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United Glory Second Round: analysing chances interesting read!

As I saw not much news on this event but this is a good article writing about the chances and the careers of the fighters, analysing their chances. I think it s a good read, especially after knowing the results ( well not all, but the main ones at least )

The Ultimate Glory Second Round event is set to take place in Charleroi, Belgium on Saturday, 1:00PM EST. Having already brought you a preview for the mixed martial arts welterweight tournament semifinals that will be taking place Saturday, we move to a quick look at the heavyweight kickboxing action for the evening. The two semifinal bouts will have Gokhan Saki meeting Wendell Roche and Brice Guidon facing Mourad Bouzidi.

Semifinal # 1: Gokhan Saki vs. Wendell Roche - Wendell Roche enters this bout fighting quite the uphill battle. Even on his best day, the Dutch striker would be a real underdog against Gokhan Saki, the clear favorite to win this tournament. Add in the fact that Roche was just thoroughly outdone by Danyo Ilunga for the It's Showtime 95 kg. MAX title on March 6th and most would believe that this bout is all but decided at this point.

Roche made it to the semifinals with a victory of Stefan Leko after two rounds of action back in October. He was one a three fight slide prior to that victory and has gone 1-2 since then. In fact, Roche returned to action some two weeks after the Leko bout - just about as quickly as he now is after his bout with Ilunga - and lost a decision to Dzevad Poturak.

Gokhan Saki will be returning to action after a great, albeit short-lived showing at the K-1 World Grand Prix last December. Saki has been kept out of action because of the injuries he suffered in his quarterfinal victory overDaniel Ghita in that tournament. While that may have been a sour way to cap off 2010, there is no denying that Saki had a brilliant year in the ring. He was on a seven fight win streak prior to the stoppage loss against Alistair Overeem, having not lost since the 2009 K-1 World Grand Prix. In the midst of it all, Saki made it to this semifinal bout by stopping Nikolaj Falin with vicious shots to the body.

While fans are bound to anticipate that Wendell Roche will be taking his second loss this month, I would discourage imagining that this bout will go anything like Roche's bout with Danyo Ilunga. It's all about the style of fighter here, and however brilliant Ilunga may have looked against Roche, Saki will almost certainly look to match that in complete and utter aggression. Roche is a veteran fighter and remains a relevant heavyweight with the ability to do damage in spots, but this is a tall order ahead of him.

Semifinal # 2: Brice Guidon vs. Mourad Bouzidi - This is the bout that I fear a lot of people are going to overlook. Brice Guidon is a very, very legitimate Muay Thai fighter. While he's had a bit more success in that arena, he has proven himself in K-1 and other kickboxing type organizations as well. Mourad Bouzidi is also a top notch heavyweight, and his speed and willingness to go to the body are always enjoyable to watch. The bout between Guidon and Bouzidi may be particularly interesting as it will mark the second time the two fighters meet

Brice Guidon enters the semifinals by way of a decision victory over Filip Verlinden last October. Guidon began his current seven fight win streak with a win over Bouzidi under the It's Showtime banner in late 2009. Also included in his current streak are wins over Chakuriki Gym fighters Hesdy Gerges and Frank Munoz. The French Muay Thai specialist will have a good height advantage against Bouzidi, and he doesn't mind throwing his jab out there. While most are still likely to favor Guidon over Bouzidi, something that may be cause for concern would be his tendency to leave his head exposed while moving backward, particularly after throwing combinations. It is something that his height certainly negates most of the time, but it may be worth watching for.

Mourad Bouzidi comes in following a quarterfinal victory over Anderson "Braddock" Silva. In fact, Bouzidi's two most recent bouts have been wins over Silva. Prior to that, Bouzidi went 4-3 since the beginning of 2009, including a win over Errol Zimmerman and a loss against Badr Hari. While I would definitely say that Bouzidi will enter having a speed advantage here, I have to emphasize the issues that he has had throughout his career with taller opponents. Don't get me wrong, he's defeated some taller guys, Hesdy Gerges is a notable example, but a lot of his losses have come against guys who fall in that 6'4"+ territory that Guidon occupies. What's more, Bouzidi never has been much of a finisher (not to say that Guidon has either) and this is the sort of bout where his opponent could very likely use his physical tools to take a clear decision.


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