De Keirsmaeker spoils the debut for Zhang

De Keirsmaeker spoils the debut for Zhang

Saturday, Aug 25 2018 by Rob Tatum

The co-main event of GLORY 57 featured a catchweight fight between China’s Kaiyin Zhang (76-3-1, 15 KO’s) and Belgium’s Cedric de Keirsmaeker (18-6-1, 10 KO’s).

There was no feeling out process from de Keirsmaeker, who quickly attacked the head of Zhang with punches. Zhang evaded and fired off a spinning heel kick to the head of de Keirsmaeker. 

The flashy attack drew a response from the crowd, but de Keirsmaeker was able to block it. The Belgian fighter missed with a spinning backfist, allowing Zhang to counter with kick to the body. The competitive frame concluded with the two fighters exchanging punches near the ropes.

The forward advance of de Keirsmaeker did not relent in round two, as he pressed forward with punches. Zhang scored with a heavy body shot, but de Keirsmaeker kept coming forward. 

He backed Zhang against the ropes and scored with a heavy combination. Zhang responded with a big low kick that nearly sent de Keirsmaeker to the canvas. 

The pair again threw caution to the wind late in the round, trading heavy punches in the pocket until the bell sounded.

Zhang tried to open the final round with a spinning attack, but de Keirsmaeker got inside and took away the angle. A powerful right hand from de Keirsmaeker connected in the corner. 

A right head kick from de Keirsmaeker was blocked by Zhang. A left knee to the body of de Keirsmaeker found its mark from Zhang, but the Belgian fired back with punches. The pace slowed late as the two fighters gave their all in the ring.

Both fighters raised their hands at the final bell, but when the scorecards were revealed, it was de Keirsmaeker who eked out the split decision win.

Cedric de Keirsmaeker def. Kaiyin Zhang by split decision (27-30, 30-27, 28-29, 29-28, 29-28)

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