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.