Rico Verhoeven’s highly anticipated heavyweight title defense against Jamal Ben Saddik has been canceled, MMA DNA has told Overtime Heroics.
Saddik has been forced to pull out from the fight due to a back injury. There has yet to be a replacement found to step in to face Verhoeven on January 30, at Glory 77.
According to Tarik Khbabez’s coach, Mike Polanen, the Dutchman had been offered the fight after his bout with Antonio Plazibat was canceled. Khbabez was ready to take the bout according to his coach, however, “other forces and political b******* made the organization chose another opponent,” said Polanen.
Although the event is filled with high-quality bouts, the withdrawal of the number two ranked heavyweight is a major blow. Not only that, it will come as devastating news for both fighters and fans, as the deciding fight in their trilogy will need to wait.
The co-main event between Artem Vakhitov vs. Alex Pereira for the light heavyweight championship seems like a natural replacement for the main event, if a new bout does not come to fruition.
Rico Verhoeven vs. Jamal Ben Saddik past encounters
The duo has had a long history together, with their first meeting happening ten years ago. Saddik defeated the current Heavyweight Champion, Verhoeven, via 2nd round corner stoppage in 2011, in Amsterdam.
Since then, Veroeven has taken Glory by storm going 20-1 in Glory, defending the heavyweight belt multiple times, including against Saddik, with Dutchman seeking his revenge by stopping the him in 5th at Glory 49, in Rotterdam.
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