Cedric ‘The Best’ Doumbé (66-4-1, 39 KO’s) retained his world title against Nieky Holzken (90-13, 46 KO’s) via split-decision in the main event of GLORY 42 PARIS. The two rivals went five rounds in the French capital city of Paris and left the judges divided about what they had witnessed.
Doumbé took the belt from Holzken by decision at GLORY: COLLISION in December. Six months later, Holzken sought to take it back from him on Doumbé’s home turf of Paris. It was a good effort, but it was not enough.
Holzken dominated the division almost since its inception, which made it doubly hard for him to accept losing the belt. Doumbé came almost out of nowhere when he first earned a title shot, first losing to Yoann Kongolo at GLORY 22 but then besting Murthel Groenhart at GLORY 22 and entering the title shot picture.
From there it was a short jump to a successful title shot against Holzken at GLORY COLLISION and thus to his present status of defending champion. An accomplished defense against Kongolo intervened but Doumbé himself said that he would only really feel truly champion if he beat Holzken in a rematch.
The win was not the emphatic victory that Doumbé wanted but it did showcase his skills of evasiveness and confidence. As much as he took hard shots from Holzken he also demonstrated masterful evasiveness, to the extent that he felt confident enough from the third round to begin showboating against the former champion.
After five rounds the judges were split, one of them seeing it for Holzken and the other four seeing it for Doumbé. The retaining champion now goes forward to a rematch with Murthel Groenhart, but Holzken has surely not given up on being champion again.
Cedric Doumbé def. Nieky Holzken, Split Decision, R5 (49-46, 49-46, 48-47, 49-46, 49-46)