Badr Hari was back in the ring on December 19 (Dec. 20 in Australia) in the main event of GLORY Kickboxing 76 held at studio location in Rotterdam, Holland. K-1 legend faced Benjamin Adegbuyi in the heavyweight title eliminator headlining the card live on pay-per-view.
The scheduled for three rounds contest didn’t go the full distance. The first round saw Hari opening up early, putting the pressure on his opponent and looking for a knockout with his heavy punches. Adegbuyi tried to cover the shots and was countering. Mid round Hari got accidently clipped under his chin by Adegbuyi’s head. It was not a knockdown, but the fight was stopped for a moment. In the end two judges scored the round for Hari, while one gave it to Adegbuyi.
In Round 2 Hari slowed down, yet tried to use his experience and school his opponent. Adegbuyi started to slightly move forward and continued throwing a myriad of left kicks. At the of the round Hari almost did what he had said he would, when he tagged Adegbuyi with right hook followed by a flurry of strikes. The latter dropped, but beat the eight count and survived the round.
At the beginning of the final three minutes Hari was leading on the scorecards, earning 10-8 from all three judges for the previous round. The tables turned when he got caught by Adegbuyi’s right hand thrown from a southpaw stance.
Hari wouldn’t immediately get up, so the referee opened an eight count. He did eventually got up and the fight resumed, but only to be finished in the first exchange, courtesy of left body kick thrown by Adegbuyi, which sent Hari to the canvas for the second time, and that time he wouldn’t get up.
Ultimately, Benjamin Adegbuyi earned the win by TKO at 50 seconds into the third round and won GLORY heavyweight title eliminator. He is expected to face either the reigning champion or a new titleholder at the future event, subject to the Rico Verhoeven vs Jamal Ben Saddik 3 fight winner on January 30.
Badr Hari, who over the course of his career stopped a number of opponents quite heavier than him, including “Hightower” himself Semmy Schilt, seemed to be struggling to completely demolish (as planned) Benjamin Adegbuyi, who weighed-in almost eight kilogram heavier.
A year ago Badr Hari faced Rico Verhoeven in the rematch. The fight went in a similar scenario. He first knocked the heavyweight champion down twice, but suffered the defeat via third-round TKO due to injury.
In the co-headliner of GLORY 76 Cedric Doumbe successfully defended his welterweight title via third-round stoppage against Karim Ghajji. The full fight results from the event can be found here.
For those who might have missed GLORY 76: Badr vs Benny – the replay is currently (as of writing) available on FITE.