With Badr Hari back in prison, a long line of unexciting contenders growing and a fight with the debuting Ismael Lazaar looming for Rico Verhoeven, his attention has shifted focus to former GLORY Light Heavyweight Champion Gokhan Saki. Saki took to social media on Friday to go on the offensive against Verhoeven after the Lazaar fight was announced, claiming that Verhoeven was ducking the former two-division star. Now Rico Verhoeven has shot back, claiming that they were attempting to put together a Rico Verhoeven/Gokhan Saki super fight for May, until Saki refused.
According to Verhoeven, multiple opponents have shied away from a possible confrontation with Verhoeven, including Jamal Ben Saddik who claims to have fallen off of a motorcycle and is unable to train. As for Saki? According to Verhoeven (in a story released by GLORY's official site), he was offered the fight but wanted a warm-up first.
“Now today Gokhan Saki has been all over social media calling me out, saying he wants a rematch. He put out a message saying that I am dodging him. I am not dodging you motherf—ker! You got offered this fight for May and you turned it down, you said you wanted to fight someone else first before you would fight me, so what the f—k are you talking about?
“He's been talking s—t for nothing. If he comes to fight me then great, let's go, but he got offered for May and he didn't want it. The only guy who wanted it was Ismael Lazaar, and it's going to be a good explosive fight. I am looking forward to showing my skills to my fans on home soil again, it's been a long time.”
And just like that, GLORY has created a possible grudge match for this year that while not as big as a Badr Hari rematch, would be huge for kickboxing fans. Saki, who hasn't fought in years now, would need to get back into the ring and the issues that have plagued his return recently (contract issues, knee problems) would need to subside, but if this fight actually happened, it would be huge.