On Saturday night, at Glory 12 New York, Andy “The Machine” Ristie (42-3-1) became the best lightweight (70kg) kickboxer in the world.
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.