It seems as though 2013 has been the Year of the Underdog for Glory. With the exception of Tyrone Spong, none of the current champions entered their respective tournaments as the favorite, but rather as the third or fourth seed. Perhaps it is fitting, considering that kickboxing as a sport is also still a bit of an underdog in the United States when compared to boxing and MMA. However, one of the best things about sports, and combat sports in particular, is a spectacular upset, and last night’s Glory 12 show was an inspiration and triumph for underdogs everywhere. Anyone watching could not deny the caliber of fighters or complain about the finish rate - no less than eleven of the sixteen bouts ended by (T)KO, and no grumbling or controversies surrounded the existing decisions. It was a fantastic night and one that will hopefully continue to strengthen awareness of the American kickboxing community.
Saturday night’s Lightweight tournament winner Andy Ristie showed the world that he didn’t give a damn about no rankings by knocking out number one ranked Giorgio Petrosyan, and then Robin van Roosmalen. Both men seemed to have some difficulty dealing with Ristie’s aggressive and unorthodox style. The “Machine” applied relentless pressure, and didn’t allow the top two favorites to rest or figure it out.
In the main event, despite having far less experience, New York’s own Wayne Barrett won a Unanimous Decision after an intense battle with the favorite and recent Glory Middleweight tournament winner, Joe Schilling. Barrett let everyone know that Petrosyan wasn’t the only doctor in the house. If you can’t stop crazy, then call Barrett the psychiatrist, who visibly rocked Schilling with punches and knocked him down for two eight counts in Round 2. Schilling came back hard in Round 3 and returned the favor by feeding Barrett a vicious knee that put him down briefly, but Barrett managed to stand back up and they fought to the bell. Both fighters showed incredible heart.
- Other notable moments included:
- Brian “the Lion” Colette added another first round knockout win at Madison Square Garden to his record, somehow managing to land a right head kick from the scrum that laid out his opponent, Warren Thompson.
- Saulo Cavalari knocks out veteran Mourad Bouzidi with a nasty right hook just one minute and 23 seconds in the first round, extending his 16 KO record to 17.
- Francois Ambang uses great hand combinations to set up a nasty low kick that cut off the leg of his opponent, Eddie Walker, giving him the win by TKO in round 3.
- Robin van Roosmalen versus Davit Kiria in the semi-final was a treat to watch. Two extremely tough, technical strikers not willing to give up an inch to the other stood in the center of the ring and banged it out. Kiria faded in rounds 2 and 3, but still a very exciting ‘dialogue’ between the two.