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Glory World Series "First 16" Impresses, Marches on to Final 8

  • Published in Kickboxing

PetrosyanThis weekend was huge for Kickboxing and I'm sure that there is no one in the world who could doubt that. We saw huge events from both the returning K-1 as well as Glory with a more focused direction. Both companies held their 70kg tournaments' opening round, consisting of sixteen fighters for a chance to enter the Final 8. We all know this tournament format very well, as for the past twenty years it has been burned into our subconsciouses by K-1. It is the gold standard for martial arts and for testing the best in the world.

For Glory, it was their first event held under the Glory Sports International banner that had the razor-sharp focus of becoming a new global kickboxing brand in the vein of what K-1 was for years. That isn't to say that their past events lacked a focus or were in some way failures, but this show was different. The event in March was originally slated to be a K-1 event, and there was a lot of planning going into that being the re-launch of the K-1 brand when it was announced. Then, the purchase of K-1 fell through and a lot of changes had to be made on the fly, and lots of fighters which were going to be available to them were no longer available. Instead, Glory put on the best possible show that they could under those circumstances.

The show from Saturday was the real launch of their own brand of Kickboxing, and did not feel at all like past efforts have. Past shows had a very different look and feel, while this show had the "big match" kind of atmosphere which was traditionally attributed to K-1 shows. There was a look and feel of professionalism, with each fight holding its own weight and feeling important in their own right. While the announce team of Mauro Ranallo and Stephen Quadros did leave something to be desired in Kickboxing knowledge, their professionalism still came through and added a lot to the presentation. The large video screens with unique footage and information for each fighter gave more of a "K-1 feel" to the show, and the overall quality of the production was worthy of those K-1 shows.

A big focus was on the "First 16" 70kg bouts that took place, and while there were a lot of newer names involved in the tournament, there was definitely a feel that the selection of fighters covered a world stage a lot better than the competition, which was almost entirely euro-centric and associated with It's Showtime. The fights were all evenly matched, which led to a lot of exciting bouts and helped the show flow very smoothly. I've read some complaints about having Fabio Pinca, arguably among the top fighters in the tournament, matched up immediately with Giorgio Petrosyan, but honestly, he provided a solid test for Giorgio, and you could argue the best test out of any of the other fighters.

The Glory World Series Final 8 looks as follows;

Shemsi Beqiri (Switzerland)

Tim Thomas (England)

Robin van Roosmalen (Netherlands)

David Kyria (Georgia)

Ky Hollenbeck (USA)

Sanny Dahlbeck (Sweden)

Albert Kraus (Netherlands)

Giorgio Petrosyan (Italy)

After what we saw in the First 16, there is a lot to look forward to when the field of eight clash to move on to the semi-finals, and then the finals. It is also interesting to note that for the first time in a long time, a fighter from the United States will be fighting on a world stage like this. The Kickboxing world could use a lot more events like this and we look forward to future Glory events, including the Heavyweight First 16, which will hopefully deliver like the 70kg class did.

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Full Card for Oktagon 2011: Mar 12

  • Published in Kickboxing

Oktagon 2010This past weekend, Giorgio Petrosyan once again asserted his dominance over the Middleweight ranks with a victory over Sudsakorn.  With that fight done, The Doctor now looks ahead to his next fight - a March 12 clash with Cosmo Alexandre.

Giorgio Petrosyan vs. Cosmo Alexandre will headline Oktagon 2011, a kickboxing and Muay Thai event taking place in Milan.  The fight will be 3 x 3 rounds, K-1 rules, at 70kg.  We've discussed this fight before, but it should be another good challenge for the champ.  Alexandre has been hot for the past 2 years, with big wins in It's Showtime and other international promotions.  He's a smart fighter with a deadly flying knee that he could use to great advantage here.  The difficulty he may face is the weight cut - Alexandre has been fighting almost exclusively at 77kg recently, and a drop all the way down to 70 could be tough.  He'll have to come in with a perfect game plan, and execute that game plan flawlessly if he wants to earn the win here.  For fans who appreciate the technical side of kickboxing, this one could be a classic.

