Until signing with GLORY earlier this year, French Welterweight Yohan 'The Lumberjack' Lidon (92-35-1, 55 KO's) was one of the top free agents in kickboxing. His hard-hitting knockout style has earned him wins over the likes of Marat Grigorian, Karim Ghajii, Steve Moxon and Karapet Karapetyan.
He was approached to fight at GLORY 22 in Lille, France two years ago, but had already made a prior commitment to fight on a different event around that time and so was unable to accept the invitation.
Lidon was replaced against Yoann Kongolo by Cedric Doumbé and the rest, as they say, is history. Doumbé has since won the GLORY Welterweight championship and declared himself the best in the world at this weight.
“Doumbé's place should have been mine. That's why I am coming into GLORY to go all the way [and take the Welterweight title],” says Lidon, who will finally make his debut for GLORY next week.
“I always wanted to be part of GLORY since for me it’s the 'Champion’s League' of kickboxing and people like [head matchmaker] Cor Hemmers are iconic figures of our sport.
“It’s a big family, my place is here. These are all very talented and hard-working fighters and I’m excited to participate with them for the pleasure of combat and for the public's enjoyment.”
Lidon faces Kongolo in the main event of the GLORY 42 PARIS SuperFight SERIES card, which will air live worldwide on UFC Fight Pass. It will be the first time that these two top Welterweights have fought and he is looking forward to an explosive encounter.
“Kongolo's fighting style is one that I like a lot. He is aggressive and he puts on a good show for the public too. Kongolo is a good boxer and a cool, respectful kind of guy, which I like,” he says.
Lidon does not hold the same opinion of Doumbé, whom he holds a 2014 decision win over. Doumbé is now wearing the Welterweight belt, his champion status resulting from a winning combination of in-ring skill and pre-fight wordplay and mindgames.
“Cedric Doumbé is a child! I gave him a lesson in real kickboxing once already, since he comes from full contact [karate] but it wasn’t strong enough” scoffs Lidon.
“It’s difficult to teach somebody a real kickboxing lesson in only three rounds. Give me five rounds and the public will be enchanted with the lesson I give him, because his trash-talk games will not work with me!”
Doumbé will also be competing at GLORY 42 PARIS. He meets Nieky Holzken in the Headline slot, a rematch of their GLORY COLLISION encounter in December which saw the belt pass from Holzken's waist to its new home.
Holzken has proven susceptible to have his focus disrupted by trash-talk; Doumbé and Murthel Groenhart have both used this to their advantage when fighting him. Holzken genuinely loathes Doumbé, but whether that strength of feeling will help or hinder him remains to be seen.
“It’s difficult to predict this rematch. Nieky is very strong, I like his boxing style. He made an error before and he needs to fix that now, but Cedric will not give him the belt just like that. Everyone needs to make sure they are watching this one closely - even I will be watching this one!”
GLORY 42 PARIS and GLORY 42 SuperFight SERIES take place Saturday, June 10 at the Accor Hotels Arena in Paris, France.
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