Currently ranked the No.4 Welterweight in Glory, Yoann Kongolo gained a great deal of respect and fans taking Glory Welterweight Champion Nieky Holzken to the limit at Glory 29 Copenhagen.He returns at GLORY 31 Amsterdam for a 4-man Welterweight Contender Tournament, with the winner getting a shot at Holzken for the Championship.
Rounding out the field is Kongolo’s first round opponent Harut Grigorian and Murthel Groenhart vs. Karim Benmansour. The winners will battle to determine Holzken’s new No.1 contender.
GLORY 31 Amsterdam Interview: Yoann Kongolo
KP: First off, you fought a fantastic fight against Glory Welterweight Champion Nieky Holzken. What did you learn from that fight that you will take into the GLORY 31 Amsterdam tournament?
Kongolo: “I proved to everyone that I deserved this title shot and also that I have my place (next to) the actual top ranked kickboxer in the world. I will use every weapon and everything that was missing against Holzken to get the W in this tournament.”
KP: At Glory 25 you lost a close decision to Karim Ghajji, will you approach this tournament differently because of that result, or do you focus on the same plan that you used that night?
Kongolo: “I don’t wanna go back into the details of this fight again but my behavior and my spirit will remain the same. When I step into the ring I’m coming in for the war and for the show.”
KP: When I watched you in the title fight I was very impressed with how you seemed to be keeping Holzken off balance, but in the final round it seemed you had difficulty finding your rhythm? Or was it something else fatigue, Holzken’s attack, etc?
Kongolo: “Being the challenger of this title fight I knew I had to go get the victory with either a KO or a large difference in the points. I’ve put on a lot of intensity and spent a lot of energy that’s why I was a bit tired towards the end of the fight. When you face the champion for the belt you can’t just (be) content with a simple fight you need to go beyond your limits and this is what actually requires a lot of energy.”
KP: Other than the result of you winning a rematch against Holzken, what would be the factors that would change the result from the first encounter?
Kongolo: “I know how to beat Nieky now so I won’t answer here but you will see that soon in the ring believe me.”
KP: What is the matchup, excluding yourself, you would like to see happen in Glory?
Kongolo: “Alistair Overeem vs Badr Hari III.”