Denise Kielholtz Bellator Kickboxing
Denise Kielholtz - Photo by

Dutch kickboxer and four-time World Champion Denise Kielholtz will face Gloria Peritore in one of the year’s most hotly anticipated rematches for the inaugural Bellator Kickboxing Flyweight World Title at Bellator Kickboxing Florence.

“Miss Dynamite” will enter the Nelson Mandela Forum in Firenze, Italy in front of her opponent’s home fans and will attempt to silence the crowd as she seeks revenge over a controversial loss to Peritore in their previous encounter where the Italian earned a much talked about split decision that many people – including Kielholtz – feel should have went in the other direction.

“I have fought many times with the whole crowd against me so it’s nothing new for me and for me there’s no additional pressure. I think there’s more pressure on her but for me, it’s something normal,” said Kielholtz. “I’m used to that and it’s only me and Gloria in there, not the crowd so it’s just the two of us and five rounds. After the five rounds, I will be the winner.”

Going on to speak about their previous bout, the multiple time Enfusion winner seems more motivated than ever to right the perceived wrong handed down by the judges when scoring the fight in her opponents favour.

“I think I have trained now more than ever for any fight but the last time I fought her, I think I won so that’s a lesson for me. I think it makes me mentally stronger than before so this is going to be different and the rematch is in front of her home crowd and everything but I don’t care. It was my fight that evening and I know she also knows she didn’t win the last time so I forget the last fight and I don’t train like I lost. It’s going to be a different fight now and I’m prepared for everything so let her bring it on.”

The 27-year-old looks to add the new Bellator Kickboxing Flyweight title to her already lengthy list of honours, and despite all she has achieved in her career so far, Kielholtz is determined to not only win the belt but hold on to it for a long time.

“Well the Championship is very, very important to me because it’s the first Bellator Kickboxing World Championship ever so it gives me more inspiration. I’m very proud to fight for this title and excited to win this title and bring this title home to Amsterdam so I’m more excited than any other fight. I have four world titles but this is going to be a special one.

“After the fight, I want to be the first Bellator world champion. That belt’s going to be mine until I retire.”

Kielholtz has made no secret of her desire to breakthrough into MMA as well by combining her kickboxing and judo backgrounds. Despite losing her first MMA fight to Juliete de Souza Silva in October 2015, she is still not counting out the possibility of taking more MMA fights in the future.

“My backgrounds in Judo so I’m used to fighting on the ground as well but maybe an MMA fight in 2017, you never know so we are going to see. For now the first thing is the belt and the second thing is the belt stays mine and to defend it but MMA is something on my mind.”

When discussing what the future holds, the Bellator Flyweight rejected any notion that she may completely leave behind kickboxing in favour of chasing her MMA dream and that she always intends to return to kickboxing despite any forays into other disciplines.

“I’m definitely going back to Kickboxing so until I retire I don’t want to give this belt to anyone. Kickboxing is my number one especially when I have the belt so I want to do MMA simultaneously as I also love MMA and I have my Judo background so it’s nothing too new to me but I have a lot to learn so maybe an MMA fight in 2017 but the first thing is that belt and the second thing is that belt staying mine until I retire.”