GLORY 87 took place from the electric Rotterdam Ahoy arena in the Netherlands on Saturday evening, August 19, and it proved to be another big night of kickboxing with a lot of breakout performances and big victories.
Taking centre stage of the night was the four-man heavyweight tournament where the winner books his spot in the historic end of year eight-man GLORY Heavyweight Grand Prix.
The honours went to the explosive Bahram Rajabzadeh (65-1, 58 KO) as the Azerbaijani put on two equally stellar performances to win the tournament. In the semi-finals he defeated Mohamed Amine (29-6, 16 KO) thanks to two knockdowns and showcasing a dazzling display of offence before using his superior skill & speed against Estonian giant Uku Jürjendal (19-8, 15 KO) in the finals.
Rajabzadeh will now go up against the likes of Tariq Osaro, Sofian Laïdouni, and five other yet to be determined heavyweights - which will include either Badr Hari or James McSweeney who meet at GLORY 88 in Paris next month - this December. The winner will walk away with a life-changing $500,000 prize.
In the co-main event, Tyjani Beztati (25-4, 9 KO) retained his GLORY lightweight championship as he cruised to a one-sided unanimous decision victory over Japanese superstar Kaito Ono (48-7-1, 21 KO). This is the 25-year-old’s fourth title defence and, arguably, his most impressive as he truly establishes himself as the king of the lightweight division.
Ghana’s Michael Boapeah (16-3-1, 7 KO) avenged his 2022 loss to Germany’s Sergej Braun (43-13, 27 KO) with his most mature and all-round impressive performance to date. It has been a breakout year for the number one ranked middleweight thanks to three victories on the bounce as he declares himself ready for a title shot.
Elsewhere on the main card, former champ & GLORY legend Murthel Groenhart (70-26-3, 40 KO) rolled back the years to put on a vintage display against German prospect Cihad Akipa (49-12, 18 KO) and rising Dutch star Jan Kaffa (20-3, 7 KO) enjoyed his second GLORY victory as he rallied from behind to score a victory over Mohamed El Hammouti (7-2, 4 KO).
In the GLORY 87 prelims, it was third time lucky for Morocco’s Imad Hadar (25-2, 9 KO) as he finally registered his first victory in GLORY thanks to a hard-fought decision victory over durable Pole Bartosz Muszynski (26-4, 5 KO). And in the opening bout of the night, Serbian heavyweight Nikola Filipovic (11-2, 6 KO) handed Romania’s Cristian Ristea (44-11, 21 KO) a decision loss on his promotional debut.
GLORY 87 Results
Heavyweight Tournament Final
Bahram Rajabzadeh (65-1, 58 KO) def. Uku Jürjendal (19-8, 15 KO) via unanimous decision (30-27 x 5)
GLORY Lightweight Title
Tyjani Beztati (25-4, 9 KO) def. Kaito Ono (48-7-1, 21 KO) via unanimous decision (50-45 x 5)
Michael Boapeah (16-3-1, 7 KO) def. Sergej Braun (43-13, 27 KO) via unanimous decision (30-27 x 4, 29-28)
Murthel Groenhart (70-26-3, 40 KO) def. Cihad Akipa (49-12, 18 KO) via unanimous decision (30-27 x 4, 29-28)
Jan Kaffa (20-3, 7 KO) def. Mohamed El Hammouti (7-2, 4 KO) via split decision (29-28 x 4, 28-29)
Heavyweight Tournament Semi-Final 2
Uku Jürjendal (19-7, 15 KO) def. Martin Terpstra (26-6, 13 KO) via TKO (two knockdown rule), round 1, 2:23
Heavyweight Tournament Semi-Final 1
Bahram Rajabzadeh (64-1, 58 KO) def. Mohamed Amine (29-6, 16 KO) via TKO (two knockdown rule), round 2, 2:59
Imad Hadar (25-2, 9 KO) def. Bartosz Muszynski (26-4, 5 KO) via unanimous decision (30-25, 30-26 x 4)
Heavyweight Tournament Reserve Bout
Nikola Filipovic (11-2, 6 KO) def. Cristian Ristea (44-11, 21 KO) via split decision (30-27, 29-28 x 3, 28-29)