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VIDEO: Robin van Roosmalen Successful in MMA Debut

  • Published in Glory

GLORY Lightweight Champion has been training in Mixed Martial Arts for a while now, that much has been widely reported throughout the MMA blogsphere as when it comes time to talk about an MMA fighter's credentials, saying stuff like "training with a killer kickboxing champion" makes for an interesting story (while actually covering kickboxing does not, apparently). So we've known for a while that van Roosmalen has been training in Florida with sights set on taking the journey that many other kickboxing champions have made by wading into the pool of Mixed Martial Arts.

The result was a positive one for van Roosmalen, although it's fair to note that he did look a bit rough in the grappling department as many high level kickboxers tend to look when they work their way into MMA. Unlike someone like Verhoeven who fights in the less talent-rich heavyweight division and could have a greater deal of success with less refinement, van Roosmalen chose to cut weight down to Featherweight for his MMA debut. Featherweight and Lightweight, the two divisions that he'd be competing in, tend to be more talent rich and full of talent all throughout the world and the grappling of a 6-5 fighter in Anthinodoros Michailidis gave him some serious trouble in the opening round. 

That doesn't mean that there isn't room for improvement, but it's difficult to see such a talented champion like him struggle like that, especially with kickboxing's at times tenuous grasp on convincing hardcore fans that this current crop of fighters is as elite as the previous generation. 

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Van Roosmalen vs. Sitthichai II: A King and His Potential Usurper

  • Published in Glory

(C) GLORY Sports International

For many years the Lightweight (70kg/MAX) division was one of the most competitive in all of professional kickboxing. For good reason, too; K-1 was the world’s largest kickboxing organization and they opted to go with 70kg as their big, second weight class, built around a handsome young talent named Masato. For years fans got to watch as fighters like Masato, Andy Souwer, Buakaw Banchamek, Mike Zambidis and Giorgio Petrosyan wowed crowds with their amazing fights and dominated the landscape of the packed division. 

The division was richer than K-1’s heavyweight division, which tended to be the same 12 or so fighters competing each year with another four fighters swapping out periodically. When everything changed back in 2010 it was promotions like It’s Showtime that were the vanguards for a change in kickboxing by highlighting multiple weight classes and establishing champions across all of them. It was there that Robin van Roosmalen got his first chance to show the world what he was made of, all during a time when the climate was perfect for a new champion to rise.

Giorgio Petrosyan was the undisputed king of the 70kg division at the time, with back-to-back K-1 World MAX championships and a nearly spotless record that went along with his slick style he looked unbeatable. The only thing that could stop Petrosyan was a recurring hand injury that left him sidelined. When It’s Showtime was planning their 70kg MAX Fast & Furious tournament it was going to highlight all of the best talent in the world, with Petrosyan as the showcase. Many had predicted an Andy Souwer vs. Giorgio Petrosyan showdown, with the winner settling the score once and for all as to who really was the king of the division.

Yet none of it worked out that way.

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Awful Decision Mars GLORY 25 Lightweight Championship Bout

  • Published in Glory

Very rarely am I speechless after watching a kickboxing bout, yet after GLORY 25's main event between Robin van Roosmalen and Sitthichai? Speechless.

Robin van Roosmalen is one of the greatest lightweights in the world but tonight in Italy it wasn't his night. Not even close. Sure, he landed punches, but I can't imagine anyone watching Sitthichai vs. Robin and somehow believing that Robin had done enough to secure himself a draw in that fight, never mind a victory. Sitthichai spent the entire fight slamming his left leg into Robin's ribs and arm, alternating with his knee at times and using his jab and teep to keep van Roosmalen at bay.

Never was Sitthichai ever hurt or in any danger at all. Robin landed punches on the rare times when they were close, but none of them made any difference, never mind that his right arm was so banged up from all of the kicks that there was no way that he could throw those punches with any real power. 

Robin didn't win a single round, on just about any metric. All due respect to him, but he was completely dominated and outclassed in that fight. If GLORY doesn't demand an immediate rematch I don't know what they are thinking. Sitthichai deserves better. Their championship deserves better. The fans deserve better. 

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Glory 20 Live Results *SPOILERS*

  • Published in Glory

Glory 20 is live STREAM INFO HERE. It will be played on tape delay in about 10 hours on SPIKE TV so if you are going to watch it then avoid scrolling down to see results.

