Rico Verhoeven and Badr Hari won't step into the ring to face each other until December 10, but the mind games have already begun.
The two were front and center at today's GLORY: COLLISION press conference in Amsterdam, Netherlands to promote their upcoming bout, which Headlines the eponymous card. It was the first time they have been in each other's vicinity since the fight was first put together.
Hari spent much of the conference staring daggers into the side of Verhoeven's head from a few feet away, but when the two were due to be faced off for the official photographs he changed tack. Verhoeven walked up and got into position, Hari got up and walked off the stage, injecting his trademark note of chaos into proceedings.
Verhoeven was angered but played it down. “That's the kind of character you're looking at, that's him right there,” he said, gesturing at the retreating Hari as he headed out of the hall. Verhoeven then turned to face photographers to conduct his own one man face-off.
Prior to the aborted face-offs the press conference had featured some terse interplay between its two stars. Hari wisecracked with the attendant reporters – around 80, representing Dutch television, newspapers and magazines. Verhoeven was his usual self, the consumate professional athlete fielding questions.
A note of tension did creep in when Verhoeven was asked to describe how things felt now that both of them were finally in the same room together.
“For me it feels good I am excited. I never avoid a good challenge, I always try and challenge myself to the maximum and I am doing that again,” he commenced, before entering into an explanation of why he has been declaring this fight “old school vs. new school” despite him being 27 and Hari being just 31.
“When he talked about me, he said that he was fighting legends in Japan when I was still fighting in shin-guards. So, to me he is saying he is of the older generation. I'm coming up... He is an old-school guy from the K-1 days.”
Hari shook his head as he listened. “I am 31, not 41, I don't know what he's talking about, like I am old or something. I feel great about this fight, it's a double pay-day for me, because I am going to knock him out in the first round, then give him a rematch, then knock him out in the first round again.”
Verhoeven agreed that a first-round knockout was possible, but he doesn't think Hari will be scoring it. “I definitely think it will be over quick, but it will go my way. I am in top shape. You cant prepare for a top guy like me in just four months,” he said.
“I feel good. I am ready for this fight. I was ready a few months ago, I am ready now. For me the fight could be next week. He is getting ready, I was already ready. I was born ready!”
GLORY: COLLISION takes place Saturday, December 10 at the Konig-Pilsner Arena in Oberhausen, Germany and airs in the US on pay-per-view via UFC.tv in a partnership which was announced at today's press conference.
Also announced at today's conference was the rest of the GLORY: COLLISION card. World Welterweight champion Nieky Holzken will defend his belt against Cedric Doumbé, top Heavyweight Ismael Londt will face Jamal Ben Saddik and a world first will be achieved as GLORY crowns the winner of the Women's Super-Bantamweight Grand Prix.
cet article est alimenté par Google translate