Featherweight Contender Tournament Fight Recaps
One of the most exciting weight divisions in Glory International took front and center stage on Saturday night at The Forum in Los Angeles as the featherweights looked to square off in a contender tournament that would surely catapult one warriors career into the top of their class.
The first fight in the Featherweight contender tournament kicked off with two exciting fighters as Gabriel Varga battled highly ranked Thai fighter, Yodkhunpon Sitmonchai.
The action began fast and furious as Sitmonchai settled into the pocket throwing hard leg kicks and snapping uppercuts to Varga’s lead leg and chin. Sitmonchai, who is considered one of the premier featherweights, showcased significant power and speed as he was able to land the harder punches in the first half of round one. Varga, a true warrior, was able to make some strides in the second part of round one by utilizing his boxing skills to manage the ring and keep Sitmonchai at bay. The persistent jab and hard body shots opened up the guard of Sitmonchai, as Varga changed levels nicely to win the second part of the round.
The action picked up from the opening bell of round two as Varga stayed in his comfort zone landing jabs, liver shots and short right hands on Sitmonchai. Varga was in control throughout the second round as his fundamental boxing skills gave him a significant advantage. Sitmonchai began swinging for the fences in the second round and was able to seriously hurt the lead leg of Varga, which was apparent by the massive bruising.
As both fighters came out of their respective corners for round three it was obvious that Sitmonchai was almost out of gas. Fighting with his mouth wide open for most of the round, Sitmonchai, who showcased powerful kicks in rounds one and two, lost the snap from his kicks and began to open up his guard for more punishment. Varga took advantage and managed to control the round, continually sticking his jab and attacking the body.
After three rounds of action, Gabriel Varga walks away with the unanimous victory (30-27, 30-27, 30-27) and moves on to the next round of the featherweight contender tournament.
A backyard brawl broke out in the beginning of round one as Brazilian striker Marcus Vinicius and American Shane Oblonsky traded wild punches in the second bout of the featherweight contender tournament. Both fighters showed their willingness to trade leather as neither man would give an inch.
During a flurry of punches in the middle of the round, Oblonsky landed a three-punch combination that sent Vinicius to the mat.
At the onset of round two, something happened in Vinicius’s corner as the Brazilian came sprinting out of the corner and settled into a compact position landing short, powerful combinations that had Oblonsky retreating most of the round. Vinicius kept the pressure on and didn’t allow Oblonsky to get off at any point in the round.
Round three would prove to be the deciding round as the winner would most likely move on to the next level of the contender tournament. After a slow second round, Oblonsky, facing the possibility of elimination, began to string together combinations and stung Vinicius with a beautiful flurry that sent the Brazilian to the mat. Vinicius was able to recover momentarily before hitting the mat one more time to end the fight.
A very close second bout in the contender tournament ended with a unanimous decision victory for the American Shane Oblonsky who moves on to the next round.
Featherweight Contender Tournament Championship Bout
The championship match between Gabriel Varga and Shane Oblonsky continued promptly after the co-headliner giving the two semi-finalist featherweights no more than 45 minutes to rest before their final match. Once again, the speed and excitement of Glory was shining through as fans were treated to non-stop action from the minute the doors opened.
In the opening round it was apparent that the fighters would need to dig deep in the final fight if one of them wanted to take home the victory. Oblonsky appeared to be exhausted as his kicks didn’t pack the same punch they did in his previous fight.
On the other end of the ring, the Canadian, Gabriel Vargas looked spry and ready to brawl as he continued to use his jab and body shots to keep Oblonksy at bay. It wasn’t until the middle of the first round that Varga began to gasp for air, allowing Oblonsky an opportunity to capitalize with a nice six-punch combination. Both men laid it on the line at the end of the round as a five-second flurry of punches could’ve swayed the judges in either direction.
While sitting ringside it was apparent that both fighters tired as they both slow to get off their stools. But within seconds the fatigue faded as Oblonsky started to land nice combinations and leg kicks, changing levels and forcing Varga backwards. Varga, who rarely seemed hurt, even when taking punishment, put his head down and went back to basics using his superior boxing to get control of the round.
In the end, it was Varga’s boxing, creative kicks and relentless pace that earned him the victory by unanimous decision.