GLORY Kickboxing Super Bantamweight champion Anissa Meksen defends her title
GLORY Super Bantamweight champion Anissa Meksen in her title defense against Tiffany Van Soest | Pic: James Law, Glory Sports International / Supplied

Three titles are on the line at the Zenith Paris indoor arena on June 22 when GLORY Kickboxing returns to France for the second time this year. Taking place in the country’s capital, GLORY 66 Paris follows the previous show held in Strasbourg in March. The event features the defending champions Anissa Meksen, Cedric Doumbe and Artem Vakhitov facing off the challengers in their respective weight classes. The bouts are scheduled for five rounds.

GLORY 66 Paris is headlined by the reigning welterweight champion Cedric Doumbe (72-6-1, 42 KO) up against ranked N.1 contender Alim Nabiyev (51-7, 21 KO). In the co-main event light heavyweight Artem Vakhitov (20-5, 8 KO) defends his belt against Donegi Abena (24-5, 6 KO). In addition, Anissa Meksen (98-4, 31 KO) is scheduled for her next super bantamweight title defense against the winner of Sofia Olofsson vs. Christi Brereton bout, which is scheduled for this weekend at GLORY 65 Utrecht.

Three world titles on the line at GLORY 66 Paris

(Via the announcement sent out by GLORY Kickboxing)

Meksen, the most dominant female kickboxing champion in the world today, arrived in GLORY in July 2017 with a 32-fight unbeaten run and took the GLORY world title from Tiffany van Soest of California, USA in Madison Square Garden, New York at GLORY 48 New York on December 1, 2017.

Two-time welterweight champion Doumbé commenced his first reign over the division when he defeated Nieky “The Natural” Holzken at GLORY 36. He made two title defenses before losing it by way of a controversial decision at GLORY 44.

Doumbé then battled his way back to another title shot. He successfully reclaimed his belt at GLORY 64 in Strasbourg this past March, marking the start of his second welterweight championship reign.

Between losing and regaining his title Doumbé suffered only one loss. That was to Nabiyev, who took a split-decision victory at GLORY 51 in March last year. Based in Baku, Azerbaijan, ‘The Professor’ now counts three wins over current or former champions in his 5-1 GLORY record.

Nabiyev came up short in his own title shot in GLORY 54 and now gets second chance at gold, while Doumbé gets chance to defend his belt and settle the scores in his home city.

Russian’s Vakhitov is the most dominant light-heavyweight champion in GLORY history. Frequently cited in the pound-for-pound conversation, he has nine wins from ten GLORY appearances and rides a six-fight win streak into this fight.

Nagging injury issues kept Vakhitov sidelined for most of 2018 but now he’s ready to return and remind the division why he is champion. He has scored stoppage wins in two of his four title defenses and will be looking to add another to the list on June 22.

Abena was born in Suriname, South America but raised in the Netherlands. He endured a turbulent youth, including several spells in children’s homes, before discovering kickboxing and finding a way to channel his energies.

Fighting out of Mike’s Gym, Amsterdam, where his team mates include Badr Hari, Abena scored wins over GLORY veterans on the European circuit to earn a call-up to the premier kickboxing league, where he since gone 2-0.

GLORY 66 Paris fight card

Other bouts for GLORY 66 Paris are expected to be announced in the coming weeks. The championship lineup can be found below.

Welterweight Cedric Doumbe vs. Alim Nabiyev
Light Heavyweight Artem Vakhitov vs. Donegi Abena
Super Bantamweight Anissa Meksen vs. TBD the winner of Sofia Olofsson vs. Christi Brereton bout