GLORY 2018 Award Nominations

GLORY 2018 Award Nominations

Monday, Dec 31 2018 by John O'Regan



2018 was another big year for GLORY Kickboxing: fourteen events around the world, including visits to China, England, France, the Netherlands and multiple stops across the USA.


As always the action was intense, with GLORY’s fighters leaving it all in the ring as they sought to climb to the top of their weight class and towards that world title belt.


This year GLORY is putting shortlists of three to the public vote in each of the four awards categories for 2018. ‘Fight of the Year’ is always hotly contested and producing the final shortlist was not an easy task for GLORY’s internal panel!


Here are the three nominees for GLORY Fight of the Year 2018. All nominations are presented in order based on when the fight occurred. The order of presentation does not infer any precedence.


Head to GLORY’s Twitter / Instagram / FB to cast your vote



Josh Jauncey vs Stoyan Koprivlenski, GLORY 52 LOS ANGELES


Lightweights Josh Jauncey and Stoyan Koprivlenski met in Los Angeles, California for GLORY’s second event of 2018.


The fight was an instant classic, earning plaudits for the high level of technical skill displayed by both fighters in a non-stop flow. At times the two displayed an almost ballet-like level of choreography as they went counter for counter for counter in extended exchanges.


After three rounds Jauncey came away the winner by split-decision but Koprivlenski’s stock rose regardless.



Sitthichai vs Marat Grigorian, GLORY 57 SHENZEN


Perennial rivals met for what would be the fourth time in their careers at GLORY 57 SHENZEN as world Lightweight champion Sitthichai defended his title against Marat Grigorian.


Grigorian has been a consistent thorn in Sitthichai’s side, steadily maintaining his top spot in the contender lists and taking continual aim at the Thai’s belt. Despite a lopsided 0-3 scoreline against him as he headed to China, Grigorian was sure he would win this fourth encounter handily.


As it turned out, it was the closest of their quartet of fights. Constant close-range exchanges filled each of the five rounds as Grigorian pressed forwards with combinations and Sitthichai played matador and looked to score on the counter-attack.


In the end Sitthichai was declared the winner by split-decision; Grigorian’s team hotly disputed the result but Sitthichai, now 4-0 over the Armenian, declared their rivalry over for good.



Jahfarr Wilnis vs Benjamin Adegbuyi, GLORY 61 ROTTERDAM


GLORY’s 2018 season ended with GLORY 62 ROTTERDAM and an eight-man Heavyweight Grand Prix tournament.


Heroic battles took place throughout the tournament but the encounter between Jahfarr Wilnis and Benjamin Adegbuyi particularly stood out.


Wilnis went into the semi-final fight with two prior career losses to Adegbuyi to avenge. At one point he looked close to doing it, but Adegbuyi came back into the fray. The advantage passed back and forth until 2:39 of the third round, when an Adegbuyi head kick took Wilnis out.


Honorable Mention: Groenhart vs Jaraya








‘Fighter of the Year’ is the flagship category in GLORY’s year-end awards. The nominees all had an outstanding campaign season in 2018, but which of them stands head and shoulders above the rest?


Here are the three nominees for GLORY Fighter of the Year 2018. All nominations are presented in alphabetical order. The order of presentation does not infer any precedence.


Head to GLORY’s Twitter / Instagram / FB to cast your vote




Alex ‘Po Atan’ Pereira


The Brazilian Middleweight went 2-0 in 2018 with two title defenses, the first of which was a stunning first-round stoppage of Yousri Belgaroui at GLORY 55 NEW YORK, which is also nominated for ‘Knockout of the Year’ this year.


Pereira then went on to defend his belt against former champion Simon Marcus at GLORY 58 CHICAGO, shutting him out over five rounds to win a clear unanimous decision.





Thai Featherweight Petchpanomrung Kiatmookao went 3-0 in 2018, winning the world title in his third and final fight of the year.


His season started at GLORY 53 LILLE with an incredible head kick stoppage of Abdellah Ezbiri, followed by a GLORY 55 NEW YORK win over former interim champion Kevin Vannostrand.


He then went into a title shot rematch against Robin van Roosmalen and put on a career-best performance, winning all five rounds against the defending champion and taking the belt from him by unanimous decision.




