Fighter of the Month November 2013 – Andy Ristie
By Christopher Jester
Fighter of the Month: Andy Ristie
Event: GLORY 12 New York (November 23, 2013)
Opponent(s): Giorgio Petrosyan, Robin van Roosmalen
Results: Semi Finals vs. Petrosyan – KO (uppercut – Round 3), Finals vs. Roosmalen – KO (left hook – Round 2)
GLORY has been putting on a show since its debut on television. But much of the respect of that spectacle is coming from the amazing performances of its fighters. If the story that arose from GLORY 11 was one of the biggest underdog stories this year, then Andy Ristie’s highlight reel upset knockouts may have even topped that. Because of the devastation of those knockouts, it may be on a whole other level.
Coming into this event, there were many pondering just how GLORY could top their previous event (GLORY 11). Andy Ristie was the catalyst to that. Rico Verhoeven showing heart and guts in his scratching and clawing of close bouts with Gokhan Saki and Daniel Ghita was an amazing feat. But knocking out the higher ranked competition in the fashion in which Andy Ristie did put him on the short list for fighter of the year.
But for now, we’ll just reward Andy Ristie with our Fighter of the Month award. In his semi-final bout against Giorgio Petrosyan, he was the underdog and was likely going to become another victim to one of the best kickboxers of all time and hands down the best lightweight kickboxer. Although he kept up the pace in the first two rounds, Petrosyan was likely going to steal the first two rounds. Almost as if knowing he would lose a decision, Ristie turned on the pressure in the third round and went for broke. He would finish Petrosyan to avoid becoming victim number forty-three in Petrosyan’s six year undefeated streak.
If only that had been just a part of it, Ristie would have still likely have been the front runner for PunchDrunkGamer’s Fighter of the Month. However, he continued with his winning ways in the GLORY Lightweight World Championship Tournament. The lightweight finals took even less rounds but yielded similar results. Ristie stopped Robin van Roosmalen in the second round with a left hook that turned off the lights for the Dutchman and Ristie became the lightweight tournament champion!
For these amazing feats, PunchDrunkGamer would like to award Andy Ristie our Fighter of the Month for the month of November! Good luck and congratulations!
1. Eddie Alvarez (Bellator 106 – November 1, 2013) – After dealing with legal disputes with Bellator over a contractual issues, Alvarez bit the bullet and returned to the cage. But what better way to stick it to his employers than by winning the lightweight title no one thought he could win. The bout itself was a back and forward match-up that will likely find itself a surefire contender for Fight of the Year. Alvarez bloodied and bruised continued to show a champion’s heart in the later rounds to steal the championship in a split decision victory over Michael Chandler.
2. Vitor Belfort (UFN: Belfort vs. Henderson – November 9, 2013) – Kicking people in the head seems to be Vitor Belfort’s latest trend. Three straight head kick knockouts is no easy feat, but Belfort sure does make it seem that way. In his fight against Dan Henderson, he wasted little time pounding away at the legend. Like a hungry lion, Belfort pounced on his wounded victim and finished the fight with one of his quick and deadly head kicks, avenging an earlier loss to Henderson and developing a streak that should put him back in title contention.
3. Rashad Evans (UFC 167 – November 16, 2013) – Rashad Evans has had it rough as of late. After losing to Jon Jones, Evans had not seemed like Evans at all. He seemed timid and overall just fragile. He did not appear that way in his bout against Chael Sonnen. He looked like the Rashad Evans of old who used his speed as his greatest strength. But it was his power in his fists that ended the bout in the first round via TKO strikes. The victory returned Evans to relevancy in the light-heavyweight division.
4. Nate Diaz (TUF 18 Finale – November 30, 2013) – Nate Diaz and Gray Maynard have history. Everyone knows that. But Diaz had also been on a two-fight skid with his back against the wall in the lightweight rankings. Well, he dispersed the idea that he did not deserve to be there with a brutal battering of a victory over Maynard. Diaz boxed his way to victory midway through the first round as Maynard took nearly every punch. Maynard was out on his feet and the referee saved him from any further beating rewarding Diaz a much deserved victory.
5. Julianna Pena (TUF 18 Finale – November 30, 2013) – Julianna Pena put on a dominating performance to become the first women’s Ultimate Fighter winner. Jessica Rakoczy was simply outclassed on the mat, and suffered some brutal ground-and-pound that ended the bout in the first round. While the jury is still out on how she will fit into the UFC’s bantamweight division, she did let the other women know that she could be a very dangerous threat in the years to come.
Follow Christopher “sLapDatSuCKa” Jester on Twitter @sLapDatSuCka
Post your comments directly below! You can also discuss the latest MMA and Video Game News in the PunchDrunkGamer Forums and don’t forget to Follow PDG on Twitter @PunchDrunkGamer and Like the PDG Official Facebook Page!