‘Knockout of the Year’ is a flagship category for fighters and fans alike. This year there were so many potential candidates that the award was split into two: knockouts with a kick got their own category (Kick of the Year) and the remaining candidates were whittled down into the shortlist below.
(In an interesting first, Anvar Boynazarov becomes the first GLORY fighter to appear twice in one awards category nominations list in both a winner’s and loser’s role.)
Rico Verhoeven vs. Jamal Ben Saddik
GLORY REDEMPTION, December
The final fight of GLORY’s 2017 season was a fitting headliner in every sense of the word. It featured two of the biggest fighters on the roster in a heavyweight title fight with a revenge element underpinning it.
Ben Saddik looked like he came close to ending the fight in the first round. Verhoeven endured a firestorm and had to dig deep to get out of trouble. But he held on and came back before taking control of the fight.
In the dying minutes of the fifth and final round he finally trapped Ben Saddik in a corner and unleashed hell, sending Ben Saddik to the canvas twice in short succession for one of the most dramatic finishes of the year.
Anvar Boynazarov over Fabio Pinca
GLORY 47 LYON, November
Pinca is one of the best Europeans ever to compete in the sport of Muay Thai. He came in to the GLORY 47 LYON Featherweight Contender Tournament as the favorite to win it.
Boynazarov is also a Muay Thai stylist, but not as accomplished or experienced as Pinca in that sport. He was the heavy underdog and was having the worst of it in the fight until he suddenly deployed his trademark hammer of a left hook in the second round.
Pinca was in the air at the time, launching an aerial attack. Boynazarov’s blow turned him parallel to the canvas before he landed on it with a crash and remained there for some considerable time.
Zinedine Hameur Lain vs Brian Collette
GLORY 38 CHICAGO, February
When Zinedine Hameur-Lain was matched with Zack Mwekassa for the semi-finals of the GLORY 38 CHICAGO Light-Heavyweight Contender Tournament, a knockout was always going to be likely.
Mwekassa was forced to drop out a day before the fight, prompting tournament alternate Brian Collette to step in. But that didn’t lessen the chances of an explosive finish, as Collette is no stranger to knockout wins of his own.
Sure enough, the fight ended in emphatic fashion. Hameur-Lain hit Collette with a trademark right hand which sent Collette spinning to the canvas.
Kevin VanNostrand vs. Anvar Boynazarov
GLORY 48 NEW YORK, December
Anvar Boynazarov finds himself in the Knockout of the Year nominations list a second time. This time on the receiving end, but it was a close thing.
He felled Kevin VanNostrand with a left hook in the first round of their contest at GLORY 48 NEW YORK in December, nearly ending the fight in under a minute.
It was the same blow which had stopped Pinca at GLORY 47, but VanNostrand shook it off and then seconds later placed a knee in Boynazarov’s sternum which did indeed end the fight. The whole thing took just one minute and six seconds.