This morning (Oct. 6, 2012) saw the return of one of kickboxing's legends after nearly three years out of the game as Remy Bonjasky headlined Glory World Series' second event, "Glory 2 Brussels," opposite Brazilian bruiser Anderson "Braddock" Silva.
After suffering a detached retina, many doubted whether Bonjasky would ever make it back to the ring, but "The Flying Gentleman" was out to prove he still has what it takes to hang with the elite.
Mission accomplished ... barely.
As was the case when he was tabbed to welcome Badr Hari back to the sport earlier this year, Silva had no intention of being a stepping-stone. Throughout the first round, he timed Bonjasky's low and middle kicks to counter with heavy punching flurries and avoided the Dutchman's signature flying attacks.
But Bonjasky didn't win three Grand Prixs by being the kind of fighter who can't make adjustments.
While most of the judges gave Silva the second round, Bonjasky started to avoid Silva's counters and establish his kicking game, wearing "Braddock" down with a steady attack. The third round saw him hurt Silva early with a liver kick and continue pouring it on throughout, although a game "Braddock" continued to fire back.
The first two rounds were sufficiently close that a fourth round was called for, and despite obvious exhaustion, both men fought to the bitter end, with Bonjasky's aggression and ability to repeatedly force Silva into the ropes carrying him to a decision.
Silva is always a tough out, and Bonjasky showed his veteran savvy and determination in finding a hole in his defenses and exploiting it. For his part, "Braddock" proved once again that he is plenty worthy of his name.
Take a bow, gentlemen. That's how it's done.
The second-biggest name on the card, Gokhan Saki, had no such trouble in his bout with Mourad Bouzidi, using his phenomenal speed and combination punches to consistently hurt his foe. While he was occasionally too eager to properly capitalize on his opportunities, letting Bouzidi off the hook, he managed to drop him hard in the second round on a left hook, which was his money punch all fight. Bouzidi managed to land some low kicks and a solid left of his own, but he had no answer for Saki's offense and dropped a clear decision.
Ghita rematch, anyone?
There was not a bad fight on the card, which included a vicious counter left hook knockout by rising lightweight Andy Ristie and a beautiful come-from-behind knee KO from Murthel Groenhart.
To check out full results and complete play-by-play of the pay-per-view click here.