Combat sports’ deepest heavyweight roster will be on full display next month, with three top-five fighters and one exciting newcomer assembled to comprise the one-night, four man heavyweight contender tournament at GLORY 50 Chicago.
In the first of two semifinal matchups, 21-year-old prospect Junior "The Juggernaut" Tafa (18-1, 13 KO, fighting out of Australia) looks to establish himself amongst the cream of the heavyweight crop when he takes on dynamic striker Guto Inocente (34-8, 17 KO, fighting out of Brazil), ranked No. 5 in the division.
A protégé and training partner of UFC heavyweight and K-1 Grand Prix winner Mark Hunt, Tafa made his GLORY debut in October, quickly finishing Quanchao Luo in the very first round.
Inocente has put together an impressive run under the GLORY banner, compiling a 4-1 record that includes victories over a litany of top-10 foes.
Two of the fighters seeking revenge against Inocente will square off in the tournament’s other semifinal bout. Two-time heavyweight title challenger and current world No. 1 Benjamin "Mister Gentleman" Adegbuyi (28-5, 16 KO, fighting out of the Netherlands) steps through the GLORY ropes for the 12th time when he throws down with Curaçaoan-Dutch contender D’Angelo “U.S.” Marshall (17-2, 9 KO, fighting out of the Netherlands).
Romania’s Adegbuyi is no stranger to winning twice in a single evening, earning contender tournament victories at both GLORY 24 Denver and GLORY 35 Nice.
Marshall has only one loss on his GLORY record, dropping a razor-close decision to Inocente in extra rounds at GLORY 37 Los Angeles last January. Now ranked No. 3, he most recently picked up a unanimous decision over perennial contender Ismael Londt at GLORY 49 SuperFight Series in December.
Local favorite Richard "Maximus" Abraham (12-5, 4 KO, fighting out of the United States), a staple of the promotion’s visits to the Chicagoland area, will face fellow Illinois native “FreeSmoke” Malik Watson-Smith (59-23, 36 KO, fighting out of the United States) in the welterweight co-headline bout of GLORY 50 Chicago.
Both fighters competed at GLORY 44 Chicago in August, with Abraham dominating Daniel Morales en route to a unanimous decision victory and Watson-Smith ending Jeremie Holloway’s night with leg kicks in the second round of a tournament reserve bout.
Rivals Murthel "The Predator" Groenhart (67-22-3, 38 KO, fighting out of the Netherlands) and Harut Grigorian (46-11, 32 KO, fighting out of the Netherlands) will vie for welterweight gold in the headline bout of GLORY 50 Chicago.
GLORY 50 Chicago will be carried live on ESPN3 at 11 p.m. ET / 8 p.m. PT on Friday, Feb. 16, with a replay on ESPN2 at 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. ET on Sunday, Feb. 18.
The complete five-fight card for GLORY 50 Chicago can be found below:
GLORY 50 Chicago
Welterweight Title Headline Bout: Murthel Groenhart (c) vs. Harut Grigorian
Heavyweight Tournament Final Bout: Winner of Bout A vs. Winner of Bout B
Welterweight Co-Headline Bout: Richard Abraham vs. Malik Watson-Smith
Heavyweight Tournament Semifinal Bout B: Benjamin Adegbuyi vs. D’Angelo Marshall
Heavyweight Tournament Semifinal Bout A: Guto Inocente vs. Junior Tafa
Before GLORY 50 Chicago kicks off, lightweight champion "Killer Kid" Sitthichai Sitsongpeenong (118-30-5, 32 KO, fighting out of Thailand) makes his way back to the GLORY ring for a title defense against exciting Angolan challenger Christian “Bad News” Baya (60-5-1, 35 KO, fighting out of the Netherlands) in the GLORY 50 SuperFight Series headline bout.
The GLORY 50 SuperFight Series co-headline bout will feature a rematch, pitting heavyweight knockout artist Cătălin "The Carpathian Death" Moroșanu (44-11, 26 KO, fighting out of Romania) up against 28-year-old standout Giannis “Hercules” Stoforidis (26-6, 13 KO, fighting out of Greece). During their first encounter in 2014, Moroșanu knocked out Stoforidis in the second round.
Welterweights will get the GLORY 50 SuperFight Series action started, as Muay Thai stylist Omar “Marsiano” Moreno (26-7-1, 9 KO, fighting out of the United States) meets veteran Casey "Go" Greene (5-7, 2 KO, fighting out of the United States), while Illinois-born Daniel "La Maquina" Morales (1-4, fighting out of the United States) represents Mexico when he battles WAKO Team USA member Omari “The Body Snatcher” Boyd (33-3, 11 KO, fighting out of the United States).
GLORY 50 SuperFight Series will stream live and exclusively on UFC FIGHT PASS at 8:30 p.m. ET / 5:30 p.m PT on Friday, Feb. 16.
The current fight card for GLORY 50 SuperFight Series can be found below:
GLORY 50 SuperFight Series
Lightweight Title Headline Bout: Sitthichai Sitsongpeenong (c) vs. Christian Baya
Heavyweight Co-Headline Bout: Cătălin Moroșanu vs. Giannis Stoforidis
Welterweight Bout: Omar Moreno vs. Casey Greene
Welterweight Bout: Daniel Morales vs. Omari Boyd
One additional GLORY 50 SuperFight Series bout is expected to be announced in the coming days.
Tickets for GLORY 50 Chicago and GLORY 50 SuperFight Series, priced at $170, $120, $100, $75, $55 and $35, are on sale now. Tickets are available for purchase at ticketmaster.com, the UIC Pavilion Box Office and all Ticketmaster retail locations.
For more information about GLORY, visit glorykickboxing.com.