Glory Redemption: Rico Verhoeven vs. Jamal Ben Saddik | Kickboxing Analysis with Melvin Manhoef

Rico Verhoeven vs. Jamal Ben Saddik headlines Glory: Redemption at the Ahoy Rotterdam in a year end kickboxing extravaganza. K-1 legend, Melvin Manhoef gave a technical kickboxing analysis of this huge fight tonight with, Anoop Hothi for K1ANOOP.

Saddik won the first fight with Verhoeven six years ago and could very well cause one of the biggest upsets in recent times or, will GLORY’s undisputed heavyweight champion, secure another successful title-defence and ‘Redemption’?

Verhoeven has dominated heavyweight kickboxing including a TKO win over Badr Hari this time last year at ‘GLORY Collision‘. A second arm injury would seal the victory for Rico who, it would seem, is fast running out of credible/threatening enough opponents at GLORY Kickboxing.

However, Jamal Ben Saddik makes fighting difficult for his past opponents and is an incredibly tough individual, having battled cancer for a second time earlier this year. This matchup was initially scheduled for the first half of this year but Saddik unexpectedly needed urgent treatment but would seem to have made a strong recovery since then.

Could Jamal Ben Saddik end Rico Verhoeven’s reign as GLORY’s heavyweight champion or, will it be another comfortable win for Verhoeven who, easily disposed of UFC veteran, Bigfoot Silva at GLORY 46 China in his previous fight?

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Gökhan Saki injured in training, replaced by Michal Oleksiejczuk for UFC 219 after knee surgery

Former GLORY Kickboxing champion, Gökhan Saki was injured in training yesterday and needed urgent knee surgery according to Saki’s Instagram post, earlier today. As a result, Saki has been replaced by, Michal Oleksiejczuk who, will will fight, Khalil Rountree at UFC 219 on December 30.

UFC 219 wil be headlined by, Cris Cyborg vs. Holly Holm at the T-mobile arena, Las Vegas and would’ve have featured Saki’s second outing for the UFC (and third professional MMA bout). “The Rebel” had previously defeated Henrique da Silva on his UFC debut by, first round KO and currently has a MMA record of, one win and one loss (from 2004 against James Zikic); and a kickboxing record of, 83-12-1.

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As has been announced everywhere, i’m not fighting on the UFC 219 card. I wanted to announce this myself but i needed some time to recover mentally from this bad news. I got injured during a training and went to the hospital for this. My team and management took the decision with the medical team that i needed treatment and i have to think of my health first. I didn’t want to accept this but i’m glad i have the right people around me. It felt like i let my fans and supporters down, i was really looking forward to this fight. So the bad news was a bitter pil to swallow. But this is top sports and injuries are unfortunately a part of it. I’m recovering now and will be back in training soon. I want to thank my opponent Khalil for preparing for me and i wish him best of luck on December 30th. I want to thank all my fans/supporters for their great messages and i promise you 2018 i will give you KNOCK-OUTS! One knee, no knee, i will be there violently!!!! Sizlerin de bildiği üzere, UFC 219’da dövüşmeyeceğim. Her ne kadar bu kötü haberi sizlerle paylaşan ilk kişi olmak isteseydim de mental olarak toparlanmaya ihtiyacım vardı. Antrenman sırasında geçirdiğim sakatlık üzerine hastaneye gitmem gerekti. Ekibim, doktorların tedavi olmam gerektiği görüşünü dikkate alarak bu kararı aldı. Kabul etmek zor olsa da sağlığımı ilk planda tutmam gerekiyor. Bu dövüşü büyük bir heyecanla bekliyordum ve dövüşemeyecek olmak bana sevenlerimi yarı yolda bıraktığımı hissettirdi. Bunun üstesinden gelmek oldukça zordu. Ancak kabul etmek gerekiyor ki sakatlık da üst düzey sporların bir parçası. Şu anda tedavi sürecindeyim ve yakın zamanda antrenmanlara başlayacağım. Rakibim Khalil’e bu maça hazırlandığı için teşekkür ediyor ve kendisine 30 Aralık’taki mücadelesinde başarılar diliyorum. Ve siz tüm sevenlerime, destekçilerime değerli mesajlarınız için teşekkür ediyorum. 2018’de hepinize KNOCK-OUT sözüm var! Gerekirse bir dizimle ya da dizim olmadan, her şeyimle orada olacağım!!! #ufc219 #ufc #kickboxing #boxing #mma #comeback #recovery #2018 #gokhansaki #fighter #fans #smile #power #knockouts #tur #turkiye #usa #lasvegas #la #hollywood #rotterdam #schiedam #fitdutchies #fit #healthy #türkiye

