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Andy Ristie Dethrones Giorgio Petrosyan in R3

  • Published in Glory

GLORY

If there was an improbability it was for Giorgio Petrosyan to lose. If there was something that was nearly impossible it was Giorgio Petrosyan losing via Knockout, yet, yet... Here we are and Giorgio Petrosyan has been knocked out in Round 3 by Andy Ristie. Andy Ristie was applying lots of pressure in the first round with Petrosyan not able to find his rhythm until the very end. The second round saw a lot of the same with Petrosyan in control, but not able to find his rhythm.

Round three was do or die for Ristie and Andy Ristie just rushed out there like a bat out of hell but it wasn't enough to put Petrosyan down. Then Ristie landed a huge right hand that had Petrosyan stunned only for him to follow it up with a combination of a right, left and another left that finished it. Petrosyan went down and Andy Ristie had done the impossible.

GIF by ZombieProphet.

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Andy Ristie Takes Place as GLORY 12 Lightweight Champion

  • Published in Glory

glory

My god, what else can you say about Andy Ristie other than he just had the night of his career in New York city. He now holds KO victories over Giorgio Petrosyan and Robin van Roosmalen. In one night. Seriously, that is just insanity. Andry Ristie was riding a wave of momentum coming off of the knockout of Giorgio Petrosyan and he did absolutely everything right against Robin van Roosmalen.

Ristie was able to drop Robin near the tail end of round one only for Robin to work his way back up to his feet. The second round he tried to play it a bit more conservatively but Ristie was able to land another incredible combination which put Robin van Roosmalen down and left him unable to respond to the count.

GIF by ZProphet.

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Post-GLORY 12 Rumor Roundup

  • Published in Glory

Ristie

We are all living in what we could call right now a post-GLORY hangover, as GLORY 12 is in the books and we've had a few divisions shaken to their very core as a result. It wasn't much different from GLORY 11 where Rico Verhoeven shook up the Heavyweight division, it just happened within two divisions in one night; Lightweight and Middleweight. So here are some various news and notes from the event;

 

  • -- Giorgio Petrosyan broke his left hand in the first round against Andy Ristie. Petrosyan's left hand has long plagued his career and been his one real weakness. Without taking anything away from Andy Ristie, without the ability to properly block with his left hand Petrosyan was in a precarious spot against a heavy-hitter like Andy Ristie.
  • -- Spike TV has been pushing for GLORY to do more events in New York after GLORY 12. Word is that the walk-up ticket sales for GLORY 12 were substantial and that Spike TV is urging for less international events on tape delay from GLORY and more live events from strong areas. Expect up to three events in New York in 2014 if all goes according to plan.
  • -- March 8th in Croatia seems to be a done deal, with Orsat Zovko (Mirko Cro Cop's manager and promoter of Final Fight and the K-1 World Grand Prix this year) as GLORY's co-promoter. This, of course means the long-standing rumors of Mirko Cro Cop vs. Remy Bonjasky are true as Zovko has finally announced that fight. This fight will most likely be serving as Remy Bonjasky's retirement fight.
  • -- Hats off to Andy Ristie who had some troubles within his camp leading into GLORY 12, including a rift with his longtime trainer, Lucien Carbin, as well as a few nagging injuries. He really made the best of a bad situation.
  • -- Ben Edwards had a myriad of troubles leading into the event as well, namely with getting a visa for the United States. He arrived later on in the week than he would have liked to due to this, then on arrival had his luggage lost, which meant he had to find all new gear. Jhonata Diniz was wearing Chicago Bulls basketball shorts on the undercard due to having his luggage lost as well.
  • -- Spike TV displayed a quote hyping up the event from the site and attributed it to "Liver Shot." This is my cross to bear.
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S-Cup Update: Tournament Field Settled, Quarterfinal Matchups Announced

