Reigning middleweight champion Alex Pereira did not just take home the W after the Glory 55. With his brutal dismantling of his rival Yousroui Belgaroui, he is also earning the nod for the knockout of the year recognition.
The Brazilian kickboxer took on his Dutch-Tunisian foe at the Glory 55 held in The Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York last July 21. With so much at stake, Pereira stamped his class against Belgaroui in the third chapter of their storied rivalry.
Knockout of the Year Contender
With 44 seconds left in the first round, Pereira delivered the fight-clinching hook to Belgaroui, turning an expected close match to a lopsided one.
The 31-year old saw a perfect opportunity to deliver a vicious right-hand blow to the head as he took an initial attack while Belgaroui was in stride, preparing for an attack. Fans and critics hailed the picture perfect knockout as one of the best this year as Pereira delivered it with both power and style.
Watch how Pereira brutally destroyed his opponent in the video below:
It was Pereira’s second straight victory against Belgaroui. In December 2017, he dispatched his rival at the Glory 49 via technical knock out to avenge his first meeting loss, which was earned at the Glory 40 via unanimous decision.
The Glory 55 gave a double victory to Pereira. The Brazilian kickboxer successfully protected his middleweight title and also breached past Belgaroui in the winning column, 2-1, in their three meetings.
On to the Next One
In a post-fight interview, Pereira said he was pleasured and honoured to fight in the historical Madison Square Garden. The venue has been a setting for high profile fights featuring some of the greatest fighters in the world.
As for the classic knockout he delivered, he said he had no idea whether it will come sooner or later but he was confident that he will win the fight via knock out. He also believed that this victory settled the score between him and Yousri.
Asked about his next opponent, he stressed that he is waiting for the result of the fight between Jason Wilnis and Simon Marcus at the Glory 57. But he exclaimed that he prefers Wilnis as his next foe.