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Saki’s statement via his Instagram read:

“As has been announced everywhere, i’m not fighting on the UFC 219 card. I wanted to announce this myself but i needed some time to recover mentally from this bad news. I got injured during a training and went to the hospital for this. My team and management took the decision with the medical team that i needed treatment and i have to think of my health first. I didn’t want to accept this but i’m glad i have the right people around me.”

It felt like i let my fans and supporters down, i was really looking forward to this fight. So the bad news was a bitter pil to swallow. But this is top sports and injuries are unfortunately a part of it. I’m recovering now and will be back in training soon. I want to thank my opponent Khalil for preparing for me and i wish him best of luck on December 30th. I want to thank all my fans/supporters for their great messages and i promise you 2018 i will give you KNOCK-OUTS! One knee, no knee, i will be there violently!!!!”

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Video: Rico Verhoeven vs. Jamal Ben Saddik | Kickboxingplanet Trailer for GLORY REDEMPTION

Rico Verhoeven will rematch Jamal Ben Saddik on December 9, 2017 at the Ahoy Rotterdam in the headline bout of GLORY: REDEMPTION. Saddik had previously stopped the GLORY heavyweight champion by second round TKO in 2011 and six years on, Verhoeven is now looking for redemption having dominated heavyweight kickboxing in recent years; And yesterday, Kickboxingplanet dropped their (unofficial) trailer!

Check out the video below.

The Kickboxingplanet trailer for GLORY: REDEMPTION follows on from their trailer last year for, GLORY Collision: Rico vs Badr, that went viral and had kickboxing fans around the world agreeing that they had outdone even GLORY Kickboxing‘s very own official trailer.

GLORY: REDEMPTION will be the promotion’s “13th live event of 2017” and will cap off what has been the most significant year so for the continuing development of both the sport and GLORY who, are clearly leading the way for, the resurgence of the sport around the world.

Full fight cards for GLORY: REDEMPTION, GLORY 49 Rotterdam and GLORY 49 SuperFight Series are as below.

GLORY: REDEMPTION
Heavyweight World Title Bout: Rico Verhoeven vs. Jamal Ben Saddik
Light Heavyweight Bout: Michael Duut vs. Danyo Ilunga
Heavyweight Bout: Anderson Silva vs. Xavier Vigney
Featherweight No. 1 Contender Bout: Petchpanomrung Kiatmookao vs. Zakaria Zouggary

GLORY 49 SuperFight Series
Middleweight World Title Bout: Alex Pereira vs. Yousri Belgaroui
Heavyweight Bout: Ismael Londt vs. D’Angelo Marshall
Welterweight Bout: Nieky Holzken vs. Alim Nabiyev
Welterweight Bout: Eyevan Danenberg vs. Jamie Bates
Featherweight Bout: Bailey Sugden vs. Chenglong Zhang

GLORY 49 Rotterdam
Lightweight Tournament Final Bout: Winner of Bout A vs. Winner of Bout B
Lightweight Bout: Christian Baya vs. Samo Petje
Welterweight Bout: Omar Moreno vs. Anying Wang
Lightweight Tournament Semifinal Bout B: Niclas Larsen vs. Tyjani Beztati
Lightweight Tournament Semifinal Bout A: Stoyan Koprivlenski vs. Maykol Yurk

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Full card announced for GLORY 47 Lyon, updates for featherweight contender tournament

GLORY Kickboxing announced updates today for GLORY 47 Lyon on October 28, 2017 including, the Featherweight Contender Tournament; with the inclusion of most probably the best pound-for-pound kickboxers for the last couple of years and Rajadamnern stadium champion, Fabio Pinca (102-25-3), up against another renown and seasoned veteran in, Anvar Boynazarov (79-20-2).

