A much anticipated rematch, almost eight years in the making, was finally settled by Badr Hari who, secured an unanimous decision victory over, Hesdy Gerges last night at the Ahoy Rotterdam. The result was a reasonably good return after 15 months of inactivity and reinforced Badr’s post-fight comment of, “I don’t lose rematches”, after winning the GLORY 51 headliner.
Speaking to GLORY commentator, Todd Grisham afterwards, Hari opened-up about about: his successful return to kickboxing; what it means to be part of GLORY moving forward in his career; his own post-fight analysis; and that potential rematch with Rico Verhoeven was discussed too.
Badr attacks Hesdy’s body | Photo credit: James Law/Glory Sports International
“This is a fight we’ve been waiting for a long time. I was burned like a lot of people know. Like, I don’t lose rematches my friend. I’m 9-1 in all the fighters I fight for the second time. If you give me a second chance I beat you up.”
“But let me say, Hesdy did a good job. He’s one of the toughest fighters walking around in GLORY. He’s no easy guy. He had a big heart but tonight my heart was bigger. So, you win some and you lose some but I respect him a lot and I’m happy.”
“We’ve been waiting for this fight for like eight years when we we’re youngsters and we came back. I came back in shape. He came back a little big heavy but he did a good job.”
“I wanna thank GLORY for giving me the opportunity to be back and to be part of a family and I think this is the best fighting sport in the world.”
Hari teeps Gerges to the body | Photo credit: James Law/Glory Sports International
“You know, I like boxing but I like GLORY more. I like MMA but I like GLORY more. I think we’re the number one fighting sport in the business. So, there’s another rematch coming up I think.”
“I don’t know a lot of fighters who knocked Hesdy out, there are a couple but he’s a very tough guy. But the main goal like I said, in the interviews, I wanna take off some ring rust. You know, I didn’t been in the ring for a couple of times. So, I needed these rounds – I wanna make three rounds – and this guy; I know he’s a good guy but before he really annoyed me. It was like I’ve got to make him quit and it would only make me hungry.”
“Mousidi, his trainer knows me very well. I’m a tough kid. I’m from the streets. I don’t take shit and I don’t take shit and I don’t give up. If I give up its because I cannot fight.”
“But today I gassed him out. He was tired, I saw it in him, he didn’t train hard enough for me.”
Badr counters Hesdy’s outside low kick | Photo credit: James Law/Glory Sports International
When asked about a certain promise he’d made to Rico Verhoeven of, rematching and knocking out the GLORY heavyweight champion, after his second round TKO (arm injury) defeat at GLORY Collision, Badr responded: “I don’t have to give him a message. The fight was a message.”
“You know, people always concerned about my condition and about my physique. I think today I showed everybody, nothing wrong with my condition. Nothing wrong with my physique; I took off my weight.”
Badr had surprised everyone at the weigh-ins (the day before), weighing-in at 101.8kg which, was approximately 13kg lighter compared to, his previous fight against Verhoeven in December 2016. This leaner, meaner looking version of Hari is reminiscent of his younger and more threatening self for his heavyweight rivals. Who or what’s next for Badr will be certainly be interesting to see, especially if its another grudge match with another adversary from the past.
Click here for the full results and roundup from all the action at GLORY 51 Rotterdam.
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