This is the last time Peter Aerts will lace up the gloves and step into the ring as a professional fighter. Aerts has spent his career fighting the best of the best and he intends to end his career the same way by fighting the number 1 heavyweight in the world, Rico Verhoeven.
Daniel Ghiţă, Errol Zimmerman, Glory, Glory 13 Tokyo, Glory Welterweight World Championship Tournament, Jamal Ben Saddik, Japan, Joe Valtellini, Nieky Holzken, Peter Aerts, Rico Verhoeven, Tokyo, Tyrone Spong
Glory World Series are riding the crest of a wave at the moment. A moderate wave for sure, but a wave nonetheless. Glory is now two fights deep into a deal with American cable TV company Spike. Both those shows, Glory 11 and Glory 12, were received extremely well by those in attendance and those who watched the shows on TV. While the TV ratings of those two events, pulled less than 500,000 viewers on Spike, there has been growth in the viewership between the two events and this will be the key to Glory’s long term success.
Is kickboxing about to return to the level of prestige it attained during the golden years of K-1? Or can can Glory push the sport even further and achieve something close to the success that MMA has enjoyed in recent years? These are certainly exciting times for kickboxing fans, both old and new.
To cap off what can only be described as amazing second year of operation for Glory World Series, Glory will hold the the final event of the year, Glory 13 Tokyo, in Japan. There is something nicely encompassing about this. In the year that Glory has made considerable efforts to hold events in America and to get onto American TV, Glory will also return to Japan where kickboxing was once king not so long ago.
Glory 13 Tokyo takes place at the Ariake Coliseum, in Koto, Tokyo Japan, on the 21st December. That’s 17 days from now. Mark it in your calender, write on your hand, whatever, just don’t miss this event. Glory’s events have been amazing this year and have provided many upsets along the way and Glory 13 Tokyo is likely to be more great action.
The headlining fight is the retirement bout for kickboxing legend Peter “the Dutch Lumberjack” or “Mr K-1” Aerts (103-30-1). There is plenty written about the greats of boxing, plenty being written about the greats of MMA, but not enough has been written about the greats of kickboxing. Peter Aerts is one of those greats. Aerts has competed in all but one of the K-1 Grand Prix events since it’s inception back in 1993. In that time time Aerts won the title of Grand Prix champion three times and faced practically all the greatest heavyweight kickboxers to step into the ring. There in nothing left for Peter Aerts to do or prove in kickboxing, yet he’s hardly taken it easy over the last couple of years, facing top talent such as Tyrone Spong and Alistair Overeem.
Peter Aerts has decided to retire in much the same way he has fought in his whole career, by facing the very best. Aerts retirement fight is against Rico Verhoeven, currently the best heavyweight in the world.
I want to say thank you to my Japanese fans from the bottom of my heart, for supporting me for such a long time. And I promise from the bottom of my heart that my last fight for them will be a real fight.
“There’s no question this great retirement match on December 21 could be the toughest fight I’ve ever had. GLORY is serious about raising up young fighters – they brought me Rico Verhoeven, the heavyweight tournament champion as my opponent.
“Normally if you say ‘retirement match’ it’s an easy fight, right? But I don’t mind and I am not intending to lose the match. I would tell Verhoeven, ‘Listen, it’s not an easy job to knock me down
While Aerts best days are behind him, the man is still capable of surprises and you need look no further than his last fight, against Jamal Ben Saddik, for an example of the fire that still burns in Aerts (you can watch that fight here).
The co-main event will see Daniel Ghita (49-10-0) face Errol Zimmerman (101-10-1) in another heavyweight battle. Ghita is one of the top heavyweight kickboxers in the world, yet 2013 has had it’s highs and lows for the Romanian fighter and he hasn’t looked consistent this year. There are rumours of a relationship break-up and a split with former trainer Anil Dunbar as being the reason for Ghita dropping down a gear from his form in 2012. Whatever the reasons, Ghita will need to be on point to face Errol Zimmerman, who is coming off a good win over Hesdy Gerges back at Glory 11. While Zimmerman has struggled to defeat top 10 fighters, he packs brutal power in is hands that can and will change the fight in his favour very quickly.
The remaining three fights on the main card are filled up by the Glory Welterweight World Championship Tournament, a four man tournament featuring the some of the best welterweights in kickboxing. The star attraction here, at least in the promotion of the event, is Nieky “The Natural” Holzken (82-11-0) from the Netherlands. However Glory has unearthed a real talent in Canadian fighter “Bazooka” Joe Valtellini (10-1), a fighter whose relatively slim record belies a quality fighter who has only recently through Glory found the opportunity to compete against the best. Meanwhile, Armenian fighter Karapet Karapetyan (42-8-2) will also be looking to upset the apple cart. Karapetyan, who holds a masters degree in law, is an intelligent fighter that wins decisions rather than stopping his opponents.
The Press & Media and Weigh In events take place on the 20th December. I will do my best to post these as soon as they are available. Be sure to check back for updates leading into the event.
Semi Final #1:
Semi Final #2:
The 31 year old Dutch-Surinamese fighter defeated number 1 ranked Giorgio Petrosyan and number 2 ranked Robin van Roosmalen, both by KO on the same night, to win the second Glory lightweight tournament.
I told everybody before this tournament that I would be number one. I knew I was going to win,” said Ristie afterwards. “I trained really hard for this fight. I have a difficult style for people to fight against and I have the power to knock anybody out.
“When Petrosyan went down I knew he was finished, I could feel it as soon as I hit him. I was really happy. People didn’t give me a chance in this fight but I proved them wrong. And I had the right tactics to beat Robin.
Petrosyan has since admited that he broke his left hand against Ristie in the first round. Undoubtedly this worked to Ristie’s advantage, however luck of this sort is never enough to guarantee victory and Ristie can take full credit for his win over Petrosyan.
Ristie’s achievement on Saturday is possibly the greatest performance by a lightweight 70kg kickboxer in one night tournament in the history of the sport. That may sound like hyperbole, but after taking a look through the records of previous K-1 Max tournament winners (and van Roosmalen’s It’s Showtime Fast & Furious 70Max win) I can’t see another tournament where a fighter has defeated the number 1 and number 2 ranked 70kg fighters in the same night and defeated them in such dramatic fashion.
I will be honest, while I thought Ristie would be a challenging fight for Giorgio Petrosyan, I really didn’t think Ristie would win. “Ristie is good, but he throws way too many jumping knees” I thought. (Well, maybe I can claim to be partially right about this because Ristie didn’t use his jumping knees at all against Petrosyan and van Roosmalen.) Instead, Ristie made great use of his height and length, putting pressure on Petrosyan and Van Roosmalen to take control before dispatching both opponents.
No doubt Ristie will face Petrosyan and van Roosmalen again in 2014 and they will be much anticipated rematches.
Andy “The Machine” Ristie (42-3-1) just pulled off a huge upset in the Glory lightweight tournament at Glory 12 New York today, defeating Giorgio “The Doctor” Petrosyan (76-1-2-1) by knockout in the third round.
The fight was fairly even heading into the third round. While Ristie had left openings for Petrosyan to counter, Ristie’s timing had kept Petrosyan from landing more often. Ristie came out hard in the third round, catching Petrosyan with a right hand that sent the champion crashing to the mat. Petrosyan was unable to gain his feet satisfactorily within the count and the referee called the fight.
This is the first time Giorgio Petrosyan has lost since 2007 and only the second loss of his career. Since that 2007 loss, Petrosyan had been undefeated in 42 consecutive fights.
Can Ristie pull of a second upset tonight and defeat Robin van Roosmalen in the lightweight tournament final?