Interview with Rico Verhoeven

Discussion in 'Muay Thai and Kickboxing' started by CHAREL, May 11, 2014.

  1. CHAREL

    CHAREL White Belt

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    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.
     
  2. CHAREL

    CHAREL White Belt

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    DH: You have fought in New York, Chicago and now you'll be fighting in LA. Is there somewhere in the US that you have not fought but would like to?

    Rico: I have been to a lot of beautiful places, met lots of fans and their cultures. But my bucket list is complete when Glory goes to Las Vegas (MGM Grand) and maybe back to New York. I already fought there but it was at Hammerstein's Ballroom. I want to fight in the legendary Madison Square Garden.

    DH: On another note, Saki was reported to have said that he would go as far as taking legal action for your decision win over him at Glory 11. What are your thoughts on this?

    Rico: That's crazy, for everyone who saw the fight, even without the eight count he would have lost the fight. I told him right after the fight that the eight count was not right but I won and for me that is/was most important and had to keep my focus for the second fight. I'm still convinced I won and that he is a bad loser. If he wants a rematch, it's no problem for me. Let Glory arrange it and we will see what happens. The excuse that he started fighting different when he got the eight count is not professional because I was in the same shoes as him while fighting Zimmerman and he was in the same shoes as me fighting Ghita in Turkey. My conclusion: not professional.

    DH: Who do you want to fight most? Do you have a dream fight?

    Rico: I fought my dream fight already and that was against Peter Aerts, who is my idol.

    DH: If you could avenge any one of your defeats, which would it be? Are there times where you wish Semmy didn't retire so you could do the rematch?

    Rico: I lost some of my fights and that always hurts but I ended up with both feet on the ground and it helped me get my focus back. I started looking for the reasons why I lost that specific fight and searching for an answer, striving to get better. Semmy is a real sportsman and he was a true champion. It was an honor to fight him. I'm the champion now so I don't think about rematching any of the guys I lost to. I only think about the lessons they taught me and the next opponent.

    DH: You recently made your pro boxing debut and won by knockout. What made you decide to try boxing and do you plan to pursue it further? If yes, how far do you see yourself going with it?

    Rico: I decided to do boxing because I'm interested in all martial arts/fighting styles and I had the time for it after my last fight against Peter Aerts in December. There was so much time in between then and my next Glory fight on June 21st so I did it just to get let loose some tension and excitment. Let's see what the future holds for me! I don't really have any plans for pursuing boxing yet if kickboxing and Glory keep growing like this. I'm already the best in my sport so why change?

    DH: Do you watch or follow MMA? If so, who do you most enjoy watching?

    Rico: I try to follow MMA but I only check the headline fights, and most of the time I only check out the heavyweights. I do enjoy it because I know how hard the fighters train and what they need to do to be on top. I think the stand up level in the UFC can improve by training more with Glory guys. Hopefully, some of these MMA guys will catch on.

    DH: Did you ever consider competing in MMA yourself?

    Rico: Me and my team were considering it right before Glory was in the picture. I was training in grappling and competing on a Dutch level. I have yet to lose a grappling match so far. I even became Dutch grappling champion. Who knows, in the future, if I ever get a nice offer, we'll see. But for now I'm enjoying kickboxing and if it gets as big as the UFC in the US, why should I switch? I'm already the best!

    DH: Next question is for fun... if you could fight any high level MMA striker under Glory rules, who would it be?

    Rico: Cain Velasquez or JDS. Cain because he is like me and fights with his heart and has a very good physical condition. He never shows that he is tired in a fight and just keeps on going. JDS because he is the best heavyweight puncher in the UFC and when he fights with me I can show everyone the difference in stand up level.

    DH: Any message (negative or positive) you would like to relay to the Glory heavyweight division?

    Rico: My message is that I'm going to dominate this division for the upcoming years so keep training, stay motivated and when we fight, come 100% with no excuses.

    To my fans, I love and appreciate you all so much. Thanks for all the support and messages on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Keep following me and giving your support.

    http://www.buddhasport.com/mma/stri...1/rico-verhoeven-a-champions-journey-to-glory
     
  3. Brocktirement**

    Brocktirement** Banned Banned

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    very nice interview

    he could have answered a bit better on the Hari question and spong/saki

    HW division is really weak and for Rico to be considered the true champion he has to face hari, saki and/or spong

    there's not that much left for him, those three are the biggest names in kickboxing, especially the heavies
     
  4. VicariousVice

    VicariousVice Brown Belt

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    I wouldn't mind seeing these two fights as well. I don't consider Verhoeven to be particularly amazing but he's a very smart fighter. Good ring IQ. But his skills can always continue improving, he's not even in his prime yet. If he's crossing over to Boxing on his offtime from Glory he'll only continue to get better and better. Who knows, in three years we could see a UFC/Glory crossover fight or two.
     
  5. Trevor KO**

    Trevor KO** Yellow Belt

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    To me, he looks like a cocky bastard full of arrogance. He is acting like he is some kind of spectacular fighter, a ko artist with KO power and a big athlete. At hw, he is the most technical fighter (saki and spong doesn't fight at HW anymore), but he is one of the worst athletes . I mean, looks at him, the guy doesn't have any ko power, doesn't have any speed and explosion. He also has only 8 ko's in over 50 fights. That's horrible. He isn't exciting at all.

