Rico Verhoeven vs. Jamal Ben Saddik will headline GLORY: REDEMPTION on December 9, 2017 at the Ahoy, Rotterdam in a year-end extravaganza with, three fight cards in one night. However, Jamal Ben Saddik intends to ruin the party and expose the GLORY champion for being nothing more than a “good athlete” when they rematch.
Speaking to K1ANOOP, Ben Saddik pulled no punches with his words at GLORY 45 Amsterdam when explaining how he intends to, finish Rico Verhoeven “inside five rounds” and not risk leaving it in the hands of the judges.
The rivalry between both fighters dates back to a lot earlier in their kickboxing careers at, It’s Showtime Sporthallen Zuid in 2011 when they previously clashed. A younger Verhoeven would lose by a second round TKO (corner stoppage) back then. However, Verhoeven’s career would rocket on from that loss, seeing him eventually crowned as GLORY’s heavyweight champion after defeating Daniel Ghita via unanimous decision at GLORY 17 Los Angeles.
Rico would then reinforce his legitimacy as one of the best heavyweight kickboxers of all time, after defeating K-1 legend, Badr Hari at GLORY Collision by second round TKO (arm injury). The rematch was expected to happen at the end of this year, however, Hari would end-up in prison for losing an appeal against convictions for past offences. Instead, Verhoeven is set to face former UFC heavyweight, Antonio ‘Bigfoot’ Silva at GLORY 46 China on October 14 and then Saddik in December.
Although Verhoeven may be tipped (by many fans and pundits) as the favourite in this rematch, Saddik’s mental toughness is second to none, having fought-off cancer a couple of times in recent years, with his most recent battle being earlier this year.
Saddik revealed to Dutch journalist, Kris Dekker at GLORY 45 that the real reason he had pulled-out of a previously scheduled bout with Verhoeven – in May 2017 – was due to a relapse of the illness; not a motorbike accident as was reported at the time via GLORY press release.
GLORY Kickboxing’s CEO, Jon J Franklin was asked to comment on this revelation made by, Jamal Ben Saddik at GLORY 45; and in the same interview (below), Franklin reassured fans that GLORY are working on making Rico Verhoeven vs Badr Hari 2 happen; and that the much anticipated rematch is very much a top priority for the promotion.
It was also announced that GLORY: REDEMPTION will also feature two preceding fight cards before it, these being: GLORY 49 SuperFight Series and GLORY 49 Rotterdam which, will both have five fights on each of their fight cards and obviously take place at the same venue.
Interestingly, Ismael Londt will finally return to GLORY Kickboxing after a year off by, headlining GLORY 49 SuperFight Series against, D’Angelo Marshall who, had recently won the GLORY 41 Heavyweight Contender Tournament.