Michael Duut pulls out of GLORY 26 with injury; Danyo Ilunga will step in against Mourad Bouzidi
Michael Duut has been forced to pull out of his fight against Mourad Bouzidi at GLORY 26 AMSTERDAM after suffering an injury in a training session. Danyo ‘Dibuba’ Ilunga (57-9, 34 KOs) will step in for Duut and take on Bouzidi (78-22-2, 34 KOs) in the Superfight Series match.
Ilunga is currently ranked second in GLORY’s light heavyweight rankings. He last fought at GLORY 25 MILAN on November 6, losing a decision to Russian Artem Vakhitov in a three-round clash that could end up being a ‘Fight of the Year’ contender.
GLORY announced the switch via their website:
The fight has huge implications for both participants. Bouzidi has been enjoying a career renaissance of late and is currently riding a three-fight win streak. Victory over Ilunga, formerly the division’s #1, would propel him into the #2 slot underneath Gokhan Saki, current #1 and former light-heavyweight champion.
Ilunga, the division’s former top dog, is now riding a two-fight losing streak and cannot bear the possibility of seeing that run extend to three losses. He wants to get his name back into the title contention picture; a loss would push him far away from that goal and leave him with a lot of work to do in order to get back into it.
Bouzidi today welcomed the switch. He and Ilunga faced off in the quarter-finals of the GLORY 9 NEW YORK Light-Heavyweight Tournament and Ilunga came away with the decision win. Bouzidi has wanted a chance to avenge himself ever since.
“I am happy now that I can finally get this rematch. I am going to win this fight and then I want a title shot. Ilunga has a different style to Duut but it doesn’t matter. I am in great shape and I am going to beat up whoever is in front of me,” he said.
Ilunga has yet to comment on the switch but prior to GLORY 25 MILAN talked about being “very angry” about being superseded in the rankings by the likes of Saulo Cavalari and Gokhan Saki. “I want the top spot back,” he said. “I have to beat all these guys and show them that I am better.”
GLORY 26 AMSTERDAM takes place Friday, December 4 at the RAI Amsterdam in Amsterdam, Netherlands and is topped by a double-header main event. Rico ‘The Prince’ Verhoeven defends the heavyweight championship against Benjamin ‘Mr. Gentleman’ Adegbuyi and Nieky ‘The Natural’ Holzken defends the welterweight championship against Murthel ‘The Predator’ Groenhart.