Sitthichai Sitsongpeenong maintained his dominance of the Lightweight division in 2018, going a perfect 4-0 over the course of the year.


His year started with a one-sided decision win over Chris Baya at GLORY 50 CHICAGO, followed by a unanimous decision win over Tyjani Beztati at GLORY 53 LILLE.


At GLORY 57 SHENZEN he rematched Marat Grigorian and took a split-decision win, making him 4-0 over the Armenian in their series. Josh Jauncey then gave him possibly the toughest test of his GLORY career to date at GLORY 61 NEW YORK, although Sitthichai still walked away with the unanimous decision at the end of five rounds.



Honorable Mentions: Anissa Meksen, Harut Grigorian




Hit without being hit, rack up more points than your opponent does - that’s the game in professional fighting. But leaving it in the hands of the judges can be risky, which is why many fighters seek to end their matches in more decisive fashion.


At this level of competition, being able to finish an opponent speaks volumes. The key is in the setup. All three of this year’s nominees scored finishes which are masterclasses of setups and timing.


All nominations are presented in order based on when the fight occurred. The order of presentation does not infer any precedence.


Head to GLORY’s Twitter / Instagram / FB to cast your vote




Petchpanomrung vs Abdellah Ezbiri, G53 LILLE


France’s Abdellah Ezbiri was coming off a Contender Tournament win as he went into this fight with Petchpanomrung. It was a meeting of top Featherweight contenders and the winner would be taking a big step closer to a title shot.


Ezbiri is a tricky fighter but Petchpanomrung proved even trickier, forcing Ezbiri on the back foot with heavy left kicks to the body before exploding into a fight-ending jumping left kick to the head.



Alex Pereira vs Yousri Belgaroui, G55 NEW YORK


Pereira’s encounter with Belgaroui in late 2017 ended with a cut stoppage when Belgaroui sustained a bad laceration which made the ringside doctor call time on the bout.


Rematching several months later, Pereira was leaving nothing to chance. He used his clever boxing skills to herd Belgaroui into position for a devastating right cross which took the Amsterdam fighter out at 2:29 of the first round.



Abdellah Ezbiri vs Victor Pinto, G60 LYON


Abdellah Ezbiri appears for a second time in this year’s nominations list, this time as the nominee.


He finished Victor ‘Leo’ Pinto at just 1:03 of the first round in their GLORY 53 LILLE contest, baiting Pinto into raising a high guard and then landing a spinning back kick to the body which ended Pinto’s fight before he had even got going.



Honorable Mentions: Jamal Ben Saddik over Adegbuyi, Adegbuyi over Wilnis, Troy Jones over Casey Greene, Hamicha over Miles Simson, Ryot Waller over Zack Wells





Entering the GLORY ranks is the goal of every stand-up fighter who wants to prove themselves the best in the world. New contenders are always emerging and 2018 was no exception, but which of these three was the GLORY Newcomer of the Year?


All nominations are presented in alphabetical order. The order of presentation does not infer any precedence.


Head to GLORY’s Twitter / Instagram / FB to cast your vote




Asa Ten Pow


Florida Featherweight Asa Ten Pow made a hugely impressive debut with a first-round body-shot stoppage win at GLORY 55 NEW YORK and followed that with two more victories to end his first year in GLORY with a perfect 3-0 record.





Mohammed ‘Hamicha’ Mezouari may have made his debut on the final event of 2018, but what a debut it was.


The 22-year-old Amsterdam-based Welterweight faced the experienced Miles Simson at GLORY 62 ROTTERDAM and scored one of the year’s most impressive finishes as he took Simson out with a textbook-perfect left high kick at 1:53 of the first round.


With the win he has immediately marked himself out as a dangerous new presence in one of GLORY’s most competitive divisions. In 2019 he will be looking to rise to the top of what former champion Murthel Groenhart calls ‘the Welterweight war zone’.


Dimitrii Menshikov


Heavy-handed Dimitry Menshikov comes from Kuzbass Muay Thai, the same camp as Artem Vakhitov, and has the same propensity for ending fights with his fists.


Menshikov debuted at GLORY 60 LYON with a first-round stoppage win and then repeated the feat at GLORY 62 ROTTERDAM, stopping Robbie Hageman at 1:32 of the first round.


Honorable Mentions: Charles Rodriguez, Troy Jones




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