It doesn’t get much bigger than this.
An eight-man single night tournament takes place this Saturday at GLORY 62 featuring many of the top heavyweights in the world. The winner walks away with a cool $100,000, and can also make a legitimate argument he deserves to be next in line to face longtime champion Rico Verhoeven.
Benjamin Adegbuyi of Romania, the top-ranked heavyweight in the organization, is the number one seed. Adegbuyi has won three contender tournaments, so he’s a proven winner in the tournament format. Adegbuyi is coming off a solid win against fellow participant Jahfarr Wilnis at GLORY 58 in September. He’ll face Polish newcomer Arkadiusz “Hightower” Wrzosek, who enters the bout with a listed record of 11-0-4.
Wilnis is seeded third in the tournament. He’ll face Slovakian fighter Tomas Mozny in the opening round. If Wilnis is fit and focused, he shouldn’t have too many problems with the hulking Mozny, setting up another rematch with Adegbuyi. Benny has beaten Wilnis twice on points. Some thought Wilnis deserved the decision in the first fight, and a questionable knockdown call went against him in the rematch.
On the other side of the bracket, the tournament’s first round includes an intriguing match-up that is almost guaranteed to be a slugfest. “The Goliath” Jamal Ben Saddik will battle rising power puncher Junior Tafa. Tafa has knocked out three GLORY opponents in impressive fashion. He’s also lost twice when he stepped up the competition level-losing on points to Guto Inocente and by stoppage against Adegbuyi. Regardless of what happens later in the tournament, an impressive win over Ben Saddik will show the naysayers Tafa is a legitimate top contender.
The winner of Ben Saddik-Tafa meets the winner of the other quarterfinal between Inocente and Mohamed Abdallah. Abdallah won an eight-man tournament in Belgium early this year that featured some world-class fighters. He looked sharp early in a bout on an Enfusion show in September, and could be a dark horse in the tournament. Guto has shown he is a legitimate contender with previous wins over Adegbuyi, Hesdy Gerges, and D’Angelo Marshall. He’s never won a tournament, and had to pull out after the first round at the Glory 50 tournament due to injury.
If one were to handicap the tournament, Adegbuyi and Wilnis would probably be favorites because of their proven skill and experience, with Ben Saddik not far behind. The great thing about tournaments like this is there’s usually a surprise or two. The physical and mental pressure of winning three fights in one night can lead a fighter to make mistakes.
One things for sure: there should be plenty of big punches, kicks, and knees Saturday as the fighters battle for honor, legacy, and a big cash prize.
GLORY 62 Rotterdam (20:00 CET, 14:00 EST, 11:00 PT)
Heavyweight Tournament Final Bout: Bout E Winner vs. Bout F Winner
Light Heavyweight Co-Headline Bout: Luis Tavares vs. Artur Gorlov
Heavyweight Tournament Semifinal Bout F: Bout B Winner vs. Bout D Winner
Heavyweight Tournament Semifinal Bout E: Bout A Winner vs. Bout C Winner
Heavyweight Tournament Quarterfinal Bout D: Guto Inocente vs. Mohamed Abdallah
Heavyweight Tournament Quarterfinal Bout C: Jahfarr Wilnis vs. Tomas Mozny
Heavyweight Tournament Quarterfinal Bout B: Jamal Ben Saddik vs. Junior Tafa
Heavyweight Tournament Quarterfinal Bout A: Benjamin Adegbuyi vs. Arkadiusz Wrzosek
GLORY 62 Superfight Series (18:00 CET, 12:00 EST, 09:00 PT)
Broadcast: UFC Fight Pass
Lightweight Headline Bout: Marat Grigorian vs. Christian Baya
Lightweight Bout: Tyjani Beztati vs. Stoyan Koprivlenski
Welterweight Bout: Robbie Hageman vs. Dmitrii Menshikov
Welterweight Bout: Miles Simson vs. Hamicha
Heavyweight Tournament Reserve Bout: Roël Mannaart vs. Kirill Kornilov
GLORY 62 Prelim (1730 CET, 11:30 ET, 08:30 PT)
Broadcast: GLORY YouTube channel, Pluto TV, Glory Facebook Page
Middleweight Bout: Donovan Wisse vs. Ertuğrul Bayrak
The GLORY 62 weigh-ins will stream live Friday on the promotion’s YouTube channel. The start time is 12:00 CET, which is 0600 ET and 3 a.m. Pacific Standard Time.