Verhoeven Signs New GLORY Deal, World Title on Line vs. Hari
GLORY heavyweight champion Rico Verhoeven, one of the most popular figures in the sport, has signed a new, multi-year exclusive agreement with GLORY Kickboxing.
Verhoeven made his professional kickboxing debut in April 2005 and has gone on to become arguably the most decorated figure in the sport today, competing for promotions such as GLORY, K-1 and It’s Showtime.
“Rico Verhoeven is one of the most elite athletes in sports today,” GLORY CEO Marshall Zelaznik said. “His journey in GLORY has taken him from young hopeful to world champion and beyond. This new agreement ensures we continue on that journey together as we look to take the sport to even greater heights.”
Verhoeven made his GLORY debut at GLORY 4 on New Year’s Eve 2012 and won the GLORY heavyweight title at GLORY 17 in June 2014, having held the title since, setting GLORY records for successful title defenses (eight) and most consecutive wins in the promotion (17).
“From day one, my goal has been to take this sport to new levels,” Verhoeven said. “I’ve done that and I’m going to keep doing that. The work never stops — trust me, you’ve seen nothing yet.”
As part of the new agreement, and after much fan demand, the GLORY heavyweight championship will be on the line when Verhoeven meets Badr Hari in their rematch at GLORY: Collision 2 on December 21.
The two first met at GLORY: Collision in December 2016, with Verhoeven winning via second-round TKO after Hari suffered an arm injury.
Verhoeven will enter this fight on an 11-fight win streak (17-fight win streak in GLORY) with three consecutive successful defenses of his GLORY title against Jamal Ben Saddik, Mladen Brestovac and Guto Inocente. Outside his eight title defenses and first fight with Hari, Verhoeven’s winning ways in GLORY have also seen him defeat Peter Aerts, Anderson “Big Foot” Silva and Ismael Lazaar.
After suffering the arm injury against Verhoeven, Hari was not seen in a ring again until GLORY 51 in March 2018, when he took on Hesdy Gerges. Hari originally won the fight by unanimous decision, but the result was overturned to a No Contest and Hari was suspended following both fighters failed drug tests.