Think of Dutch kickboxing and you think of some of the greatest fighters ever produced; Peter Aerts, Ernesto Hoost, Remy Bonjasky, Albert Kraus and the legendary Ramon Dekkers (amongst many others). Whether it be the coaches, the weather or just something in the water, the Netherlands certainly have a knack for producing high-level kickboxers.
However, it is rare to see some of these top fighters compete here in Australia. This will all change on March the 2nd when rising Dutch talent Fernando ‘The Flash’ Groenhart (72-15-3) takes on regional powerhouse Brad ‘Quake’ Riddell (56-8-0) in the main event of Powerplay 36.
With 90 fights to his name, Groenhart comes to Melbourne looking to add another big name scalp to his already impressive record. Riddell, who is well credentialed and perhaps unlucky not to have featured more heavily on some of the big international kickboxing promotions, offers just that opportunity.
Training out of one of the top gyms in Europe, Mike’s Gym, Groenhart will come to Australia ready to fight, working under the tutelage of the world-renowned Mike Passenier. Passenier has trained some of the biggest names in world kickboxing including Melvin Manhoef, Badr Hari and Gokhan Saki.
Groenhart also has the advantage of having worked with some high-level fighters in the lead-up including his brother and former Glory Welterweight Champion Murthel Groenhart. The two brothers are well known for their incredibly hard sparring sessions, with footage often finding it’s way onto social media.
To bring a fighter of Groenhart’s calibre to Australia demonstrates not only Powerplay’s commitment to the local fight scene, but how much faith they have in a fighter like Riddell.
“Brad is at the top of his game with many labelling him the best K1 fighter in his weight division. We’ve worked with Brad over the years and the Australian fight community have seen him go from strength to strength” Powerplay Promotion’s Joe Nadar recently told Fight News Australia.
“We make the investment on an opponent that factors in availability, challenging both fighters and matching fights that we know will bring an explosive bout into centre ring”.
“Fernando is one tough boy! Not only is he coming to fight, but he wants to win by KO. Brad will be challenged in a way I don’t think he’s been challenged before”.