GLORY 20 MAIN CARD

Lightweight Title Bout:(C) Robin van Roosmalen def. Andy Ristie by Unanimous Dec

Middleweight Tournament Final: Simon Marcus def. Jason Wilnis by Unanimous Dec

Featherweight Title Bout: Gabriel Varga def. Mosab Amrani by Unanimous Dec

Middleweight Tournament semifinal: Jason Wilnis def Alex Pereira by Unanimous Dec

Middleweight Tournament semifinal: Simon Marcus def. Wayne Barrett by Unanimous Dec

GLORY SUPERFIGHT SERIES

Light heavyweight bout: Saulo Cavalari def. Artem Vakhitov by Split Dec

Light heavyweight bout: Mourad Bouzidi def. Dustin Jacoby by Unanimous Dec

Heavyweight bout: Chi Lewis Parry def. Yong-Su Park by KO Rd 1 (left uppercut)

Middleweight bout: Samir Boukhidous def. Mikhail Chalykh by TKO Rd 1 (right hand)

Welterweight bout: Chad Sugden def. Atakan Arslan by Unanimous Dec

Lightweight bout: Anatoly Moiseev def. Max Baumert by KO Rd 1 (right head kick)

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Andy Ristie vs. Robin Van Roosmalen Official For GLORY 20 Dubai

  • Published in Glory

After Andy Ristie's blistered performance last night at GLORY 19 it has become official that Andy Ristie will challenge GLORY Lightweight Champion Robin van Roosmalen on April 3rd in Dubai for the GLORY Lightweight Championship. Ristie made quick work of the tough-as-nails Steve Moxon last night in Virginia at GLORY 19 and Cor Hemmers confirmed at the post-show presser that Andy Ristie will get another chance at the title on April 3rd in Dubai, making two world titles on the line that night, considering the Featherweight Championship is on the line as well.

They last met at GLORY 12 in the Finals of the Lightweight tournament after Ristie had knocked out Giorgio Petrosyan. Ristie walked away victorious that night, but when he would vie for the Championship against Davit Kiria things did not work out as planned. Now after his win last night we will get to see a five-round rematch in Dubai.

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About That GLORY 18 Poster Being Passed Around

  • Published in Glory

Over the past few days we've seen the leaked GLORY 18 poster being passed around quite a lot and gotten a few questions about it. We were going to ignore it and just let it disappear, but, it wasn't about to do that. That's a good thing, though, because fans are hungry and want to know more about the next GLORY event. So anyway, this poster for GLORY 18 has been floating around with a date of August 9th listed as the date, featuring Davit Kiria and Robin van Roosmalen on it.

We've spoken to a few people at GLORY and can confirm that you can indeed be excited, but that the poster was leaked out with a projected date, not the final date. We don't have a final date for GLORY 18 yet, but we know for sure that it's not August 9th. So hold your horses, for now.

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Glory 18 Posters

  • Published in Glory

Today there have been two Glory 18 posters floating around the internet, neither of them have a location, and neither of them are on Glory's website, Twitter of Facebook. To me it still feels like we are one step closer to the next event, and by the match ups on the poster it seems to be a great one.

First if all it has Glory's lightweight champion Davit Kiria defending his belt against Robin Van Roosmalen also Wayne Barrett against Jason Wilnis for the single fights. There is also a light heavyweight contender tournament featuring Andre Stoica vs Saulo Cavalari and Brian Collette Vs Zak Mwekassa.

So far so good I'd say, now we just wait for the official announcement.

 

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New Fight Announcements

  • Published in Kickboxing

Explosion Fight Night 3There has been an onslaught of fight announcements in the past few days.  To keep you up to speed, we're putting them together here in one story, so let's get to it.

Feb. 19 - Shootboxing act.1: We previously announced that UFC veteran Kuniyoshi Hironaka would be on this card against an opponent TBA.  His opponent is now set, and it's Satoru Suzuki.  The Japanese ex-boxer had a good year in Shootboxing in 2010, but ended the year breaking his arm and being forced out of the S-Cup.  This is his first fight back from the injury.

Feb. 26 - Golden Glory Eindhoven: Top 10 fighter Nieky Holzken is in action, facing Thilo Schneider in a Golden Glory sponsored event.  Holzken is moving back and forth between the 70 and 77kg limits these days - hopefully he can settle down and find where he fights best this year.

Feb. 27 - RISE 74: A few good fights set for the latest edition of Japan's RISE promotion.  The show will feature two title fights: 60kg champion Kan Itabashi faces Kousuke Komiyama, while 63kg champion Koji Yoshimoto meets Yusuke Sugawara.  The show will also include the retirement of former K-1 MAX fighter Tatsuji.  Full card at HeadKickLegend.

March 6 - It's Showtime Amsterdam: IS added a pair of interesting fights to their first show of 2011.  First, Wendell Roche fights Danyo Ilunga for the vacant IS 95kg title.  We'll have more on this fight in the coming weeks.  Plus, Chahid Oulad El Hadj vs. Robin van Roosmalen in what should be an exciting match up.