  • Published in K-1

After a confusing week that left us with a myriad of different S-Cup competitors, the dust has settled and we are left with an official final 8: Andy Souwer, Henri van Opstal, Kem Sitsongpeenong, Hiroaki Suzuki, Hiroki Shishido, Bovy Sor Udomson, Joachim Hansen and Gesias Cavalcante. Warren Stevelmans, who qualified with a win over Hinata in September, will not participate, likely because of his sudden participation in GLORY 3 Rome this past week, filling in as a late replacement for Yoshihiro Sato, who replaced Albert Kraus. The finalization of the tournament field also came with the quarterfinal matchups. In the upper half of the bracket, Shootboxing Lightweight champion Hiroaki Suzuki takes on former DREAM Lightweight champion Joachim Hansen while 2010 S-Cup semifinalist Henri van Opstal fights Bovy Sor Udomson. In the lower half, 2004 S-Cup finalist Hiroki Shishido fights K-1 HERO*S 2x Middleweight GP winner Gesias Cavalcante while the most intriguing quarterfinal pits 3-time S-Cup winner Andy Souwer against Kem Sitsongpeenong.

In the first half of the bracket, I expect a Suzuki-van Opstal semifinal as Suzuki will likely be the better striker against Hansen and with Suzuki's entire pro career coming in Shootboxing, Hansen will have trouble exploiting throws and standing submissions. I favor van Opstal as he is the better fighter at this point in their careers. In the other half, I give Gesias Cavalcante the best chance to score an opening round upset as Shishido is slowly approaching the twilight of his career and is just 2-4 since losing in the opening round of the S-Cup in 2010. The final quarterfinal is very hard to call, but it's hard to pick against Souwer in this case as he has a size advantage, as well as a huge experience advantage under this ruleset, as it is something Kem is foreign to. That being said, I give Kem the best chance to beat Souwer in this tournament and stop him from winning a 4th S-Cup.

On the reserve side of things, Akihiro Gono will fight Satoru Suzuki in one reserve fight while Hinata is set for the other reserve fight with a yet to be named opponent. During the past week of confusion, one of the names tied to this event was Andy Ristie and it looks as though that is more than just a rumor, as Shootboxing has added him as an expected participant. If he does compete it would likely be in a reserve fight. That's probably not the best news Hinata would want to hear as the two fought at It's Showtime 55 in January, with Ristie dominating Hinata en route to 3 knockdowns and a stoppage just under 2 minutes into the first round.

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Andy Ristie Claims to Have Received His K-1 Money; New Questions Arise

  • Published in K-1

Andy RistieThe saga of K-1 continues on, as yet another fighter from K-1 Global's "K-1 Rising" show in Madrid has stepped forward to claim that he has received the money that was owed to him, and this fighter comes by the way of Andy Ristie. Interestingly enough, Ristie just fought for It's Showtime on It's Showtime 57&58, so if the odds were in favor of him bending in one direction or another, it would be towards It's Showtime, which is now a part of Glory.

This raises some very important questions, questions which have remained unanswered. After we heard about these "payment" issues, we reached out to It's Showtime head Simon Rutz in regards to some further details, and while he did issue a press release shortly thereafter, a lot of our questions remain unanswered. We have not heard from It's Showtime or Glory in an official fashion since the release of their counter press release, but with so many fighters coming forward to say that they were paid, the questions to the validity of the claims against K-1 are starting to rise more and more.

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Glory 17 and Last Man Standing: A Night to Remember (Part 1)

  • Published in Glory

June 21st, 2014 is a night that kickboxing fans will be talking about for quite some time. Glory 17, even though it ended up being a 6 hour event, at no point did I feel this was too much. They did a great job of making us look forward to the next fight even more than the last. Now, I am going to be brutally honest and give my opinions on all the things I enjoyed, and things I didn't on one of the most exciting 6 hours in combat sports.

