DENVER -- The winner of the four-man heavyweight contender tournament at GLORY 16 later tonight (May 3, 2014) will punch a ticket to a future tournament for the inaugural GLORY heavyweight title later on this year. The tournament features some of GLORY's best in the division; however, one of the more promising prospects on the GLORY heavyweight roster -- who isn't in the tournament -- but fights on tonight's Superfight Series, is Benjamin Adegbuyi.
Born in Transylvania, and now fighting out of Bucharest, Romania, the 29-year-old has been carving out his niche in the sport on the European scene in the SUPERKOMBAT promotion and his 5-0 2013 campaign got the attention of GLORY and they brought him on board.
Adegbuyi looked quite impressive in his debut at GLORY 14 in Zagreb, winning by technical knockout over Dmytro Bezus in the second round. A thunderous rainbow kick would score the final knockdown for the victory.
On tonight's Superfight Series the 20-2-1 Romanian will face off against English veteran, Daniel "The Destroyer" Sam.
"It's a good match-up," Adegbuyi tells MMAmania.com in the lobby of the Westin Westminster. "It will be different from the other one (Bezus) because Daniel Sam is a stronger opponent, but I think I have everything to win this fight. I think I have more speed than Sam and I am always thinking twice to do something."
After his impressive victory over Bezus, the acting novice, who had a role in the 2011 film "Forced to Fight" that starred Gary Daniels and Peter Weller, could've made a strong case for his inclusion in the GLORY 16 contender tournament.
Not being a part of the night's tournament festivities doesn't bother him, he is only focused on the Superfight Series fight against Sam.
"I cannot say that I am disappointed because my time will be when it will be, and I have to win this fight and then after that, we see what's coming next."
As big as Adegbuyi is, 6' 6," he has a calm demeanor and you would be hard pressed to assume he was a fighter upon initial introduction. This is the Romanian fighter's first-ever trip to the States. "Denver is nice," he says. "It's nice here."
Being in the mile-high city of Denver, the high altitude conditions will prove to be the X-factor among tonight's heavyweight clashes. Adegbuyi has had some experience training in these conditions, but he said it is "different" here.
"I felt it even when I trained yesterday a little bit," the No. 8-ranked GLORY heavyweight admitted. "I had a training camp in Romania like one week at the same altitude. I think I will be okay."
An interesting and relevant note for those that follow MMA, Adegbuyi along with his teammate and fellow GLORY kickboxer Andrei Stoica, were brought into UFC light heavyweight Alexander Gustafsson's camp to help him prepare for his last fight against Jimi Manuwa.
"We helped him a lot with his fight against Manuwa because he knew Jimi was a good kickboxer," Adegbuyi says. "He is a nice guy and we had a good experience and hope we can help him again. They like to work with us because we have good kickboxing and he needs this."
Helping Gustafsson for his rematch against Jones is also a strong possibility, Adegbuyi said that there managers have spoken about it and "he thinks it will happen."
As far as how he thinks "The Mauler" will fare in the rematch, the Bucharest kickboxer thinks Gustafsson possesses the fighting tools to dethrone the UFC champion.
"I think he has everything to win against Jones," he said nodding his head. "He's powerful, quick, and intelligent."
Adegbuyi realizes the potential for making a big first impression on the American crowd at 1STBANK Center and he is looking forward to ingratiating himself to the fight fans in Denver.
"It's nice because here are the big fans," he said with excitement. "American people love fighting sports and it's a pleasure for me to fight in GLORY and I hope soon I will get more fans and more people watching GLORY and me."
For full GLORY 16 results and live play-by-play click here.