March 12 - Fight Nights: Battle of Moscow: Top 5 MW Albert Kraus headlines this show against Batu Khasikov.  Kraus is a busy fighter who takes a fair number of these smaller fights, typically knocking his opponents out.  But as Souwer showed us this weekend - anything can happen.

April 2 - Explosion Fight Night 3: This French Muay Thai event is notable for a 4 man K-1 rules tournament that will feature Sudsakorn.  The Thai fighter is popping up everywhere these days, already having turned in two high profile fights in 2011 against Khem Sitsongpeenong and Giorgio Petrosyan.  He's also entering a lot of tournaments, which is a smart move for the experience.  The other participants are Michael Piskitello, Michale Lallemand, and Mohammed Rahoui.

April 24 - REBELS 7: Former K-1 MAX Korea GP champion Chi Bin Lim meets Daiki Watabe.  Good to see Chi Bin Lim here, as he looked very good at the K-1 MAX Final 16 last year, but has seemingly been passed in the MAX pecking order by his countryman Su Hwan Lee.

May - Local Kombat: This one is not 100% confirmed yet, but Local Kombat revealed that their May event will likely be headlined by Daniel Ghita vs. Alexey Ignashov.  Ignashov is notoriously hard to stop or even knockdown, but he's not looked good lately, and I have to think Ghita may be the man to finally stop him here.

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Sitthichai vs. Robin: A Second Viewing

  • Published in Glory

GLORY 25's main event will go down in history as one of the most disputed decisions in GLORY history, without a doubt. What many saw in the main event was the younger Sitthichai Sitsongpeenong attacking van Roosmalen at will throughout the five rounds of the fight, with Robin relegated to throwing desperate combinations whenever the Thai would lock up with him near the ropes. 

Yesterday after the fight we made use of Twitter's new poll system to see what fans watching at home thought. The answer was a staggering 78% saw Sitthichai winning.

But, as that poll shows, there is a minority of folks who felt that van Roosmalen picking up the win was justified, even if the live crowd, the announcers, fans and pundits alike saw the fight as a clean sweep for Sitthichai. Making use of WatchESPN's feature to rewatch past content I decided to sit down again with Sitthichai and Robin van Roosmalen in an attempt to see the fight again with fresh eyes, on the lookout for things that van Roosmalen was doing that could win him the fight. 

The key argument that I've seen over the past day is that Sitthichai was kicking nothing but glove. The smoking gun, if you will, for those supporting van Roosmalen's claim to the title is that van Roosmalen was blocking just about every strike that came flying at him and that Sitthichai, under the rules, did not throw strikes that score. Through a second, careful viewing it is clear that throughout the later points in the fight van Roosmalen is bringing his left hand over his chest to his right side to help deflect these shots, at times that hand coming in before the kick and able to deflect the shot down or away.

Earlier on in the fight many of Robin's attempts to block these kicks were to bring both his hands up in a defensive position around his face, then to bend down so that his elbows were covering his midsection. Later on he began swatting at these strikes a bit more. Only a handful of times did van Roosmalen bring his knee up to defend the kick, which is seem as a common defense for body kicks throughout muay thai and kickboxing. This argument that van Roosmalen blocked all of Sitthichai's shots depends on the interpretation that because Sitthichai's strikes did not connect on either the midsection or the head and neck of van Roosmalen that they should not be scored as connecting shots. Looking at GLORY's own rules leaves the subject up to ambiguity here.

"Kicks – striking with the foot or lower leg to a legal target: i.e. front kicks, low kicks inside and outside the leg, middle kicks, high kicks, sidekicks, back kicks, ax kicks, spinning kicks, jumping kicks;"

So, according to GLORY's rules, any kick to a legal target is a scoring strike. If one were to argue that Sitthichai's target of choice was van Roosmalen's ribs or head then yes, Sitthichai did miss a lot of those shots. Why? Because he was clearly aiming for the shoulder and upper arm of van Roosmalen. When Sitthichai wanted to land a lower shot that connected with the midsection, he threw his kicks a lot lower. Believing that someone with the power and accuracy of Sitthichai, while throwing strikes from a safe, unopposed distance, was somehow mistiming and miscalculating all of his shots seems like a long shot.

Let's look at the official Strike Stats from after the fight.

By outward appearances, it seems that Robin's punch flurries from inside of the clinch left a bigger impression that Sitthichai's kicks did, with Sitthichai given credit for only 47% of his kicks.

The redness of van Roosmalen's right arm told the story of the fight; Sitthichai was taking care of one of van Roosmalen's strongest weapons by kicking at his power arm. What's funny is that it worked, with van Roosmalen not throwing any real power combinations from a distance throughout the fight. In fact, the only time that van Roosmalen was really scoring was when either man had his opponent pinned up towards the ropes, where van Roosmalen would let his fists fly with his accurate uppercuts and hooks. But most of the bigger shots were coming with his left hand, not his right. 