The full card for the Oktagon show has now been released, and unlike many smaller shows, this one features more of note than just a main event.  In the past, Oktagon has worked in collaboration with It's Showtime, putting on last year's It's Showtime Milan show that featured Petrosyan vs. Khem, plus 2009's first meeting between Petrosyan and Andy Souwer.  They're running this year's event on their own, and have put together another stacked card.

In the semi-main event, Giorgio's brother Armen Petrosyan faces Yoshihiro Sato under K-1 rules.  Like Giorgio, Armen was also victorious this Saturday, defeating Miodrag Olar.  Sato will be a step up for Armen, but the lesser known Petrosyan is a tough fighter himself, ranking at #25 in the LiverKick.com rankings.  Considering that Sato recently lost to Giorgio and is likely looking for a rematch, this could be an interesting contest, giving Giorgio another opportunity to closely scout Sato, while Sato has a chance to make adjustments based on the Giorgio fight.  Again, this will be a technical fight that should deliver.

Also on the card:

Andre Kulebin vs. Fabio Pinca - Pinca has been around for a few years, but has increased his profile lately, with bigger fights and a victory in the 2010 Isuzu Thai Fight tournament.  He also holds a 2008 win over Sudsakorn.  Kulebin is a highly respected veteran who last year was in the WKN Big 8 tournament where he made in to the finals, losing to Sudsakorn.  This is a Muay Thai fight, 5 x 3 rounds, 65kg.  Another one that could potentially steal the show here.

Khalid Bourdif vs. Marcus Oberg - Bourdif has been making waves in It's Showtime lately, establishing himself as a top contender at 77kg.  He drops down to 70kg here to face K-1 MAX veteran Marcus Oberg under K-1 rules.  Oberg is ranked at #24 in our rankings, and although he is coming in off a loss to Kyshenko, he always provides a tough challenge.

Dzhabar Askerov vs. Chris van Venrooij - Askerov is a popular K-1 MAX veteran who had a rough run in 2009 but has since come back and is 7-1 in his last 8.  Van Venrooj is an oft overlooked, but solid fighter.  This is a rematch from 2008, where Askerov took a split decision.

Rounding out the card: Xu Yan vs. Adem Bozkurt; and Daniel Sam, Chingis Alasov, Phillipe Salmon, and a Japanese fighter identified only as "Morija" (?) will all face opponents yet to be named.

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Josh Jauncey Chosen as Giorgio Petrosyan's Opponent on GLORY 25

  • Published in Glory

When we heard this one a few weeks ago it seemed pretty crazy. Everyone had assumed that the fight that Petrosyan would get upon his return to the GLORY ring would naturally be against Andy Ristie. Sadly, that fight is just not possible at this time due to Ristie's trainer being banned for life by the ISKA and Ristie refusing to fight under the ISKA's watchful eye without his trainer. Instead, we'll be seeing an entirely new matchup and one that could reshape the entire Lightweight division for years to come.

That bout is Canadian Josh Jauncey vs. Giorgio Petrosyan. Josh Jauncey has made quite an impression since he burst on the scene at GLORY 16 Denver. With wins over Warren Stevelmans, Jae Gil Noh, Max Baumert and Djime Coulibaly he has shown that he's a force within the Lightweight division. His lone loss in the GLORY ring is to GLORY Lightweight contender Sitthichai who should be fighting Robin van Roosmalen on an upcoming event. 

Since Petrosyan's loss to Ristie he has come back in force with wins over Erkhan Varol, Enriko Kehl and Xu Yan. Jauncey is a step up in competition over these names and a win over Jauncey would put Petrosyan right back in the running to be considered one of the best Lightweights in the world. On the inverse, a win over Petrosyan would undoubtedly be the biggest of the young Jauncey's career, making this an even more exciting fight.

