Heavyweight veteran Antonio Silva has won just one of his last ten MMA fights, has been knocked out or TKO’d nine times in the last six years, yet continues to compete. The one-time UFC title challenger is now transitioning to the world of kickboxing, and his debut was announced on Friday at a press conference in China.
Brace yourselves for the opponent, because it may make you visibly upset.
— Rico Verhoeven (@RicoVerhoeven) August 18, 2017
It’s Antonio Silva against current Glory heavyweight champion Rico Verhoeven (51-10-1, 14 KOs). I wish I was making that up, but this is a real thing that’s happening under the Glory kickboxing banner. For what it’s worth, Verhoeven’s title will not be in the line.
Verhoeven is in the prime of his career and has won his last seven fights, including a couple of title defenses vs. Benjamin Adegbuyi. He also defeated Badr Hari in a highly-anticipated showdown last December, with Hari unable to continue due to an arm injury. The 28-year-old holds numerous victories over the best heavyweight kickboxers in the world and is expected to defend his title against Jamal Ben Saddik at the end of the year.
Silva was knocked out by Vitaly Minakov in Russia just two months ago. The 37-year-old has not only been losing consistently, he’s scarcely been competitive. He’s just endured knockout after knockout after knockout. Soa Palelei, who is now retired, is the only fighter the Brazilian has beaten over the last four years.
This is utterly atrocious and irresponsible matchmaking. Glory should be raked over the coals for approving such a fight and I cannot see any way you can justify this as competitive or compelling. Silva is completely shot and has taken an enormously high amount of punishment over the span of several years. Now he’s going to kickbox for the first time and it’ll be against the best heavyweight in the world? What is that going to accomplish outside of another paycheck? Who is looking out for Silva’s health here? Verhoeven vs. Bigfoot is disgusting, potentially dangerous, and shouldn’t be sanctioned.
If you are absolutely compelled to watch this, Glory 46 is scheduled for Saturday, October 14th in Guangzhou, China.
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