ZAGREB, Croatia -- The Middleweight ''Contender" tournament was the newest wrinkle on GLORY's one night multi-fight bracket battle at GLORY 14, which too place last night (Sat., March 8, 2014) at Arena Zagreb in Zagreb, Croatia.
The winner of the four-man conquest would earn a shot in the Middleweight title tournament that will crown a new GLORY champion later this year. And the "Contender" who earned a seat at the talented table was newcomer Alex "Po Atan" Pereira.
Making his debut at GLORY 14, the 26-year-old Brazilian leveled Dustin Jacoby in the semifinal round and edged out the former "It's Showtime" champion, Sahat Parparyan, in the final to earn the "Contender" tournament trophy.
Pereira made a statement in the opening round and brought the Zagreb crowd to it's feet with a perfectly placed left hook to earn the knockout victory at the 2:02 mark of the first frame. The knockout was brutal and Jacoby was on the canvas for a good amount of time after the fight's conclusion. Meanwhile, in the opposite bracket, Parparyan had to go the full three rounds to earn a split decision victory over Jason Wllinis, a clear advantage for Pereria in the final.
In the final, Pereira did enough over three rounds to earn two of the judges decisions, while the third judge had it even, giving Pereria the majority decision and the "Contender" tournament victory.
"I believed in myself and in my skills," Pereira said at the post-fight press conference. "I knew I could do it. I am very proud to have won this tournament. I wanted to show that Brazil is not only jiu-jitsu and MMA fighters -- we also have kickboxers."
Pereira said he was "relieved and happy" when he hoisted the "Contender" tournament trophy, which was modeled after the late Roman Dekkers. He improved to 13-1 with the two victories and said he will be "prepared" for the Middleweight title tournament he will enter next.
"Now I go into the eight-man world championship tournament,"he said. "I'm ready to face anyone. I will prepare exactly the same as I did for this tournament and, yes, whether it is Artem Levin or Joe Schilling, I am ready. Anybody at all."
For complete GLORY 14: "ZAGREB" results, including play-by-play coverage of the Spike TV event, click here.