Rico Verhoeven vs. Jamal Ben Saddik is set to headline GLORY 49 Rotterdam on December 9, 2017 in what would seem to be a year-end extravaganza for the promotion. The news was revealed via Verhoeven on his Twitter account earlier this afternoon; and follows on from last week’s official announcement that Rico will be fighitng former UFC heavyweight, Antonio ‘Bigfoot’ Silva at GLORY 46 China on October 14.
Interestingly, Verhoeven last defended his GLORY heavyweight title against Anderson ‘Braddock’ Silva at GLORY 33 New Jersey on September 8, 2016 via round three TKO. This would mean that Rico will go 15 months and one day since last defending his title which, flies in the face of GLORY’s policy of, enforcing that their champions defend titles within one year of their last defence – a policy that contributed to GLORY’s former light-heavyweight champion, Gökhan Saki, being stripped of his title due to inactivity in July 2015.
Saki has since signed for the UFC and will make his UFC debut on September 23 at, UFC Fight Night Japan against, Henrique da Silva.
However, Verhoeven has been busy winning two non-title fights since his last title defence, with victories over Badr Hari from a second round TKO (arm injury) at GLORY Collision; and a unanimous decision win over the difficult and former Enfusion Live heavyweight champion, Ismael Lazzar.
However, questions will obviously be raised about GLORY’s fairness towards both Saki and Verhoeven during their respective reigns as GLORY champions; and why would the promotion be so selective in applying a policy of, restricting how long a champion can go without defending his/her title before being stripped?
Nevertheless, it’s good news for Rico Verhoeven who, does get unfair stick on social-media from kickboxing fans, for not defending the title for so long which, is as a direct result of the decisions made by, GLORY as to when and where their longest reigning heavyweight champion, will defend his title.
The full fight cards details for GLORY 49 Rotterdam and GLORY 49 SuperFight Series have not yet been announced but K1ANOOP will report again as the situation unfolds.