This card will also feature a Welterweight contender tournament. As for the questions about where this will air, our bud Stets asked them today and this is the answer that he received.

We'll be paying close attention in the coming months to see where this will air in the United States if indeed the Spike TV contract is really up after GLORY 24. 

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GLORY 12 New York Featuring Lightweight Tournament Announced

  • Published in Glory

Glory 12

Well, GLORY has finally come clean with the fact that their second event on Spike TV will be GLORY 12 New York and that it will go down at the Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York City. GLORY 12 will go down on November 9th in New York City and will air live on Spike TV, featuring a Lightweight tournament to crown the best in the world, featuring Giorgio Petrosyan. Not much else is known about the card, but there have been some rumors about possibly seeing Peter Aerts back in action at GLORY 12 in New York, which is really all that you need to know, right?

Here is the full event poster, which sure is pretty.

Glory

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Sudsakorn Sor Klinmee vs Giorgio Petrosyan 2011

  • Published in Video

Remember that event about a month ago where Sudsakorn fought Petrosyan two weeks after fighting Kem Sitsongpeenong? I remember. I also remember trawling the internet for video. Well, I found it and am here to share.

Sudsakorn is in the blue gloves, and comes out in the pink afro, and Petrosyan wears red gloves, and comes out in his normal hair.

Note that Sudsakorn's January 15 bout in Thailand against Kem was at 67 kg. This fight is at 70 kg, which is Petrosyan's weight class. Reports are that Sudsakorn weighed in between 67 and 68 kg, while Petrosyan weighed in just shy of 70, presumably putting on 5 or so kg after weigh-ins.

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Giorgio Petrosyan Fighting on GLORY 25 Monza

  • Published in Glory

There hasn't been word from GLORY just yet as they are still promoting their involvement in Dynamite 1 and the upcoming GLORY 24, but Fight 1 out of Italy announced that it's official: Giorgio Petrosyan returns to the GLORY ring on November 6th in Monza, Italy. You might be seeing rumors for match ups around the internet, but nothing is official just yet on that front. One would think the Ristie rematch would be in order, but there are some hurdles involved with Ristie fighting for GLORY without his now-banned trainer. 

Hopefully we'll see a card start coming together for this soon. Also, for the conspiracy theorists out there this show is taking place on a Friday, a move which GLORY made to please Spike TV and fit into their programming schedule of having fights on Fridays. Of course, there is also a Bellator event on that day, so unless they are planning on a double header with a taped GLORY event things could be afoot. 

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Video: Giorgio Petrosyan vs. Erkan Varol

  • Published in Video

Giorgio "The Doctor" Petrosyan had his first fight back after losing to Andy Ristie in November 2013. Watching this fight it sure doesn't look like the time off did "The Doctor" any harm. He looked as sharp and slick as ever but I couldn't help but notice him going back to his old self and kicking a lot more than punching. He seems to have a serious problem with breaking his hands and when you make your living punching people in face that becomes an issue. Nonetheless, this fight against Erkan Varol didn't seem to cause him any problems at all and he looked untouchable, but then again Petroysan is on a much higher level.


the doctor 2015 by dm_5080020d0bb7a

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Giorgio Petrosyan Returns This Weekend, Plus ANOTHER Fight in April Against Enriko Kehl

  • Published in Kickboxing

It's been a long time since we've seen Giorgio Petrosyan in the ring. In fact, I'd argue that it has been too long. The last time that we saw Petrosyan in the ring was December of 2013 when Andy Ristie was able to overcome the best fighter at 70kg via knockout. It was shocking at the time, but now we've all settled into this reality. This coming Saturday Petrosyan finally returns to the ring at Thai Boxe Mania 2015 against Erkan Varol in Turin, Italy.

