Ghita vs. Verhoeven: Kickboxing's top heavyweights go to war on Twitter

Daniel Ghita contemplates his next scathing Twitter post - Glory Sports International

The uneasy peace between Daniel Ghita and former training partner turned bitter rival Rico Verhoeven has been shattered. Having recently joined Twitter, Ghita has now discovered that the chief joy of its many uses is to engage in online confrontation. This is no idle chatter though; Ghita and Verhoeven will meet in the ring on June 21 at GLORY: LAST MAN STANDING for what is expected to be a 'Fight of the Year' contender. The world heavyweight title is on the line - and so are the bragging rights.

Daniel Ghita (50-10-0, 39 KO's) and Rico 'The Prince' Verhoeven (43-9-0, 10 KO's), ranked #1 and #2 in the world respectively, have been taking shots at each other in an increasingly scathing Twitter exchange which started Monday afternoon and continued into Tuesday.

A beef has simmered between the two ever since they met in the final of the GLORY 11 CHICAGO heavyweight tournament in October. Verhoeven won the 'Fight of the Year' contender - parts of which were likened to "something from a Rocky movie" - by way of decision.

Ghita was absolutely furious. He felt that there should have been at least an extra round ordered by the judges, but also that he had won clearly anyway.

Now here's where it gets interesting: the official CompuStrike numbers, released after the fight, showed that Ghita had indeed outlanded Verhoeven in the fight.

Television viewers also saw the fight differently to fans who had seen it in the arena; the former generally had it for Ghita, the latter generally had it for Verhoeven.

Following the fight, open hostility finally broke out between the two. Ghita in particular has gone after Verhoeven, dubbing him a "fake champion" and taking a swipe at his hiring of limousines to attend nightclubs.


Next month they are due to face off again in the headline fight of GLORY: LAST MAN STANDING, with the heavyweight title belt on the line. Their fight on Saturday, June 21 should definitively answer the question as to which of these two is the best heavyweight striker on the planet.

But there is more at stake than the heavyweight title. Of equal importance to the two is proving a point over the other. Ghita and Verhoeven trained together extensively for several years but there was always a simmering tension under the surface.

That has now broken through to the surface as the war of words erupted yesterday. Ghita is normally a quiet man who does his talking in the ring. But, having recent joined Twitter, he took advantage of the opportunity to start needling his younger opponent - and Verhoeven wasted no time in answering back.

Regarding the decision in their first fight, the two are still clearly on opposite sides of the fence:

With this kind of talk coming a month out, you can be sure this fight will explode when it finally happens. Ghita and Verhoeven are not in the Shamrock/Ortiz mould and nor are most kickboxers. When they talk, they mean what they say.

So, fight fans, who takes the World Heavyweight Championship at GLORY: LAST MAN STANDING on June 21 - are you #TeamGhita or #TeamVerhoeven?

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