Azize Hliali vs. Abdellah Ezbiri will make up the other half of the contender tournament semi-finals on a stacked card co-headined by, the bitter feud that is unfolding between, former welterweight champion, Cédric Doumbé and Yohan Lidon.

Hliali (17-14-1) is one of the most exciting prospects at present and although “The Magician” is coming off a defeat to, Muay Thai Grand Prix champion, Charlie Peters at Phoenix 3 London, is confident of making a lasting impression and becoming ‘a legend’.

Below is the entire card and bout order for GLORY 47 Lyon: Artem Vakhitov vs. Ariel Machado that will follow straight after the, GLORY 47 SuperFight Series fight card on the night.

GLORY 47 Lyon – Fight card:

Light Heavyweight Title Headline Bout: Artem Vakhitov vs. Ariel Machado
Featherweight Tournament Final Bout: Winner of Bout A vs. Winner of Bout B
Welterweight Co-Headline Bout: Cédric Doumbé vs. Yohan Lidon
Featherweight Tournament Semifinal Bout B: Azize Hliali vs. Abdellah Ezbiri
Featherweight Tournament Semifinal Bout A: Fabio Pinca vs. Anvar Boynazarov

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Complete GLORY 47 SuperFight Series card announced: Florent Kaouachi vs. Abdarhmane Coulibaly to headline

The entire GLORY 47 SuperFight Series main card was announced earlier today and will be headlined by, Florent Kaouachi (11-0) vs. Abdarhmane Coulibaly (50-21), at the Palais des Sports de Gerland, Lyon on October 28, 2017.

Dylan Salvador vs. Massaro Glunder will co-headline the stacked SuperFight Series in Lyon which, marks a return to action for Glunder (30-10-4) who, last fought in France in the GLORY 42 Paris Lightweight Contender Tournament. Massaro had finished as runner-up to his fellow Mike’s Gym team mate, Christian Bayaand impressed the masses on his GLORY debut with an emphatic KO of, Niclas Larsen in the semi-finals. Whilst Salvador(49-13-1) last featured for GLORY in a one-sided defeat (by decision) to, Serhiy Adamchuck at GLORY 42.

Below is the entire card and bout order that will precede the full fight card (announced today) for the, GLORY 47 Lyon: Artem Vakhitov vs. Ariel Machado main fight card on the night.

GLORY 47 SuperFight Series – Fight card:

Light Heavyweight Headline Bout: Florent Kaouachi vs. Abdarhmane Coulibaly
Featherweight Bout: Dylan Salvador vs. Massaro Glunder
Super Bantamweight Contender Bout: Anissa Meksen vs. Funda Alkayiş
Middleweight Bout: Ahaggan Yassine vs. Maxim Vorovski
Welterweight Bout: Jimmy Vienot vs. Alim Nabiyev

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Gökhan Saki: “I will make them all fight on my terms”, defiant mood for UFC 219

Gökhan Saki was in defiant mood when speaking to, MMA Fighting’s Peter Carroll about his upcoming MMA bout against, Khalil Rountree at UFC 219 on December 30, 2017. The year end event will take place at the T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas and Saki is currently waiting for his US visa to be approved so that he can continue his training in Miami.

“The Rebel” is coming off a highlight reel KO of, Henrique da Silva in an exhilarating UFC debut that ended in success for Saki with only five seconds remaining of the first round. Another MMA striking war could be on the cards in what will be Saki’s third MMA fight in his illustrious career which, is full of epic kickboxing KOs; and capped-off by winning the GLORY light-heavyweight title in 2014 and the 2008 K-1 World Grand Prix in Hawaii.

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Speed kills. Super Saiyan Saki.

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Saki mocks MMA’s stereotypical mindset of dealing with elite strikers

“Khalil is a hard worker, I think. He’s a nice fighter, but with me, I’m sure he’s going to try and wrestle. I think a lot of wrestling coaches are going to thank me because they can make big money now. Everybody will want private wrestling lessons now because they don’t want to fight me standing up.”

“His standup is nice. If you don’t know anything about striking his fighting style looks sick, but I’ve fought everybody. In my eyes, he tries to strike – I am a striker.”

