GLORY 85 Preview – Title Fights and Tournaments

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GLORY returns on April 29th with what is sure to be another major night of fights for the promotion. The card will be headlined by the ever impressive welterweight champ Endy Semeleer who will be putting his title on the line against longtime top fighter Murthel Groenhart. Fans will really be treated with this card as not only is there a title on the line but a 4-man heavyweight tournament. The winner of this tournament will likely receive an interim title fight against current holder Antonio Plazibat this summer as well as a spot in December’s Heavyweight Grand Prix which will have $500,000 at stake.

GLORY 85 Promises Fireworks with Welterweight Title Main Event

Main Event Preview

The title bout of the evening sees Endy Semeleer attempt his first defense of the Welterweight championship that he won back at Glory 82. Semeleer is regarded as one of the top prospects in kickboxing and at the age of 27 has amassed an extremely impressive record of 33 wins with only 1 defeat. That defeat coming back in 2019. Semeleer has achieved impressive wins over the likes of Jay Overmeer, Alim Nabiev and Superbon Bamchamek. This has seen him rise to be ranked the 2nd best welterweight of the world by the combat press and will be looking to take that number one spot with a successful defense of the Glory title. 

His opponent is a former champion in his own right, Murthel Groenhart. Groenhart is perhaps best known for his trilogy of fights with Cedric Doumbe under the GLORY banner. Ultimately he would come up second best in the trilogy but is looking to regain his championship with a return to kickboxing after taking a hiatus. Groenhart dipped his toes into the world of MMA while gone from kickboxing and garnered an undefeated record of 3-0 since his first fight in late 2021. Ultimately though kickboxing is where his true passion lies and the hard hitting former champion will be looking to make a huge statement upon his return to the sport. 

Heavyweight Semi Final 1-Luis Tavares vs Enver Sljivar

The first of the heavyweight tournament matches sees longtime contender Luis Tavares take on promotional newcomer Enver Sljivar. The story leading into the fight will certainly be focused on Tavares who is making his return to the organization after testing positive for a banned substance after his last fight. Picking up what would have been an impressive knockout win on an even more impressive 5 fight winning streak, Tavares’s third round knockout against Florent Kaouachi was overturned and declared a no contest and he was gifted with a ten month suspension from the organization. After serving his time Tavares will be making his return to the GLORY ring and will be jumping up a weight class while doing so. The former Light Heavyweight will be looking to continue on his excellent vein of form before his suspension and pick up a victory to propel him to the final of this Heavyweight tournament.

The man he will be facing, Enver Sljivar will be doing his utmost to prevent this from happening. Despite his status as a newcomer to the promotion that does not mean that Sljivar is lacking in experience. A record of 40-6 sees him just shy of 50 fights and with over half of those fights ending in a knockout it is clear that he packs a punch also. While standing at just 6ft tall and 100kg/220lbs sees him as rather small by heavyweight standards, Tavares is not a big heavyweight either and while he stands a few inches taller than Sljivar they will likely weigh around the same come fight night, with the Bosnian quite possibly being the heavier of the two. It also appears that Sljivar will have the power advantage with the Bosnian producing two more KO’s than Tavares while having 25 fights less.

Heavyweight Semi Final 2-Jahfarr Wilnis vs Tariq Osaro

The second semi final of the evening sees longtime GLORY competitor Jahfarr Wilnis take on highly rated up and comer Tariq Osaro. Wilnis is a veteran of the organization after making his promotional debut all the way back in 2012. Since then it has been a mixed bag for Wilnis, as he has gone 8-8 in his time with GLORY. Currently coming off of a win, the 37-year-old is likely drawing towards the closing chapters of his career. Another added incentive for Wilnis will be his desire to rematch current Interim GLORY Heavyweight champion Antonio Plazibat. The two faced off in 2019 with Wilnis missing out on a closely contested split decision. He will take inspiration from this solid performance against the Croatian and it should boost his confidence and desire to win the fights ahead. 

His opponent Tariq Osaro will be making just his 4th fight under the GLORY banner after going 2-1 during his time with the organization so far. At the age of 27, the young Nigerian has built an impressive record of 21-2-1 and has scored a knockout in each of his wins so far with GLORY. Standing six foot five and weighing around the 112kg/250 lbs. Osaro is a massive force in the Heavyweight division and will be looking to ascend to the top of the rankings as quickly as possible. A win over a long time stalwart of the division such as Wilnis will put the rest of the division on notice and let the fans and his competitors know that he is the real deal. 

Main Card Preview

The featured light heavyweight bout follows a common theme of the night in that a veteran of the organization is going to be taking on a promotional newcomer. Michael “Dreamcrusher” Duut is a fighter with a GLORY career stretching back over a decade. Despite stil being relatively young at the age of 33!. Duut made his debut back in 2013 and picked up a first round knockout win over current ranked UFC Light Heavyweight Dustin Jacoby. After a bad run of form in 2019, Duut has only fought once under GLORY since then, picking up a decision victory over Josh King back in 2021. Still his ever improving record, which currently stands at 44-13, has ensured that he has kept some placement in the rankings and currently sits at number five of the light heavyweight division.

Duut’s big name and place in the rankings makes him the perfect target for an upcoming fighter like Mohamed Amine. Amine is only 26 and the Moroccan has established himself as one of the top Light Heavyweight prospects in the world picking up a record with 28 victories and only 4 defeats. 18 of these coming by a knockout. He will look to establish himself as a top contender of the division in only his first fight with GLORY and if he provides a solid performance do not be surprised to see him involved in the title picture in the very near future.

One of the most most talked about featherweight prospects in the world will enter the ring of combat once more on Saturday night as fight fans eagerly anticipate the return of 22-year-old Berjan Peposhi. While Peposhi found himself on the wrong side of the judges scorecards in his GLORY debut at GLORY 83 when he faced Ahmad Chikh Mousa in an epic fight that many feel may be the fight of the year. Despite the loss, his stock only rose. He will now be looking to pick up his first win in the organization. Peposhi has only been defeated twice in his career, picking up 27 victories. Sixteen of those have come by way of knockout. If he is successful in picking up the win a rematch with Chikh Mousa is certainly on the cards. 

His opponent Jan Kaffa, will be thrilled to be making his GLORY debut. Aware that the majority of the pressure and expectation will be on Peposhi heading into their fight, it would be stupid to discount Kaffa. The 24-year-old is a valid prospect in his own right and at the young age of 24 has assembled an impressive 18-3 record. While not expected to get the win, Kaffa will be quietly confident and will be aware that a win over Peposhi will likely be enough to propel him up the rankings and into some big fights at featherweight. 

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