third arm. He utilises it in almost every single exchange and it is used like a jab almost, striking at the body continuously every chance it gets. Sometimes switching up and aiming for the head for good measure. He is so proficient at using his left leg that it effortlessly mixes into his combinations and he throws it with such speed, power and precision that it is almost impossible to block. It is no secret that Petch favours his left leg over the right and his opponents know exactly what they are getting into when stepping into the ring with him, yet despite knowing how often it will be used against them they are unable to stop the kicks from landing, again and again and again. Following the left kicks are accurate and quick punches that are difficult to avoid and many land in rapid succession.
It should be said that neither fighter is particularly known for their power with only 27 of Petch’s 168 wins coming by way of knockout and only 8 of Beztati’s 23 ending the same way. That leaves them with a finish rate of 16% and 35% respectively. Likely going to go to decision, this fight will be decided on who can control the distance. If Beztati is successful at using his natural length or if Petch will be able to continuously stay on the inside. Either way it is sure to be a very intriguing fight.
Glory 84 Co-Main Event – Khbabez vs Toledo
The co-headlining event is a Light Heavyweight fight between Tarik Khbabez and promotional newcomer Daniel Toledo. Toledo holds an impressive record of 17 wins and 5 losses. Needless to say he will be looking for a big win over Khbabez, who is currently ranked at number 3 in the division. In a weight class where a win or two can put someone in the title picture, Toledo will be more than happy to make a statement in his debut. Likewise if Khbabez is able to successfully hold off the fighters below him from overtaking his ranking, then he too may find himself in line for a shot at gold sooner rather than later.
Overmeer vs Bates
Another highly-anticipated fight on the card is between highly rated prospect Jay Overmeer and Jamie Bates. Overmeer is currently ranked at number 2 in the welterweight rankings and is undefeated in the promotion so far, carrying an overall record of 28 wins and 4 losses. 14 of those wins came by a knockout. Bates is a former GLORY veteran who is making his return to the squared circle after 3 years away. 27 wins and 7 losses with him winning his last 3 fights under the GLORY banner ensures that he still has a competitive ranking in the division. A win for Overmeer here cements his name as a top welterweight in GLORY and would surely be followed by a title shot. Likewise a win for Bates does the same, showing that he is back to his best and is capable of beating fighters among the best the division has to offer. A title shot would also surely soon follow.
Rest of the Card
The rest of the main card is includes a light heavyweight contest between Felipe Micheletti (16-10 overall record) and Nordine Mahieddine (27-14 overall record), a middleweight fight between Ertugrul Bayrak (17-9) and Michael Boapeah (13-3-1 overall record) and finally being rounded out by a heavyweight showdown between Nabil Khachab (25-3-1 overall record) and Sofian Laidouni (34-2-1 overall record).
That rounds out the featured fights scheduled for GLORY 84, a night that is sure to have a major impact for the organisation for the rest of the year.