GLORY 65 takes place at Central Studios in Utrecht, Netherlands on May 17. Kickboxing event is headlined by two title bouts, featuring Alex Pereira in defense of his middleweight belt against former champion Jason Wilnis, and Sitthichai Sitsongpeenong defending his lightweight strap against Marat Grigorian. Three contender bouts have been added to the fight card this week with Yousri Belgaroui, Tyjani Beztati, among others, participating.
Middleweight Yousri Belgaroui (25-5, 13 KO) squares off against Donovan Wisse (11-1, 7 KO) in the scheduled for three rounds bout featured on the main card. Lightweight Tyjani Beztati (18-3, 6 KO) faces Josh Jauncey (29-9, 15 KO) on the SuperFight Series card. In addition, Eyevan Danenberg (28-7, 13 KO) moves up a weight class taking on Yassine Ahaggan (33-6, 22 KO) at middleweight.
Key contender clashes confirmed for GLORY 65 Utrecht
(via the announcement sent out by the promotion)
Belgaroui, fighting out of Mike’s Gym, Amsterdam, debuted at GLORY 34 and came runner-up in the event’s four-man Middleweight Contender Tournament, losing a decision to Israel Adesanya in the final, before going on to win the GLORY 40 Middleweight Contender Tournament, where he scored a decision over Alex Pereira in the final.
Pereira later went on to win the middleweight title and Belgaroui has been on his trail ever since. Pereira is 2-1 over Belgaroui in their series to date and Belgaroui is looking to even the scoreline and take the title belt in the process. But staying in the title chase depends on his being able to defeat the dangerous power-punching Wisse.
Debuting in GLORY with a 9-0 record, Wisse quickly raised himself to 11-1. In his most recent appearance, at GLORY 64, he won by way of an emphatic knockout late in the second round. A win over Belgaroui would elevate him into the division’s top five and potentially into title contention.
Beztati and Jauncey are two of the lightweight division’s brightest talents and a showdown between the two was always inevitable. This is a highly-anticipated first encounter, one which has strong implications for the lightweight contender picture.
Both have eight wins in GLORY: Beztati has gone 8-2 with two wins by knockout and Jauncey 8-6 with five wins by knockout. Both also had their first title shots last year and both gave defending champion Sitthichai a strong test before ultimately losing a judges’ decision.
Jauncey and Beztati are now seeking their second title shot: the road to that shot brings them to this meeting in Utrecht.
Eyevan Danenberg went 5-2 as a GLORY welterweight and cracked the top five, placing himself in title contention, but found the weight cut increasingly difficult and has now elected to move up to middleweight to continue his title campaign.
Ahaggan, fighting out of Bordeaux, France, has gone 1-1 in GLORY since making his debut at GLORY 47 and has no intention of being Danenberg’s first middleweight victim. He has promised to give Danenberg a cold welcome to his new weight class.
Other matchups are expected to be announced in the coming weeks. The current lineup can be found below.
GLORY 65 Utrecht
Middleweight Alex Pereira vs. Jason Wilnis
Lightweight Sitthichai Sitsongpeenong vs. Marat Grigorian
Middleweight Yousri Belgaroui vs. Donovan Wisse
Lightweight Tyjani Beztati vs. Josh Jauncey
Middleweight Eyevan Danenberg vs. Yassine Ahaggan