Once Again GLORY Exceeds All Expectations
By Christopher Jester
Saturday November 23, 2013. Wow, what a night. GLORY 12 was everything fans hoped it would be and more. After a rousing and successful debut on October 12th, as GLORY 11 had excited combat sports enthusiasts with a showing of major potential on television. Little did some of the uneducated know just how mesmerizing kickboxing was, and that GLORY was coming out of the gate with all cylinders firing. With consecutive fan-pleasing shows, GLORY very well may be the next big thing in televised combat sports.
GLORY 11 had given the world a look at a sport that was underrated in combat sports. Kickboxing had found some North American fandom during the ‘90s but never became a mainstay. The same cannot be said now; especially after Saturday night.
Saturday’s GLORY 12 was everything that GLORY 11 was but better. Much more exciting, more shocking finishes and even a compelling underdog story. In the previous event, while Tyrone Spong may have been the major draw, it was the young Rico Verhoeven who carried the momentum of the fighter against his luck in a tournament with the top contenders in the world. If this is considered “the year of upsets”, then GLORY may be upset central.
This time around the kickboxing organization featured a lightweight tournament with the likes of Giorgio Petrosyan, Davit Kiria, Robin Van Roosmalen, and Andy Ristie. However, it was Andy Ristie who took on the underdog role performing like a workman to reach the top. But you couldn’t tell he was the underdog in how he performed. Ristie chopped down his opponents with precision strikes and surprising strength. Unlike Verhoeven who went to the decision to win the heavyweight tournament at GLORY 11, Ristie used his power to knockout Petrosyan in stunning fashion and then Van Roosmalen to capture the title and win the tournament. Considered one of the best fighters to never hold a title before this, he definitely became a major player and a star after Saturday night.
To be honest, stories cannot write themselves any better than the way they played out a GLORY 12. You had the stunning knockouts as well. The comeback victory from Ben “The Guvnor” Edwards in his bout versus Jamal Ben Saddik was one of the better comebacks this year. With a possible decision loss coming his way, Edwards shut down Saddik with punches that literally flattened the giant in the final frame. Even better for the popularity in America in a field of numerous international fighters, one American Wayne Barrett defeated the other and favorite Joe Schilling in a middleweight bout that highlighted that the culture is growing in the sport of kickboxing.
But most pleasing about GLORY is just how quickly it is catching on among fans. Social media was thrilled and was trending during its televised hours. What makes it so interesting is that it is not as multi-faceted as mixed martial arts but is faster paced than boxing. It is a combat sport that people can relate to and get into much quicker. GLORY 12 proved this even more in its second televised outing than its previous one. It helps that those same fans tuned in for both. Boxing’s most favorite Floyd “Money” Mayweather even attended the event instead of viewing the Manny Pacquiao fight live in China. Numerous mixed martial artists were tweeting throughout the night with their enthusiasm towards GLORY and kickboxing. It goes to show that the combat sports field can share fans amongst themselves, elevating the sports within its genre to new heights. An easy prediction to make is that with GLORY’s help, kickboxing is here to stay.
Andy Ristie – GLORY 12 Post-Fight Interview:
Follow Christopher “sLapDatSuCKa” Jester on Twitter @sLapDatSuCka
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