Jamal Ben Saddik Steps In to Challenge Rico Verhoeven for Glory Heavyweight Title

By Blaine Henry Oct 8, 2021

Glory Kickboxing did not have to look far for a replacement to Alistair Overeem for the heavyweight title fight this month.

Overeem suffered an injury and was forced out of his fight with heavyweight kingpin Rico Verhoeven on Wednesday. On Thursday morning, Beyond Kickboxing was the first to report that Glory will be bringing one of its main card fighters in against Verhoeven, as Jamal Ben Saddik will face Verhoeven for the third time on Oct. 23. Saddik was set to take on Benjamin Adegbuyi in a rematch that night, and Adebguyi will now be facing Antonio Plazibat instead. Sherdog has since confirmed the news with promotion officials.

Saddik fought Verhoeven in 2017 at Glory 49, and the fight was close early on before Verhoeven knocked Saddik out in Round 5 with a head kick. Their first meeting came in 2011, and “Goliath” forced Verhoeven’s corner to stop the fight a minute into the second round. Now at 1-1, Verhoeven and Saddik look to conclude their trilogy with one of the biggest prizes in the sport on the line – the Glory heavyweight crown.

Since their first battle back in 2011, Verhoeven has gone on to win the Glory heavyweight title and defend it a remarkable nine times. Over the years, the man now known as “King of Kickboxing” has stepped into the Glory ring 22 times, and he has prevailed 20 times in a row with Glory. This run includes a pair of tournaments as well as the aforementioned title reign.

Saddik, since his loss to Verhoeven, has gone 4-1 while winning four straight fights. Following their rematch, the Belgian fell short to Jahfarr Wilnis in 2018. A knockout of D'Angelo Marshall earned him a spot in the Glory heavyweight grand prix in 2018, where he knocked out Junior Tafa, won on the scorecards over Guto Inocente and lamped Adegbuyi all in one night. Since that Glory 62 tourney, Saddik has been inactive, suffering injuries and serving some time in prison after a police raid for drug distribution and hacked devices.

Glory Collision 3 takes place on Oct. 23 in the Netherlands at the GelreDome. The pay-per-view can be purchased directly at glorykickboxing.com, while the preliminary card of Glory 79 will air on the Sherdog YouTube page.

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