Simon Marcus (44-2-2) proved why he is the GLORY middleweight champion at GLORY 30 early on Saturday morning (May 14, 2016) by knocking down No.3-ranked contender Dustin Jacoby (9-7) twice en route to a unanimous decision victory inside the Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario, Calif.
Two of the judges scored the bout 48-45, while the third judge had it 47-46.
"Bad Bwoy" knocked Jacoby down with a right hand in the first round and then floored the challenger again with a liver kick in the final frame of the main event to put a stamp on his first title defense.
Marcus, 29, utilized his kicking game to keep Jacoby at bay and made him miss with excellent head movement and solid defense. At one point the champion taunted Jacoby after making him miss several times in a row. Jacoby proved to be a game opponent, and had some good moments during the five-round fight, but "The Hanyak" couldn't quite find a good rhythm or land any of his power punches that worked so well for him in his prior fights. In defeat, he falls to 9-7 overall.
"The difference was skill, heart and will," Marcus told Todd Grisham after the bout. "I take my hat off to Dustin Jacoby. He brought his best game and tried his best to win. I just dedicated my life to this, dedicated my heart to this and I'm not giving up the crown any time soon."
When asked who he wants to face next, Marcus called out No.4-ranked contender Jason Wilnis (28-6-1).
"[Jason] Wilnis boy. Come on you want the fight it's time to get the shot at the crown. You are running your mouth 'Simon got the belt for free.' You forgot that I busted your ass to get it. So come on up here we are gonna do this."
That could very well be the next middleweight title fight to make for GLORY matchmaker Cor Hemmers. Wilnis defeated No.1-ranked contender Joe Schilling (21-7) on the GLORY 30 "Superfight Series," earlier in the evening. The Dutch fighter knocked Schilling down in the final round of a close fight to earn the majority decision victory. Marcus defeated Wilnis by split decision in the GLORY 20 tournament final in April of 2015.
In a lightweight affair that served as the co-main event of the evening, Marat Grigorian (46-9-2) knocked out Couliblay Djime (51-14-4) just over a minute into the opening round. The Armenian-Belgian fighter threw a picture-perfect, highlight-reel high kick that saw his shin connect flush with Djime's face. The Frenchman was instantly rendered unconscious and fell face first to the canvas like Ric Flair in his prime.
The official time of the stoppage came at 1:56 of the first round.
What do you guys think, should @SportsCenter put this on their top 10? #GLORY30 #Kickboxing LIVE on @ESPN3 pic.twitter.com/c3pfahvjmk— GLORY Kickboxing (@GLORY_WS) May 14, 2016
Richard Abraham (10-3) won the GLORY 30 welterweight "Qualifier" tournament by edging out Francois Ambang (15-6) and Casey Greene (5-6) with a pair of decisions. By winning the one-night tournament, Abraham--who is also a tombstone engraver--earns a spot in the upcoming "Contender" tournament that will be announced at a later date.
In the tournament final Abraham earned a split decision victory over Ambang in a hard fought battle that was very closely contested. In the end Abraham did enough to pick up the win. Abraham earned a 30-27 and a 29-28 from two of the judges, while the third judge scored the bout 29-28 in favor of Ambang.
Abraham defeated Casey Greene in the semi-final round of the tournament by unanimous decision.
Two of the judges scored the bout 29-27 and the third judge scored the fight 30-26.
Abraham dropped Greene in the second round with an onslaught of punches and also opened up a cut about his left eye during the fight.
In the semi-finals of the opposing bracket, Ambang cruised to a unanimous decision victory over Daniel Morales (0-2).
All three judges scored the bout 30-27.
A piece of history was made during the "Superfight Series" as Tiffany van Soest (15-2-1) and Esma Hasshass (9-3) squared off in the first super bantamweight bout in GLORY history.
Van Soest dropped Hasshass with a huge right hand in the first round and was in control throughout the three round contest. "Time Bomb" earned a unanimous decision victory. All three judges scored the bout 30-26.
"The ladies are here," she yelled to the crowd after the bout.
With the win van Soest advances to the semi-final round of the super bantamweight "Grand Prix" tournament, which will unfold over several fight cards (more on that here).
For complete GLORY 30 'Marcus vs. Jacoby' results, including play-by-play updates, click here.