UFC legend Alistair Overeem in talks to face Rico Verhoeven in blockbuster kickboxing bout

  • Tom Ward
Alistair Overeem vs Rico Verhoeven targeted for final quarter of 2021

UFC legend Alistair Overeem is in advanced talks for a kickboxing match with Glory heavyweight champion Rico Verhoeven, multiple sources told GIVEMESPORT on Wednesday.

Bout agreements are not signed, but the fight is being targeted for the final quarter of 2021, with Netherlands a likely venue, sources said. GLORY Kickboxing has not announced an event or location, but it could take place in Arnhelm.    

Verhoeven, 32, currently holds the Glory heavyweight title, winning it after inflicting Daniel Ghita’s 11th loss in December 2013. 

However, the ‘King of Kickboxing’ – who is represented by Conor McGregor‘s management company Paradigm Sports – received special praise from former foe Peter Aerts after he defeated Hesdy Gerges and Tarik Khbabez at Glory 77 earlier in the year. 

“I think it is great that we have a Dutch world champion,” Aerts told NU.nl

“Rico is a real icon for the sport, he always behaves well.” 

Originally from London and now training in Colorado, Overeem became the inaugural Strikeforce heavyweight champion in November 2007 before going on to the vacant DREAM heavyweight strap three years later. 

Overeem, of Amsterdam, has a 12-8 record in the UFC, including notable career wins inside the Octagon over the likes of Andrei Arlovski, Brock Lesnar, and Junior dos Santos. Verhoeven, of Bergen op Zoom, is on a 14-fight win streak in GLORY.  

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Overeem (10-4, 7 TKOs) meanwhile has not fought since losing to Alexander Volkov, 32, in February by second-round knockout.

The 41-year-old fought twice in 2020 after a six-month layoff following his loss to Jairzinho Rozenstruik. He defeated Walt Harris and Augusto Sakai before losing to Volkov at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. 

And it was later announced that Overeem has inked a multi-fight contract with GLORY Kickboxing following his release by the Ultimate Fighting Championship earlier in the year. 

Taking some time to reflect on his MMA career, he wrote on Instagram: “The final run has come to an end, but what a run it has been. Looking back at my 10 years in the UFC, this has been the experience of a lifetime.

“Huge thank you to the entire UFC staff, the fans and all the fighters I came across. Couldn’t have wished for any other better career path.

“A special thank you to Dana White and Lorenzo Fertitta for making everything possible. Fighting for all of you has been such an honor.”

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