Rico ‘The Prince’ Verhoeven is now the king.
Verhoeven became the GLORY Heavyweight Tournament Champion Saturday night, outlasting his opponents with decision victories, in a one-night tournament that aired live on Spike TV.
In the first match of the tournament, Verhoeven upset favorite Gokhan Saki, in a close majority decision, when one judge scored the bout a draw (29-27, 28-28, 29-28). Verhoeven then defeated Daniel Ghita, 29-28, on all three judges’ scorecards, in a thrilling slugfest, to win the tournament.
Verhoeven (42-9) won the tournament and the grand prize of $250,000.
The GLORY 11 Chicago event also featured Tyrone Spong, in a rematch against fierce rival Nathan Corbett. Although the first fight was declared a controversial no-contest, this time Sponge disposed of Corbett at 1:10 of the second round with a flurry of punches.
Although Corbett KO’d Spong in their first fight in 2009, the fight was declared a no contest because Corbett hit Spong a second-time late. Spong was out on his feet in the fight, but the referee stood him up, as though he was ready to fight, allowing Corbett to deck him one more time.
Spong (90-5) is also an MMA fighter. He is 2-0 in the World Series of Fighting and last fought in August for the promotion. It is unclear, however, whether Spong will continue to fight MMA. He appears to be the fighter that the Spike is attempting to build its kickboxing brand on.
The GLORY show was Spike TV’s debut of the kickboxing promotion. Spike, along with Bellator and TNA wrestling is looking to become an unofficial fight network and compete with Fox Sports 1 and the UFC’s brand of mixed martial arts.
GLORY 11 Chicago Main Card Results:
- Spong def. Corbett by knockout at 1:10, Round 2
- Valtellini def. Ghajji by technical knockout at 2:53, Round 3
- Verhoeven def. Ghita by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- Verhoeven def. Saki by majority decision (29-27, 28-28, 29-28)
- Ghita def. Anderson Silva by technical knockout at 1:56, Round 1
- Zimmerman def. Gerges by technical knockout at 0:38, Round 3