In the realm of combat sports, the title of champion brings with it much prosperity and fame but really, to a fighter, it brings a feeling of accomplishment, a fulfillment of the warrior spirit and the validated claim that they are indeed the best in the world. Glory heavyweight champion Rico Verhoeven (43-7-1) has bested some of the greatest heavyweight kickboxers or our time throughout his last five fights on the road to the title, two of them in the same night. Romanian fighting icon Daniel Ghita (50-10-0), the man Verhoeven defeated in the heavyweight tournament final at Glory 11: Chicago to secure the title, happens be the next man to challenge him for the heavyweight title in an anticipated rematch set to headline the Pay-Per-View portion of Glory 17: Los Angeles. Aside from just a few names like Badr Hari, Alistair Overeem, Mirko Cro Cop and Remy Bonjasky, the Dutch Prince of Kickboxing has fought every top ranked heavyweight of the past six years, including retired former champ Semmy Schilt. The experience the young fighter has accumulated at such a ripe age is an impressive feat to the say the least and a preview of what is in store for the youngest heavyweight kickboxing champion in decades. Rico's dedication to fighting is so deep, he took his layoff time from his December showdown with Peter Aerts at Glory 13: Tokyo and made a pro boxing debut, scoring a 2nd round knockout. The champ actually has no immediate plans of pursuing a career in professional boxing but wanted to stay sharp and ready for whatever was to come next. Ghita on the other hand, is very determined to prove he is number one and in a sport where everyone beats everyone, that makes a man of his skill dangerous. The kickboxing prodigy gave us at Buddhasport more than enough of his time to provide us with a bit of a glimpse into his mentality as he enters his prime and the big rematch with Ghita. In addition, he responds to other fighters claims that he does not fight to finish, comments on Badr Hari not being on the Glory roster and why Glory needs to come to The Netherlands. Dave Herbert: First off, how has life as a Glory champion been? Rico Verhoeven: Life is treating me great as the Glory champion. For me, it's still like I'm in a movie. I have been dreaming of becoming a champion since I was around eight years old when I saw Peter Aerts become the champion in Japan way back. All the people that were excited, screaming his name and giving him respect. From that moment on, I told myself this is what I want and sixteen years later I'm standing in the same position as him and it is amazing. DH: Are you happy to be facing Ghita again? Were you half-expecting him to be your next opponent? Rico: It could have been any one from Cro Cop to Zimmerman or Gerges but it ended up being Ghita. I kind of had a feeling it would be him. Gerges, Zimmerman and Ghita all lost to me and all of them desire a rematch. Daniel was fortunate enough to get it. Personally, I didn't care which one of the three it was because I'm ready and focused on keeping this winning streak alive in 2014. And I plan to keep my name in the mouths of fans everywhere. Everyone will know me as champion! DH: With the Glory heavyweight title on the line, Ghita will be more determined than ever to get the victory. Are you expecting more pressure and aggression from Ghita this time around? Rico: He can be as determined and aggressive as he wants. He can be apply as much pressure as wants. It won't be enough! He isn't the sportsman and athlete I am so whatever he does, it will never be enough. DH: Some of your opponents, Ghita included, have said before that you are not a knockout guy or you don't have a killer instinct because many of your fights end in decision. What is your response to this? Rico: That doesn't bother me because they don't have an answer to my fighting style and I win my fights. That is what is most important to me. I'm only 25 years old and I have beaten the best in the world. I'm the youngest champion in 20 years. They can't take that away from me no matter what they say. DH: Alot of the smaller heavyweights are dropping down to LHW to compete, leaving a very small hole in the Glory HW division. What are your thoughts on Badr Hari remaining with K-1? Are there any other HW's that Glory should sign to deepen the division even further? Rico: Yes, the guys like Saki and Spong that are dropping to light-heavyweight are not natural heavyweight fighters and I think that LHW is a better division for them. As far as what Badr Hari does, I don't really care. Glory has the strongest HW division in the kickboxing game so to compete with the best he should come over to Glory. However, I don't think it would be a smart move because of his image. The heavyweight fighters that are not in Glory are probably not interesting enough or else Glory would have already signed them. DH: What did you think of Raymond Daniels' highlight reel kick at Glory 16? Have you ever thought about going for crazy kick knockouts like that? Rico: It was amazing! He is a great guy and has craziest kicks! It would be cool to win with a kick like that but I don't think it is my thing. I'm too big and heavy to try that stuff in the ring. DH: There have been rumors swirling for a while now that Glory will be going to the Netherlands soon. If this is true, do you expect to be headlining the card? Rico: I hope these rumors are true because The Netherlands have a lot of kickboxing fans and it's been a few years since there has been a big kickboxing show like Glory there. Of course, when Glory hits The Netherlands, I hope to headline the event but no news on that from my side at the moment.