Ulusoy star of the night but organisers lining up Mayweather-Pacquiao fight
DUBAI // The Tiger. The Pitbull. The Machine. The Hit Man.
The nicknames alone promised some savage action and the first Global Fighting Championship in Dubai delivered to a capacity crowd at the World Trade Centre last night.
The undercard of seven elimination fights started off slowly, but picked up pace quickly.
In the first fight, Kamran Morovati of Iran won a unanimous decision over the Serbian Darco Jeremic, despite hardly being able to stand by the end of the third round. In the next bout, the brilliant Turk Erkan Varol beat Abbas Mollamahdi of Iran in another unanimous decision.
Varol, 32, twice knocked down his opponent in the third round and celebrated with a backflip to the roar of the crowd.
The night exploded with the third fight.
Dubai favourite Fatih Ulusoy, put on a sensational display of kick boxing to overcome the giant Indian Jaideep Singh. Despite giving up 9kg and 10cm to his opponent, the man nicknamed The Ottoman was on the front foot from first bell, leaving Singh on the ropes for much of the first two rounds.
In the third round, the referee had no choice but to stop the fight after a barrage of punches and kicks by Ulusoy left Singh wobbling. The Zabeel Hall erupted after what turned out to be one of the best moments of the whole night.
“I love this place,” Ulusoy said to a delighted crowd. “I’ll fight anyone in this ring.”
Fight 4 was between two 26-year-old fighters; Srdjan Seles of Serbia and Brian “the Hit Man” Douwes of the Netherlands.
Douwes, 18kg lighter than his opponent had no trouble throughout, all three judges awarding him the fight. After four K-1 fights, the fifth brought the first mixed martial arts bout of the night.
The three rounds of five minutes each (as opposed to three minutes in K1) saw a lot of grappling on the mat, and ended with Gokhan Turkyilmaz of Turkey beating Vaughn Donayre in yet another unanimous decision.
There were bigger stakes to come.
The night, and the early hours of this morning, were set to end with the four-man heavyweight tournament.
The winner between Australian Peter Graham and Arnold Oborotov of Lithuania would face off against either Badr Hari of Morocco or Stefan Leko of Germany for the night’s big prize of Dh1 million.
GFC will now move on to similar event in Turkey, Holland and Morocco, with the winner of each event eventually meeting in a Grand Prix finale in Australia.
The crowd would also get the bonus exhibition fight between two experienced veterans, the American Dewey Cooper and the 44-year-old Dutchman Peter Aerts.
Whether it was bluster or not, the director of organisers Golden Cage Promotions, Amir Shasypour, grabbed a microphone and told the crowd that he had secured a big-ticket fight between Floyd Mayweather Jr and Manny Pacquiao that he planned to bring to Dubai next year.
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Published: May 30, 2014 04:00 AM