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GLORY 18 results: Saulo Cavalari defeats Zack Mwekassa and Danyo Ilunga to win light heavyweight tournament

Saulo Cavalari knocked out Zack Mwekassa in the finals and won a unanimous decision over Danyo Ilunga to win the GLORY 18 light heavyweight contender tournament and Ramon Dekkers memorial trophy. The Brazilian is now next in line to face Gokhan Saki for the GLORY light heavyweight title.

Cavalari lands the fight ending blow on Zack Mwekassa in the tournament final
Cavalari lands the fight ending blow on Zack Mwekassa in the tournament final
James Law/GLORY Sports International

Everything was pointing toward Zack Mwekassa winning the GLORY 18 light heavyweight contender tournament.

He won his first fight by knockout, while the opposing bracket went the distance. That seemed to be the consensus until a left high kick by Cavalari landed right on the button to end "The Black Warrior's" night. The third-round knockout would earn the Brazilian the Ramon Dekkers memorial trophy as tournament champion and place him next in line for a shot at Gokhan Saki and the GLORY light heavyweight title.

Mwekassa was the fresher of the two fighters in the tournament final due to winning his fight against Brian Collette by knockout and would push forward to start the opening rounds, but Cavalari would avoid any heavy blows and tie up the South African when he got in close.

The fight would remain even in the second with Mwekessa missing wildly on some punches before landing a few to the body. Cavalari would connect on several outside leg kicks, but not much else. At the start of the final round, Cavalari would land an outside leg kick and then immediately go upstairs landing a beautiful left high kick right to Mwekassa's temple sending him crashing to the canvas. Al Wichgers would step and call the contest at 20 seconds into the third round.

Cavalari is now 30-2 overall and 4-1 in GLORY.

In his first fight of the night, Cavalari out-struck the No. 1-ranked Danyo Ilunga over the course of three rounds to punch his ticket into the final by unanimous decision (30-27 x 3). The No. 3-ranked GLORY light heavyweight used accurate combinations and won the battle in the pocket and avoided any significant counter strikes by Ilunga. The Brazilian was starting to tire out in the third round and would push in for the kill toward the end of the fight, but Ilunga would hang on to the final bell.

In the first semifinal of the night, Mwekassa and Brian Collette went through a bit of a feeling out process early on. But it didn't take long for Mwekassa's punching power to dictate the action. After what looked to be a knockdown by a Mwekassa left jab, it was ruled a slip. Immediately afterward, Mwekassa had Collette in trouble and he rocked the American with several shots until a left hook sent him to the canvas with under 30 seconds left in the round.

In the second round it would not take long for "The Black Warrior" as he landed a nice stiff jab to open the frame. Collette appeared too content to box with Mwekassa, who is a boxing champion in Africa, and he ultimately paid the price. Mwekessa landed a one-two that backed Collette up and then it was the left hook that once again found its mark and sent Collette to the floor in ugly fashion.

Al Wichgers began to count but would quickly realize Collette was out and wave it off at the 0:45 mark of the second round.

For full GLORY 18 results click here.

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