GLORY Kickboxing was forced to call off one of its biggest events of the year after a riot broke out in the crowd.
The world’s biggest kickboxing promotion had been hoping to start 2022 with a bang after a strong end to last year only to have the Levi Rigters vs Jamal Ben Saddik fight card cancelled due to rioting.
Violence in the stands during the highly-anticipated rematch between Arkadiusz Wrzosek and Badr Hari saw the match abandoned, with at least 18 spectators reportedly injured in the chaos.
Moroccan star Hari was sent crashing to the canvas last September after being stunned by underdog Wrzosek, extending his winless streak to five in Arnhem.
Wrzosek, 29, came close to repeating that same feat the second time round, dropping the former champion with a flying knee in the second round.
But nobody could have expected what would happen next.
Chairs were hurled through the air and kicks and punches were thrown in a mass, violent brawl which left the promoters with no choice but to cancel the show before the main event had even begun.
WATCH: Kickboxing event abandoned after mass brawl breaks out in the arena
Check out the video below…
A GLORY statement said: “For the past 10 years, GLORY has successfully been organizing safe, world-class events in dozens of cities and countries around the world.
“In preparation of and during the GLORY 80 event at the Trixxo Arena in Hasselt, Belgium, GLORY worked with the local authorities and took all steps necessary to ensure the on-site safety precautions and procedures.
“Unfortunately, a group of individuals with bad intentions attended the event last night. They exhibited unsafe behaviour during the event. With absolute regard to the safety of the audience and upon the request of the local authorities, GLORY stopped the event.
“It was the first time that such an incident has ever taken place at a GLORY event, and we would like to report that with today’s knowledge all event attendees are safe and no one was seriously injured. Safety of all participants and attendees has always and will always be GLORY’s utmost priority.
“We are deeply saddened that these irresponsible actions have ruined everyone’s night: from fighters, to viewers, to the 7,000 fans, and GLORY staff and partners who participated into the sold-out Trixxo Arena which was supposed to be part of a special night.
“These individuals tried to tarnish the image of the sport that we and millions of fans around the world love and care about. This type of behavior has no place in our sport or at our events.
“Over the next days, GLORY will be conducting a full investigation on this incident together with the local authorities. We will take all necessary measures and apply the strictest sanctions, including legal actions, to anyone who took part, directly or indirectly, in any misconduct.
“Lastly, GLORY will communicate actions that will be implemented for GLORY’s pay-per-view customers by email next week.”
GLORY heavyweight champion, Rico Verhoeven, expressed his disgust over what he saw on Saturday night on Instagram yesterday and called it ‘a disgrace for the sport’.
He wrote: “Sat in front of the TV, I was shook by what I saw happening yesterday in Belgium.
“It is a disgrace for the sport!
“Fans (in any sports in general) should always feel safe and be able to enjoy a match.
“Rivalry is one thing, but using violence to express it is ridiculous.
“Words can’t barely describe how p***** and disappointed I am.
“This should and cannot happen again. EVER!”