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GLORY 29 preview and predictions for 'Holzken vs Kongolo' on ESPN3

GLORY Sports International

GLORY will hold its second-consecutive card in Europe on Saturday (April 16, 2016) when it invades Copenhagen, Denmark for GLORY 29.

The five-fight main card takes place at Forum Copenhagen and will air live on ESPN 3 starting at 4 p.m. ET. The main event features a welterweight title fight between current champion, Nieky Holzken (88-1) and Yoann Kongolo (61-6).

"The Natural" successfully defended his crown against Murthel Groenhart at GLORY 26, edging "The Predator"  by split decision. Kongolo fought on the Superfight Series portion of that card and won a majority decision over Karapet Karapetyan.

In the co-main event, featherweight champion Serhiy Adamchuk (32-5) is stepping in for Niclas Larsen--who withdrew due to an infection--and moving up a weight class to take on Mohammed El-Mir (113-21).

The night's four-man "Contender" tournament will take place in the heavyweight division. In the semi-finals, Anderson "Braddock" Silva (39-13) will take on GLORY new comer, Ismael "Mr. Pain" Londt (36-6-1) and in the opposing bracket Jahfarr Wilnis (28-6-2) faces Kirill Kornilov (7-1), who is also making his GLORY debut.

Let's take a closer look at matchups:

Nieky Holzken (88-1)  vs. Yoann Kongolo (61-6) welterweight title fight

Holzken is considered the best for a reason. He is a master of the Dutch style of kickboxing and when he is at his best he's playing chess while others are playing checkers. The champion has now won nine in a row. However, he has shown some vulnerability in his last two title defenses against Groenhart and Raymond Daniels, starting out slow in both fights and getting touched up a bit before taking command. That being said, I do not seeing him losing to Kongolo here. The well-rounded Swiss veteran can switch stances and he can throw heat with the best of them. He should not be taken lightly and has the tools to have moments of success, but in the end Holzken will win the judges favor with his accurate combinations over five rounds.

Prediction: Holzken by unanimous decision

Serhiy Adamchuk (32-5) vs. Mohammed El-Mir (113-21) lightweight bout

While the Danish lightweight's record looks impressive, it's indeed a bit padded. El-Mir fights very much in a linear fashion and is not very explosive. I suspect the featherweight champion will have no issues in picking up another win here. The Ukrainian fighter out of Mike's Gym has moved up to lightweight before and is just simply more well rounded than El-Mir and has more paths to victory. Admachuk can utilize the clinch and make things dirty like he did in his title win over Gabriel Varga, or he can win on the outside like he did in his last defense against Mosab Amrani using spinning-back fists and other unorthodox kicks etc. This should be a lopsided decision, but I wouldn't be surprised if Adamchuk puts him away late either.

Prediction: Adamchuk by unanimous decision

Jahfarr Wilnis (28-6-2) vs. Kirill Kornilov (7-1) tournament semi-final

I'm going to side with Wilnis here just on the experience factor alone, but he will also have a size advantage to boot against the GLORY newcomer. Wilnis is no stranger to tournaments and he's the current heavyweight champion in both Kunlun and Enfusion. He likes to keep his guard up high and land counters and will also utilize his low kicking game. In his last GLORY bout, Wilnis lost a heart-breaking decision against Benjamin Adegbuyi, which cost him a title shot against long time sparring partner, Rico Verhoeven. Kornilov has cardio on his side as he has gone deep into fights several times before while plying his trade in Russia. The 25-year-old prospect doesn't possess huge power and looks to do damage with volume striking and by picking his shots inside of range. This will be the biggest test of his career, but he'll come up short against the Dutch veteran.

Prediction: Wilnis by unanimous decision

Anderson "Braddock" Silva (39-13) vs. Ismael "Mr. Pain" Londt (36-6-1) tournament semi-final

This is a really tough spot for both fighters. Londt comes into GLORY with a lot of hype behind him and he will be primed and ready to go. Silva is coming off a win, but it was over an overmatched Maurice Greene. "Braddock's" two fights before that he got murdered by Jamal Ben Saddik at GLORY 23, knocked out by Sergei Kharitonov in Russia, and bounced out of the GLORY 16 tournament final  by Errol Zimmerman. Londt lost his last bout to Badr Hari in Chechnya, so he is under the gun to perform as well. Both have skill, and both are more than willing to engage and will do so, but the power edge goes to Londt and I think he makes Silva pay for a mistake early on.

Prediction: Londt by KO RD 1

Tournament Final: Londt vs. Wilnis

How the first round goes for either fighter is always a factor in a tournament final. That being said, Londt will look to come forward with big punches, and Wilnis will likely be the more patient of the two. I suspect Wilnis will land more with his low kicking game and over three rounds will land a touch more with his combinations. This could end up being a fierce battle. Both are closely matched, but in the end I think it's going to be Wilnis' night.

Prediction: Wilnis wins by unanimous decision

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