After four fights in one night, two of which ended with him knocking out his opponent, Semmy Schilt emerged as the winner of the GLORY Heavyweight Grand Slam, laying claim to the $400,000 grand prize and underlining his position as the world’s number one heavyweight kickboxer.
Sixteen fighters fought it out in the ground-breaking one-night single-elimination tournament, with a ‘Best of Three’ rule in operation for the first three stages. The rule, designed to eliminate needless injuries, meant that any fighter who won the first two rounds of a bout would advance to the next stage without the need for the third round to be fought.
The field consisted of household names and rising stars, with the likes of Peter Aerts, Semmy Schilt and Remy Bonjasky lining up alongside Gokhan Saki, Jamal Ben Saddik and Daniel Ghita. Playing out over fifteen fights, the tournament saw eight bouts end with a stoppage of some kind, making for a knockout percentage of just under 55%.
“I’ve won many tournaments but this is the best ever,” Schilt said afterwards. “It was a hard tournament with some very good fighters and some very hard fights, for me and for everyone else. But all the struggle is worth it to win a competition like this. GLORY is home to the best fighters in the world and I am very proud to be the winner of the first-ever Grand Slam tournament.”
Schilt’s run saw him stop French heavyweight Brice Guidon in the first round of the very first fight via a pair of heavy right hands. He then outclassed the hot prospect Rico Verhoeven to take a decision win under the ‘Best of Three’ rule before meeting Gokhan Saki in the final. Saki, who had knocked out both his opponents in the first round of his Final 16 and Final 8 matches, tried to do the same to Schilt but couldn’t overcome the reach difference. He landed some good shots but couldn’t get the clean connection he needed in order to seal the deal. The judges declared Schilt the winner under the Best of Two rule and although Saki bitterly disputed this, Schilt went through to the final.
There he met Daniel Ghita, who had finished his semi-final match in just ten seconds by stopping the giant Jamal Ben Saddik with a left kick to the solar plexus. As a result Ghita was well-rested and less hurt that Schilt, who had come through the war with Saki. But near the end of a close first round Schilt threw a perfectly-timed head kick and connected his shin cleanly
across the side of Ghita’s head.
The Romanian – second-favorite to win the tournament – went down and stayed down for some time. He rose to his feet as the referee’s ten count was ending but the referee determined that he was unsteady on his feet and that the fight should be ended for his own safety. Like the warrior he is, Ghita wanted to continue but the head kick had done its work and Ghita was out, leaving Schilt as the last man standing. “This was not just a great New Year’s Eve event, it was a great martial arts event. I think that the skill and the courage that we saw in the ring tonight is really what the martial arts is all about. Perhaps its a bit of cliché seeing as we are in Tokyo but I really do think we can say that the fighters tonight embodied the samurai spirit which all martial artists aspire to,” says GLORY
Chairman Pierre Andurand.
In the evening’s superfights, speed and technique reigned supreme. Robin van Roosmalen, who came second in the GLORY lightweight tournament earlier this year, was matched with the colorful Japanese character Yuichiro Nagashima and completely dominated him from start to finish.
Nagashima had no answer for van Roosmalen’s forward pressure and concussive power. He showed a lot of heart in refusing to stay down after being knocked down several times and in some instances literally knocked off his feet with low kicks.Toshio Matsumoto gave Jason ‘Tyson’ Wilnis a stiff test in their middleweight match. The experienced Matsumoto is known as ‘The Knockout Artist’ and he showed why, demonstrating slick boxing skills and fluid combinations. Wilnis’ own skills were more than a match for Matsumoto’s but he was also younger and more powerful. He took a while to get into the fight but once he did his better conditioning put him in front and by the final bell he was dominating on his way to a unanimous decision win.
Finally, flyweights Sang Jae Kim of Korea and Mutsuki Ebata of Japan stole the show with a three-round battle that was non-stop from start to finish. The Japanese fighter was by far the better man but his Korean opponent could not be stopped and refused to lie down. Kim lost a one-sided decision but impressed onlookers with his heart and got a big round of applause from the Japanese arena.
GLORY 4 TOKYO – HEAVYWEIGHT GRAND SLAM – RESULTS
Semmy Schilt def. Daniel Ghita, TKO, 2:42 R1 (Head Kick)
Final 4 Results
Semmy Schilt def. Gokhan Saki, Dec. R2, ‘Best of Three’ rule
Daniel Ghita def. Jamal Ben Saddik, KO, R1 (Body Kick)
Final 8 Results
Semmy Schilt def. Rico Verhoeven, Dec. R2, ‘Best of Three’ rule
Gokhan Saki vs. Anderson ‘Braddock’ Silva, KO, R1
Jamal Ben Saddik def. Remy Bonjasky, Dec. R2, ‘Best of Three’ rule
Daniel Ghita def. Mourad Bouzidi by TKO, R2 (Bouzidi dislocated right elbow)
Final 16 Results
Semmy Schilt def. Brice Guidon by KO, R1
Rico Verhoeven def. Sergey Kharitonov, Dec. R2, ‘Best of Three’ rule
Gokhan Saki def. Roaumaru by KO, R1 1:00
Anderson ‘Braddock’ Silva vs. Igor Jurkovic by KO (two knockdowns), R1
Remy Bonjasky def. Filip Verlinden by unanimous decision after three rounds
Jamal Ben Saddik def. Errol Zimmerman, Dec. R2, ‘Best of Three’ rule
Mourad Bouzidi def. Peter Aerts by TKO (Aerts retired before R2 with broken right hand)
Daniel Ghita def. Jhonata Diniz by unanimous decision after three rounds
Robin van Roosmalen defeated Yuichiro Nagashima by Unanimous Decision.
Mutsuki Ebata defeated Sang Jae Kim by Unanimous Decision.
Jason Wilnis defeated Toshio Matsumoto by Unanimous Decision.