GLORY 11: ‘Prince Rico’ wins The HW Tourney; Spong gets Revenge on Corbett, Full Results
GLORY 11: Chicago exploded on to Spike TV in its debut, a night of spectacular upsets and Knock Outs that won’t soon be forgotten. In one of the biggest shockers in Kickboxing history, Rico Verhoeven, ‘The Prince of Kickboxing’ won the 4-man, one night Heavyweight Title Tournament by upsetting Gokhan ‘The Rebel’ Saki in the opening round and then going on to defeat ‘The Savage Samurai’ Daniel Ghita in the finals. Both wins were by decision, but the 24-year old Verhoeven would not be denied, displaying heart and drive of a much more seasoned fighter. What makes this tournament win even more amazing than beating two of the top three heavyweights in the Glory World Series rankings, is that in the finals, Ghita was much fresher, having won his bout over Anderson ‘Braddock’ Silva with a first round KO. Rico was actually gaining momentum throughout the final fight and really poured it on at the end of the third round that had the audience screaming and cheering, on their feet as the two Titans blasted each other til the bell sounded. The Championship Belt and a check for $250,000 (USD) was presented to Verhoeven in the ring in front of a high energy crowd of great fans, there in Chicago.
Earlier this week, I interviewed Rico, and this quote was his parting words to me:
“There is a difference between interest and commitment. When you’re interested in doing something, you do it only when it’s convenient. When you are committed to do something you except no excuses, only results.”
There can be no denying that Verhoeven was committed to winning the GLORY 11 Tournament. Read the full interview here.
The man known as ‘The King of the Ring’ Tyrone Spong claimed his revenge on Nathan ‘Carnage’ Corbett in the Headliner bout of the evening. Pressing forward, Spong stifled Corbett and blasted him over and over with strikes. Then, early in the second round, Spong returned the favor and flattened Corbett with a big hook that ended the night. Corbett did make his way back to his feet, but the referee wouldn’t allow the fight to continue. It may have seemed like ‘Carnage’ was ready to go, but he did not raise his gloves up to the referee. The younger Spong that fought Corbett nearly four years ago was gone, he has grown into a man. Now, the Glory Light Heavyweight Champion has buried his past and looks to the future for more challenges to his domain.
In the Co-Headliner, Joseph ‘Bazooka Joe’ Valtelinni squared off against Karim Ghajji, a man with literally ten times more experience than he. A veteran of nearly 100 professional kickboxing bouts, Ghajji stood tall as one of the top 5 ranked Welterweights in the Glory World Series rankings. With GLORY 13: Tokyo looming in December, hosting the Welterweight tournament, this fight had huge implications on potential placement there. It was an amazing contest, both men wailing knees, punches, kicks and even spinning techniques on each other. Very close through the first two rounds, Valtelinni came forward and lit Ghajji up knocking him down and then after a nasty head kick that stunned him, the referee brought an end to the action with only seven seconds remaining. A TKO win for ‘Bazooka Joe’ and a possible spot in the Welterweight Slam later this year.
When I interviewed Joe last week, I asked him about this fight and Karim’s experience level, this is what he had to say:
“Karim is a very strong fighter with lots of experience. He is coming off an extra round loss to Nieky Holzken at Glory 6 Istanbul. I fought Murat Direkci that night so I was able to watch that fight live. I feel like his experience will not give him the advantage. The way I look at it, after 100 fights you become too comfortable in the ring, as well as a lot of wear and tear on the body. I also feel that I’m a more complete athlete and fighter. Regardless, we both like to push the pace and bring a lot of power, which will make an exciting fight for the fans.”
Read the interview in its entirety, here.
In the reserve bout for the Heavyweight Tournament, Errol ‘Bonecrusher’ Zimmerman faced Hedsy Gerges in an action-packed slug fest. Both of these men fought their hearts out for the fans in Chicago, and in the third round Zimmerman surged and knocked Gerges down three times with less than a minute to go for the TKO stoppage. Both men are a force to be reckoned with in the Heavyweight Division.
Here are the full results, the ‘Superfight Series’ bouts will be released by GLORY in two weeks for free. Click on the Bold Red names to read our exclusive interview with said fighter.
The Televised Main Card:
Rico Verhoeven def. Daniel Ghita via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Tyrone Spong def. Nathan Corbett via TKO at 1:10 of round 2
Joseph Valtellini def. Karim Ghajji via TKO at 2:53 of round 3
Errol Zimmerman def. Hesdy Gerges via TKO at :38 of round 3
Daniel Ghita def. Anderson Silva via TKO at 1:56 of round 1
Rico Verhoeven def. Gokhan Saki via majority decision (29-27, 29-28, 28-28)
GLORY Superfight Series
Sergei Kharitonov def. Daniel Sam via unanimous decision
Danyo Ilunga def. Michael Duut via knockout in round 1
Saulo Cavalari def. Filip Verlinden via unanimous decision
Steve Moxon def. Reece McAllister via knockout in round 3
Gabriel Varga def. Jose Palacios via unanimous decision
Photo Credit GLORY Sports International