Benny Adegbuyi will get a shot at the heavyweight title after winning the Glory heavyweight contenders tournament Friday in Chicago. The Romanian is not necessarily next in line to fight reigning champion Rico Verhoeven, according to Glory Head of Talent Operations Cor Hemmers.
“I told Adegbuyi in the ring. This is the third contender (tournament) you win. It’s really time for a belt,” Hemmers said at the post fight press conference.
“Definitely, he will get a title shot. He has the right. When and where? We have to decide. We can make (a) different choice. We can take another top guy. At least we need to give him a chance to fight for the title again.”
Adegbuyi has two title fight losses to Verhoeven. He lost unanimously on points in June 2015, and was knocked out in the first round of their rematch six months later. Benny is 5-1 in Glory since the stoppage defeat to Verhoeven, with the only loss a split decision to Guto Inocente last year. Adegbuyi said he would be willing to fight for the title or even face Badr Hari.
“I don’t know what happens now. Maybe a title shot. Maybe Badr Hari. But I’m always ready. I will just take a short break. Enjoy my family,” Adegbuyi said at the press conference.
Adegbuyi said he wanted to face Inocente in the finals, and hoped the fighters could “meet again and finish the business.” Inocente had to withdraw from the tournament final because of a cut suffered during his semifinal points win over Junior Tafa.
Hemmers had praise for Glory Lightweight Champion Sitthichai Sitsongpeenong after the Thai dominated challenger Chris Baya to win a decision and retain his title Friday.
“Sitthichai-I think a lot of managers and trainers underestimate (him),” Hemmers said. “He’s a very sharp guy. He’s a guy like what I saw in the old days in Thailand.”
“He has very good timing. Very good body movement. He’s powerful with punches and kicks. Until now, it looks like he’s unbeatable.”
Sitthichai has made three successful title defenses since winning the crown from Robin van Roosmalen in 2016, and dominated nearly every opponent he’s faced in Glory. His overall record in the promotion is 8-1. Hemmers acknowledged it’s hard to find challengers for the Muay Thai master.
“It’s difficult. The guy is every time winning. We have a heavyweight (Verhoeven) who is every time winning. (We are)looking for new challengers.”
Photos Courtesy of James Law/Glory Sports International