There’s rarely a dull moment when two Dutch strikers go head-to-head on the global stage, and with this pairing’s reputation for action-packed encounters, expect nothing short of fireworks inside the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
Verbeek and Simson both have a plethora of tools in their arsenals along with genuine stopping power. Here are some things to watch out for when they collide this Friday.
Verbeek’s Clubbing Overhand Right
Verbeek is a big puncher, and his overhand right is one of his most formidable weapons.
However, it wasn’t a new revelation. Verbeek has used the overhand right to devastating effect throughout his career, and it’s particularly strong when he throws it as a counter.
More specifically, he likes to throw it over an opponent’s jabbing hand or slip their cross and send his right hand crashing down the center. Also, Verbeek rarely allows his opponent to get a kick off without trying to make them pay for it with his clubbing overhand.
Simson will have to be wary every time he attacks because his countryman’s stinging counters are always locked and loaded.
Simson’s Rapid High Kick
One of “The Punisher’s” favorite techniques is his right high kick, and he has some sneaky setups that make it potent.
Simson uses subterfuge to draw his opponents away from the incoming shin, which allows him to sneak the kick through or around guards.
One technique the 29-year-old uses is the age-old “look low, kick high,” where he drops his gaze to the ground as he steps off with his lead leg – but then whips up the lightning-fast high kick on a low-angled arc to the head.
The Dutch-Surinamese star also likes to throw the kick behind his right hand. Many kickboxers use the rotational force of strikes from one side of the body to the other to generate power. So, when his rivals are expecting a left-sided technique after his overhand or straight right, Simson chains his high kick over the top of their guard to slam his shin into their head.
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Verbeek Learning From The Master
As a proud member of Ernesto Hoost’s Sokudo Gym, Verbeek brings some of his legendary coach’s signature moves with him to the ring.
The four-time K-1 World Grand Prix Champion was renowned for his low kicks, and especially for setting them up behind punching combinations.
A favorite of Hoost’s that has been passed down to his young charge is the left hook to the liver followed by a thudding low kick to the lead thigh.
Verbeek’s left hook is a powerful enough tool by itself, but his rivals are in for an even worse night when he punctuates his combinations with a powerful shin to the leg.
Like his coach and mentor, the 26-year-old Dutchman will also tee it up with a slapping right hand or a lead hook to the head, before chasing the liver shot-low kick finish.
Simson’s Concussive Knees
Simson has competed in dozens of full Muay Thai rules bouts. This is evident in the depth of his repertoire, and one big asset he’s drawn from “the art of eight limbs” is knee striking.
“The Punisher” has adapted those knee strikes perfectly for use in kickboxing. With the ability to clinch much more restricted under kickboxing rules, the Amsterdam native will simply step in with a long knee to the head or use a single collar tie to control his opponent’s head and send his knee crashing into their chin.
Often, you will see Simson lead with looping punches and then fire his right knee straight up the middle when his opponent reacts by taking a high guard.
When he grows in confidence, “The Punisher” is also willing to go airborne and lunge at his opponent with flying knees when he has them reeling – especially against the ropes.
Though he’ll have to be wary of Verbeek’s hammer of a right hand, expect Simson to try to find a home for his knees on the Sokudo Gym athlete’s chin when he dips in to throw those overhands.