GLORY Heavyweight Champion Rico Verhoeven appeared on Dutch TV today (Monday) where the topic once again went towards the potential dream bout between Verhoeven and Badr Hari. Hari, the troubled former K-1 star, has been stealing headlines over the past few years for his antics outside of the ring more than inside of the ring. It's been known that Hari wants to have one last, big bout and that Verhoeven has become the logical target for his retirement bout.
Since the initial appearance of Verhoeven on Dutch TV where he was pressed if that fight could happen it has been one of the bigger stories in kickboxing. We've seen smaller, relative-unknown promotions take to social media to brag about making "serious" offers for the fight along with rudimentary graphics and an attempt to hype up fans only for nothing to materialize. There have also been rumors that someone in China and Russia have put forth offers, but the chances of Rico taking a fight in Kadyrov's den seem thin and if you understand the market in China, while they are in a boom, it's still not quite what many fans believe it to be when it comes to actual money. The reality here is that GLORY has been the only potential home for the fight since the beginning. Verhoeven has been in negotiations for a contract renewal and his desire to take this fight has played a big part in those negotiations.
Verhoeven has been playing the field a bit, but outside of an exclusive offer from the UFC it seems likely that he'll fight in the GLORY ring once more while being given his leave to pursue MMA as well.
Verhoeven's appearance on PepTalk today included confirmation that if the fight is to happen that it'll be under the GLORY banner. Mike Passenier called into the show and more information was shared on just how close things really are. There has been a formal offer, lawyers would be looking over everything next week but Badr would need time to prepare. Andreas at MMAPlus has a translations from the show.
“[The fight] It is very realistic. We have spoken with the lawyers today. Next week we will sit down with the lawyers of GLORY. Then we will know if it will be arranged. But we never said that we didn’t want to fight,” spoke Passenier.
He added: “We always want to fight, that’s not a problem, but Badr needs four or five months in order to prepare. Besides, the fight still needs to be promoted, that also takes time.”
The decisive factor here will be Badr Hari's legal status and the timeline for the fight. If the fight can happen before Badr has to serve the remainder of his prison term or is brought up on charges for the Moroccan assault incident, things seem more likely.