The other big news is that Petrosyan's next fight is already lined up and it's going to be a big one. At Oktagon's 20th anniversary event on April 11th Petrosyan is set to face 2014 K-1 World MAX Champion Enriko Kehl in what should be an awesome bout. The young Kehl has proven himself as a worthy contender and a rising star of his own over the past few years and it will be quite the test for Petrosyan after such a long layoff.

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Full Card for Jan. 23 Wu Lin Feng Card Featuring Petrosyan and More

  • Published in Kickboxing

China, man, are they starting to get a vice grip on kickboxing or what? Wu Lin Feng's upcoming show on January 23rd is proof enough that they are doing some big things. That 67kg tournament is truly interesting, with names like Andrei Kubelin, Xie Lei, UMA and Nathan Robson. On top of that the legendary Yi Long is competing against Eyedisa Alamdarnezam and Pakorn is fighting Wei Rui.

The man that knocked out Simon Marcus, Fang Bian, is in action as well, taking on France's Cedric Doumbe. The big fight for most of us is Giorgio Petrosyan's first bout of the year against Jiao Fukai in what is looking to be an incredibly busy year for the Doctor early on.

Card is courtesy of our friends at Kiksie.

Wu Lin Feng

January 23, 2016

Shanghai, China

Broadcast on Henan TV

Tournament Quarterfinal #1 - 67kg

Qiu Jiangliang (China) vs. Nathan Robson (Australia)

Tournament Quarterfinal #2 - 67kg

Lu Jianbo (China) vs. Melsik Bagdasaryan (USA)

Tournament Quarterfinal #3 - 67kg

Xie Lei (China) vs. UMA (Japan)

Tournament Quarterfinal #4 - 67kg

Feng Jie (China) vs. Andrei Kulebin (Belarus)

65kg

Deng Zeqi (China) vs. Jomthong Chuwattana (Thailand)

67kg

Yang Zhuo (China) vs. Craig Dickson (United Kingdom)

73kg

Yi Long (China) vs. Seyedisa Alamdarnezam (Iran)

63kg

Wei Rui (China) vs. Pakorn PKSaenchaimuaythaigym (Thailand)

Tournament Semifinal #1 - 67kg

Quarterfinal #1 Winner vs. Quarterfinal #2 Winner

Tournament Semifinal #2 - 67kg

Quarterfinal #3 Winner  vs. Quarterfinal #4 Winner

81kg

Wang Honxiang (China) vs. TBA

71kg

Jiao Fukai (China) vs. Giorgio Petrosyan (Italy)

80kg

Fang Bian (China) vs. Cedric Doumbe (France)

Tournament Final - 67kg

Semifinal #1 Winner vs. Semifinal #2 Winner

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Davit Kiria and Robin van Roosmalen Have Lots to Prove at GLORY 18

  • Published in Glory

Tomorrow night at GLORY 18 in Oklahoma there will be an epic showdown for the GLORY Lightweight Championship between two of the toughest fighters in the ultra-competitive 70kg division. Davit Kiria comes into the fight against Robin van Roosmalen as the GLORY Lightweight Champion, which should give him an edge, but in the eyes of many this is an uphill battle for the champion. Davit Kiria will be meeting van Roosmalen for the third time, with the previous two encounters ending in decision victories for van Roosmalen and leaving Kiria just out of reach of the top of the division. 

For Kiria he was the unlikely GLORY Lightweight Champion. When reflecting on GLORY's Lightweight division at GLORY 12 in New York, Kiria, out of the four men involved in the tournament, was the least likely to be wearing the GLORY Lightweight Championship any time soon. Why? Because Giorgio Petrosyan was unstoppable, being Robin van Roosmalen is a shrunken Gokhan Saki, because Andy Ristie is fast, powerful and technical. On that night everyone was right and van Roosmalen made it by Kiria for a second time before moving onto the finals against the unlikely opponent that was Andy Ristie, who had just knocked out the greatest 70kg fighter that has ever competed in kickboxing. 

