Pinto, younger brother of GLORY welterweight Antoine Pinto, debuted in January this year at GLORY 37 in Los Angeles, but found himself on the receiving end of one of the most brutal stoppages in GLORY history, courtesy of Giga Chikadze.
Maxim earned his GLORY contract after a standout performance on a UK ‘Road to Glory’ card earlier this year. He didn't win the eight-man tournament that night but he did catch the eye of GLORY head matchmaker Cor Hemmers and that earned him tonight’s call-up.
With a much higher finish rate in his wins - 63% versus 30% for Pinto - Maxim, who trains under a Semmy Schilt affiliate, had the power advantage on paper. Pinto, with over one hundred Muay Thai bouts to his name, had much more experience.
That wealth of experience was quickly made apparent via Pinto’s confidence in the ring. Several times in the first round he broke off from hostilities to play to the crowd, making pantomime gestures which drew laughs from most of the crowd and boos from the Romanian contingent.
Scoring was quite even for most of the first round, Pinto establishing the range he wanted to work at and scoring with kicks. The shorter, stockier Maxim sought to close the distance and land his powerful hooks. When he did succeed in landing, his shots had visible effect and drew roars from the crowd.
The end of the first round saw Maxim secure one of his best opportunities of the fight. A hook cracked Pinto and slightly staggered him, prompting Maxim to swarm him with a volley of blows. Some got through and Pinto looked like he might be in trouble for a moment, but he was able to compose himself and reestablish his defense as the round ended.
In round two Pinto got going, putting more power into his kicks and increasing his output. Maxim’s left side slowly went a shade of purple as kick after kick found a home there. He continued pressing forward looking to land his hooks but Pinto’s defense and distance work robbed Maxim of most opportunities. Insult was added to injury by way of a kick to Maxim’s groin, which briefly downed the Romanian.
The theme continued in the third and final round, Pinto controlling the distance and hammering Maxim with kicks, Maxim pushing forwards looking to land bombs. Maxim also demonstrated some kicking proficiency of his own when he landed a left head kick, though Pinto smiled and showboated afterwards to demonstrate that he had not been affected.
Going to the judges is always an occasion fraught with tension for any fighter, no matter how sure they are that they won the fight. This is especially the case in close fights where the judges will be weighing the value of heavy punches landed to the head versus numerous kicks landed to the body.
Sure enough, there were differing opinions among the judges. The first scorecard had it 29-28 for Pinto, giving Maxim one round. The second scorecard had it 30-27 for Maxim, giving him all three rounds. The two then waited anxiously for the third and final scorecard to decide the winner.
The final scorecard was in agreement with the first: 29-28 and a win for Victor ‘Leo’ Pinto, moving him up to 1-1 in GLORY and securing his first win in the organization. A split-decision is never particularly satisfactory to any fighter but both can be proud of their performances and look set to deliver some great fights in the future.
Victor ‘Leo’ Pinto def. Adrian Maxim, Split-Decision (29-28, 30-27, 29-28)