Rico Verhoeven Ends Trilogy with Jamal Ben Saddik, Defends Title at Glory ‘Collision 3’
# CONFLICT3 pic.twitter.com/Kuh4Y4J0r3
– GLORY Kickboxing (@GLORY_WS)
October 23, 2021
Rico Verhoeven reminded everyone why he has the nickname “King of Kickboxing”.
The headliner included a heavyweight bout between defending champion Rico Verhoeven (59-10) and former two-time rival Jamal Ben Saddik (35-8). The challenger was supposed to be martial arts legend Alistair Overem, but an injury forced “The Demolition Man” to leave the fight. Verhoeven moved around his opponent for most of the time in the first round, studying his reactions, before Ben Sadiq nearly knocked him down just before the end of the turn. Ben Saddik pressed the accelerator early in the 2nd lap, throwing Verheoven and opening a cut under his right eye.
Verhoeven struggled with adversity and made some adjustments after the second turn as his eye was constantly swollen. In the 3rd round, the Dutchman retaliated with many knees, showed better movement on the legs than his opponent and fired clearer shots. Ben Saddik was severely punished and looked like he was almost on his feet, paying tolls for his previous endurance raid. The momentum that was on Verhoeven’s side and with Ben Sadik without energy, Verhoeven managed strong punches until his opponent almost crossed the ropes. The referee counted Ben Saddik, pausing in official time at 54 seconds in Round 4. In addition to defending the league, Verhoeven ended the trilogy with Ben Saddik on his own terms.
At the co-main event, Ultimate Fighting Championship veterinarian and kickboxing veterinarian Gokhan Saki (101-14) returned to kickboxing six years after his last fight as he closed the horns with “The Ultimate Fighter Season 10” graduate James McSweeney (46-5) in the heavyweight division. The Englishman started strong and seemed to knock down Sakis early in the match with a header. However, the referee did not consider the shot an official knockdown. The Turk then tried to cut off McSweeney’s legs and broke his nose with his legendary combinations. Saki continued to aim for McSweeney’s legs in Round 2 until his opponent collapsed on the canvas and did not recount. The referee stopped the match after 2 minutes, 13 seconds in the 2nd round, rewarding “The Rebel” with a TKO victory.
During the event, the promotion once announced 170-pound Glory King Joseph “Bazooka Joe” Valtellini as the first to be inducted into his Hall of Fame.
Not elsewhere. 1 welterweight champion Mohamed Mezouari “Hamicha” (42-2) knocked down Samo Dbili (10-5) three times in the opening frame thanks to vicious punches to the liver, forcing the end of the fight to 2:27 in the first round due to the maximum knockdown times allowed by Glory rules in a round. Prior to that, One Championship vet Sergej Maslobojev (33-5) did well enough to overtake Suriname-Dutch fighter Donegi Abena (15-8) on the scoresheet thanks to a split decision in the light heavyweight. Antonio Plazibat (20-4) scored an impressive upset after knocking out kickboxing vet Benjamin Adegbuyi (35-7) with a series of anvil-heavy punches 24 seconds before Round 2.
The main card opened with a TKO landed by “The Dream Crusher” Michael Duut (44-13-1) against John King (14-7-1), stops his opponent with a knee at 1:07 of the second frame.
The match that appeared on the preliminary card saw former World Council holder Muaythai Alim Nabiev (52-8) overthrow Troy Jones (14-3) by unanimous decision after a tough welterweight bout. Previously, two-time Tatneft Cup winner Aleksei Ulianov (30-7-1) avenged a previous defeat by former Glory Divisional king Serhii Adamchuk (40-13) after defeating his opponent through a fatal decision in their battle at featherweight. Serkan Ozcaglayan (41-6) made an impressive promotional debut after breaking the no. 4 ranked Matt Baker (24-8) 0:58 seconds in the middleweight case.
In the first match of the tournament, 27-year-old Stoyan Koprivlenski (14-5) beat Bruno Gazani (67-7-1) slightly, on the way to a unanimous decision where all the judges scored 30-27 in favor of “The Sniper Free.”