Rico Verhoeven was in action this past weekend (Jan 30) in the headliner of GLORY 77, when he collected a pair of victories to win the four-man knockout tournament (video highlights here). While no title was on the line, the reigning heavyweight champion was still at risk to be beaten, which would jeopardize his reputation. Since the above is now history, let’s see what potentially waits for him next.
At the recent event Verhoeven was initially set to defend his belt against his old foe Jamal Ben Saddik. Eleven days before the showdown the latter was forced to withdraw due to a serious injury and their trilogy fight fell off.
While Ben Saddik is expected to be out of action for several months, he is still arguably the most desired opponent, that fans would want to see squaring off against Verhoeven. The bout, however, can take months to materialize, given he needs time to recover, get back to proper training and prepare.
Benjamin Adegbuyi is the one, who is likely to challenge Verhoeven next. In his previous bout last December he stopped Badr Hari in the third round to win world title eliminator.
In addition to claiming the belt, Adegbuyi will also have a chance to take the revenge, after being previously beaten by Verhoeven twice. This includes the first-round KO in December 2015, and a unanimous decision in June the same year.
The third fighter, who in fact, seems to make the most sense for Verhoeven himself is Andrey Gerasimchuk.
While Verhoeven stopped Ben Saddik and Adegbuyi in their most recent bouts, he dropped a unanimous decision against Gerasimchuk at the non-GLORY event in China early 2015. At that time he was already the reigning GLORY champion.
Gerasimchuk made his GLORY Kickboxing debut in December 2019 against Bruno Chaves. The fight ended in No Contest due to an accidental low blow in the first round. He reportedly hasn’t fought since.
While the above is just a thought, the official announcement is expected to be made by the promotion in the coming weeks. Fans are welcome to leave a comment below.