Rico Verhoeven (49-10) defended his GLORY Heavyweight title for a fifth straight time at GLORY 33 on Friday night (September 9, 2016), turning in another masterfully executed performance in his latest victory, a complete dismantling of Anderson "Braddock" Silva.
Verhoeven, 27, defeated Silva (40-15-1) by technical knockout (three knockdown rule) in the main event inside Sun National Bank Center in Trenton, NJ.
The official time of the stoppage came at 2:57 of round two.
"9.5," Verhoeven told Todd Grisham during the post-fight interview after being asked to grade his performance. "Pretty good. Almost everything we trained on and we felt would work was working right from the beginning of the fight so, yeah, it wasn't too bad."
The champion from the Netherlands proved once again why he is the greatest and most technically skilled heavyweight kickboxer alive. The win marks his eleventh straight victory in GLORY, where he is now 12-1 overall.
Verhoeven started to warm up in the first round, landing his usual combinations and inside low kicks while controlling distance and cutting angles throughout.
In the second, the champion dropped the Brazilian for the first time with a perfectly placed inside low kick to the right leg, sending him down to the canvas. The No.4-ranked GLORY heavyweight would beat the count, but get dropped again moments later after Verhoeven connected with a high kick to his head. Silva made it back to his feet once again and after another exchange where Verhoeven missed a right high kick, the champion came back with a left hook that Silva blocked, before landing another inside low kick to drop Silva for the final time in the fight as referee Justin Greskiewicz stepped in to call it a day.
Rico Verhoeven (R) after knocking Anderson Silva down a third time (James Law/GLORY Sports International)
Verhoeven will face Badr Hari next on December 10, 2016 at GLORY: COLLISION and he was asked about the highly anticipated matchup by Grisham. "I don't Badr," he said, drawing a laugh.
Grisham also asked Verhoeven about "Chopper" Chi Lewis-Parry, who has made a habit out of calling out the champion and did so again after his win in earlier in the night. "If he is going to fight me, oh my God, I would dismantle this man in 30 seconds," Verhoeven said. Lewis-Parry then got called into the ring and the two engaged in some lighthearted trash talk before hugging and shaking hands.
Guto Inocente (32-7) defeated Hedsy Gerges (49-17-1) by split decision in the heavyweight co-main event.
Two of the judges scored the contest 29-28 for Inocente, with the third scoring it 20-28 for Gerges.
The decision was a bit of a head scratcher as Inocente didn't seem to land much of anything over the course of the three-round affair, while Gerges appeared to be the more effective striker. Inocente improves to 3-0 in GLORY competition. Meanwhile, Gerges drops to 2-4 in defeat.
Matt Embree (39-7) certainly made a huge splash in his GLORY debut and showcased some serious power in his punches. The Canadian newcomer finished both Chibin Lim (69-19) and Giga Chikadze (36-5) to win the featherweight "Contender" tournament.
"I've been on the scene for a while," Embree told Grisham after the final. "I may have flown under the radar, but the real fighters know me and I feel like I'm here to stay. So everybody, what's up?"
In the tournament final, Embree knocked Chikadze down in the first round with a big right hand right before the end of the frame. In the second, he absolutely flattened Chikadze with another huge right hand, putting him flat on his back for the knockout victory.
The official time of the stoppage came at 1:28 of round two.
After a 1-1 night, Chikadze is now 4-2 in GLORY.
In the tournament semi-final round, Embree knocked Lim down twice in the second round to earn the technical knockout victory, punching his ticket to the tournament final.
The official time of that stoppage came at 3:00 of the second round.
Embree knocked Lim down for the first time with a left hook that dropped the South Korean veteran. Then, right as the bell sounded at the end of the round two he landed a picturesque left hook, dropping Lin for a second time to win the bout. Lim falls to 0-3 in GLORY in defeat.
In the opening fight of the featherweight "Contender" tournament, Chikadze earned a razor close split decision over former featherweight champion, Serhiy Adamchuk (33-7) to advance to the tournament final. That is the second loss in a row for Adamchuk, who won five straight in GLORY before losing the featherweight title to Gabriel Varga at GLORY 32.
Two of the judges had it 29-28 for Chikadze, wile the third judge had it 29-28 for Adamchuk.