    Saying that he is a better sportsman and athlete than Ghita make no sense. He could be a better fighter, but not a better athelte or sportsman . He is a terrible athelte. He is pure technique though.

    Acting like he is the biggest draw in kickboxing and a much bigger draw than badr hari is retarded. To say that badr hari must not be an interesting fighter is bullshit. Badr Hari is 100 more watched and has 1000 more fans than you RICCO. He is 100 x a bigger draw and a more exciting fighter than THIS 8 KO, NO KO POWER AND no SPEED VERHOVEN.

    Saki, Spong, Ghita, Hari..... are a lot more exciting than this guy, though he is probably a better fighter right know than all of them at HW.
     
  6. effin

    effin Purple Belt

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    Having 1000 more fans than Rico is not that much :D

    Don't really understand where all this hate towards Rico comes from. Are you hating the same on Giorgio Petrosyan for not ending fights by KO?
     
  7. fightchannelzg

    fightchannelzg White Belt

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    He sounds like a real company man saying what the owner want to hear. I mean he says that he doesn't care about a fight with first K-1 heavyweight champion, most popular kickboxer and great KO artist Badr Hari. Who does he want to fight? And saying guys that are not in Glory probably don't deserve to fight for them. I don't know how Ismael Londt, pavel Zhuravlev or Buakaw don't deserve it and guys like Jhonata Diniz or Fabiano Cyclone deserve it.
     
  8. fightchannelzg

    fightchannelzg White Belt

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    And I think Rico is a great fighter. KO's will come with years.
     
  9. Brocktirement**

    Brocktirement** Banned Banned

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    this

    he's definately not a one punch/kick ko guy but he can take guys out with his size and work rate, his power hasn't reached his max yet

    that being said, he has still alot to prove
     
  10. VicariousVice

    VicariousVice Brown Belt

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    Seems to me like you're giving him the Jon Jones treatment. You just don't like him, so you pick at him being "cocky", come on. He has confidence and he should. The guy did beat Saki, Ghita and Zimmerman. Is that why you don't like him?

    He might not be the most skilled Kickboxer in the world, I'd be the first to admit that much, but he's only 25. He has 2-3 years before he even reaches his prime and then who knows what he's going to be able to do?

    And saying he's un-athletic, come on.

    What does it even matter if he doesn't have very many KO's? Technical fights where he outclasses his opponents are equally entertaining imo. KO's are over-rated. Sure they're great to see, but beautiful technique and good ring IQ is way more intriguing and interesting to watch.
     
  11. Snubnoze707

    Snubnoze707 High Level

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    Good interview.

    Ricco sounds confident, not cocky, and he should be.
     
  12. Blazeblack

    Blazeblack Green Belt

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    So your saying he sucks and is the best at the same time?
     
  13. VolkHan

    VolkHan Brown Belt

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    A crossover actually could be possible and should be nice if it's something like a Glory tournament; DHK and Bendo took part to the last ADCC tournament.
     
  14. Trevor KO**

    Trevor KO** Yellow Belt

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    For christ shake, where and when I said he isn't a skilled kickboxer? You say he isn't very skilled. Actually the guy is BY FAR THE MOST TECHNICAL HW. He has the best technique at hw. Saki and spong aren't HWs anymore, so I'm not counting them here.

    And doesn't matter that he is only 25 and that he didn't reached his prime yet as a fighter. His speed, KO power, explosion and athleticism isn't getting better, maybe only worse. Only his technique would be better in future. And his technique is almost perfect right now.

    Like I said, he is number 1, but he isn't that great as he thinks.
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2014
  15. Yodsanan

    Yodsanan K'FESTA.1

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    lol @ Rico not being athletic. He is one of the most athletic guys in HW.
     
  16. Trevor KO**

    Trevor KO** Yellow Belt

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    First off Ricco is a HW not A 70 KG FIGHTER. At HW great fighters don't have only 8 ko's in 50 fights and they also have some ko power. Schilt wasn't a ko artist, but the guy still has a lot of ko's and HAD huge ko power. Any GREAT HW DOES HAVE KO POWER and a decent ratio of finishes.
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2014
  17. Trevor KO**

    Trevor KO** Yellow Belt

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    Another user who doesn't know the difference between technique and athleticism. To say that ricco is one of the most athletic guys at hw is just retarded.


    Does he have KO power? NO....

    Does he have speed, is he a fast fighter? NO

    is he explosive? NO...


    So what the fuck are you talking about?
     
  18. Yodsanan

    Yodsanan K'FESTA.1

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    By that logic Ben Edwards and Ben Saddik are more athletic then Rico. There is more to it then knocking out people left and right.
     
  19. brutaliggy

    brutaliggy White Belt

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    Good interview. He sounds like a normal guy. He is a very disciplined fighter, never exposing himself to get KO. He neutralized Saki with his superior technique and his better cardio made him win against Ghita.
    He is the kind of fighter to frustrate Hari...
     
  20. Snubnoze707

    Snubnoze707 High Level

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    I think Trever KO has surpassed Brock as the most unlikable poster in this forum...
     

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