GLORY: Beztati shines in big-show debut

GLORY: Beztati shines in big-show debut

Wednesday, Jul 12 2017

Tyjani Beztati, at barely 19 years old the youngest fighter in GLORY history, stepped into the ring to face local veteran Andrej Bruhl, a Russo-German with a lot of professional experience.

Beztati towered over him and enjoyed a significant reach advantage but Bruhl is used to being the shorter fighter and knew what he needed to do. The whole fight thus saw him pressing forwards trying to take Beztati's head off with huge hooks and overhands while the nimble Beztati moved backwards and picked him off with punches, kicks and knees.

Halfway into the first round the rangy Beztati had Bruhl hovering at distance and holding a tight guard. Suddenly he leapt into a flying knee which landed cleanly and put Bruhl down. It looked like the fight might be finished right there but Bruhl beat the count and returned to the fray, enduring heavy pressure from the youngster as Beztati sought to seal the deal. He couldn't find the finishing shot though and the fight progressed to the second round.

The second round was more competitive, Bruhl getting back into the fight and searching for a knockdown of his own to cancel out the one he had suffered in the previous frame. Beztati had to use his footwork and dexterity to foil Bruhl's efforts and stay ahead.

In the second half of the final round Beztati got caught. A Bruhl bomb knocked him down and suddenly the fight was wide open. Beztati beat the count and Bruhl poured the pressure on. A roar went up from the crowd as Bruhl launched a barrage and Beztati firede right back. For the last minute of the fight the two traded constantly. But Bruhl couldn't land the shot he needed and when the bell sounded to end the round and the fight he swore in frustration.

Sure enough the judges had it for Beztati, a unanimous decision. It was a tough fight and almost a close-run thing but the young prospect came through it to get the win and announce the arrival of a new talent in the competitive lightweight division.

Tyjani Beztati def. Andrej Bruhl, Unanimous decision, R3 (29-27 on all cards)