GLORY 54 Recap: Verhoeven, Grigorian Retain with Decisions

Rico Verhoeven once again had a dominating performance against a heavyweight contender, defeating Mladen Brestovac with a unanimous decision to retain the GLORY Heavyweight Title in the main event of GLORY 54, which took place from the Genting Arena in Birmingham, England.

While it was not the loudest of fights, Verhoeven was in complete control from the get-go, applying the pressure to Brestovac. One of Verhoeven’s key strategies that helped him gain the win was to get in on the inside. After a first round that saw Verhoeven answer back anything his challenger delivered, the champion used his reach to work over Brestovac’s body, while at the same time keeping his distance to give Brestovac barely any time to respond. But Brestovac did work over Verhoeven’s right side, reddening it and causing a wart to develop.

Verhoeven worked Brestovac over with several body shots and trapping him against the ropes and corners throughout the third round. Verhoeven also landed several body shots, reddening both of Brestovac’s legs. After a fourth round with several kick exchanges, Brestovac just had nothing left in the final round.

All five judges scored the bout in Verhoeven’s favor 50-45. Verhoeven will return to the ring at GLORY 59 in late September in Amsterdam.

In the co-main event, Harut Grigorian defended the GLORY Welterweight Title with a unanimous decision win of his own over Alim Nabiyev. After a first round that saw both men exchange evenly, Grigorian started the second strong with a flurry before the bout moved to the center of the ring, where Nabiyev began to answer back. Grigorian slugged some more hard punches before the round came to an end, taking most of the round’s control.

Nabiyev brought Grigorian near the ropes to open the third, but Grigorian punched his way out of the pressure and back into control. Nabiyev tried to exhaust the champion, and Grigorian was tiring a little, but Grigorian still seemed to maintain control of the fight. Grigorian failed to land anything that significant in the fourth, where Nabiyev began to take control of the fight. But after not getting at least a knockdown on the champion in the championship rounds, it was simply too little, too late.

Grigorian took the judges’ scorecards, 48-47, 49-46, 49-46, 50-45, 50-45.

For a full round-by-round recap of the two titles fights from FIGHT SPORTS, click here.

GLORY 54 Results:
Heavyweight Title Headline Bout: Rico Verhoeven (c) def. Mladen Brestovac via unanimous decision (50-45, 50-45, 50-45, 50-45, 50-45)
Welterweight Title Co-Headline Bout: Harut Grigorian (c) def. Alim Nabiyev via unanimous decision (48-47, 49-46, 49-46, 50-45, 50-45)
Featherweight Bout: Bailey Sugden vs. Aleksei Ulianov goes to a No Contest (accidental headbutt) (Rd. 2, 1:10)
Featherweight Bout: Chenglong Zhang def. Adrian Maxim via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

GLORY 54 SuperFight Series Results:
Light Heavyweight Headline Bout: Danyo Ilunga def. Fraser Weightman via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Lightweight Co-Headline Bout: Josh Jauncey def. Christian Baya via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Welterweight Bout: Adam Hadfield def. Richard Abraham via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
Lightweight Bout: Marat Grigorian def. Liu Xu via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Lightweight Bout: Elvis Gashi def. William Goldie-Galloway via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Welterweight Tournament Semifinal Bout 2: Mark Timms def. Dawid Blaszke via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Welterweight Tournament Semifinal Bout 1: Jamie Bates def. Tommy King via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

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