Rico rocks ‘Bigfoot’ for second-round stoppage at GLORY 46
An MMA veteran with numerous battle honors to his name, Silva surprised a lot of people when he announced some months ago that he would be crossing over into kickboxing at this late stage of his career, for a fight with GLORY heavyweight champion Rico Verhoeven.
The fight was booked as a centerpiece for GLORY’s debut in China. It was preceded by a lot of speculation as to how Silva would acquit himself fighting under new rules against an opponent of Verhoeven’s caliber.
For many fans the result was a foregone conclusion and yet as Verhoeven and Silva both pointed out in fight week, in a heavyweight fight one punch can end things there and then. Silva has stoppage wins over the likes of Alistair Overeem and Fedor Emelianenko and his power is unquestionable.
Verhoeven took him very seriously, and with good reason. Silva is a giant of a man and entered the ring weighing north of 285lbs. That’s a lot of weight behind those massive hands – any lapse in concentration could create an opening for one of them to crash through and cause havoc.
And so ‘The King of Kickboxing’ went to work in his usual technical fashion, peppering Silva with shots and testing his reactions. Once he had his measure, he started hammering full-power leg kicks into the Brazilian, attacking the inside and outside of both legs as is his fashion.
Silva quickly discovered he was facing one of the heaviest leg kickers in fight sports. Verhoeven’s trademark inside kick to the rear leg quickly had Silva off his feet and he winced visibly every time further kicks landed there.
As Verhoeven had predicted, the fight made it to the second round. But that’s where it would end. Taking heavy damage to his legs, Silva lunged into a blow which actually appeared to stagger Verhoeven a little. At that point Verhoeven just clicked up several gears: he turned Silva into a corner and fired off a head kick which put the Brazilian down.
Incredibly, Silva beat the count and re-entered the fight. But the end was inevitable. Verhoeven added more damage to his legs and forced him across the ring into an opposite corner, where he flowed into a full power combination of kicks and punches. Silva ate some clean shots and was clearly about to knocked out, prompting the referee to jump in and wave the fight off.
Verhoeven now turns his attention to Rotterdam on December 9, where he will meet Jamal Ben Saddik in a fight for the heavyweight title at GLORY REDEMPTION.
Ben Saddik has a stoppage win over Verhoeven from YEAR and Verhoeven intends to settle the score and retain his belt in the process. Ben Saddik, in contrast, sees himself entering the new year as the new champion. We will see.
Backstage after the fight, Silva said that he had enjoyed himself in both the training camp and the fight and that he hopes to fight more under GLORY rules, only next time against an opponent ranked at a level more befitting his newcomer status to the sport.