So, the show started with the analyst desk consisting of Michael "The Voice" Schiavello, Stepen Quadros, and Remy Bonjasky. This is a very knowledgeable group of people but we barely heard from them, instead we had to listen to Duke Roufus and Ron Kruck constantly talk about either previous fights, history, or themselves. For some reason they always seem to ignore the fight that is happening and talk about the fighters past fights, or trainers and so on. I mean that is fine to do when there is a lull in the action to keep the viewers informed and educated, but when action is happening i would like the commentators to talk about the fight. I feel that if they could have maybe used the analyst desk as the commentators this event could have been pretty much perfect. I always favor Shiavello when it comes to kickboxing commentary, being that he is a true fan, knows all the fighters inside and out, talks accurately about what is happening in the fight, and he knows how to excite us and make us laugh. As for Remy Bonjasky this would have been the first time I've heard him commentate, but he is intelligent and well spoken, not to mention one of the best heavyweight kickboxers ever and usually its great when real fighters commentate, for example Roy Jones Jr. on HBO.

Enough about Kruck and Roufus, and more about the people that matter, the fighters. Everyone fought their heart out for Glory last night. The first fight on Spike TV was Canadian Gabriel Varga Vs. Yodkhunpon Sitmonchai from Thailand. Varga has been training with us in Surrey, B.C a little bit for the last few weeks so I know how good he is, and what he is capable of. When the fight started and Sitmonchai instantly interrupted Varga's combos with his own punches and Varga kept throwing very slow telegraphed spinning back fists, and back kicks, I began to get worried. But Varga did what Varga does best and kept grinding Sitmonchai down, until it seemed like the Thai was either tired or just lazy, he just stopped throwing anything even tho he had Varga's leg purple and swollen, thus earning Varga the win and moving onto the Finals of the Featherweight Contender Tournament.

Next fight put American Shane Oblonsky against Brazilian Marcus Vinicius, this was a strange fight because Vinicius actually threw zero kicks. He just tried to box Oblonsky's face off with big looping punches considering he was 7 inches shorter, he landed quite a few big punches, but Oblonsky's chin held up and he was constantly landing his big right hand leading to two knockdowns which moved him on to the Finals to face Varga.

Andy Ristie made short work of Ky Hollenbeck and honestly didn't even look like he was trying yet. He landed his signature step in right hand, then followed it with a stiff left jab/hook type punch then just watched as Hollenbeck wobbled and dropped his right hand, and landed a big left hook on the chin to end the fight in the first round. It was nice to see Ristie actually calm down and watch to land that last punch, he does hit ridiculously hard though, even without effort.

Now onto the Final of the Glory 4 man featherweight contender tournament and this fight was a war. Once again Varga came out with his tight defense and started wearing out Oblonsky, but Shane's technique was much tighter and cleaner in this fight than his last. Varga carried on pressing forward, keeping a high pace but he would sometimes break up the rhythm by throwing a spinning technique which really never landed, they were much too slow, every time he tried one I found myself hoping it was the last, and that he would use his energy into just beating on Oblonsky with leg kicks. In the last round both fighter's had very sore left legs, but neither of them decided to kick it nearly enough until Gabriel started smashing it in the last 30 seconds, which gave Gabriel Varga the hard earned unanimous decision victory, the Glory featherweight contender belt, and secured himself a spot in the Glory featherweight world title tournament.

Last fight on the Spike TV portion of the card was the 39 year old legend Mirko CroCop against the 274lbs, 24 year old Jarrell "Big Baby" Miller. I had high hopes for Miller in this fight, he has looked amazing in his last few professional boxing fights and I figured his hands would just be too good for CroCop. Truth is Millers hands very well may have been too good for the Croatian, if he actually threw them. Big baby decided he was going to kick, clinch, and knee the entire fight, which is basically CroCop's specialty. At one point Miller did land one knee that looked like it hurt CroCop but referee Big John McCarthy called it a low blow, replays showed otherwise in my eyes. It wasn't the most exciting fight, but still entertaining with the chance that Mirko could land his trademark left high kick at any point, and a few came very close to knocking Miller's head into the crowd. Mirko CroCop got the deserving unanimous decision putting an end to the controversy of his last fight with Big Baby.

