(The Ristie vs. Petrosyan KO, set to some appropriately foreboding music.)
Heading into Saturday night’s Glory 12 lightweight tournament, two-time K-1 champion Giorgio Petrosyan was being heralded as “The Floyd Mayweather of Kickboxing.” The comparison was not without merit; Petrosyan was a dynamic, seemingly untouchable striker who was carrying a six year unbeaten streak into his semifinal contest with +650 underdog, Andy Ristie. As a casual kickboxing fan at best, even I was quick to chastise my roommates for having the gall to pick Ristie to win. “I’m here to tell you, that’s not going to happen,” I said, echoing Frank Trigg’s epic assessment of the Fedor vs. Zuluzinho fight, “Giorgio will dispatch this man very quickly.”
Less than ten minutes later, I was dining on a heaping plate of crow.
Giorgio Petrosyan, the Floyd Mayweather of kickboxing, had been knocked out cold in the third round. Even to casual fans of the sport like myself, this was a big deal. In 81 fights, this was the first time the Italian-Armenian had been stopped. The result was just one of many shocking upsets to punctuate the Glory 12: New York card, which also saw former rugby star Ben Edwards score a last-second KO over a gassed Jamal Ben Saddik and Mirko Cro Cop training partner Igor Jurkovic suffer a first round TKO at the hands of relative unknown Jhonata Diniz.
While Ristie was no slouch, to put it bluntly, the savage knockout was the last thing fans were expecting and provided Ristie with a clear edge in the momentum department heading into the finals against #2 ranked Robin Van Roosmalen. A gif of that fight’s finish is after the jump, along with complete GLORY 12 results.