These shots from van Roosmalen were landing, though. They appeared to be accurately scored by the on-screen statistics throughout the fight. Let's get something straight here; Robin's work when he did throw those combinations were incredible and he was landing clean with just about every shot. Even then, it is difficult to look at the above stats as well as the fight itself and come to the same conclusion that all three judges did.

From outward appearances it seems that the judges simply wrote off all of those kicks to a legal target. Returning to GLORY's rules on how this fight was scored, we see the breakdown and hierarchy of how judge's score the fight.

A. Number of knockdowns.

B. Damage inflicted on the opponent.

C. Number of clean strikes with spectacular techniques (flying and spinning techniques, etc.)

D. Number of clean strikes with normal techniques.

E. Degree of Aggressiveness or Ring Generalship (whichever has greater impact on the round)

It should be noted that in assessing the general impression, attack is valued higher than defense.

Neither man was able to score a knockdown and as for visible damage, neither man was cut or really damaged in the facial region. Van Roosmalen did show more signs of wear, with his midsection and right arm clearly taking a brunt of the attacks. When it comes to aggressiveness Sitthichai would have to be the winner here. You could make an argument for round five going to Robin, where he seemed to realize that his title reign was in danger and he turned up the heat, but outside of maybe round two it's difficult to assign another round to Robin.

Did van Roosmalen really win this fight? That is for you to decide, but what was clear to me in the case of this fight is that the biggest discrepancy was how to score Sitthichai's kicks to the arms. The outcome of the fight seems to hinge on whether you give credit to Sitthichai for carefully targeting Robin's arm, or if you credit Robin's arm for being in the way of those strikes. 

Even the scorecards from the judges don't seem to line up, at all.

If you are willing to look at those score cards and tell me that those judges rendered the correct decision, I don't even know.

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It's Showtime Announces New May Show

  • Published in Kickboxing

It's ShowtimeMore news from the ever-busy It's Showtime - this time it's a new show added to their 2011 schedule.  On May 21, the company returns to The Sand in Amsterdam for It's Showtime 48, and there is already a solid partial line-up announced.

In a Heavyweight fight, It's Showtime HW champion and top 10 ranked Hesdy Gerges will face Chris Knowles.  Knowles is a well regarded English Muay Thai stylist.  He was originally set to face Rico Verhoeven for IS late last year, but was forced off the card due to travel difficulties.  He's a good pick up for It's Showtime, and will make a strong addition to their Heavyweight ranks, although he definitely has a tough task ahead of him here.  Gerges will be coming in off his career high win over Daniel Ghita, and will look to continue his rise through the ranks.

The fight that most has my attention is a 70kg bout between Mohamed Khamal and Robin van Roosmalen.  Khamal made the jump up to 70kg last year, and promptly made an impact, winning the K-1 West Europe GP, knocking Artur Kyshenko out of the MAX GP, and putting on one of the best fights of 2010 in his defeat of Mosab Amrani.  He has quickly established himself as both a dynamic fighter, and a real force in the Middleweight division.  van Roosmalen is in almost the exact same position as Khamal was not long ago.  The young fighter is currently on a five fight win streak, including defeats of William Diender and an impressive win over Chahid Oulad el Hadj.  Like Khamal, he is a rising fighter, and is poised to be one of the break out fighters of 2011.  This will be a rematch, as the two men met in the semi-finals of last year's 2010 K-1 MAX West Europe GP - Khamal took that fight via 2nd round KO en route to claiming the tournament crown.  With two exciting, young, hungry fighters, this has all the ingredients to not only steal the show, but be a highlight fight of 2011.

One other fight to note is Anderson "Braddock" Silva vs. Jamal Ben Saddik.  Saddik is the fighter who scored a surprise KO win over Rico Verhoeven at It's Showtime 46 last month.  If he can score back to back win over Verhoeven and Silva, he will have immediately established himself as a serious challenger, and a name to watch.  Silva is a tough challenge though, as he holds some big wins over the likes of Hesdy Gerges and Freddy Kemayo, who he KO'd with a spectacular head kick to close out 2010.

The full line-up announced so far:

HESDY GERGES vs. CHRIS KNOWLES

ROBIN VAN ROOSMALEN vs. MOHAMED KHAMAL

ANDERSON SILVA vs. JAMAL BEN SADDIK

MOHAMED MEDHAR vs. HAFID EL BOUSTATI

AMIR ZEYADA vs. SAHAK PARPARYAN

JASON WILNIS vs. LAURENT ATRIFFI

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