Rico Verhoeven, GLORY 46 China
Rico Verhoeven - Image: GLORY Sports Intl

GLORY heavyweight champion Rico Verhoeven will lead the age of expansion, as GLORY Kickboxing make their East Asian debut from Guangzhou, China on Saturday, October 14.

Champions Verhoeven and Simon Marcus head up the introduction of GLORY’s newest market in a high stakes card which serves as a pivotal precursor to the end of year ‘Redemption’ pay-per-view on December 9.

The GLORY 46 card precedes the SuperFight Series on this occasion, which will be available on UFC Fight Pass. British GLORY fans will be able to purchase the GLORY 46 portion of the event, which features middleweight champion Marcus against Alex Periera, on iPPV.

Headlining the GLORY 46 SuperFight Series, Verhoeven faces former UFC and Strikeforce competitor, Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva, who has no prior kickboxing experience.

Verhoeven, 28, goes in search of his 15th win under the GLORY Kickboxing banner to tie featherweight champion Robin van Roosmalen for the most victories in promotional history.

The odds are strongly in Verhoeven’s favour but he must leave GLORY 46 China unscathed 

Silva, 10 years Verhoeven’s elder, was released from the UFC last October after failing to notch a win in five attempts. Bar one of those fights, the Brazilian was knocked out on every occasion. With his MMA career now over, “Bigfoot” jumps to the GLORY ring to face the sport’s most admired star.

But what happens when one of the world’s best kickboxers, still in his prime, faces an audaciously average, over-the-hill heavyweight with an utterly expired chin? “Bigfoot” may be an icon of days gone by, but he brings a seriously underwhelming threat in a sport he realistically, has no business being in. 

‘The King of Kickboxing’ isn’t buying into the one-sided negativity though, as he explained during an appearance at GLORY 45 in Amsterdam.

“GLORY puts up opponents for me and I’m happy with everybody and anybody,” Verhoeven told MMA Plus. “The thing is, everybody wants to try to feel it. But when they’re in the ring, when they’re in front of me, they say ‘Hey, this is a different ball game.’

Despite the fight being ill-received, it’s unlikely GLORY would thwart their own business if they didn’t expect Verhoeven to come through unscathed. With just two months until Verhoeven defends his title against Anderson “Braddock” Silva at ‘Redemption’, however, the champion cannot afford being injured. 

The brass may find solace, although, in the fact that bookies have “Bigfoot” as an unbelievable +1050 underdog and whilst it’s not quite Leicester City at +5000, it’s still an insanely unfathomable risk for even the chanciest of sports betters.

Meanwhile, on the GLORY 46 portion of the event, Simon Marcus defends his middleweight championship against Brazilian, Alex Pereira.

The winner of the fight will face Yousri Belgaroui at ‘Redemption’ after the Amsterdam native earned his spot in line with a first-round stoppage win over former champion Jason Wilnis last month.

Belgaroui has been very vocal in his fistic courting of two-time champion Marcus and that’s certainly the better option for December 9, should the Canadian successfully defend his crown against No.3 ranked Pereira.

GLORY 46 China SuperFight Series

Heavyweight Headline Bout: Rico Verhoeven vs. Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva
Middleweight Bout: Wei Zhou vs. Andre Walker
Catchweight (75 kg) Co-Headline Bout: Shanghai Gao vs. Alan Scheinson
Professional Sanda (60 kg) Bout: Hongxing Kong vs. Yang Sun
Catchweight (53 kg) Bout:  Jia Liu vs. Zaza Sor. Aree
Catchweight (68 kg) Bout: Lei Xie vs. Petchpanomrung Kiatmookao
Lightweight Bout: Qinghao Meng vs. Pascal Schroth

GLORY 46 China

Middleweight Title Headline Bout: Simon Marcus vs. Alex Pereira
Featherweight Tournament Final Bout: Winner of Bout A vs. Winner of Bout B
Heavyweight Co-Headline Bout: Quanchao Luo vs. Junior Tafa
Featherweight Tournament Semifinal Bout B: Chenglong Zhang vs. Quade Taranaki
Featherweight Tournament Semifinal Bout A: Chenchen Li vs. Masaya Kubo