A betting favorite in this weekend’s Glory 12 lightweight tournament, Giorgio Petrosyan stands to extend his win streak, which has been running for over six years. The Italian-Armenian kickboxing phenom is the main attraction to an exciting card that is set for the Madison Square Garden Theatre this Saturday night.
Petrosyan faces Andy Ristie in the first round of the tournament. This will mark his sixth bout under the Glory banner and the second time he’s participated in a tournament for the promotion, having won the Glory 3 lightweight slam.
Having recently began my descent in to writing about the complicated and extensive world of professional kickboxing, I noticed that there is something different about Petrosyan than some of the others. Of course, being recognized almost universally as the greatest kickboxer alive helps to distinguish him from the pack, but still, Petrosyan brings something to each fight that is simply something that is better off witnessed than read.
That something is confidence. In combat sports, confidence is an extremely useful tool, one that can easily dictate the outcome of a fight depending on if you have too much, or too little of it.
With Petrosyan, confidence is present. What sets him apart though is the sense that he has already figured out how to defeat his opponent. He knows he has the tools. He can see the victory before it happens.
Take a March trouncing of Ole Laursen for instance. Sure, Laursen isn’t exactly a beacon of talent represented in the upper echelon of the sport, but Petrosyan made sure to remind us of that. A knee to the body dropped Laursen, who was able to get up before the referee counted him out. Petrosyan then walked up and clubbed him with a left-high kick that floored Laursen and put him to sleep.
Yes, I know fighters often possess a killer instinct, but search Petrosyan’s fights online and you will find this sense of supreme all-knowing combative skills blanket each round.
“It’s as if he knows what you’re going to do” color commentator, Stephen Quadros proclaimed at a May 2012 bout between Petrosyan and Fabio Pinca.
His fights looked choreographed. Pre-planned fight scenes to serve as the climax of a movie.
A lot of times, when an MMA fighter displays superior boxing the moniker, ‘the best boxer in MMA’ is tossed around. Watching Petrosyan though I feel like we should modify that title.
He has some of the best pure boxing skills of any man alive, most of which requires zero in the way of kicks linking combinations together or even feigning kicks to set up punches.
As covered by Jack Slack (Bleacher Report) in his latest video on the intricacies of Petrosyan’s game, ‘The Doctor’ has a wide range of techniques he uses to outwork his opponents. Such subtle particulars are near invisible to notice upon your first few viewings of Petrosyan lavish highlight reel.
Once you start to really break down his striking is when you notice just how gorgeous his striking really is.
Excitement for fight fans, no matter the branch, should be excited to see Petrosyan perform this weekend. He is to kickboxing what Floyd Mayweather is to boxing and what Anderson Silva is to MMA.
If you’re looking to conquer the king of kickboxing, you have to be a creature of habit like him. Consistency is key in keeping up with him. He often uses teep kicks or his forearms to push-off.
If he uses his arms, an uppercut should be doled out fast and wide. Throw it far away from one’s own body in anticipation of the space that is inevitably about to be created between both fighters. Taking advantages with these opportunities really does count even if it doesn’t hurt Petrosyan.
Another key is to never get comfortable with where he stands. He will not be there for long. He likes to make quick cuts and stay way outside the pocket. The problem with this is the fact that his movements will never cease to evolve mid-fight. He doesn’t slow down, his punches don’t lose power, and he doesn’t like to lose.
These things are easier said than done but the blueprint to defeat him is one that hasn’t been achieved in over six years.
As for a reason to tune in Saturday night I simply say, if you don’t, it’s your loss.
So tune in, sit back, and enjoy near athletic perfection take the form of a 5′ 10” Italian-Armenian kickboxing mastermind.