The main event of the GLORY 51 SUPERFIGHT SERIES card is a really interesting welterweight encounter between two of the trickiest guys in the division.
Cedric Doumbé (68-5-1, 39 KO’s) is the former champion and calls himself ‘The Best’. He’s facing Alim Nabiyev (48-6, 21 KO’s) who calls himself ‘The Professor’, so two guys here who really believe in themselves.
Nabiyev came into GLORY on a thirteen fight win streak, made a strong debut and then really impressed everyone with his dominating win over Nieky Holzken at GLORY 49 in December.
He’s got a similar style to Doumbé in many ways: he is unorthodox, he can fight with either hand forward and he likes to clown around and play with his opponents.
We already know about Doumbé of course: he’s got wins over Murthel Groenhart, Nieky Holzken, Yoann Kongolo, some of the top names in the division. He lost the belt to Groenhart in their rematch at GLORY 44 but strongly disagreed with the decision.
Looking at the wins they have on their records, and the fact that Doumbe is ranked #1 and Nabiyev already #3, it’s obvious that the winner here puts himself forward for a title shot.
Mohammed Jaraya (63-6, 36 KO’s) vs. Miles Simson (64-12, 25 KO’s)
There’s a lot of expectation around Jaraya. He’s got a huge following, especially among young people in the Netherlands, and a lot of people watching out for his debut this Saturday night.
He’s a throwback fighter, a guy who just comes looking for the finish the whole time. People love that. He has a very aggressive style, he’s a really heavy puncher and now he’s moving up to welterweight from lightweight, that should only add to his power.
Jaraya is only 21 years old and until now had his whole career at lightweight (154 lbs/70kg) but found the weight cut becoming too hard, so now he is up at welterweight (170 lbs/ 77kg) and that’s going to be interesting.
Opposite him is Miles Simson. He’s being labelled the underdog in the sense that there’s so much hype and expectation on Jaraya, but he’s an experienced fighter and he’s been fighting at welterweight most of his career.
Simson is a technical fighter rather than a power-fighter as Jaraya is. He’s got a long reach and he’s going to look to use that to keep the fight at a distance which favors him. Jaraya has to crash through that to do what he wants to do.
It’s a high-profile fight for both fighters; SImson has been out of competition for a year and is looking to spoil the party for Jaraya in Rotterdam. It’s also the reserve fight for the Welterweight Contender Tournament - if either finalist in the tournament is too injured to fight, the winner of this fight will take their spot.
Anil Cabri (28-2-1, 8 KO’s) vs. Tyjani Beztati (15-2, 5 KO’s)
We scouted Anil Cabri on a recent undercard. He caught our eye with an explosive, very physical fighting style. As this card was being put together we had a vacancy for an opponent for Beztati and Cabri jumped at the chance.
Obviously, Cabri is the underdog here. Beztati is established in GLORY now and he’s also big for the weight class. But these things make the fight attractive for Cabri - he’s looking to score a big win and add some shine to his name immediately.
Beztati has been on the rise and he’s also got a good amount of experience in GLORY. If he doesn’t win this fight then it’s obviously going to be an upset win for Cabri, but even if Cabri loses then a lot will hinge on his performance. If he looks good then he will get invited back.
Beztati went into the Lightweight Contender Tournament at GLORY 49 in December as the favorite but lost to Stoyan Koprivlenski in the final, snapping his unbeaten winning run in GLORY.
Massaro Glunder (30-11-4, 20 KO’s) vs Victor ‘Leo’ Pinto (74-27, 23 KO’s)
Massaro Glunder is on a three-fight losing run at the moment and he’s not happy about it. Although his loss to Dylan Salvador is questionable because Salvador stunned him with a foul shot and would have been the loser by disqualification if Glunder hadn’t told the referee he wanted to keep fighting.
Pinto is the younger of the two Pinto brothers. He’s 1-1 at featherweight and he’s coming off a win over Adrian Maxim, which followed a hard stoppage loss to Giga Chikadze in January last year.
Kevin van Heeckeren (1-0-1) vs Bas van de Kroon (0-0)
In the first fight of the undercard, two new middleweights are fighting. Keven van Heeckeren has competed on several GLORY undercards in the Netherlands and now he is getting the chance to step up.
Bas van de Kroon is also making his GLORY debut and for both of them it’s a chance to show what they can do. They will be looking to secure themselves a place on the roster so I expect to see strong performances from both.
GLORY 51 SUPERFIGHT SERIES and GLORY 51 ROTTERDAM take place this Saturday, March 3 at the Ahoy Arena in Rotterdam, Netherlands.
The SUPERFIGHT SERIES card streams live worldwide via UFC FIGHT PASS