It was another hard-hitting night of fights at GLORY 22 in Lille, France — and a particularly diverse one, with the kickboxing promotion showcasing the world’s best strikers from lightweight to heavyweight.
In the main event, GLORY heavyweight champion Rico Verhoeven defended his title in dominant fashion, defeating challenger Benjamin Adegbuyi by unanimous decision.
Verhoeven, who goes by the moniker “The Prince of Kickboxing,” continued his reign with his typical Dutch Muay Thai attack, combining low kicks and punching combinations with fluidity throughout five rounds. Adegbuyi earned an early advantage in the first stanza on the strength of a precise jab, but Verhoeven made the proper adjustments and scored a clear victory.
The event has been described as the first heavyweight championship of a new generation. Adding to the atmosphere were several of the biggest names of past years — Semmy Schilt, Ernesto Hoost and Remy Bonjasky — who presented Verhoeven with his belt at the evening’s end.
The event also featured a lightweight tournament, which turned into a showcase for Sitthichai Sitsongpeenong.
Sittichai, fighting in his first ever GLORY event, utilized a brutal knee to the body to knock out former GLORY lightweight champion Davit Kira in his opening bout. He went on to out-point Canada’s Josh Jauncey in the finals.
The 22 year old upstart Jauncey had scored a TKO win over local favorite Djimè Coulibaly to advance to the finals.
Sittichai, just 23 but with 129 fights to his credit (mostly in his native Thailand), showed he adapts well to GLORY kickboxing rules. With the tournament win, he is expected to challenge the promotion’s champion, Robin van Roosmalen, soon.
Heavyweights: Rico Verhoeven defeated Benjamin Adegbuyi by decision to retain the GLORY heavyweight title.
Lightweights: Sitthichai Sitsongpeenong defeated Josh Jauncey (Lightweight Contender Tournament Final)
Light Heavyweights: Zack Mwekassa defeated Carlos Brooks by knockout at 1:58 of round one.
Lightweights: Josh Jauncey defeated Djimè Coulibaly by TKO at 2:59 of round three. (Lightweight Contender Tournament Semi Final)
Lightweights: Sitthichai Sitsongpeenong defeated Davit Kiria by KO at 2:09 of round two. (Lightweight Contender Tournament Semi Final)