Reigning GLORY Heavyweight Champion (11 Defenses)
Rico Verhoeven was five years old when he first entered the martial arts. His father, a karate black belt, brought young Rico to the dojo and started him on a path which, years later, would take him around the world and to the top of the heavyweight pile.
Training was a consistent part of Verhoeven’s life growing up and his father was strict about it. After school his friends would head to the park to play football or ride bikes while Verhoeven would accompany his father to the dojo for training.
As he got older he moved into kickboxing. At the same time, it became clear that he was a natural heavyweight who would grow to a considerable size. At 16 years old he was so big that he couldn’t find opponents his own age in competitions, and had to face adults.
That hard road has done him good. Verhoeven was marked out as a prospect several years before his 2012 debut for GLORY. Before joining the organization he had racked up wins over experienced international opposition such as Hesdy Gerges, Ben Edwards and Filip Verlinden.
His record also now includes wins over Errol Zimmerman, Gokhan Saki and Daniel Ghita, plus victory in the GLORY 11 CHICAGO Heavyweight Championship Tournament.
A very intelligent fighter, Verhoeven is creative and focuses a lot on technicality. He has a wide arsenal of attacks and a tight defense. He also works closely with the British heavyweight boxer Tyson Fury, who he credits with making his jab into the highly effective weapon it is today.