Photo: GLORY Sports International

Rico Verhoeven, the GLORY heavyweight champion, is close to signing a new multi-fight contract that would see him fighting for the kickboxing promotion through 2018.

“Officially we haven’t signed yet, but it’s like the final things need to be discussed,” Verhoeven revealed to MMA Plus. “We need to finalize some stuff, but in the end I’m going to sign very soon.”

According to Verhoeven (50-10), who is fighting Ismael Lazaar in the GLORY 41 Superfight Series headliner on May 20, the deal will be through December of 2018.

Verhoeven, 28, began fighting for GLORY in 2012, and won the GLORY heavyweight title at GLORY: Last Man Standing in 2014 after defeating Daniel Ghita by unanimous decision at The Forum in Los Angeles, Calif. Since then the champion has defended his title five straight times and won seven out of eight fights overall to improve his record to 13-1 inside the promotion. His lone loss was outside of GLORY when he dropped a unanimous decision to Andrey Gerasimchk at Kunlun 15 in Nanjing, China.

When asked how many fights the contract would be, Verhoeven said, “multiple fights, but those are things that need to be discussed. I hope [I will be fighting] as much as possible, so maybe five or six.”

When reached for comment, GLORY CEO Jon J. Franklin didn’t get into specifics of the deal, but had this to say about Verhoeven:

“Rico is our heavyweight champion and a solid ambassador for the GLORY brand,” said Franklin via text message. “It would be our goal to have him fight for GLORY into the foreseeable future.”