Reproduced courtesy of Glory Kickboxing. Original articles by John O’Regan and Rob Tatum.
Gold was on the line in the GLORY 68 main event as middleweight champion Alex Pereira (31-6, 20 KO’s) moved up in weight to challenge Donegi Abena (24-7, 6 KO’s) for the interim light heavyweight title in Miami.
Brazil’s Pereira entered the match-up riding a six-fight winning streak that included four title defenses. Abena looked to bounce back from a narrow decision defeat to the now-injured light heavyweight king Artem Vakhitov at GLORY 66 in June.
Pereira came out with guns blazing, swinging wildly with punches. Abena held his ground and fired back with leg kicks. Pereira slowed his attack, settling in and throwing low kicks of his own.
The pair clinched for a moment and Abena pushed the Brazilian away demonstratively, prompting a warning from the referee. Pereira connected with a knee to the body of Abena. The Suriname native scored with a left hook over the defense of Pereira. A head kick from Pereira thundered through the ring just before the round ended.
Another high kick from Pereira greeted Abena to start round two. Abena tried to fire back, but absorbed a third kick that wobbled him momentarily. A right straight from Abena backed up Pereira.
He then attacked with a combination along the ropes and caught Pereira with his chin high. The Brazilian looked hurt, but he did not hit the canvas. Pereira recovered and delivered a heavy body shot late in the frame.
Pereira switched his kicking attack to the body in round three, connecting under the left arm of Abena multiple times. The pair exchanged low kicks as the output slowed. A left hook from Pereira hurt Abena and he quickly followed it with a knee.
The flurry resulted in a knockdown and bloodied the nose of Abena. When the fight resumed, Pereira landed a devastating counter left hook that sent Abena crashing face-first to the mat and the referee immediately halted the bout.
“This fight was very important to me. I wanted to leave my mark. Abena is a very tough opponent,” said the new, two-division champion. “He had to come close to me and my hands hit much harder.
“I don’t care who I fight next, but put me on the Collision 2 card in December.”
Alex Pereira def. Donegi Abena by knockout (left hook). Round 3, 2:08 – for interim light heavyweight title
The GLORY 68 main card featured a welterweight bout between American Troy Jones (13-1, 11 KO’s) and Road to GLORY winner Ammari Diedrick (19-8, 5 KO’s) of the U.K.
Jones used his reach advantage early to keep Diedrick at range. He used his jab and front kick to stay outside. Diedrick came forward and chopped at the lead leg of the American.
A left hook to the liver from Jones forced Diedrick to take a knee. He tried to recover, but Jones caught him with a second body shot just seconds later, producing another knockdown.
Following the second count from the referee, Jones smelled blood and delivered a knee along the ropes that put Diedrick down for a third and final time.
“I feel great. I saw that he’s been hurt to the body a punch. I wanted to attack it,” revealed Jones. “I just had to keep him guessing. I knew I was going to get the knee at some point.”
Troy Jones def. Ammari Diedrick by TKO (three-knockdown rule). Round 1, 2:28
The GLORY 68 main card in Miami opened with a lightweight affair between Canada’s Josh Jauncey (30-10, 15 KO’s) battled South African Lowrant-T Nelson (8-2, 4 KO’s).
Nelson raced to close the distance against the former title challenger. Jauncey caught the less experienced fighter with a left hook.
Nelson’s awkward style did not faze Jauncey, who used a high guard to avoid absorbing a damage. A high kick from from the Canadian rattled Nelson for a moment, but the Denver-based fighter stayed upright. Nelson remained the aggressor, but Jauncey landed the cleaner shots, closing the round with a knee strike.
The low kicks of Jauncey found a home early in the second stanza. Nelson dropped his hands from a low kick and Jauncey connected with a knee flush to his jaw. Nelson crashed to the mat and the referee counted while he recovered.
Nelson managed to recover and Jauncey fired off a flying knee as soon as the fight continued. Jauncey opened up with his punches, trading wildly with Nelson. A spinning back kick from Jauncey found the body of Nelson, but he did not go down. The round concluded with Nelson backing Jauncey against the ropes with punches.
