Florestry, art and a peaceful life. These are perhaps not the words that you associate with a reigning kickboxing world champion. However, they are the way Tiffany van Soest (33) describes a perhaps not-so-distant life in the future once her already incredibly successful kickboxing career concludes: "the last decade of my life has been so intense, physically strenuous and a lot of mental strain and mental challenges that have come along with the journey I chose, so the contrast to have something very peaceful after all of that sounds very appealing."
Whilst she may fantasise about a life post-kickboxing, for now, van Soest fully focused on preparing for her next title defence and is set to compete against Sarah Moussaddak, a 22-year-old rising star who impressed during her first three GLORY appearances. This will take place during Glory COLLISION 4 on October 8th at the Gelredome arena in the Netherlands. The two fighters will be featured as the co-main event of the night, the other one being the mouthwatering stand off between Alistair Overeem and Badr Hari.
A title defence for any fighter is a big deal but van Soest appears unfazed and clinical when asked if she is feeling any nerves now being just over 3 weeks out from the fight. “It’s my job to defend the title and that is what a world champion is supposed to do. I have a duty to defend my title against whoever they put in front of me and Glory decided that she would be the best fit for this event. Having said that, it doesn’t matter who stands in front of me - I treat my opponent like a blank canvas that I get to create my art on. I know this girl, she is tough, she is young and durable. Glory wouldn’t be giving her the opportunity to fight the champion if she wasn’t worthy of the challenge so here I am doing my job."
Is Moussadak her ideal next candidate? “Not really. My previous fight was against the champion of another organisation - Manazo Kobayashi from Japanese kickboxing promotion company RISE - and my wish would be to continue having big fights with big names but as a champion I have a duty to defend my title against whoever they put in front of me.”
So who would she really like to be fighting? It’s the reigning champions of some of the fighting organisations. As mentioned, her most recent bout in this category was against Kobayashi from RISE who she narrowly beat. She’d welcome the opportunity to square off against some of the fighters at ONE Championship and look at Glory with one-eye to continue pursuing these types of events. "I hope so and it’s definitely something I am going to be pushing for. It’s something that is going to benefit the sport as a whole. You will get fan bases from all over the world because an organisation like ONE Championship is primarily based out of Asia whereas Glory is out Europe, so it really gives the sport the opportunity to grow even more which I think is something that we all want."