Verbal sparring and Saki’s MMA grappling on point

If Saki’s highlight reel KOs weren’t enough, his verbal pre-fight sparring certainly packs a punch, with the the K-1 legend making it very clear that he is heads and shoulders above Rountree in the striking department.

“It’s like I’m Ronaldo and he just plays football in the park with his friends.”

“My wrestling is getting sick. I’m really happy with my progress because I feel I understand the game. My jiu-jitsu is coming on very well too. My striking technique is even improving and I’ve been going in with some big guys,” he said.

“I will make him fight the way I want him to fight. This is my next step. I will make them all fight on my terms.”

“What you saw in Japan, my kickboxing was maybe 35 percent. I didn’t train much kickboxing ahead of the fight because I had to learn so many different things in such a short time. There was too much to do.”

“I’m going to show a different level. People don’t want to see everything in one day. I’m going to show them step-by-step who Saki is.”

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GLORY 46: Rico Verhoeven totally outclasses Antonio ‘Bigfoot’ Silva in China, video & results

Rico Verhoeven followed-up on his prediction of a second round stoppage win against Antonio ‘Bigfoot’ Silva, in the headline bout of, GLORY 46 SuperFight Series and totally outclassing the UFC veteran who, was saved from further punishment by the referee.

A couple of hooks by Silva connected sweetly early in the fight but wouldn’t result in a “puncher’s chance” of causing a huge upset on, GLORY’s promotional debut in China. Not once but twice Bigfoot Silva would find his was to the canvas from, Verhoeven’s technical prowess; with Bigfoot even clumsily taking down the GLORY champion to the canvas like something out of an old ‘Laurel & Hardy’ sketch.

Rico came closing to ending the fight in the first round but the Brazilian’s short-lived resilience kept him in the fight until the second but by then the “King of Kickboxing” was flying high on good form with devastating low kicks perfectly imbalancing Silva. The fight was finally waived off by the referee after a couple of spinning high kicks by Verhoeven, failed to connect with Silva’s head, saving the Brazilian from any further brain trauma on his professional kickboxing debut.

Overall, the night was a success for GLORY’s inaugural Chinese event which, was capped-off by a ‘viral’ first round KO by Hongxing Kong against, Yang Sun, in what was the promotion’s debuting Sanda bout (video below). However, better time keeping is needed going forward, to avoid the prolonged ending witnessed of, Jia Liu vs. Zaza Sor. Aree which, was bizarrely a No Contest from a head cut that didn’t seem to impair the female fighter’s vision or ability to continue.

Full results from the GLORY 46 SuperFight Series in China are as below.

GLORY 46 SUPERFIGHT SERIES RESULTS

Heavyweight Headline Bout:
Rico Verhoeven def. Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva by Rd2 TKO

Middleweight Bout:
Wei Zhou def. Andre Walker via unanimous decision

Catchweight (75 kg) Bout:
Alan Scheinson def. Shanghai Gao by majority decision

Professional Sanda (60 kg) Bout:
Hongxing Kong def. Yang Sun by Rd1 KO

Catchweight (53 kg) Bout:
Jia Liu vs. Zaza Sor. Aree declared No Contest due to accidental foul/injury (head cut)

Catchweight (68 kg) Bout:
Petchpanomrung Kiatmookao def. Lei Xie via unanimous decision

Lightweight Bout:
Pascal Schroth def. Qinghai Meng by split decision

Alistair Overeem vs. Rico Verhoeven allegedly in talks for two-fight deal

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.

“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.

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Photo credit: Featured images courtesy of Glory Sports International; photo(s) by James Law.

Jamal Ben Saddik intends to expose Rico Verhoeven in bitter rematch after battling cancer again

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.

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Video: Robin van Roosmalen’s GLORY contract has expired, wants new challenge in MMA not kickboxing

Robin van Roosmalen defended his GLORY Kickboxing title against Serhiy Adamchuk at GLORY 45 Amsterdam and addressed his future with GLORY; explaining why he’s now pretty much headed to new challenges in MMA instead of kickboxing. As well as his thoughts on how Amdamchuk didn’t really bring the fight to him, despite getting rocked in the fifth round by that cartwheel kick.

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