Glory World Series has finalized Hampton Coliseum in Hampton, Virginia for the location of Glory 19. On February 19th, the main event of the night will see a heavyweight title rubber match between champion Rico Verhoeven and challenger Errol Zimmerman. At one fight a piece, we review what each heavyweight must do to be competitive in the title fight of Glory 19.
It’s Showtime 56
The first meeting of Verhoeven and Zimmerman took place in It’s Showtime, a kickboxing organization purchased by Glory Sports International in 2012. Both fighters looked pretty equally matched in the opening where Zimmerman covered up skillfully against Verhoeven’s combinations. However, Zimmerman caught Verhoeven with a right hook to left uppercut counter twice, with the second left uppercut earning the KO. The biggest takeaway from their first encounter was simply the equalizing power of Zimmerman, a factor that Verhoeven would adapt to in Glory 9.
Verhoeven was not as aggressive in the opening of the rematch fight. Instead, he took more shots from the outside with push kicks and jabs. His go-to combination was a cross to inside leg kick and vice versa, which worked many times successfully for Verhoeven (2:25, 3:35, 6:18, 6:47). Rather than slug it in close, Verhoeven’s best strategical adjustment was to do his damage quickly and get out of range. This didn’t stop Zimmerman from connecting entirely on hooks, but he stayed out of the KO wheelhouse that he used to take the first fight.
In the opening of round 2, Verhoeven snapped a leg kick that indicated another valuable tool in his outside striking game (4:50). However, if Zimmerman connected with his right counter at 4:59, the fight could have instantly been over. Verhoeven was able to utilize the push kick and jab to connect from a distance throughout the round. However, the push kicks came at a near-dangerous cost when Zimmerman stepped to the inside and counter with a cross (6:25). Round 2 was much less competitive than round 1. Zimmerman was not able to catch Verhoeven, who strung combinations together very well to outscore him in this round.
Verhoeven put a lot of power into his front kicks, but he nearly falls off balance again in the opening of round 3 (9:10). Verhoeven effectively controlled the round, continuing his use of the jab (9:27, 10:25, 11:40) and inside leg kicks most importantly. They are well-timed to stagger Zimmerman (10:00) and trip him off balance at 10:32. Similarly to Round 2, Zimmerman was largely outscored. He tried to catch the KO counter, but could not counter Verhoeven.
Errol Zimmerman has one-punch counter power, but he Verhoeven was able to avoid his wheelhouse with distance strikes. There were several errors that were nearly capitalized compromised the champion’s game, but Zimmerman needs a solution to Verhoeven’s long-distance striking. If he can close the distance and go on the offensive, he may stand to surprise the competition.