On Friday, Feb. 6, Glory heavyweight champion Rico Verhoeven will defend his title against bitter rival Errol Zimmerman in the main event of Glory 19 on Spike TV.
The event takes place at the Hampton Coliseum in Hampton, Virginia, and the card is stacked with bouts that could produce highlight-reel knockouts. You know it's serious business when Mike Tyson has been called in to handle "the countdown" leading up to the event.
Verhoeven and Zimmerman have split their first two meetings. Friday's clash is the rubber match, and based on the interviews in the video above, both men are hellbent on taking the third bout.
Zimmerman knocked out Verhoeven in their first meeting, but in an interview with John Joe O'Regan of Sherdog, the Glory champion says Zimmerman hasn't improved since then:
I lost to Errol in that first fight because I made a mistake. I didn’t approach him the right way. It was my fault and I paid the price for it, but I learned the lesson; but if you listen to Errol, he’s still talking about that finish. He’s not moved on in the last three years,” Verhoeven said. “I have evolved a lot. Mentally and physically, I am miles away from where I was three years ago, but I don’t see any evolution with Errol. I see the same old Errol doing the same old things, and that isn’t going to work against me in February.
You have to give some credence to Verhoeven's claim. He did handle Zimmerman much easier in the rematch in June 2013. His unanimous-decision victory was the second in his current six-fight win streak.
Will the champion have another relatively easy bout on his hands, or can Zimmerman prove Verhoeven wrong?
Here's the broadcast time, viewing information and full fight card for the event.
|Glory 19 Televised Fight Card - 9 p.m. ET on Spike TV|
|Special Bout: Navy vs. Air Force||Various|
|Welterweight Semifinal: Nieky Holzken vs. Alexander Stetcurenko||Welterweight|
|Welterweight Semifinal: Raymond Daniels vs. Jonatan Oliveira||Welterweight|
|Middleweight: Joe Schilling vs. Robert Thomas||Middleweight|
|Heavyweight: Rico Verhoeven vs. Errol Zimmerman||Heavyweight|
Joe Schilling Looking to Build on Bellator Success
Coming off a thrilling knockout win over Melvin Manhoef at Bellator 131 in Nov. 2014, Schilling's name has been pretty hot on the combat sports scene.
His roots are in the world of kickboxing, where he's compiled an impressive 18-6 record with a 4-2 mark in Glory.
He'll be looking to improve on both when he faces Canada's Robert Thomas in the card's co-featured bout.
Thomas is far less experienced than his opponent. He has just nine professional kickboxing bouts under his belt. Needless to say, a win over an opponent as well known as Schilling could do wonders for Thomas' career.
Experience won't be an issue in the 170-pound semifinals matches scheduled to take place at Glory 19. While Raymond Daniels, Jonatan Oliveira, Nieky Holzken and Aleksandr Stetcurenko are all relatively new to Glory, each man has had at least 20 pro kickboxing fights.
The most belongs to Holzken. With a 6-0 record in Glory—the last five coming by way of KO—and a sparkling 85-11 record overall, Holzken has to be considered the favorite. He'll take on the rugged Stetcurenko.
With a 1-1 record in Glory, Stetcurenko will be looking to move above the .500 mark.
The other semifinal pits Daniels against Oliveira. Daniels has been feast or famine in the Glory ring. All of his fights with the promotion have ended in TKO or KO. He's won two of those fights.
Meanwhile, Oliveira is 2-0 in Glory, and his toughness might make it difficult for Daniels to finish him.
The victors will battle later in the show to determine the winner of the welterweight tournament. Smart money is on Holzken. If he does win, it will mark the second time he's won a Glory welterweight tournament. He was the winner in the 2013 version as well.
If you're a fan of stand-up combat, this is the first must-see card of the year.
Fighter records per GloryWorldSeries.com
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