It was the impression to many that Daniel Ghita and Rico Verhoeven would be part of the K-1 Heavyweight GP, but when the matches were announced neither Ghita nor Verhoeven were named as competitors. News that both have signed with GLORY is now official, in recent months it seems that the best fighters in the world have opted to sign with GLORY and their talent pool continues to deepen. GLORY is definitely on a mission to be able to boast about having the deepest talent pool in the world, something they could probably do already.
Below is the full press release from GLORY.
DYNAMIC HEAVYWEIGHTS SIGN MULTI-YEAR EXCLUSIVE AGREEMENTS WITH WORLD’S PREMIER KICKBOXING LEAGUE
LONDON, U.K. (Oct. 12, 2012) – World champion Daniel Ghita (44-7, 34 KO’s) of Romania and rising star and fellow heavyweight Rico Verhoeven (37-6-1, 8 KO’s) of the Netherlandshave each signed a multi-fight, exclusive agreement with GLORY, the world’s premiere kickboxing league.
The 31-year-old Ghita, the last reigning heavyweight champion for It’s Showtime before the league was acquired by GLORY in June, has terrorized the division of big men with his brutal leg kick attacks that have helped earn him an astonishing 77 percent KO rate and the nickname ‘The Savage Samurai.’ The 1.95 meter (6 foot 5), 114 kilogram (251 pound) Ghita, who fights out of the Romanian capital of Bucharest, is widely regarded as the greatest challenge to Semmy Schilt’s world No. 1 heavyweight ranking.
“I decided that GLORY is the best and only logical fit for me because this is where all of the best heavyweights in the world compete,” said Ghita, who had been sought after by several other leagues. “If you want to be recognized as the best, you have to face and defeat the best and, as a true competitor, I have every intention of distinguishing myself as the No. 1 heavyweight in the world and a GLORY champion.”
“We are very excited to welcome Daniel Ghita to our highly-competitive heavyweight division,” said Marcus Luer, Managing Director of GLORY. “
“With the addition of Daniel, there is effectively not one top tier matchup in kickboxing’s heavyweight division that is not possible.”
While Ghita has been doing damage in the upper echelon of the heavyweight division, the 23-year-old Verhoeven, who fights out of the city of Bergen Op Zoom, has gained recognition as one of the brightest up and coming, new stars in the sport.
The 1.95 meter (6 foot 5), 114 kilogram (250 pound) Verhoeven’s record includes two wins over Hesdy Gerges, a victory over top Australian heavyweight Ben Edwards and a win over fellow GLORY heavyweight rising star Filip Verlinden.
“Verhoeven had some superb performances for It’s Showtime and it was clear,very early, that he has massive potential to become a superstar. I look forward to seeing him meet the challenges he will be faced with in the GLORY heavyweight division,” Luer remarked.
The pair are likely to make their respective debuts for the organisation at GLORY 4 Tokyo HEAVYWEIGHT Grand Slam at Makai Messe (former Nippon Convention Center) on December 2. The event will be headlined by a 16-man single-elimination tournament, which will see the winner fight four times in one night on the way to ultimate victory.