Wearing a shiny gold disco helmet, she sits at the press conference, next to Badr Hari. “If you had the chance to shine in front of an audience of millions, wouldn’t you put a shiny disco ball on your head?” asks Tiffany Van Suest with a broad smile.
The American kickboxing star has been fighting with Glory since 2016, but she’s never before had a stage as big as Saturday night. In the Gelredome stadium, Frenchwoman Sarah Mossadeq fights. Glory made the party the evening’s “co-main event” by Glory.
Just before Hari and Alistair Overeem enter the ring in the evening’s final fight, Van Soest and Moussaddak can fight for the world title in their class in front of tens of thousands of spectators and millions of TV viewers.
“this is really leakedsays Van Suest, 33. “When I was a kid I was already a huge fan of kickboxing and watched the fights of Badr and Alistair and all these others. It is such an honor for me to share the spotlight with them now. I will really enjoy it because I have trained my whole life on it.”
A long way
Women who kick boxing are not new to glory. The Assembly has always featured fighters in the past, but not as prominently as Saturday night. At the biggest event of the year of course.
Van Soost has been the female character for many years. She is the reigning superbantam weight class champion, the only women’s weight class that Glory owns.
“I’ve been in the sport for eleven years and it’s been a long way to get this far as a woman,” says Van Suest. “This co-main event is a great new step and I hope to pave the way for more other women and girls.”
The two women themselves forced Glory van Suest and Mossadeq to make such a big stage. This tells Robbie Timers, who is responsible for programming the battles on behalf of Glory.
“Tiffany in particular has a really unique style,” Timmers said. “She fights amazingly and shows that she masters all aspects of kickboxing.”
Glory notes via social media, among other things, that duels are in high demand by women. “In effect, our audience determines the competitions we organize,” Timmers explains. “We see Van Suest growing in popularity and so it makes sense to declare her party a major joint event.”
Timmers don’t have any numbers, but he says more and more women and girls are taking up kickboxing. In the Netherlands, but also in other countries.
Mosaddegh, who is only 22 years old, is part of this new generation. She is a multiple junior champion and is now hoping to secure the championship belt from Van Soest. “We’ll be writing kickboxing history together, and I’m really looking forward to tomorrow night. It’s going to be great,” says French.
“I see this fight as the opportunity of a lifetime. We’ll do a great show for it.”
“Professional reader. Award-winning gamer. Zombie buff. Social media junkie. Bacon maven. Web scholar.”