Harut Grigorian’s stunning first round knockout over Murthel Groenhart Friday night at Glory 51 reminds one of the old adage in boxing: “that’s why they fight the fights”.
Very few people expected Grigorian to avenge his knockout loss from last year. The odds makers had the Belgian-Armenian a huge underdog, and watching their previous fight again, you weren’t really sure what Grigorian would do differently. Murthel also seemed to be at the top of his game. Groenhart fought a smart fight to win the belt from Cedric Doumbe last year, and had won four in a row including the knockout win over Grigorian. Grigorian though learned from last year’s loss. He didn’t go after Murthel and run into a big shot. He was patient and took advantage when Groenhart’s back was against the ropes, ripping the body and head to score the first knockdown. You can argue that referee Chris Wagner should have let the fight go on a little longer to give the champion an extra second to try and recover, but Groenhart seemed like he was dazed and letting the fight go a second or two more probably wouldn’t have changed the outcome.
It’s not going to be easy for Grigorian to hold onto the welterweight belt. Doumbe is ranked number one, and meets Alim Nabiyev at the Glory 51 Superfight Series on March 3 in Rotterdam. The winner should be next in line to challenge Grigorian. Also, Groenhart is ranked number two and probably a win or two will earn him another chance to challenge for the title.
Fans looking forward to the Haze Wilson-Anthony McDonald fight Friday were let down when the bout was cancelled after McDonald was a late scratch. It probably would have been an entertaining scrap, and ended up with someone getting kayoed. You got to feel for both fighters. McDonald was tweeting earlier in the day and the Army veteran seemed pumped up to fight. It would have been Wilson’s debut on the big stage after years of fighting on the local Oklahoma circuit.
Kickboxing Z reached out to Glory to ask if Wilson would still receive his show money since the fight was cancelled at the last minute through no fault of Wilson. Glory PR confirmed that Wilson would still get compensated. Hopefully, these two gentlemen get a fight in the Glory ring soon.
Glory 50 Replay Alert
In case you missed it, the Glory 50 card will be replayed tonight on ESPN2. Start time is 10pm EST, 7pm on the West Coast.