Rico Verhoeven's win in the GLORY 11 CHICAGO Heavyweight Championship Tournament earned him more than a shiny new belt and a big bag of money.
‘The Prince', as he is known, also found that it opened the door to the seminar circuit in the US, with gyms around the country looking to learn some stand-up skills from the likeable young champion when he visited a few weeks ago.
It isn't every day you can get a lesson from a rising star like Verhoeven, especially when that rising star is a heavyweight but has a highly technical style.
One kickboxing fan who wanted to pick up a few tips was Rocco Ritchie, 14, son of pop icon Madonna and the British film director Guy Ritchie, producer of Snatch and Lock, Stock & Two Barrels among others.
"A friend of mine from the Netherlands by the name of Timor Steffens was in New York on business at the time I was doing a seminar at Renzo Gracie's place in Manhattan," says Verhoeven. "He is a professional dancer and choreographer.
Pictured: Rocco, Rico and Timor - via www.ricoverhoeven.com
"Timor is is friends with Madonna and so when he came down to visit the seminar he brought Rocco with him. I wasn't expecting that, it was a surprise to me, but Rocco is a big kickboxing fan so he was keen to get involved."
Verhoeven says he pushed the seminar attendees hard. Rocco, despite his youth relative to the mostly adult crowd, held his own. "He's athletic. For sure he could make it as a kickboxer if he wanted to," says Verhoeven.
"But he is only young, he can do whatever he wants really. He's athletic enough to do most sports or he could go into dancing and things like that if he wanted to. I think right now he is just having fun with different sports."
Interestingly, Rocco's father Ritchie is a brown belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and has also trained extensively in Shotokan Karate, so there is more than a little martial arts in the DNA of young Rocco.
As for Verhoeven, on Saturday June 21 he will face Daniel Ghita for the heavyweight title at GLORY: LAST MAN STANDING.
The event airs on pay-per-view in the US priced at $34.95 and features an eight-man middleweight tournament plus a welterweight title fight beteen champion Marc De Bonte and Canadian challenger ‘Bazooka' Joe Valtellini.