WARNING GRAPHIC IMAGE: Rico Verhoeven suffered a gruesome cut under his eye with the extent of his injury meaning the facial recognition on his phone didn’t work
Decorated kickboxing champion Rico Verhoeven defended his Glory heavyweight title this past weekend, but it came at a cost.
Verhoeven picked up his 15th straight kickboxing win at Glory: Collision 3 when he knocked out Jamal Ben Saddik in the fourth round.
Verhoeven was almost stopped in the second round by Saddik after being knocked down and suffering a huge cut below his left eye.
The ringside doctor allowed the fight to continue and Verhoeven fought through adversity to finish the heavyweight giant just two rounds later.
And Verhoeven, who had been due to face UFC veteran Alistair Overeem before he pulled out injured, recalled a funny moment at the post-fight press conference when a reporter asked him if the facial recognition on his phone still worked.
He told MMA Fighting : “Do I really have to answer that? Yeah, it was the worst. So of course people make jokes so after the fight at the press conference, ‘Rico! Does your phone face recognition still work?’
“I was like, “I dunno, but let me try’. It didn’t. So it was perfect for that moment I was like trying to put it on the good side. But yeah, now it works.”
Verhoeven and Saddik first met in 2011 when Saddik won by second-round corner stoppage.
The Dutchman avenged his loss when they fought again in 2017 and has now seemingly buried the hatchet with Saddik having stopped him again in their trilogy.
But Verhoeven was frustrated with his performance despite showing tremendous heart in his win.
“This is a hard-hitting big guy and standing still in front of the right hand is not the smartest thing to do. That’s why for me it was hard, especially in the beginning to enjoy the victory,” he continued.
“My teammates came in the ring like ‘you’re the man, amazing job, you showed heart!’ and I was just like ‘man, I f*****’ up. That’s how it felt, but it’s a little bit better now.
“I’m always looking to perform the best way possible and not make too many mistakes. This felt like a big mistake against a guy like this, because these are the things you’ve got to watch out for.”
Verhoeven was also thankful for the work of his cutman during and after the fight, with his handiness meaning he only needed six stitches for the gruesome injury.
“He did an amazing job, I was so happy he was there. That’s also what I told him after the fight, I was like ‘I’m so happy you were there’,” he continued.
“After the fight he took care of me, he was there cooling it and making sure the wound was good and treated well. He closed it up and let the doctors look at it. So I was so happy with him.”