After twenty fights with the UFC over a seven-year tenure, Chris Camozzi crossed over into a new code on Friday night to make his kickboxing debut on the GLORY 48 NEW YORK card at Madison Square Garden.
Standing opposite him and also making his debut was Kyle Weickhardt of Las Vegas, Nevada. In Weickhardt’s corner, and adding further UFC-flavored undercurrents to the showdown, was Stephan Bonnar, whose fight with Forrest Griffin on ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ season one finale card is credited with sparking the UFC boom.
The encounter had been preceded by some back and forth between the two. Weickhardt labelled Camozzi “a mediocre striker who frankly doesn’t deserve to be here” and Camozzi rejoined that “talking s—t on the internet” was Weickhardt’s best weapon.
As things turned out, the trash-talking was the most even part of it. Camozzi came out of the gates at full speed and immediately put the pressure on Weickhardt, who found himself weathering a barrage.
Camozzi has long looked forward to making his GLORY debut and he channeled that, plus his annoyance at Weickhardt’s comments, into his fighting. Crisp hand work and sharp kicking to the torso and body quickly started breaking Weickhadrt’s structure down.
Some heavy blows in the first round looked like they might end things there and then but Weickhardt gritted it out. He probably regretted that decision shortly afterwards, when Camozzi hit him every blow of a short-range ten-punch combination.
Weickhardt’s nose was pouring blood in the second round and much of it transferred to Camozzi’s gloves as he bullied the Las Vegan around the ring. His cornerman Dustin Jacoby was shouting himself hoarse calling for a head kick but Camozzi was happy to let his hands do the talking and, frankly, looked to be having the time of his life in there.
Weickhardt bravely made it to the end of the second round but there would not be a third. With the result a foregone conclusion - even if he did make it to the end of the third - his corner decided he had taken enough punishment and retired him from the fight.
The result is a TKO win for Camozzi, perhaps not with the thundering blow he wanted to land, but nonetheless earned in a manner which shows that he does belong on this platform and will be an interesting presence in the division.
Chris Camozzi def. Kyle Weickhardt, TKO, R2 (Retirement)