GLORY 77 will be headlined by an exclusive 4-man heavyweight tournament featuring GLORY champion Rico Verhoeven, Hesdy Gerges, Levi Rigters and Tarik Khbabez. The winner will be crowned GLORY heavyweight world tournament champion. The last-minute change follows Jamal Ben Saddik’s back injury this week, forcing him to pull out of the heavyweight title fight against GLORY champion Rico Verhoeven.
GLORY reveals the updated GLORY 77 fight card below:
Winner Semi-Final A vs. Winner Semi-Final B
Heavyweight World Tournament Champion Final
Artem Vakhitov (RUS) (C) vs. Alex Pereira (BRA) (iC)
Undisputed Light Heavyweight Championship Bout (209 lbs / 95 kg)
Cédric Doumbé (FRA) (C) vs. Murthel Groenhart (NED) (iC)
Undisputed Welterweight Championship Bout (170 lbs / 77 kg)
Levi Rigters (NED) vs. Tarik Khbabez (MOR)
Heavyweight World Tournament Champion, Semi Final B
Rico Verhoeven (NED) (C) vs. Hesdy Gerges (NED)
Heavyweight World Tournament Champion, Semi Final A
Tiffany Van Soest (USA) (C) vs. Aline Pereira (BRA)
Super Bantamweight Championship Bout (122 lbs / 55,3 kg)
Luis Tavares (NED) vs Donegi Abena (SUR)
Light Heavyweight Bout (209 lbs / 95 kg)
Itay Gershon (ISR) vs Guerric Billet (FRA)
Lightweight Bout (154 lbs / 70 kg)
Martin Pacas (SLO) vs Muhammed Balli (MOR)
The preliminary card begins at 1 pm ET / 19:00 CET. The main card starts at 2 pm ET / 20:00 CET.
GLORY heavyweight champion since 2013, Rico Verhoeven (56-10-0, 17 KO, The Netherlands) will face Hesdy Gerges (51-19-1, 8 KO, The Netherlands) in the first semi-final of the tournament. The two fighters have a long history together: Verhoeven defeated Gerges twice by decision in 2011 and 2012 and Gerges has made numerous public statements about his personal feelings towards Verhoeven. “I don’t like him at all, he irritates me very much. When he talks about me, I want to punch him” said Gerges in a past interview. Their last verbal mishap took place at the Collision 2 post-event conference when Gerges interrupted and challenged Verhoeven during his interview with the media. Gerges will have one last chance to take on ‘The King of Kickboxing’ on January 30.
One of the most promising kickboxing talents, Levi Rigters (11-0-0, 5 KO, The Netherlands) made an impressive GLORY debut winning the 4-man heavyweight tournament at GLORY 76. Still undefeated as a professional fighter, Rigters has won all four tournaments he participated in and is considered by many as a true tournament specialist. “I have been working so hard with my trainer over the past ten years to get to this moment. Now we are here, and I get the opportunity to show the world why I deserve to fight against the best” said Rigters.
GLORY newcomer Tarik Khbabez (46-6-1, 26 KO, Morocco) completes the heavyweight tournament lineup. Initially scheduled to make his GLORY debut against Antonio Plazibat at GLORY 77, his fight was cancelled after Plazibat sustained an injury during his camp. Khbabez will now square off with Rigters in the second semi-final of the tournament. Khbabez started his kickboxing career in 2013. His career highlights include wins against Anderson Silva, Ibrahim El Bouni and Andrei Stoica.