Kickboxer suffers face injury that was so bad during a bout that his own phone didn't recognise him


Kickboxer suffers a face injury so gruesome that even his own phone’s facial recognition didn’t work… but he STILL won his heavyweight title bout after the referee let him fight on

  • Rico Verhoeven was defending his heavyweight title against Jamal Ben Saddik
  • But the fighter was knocked down in second round with huge cut below eye 
  • Despite heavy bleeding beneath his eye, Verhoeven was allowed to continue
  • He eventually won the bout in Arnhem to record his 15th consecutive victory 


A kickboxing champion managed to successfully defend his heavyweight title, despite suffering facial injuries that were so bad his own mobile phone failed to recognise him.

Rico Verhoeven was defending his title in a bout with Jamal Ben Saddik at ‘Glory: Collision 3’ in Arnhem, Holland, successfully winning after a fourth round knock out.

But the Dutchman was nearly stopped two rounds earlier when he was knocked down by his opponent, resulting in him suffering a huge cut underneath his left eye.

Rico Verhoeven sported a huge cut under his eye following his kickboxing victory

Rico Verhoeven sported a huge cut under his eye following his kickboxing victory

Jokingly asked whether his own phone would recognise him, the Dutchman's test later confirmed that it didn't following the brutal encounter with Jamal Ben Saddik

Jokingly asked whether his own phone would recognise him, the Dutchman’s test later confirmed that it didn’t following the brutal encounter with Jamal Ben Saddik

Despite the blood pouring from beneath Verhoeven’s eye, a ringside doctor allowed the bout to continue before the heavyweight recovered to retain his title.

Post fight, and sporting a heavily blood stained plaster below his eye which was badly swollen and barely open, the 32-year-old was quizzed about his injury.

After being jokingly asked whether his phone’s facial technology still recognised him, Verhoeven got out his phone to put their question to the test – with a predictable answer.

Verhoeven was caught in the second round of the 'Glory: Collision 3' event in Arnhem, Holland

Verhoeven was caught in the second round of the ‘Glory: Collision 3’ event in Arnhem, Holland

Despite taking heavy hits, Verhoeven managed to claim his 15th consecutive victory

Despite taking heavy hits, Verhoeven managed to claim his 15th consecutive victory

The Dutchman attacks with a roundhouse kick as he fought back to a fourth round win

The Dutchman attacks with a roundhouse kick as he fought back to a fourth round win

He told MMA Fighting: ‘Do I really have to answer that? Yeah, it was the worst. So of course people make jokes so after the fight at the press conference, “Rico! Does your phone face recognition still work?”

‘I was like, “I don’t know, but let me try”. It didn’t. So it was perfect for that moment I was like trying to put it on the good side. But yeah, now it works.’ 

Verhoeven later required six stiches to his injury and praised his cutman ringside who helped ensure the injury did not become even worse during the bout.

With a blood stained face, the 32-year-old celebrates with his team following the victory

With a blood stained face, the 32-year-old celebrates with his team following the victory

His title defence now stretches over seven years as he salutes the crowd in Arnhem

His title defence now stretches over seven years as he salutes the crowd in Arnhem

‘He did an amazing job, I was so happy he was there. That’s also what I told him after the fight, I was like “I’m so happy you were there”,’ he continued.

‘After the fight he took care of me, he was there cooling it and making sure the wound was good and treated well. He closed it up and let the doctors look at it. So I was so happy with him.’

Verhoeven is widely regarded as one of the best kickboxers in the world and his victory over Ben Saddik was his 15th in a row stretching back to 2015 – a year after he picked up his heavyweight championship. 

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