In a thrilling, highlight reel performance, Gokhan Saki (80-16, 56 KOs) of the Netherlands scored two knockdowns en route to a second round TKO of rival, top-ranked superstar Daniel Ghita (46-9, 35 KOs) of Romania in the main event the GLORY 6 Istanbul kickboxing mega-card at Ülker Sports Arena on Saturday, April 6, live on GloryWorldSeries.com.
The victory earned the 29-year-old Saki a meeting with reigning GLORY Heavyweight Champion Semmy Schilt.
Saki, who had defeated Ghita 28 months ago by way of unanimous decision, came out of the gates looking to close the distance between Ghita who, at 1.94 meters/6-foot-4, stands .11 meters/4 ½ inches taller than Saki.
Saki caught an attempted kick to the body and dumped Ghita, left arm first, to the canvas, putting Ghita in a noticeable amount of pain. Ghita shook off the effect of the throw well, though, scoring with a pair of strong round kicks before the first round came to a close.
In the second round, Ghita unloaded more round kicks to the body and leg of Saki before Saki unleashed a vicious flurry of punches and dropped Ghita with a looping right hook. Ghita made it to his feet, but Saki put his opponent down for a second time with a left hook.
Badly hurt, Ghita surprisingly beat the referee’s count. Saki closed in once again and dished out more punishment with his hands. The referee stepped in and stopped the contest, giving Saki the TKO victory.
In the heavyweight co-main event, Mourad Bouzidi of Tunisia got off to a quick start in the first round of his matchup with Fabiano Cyclone of Brazil, hurting Cyclone with Bouzidi’s left hook and body attacks.
In the outset of the second frame, Cyclone came out swinging, but was slowed down by Bouzidi’s counter-offensive. Bouzidi dropped Cyclone with a combination to the body and, after Cyclone made it to his feet and the fight resumed, Bouzidi again went on the attack with a leg kick, prompting Cyclone’s corner to throw in the towel.
Complete GLORY 6 Istanbul Results:
- Featherweight (65 kg/143 lbs.): Dongsu Kim def. Naoki Yasuda via unanimous decision
- Lightweight (70 kg/154 lbs.): Max Baumert def. Ismail Uzuner via KO (head kick) – Round 1
- Catchweight (75 kg/165 lbs.): Joseph Valtellini def. Murat Direkci via TKO (corner stoppage) – Round 3
- Lightweight (70 kg/154 lbs.): Andy Ristie def. Alessandro Campagna via unanimous decision
- Welterweight (77 kg/170 lbs.): Nieky Holzken def. Karim Ghajji via TKO (cut) – Round 4
- Middleweight (85 kg/187 lbs.): Marc de Bonte def. L’houcine Ouzgni via KO (knee) – Round 1
- Light Heavyweight (95 kg/209 lbs.): Filip Verlinden def. Lucian Danilencu unanimous decision
- Heavyweight: Mourad Bouzidi def. Fabiano Cyclone via TKO (corner stoppage) – Round 2
- Heavyweight: Gökhan Saki def. Daniel Ghita via TKO (referee stoppage) – Round 2