Kickboxing Heavyweight Champ Verhoeven Has Eyes On MMA; Feels He Can Beat The Top 10

Rico Verhoeven, the world’s top heavyweight kickboxer says he is serious about becoming a MMA fighter. The GLORY champion went a step ahead to claim he was more excited about training in MMA than kickboxing at the moment where he felt everything, like the grappling and submissions, was new. And learning new things is what excites him most especially with UFC and Bellator gaining more popularity while the Japanese were showing interest as well.

The 27 year old Dutchman debuted in MMA last October with a first round TKO against Viktor Bogutzki. He currently trains with UFC middleweight star Gegard Mousasi and has for the last four years been training in grappling, picking up a few tournaments on the way. Some experts believe he could be the best heavyweight MMA contender due to his youth and striking power.

Verhoeven is to defend his GLORY title on Saturday in Paris where he takes on Mladen Brestovac at GLORY 28 after which he could be tapping into UFC and Bellator. Sports management firm, Paradigm, who has on its list of clients the likes of Conor McGregor and Michael Bisping, will be handling his affairs.

The 6 foot 5 inch, 250 pound Dutchman claimed that there was not much more to learn in kickboxing, a sport he has been in since he was 6 years old. He owns a 47-10-1 pro kickboxing record but, in bringing out the businessman in him, Verhoeven said he would give up the sport for UFC if the money is good while Bellator would offer more flexibility since that wouldn’t restrict him to MMA.

Currently, the list of top MMA heavyweight fighters is aging, which is something that Verhoeven sees as an opportunity to make a good break into UFC. He said he would like to jump in and take on some of them to gain experience. The Dutchman was of the opinion that the level of striking in MMA was much lower than kickboxing. For now, he continues to train for both.




Author : Rory McGregor