GLORY 56: Controversial Decisions For Vakhitov, Menezes

Artem Vakhitov successfully retained his GLORY Light Heavyweight Title against Danyo Ilunga via unanimous decision, while Jady Menezes pulled off a shocking upset by winning the GLORY Women’s Super Bantamweight Title from Anissa Meksen at GLORY 56 in Denver.

Both main events, primarily the co-main event, however, are swarmed by controversy as a result of the judges’ scorecards from the decisions.

Ilunga showed off his potential early on by applying pressure onto the champion early, getting on the inside and working over the body from the get-go. Many felt Vakhitov was just using the opening round to feel Ilunga out, and round two showed that may have been the case, as Vakhitov an Ilunga traded throughout. Vakhitov began throwing skillful combinations, and each man nearly got a knockdown in on the other.

Ilunga proved to be the busier fighter once more in the third, showing off defensive ability and managing to land and throw a bit more than Vakhitov. Ilunga’s success seemed to continue into round four, as his ability to get inside and land seemingly at will on the body looked to be getting to the champion’s head. The two battled a once-again even fifth, and the fight went to the judges.

Two judges scored the bout a close 48-47, while one judge confusingly had Vakhitov winning four of the five rounds — giving Vakhitov the decision and a successful title defense that left the crowd disappointed.

But the disappointment in this decision could not match up to the controversy brought down by the co-main event.

Menezes, to her credit, came out firing at will, though most seemed to be put off by the clinching that was done throughout the fight. Meksen, meanwhile, showed defensive prowess in the first before counterstriking in the second and proving to have the better speed, timing and accuracy. While working over her challenger for the next couple of rounds, Meksen landed a couple of kicks — including one in the fourth that left Menezes with a busted open face.

Meksen then worked the distance and controlled the fight’s pace yet again in the fifth, bringing the fight to the judges.

And while one judge saw the bout as a clean sweep for Meksen, the other two must have felt Menezes’ aggression and brawler style was better, giving her the title with two 48-47 scores.

The main card of GLORY 56 also saw two featherweight bouts, including Serhiy Adamchuk scoring a win over Anvar Boynazarov, and Massaro Glunder dominating Quade Taranaki. In the headliner of the GLORY 56 Superfight Series, Simon Marcus scored his third win (out of four bouts) against Jason Wilnis, once again with a split decision.

GLORY 56 Main Card
GLORY Light Heavyweight Championship: (c) Artem Vakhitov def. Danyo Ilunga via unanimous decision (49-46, 48-47, 48-47)
GLORY Women’s Super Bantamweight Championship:
 Jady Menezes def. (c) Anissa Meksen via split decision (48-47, 45-50, 48-47)
Featherweight: Serhiy Adamchuk def. Anvar Boynazarov via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
Featherweight: Massaro Glunder def. Quade Taranaki via unanimous decision (30-24, 30-24, 30-24)

GLORY 56 SuperFight Series Card
Middleweight: Simon Marcus def. Jason Wilnis via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 30-27)
Heavyweight: D’Angelo Marshall def. Antonio Dvorak via TKO (Rd. 1, 2:14)
Lightweight: Justin Houghton def. Troy Sheridan via unanimous decision (29-27, 29-27, 30-26)
Heavyweight: Myron Dennis def. Steve Paprocki via TKO (Rd. 1, 1:49)
Light Heavyweight: Chris Camozzi def. John King via TKO (Rd. 2, 2:48)
Middleweight: Ryot Waller def. Zach Wells via KO (Rd. 3, 0:57)

GLORY 56 Prelims Card
Lightweight: Lorawnt-t Nelson def. Vince McGuinness via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-26)
Welterweight: Sean Choice def. Thomas Diagne via split decision (30-27, 28-29, 29-28)
Featherweight: Houssam El Kasri def. Ben Acosta via TKO (Rd. 1, 2:47)
Welterweight: Charles Rodriguez def. Justin Moss via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-26)

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