Davit Kiria (22-9-0) headlines kickboxing’s return in Glory 18. He will make his first lightweight title defense against the deadly Robin Van Roosmalen (32-6-0) in what will be the third fight between the two heavy hitters. Roosmalen has taken both previous fights by decision victory, so will he be able to repeat his luck for a third time?
On their previous match, Kiria states: “At that time and in that situation it was the best I could do, but now I have improved a lot and can do a lot more. So with this fight I have two reasons to win: one, keep the title and two, revenge on Robin. So I’m going to do my best.”
Following his loss to Roosmalen in Glory 12, Kiria made a great comeback victory to win the inaugural lightweight title against Andy Ristie. After taking three rounds of brutal punishment, he rallied in the fourth round and finished Ristie by TKO punches in the fifth to take a career-defining victory. Roosmalen is 5-1 in his last 6 fights, taking the loss to Andy Ristie. It’s interesting to note that Ristie, the #1 ranked lightweight, is a common opponent between the title fight opponents. Kiria was able to stick out the punishment and come back to take a fifth round victory while Roosmalen lost to Ristie by second round KO finish. Their fights against Ristie aren’t enough to project a winner, but it does provide a recent margin to measure both fighters’ latest progress. For November 7th’s title defense, Kiria plans to take full advantage of the fight’s extra 2 rounds:
“I have very good conditioning and in every round I work harder and harder. That makes a five-round fight [play to] my advantage and that is why I am at the top of the hill.
Kiria vs. Roosmalen III
In their last matchup in Glory 12 New York, the striking stats definitely made the case for the unanimous decision victory for Roosmalen. He had landed 45% total strikes to Kiria’s 21%. Roosmalen landed 59 arm and leg strikes to Kiria’s 25 arm strikes and 24 leg strikes. While Kiria has a 6″ reach advantage, Roosmalen’s shell defense looked absolutely bulletproof. Roosmalen was able to protect against Davit Kiria’s punches to get close and explode out of the shell with deadly punching combinations. If he couldn’t get close enough, he chopped Kiria down with heavy leg kicks. Kiria could not effectively punch when met with the wall of of his shell and periodically changed up his game with teeps that worked very effectively. As the match continued on, Kiria tried several axe kicks and eventually a rolling thunder kick to catch his opponent off guard, but none of them landed successfully. If Roosmalen is looking to use the same winning formula of his last matchup, Kiria will have to find away to beat Roosmalen’s shell. Perhaps he could be most successful by distancing Roosmalen with as many kicks to the body as possible. Keeping Roosmalen at a distance with body kicks could frustrate him into making a mistake while keeping him too far away to set up his deadly punching combinations.