Davit Kiria (22-9, 7 KO’s) has ascended to the lightweight division’s Champion spot following his victory in the World Lightweight Championship fight with Andy Ristie (41-4-1, 21 KO’s) at GLORY 14 ZAGREB.
The fight has already written itself into the history books as one of the most thrilling encounters in kickboxing history, with Kiria’s comeback in the fifth round being likened to those of the ‘Rocky’ movie series.
By winning the title he rises above the regular rankings list, becoming both its champion and focal-point.
Ristie lost the fight and drops 80 points for losing to a lower-ranked fighter but remains the top contender, occupying the #1 ranking spot. Robin Van Roosmalen and Giorgio Petrosyan. who Ristie KO’d at GLORY 12 NEW YORK, are pushed further down, to #2 and #3 respectively.
Murthel Groenhart (55-16-3, 31 KO’s) scored a much-needed win in the event’s opening fight, cutting opponent Teo Mikelic (5-1, 4 KO’s) so badly in the first round that doctors would not let the Croatian come out for the second round.
Groenhart gets 67 points for the stoppage win and occupies #7 while Mikelic, a GLORY debutant, enters the rankings at #16 with 193 points.
GLORY 14’s final impact on the lightweight division comes by way of Thai debutant Aikpracha (89-18-5, 53 KO's). A champion in his homeland, the Muay Thai stylist had a hard battle with Albert Kraus (73-19-3, 43 KO’s) to take a decision win.
The new #5 gains 76 points for the win over one-time K-1 World MAX champion Kraus, who drops to #9.
At Welterweight (170lbs/77kg), contender Karapet Karapetyan (43-9-2, 4 KO's) had words with Artur Kyshenko (56-12-1, 29 KO’s) before their SUPERFIGHT SERIES meeting. Kyshenko claimed he was better in all areas; Karapetyan vehemently disagreed.
As it turned out Karapetyan was correct, dominating the fight and taking a solid decision win. He now ascends to #2 in the division, sitting just underneath Nieky Holzken at #1 and dislodging ‘Bazooka Joe’ Valtellini to #3.
There was plenty of movement at Middleweight (187lbs/85kg) as Alex ‘Poatan’ Pereira (13-1, 9 KO’s) scored one KO and one Unanimous Decision to win the Middleweight Contender Tournament and earn a place in the upcoming World Championship Tournament.
The win earned Pereira 130 points and saw him rise three places to #6, while his semi-final opponent Dustin Jacoby (4-4, 3 KO’s) scores 30 points for tournament participation but drops one place following the KO loss to Pereira.
Sahak Parparyan (41-10-5, 19 KO’s) earns 80 points for being the tournament runner-up and they are sufficient to see him rise one place to #3, despite the loss to Pereira in the final.
His semi-final opponent Jason Wilnis (2-4-1, 6 KO’s) scores 30 points for tournament participation and remains steady at the #5 spot.
GLORY 14 saw Igor Jurkovic (48-7, 30 KO’s) make his Light-Heavyweight (209lbs/95kg) debut, having dropped down in weight following a tough run in the Heavyweight division.
The decision proved to be the right one as he mauled Michael Duut (38-6, 17 KO’s), also a former heavyweight, to score a KO win and gain 207 ranking points.
He moves into the #10 position while Duut, previous occupant of that spot, loses 45 ranking points and drops to #11.
There was plenty of Heavyweight (+209lbs/95kgs) action on the card as well.
In the SUPERFIGHT SERIES portion of the card, Benjamin Adebayo (15-2, 12 KO’s) made a solid debut by taking out Ukraine’s Dimitry Bezus (33-7, 14 KO’s) with a head kick. The TKO earned Adegbuyi 70 points and moves him to #8 in the division.
Croatia’s own Mladen Brestovac (43-9-1, 28 KO’s) went to war with Jahfarr Wilnis (22-5-1, 5 KO’s) and came away with a big KO victory thanks to a left head-kick from the clinch.
The kick - seemingly a trademark of Croatian heavyweights - earned him 107 points to place him at #12 while Wilnis loses 15 points and drops one place to #14.
Finally, the evening’s headline fight had local hero Mirko ‘CroCop’ Filipovic (22-8, 12 KO’s) facing Remy Bonjasky (99-12, 36 KO’s) in a rematch of old rivals turned friends and training partners.
The two went for it and had a very close fight. ‘CroCop’ did the pushing forwards but Bonjasky countered neatly while moving backwards and the statistics tell what a close fight it was - Bonjasky scored 37 clean blows to ‘CroCop’s 36.
Two judges scored it for Bonjasky while one had it for ‘CroCop’, resulting for a Majority Decision win in what was Bonjasky’s retirement fight. He gains 93 ranking points and moves up five places to #5. ‘CroCop’ drops two places to #11.
Our next event is GLORY 15 ISTANBUL on Saturday, April 12. Tyrone Spong, Gokhan Saki, Nathan Corbett and Saulo Cavalari will battle it out for the Light-Heavyweight World Championship Title in a show airing across the US on SPIKE TV.