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Davit Kiria is the NEW GLORY Lightweight Champion

  • Published in News

Photo (C) Dave Mandel / Sherdog

There was something in the air in Zagreb, Croatia tonight as Andy Ristie and Davit Kiria stepped into the ring. The swell of momentum was clearly behind Andy Ristie. Ristie had a night that would make anyone’s career in knocking out Giorgio Petrosyan and Robin van Roosmalen a few months ago, making him the top Lightweight in the world. Now all that he needed to do was go into a fight with the usually patient, defensive Davit Kiria and knock him stupid. Everyone was tossing their money onto Ristie for this fight and for good reason -- he is the best in the world.

Everyone was proven right early on in the fight, as Ristie was dominating round one, then knocking Kiria down early in the second round. Kiria fought back, but there was a feeling in the air that it was just a matter of time before Ristie found a way through Kiria’s air-tight defenses again and put him to sleep. Because that is what Andy Ristie does, he puts guys to sleep. The thing is, if this went into the deep waters beyond round three, what would that mean for Andy Ristie, who has been known to slow down even in three round fights?

Round four saw more of the same, with Ristie not slowing down. Kiria was landing a little bit more, but it was still nothing to be afraid of. A lot of people felt it was just inevitable, that we had to sit out two more rounds before Ristie was crowned as the first GLORY Lightweight Champion, adding to his tournament victory. Round five came and it was thick in the air; Kiria had to hit a Hail Mary to walk away with this, that everyone had started to celebrate Ristie’s win. Then something crazy happened; Kiria started landing and Ristie wasn’t going down, but was clearly hurt. The ref counted and the fans were in disbelief.

Now it came down to a matter of could Ristie hold on for the final bell, could Ristie just hold on and win his championship? Kiria came in like his life depended on it, landing a huge shot on Ristie that sent him down like a character from Mike Tyson’s Punchout into the ropes. This was insanity, Andy Ristie down for a second time in the fifth round! Ristie struggles to his feet and the ref lets it keep going, but Ristie can barely stand. Just a few more shots by Kiria put him onto the mat and the arena explodes as Davit Kiria is crowned the first ever GLORY Lightweight Champion.

The truth is that it was never impossible, that Andy Ristie always had these holes in his game, he just had risen to the top of the division and looked untouchable. Davit Kiria has always been a fighter that has looked great, but never seems to get started in three round fights, but when given five rounds against the best in the world, Davit Kiria overcame all of the odds and found himself as the number one Lightweight in the world.

Congratulations, Davit Kiria, you deserve it.

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Did You Miss the K-1 World MAX Show? Watch it Here

  • Published in Video

Look, we were watching live and we know that a lot of you guys might have missed the K-1 World MAX tournament this weekend, but that is alright. We have you covered because you'll want to see this event. Sure, the marketing leading up to it was kind of lackluster, but the event itself was pretty awesome. So thanks to our buddy ZombieProphet, there is the whole event in all of its glory for all to watch.

So watch it while you can, alright?

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LiverKick Best of 2013: Fighter of the Year

  • Published in News

Photo (C) Bauzen

The year 2013 was a tremendous year for the sport of Kickboxing as we saw GLORY take aim at America as one of its home bases and really made some strides that I honestly thought we’d never see for the sport here. GLORY not only ran shows, but they ran a bunch of shows and those shows were attended by a good number of paying customers. Then, to top it off, GLORY moved from CBS Sports Network and internet PPVs to Spike TV, picking up steam and viewers with every show. That was a big deal.

GLORY wasn’t the only organization to make moves, either, as we saw another season of the SuperKombat World Grand Prix, the birth of LEGEND in Russia and K-1 starting to get the gears in motion by running both a Heavyweight World Grand Prix and a World MAX tournament within the same year. But which company did what doesn’t really matter, what matters are the fights and the fighters.

Throughout the coming week we’ll be looking at the best of 2013 throughout multiple categories, but first we kick things off with LiverKick’s 2013 Fighter of the Year, which was probably the most competitive category of them all. Just about every GLORY tournament winner deserved a spot as Fighter of the Year and the decision between the last two was incredibly difficult, but a decision was rendered. First, let’s look at the runner-up.

