Alistair Overeem vs. Rico Verhoeven is allegedly in talks for a two-fight deal which, could include both GLORY Kickboxing and the UFC rule-sets applied for each of the two proposed fights, according to sources close to the situation.
Although Overeem has in the past shotdown any questions raised to him about a potential return to kickboxing via GLORY, the escalating war of words between himself and Verhoeven are not without intent. Rico recently lambasted Overeem when asked about future challenges at GLORY 45 Amsterdam and took full aim at the UFC heavyweight.
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Hahahah Rico (the comedian) back at it! First saying who’s Alistair and then a second later calling me out for a kickboxing match. We both know that I fight in the 'King-Tiger league of real combat sports' so anybody wanting that fame, money – and real GLORY – come to the UFC. I’ll be happy to welcome anybody to the big boy league. If not stay at (little) Glory and keep on fighting in empty venues until Badr Hari is back.
“The Reem” is no stranger to world of kickboxing having won the most prestigious accomplishment in the sport by winning the K-1 World Grand Prix in 2010. At the time he was competing in kickboxing, ‘Reem’ took the sport by storm causing huge upsets including, his KO victory over Badr Hari in Dynamite 2008 after being called-out by the “Golden Boy”.
The rivalry between Overeem and Hari was of epic proportions for its time and that too was supposed to be one fight in K-1 and the other in MMA. However, the rematch would be under the K-1 banner too with Overeem alleging Badr didn’t want to fight him in MMA afterwards. The rematch was won by Hari, restoring the pride of kickboxing after the toppling of an MMA fighter who, had been making a mockery of world class kickboxers at the time who, were shockingly losing to him.
Verhoeven was strongly rumoured in recent years, to have been on the verge of joining the UFC, only for the WME-IMG takeover to allegdly halt a possible move from GLORY to the UFC. The GLORY champion has a 1-0 MMA record and has a successful past in in Dutch/European BJJ tournaments; and is not to be underestimated as simply a technical kickboxer.
Another GLORY champion who today expressed his interest in fighting MMA for the UFC is GLORY welterweight champion, Murthel Groenhart who, alleged (in the video below) that UFC President, Dana White was in contact with GLORY about the potential of making a joint venture of some sort happen between the two promotions; fueling the growing speculation around Overeem vs. Verhoeven in both GLORY and the UFC.
K1ANOOP will report again as the overall situation develops further.
Photo credit: Featured images courtesy of Glory Sports International; photo(s) by James Law.