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Rico Verhoeven won his title fight with Jamal Ben Saddik in a very spectacular way on Saturday evening.

The 32-year-old heavyweight won by technical knockout in the GelreDome stadium in Arnhem and successfully defended his world title at GLORY for the tenth time.

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Verhoeven and Ben Saddik made a spectacle of it, especially from the second round, where they both gave up considerably and became exhausted.

Initially, it was mainly Verhoeven who had to collect;

he was hit hard at the end of the first round and during the second round and staggered.

In the meantime, both kickboxers suffered serious injuries (Ben Saddik on his leg and Verhoeven under his eye), but the fight continued.

Gradually, the Dutchman turned out to be the fittest of the two.

In the third round, the tired-looking Ben Saddik had less and less an answer to his opponent's punches and kicks.

The Belgian, fighting under the Moroccan flag, was barely able to start the fourth round and after another series of striking punches from Verhoeven, the referee ended the fight.

"I was happy that the doctor let me fight," Verhoeven said afterwards, referring to his swollen left eye.

"I don't see much at the moment. Tonight I won because of my fighter's heart."


Facial recognition on phone does not recognize damaged Verhoeven

Verhoeven has been dominating since 2014

With his win, Verhoeven continues to dominate GLORY's heaviest weight class.

He became world champion in 2014 and recorded his fifteenth win in a row on Saturday.

In ten of those fights, his world title was at stake.

The mutual balance between Verhoeven and Ben Saddik is now at 2-1.

The Belgian Moroccan won the first meeting in 2011 and is still one of only two fighters to beat Verhoeven by knockout in his 69 professional matches.

In 2017, Verhoeven won the second fight by knocking out Ben Saddik.

For Ben Saddik it was his first fight in three years in Arnhem on Saturday.

The Antwerp resident was sidelined for a long time due to a prison sentence and depression.

In addition, earlier this year, he was diagnosed with thyroid cancer for the third time.

Initially, Verhoeven would compete against Alistair Overeem.

When the former UFC fighter had to withdraw with an injury, Ben Saddik was named as a replacement two weeks ago.


Looking back: 'Heroic victory good for Verhoeven's reputation'

The most beautiful pictures of the Verhoeven-Ben Saddik fight

Rico Verhoeven successfully defended his world title for the tenth time.


Both kickboxers made a spectacle of it in Arnhem.

© Pro Shots

Verhoeven also had a hard time.


He suffered a huge wound under his eye.

© Pro Shots

Jamal Ben Saddik was also injured, but the fight continued.

© Pro Shots

The doctor decided after a check that Verhoeven could continue.

© Pro Shots

Especially in the third round, the Dutchman took the lead.

© Pro Shots

Ben Saddik got very tired.

© Pro Shots

Just before the end he hung in the ropes.


Verhoeven was designated the winner in the fourth round by technical knockout.


Afterwards, he made a futile attempt at the press conference to unlock his phone via facial recognition.

© Pro Shots

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