Shanghai Gao is a national silver medallist in the Chinese striking art of Sanda, which places him at the extremely elite level. Tall and rangy, he gave late stand-in opponent Alan Scheinson several problems in their fight.
One of those problems was the clinch: although clinchwork is prohibited in GLORY, except where accompanied by an immediate strike, it is a core part of Sanda, where fighters can score both by striking and by throwing their opponent.
Sanda is burned deep into Gao and his tactics in this fight owed maybe more to his native fighting style than to GLORY rules. Early on he executed several clear takedowns from the clinch but escaped censure from the local referee.
While his takedown efforts ceased in the second round, his entries into the clinch didn’t, which meant the fight went in fits and starts as the two ended up tied up repeatedly and had to be separated by the referee.
The lulls were unfortunate because when the fight was in full flow it was often a thriller, with both fighters planting their feet and hammering away with punches at each other.
In the third round, Gao clashed heads with Scheinson as he entered for another clinch, opening a cut on the Argentinian’s forehead. The doctor took a look at it but decided Scheinson was good to continue.
Gao got deducted one point by the referee for the foul and that turned out to be pivotal. Two minutes were left in the round and on the restart they went to war, both looking like they were of the opinion that they would need a finish to be sure of victory.
Real heat went into their work as solid blows were landed back and forth during extended exchanges, yet neither could find that one really significant blow which would secure the finish.
Scheinson has made a habit of taking late notice fights in GLORY and was 0-2 in the organization as a result. Following three rounds with Gao he goes home with a new scar on his face and his first GLORY win under his belt.
Alan Scheinson def. Shanghai Gao, Split-Decision (30-26, 30-26, 29-27, 29-27, 29-27)