ZAGREB, Croatia -- The GLORY Lightweight title -- the first in the promotion's history -- was up for grabs on Saturday afternoon (March 8, 2014) at Arena Zagreb between the GLORY 13 tournament winner Andy Ristie and the No.3-ranked Davit Kiria.
After an even opening round where no fighter gained a strong advantage, Ristie floored the Georgian fighter with a knee as he ducked a punch in the second frame. Ristie came after him when the fight resumed, but Kiria managed to get his bearings and press on throughout the fight.
Kiria failed several times to utilize his very unorthodox kicking game that stems from his Ashikara Karate background, missing badly on several spinning back kicks that saw him jumping in mid air, missing and falling on the mat.
If the fight had been a three-round affair, Ristie would have more than likely won the decision, but the GLORY title fights are five rounds and that was to Kiria's benefit, as the final round is where he took control and never looked back.
During an exchange, Kiria connected with a huge punch that sent Ristie flailing, with ropes saving him from being knocked down, so the referee stepped in to give a standing eight count. As soon as the action continued, Kiria went in for the kill and dropped Ristie clean to the floor this time. After receiving yet another standing eight count, Ristie was given the green light to continue and Kiria delivered the fatal blow. This time it was a devastating left hook that sent Ristie bouncing off the ropes, onto the mat unconscious at the 2:22 mark of the fifth round.
After the fight, the new GLORY Lightweight champion was overcome with emotion and shockingly couldn't recall any of the fights details that just occurred.
"I don’t remember honestly the fight was a war," Kiria told MMAmania after the fight's conclusion. "I’m very happy. Special thank you to my trainers, my supporters, my country. I am very happy."
Visibly exhausted after the five-round battle, the new champion was longing to be with his significant other and ecstatic that he fulfilled a childhood dream.
"My girlfriend is here," he said. "I want to hug and kiss her. I’m very happy for a very long time because I was nine when I started training and from that day, this was my dream and it came true."
For complete GLORY 14: "ZAGREB" results, including play-by-play coverage of the Spike TV event, click here.