This weekend at GLORY 80, March 19, four kickboxing heavyweight fighters will be trying to make their voices and punches heard in earning a title shot against reigning champion Rico Verhoeven. Who is Next for Rico Verhoeven? Currently, there are six heavyweight fighters in GLORY who may be able to claim a title shot. GLORY 80 will settle some of these arguments. Reigning champion Rico Verhoeven has been the GLORY heavyweight champion since 2014 and has had ten successful title defenses in that time but as of today is not scheduled to fight.
Who is Next for Rico Verhoeven?
Who is Next for Rico Verhoeven? GLORY 80 will surely help to decide the next top contender in the stacked GLORY Kickboxing heavyweight division. The six heavyweight fighters who could make some claim to a title shot are Levi Rigters, Jamal Ben Saddik, Arkadiusz Wrzosek, Badr Hari, Antonio Plazibat, and Alistair Overeem.
“I want to become the champion before I’m 28,” Rigters tells MMA Sucka in an interview. Some have called him the crown prince of kickboxing due to his fighting talent and height. Rigters towers at 2.00 m (6 ft 6 in) and at GLORY 80 he will be facing the even taller Jamal Ben Saddik at 2.05 m (6 ft 9 in). Nearly defeating Rico Verhoeven in his last bout Ben Saddik was the previous top contender and if Rigters gets a win against him this weekend it would make quite a statement.
Jamal Ben Saddik
The towering Belgian-Moroccan fighters Ben Saddik will need to truly fight for his place this weekend. He has completed a trilogy against Rico Verhoeven already and lost overall two to one. However, in each fight, he was well ahead in the early bouts. Including just this past October, Ben Saddik had dropped Verhoeven on multiple occasions and nearly took the title for himself. Despite being down in the trilogy this has not changed the motivation of Ben Saddik, “Every fight that I fight is an obstacle on my way for the belt, you know. I’m focused on the belt… so let’s say he’s just an obstacle on my way to the belt,” Ben Saddik said in a press conference, and adds, “I always go for the knockout and this time is the same.” Ben Saddik will be facing Levi Rigters this weekend, March 19, at GLORy 80.
With his previous headkick knockout victory over Hari, Wrzosek claimed the title of comeback of the year, and one of the greatest comebacks in sports history. “I was very excited and very happy after the knockout. But I can’t remember a few minutes after the fight… Too many emotions,” Wrzosek tells MMA Sucka. He will be rematching Hari at GLORY 80. If this Polish fighter defeats Hari for the second time in a row it will be an impressive case to be made that he deserves a title shot against Rico Verhoeven.
One of the greatest kickboxer in history and has nearly taken the GLORY title for himself already. “[Hari] still has the hunger,” SB Gym coach Said El Badaoui told MMA Sucka in an interview. Hari is still seeking that GLORY gold. He has faced Verhoeven previously on two separate occasions. He was landing well and scoring knockdowns against the champion Verhoeven. Unfortunately, Hari was unable to continue in both bouts due to suffering an injury. The Morroccan-Dutch fighter will still be fighting hard, at GLORY 80, to make his claim against the champion Rico Verhoeven.
The Croatian striker Plazibat has not had his top contender moment yet ratified. With his list of victories, he must feel that he is most deserving of the next title shot against Rico Verhoeven. This K-1 Champion has had five victories over top contenders in the GLORY heavyweight division. Impressively, he has defeated Benjamin Adegbuyi, Tarik Khbabez, Jahfarr Wilnis, and others, and is currently ranked number one at heavyweight. He must be waiting by the phone and wondering if not him then who is next for Rico Verhoeven?
Alistair Overeem is a name well familiar to MMA fans. He has competed in PRIDE FC, Strikeforce, DREAM, and the UFC. He was also a K-1 Kickboxing champion. Just this past October Overeem was scheduled to face Verhoeven but unfortunately, he had to pull out of this bout due to an injury and was replaced by Ben Saddik. Overeem vs Verhoeven is still a fight many fight fans would love to see.
Who is next for Rico Verhoeven? This weekend at GLORY 80 four heavyweight kickboxers will be looking to make the choice clear. All six of the above fighters have a reasonable claim to the top contender position in GLORY. But, only one can be the next contender for Verhoeven.
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