They call him "The Bonecrusher" and that’s exactly what he does. But more than just being a skilled fighter, Errol Zimmerman is a devoted father and a man with a vision for his future.
In a sport known for it's brutality, vicious knees, kicks and brutal knock-outs, I am always pleased to find how kind and well grounded many of its practitioners are. One such meeting was my encounter with Errol Zimmerman. During our time together we talked Glory, MMA, family and everything in between.
He is undisputedly one of the best heavyweights in kickboxing today and having fought professionally for the last twelve years, Zimmerman's record is a veritable who's who in the sport. He has notable wins over Mourad Bouzidi, Teixeira, and Gerges, LeBanner and Rico Verhoeven. Even on those occasions when he didn't win, Errol demonstrated that he could go the distance with greats like Aerts, Schilt, Bonjasky and Badr Hari. He has even tried his hand at MMA, facing off against Minowa in 2008. Regarding this match, Zimmerman looks back fondly at this fight and states that he went into the match thinking he would easily overtake this opponent who was much smaller. After a defeat via toe hold Zimmerman muses that he learned that the size of the man is not always the main determining factor in victory.
When asked how he actually started fighting, Errol characterized himself as a "difficult" child frequently getting into fights or being called upon to help friends defend themselves in the neighborhood. It was only after a chance encounter in which he was challenged to fight in a gym that the Bonecrusher began to hone his fighting skills and develop the discipline he displays today. Currently training in Breda under the tutelage of Cor and Nicky Hemmers, Zimmerman has developed discipline and expertise in the one thing he feels he excels at. When asked what would he be doing if he weren't a professional fighter, his simple response was "Fighting".
As opposed to relying on smack talk to intimidate his opponents, Errol prefers to let his ability to stop opponents cold with a single kick or punch do his talking for him. Many fighters have an ideal opponent whom they would like to face. Zimmerman, however states that he's willing to fight anyone and he literally has. Semmy Schilt is the one opponent that he names as actually posing a challenge for him. He describes Semmy's leg kicks as brutal, leaving him in pain for several days after their meeting.
Out of curiosity I asked Errol how long he intended to fight, Zimmerman recognizes that there is an expiration date on fighting careers. Smartly, he stated that he is fighting for his future and the future of his family but has no intention on fighting until the point where he may be so damaged by injuries that he will not be able to enjoy life with his family.
As a fan of the sport, with the emergence of Glory, I recognize that this is an exciting time for the sport. Errol shares in this enthusiasm, having fought for a variety of organizations, he recognizes the potential for Glory to be a big hit not just in Europe but throughout the world. "Give it a year" he stated. "Glory will really be big, it's going to explode!" he added.
It remains uncertain what 2014 will bring for Zimmerman, in December 2013, he suffered a devastating knockout in round one at Glory 14 courtesy of Daniel Ghita. His next appearance is scheduled for May at Glory 16, where he is set to face "The Guvner" Ben Edwards. In this match-up Zimmerman is the far more experienced fighter, but both are heavy hitters and have an aggressive style of fighting. This match-up is guaranteed to be a slug fest.