Photo: James Law/GLORY Sports International

Rico Verhoeven (51-10) proved once again why he’s called “The King of Kickboxing.”

In the GLORY 41 Superfight Series headliner on Saturday night, which was a five-round, non-title fight, Verhoeven absolutely dominated Ismael Lazaar (30-3-2) en route to a unanimous decision victory inside Brabanthallen Exhibition Centre in Den Bosch, Netherlands.

Four judges scored the contest 50-45, and the fifth judge scored it 49-46, all in favor of the GLORY heavyweight champion.

The champion was never in trouble during the fight and did pretty much whatever he wanted to. He out landed Lazaar, the former Superkombat champion, by a margin of 208-84 in total strikes. Verhoeven did what he does best and landed multi-strike combinations, kicks to the body and one of his staples: the low kick to the rear leg.

“Please don’t ask me how to rate it because for me–I hope the audience thought it was ok–but for me it was definitely a five or something,” Verhoeven told Whitney Miller after the bout, downplaying his performance. “I definitely let him pull me too much towards his game. But, for him to do that, a lot of props. Respect.”

Lazaar proved to be a tough and game opponent throughout the 15-minute bout. The Moroccan brawler landed his best punch at the end of the first round when he connected cleanly on a right hand, which knocked out Verhoeven’s mouthpiece. Lazaar landed a few solid punches in the final two rounds, but it was a lopsided victory for Verhoeven, who has now won 13 straight fights in GLORY to improve his record inside the promotion to 14-1.

When asked what may be next, Verhoeven replied, “I’m not sure. A lot of things are coming up. I’m moving. My wife is pregnant. So theres so many cool things happening. So many positive things and I just had a great win over Ismael Lazaar.”

Robin van Roosmalen (38-7) won the featherweight title for a second time after defeating Petchpanomrung Kiatmookao (156-36-2) by majority decision. The five scores were as follows: 50-44, 47-47, 49-45, 49-45, 48-46.

It was a closely-contested bout between the two featherweights–Dutch kickboxing vs. Muay Thai–and not an easy one to score, but it was van Roosmalen, who would convince the judges he did enough to earn the victory. Kiatmookao was throwing and landing a bevy of left round kicks to the arms and body of van Roosmalen throughout the contest, while the Dutch veteran was having success with his boxing.

“Do you see any spots? I don’t,” van Roosmalen told Whitney Miller when asked about the kicks he absorbed from Kiatmookao. However, the newly-crown champion was indeed marked up on the entire right side of his body from eating those kicks.

Kiatmookao was docked a point in the third round by referee Paul Nichols for holding, although it didn’t appear warranted. But it was definitely a factor in the outcome of the fight.

Van Roosmalen, who was stripped of his title prior to GLORY 37 for missing weight back in January, improves his record in GLORY to 14-3 overall. He remains undefeated since dropping down to featherweight.

“I feel happy,” he said. “I feel like I never lost the belt. So I’m happy it’s back. I wanted to have a better performance in my home town, but I won the belt so I’m happy.”

In his first GLORY defeat, Kiatmookao, who is now ranked No.3 in the featherweight division, falls to 3-1 inside the promotion.

Murthel Groenhart (65-22-3) and Alan Scheinson (48-5) almost came to blows at the weigh-ins on Friday and when they got to settle their differences in the ring, they didn’t disappoint. Both welterweights came out swinging aggressively in the first round, but Groenhart poured it on with a big flurry in the closing seconds to swing the momentum in his favor. “The Predator” nearly put Scheinson on the deck with a high kick in the second, but the Argentinian didn’t go down. He did break his fall with his glove, but referee Tobias Gerold did not rule it a knockdown.

Scheinson did have some success with his leg kicks, but Groenhart was landing the more significant strikes. He connected with several big punches in another flurry at the closing of the second, and after three rounds, earned a split decision victory. Groenhart earned three 30-27 scores and a 29-28 from the judges, while Scheinson earned one 29-28 score.

Referee Paul Nichols was not in the mood for any excessive clinching on Saturday night. He docked two points from Michael Duut (40-7) in the second round for holding, which resulted in a disqualification victory for Mourad Bouzidi (80-22-2). Duut was also docked a point in the first round for a head butt. Three point deductions in one fight results in a disqualification under GLORY rules. The fight was sloppy, but very competitive. Bouzidi opened up a cut on the forehead of Duut early on in the first with an inadvertent elbow while throwing a punch. After that, there were many clinches and warnings issued to Bouzidi by Nichols before he finally saw enough. The official time of the stoppage came at 2:18 of round two.

In lightweight action, it was a barn burner between Youssef Assouik (40-5) and Tyjani Beztati (13-1), who each scored a knockdown in a wild back-and-forth first round. In the second, Beztati landed a short right hand to drop Assouik for a second time. Beztati, the up-and-coming Moroccan prospect would go on to win the bout by unanimous decision. All five judges scored the bout 30-26 in favor of Beztati.

A highly-competitive featherweight bout between Zakaria Zouggary (29-3-1) and Yetkin Oskul (69-1) opened the card. Zouggary defeated Oskul by unanimous decision. All five judges scored the bout 30-27.

GLORY Notes: 

  • GLORY introduced open scoring for the very first time at GLORY 41 and the GLORY 41 Superfight Series on Saturday. The scores were shown on screen after each round.
  • Referee Paul Nichols docked a total of four points over two different fights.
  • GLORY 41 took place earlier in the day ahead of the GLORY 41 Superfight Series.