Professional kickboxing has been big overseas for years, but hasn't quite broken through in the realm of mainstream American sports. Glory Sports International is looking to change that.
Holding its latest event, Glory 12, in the Theater at Madison Square Garden this Saturday, the kickboxing promoters are bringing some of the sport's best to the Big Apple, including one of the world's top pound-for-pound fighters in Giorgio Petrosyan (78-1-1, 35 KO). Petrosyan is participating in the event's lightweight world championship tournament.
For those who would like to familiarize themselves with the sport, here's a primer on its rules compared with those of the combat sports better known to Americans: boxing and mixed martial arts.
Like MMA, Glory's bouts will be contested over three rounds. Like boxing, the rounds are three minutes long.
Fighters can throw punches, kicks and knees, but not elbows. Similar to boxing, strikes are only legal while both fighters are standing. Clinch striking is allowed in Glory, but only for three seconds before the referee separates the fighters.
All holds barred
Sorry, MMA fans. There are no takedowns or submissions in professional kickboxing. This is purely a striking-based form of combat.
Getting the 'W'
Just like boxing, Glory's bouts can be stopped by knockout or technical knockout, and three knockdowns in one round will lead to a TKO. Fighters can also win a decision based on scoring in a 10-point must system, the same system used by both boxing and mixed martial arts.