“That wasn’t the gameplan at all,” Junior Tafa said backstage after his KO win in a short-lived slugfest with Quanchao Luo in the GLORY 46 GUANGZHOU co-main event.
The young heavyweight protege of fighting legend Mark Hunt had planned to show his boxing skills in his GLORY debut. The gameplan called for him to outfox Luo with his footwork and then create openings for a finishing blow.
Instead, Tafa came out of the gates swinging and the two went straight into a toe-to-toe brawl, winging wild hooks, overhand rights and uppercuts at each other.
It was an uppercut followed by a body shot which soon had Luo taking his first referee’s count of the fight. On the restart Tafa initiated another crazy short-range firefight and quickly scored another knockdown with a right uppercut.
One more knockdown would end the fight and Tafa now knew the route to find it. Entering the third and final wild exchange of the round, Tafa and Luo traded hooks of bomb-blast intensity, before Tafa found the opening for another right uppercut.
The punch sat Luo down on his backside and prompted the referee to jump in and wave the fight off: three knockdowns in one round ends a fight by way of Technical Knockout under GLORY rules.
Afterwards, Tafa explained his tactics.
“I was backstage waiting for my fight and I saw some other guys get some knockout wins and I was like damn man, I want that knockout bonus money for myself, so I decided to just go out there and try and knock him out,” he laughed.
“That wasn’t the gameplan at all, the gameplan was totally different, to move and show my boxing and then create an opening. But I’m happy enough with the win. There’s still work to do but it’s a good start for me in GLORY.”
Junior Tafa def Quanchao Luo, TKO (Three Knockdowns), R1