GLORY Collision in Oberhausen was Glory’s last event of the year 2016, and what an amazing night it was! A super stacked fight card with a lot of good fights combined with an arena full of hyped fans. Around 12.000 people from the Netherlands traveled to Germany to support either Badr or Rico in the main event of the evening.
People who never cared about kickboxing were suddenly interested in this fight. Everywhere I was I heard people talking about Badr vs. Rico, from the supermarket to the train station and everything in between, the hype was definitely real. Next to that, the Kickboxingplanet.com website statistics broke all the records from the past. Yesterday we got as much traffic in 1 day as we’re normally getting in a month!
Badr Hari vs. Rico Verhoeven
It’s been a long time I was this hyped for a kickboxing match. The whole country was watching Ziggo Sport, UFC.TV or even made the effort to travel to Oberhausen. Why was this fight so interesting to the audience? Well, mainly because it was more than just a fight. It was a fight were the old generation faced the new generation, it was a match between K1 and GLORY, between the legend vs. the champ, a clash of styles were aggression met technique and country wise, it was basically Holland vs. Morocco.
Controlling the media, the promotion and the opponent
What really amazed me was that Badr was totally in control of everything. He didn’t care about the media, he came 30 minutes to late and he has a different way of entering the arena. Everything was different compared to what Rico was used to during a fight. Badr was in Rico’s head from the start, Rico looked very hyped and totally not what we’re used to see from him. Badr was basically controlling the media, the promotion and his opponent all at once.
Normally the champ enters the arena second after the challenger. The 7-time Glory champ entered the arena first this time… after Rico arrived in the ring, the big Badr show continued. Why would Glory let their own champ enter the arena at first, I’ve no idea?
Something I totally disapprove are the fans at ringside and in the ring. It looked like the whole Badr army was ready to enter the ring at any point. Very cool to see, but this is exactly what makes it clear to me why this fight was held in Oberhausen and not in Amsterdam… Stop with that shit and behave yourself next time if you ever want to have an event close to home. The sport already has a bad image and these kind of things don’t really help to restore it…
Though I’ve no idea where the security was at that moment? This is something you could’ve expected in my opinion. I hope this is a good learning lesson for Glory… you’ve to draw a line somewhere and this was the right moment. Fans belong on a seat around the ring, not hanging on the ropes, or even in the ring.
The fight itself
The fight started of weird, Badr wasn’t aggressive at all. He got super pumped during the staredown and started of slow during the fight itself… Again Badr turns out to be 1 big surprise. The first round wasn’t spectacular, both fighters were checking each other out, it was like a feel out process. Though I analyzed both fighters a lot before this match and my conclusion basically was: Badr isn’t as good as he was, though he is still faster and stronger than Rico. On the other hand, Rico’s endurance is 10 times better and he’s a hard dude, Rico can definitely take a punch and trade some shots.
Badr’s jab was very fast, after 2 minutes he already opened up the bridge of Rico’s nose. His liver kicks were quicker than expected as well. Rico countered few times with the right and had 1 strong inside lowkick which is basically his trademark.
Rico didn’t do much damage to Badr but to be honest Badr also didn’t do much damage to Rico either except for the cut on the nose. In the beginning of the 2nd round Rico switched to second gear and you could see he was turning up the heat. If you looked at both fighters during the 1st brake Badr was a little more exhausted compared to Rico. When the most exciting part of fight started to begin Badr injured himself, probably due to a knee thrown by Rico in the clinch. Badr’s elbow didn’t look good, it was definitely bruised or something worse.
In the end setting up a rematch isn’t that hard, I mean it’s an amazing pay day for both. From what I head around € 1.000.000. The whole country was hyped for this fight as well, so why not do it again right?!
Right after the fight Rico walked up to Badr going for a hug and a little talk. You could see Rico was enjoying himself. It looked like he felt relieved as well. In the end Badr even had some nice words for him. Badr told everybody to respect Rico, that he isn’t a boy anymore and that he’s a good contender but not the best yet. Next year during the rematch he promised to knock Rico out.
Nieky Holzken vs. Cedric Doumbe
I was really interested in this fight, Nieky didn’t impressed me in his last 2 fights against Murthel Groenhart. Both fights could basically go either way. This time the outcome was more or less the same.
Holzken constantly tried to corner Doumbe up but he simply was to quick on his feet, plus Doumbe’s bobbing and weaving game was definitely on point last night. Outcome of this: Nieky was constantly chasing him down, but at the same time, he forgot to score. In my opinion the same mistake as in the Groenhart trilogy. Holzken managed to win those by decision, but both fights were extremely close.
Doumbe didn’t got backed up in a corner once this fight… He was outscoring Holzken and because of his outstanding feet, Holzken missed a lot of his attacks.
Play by play
Doumbe started the attack, Holzken countered and Doumbe countered as well. This was basically the story of the whole fight. In the end Doumbe ended up with more points. I scored the fight 2 rounds for Holzken, 2 for Doumbe and 1 that could go either way. In the end the judges gave the decision win to Doumbe. I’m not surprised, much respect for this guy who really did his homework. He analyzed Holzken very well and his performance was great. Congratulation Cedric Doumbe!
Notable fight of the night was the fight between Michael Duut and Danyo Ilunga. A lot of knockdowns on both sides, definitely a fight to look out for on Social Media!
Gokhan Saki back to the Glory Heavyweight division?
Oh, and Gokhan Saki want’s to comeback to Glory Kickboxing. He wants to fight in the Heavyweight division and immediately challenged Rico Verhoeven for his first appearance.
Full results of GLORY Collision Oberhausen can be found over here.