Few kickboxing fans gave Andy Ristie much of chance to topple Giorgio Petrosyan in the seminfinal round of the four-man, one-night GLORY 12 Lightweight tournament that took place last night (Sat., Nov. 23, 2013) at the Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York, New York.
Even fewer imagined "Machine" would stop Petrosyan via strikes (because this has never happened before), advance to the tournament final and then turn No. 2-ranked Dutch powerhouse, Robin van Roosmalen, inside-out with a hellacious upper cut (watch .gif here).
Ristie, meanwhile, was supremely confident that he could shock the combat sports world on Spike TV.
"I told everybody before this tournament that I would be number one," he claimed afterward. "I knew I was going to win. 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."
Indeed, anybody is right, considering Petrosyan was widely regarded as the top pound-for-pound fighter in the sport. Prior to last night, "The Doctor" had not tasted defeat since Jan. 2007 and had never been stopped in 80 professional matches against the best competition in the world. It took Ristie less than seven minutes of ring time to flip that script.
"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."
Just a short time later, Ristie returned to the ring to finish what he started, meeting van Roosmalen in the tournament final with $150,000 in prize money up for grabs. And he wasn't about to let it slip away, using his significant size and reach advantages to dismantle van Roosmalen in less than two rounds to win the Lightweight tournament.
"Who gave me the biggest problem? None of them," Ristie boasted. "I didn’t have a problem with either of them. I was in control"
In control and now in possession of monster six-figure check that -- much like his one-of-a-kind performance last night -- will change his life forever.
"I'm going to spend it on something special," he said. "I don’t know what yet. And no, you can’t borrow any money from me ... ha!"