The running order for GLORY 16 was originally set to be highlighted by a Welterweight championship title bout between Nieky Holzken (84-11-0, 44 KOs) and Marc de Bonte (86-11-1, 28 KOs). But on Tuesday evening, officials confirmed that Holzken will no longer be involved in the championship match-up, after a lingering shoulder injury forced the 30-year-old to withdraw from the contest.
“On January 6 I suffered some injury in a car accident. That was why I wasn’t able to fight at GLORY 14 ZAGREB in March as originally planned,” Holzken said, in a statement adapted from GLORY’s official website.
“I have been having some shoulder trouble and I have been trying to get around it by fighting mostly in southpaw stance, because I can fight from both stances. But it became too painful and when I went for an MRI scan, they said there is still signs of damage.”
“I was told that I need to rest my shoulder or face the possibility of ending my career early.”
With de Bonte without an opponent, officials quickly sought Karapet Karapetyan (43-9-2, 4 KO’s) as Holzken’s replacement, instead of opting to scratch the championship title match-up from the line-up altogether.
The talented Armenian fighter most recently used his stellar combinations to outclass Ukrainian standout Artur Kyshenko at GLORY 14 in his last outing.
Karapetyan lost a decision to Holzken in December when he partook in the GLORY 13 tournament in Tokyo, Japan. de Bonte, meanwhile, last competed under the GLORY banner at GLORY 6.
“I will take a few months off to heal and then I will be back. I am very disappointed but there is nothing I can do except try to get back in action as fast as possible,” Holzken concluded.
“In the meantime I wish Marc De Bonte and Karapet Karapetyan the best of luck and I look forward to fighting the winner on my return.”
GLORY 16 takes place May 3rd at the 1STBANK Arena in Denver, Colorado. This will be the promotion’s first event in Denver following past visits to Oklahoma, California, New York, Wisconsin, and Illinois. GLORY 16 will once again be carried on the SPIKE TV network, with a LIVE broadcast scheduled at 8 p.m. ET.
Check out the updated fight card below:
- *GLORY Heavyweight Contender Tournament final match-up*
- Karapet Karapetyan vs. Marc de Bonte (For GLORY Welterweight Championship title)
- Pat Barry vs. Zack Mwekassa (GLORY Heavyweight Contender Tournament reserve match-up)
- Anderson Silva vs. Sergei Kharitonov (GLORY Heavyweight Contender Tournament semi-final match-up)
- Ben Edwards vs. Errol Zimmerman (GLORY Heavyweight Contender Tournament semi-final match-up)
SUPER FIGHT SERIES/PRELIMS
- Benjamin Adegbuyi vs. Daniel Sam
- Jamal Ben Saddik vs. Nicolas Wamba
- Igor Jurkovic vs. Artem Vakhitov
- Raymond Daniels vs. Francois Ambang
- Artem Levin vs. Robert Thomas
- Warren Stevelmans vs. Josh Jauncey