The two-time World Fighting League World Champion was pushed to the limit by the United Kingdom’s Juan Cervantes in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, but he held on to score a win by majority decision inside the Phu Tho Indoor Stadium.
The Dutchman had promised a striking exhibition before the match, and immediately took the contest to his rival with a series of punches, including his powerful right hand.
Hard-hitting Dutchman Santino Verbeek drops Juan Cervantes in the first round and edges out a majority decision win!????: Check local listings for global broadcast details????: Watch on the ONE Super App ???? http://bit.ly/ONESuperApp????: Shop Official Merchandise ???? http://bit.ly/ONECShop
Posted by ONE Championship on Friday, September 6, 2019
Cervantes tried to trade leather with Verbeek, but his head movement was too slick for the Englishman, and he was also not afraid to absorb his opponent’s kicks.
When the Sokudo Gym representative took the initiative, he scored the match’s sole knockdown with a pair of awesome overhand rights.
Despite seeming dazed, the 32-year-old answered the referee’s eight-count with ease and quickly went to work to get back in the contest with his signature flying knee.
The highly-entertaining affair took a different turn as soon as the bell for the second round rang. Cervantes burst into life and started to find his mark with a variety of shots.
However, Verbeek continued to push forward and tagged the Northern Kings gym representative with some more heavy strikes in reply.
The final three-minutes began in spectacular style as Cervantes went in search of the knockout he needed to steal victory, and he landed a flush flying knee in the opening seconds.
Somehow, the Dutchman stayed on his feet, but he was hurt as Cervantes pushed forward with a follow-up flurry.
Verbeek tried to plant his feet and fire back, but he spent most of the final round being pushed back by boxing combinations that were punctuated with kicks and a torrent of flying knees.
Ultimately, the man from Newcastle could not claim a finish, which left the bout to the judges’ scorecards. Verbeek’s early knockdown proved to be decisive as the officials awarded him the majority decision to improve his kickboxing record to 37-14-3.