Petrosyan, suffering from another hand injury, was forced to pull out of the tournament. This, to many, left it wide open for Andy Souwer to take the tournament and lead to a fight between the two later on. Artur Kyshenko saw to it that Souwer didn’t make the finals, though. Kyshenko’s opponent in the finals was a bit odd, though. It was a young Robin van Roosmalen. Robin had been fighting throughout the Netherlands for years and his record was good, but spotted. He wasn’t the top guy, but he had a lot of potential.
Van Roosmalen had fought for It’s Showtime before, even put on some very good performances, but was coming off of a second loss to Mootje Khamal. Surely he was out of his element, right? A second round stoppage over Chahid was a good omen, but Chahid was inconsistent at the time. Entertaining, but inconsistent. Then a decision victory over It’s Showtime 70kg Champion Chris Ngimbi turned some heads; Robin van Roosmalen was going to the finals against the well-respected Artur Kyshenko. Kyshenko was always a big 70kg fighter, which meant that his power and reach were a lot for most fighters to deal with. This would be the challenge that derailed van Roosmalen, many thought, then a left hook floored Kyshenko in the first and van Roosmalen’s hand was raised in victory. He had arrived.
Outside of a rather fluke loss due to a cut to Hafid el Boustati Robin looked unstoppable, a true star on the rise in the GLORY 3 Lightweight Tournament. Finally, we were going to get to see the fight that nobody had wanted years before, but fans were salivating over; Robin van Roosmalen vs. Giorgio Petrosyan. Petrosyan’s slick style was simply too much for van Roosmalen at the time, dropping a disappointing decision to Petrosyan in the finals. So close to greatness, yet so far away.
When at GLORY 12 when Andy Ristie knocked out Giorgio Petrosyan, leading to van Roosmalen vs. Ristie in the finals many thought this would be where van Roosmalen would capture the championship and prove that he was the best 70kg fighter, yet it was Ristie’s night. Ristie’s reign came to an abrupt end at the hands of Davit Kiria and when van Roosmalen met Kiria he simply outclassed the Georgian in a five round fight. When van Roosmalen met Ristie again he was able to shut down the flashier fighter for five rounds. Van Roosmalen had defended his title against one of the toughest men in the world, there was no doubt at how good he really was.
Dave Walsh has been covering MMA and Kickboxing since 2007 before changing his focus solely to Kickboxing in 2009, launching what was the only English-language site dedicated to giving Kickboxing similar coverage to what MMA receives. He was the co-founder of HeadKickLegend and now LiverKick. He resides in Albuquerque, New Mexico where he works as a writer of all trades.
His second novel, Terminus Cycle, is available now via Kindle and Paperback.
Dave (a) LiverKick dot com | @dvewlshWebsite: www.dvewlsh.com