Badr Hari is more than simply a marketing genius when it comes to combat sports. He is a fighter’s fighter, a throw back to the new era of supposedly well mannered and manufactured for TV personalities. He is very much ‘old skool’ when it comes to his no-nonsense approach to fighting, provided the financial prize motivates him.
It’s easy to make comparisons to predators in the wild with how intense Hari was in the face-off with Rico Verhoeven earlier today, at the GLORY Collision weigh-ins in Oberhausen, Germany. It was clear for all to see that Badr is taking this fight very personally and that all the verbal and social media exchanges in the buildup were not for show. It has all been an escalating mental war between both fighters since this clash was officially announced during the summer.
However, what can we read into the body language and behaviour of both men today and how they acted/reacted when they finally faced off against each other, in front of the global mainstream media in attendance?
Gary Turner is a hypnotist, hypnotherapist, performance expert and former K-1 fighter and multiple world kickboxing champion, who, had actually fought and lost a close controversial decision to Badr Hari in 2004 gave his expert opinion on the state of mind of both fighters, having visually analysed both of their physical behaviours today.
“Badr’s mind also looks on point. The emotions he was displaying were perfect – acceptance for what was to come – and holding back the aggression. The open mouth shows he is relaxed in this situation, yet ready. For me it demonstrates he understands he has work to do and he’s ready to do it.”
A younger and less mature Badr Hari is well remembered for his post press conference brawl with K-1 veteran, Peter Graham, having lost his cool and swinging punches for the Australian’s head after that infamous press conference on the eve of their first matchup at, the K-1 World Grand Prix, 2006. So, there has been an inevitable improvement in how the “Golden Boy” reacts to intense moments over the last 16 years he’s been fighting it would seem.
However, what about the GLORY heavyweight champion who, isn’t defending his title on this occasion? What about the way in which he was responded to the obvious and extreme aggression and hostility from Badr, having being denied a previous opportunity for a face-of last month, at the previous press conference in Amsterdam?
“Rico had more front, that covered up what I detect as fear, and needing self-affirmations after the stare off. He came over as a lot more insecure.”
“On this, Badr is ready and Rico is lacking.”
“Everything changes in the ring of course.”
Very interesting stuff indeed from Gary Turner. Is Rico putting on a front?
In his interview last week, Verhoeven sounded very determined and headstrong but are feint cracks starting to appear in his emotional and mental make-up, now that the biggest fight in world kickboxing history is upon us tomorrow?