Jauncey went for a right head kick at the start of round three. Nelson walked through and marched down his experienced foe. The face of Nelson wore plenty of damage. A right hand from Nelson found the chin of Jauncey as he came forward.
The pair traded in the pocket against the ropes and Nelson landed an uppercut through the guard of Jauncey. Another head kick attempt from Jauncey was countered with a knee to the ribs from the South African.
A right hand from Nelson landed, followed by another spinning back kick from Jauncey. Nelson finished the round with a left hand, leaving the outcome in the hands of the judges.
All three judges at ringside scored the fight in favor of Jauncey.
“I knew he was going to be a tough fight. He’s got a hard head,” said the victorious Jauncey, who later requested a title shot.
Josh Jauncey def. Lowrant-T Nelson by unanimous decision (29-27, 29-27, 29-27)
The GLORY 68 SuperFight Series was headlined by a battle of former super bantamweight champions as American Tiffany van Soest (20-4-1, 6 KO’s) took on Brazilian Jady Menezes (13-4, 5 KO’s) in Miami.
After trading low kicks, van Soest looked for a head kick. Menezes walked right through it and flurried with punches. A right hand from the Brazilian just missed as van Soest rolled away from the punch.
Van Soest used the aggression of Menezes against her, landing short strikes from close quarters. A teep from van Soest found the face of Menezes and drew a response from the Florida crowd. A counter left from van Soest caught Menezes clean as she came forward late in the round.
Van Soest picked up her output to open round two. She caught Menezes with a leg kick and another left hand to keep the fight at range. Van Soest followed with a body kick and more punches. Blood poured from the nose of Menezes.
The Brazilian started headhunting as she struggled to find van Soest with her punches. The footwork and head movement of van Soest were on full display as she evaded the offense of Menezes and countered from the outside.
A stiff jab from van Soest greeted Menezes in round three. It was followed by a slapping head kick, but Menezes took it well. Van Soest switched her attack to the midsection of Menezes. A knee hurt Menezes and she dropped her right hand to cover the damaged area.
The clean boxing of van Soest frustrated the Brazilian, prompting her to clinch. Van Soest delivered another heavy knee on the break. Menezes never quit, but the fight clearly belonged to van Soest.
Reading the scorecards was a formality, as van Soest swept the fight from every judge.
“There’s levels to this and I’m at a different one,” proclaimed the former titleholder van Soest. “I want my belt back!”
Tiffany van Soest def. Jady Menezes by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
The GLORY 68 SuperFight Series in South Florida hosted a middleweight collision between Matt Baker (24-7, 1 NC, 12 KO’s) and Chile’s Ivan Galaz (58-10-1, 15 KO’s).
After a brief feeling-out process to gauge range, Galaz dropped Baker inside the fight’s opening minute.
Baker looked stunned, more so than hurt. He gathered his wits during the count and the fight continued. Baker fired a long jab, but Galaz continued with a slick right hand through the American’s guard. An overhand right from Galaz was blocked by Baker late in the round.
Baker’s height and reach were a factor early in round two. He peppered his jab and low kicks to keep Galaz at range.
Baker caught the Chilean fighter with an uppercut and followed with a knee, but Galaz took it well. The increased output from Baker appeared to frustrate Galaz. A head kick from the towering Baker was blocked at the last moment by Galaz.
A heavy low kick from Baker greeted Galaz to open the third frame. A body kick found Galaz’s midsection as Baker continued to dictate the range of the fight. The pace of Galaz slowed and Baker was relentless with his output.
Galaz frequently tried to clinch to slow the action. Baker fired until the bell, sending the fight to a fourth and deciding round.
The extra round featured both fighters turning up the pace. Galaz just missed with an axe kick attempt as Baker continued to attack with low kicks. A knee from Baker backed up Galaz and prompted him to clinch.
