A new challenger for GLORY heavyweight champion Rico Verhoeven, has officially emerged.
Jamal Ben Saddik, the No.4-ranked contender in the division, stated his claim by calling out the champion after his unanimous decision victory over Guto Inocente at GLORY 39 on Saturday in Brussels, Belgium.
“I want Rico man. I waited too long for this,” Saddik told Whitney Miller during his post-fight interview. Verhoeven, who was a guest commentator alongside Todd Grisham and “Bazooka Joe’ Valtellini and very critical of Saddik’s performance, made his way into the ring once Saddik asked, “Where is Rico?”
The two immediately squared off in the center of the ring and began trash talking in Dutch for several seconds before Miller asked Verhoeven about Saddik as the next challenger for the heavyweight title.
“For me this isn’t even a challenge,” said Verhoeven, who has now defended his GLORY title five consecutive times. “People saw this fight. How boring was this fight? I almost fell asleep,” he continued, panning the co-main event between Saddik and Inocente, which was rather uneventful.
“The Goliath” made sure to mention his previous TKO victory over Verhoeven that took place in the It’s Showtime promotion back in 2011. “F*ck him,” he said. “I beat him once. He’s nothing.”
— GLORY Kickboxing (@GLORY_WS) March 25, 2017
Verhoeven laughed at Saddik and asked: “So what was the problem tonight then? You couldn’t even knock him out and he was standing in the corner standing all night. So where you? What were you doing? Were you scared of him?”
There really isn’t a true challenger or threat to Verhoeven in the heavyweight division right now. Badr Hari is tied up in legal troubles once again, the No.1-ranked contender, Benjamin Adegbuyi, has already lost two title fights against Verhoeven and Ismael Londt is apparently on the mend from an injury. Though no word has officially come out of his camp. So with really no other options on the table, Saddik ceased the opportunity to make this fight happen for himself. The Belgian-Moroccan veteran is one of the bigger heavyweights in the division and has great knockout power, but It’s highly unlikely Saddik will present much of a challenge for Verhoeven. But, you never know what can happen come fight night.
And the champion, who last fought back in December at GLORY: COLLISION, said he is down to fight Saddik.
“This is so exciting,” Verhoeven said to Miller. “This is what kickboxing is about, man. We are making the fights. Let’s make it happen. I’m ready for this guy. I”m ready for any guy, but If he wants it. let’s do it.”