Monday, 7 November 2016  |  Carl



Benjamin Adegbuyi is once again the Heavyweight Contender, having taken victory in the GLORY 35 NICE Heavyweight Contender Tournament with back-to-back wins over Hesdy Gerges and Mladen Brestovac.

The final saw Adegbuyi and Brestovac meet for what would be their third career encounter and it was once again Adegbuyi who emerged victorious. He is now 3-0 over his Croatian counterpart, although that is not for lack of Brestovac trying his best tonight to separate Adegbuyi from consciousness as he had Wilnis in the semi-final.

Crisp boxing and a consistent repeat leg kick were the keys to victory for Adegbuyi. Threatening Brestovac's head, he would open the leg up to be attacked. Going to the leg would prompt Brestovac to begin defending it, leaving him open to punches upstairs.

Volume of output was high from both fighters and impressive considering they had each fought once that evening already. Adegbuyi's level of output was nothing short of incredible considering he had gone the distance in a hard fight.

Brestovac's trademark left kick came out often, hammering Adegbuyi's midsection as he came in with his punches. Brestovac also deployed a great left knee strike numerous times, both as a counter and as a lead. He landed several of these, to Adegbuyi's clear discomfort.

But it was the sheer volume and power of Adegbuyi's output which won him the fight. He was a threat to numerous targets on Brestovac and eventually Brestovac's left leg was threatening to give way with just one more kick. Adegbuyi went after it relentlessly but Brestovac is as tough as they come and he simply would not go down.

In fact, in the middle of the final round, Brestovac came back with his best moment of the fight. A hard left cross counter stunned Adegbuyi and the follow-on head kick made him stagger on the spot. The tide looked about to turn but Brestovac didn't press his advantage as much as he could have.

Adegbuyi gathered his senses and clicked up another gear, battering Brestovac into a corner and unloading. The final minute of the fight saw him chasing a leg kick finish and Brestovac firing back when he could. Eventually a bell rang to end a round of incredible action and send the fight to the judges' scorecards, where Adegbuyi landed a clean 30-27 sweep on all cards.

The Semi-Finals

In the first of the evening's semi-final fights Gerges and Adegbuyi had a war, as expected. They basically picked up where they left off back at GLORY 18 OKLAHOMA, except this time Adegbuyi was a lot tighter both offensively and defensively thanks to his work with Dennis Krauweel, coach of current heavyweight champion Rico Verhoeven.

Adegbuyi's crisp boxing and combination work won him the first round. Gerges came back strong in the second and staked a solid claim to winning that frame. Adegbuyi ran away with the third though, putting together numerous superb combinations and coming very close to scoring a knockdown (possibly even knockout) which was only prevented by Gerges' sheer toughness.

Gerges' low kicks were hard at work throughout the fight but it was Adegbuyi's body punches and body kicks which drew repeated noise from the crowd. His volume of output was also markedly higher and he looked sharp throughout the fight.

History almost literally repeated itself in the second semi-final. Brestovac and Wilnis first met at GLORY 14 ZAGREB and the fight ended in a KO by way of a left head kick at 1:19 of the first round. In this rematch, Wilnis was doing good work until he got caught by the exact same left head kick, this time at 2:06 of the first round. He beat the count and got back to his feet but he was glassy-eyed and referee Paul Nicholls waved the fight off to protect the fighter.

“I landed some middle kicks, saw that it hurt him and made an opening for a high kick and... well, you saw what happened,” said Brestovac afterwards.

Benjamin Adegbuyi (27-4-0) def. Mladen Brestovac (51-12-1), Unanimous Decision, R3 (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Mladen Brestovac (51-11-1) def. Jahfar Wilnis (30-8-1), KO, R1
Benjamin Adegbuyi (26-4-0) def. Hesdy Gerges (49-18-1), Unanimous Decision, R3 (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

 01202 294223