Ristie walked away with his hand raised and when it was announced that Davit Kiria would be his first challenger, many groaned or called for a rematch with Petrosyan or van Roosmalen. Kiria was once again the fourth man in a three-man division. Kiria stepped into the ring at GLORY 14 as a serious underdog against Ristie. Ristie was the man who defeated Giorgio Petrosyan, how could he lose to the slow-starting Kiria? Ristie was doing what Ristie does throughout the early rounds, with Kiria just holding on, picking his spots and landing whatever he could in between the onslaughts by Ristie.

Then something happened; Kiria connected. All of a sudden it was a brand new fight and the last two rounds were not only competitive, but Kiria was making one of the craziest comebacks in kickboxing's history. Kiria then put the cherry on top with a knockout blow that sent Ristie crashed to the canvas and secured him the GLORY Lightweight Championship. He was not the fourth man anymore, he was the top fighter in one of the most competitive divisions in the world.

For Robin van Roosmalen the story is a bit different. Robin's career began slowly, showing lots of promise, but having problems when stepping up in competition. He was aggressive, hit hard, focusing on killer combinations, but he ran into fighters who were able to nullify his gifts and shut him down. He found a nemesis in Mootje Khamal, with many seeing Khamal as the man to take the 70kg kickboxing world by storm. Khamal earned his way into the K-1 World MAX tournament only to run into Gago Drago. But trouble was brewing within the K-1 system and It's Showtime decided to hold their own 70kg tournament -- 70kg Fast and Furious. 

Van Roosmalen entered the tournament, a virtual "Murderer's Row" in the 70kg division, featuring Andy Souwer, Artur Kyshenko, Gago Drago, Chahid Oulad el Hadj, Murat Direcki, Harut Grigorian and Chris Ngimbi. Of course, missing from that lineup was 70kg ace Giorgio Petrosyan, who was forced to pull out due to the reoccurring injury to his right hand that seems to always gum up the works. Van Roosmalen wasn't expected to win the tournament, even with Petrosyan out. Instead, it was seen that Andy Souwer, Chris Ngimbi or Artur Kyshenko would walk away the victor in what was the "substitute" 2010 K-1 World MAX tournament. 

Van Roosmalen shocked the kickboxing world by knocking out Chahid, fending off Chris Ngimbi's ariel assault and then putting Artur Kyshenko down and out in one round. Robin van Roosmalen went from an interesting prospect to the default #2 fighter in the 70kg division, who was only #2 because of the elephant in the room that was Giorgio Petrosyan. Van Roosmalen wouldn't have to wait long, with GLORY buying out It's Showtime and a good portion of the kickboxing world and staging the GLORY 3 70kg Slam tournament. The fans got exactly what they wanted in a final of Robin van Roosmalen vs. Giorgio Petrosyan for the official title of the #1 70kg fighter in the world. Van Roosmalen fought valiantly, but Petrosyan did as Petrosyan tends to do and walked away with a decisive, clean victory over the slugger.

Robin wasn't done yet, oh no. He ran through everyone that GLORY put in his path, fighting a smarter, more conservative style without as many defensive holes being opened up on his path to GLORY 12's Lightweight tournament. When Petrosyan was knocked out he saw opportunity against Ristie, but on that night Ristie was able to find a hole and put van Roosmalen down and out with a huge uppercut. 

For both men their claim to the throne of 70kg is clear. They've both achieved so much and share one frustrating similarity; they'd be easily considered the best in the world if it wasn't for Giorgio Petrosyan. After Petrosyan's loss to Andy Ristie his claim to the #1 spot has relented, leaving things wide open for either man. Right now Davit Kiria is that man, but many consider van Roosmalen's two prior victories as a Sword of Damocles dangling above his head by a thread, just waiting for it to snap and for van Roosmalen to claim the throne.

For van Roosmalen there is no Petrosyan in his way this time, just a man that he's beaten twice before. A victory here would cement his legacy, but does he have what it takes to dethrone the newly-crowned king in Kiria?

This is why we watch kickboxing and why it's so damned great.

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