Baker ripped the body from boxing range. Galaz fired a cartwheel kick, but Baker stepped out of the way. Baker scored with a head kick with a minute left in the fight, but Galaz remained upright. Baker threw combination after combination until the final horn.
When the fourth round was in the books, all three judges saw it the same way, scoring the fight in favor of Baker.
Matt Baker def. Ivan Galaz by extra round unanimous decision (10-9, 10-9, 10-9)
The third bout of the SuperFight Series portion of GLORY 68 featured a featherweight clash between undefeated Mexican fighter Abraham Vidales (15-0, 12 KO’s) and longtime veteran Justin Greskiewicz (41-25-3, 18 KO’s).
Greskiewicz fired low kicks, but was instantly countered by body kicks from Vidales. Greskiewicz showcased his veteran prowess, checking the low kicks of Vidales and keeping range with a front kick.
Vidales rushed forward despite Greskiewicz’s efforts, landing a flying knee along the ropes. A heavy right hand to the solar plexus sent Greskiewicz crashing to the canvas.
He survived the count, but Vidales smelled blood and unleashed a flurry along the ropes. The onslaught produced a second count from the referee, but Greskiewicz ultimately made it out of the round.
Vidales came out aggressively in round two. He looked for another flying knee, but Greskiewicz was able to block it. Greskiewicz kicked the body which allowed Vidales to catch the kick and counter with a right straight.
He backed Greskiewicz into the corner and flurried with punches. A clean right hand from Vidales sent Greskiewicz to the mat for a third time in the waning seconds of the round. Greskiewicz recovered again, sending the fight to the third round.
The combinations of Vidales continued in the final stanza. He finished each with a kick, nearly chopping down Greskiewicz with a head kick. Another big body shot from Vidales produced an obvious wince from Greskiewicz, but he stayed on his feet.
Vidales backed him into the corner and unleashed a series of knees that put Greskiewicz down for a fourth and finally time, earning him his 12th career knockout.
“I really appreciate that the crowd loves how I fight,” said Vidales. “I knew he was going to be tough because he has a lot of experience. I want to keep climbing the ranks and working hard.”
Abraham Vidales def. Justin Greskiewicz by TKO (four-knockdown rule). Round 3, 1:26
A pair of American welterweights locked horns on the GLORY 68 SuperFight Series as Omari Boyd (14-2, 1 KO) took on Charles Rodriguez (9-2, 4 KO’s) in Miami.
Boyd attacked early with body kicks. Rodriguez was undeterred and came forward with punches. The low kicks of Rodriguez chopped at the lead leg of Boyd. The punches of Boyd found their way through the high guard of Rodriguez.
He answered with knees from the clinch to re-establish his range. A Boyd high kick was barely blocked by Rodriguez. The low kicks of Rodriguez continued land as the round expired.
The forward advance of Rodriguez continued in round two. Boyd kept a high guard and looked to counter. After numerous exchanges, a vicious left hook from Boyd caught Rodriguez flush on the temple. He crashed to the canvas and the referee gave him a count.
Rodriguez was able to continue, but did not look the same over the round’s final minute.
Boyd came out aggressively in round three, but it nearly cost him as Rodriguez landed a high kick. Boyd was able to stay upright and fired back with punches. A right hand from Boyd sent the mouthpiece of Rodriguez flying.
A trip from Rodriguez resulted in a pause to the action as the referee warned him for the illegal technique. When the fight continued, Boyd landed a devastating body shot. Rodriguez winced, but kept his pressure until the fight’s final bell.
With the second-round knockdown and cleaner strikes throughout, the decision was never in doubt as Boyd took home the win.
“That’s what I do, I go to war,” said Boyd. “I’m 6-1 in the division. Give me a title shot!”
Omari Boyd def. Charles Rodriguez by unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-26)
The GLORY 68 SuperFight Series in Miami opened with a super bantamweight bout between Brazilian Aline Pereira (6-1, 1 KO) and Thailand’s Chommanee Sor Taehiran (92-18-1, 15 KO’s).
