Now that 2020 is in the books, Combat Press is taking a look back at the best that the sport of kickboxing had to offer. Over the next week, Combat Press will announce its award winners in multiple categories, covering everything from the action in the ring to the biggest stories surrounding the sport.
Comeback of the Year
Benjamin Adegbuyi vs. Badr Hari
Comebacks are what make kickboxing such an exciting sport to watch. The pure enjoyment of watching a downed fighter work his way back into the bout is both thrilling and an awe-inspiring moment of determination, will and heart.
Benjamin Adegbuyi picked himself off the canvas and fought his way back into the tremendous back-and-forth war he waged with one of the sport’s biggest stars, Badr Hari. The much-anticipated bout was the main attraction on GLORY 76 due Hari’s popularity, Adegbuyi’s long run of success and knockouts, and, most importantly, GLORY’s return as a kickboxing promotion.
In a turbulent year for one of the world’s top kickboxing promotions, GLORY arose from the dead following receivership and collapse to hold one of the better events of 2020 in an exciting comeback victory for the promotion.
As for the fight, Hari looked impressive early on, much as he has against Rico Verhoeven in the past few years. Hair, a veteran of more than 100 fights, dropped the two-time GLORY title challenger Adegbuyi to get off to an excellent start. The big men exchanged heavy blows through two rounds, with Adegbuyi starting to better his dangerous foe in the latter half of the second frame. Eventually, Hari started to slow down. Meanwhile, his Romanian challenger became more persistent and powerful by the third round.
Adegbuyi completed the comeback when he downed Hari for the final time just under a minute into the third stanza. He potentially earned a title shot while simultaneously crushing the hopes of a third fight between Hari and Verhoeven, at least in the immediate future.
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