For most people, the teenage years are a time of self-discovery and carefree living.

Curaçaoan Errol Zimmerman took quite a different path. By the age of 15, he was lying about his age to compete professionally on the Dutch kickboxing circuit. By the age of 18, he had already claimed the 86-kilogram (189-pound) Dutch Muay Thai title.

Zimmerman (R) (James Law/GLORY)

Zimmerman (R) (James Law/GLORY)

Now, after more than a decade in the sport, the 28-year-old heavyweight known as “The Bonecrusher” has seen just about everything the sport has to offer. As a veteran of K-1 and It’s Showtime, Zimmerman considers himself lucky to be part of the upcoming GLORY 16 Heavyweight Contender Tournament on Saturday, May 3, in Denver.

“It is very important for me,” he explained to The MMA Corner. “For two years, we fought everywhere on small shows and didn’t get the recognition we deserved. Now, with GLORY, we fight on the highest level again, so I’m happy about that.”

With more than 100 fights, 75 wins and 40-plus knockouts on his resume, Zimmerman possesses natural power that few people can match. In fact, it’s his devastating force that earned him the Bonecrusher moniker in the first place—courtesy of his cousin and a few unfortunate opponents. He’s been in the ring with many of the biggest names in the sport through the years, including Semmy Schilt, Peter Aerts and Remy Bonjasky. Despite his past success, he’s far from done making a name for himself in the sport.

“For me, the biggest accomplishment until now was 2007-2008 when I won the [K-1] Amsterdam tournament, advanced to the Final 16 and then advanced to the Final 8 tournament in Japan,” recalled Zimmerman.

“Of course, now my goal is to become the GLORY heavyweight champion.”

In order to capture GLORY gold, Zimmerman must find the form that saw him reel off eight straight wins between 2011 and 2012. The Curaçaoan then dropped four of his next five outings, all in the GLORY ring, as he faced the aforementioned Schilt, current champion Rico Verhoeven and Daniel Ghita. The Bonecrusher is certain he’s righted the ship.

“The losses I got were mostly against top-two opponents, but those fights were during a time of my life when I wasn’t feeling at the right place training-wise,” admitted Zimmerman. “Now, I returned to my original gym [Hemmers Gym], and I feel back at home and where I belong.”

Back on track in his training, Zimmerman’s attention turns to GLORY 16 and the four-man contender’s tournament. He’ll match up with Australia’s Ben Edwards in the opening round of the bracket.

Zimmerman (James Law/GLORY)

Zimmerman (James Law/GLORY)

“He is a strong fighter who comes to fight, but I am going to knock him out!” declared Zimmerman of his first-round opponent.

If Zimmerman does in fact get past Edwards, he’ll be matched up with the winner of the other half of the tournament ladder, which features Brazilian Anderson “Braddock” Silva and Russian Sergei Kharitonov.

“I don’t care who I fight!” proclaimed the kickboxer. “I’ll win the first fight and then we will see who’s going to be the next victim.”

Confidence beaming heading into the Spike-broadcast event, Zimmerman has one final message for kickboxing fans across the globe.

“[Expect] a real Bonecrusher show with some knockouts!”

Errol would like to thank his trainers, Nick Hemmers and his brother Carlo Dekkers, for their patience and all the work they do with him, and also Cor Hemmers for all the things he has taught him in the past. He would also like to thank his sponsors: Pro Industrie and Nikko Sports, and last, but not least, all his fans. It’s because of them that he’s still fighting. Follow Zimmerman on Twitter: @errolzim