Glory 40 took place on Saturday, April 29th in Copenhagen, Denmark featuring a rubber match between Glory middleweight champion Jason Wilnis and former Glory middleweight champion Simon Marcus.
Wilnis won the belt from Marcus at Glory 33 when Marcus got reckless while showboating and got caught causing the referee to stop the fight. This is the second title defense for Wilnis, he recently defeated Israel Adesanya at Glory 37.
Coming into this fight there was a lot of talk and plenty of hate & bad blood between both sides. During the weigh-ins, both fighters had to be separated as it started to get physical. Finally after months of build up, they met in the squared circle. Neither one touched gloves and the fight began. The real question in everyone’s mind was which version of Marcus we were going to see, the composed & highly skilled Muay Thai fighter or the showboating & emotional fighter that lost the belt. Marcus definitely was more active establishing his left kick quickly. Wilnis kept his high guard and shield in typical Dutch style often countering with leg kicks & punches. Wilnis controlled the middle of the ring and tried to use his boxing often. Despite the pressure from Wilnis, Marcus was accurate when he fired off strikes.
Marcus started to land with knees and even used some traditional Muay Thai clinch to set up even more knees. Glory doesn’t allow a full Muay Thai clinch but they do allow fighters to grab/clinch as long as you are trying to knee. Even though the announcers, specifically, Joe Valtellini, seemed to favor Wilnis, I saw most of the exchanges as Marcus engaging, Wilnis countering and Marcus countering his counter. Marcus was a bit more active and effective compared to Wilnis. Marcus reclaimed the title via split decision, taking it back to his hometown of Toronto.
Glory 40 also featured a 4-man middleweight tournament that would reward a title shot against whomever won the main event. The 6’6″ giant Yousri Belgaroui hurt Argon Preteni early in his semi-final contest and won easily by unanimous decision. Alex Pereira took care of the much smaller Burim Rama with a 3rd round TKO in the other semi-final fight. Belagaroui seemed to have just a little bit more rest which enabled him to be the more active fighter in the final against Pereira. Pereira did land some tough shots but nothing seemed to really phase Belgaroui who won the final by unanimous decision.
The semi-main event featured the hometown favorite Niclas Larsen in a lightweight battle with Yodkhunpon Sitmonchai from the very famous Sitmonchai camp in Kachanburi, Thailand. From the beginning, Larsen was way more active and his unorthodox style seemed to puzzle the much more experience Yodkhunpon. Yodkhunpon didn’t have an answer for his movement. He wasn’t able to get his rhythm going until later in the fight and by then Larsen had already won two of the rounds. Larsen took home the win by unanimous decision.
(Click next to read the results from the Super Fight Series portion of the event)