Famous Romanian kickboxer Benjamin Adegbuyi has been waiting for his rematch with Jamal Ben Saddik since their previous fight at GLORY 62 in 2018. That night, both men made it to the final of a one-night, eight-man tournament, where the Moroccan Goliath managed to knock out the Romanian. Recently, GLORY Kickboxing announced their next event, GLORY 81 on Aug. 20, where the heavyweights will finally meet again in the main event of the evening.
Adegbuyi is 100-percent focused on his preparation. But, he is called “Mr. Gentleman” for a reason. Despite hard preparations, he agreed to take some time to talk to Combat Press author Ruslan Navshyrvanov about his upcoming fight, his Dec. 2020 bout against Badr Hari and other topics.
RN: Your fight against Badr was one of the best kickboxing performances of 2020. Can we call it the main knockout of your career?
BA: Yes, you are right. The fight against Badr was one of the best in 2020. I can call it the main knockout of my career, but I had a lot of knockouts. GLORY recently posted the top five knockouts, [and] they are all beautiful. But, let’s say, because Badr is so well-known and is one of the images of kickboxing, we can say that it is the main knockout of my career.
RN: You know what Badr has. Do you think it is enough to get a win against Alistair [Overeem]?
BA: Yeah, man. Badr is a strong fighter. You can see it in all his fights. Even when he fought me or other opponents, such as Rico [Verhoeven]. He’s still got a lot of things that can hurt people, so I think he has a very good chance against Alistair, who is also one of the strongest fighters in the world. I am looking forward to see who [is going to] win this fight.
RN: You are fighting Jamal Ben Saddik on Aug. 20. GLORY announced that the winner will be facing Antonio Plazibat for the title. What is the [training] situation with Rico now?
BA: Yes, I also heard that the winner is fighting Plazibat for the interim title. My situation with Rico is a good situation. He is helping me a lot. We’re improving together. I help him, [and] he helps me. He just fought Jamal, so he knows a lot more things about him. But I am focused on the Jamal fight, then Plazibat, and then Rico. So, there are a lot of things to do. We can’t think about the Rico fight. I need to win the first fight. I am 100-percent focused on Jamal.
RN: Rico’s Instagram page says that he is 2013-2021 Glory champion. As you are from one camp, maybe you know something on that?
BA: I know nothing about this post. I know that he is a reigning champion. Maybe he just didn’t update his biography. I don’t know.
RN: Your first fight against Jamal was a huge upset, as you were the favorite of the eight-man tournament. What went wrong there?
BA: I was the favorite, but he was number two. We was the two favorites to win that tournament. I really think I am the best fighter, even today. I just think that, in that tournament, I had a very rough night with two fights of three rounds, and I think his way to the final was a little bit easier. Maybe, if I was more fresh, the fight would have changed. Yeah, it’s true he had also an injured arm, but my leg was also swollen. I didn’t talk about it. But, I am not finding excuses. We have another fight now, and we can see who is the best man, one-on-one.
RN: There is a good Romanian fanbase throughout the world. But, presently, you are the only Romanian fighter in GLORY. Is there anyone else worth GLORY’s attention?
BA: Yes, you are right. Romania has very good, big kickboxing fanbase. At the moment, I am not the only one in GLORY. We have another Romanian who is fighting in GLORY – Raul Catinas. He is a friend of mine. We train together. But, we also have a lot of fighters who are fighting in other organizations – young fighters, who are making their way up. I don’t know. It’s up to GLORY matchmakers to find a new talents.
RN: Recently, GLORY fired all Russian athletes. What do you think about it?
BA: I feel sorry for what is happening in the world with Russia and with Ukraine. But I can not comment on this. I feel bad for the fighters. But maybe GLORY did a right thing, and people just want to help Ukraine in this situation. But, I know that fighters have nothing to do with what’s happening. So I don’t know what to say.
RN: You are very experienced fighter with many fans in Ukraine as well. Can you please wish something to us?
BA: Man, I even don’t know what to say. I know I have a lot of fans from Ukraine. It is close to Romania, and I love it. I just hope you, all Ukrainians, will find the strength to pass this difficult moment. And hopefully everything stops. I know it is a hard time for everybody. So, I wish you a lot of good luck.