A fantastic match was played by Rico Verhoeven and Jamal Ben Saddik, the leaders of the Glory Collision 3 event, after which the heavyweight champion's belt of the world's largest kickboxing organization remained with Verhoeven.
A great champion who went through difficult moments, but managed to get out of trouble, come back and turn the match around and defend the title for the jubilee tenth time. In addition, the 32-year-old Dutchman came away with his 15th win in a row and 22nd within 23 appearances in the Glory ring.
Truly a sensational result. The fight itself was sensational, one of the best we have been able to watch in recent years in the often more than exciting Glory ring. But this was another step above the last spectacles that this promotion brought.
Three and a half rounds of a real war in which they both gave absolutely their best. The action-packed first round was marked by both fighters with attacks and very good hit combinations, and the tensions could very well be confirmed by the fact that after the signal for the end of the round neither felt the need to go to their corner, but both wanted to continue.
The fact that three referees scored the first round for Rico and two for Jamal is just proof of what kind of clash we watched in the first three minutes. Jamal opens the second round more aggressively, and automatically he was better.
He hit some strong blows and after only twenty seconds there is a pause due to a large cut under Rico's left eye. The referee counted for him, but the champion continued the match without any problems, but very quickly he ended up on his knees and it was time for a new count.
Of course, once again Rico returned to the match. Jamal was trying to finish the job, he was shooting at the place where Verhoeven was bleeding, but the champion was moving well.
Middle of the fight
In the middle of the round, Rico's straights start to work better and it was obvious that it is starting to result in Jamal's slowdown.
Rico was wiped with blood once more by the end of the round, but the assessment was that he could continue the fight. Because of everything that was seen, 10: 8 belonged to this round of the challenger, who was thus in a great advantage.
Aside from the big advantage for Jamal, Rico’s left side of the face looked unrecognizable, but he quickly proved that the decision to allow him to continue was a good one. He started working better and hitting Ben Saddik who couldn’t hide his fatigue, especially as Rico was picking up the pace more and more.
As time went on, the challenger had less and less strength, but he was still openly looking for a shot that could end the fight. Although Rico was visibly tired, in the middle of the third round, this became a fight that suits him, one in which he dictates the pace and slowly does more and more damage.
That damage accumulated after just one minute of the fourth round. Rico used a series of blows to make the referee stop and count, and during the same Jamal showed that he no longer has the strength to continue the fight, that is, to correspond to what the fitness-ready champion was doing at that moment.
He did his best, but Rico is rightly in the position he has held for so long. Verhoeven can now look to new challenges, and the three names are somehow coming to the fore. It is first of all Alistair Overeem, with whom he was originally supposed to fight at this show, while the other two are Levi Rigters and Antonio Plazibat.