Announced earlier this week, young Queensland heavyweight prospect Junior Tafa will make his return to the Glory Kickboxing ring on February 16th as part of the promotion’s Heavyweight contender tournament in Chicago.
The four-man, one-night-only tournament will place Tafa up against three highly ranked and experienced opponents in Benjamin Adegbuyi (#1), D’Angelo Marshall (#3) and Guto Inocente (#5). While one of the more inexperienced fighters in the lineup, Tafa will come into the tournament with nothing to lose and will be wanting to capitalise on the opportunity to establish himself in the Glory Heavyweight division.
His first matchup on the night will be against Brazillian fighter Inocente, and if he wins will progress to the final to take on either two-time heavyweight title challenger Adegbuyi or Curaçaoan-Dutch contender Marshall.
— Junior Tafa (@JuniorTafa) January 8, 2018
Tafa returns to the Glory ring after dominating his Chinese opponent Quanchao Luo and finishing him in one round at Glory 46: China back in October of last year. To feature again so quickly following his debut is a good indication that the promotion is keen to push Tafa and to produce more challengers for the dominant Rico Verhoeven.
Once used by Glory as a way to find the next title challenger in a division, their contender tournaments are now held as part of their regular events schedule. Whether or not the winner of this tournament will receive a title shot remains to be seen with Glory’s heavyweight division poised to focus heavily on an eventual rematch between Badar Hari and Verhoeven in the near future.