GLORY announced today that Rico Verhoeven won the ‘2021 Fighter of the Year’ award. The King of Kickboxing was once again supreme at the 2021 four-man heavyweight tournament in January, where he defeated Hesdy Gerges and Tarik Khbabez consecutively, and managed to convincingly defend his title last October. The spectacular fight, in which Verhoeven won on technical knockout from Jamal Ben Saddik in a swarming GelreDome, is honored with the title fight of the year.
Rico Verhoeven responds, “I love that people are excited about this fight, but I also want to feel good about it. It’s really hard to be satisfied with myself because Dennis (Editor’s note: Dennis Krauweel, Verhoeven’s trainer) and I look at all the small details.
It was amazing to hear that everybody was blown away. Like: “How did you fight with one eye? And the blood all over the place” so yeah, the fight was something different.
I can agree that the fight was named Fight of The Year. After watching that fight a thousand times, I can better understand what people witnessed and why they think “This was the fight of the year! It was crazy!”. Because it really looks like a Rocky Balboa fight. At that moment, when you see the cut and the blood all over the place and me going down, all the odds were against me. The odds were in favour of Jamal. That’s the fight game.”