On Saturday, Dec. 21, Tokyo's Ariake Coliseum will host GLORY 13, which will feature the final fight in the storied kickboxing career of the legendary Peter Aerts (103-30-1, 78 KOs) and the four-man Welterweight Championship Tournament.
Aerts, 43, has been campaigning at the highest level for two decades, and his final challenge could be one of his hardest. Instead of sailing on into the sunset with an easy match, “The Dutch Lumberjack” has decided to take on one of the up-and-coming stars of the sport in his swan song fight.
“There’s no question this great retirement match on Dec. 21 could be the toughest fight I’ve ever had," says Aerts, a three-time heavyweight champion. "GLORY is serious about raising up young fighters—they brought me Rico Verhoeven, the heavyweight tournament champion, as my opponent. Normally, if you say ‘retirement match’ it’s an easy fight, right? But I don’t mind and I'm not intending to lose the match. I would tell Verhoeven, ‘Listen, it’s not an easy job to knock me down.’”
Aerts was last in action in May when he defeated Jamal Ben Saddik by second-round TKO in Tokyo at GLORY 8. Verhoeven (42-9-0, 10 KOs), who defeated Daniel Ghița on Oct. 12 at GLORY 11 in Chicago to win the GLORY Heavyweight Tournament Championship, will leave sentiment aside as he aims to add the name of Aerts to his ledger of wins. The two Dutchmen will be hugely motivated to win, so expect some sparks to fly in this one. In the cofeature event on the night, the aforementioned Ghita (49-10-0, 38 KOs) will hope to rebound strong from his loss to Verhoeven when he takes on Errol Zimmerman (101-10-1, 42 KOs). If Ghita can win and look impressive against "The Bonecrusher," he'll be able to look forward to big fights in 2014.
GLORY 13 will also feature the four-man Welterweight Championship Tournament. Fast and powerful, these four fighters will hope to wow Japanese kickboxing fans with their skills. Nieky "The Natural" Holzken (82-11-0, 43 KOs), who is ranked No. 1 in he world, takes on "Bazooka Joe" Valtellini (10-1-0, 9 KOs), while Raymond Daniels (24-0-0,14 KOs) laces up against Karapet Karapetyan (42-8-2, 4 KOs) in the other semifinal.
GLORY 13 airs across the U.S. on Spike TV at 9 p.m. ET and in Canada on The Fight Network at 5 a.m., then replayed at 9 p.m. For more information, visit gloryworldseries.com.
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