GLORY heavyweight champion Rico Verhoeven could also be on prime of the kickboxing world in the meanwhile, however he is aware of that when the large males are throwing punches and kicks, something can occur. So don’t anticipate him to be wanting too intently on the MMA dropping streak of his Saturday opponent, Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva.

“I take each fighter I battle critically as a result of each fighter has an opportunity, particularly within the heavyweight division,” stated the 28-yr-previous Dutchman. “One punch could be a knockout. For instance, let’s take the Alistair Overeem-Bigfoot struggle. Bigfoot will get outclassed for 2 rounds after which within the third spherical, Alistair will get fatigued, he will get a excessive kick and an uppercut and it’s over. That’s what the heavyweight recreation is, so you must keep targeted. You’ll be able to’t slack at any second as a result of you possibly can lose. Within the heavyweight division, you simply want one punch, one second, one second.”

These punches, moments and seconds haven’t affected Verhoeven too typically, particularly not in recent times. Winner of thirteen of his final 14 bouts, the Netherlands native has the names Badr Hari, Daniel Ghita, Peter Aerts, Sergei Kharitonov and Gokhan Saki already dotting his report, and when approached with a bout in Guangzhou, China towards a former UFC title challenger, he didn’t hesitate to signal on the dotted line.

“I used to be excited,” he stated. “I really like the preventing recreation and I like to battle new opponents. They introduced Bigfoot to me and I stated, ‘Why not, let’s do it.’ Everyone’s speaking about his dropping streak, and I wasn’t actually conscious of that. I simply know his fights and he all the time involves battle. He brings good fights, so I feel it’s gonna be struggle Saturday.”

Regardless of his current chilly streak in MMA, the 38-yr-previous Brazilian does all the time present as much as battle, and when somebody has a document that features victories over Overeem, Fedor Emelianenko, Travis Browne and Andrei Arlovski, he can’t be ignored. However, on the similar time, he might be getting into the world of professional kickboxing for the primary time and, as Verhoeven explains, it’s an entire new ballgame in GLORY.

“Putting in MMA is restricted in which you can’t throw true mixtures,” he stated. “It’s troublesome to throw full mixtures. In kickboxing, you possibly can throw mixtures of 4, 5, six, seven. In MMA, it’s extra single or double punches – a one, a one-two, perhaps a one-two-three, however that’s about it as a result of in case you throw a one-two-three-4, they’re going to take you down. At that second, your ft are planted to the bottom, and that’s what your opponent needs. So I feel that’s the important thing distinction.”

That might be dangerous information for the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt, or excellent news if Silva is pleased to not have to fret about wrestling or groundwork this weekend. Both method, he’s going to have an opponent in entrance of him who continues to be hungry and nonetheless motivated.

“So many good issues are occurring to me and so many doorways are opening since I turned champion and have been preventing extra in entrance of larger audiences,” Verhoeven stated. “I take pleasure in that and I simply need to deliver kickboxing to a brand new degree the place it hasn’t been. I feel in a couple of years, once I cease preventing, I need to be remembered as somebody who introduced kickboxing to an entire new degree and introduced a unique perspective to the sport. That’s what I’m working for and that’s what retains me motivated. And naturally, taking good care of my household.”

Does that imply there isn’t a technique in place for him to knock out a seasoned UFC veteran after which make that transfer to MMA, following the lead of his former opponent, Saki?

He laughs.

“I can truthfully say it’s not a technique to knock out Bigfoot and say, ‘Let’s leap into MMA now.’ I already did one skilled MMA struggle (in 2015) and it was enjoyable, I loved it, and who is aware of what the longer term holds. I’m the most effective in what I’m doing proper now, so it must be actually fascinating to get me to leap into MMA.”