LiverKick 2013 Fighter of the Year - Runner Up: Andy Ristie

Man, what a year for Andy Ristie. The man was a wrecking machine with a five-fight win streak in 2013, including two wins that eclipsed the rest. Ristie’s wins were over Alessandro Campagna, Albert Kraus, Niclas Larsen, Giorgio Petrosyan and Robin van Roosmalen. The last two were by knockout to claim the spot of #1 in the 70kg division across the world, which is a herculean feat.

If it wasn’t for the guy who claimed the top spot having as great of a year as he did, Andy Ristie would have been a shoo-in for Fighter of the Year.

LiverKick 2013 Fighter of the Year: Tyrone Spong

Andy Ristie’s 2013 was incredibly impressive, but Tyrone Spong’s 2013 started off with a complete annihilation of a three-time K-1 World Grand Prix Champion in Remy Bonjasky before heading into the GLORY 9 Light Heavyweight tournament. GLORY 9 was unique in that it was an 8-man tournament, not a 4-man tournament, meaning that Spong had to win three fights in one night, which saw him knock out Michael Duut, pummel Filip Verlinden for three rounds and then stop the reigning king of the Light Heavyweight division, Danyo Ilunga, in just one round.

What followed after that was Tyrone Spong making up for one of the few strange points of contention on his record with a rematch against the legendary Nathan “Carnage” Corbett. Carnage has been the king of 95kg Muay Thai for what seems like forever now, remaining unchallenged. Carnage was on a seven-year win streak (with a random No Contest to Spong in the mix, even though he had knocked Spong out) before he met Tyrone Spong and not only did Spong look good against Carnage, but he looked incredible. No one has been able to make Carnage look that lost in the ring, which is what set Tyrone Spong apart and made him the LiverKick 2013 Fighter of the Year.

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LiverKick Best of 2013: Knockout of the Year

  • Published in News

Image (C) Glory

The year 2013 was a tremendous year for the sport of Kickboxing as we saw GLORY take aim at America as one of its home bases and really made some strides that I honestly thought we’d never see for the sport here. GLORY not only ran shows, but they ran a bunch of shows and those shows were attended by a good number of paying customers. Then, to top it off, GLORY moved from CBS Sports Network and internet PPVs to Spike TV, picking up steam and viewers with every show. That was a big deal.

GLORY wasn’t the only organization to make moves, either, as we saw another season of the SuperKombat World Grand Prix, the birth of LEGEND in Russia and K-1 starting to get the gears in motion by running both a Heavyweight World Grand Prix and a World MAX tournament within the same year. But which company did what doesn’t really matter, what matters are the fights and the fighters.

Throughout the coming week we’ll be looking at the best of 2013 throughout multiple categories, with Monday featuring Fighter of the Year and Tuesday featuring Fight of the Year. Today’s category is one that is completely undisputed as it took the entire Kickboxing world by surprise; the Knockout of the Year. If you’ve been watching Kickboxing you already know what this is going to be.

LiverKick 2013 Knockout of the Year: Andy Ristie vs. Giorgio Petrosyan

Andy Ristie had two tremendous knockouts on the night of November 23rd, but one was literally the impossible. Andy Ristie achieved something on November 23rd that no one else has been able to even come close to, which was to knock Giorgio Petrosyan out. Giorgio Petrosyan was without a doubt the #1 fighter at 70kgs and he was there for years. In fact, it looked like his reign would never end, but Andy Ristie refused to accept that when he stepped into the ring that night.

Ristie chipped away throughout the fight, finding the smallest of openings and exploiting them. It led to Petrosyan looking just a little off throughout the fight. To the untrained eye it was just another Petrosyan fight where he wasn’t getting hit and was slipping some strikes through his opponent’s defenses, but that untrained eye would be missing the shots that Petrosyan wasn’t landing, or the times that Ristie was able to counter him. By the time the third round came around and Ristie connected with a clean shot it almost didn’t seem like reality, then he followed up and Giorgio Petrosyan was down on the ground and didn’t get back up.

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