Pereira walked straight into the pocket and backed Chommanee to the ropes. The Brazilian fired a heavy right hand, but Chommanee was able to circle out of the way. Chommanee clinched near the ropes and delivered a series of short knees.
The height and reach advantage of Pereira was obvious, as she stayed outside and threw power punches toward her more experienced opponent. Chommanee landed a right hand and she immediately looked to clinch.
An inadvertent clash of heads caused a massive hematoma on Chommanee’s forehead just before the round’s final bell.
Chommanee went straight back to the clinch in round two. Pereira cracked her with a left hand and she continued to be aggressive with attack. The Brazilian’s power punches were blocked by the high guard of Chommanee.
The pair traded body kicks and Chommanee clinched yet again. The round’s waning seconds saw both fighters fire combinations, but come up short in landing them.
The Thai fighter was warned by the referee early in round three for excessive clinching. A front kick to left hook combo from Pereira found its mark and forced Chommanee to close the distance.
A body kick from Pereira found the midsection of Chommanee and left a considerable red mark. Pereira’s power punching continued until the final bell, scoring with repeated right hands.
The judges were called upon for a verdict, and all three at ringside awarded Pereira for her efforts.
“I’m really, really happy,” said the victorious Pereira. “I’d like to thank GLORY for the opportunity. I’m thankful for my brother [GLORY middleweight champion Alex Pereira] being at my side.”
Aline Pereira def. Chommanee Sor Taehiran by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
On Saturday, Sept. 28, GLORY Kickboxing returned to Florida, hosting its 68th event from the James L. Knight Center in Miami. The action kicked off with a pair of preliminary card bouts that streamed live on YouTube.
Lightweights Nick Chasteen (11-6, 3 KO’s) and Keemaan Diop (3-2, 2 KO’s) closed out the preliminary card with a three-round battle. Chasteen opened with a body kick and quickly followed it with a head kick.
Diop showcased good defense and movement to evade damage. A missed kick from Diop allowed Chasteen to land a head kick, but it lacked power. He then worked the body with a combination and closed it with a heel kick to the body.
Chasteen remained active throughout the round, landing with punch after punch as the round progressed. Diop mixed in kicks to start round two. Chasteen continued his assault of punches, finishing each combination with a kick.
A right uppercut slipped through Diop’s guard, but he marched forward unfazed. The frame closed with more kicks from Chasteen. Diop was the aggressor as round three began, but Chasteen was relentless with his striking combinations.
The jab of Diop found its mark, popping the head of Chasteen. The Hard Knocks 365 fighter turned up his output as the seconds counted down, but Chasteen was able to stay outside and avoid taking damage. When the final horn sounded, there was no doubt, as Chasteen walked away victorious.
The night began with a welterweight match-up between Ross Levine (4-0, 3 KO’s) and Sean Choice (8-4, 4 KO’s). Levine barreled forward as soon as the bell rang, bullying Choice to the ropes.
Choice tried to find his range, but Levine stayed in the pocket and gave him very little space. Levine connected with a body kick that was answered by jumping knee from Choice. The pressure of Levine nearly cost him late in the opening frame as Choice delivered a counter knee as he came forward.
The advance of Levine continued in the middle stanza. Choice looked to counter, but was met with an uppercut from Levine. The volume from Levine frequently caused Choice to put up a high guard.
A hook to the liver from Levine allowed Choice to clinch and score with a pair of knees as the round came to a close. There was a sense of urgency from Choice in the fight’s final round. He came forward and attacked with kicks to the body.
The swing in momentum was short-lived, however as Levine returned to firing an onslaught of punches. A heavy low kick from Levine was followed by a left hook over the guard of Choice. Levine never stopped looking for a finish, but it would not come as the fight saw the scorecards. The judges at ringside rewarded Levine for his efforts, keeping his perfect record intact.
Nick Chasteen def. Keemaan Diop by unanimous decision (30-27 x3)
Ross Levine def. Sean Choice by unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)