Petrosyan vs. Hollenbeck


Many thanks to Mark for sending this to me and juryvi for taking the time to upload this. I’ll try to find some better quality footage.  This was a quarter final fight of the Glory 3 tournament in Rome, between K1 Champion Giorgio Petrosyan, vs. rising American Nak Muay Ky Hollenbeck.




Petrosyan looked quite sharp, most of the accounts that I have read online said Ky hurt his knee, but on closer inspection look like he got stung by Petrosyan’s savage left knee.  It’s the similar to what he did to askerov a few years back.


About Author

I started My Muay Thai back in 2006... I was tired of reading about MMA, and wanted somewhere I could watch real muay thai fights, be inspired and connect with others who love muay thai as much as I do... I currently live in London... when I'm not geeking out over muay thai you can find me bombing around London on my scrambler, ferreting out the latest street food gems.


  1. Spoiler? I’m confused! Doesn’t spoiler mean when the unexpected happens like when someone that was expected to win loses? In that case it wasn’t a spoiler because I didn’t think hollenbeck had a chance against Petrosyan. Sorry for my bluntness and he did well by rocking Giorgio and bringing the fight to him but I didn’t see him winning unless he was very lucky. Petrosyan is a freak and at the moment the only way I see him losing is if he fights a top Thai fighter at there peak in a full MT fight! And when I say top Thai fighter I am not talking about Buakaw, Saiyok or Sudsakorn, there past there time. I am talking about fighters like Sitthichai, Aikpracha or Kem. Or even a strong clincher similar to Sagetdao’s style who would be able to smother him for most of the fight hence why I mentioned kem! Perfect match up for him now I think would be against Sitthichai in a full MT bout. Sitthichai would just have to work on his boxing defence a little more! My opinion….

    • haha, id love to see him fight sagat….sagat would have to eat that sharp left hook about 3 times minimum and one of those should KO him. petros accuracy and speed is astounding

    • I disagree. Kickboxing and Muay Thai are a world apart. Even fighters like Saiyok, Sudsakorn, Buakaw would imo able to beat him.
      The sad thing is, we never get to see Petrosyan fight Muay Thai. Multiple Thai fighters have challenged him for a Muay Thai fight. But his management have refused them all.

      I strongly believe that he refuses to fight full Thai rules because he wants to hold on to his legacy, so people like you think he is the best fighter in kickboxing as well as Muay Thai.

      Let them arrange a fight between any of the Thai Fight fighters and Petrosyan, for an international organization (not Thai), and we will see how he holds up with clinching, knees, elbows, and 5 rounds. I would put a lot of money on the Thai fighter, also taking in regard Petrosyan’s rather limited Muay Thai accomplishments.

      • i never said he was the best in kickboxing and muay thai you fucking dolt….qhwn the fuck did i ever say that?

        also im pretty sure we’ve had this convo before and i dont even want to explain further cus your head is so far up your fucking ass.

        go ahead and bet whatever you want with your money, youre a fucking idiot who cant recognize skill and athleticism.

        hes fought many people, and knows what hes doing in the clinch and if a thai fighter is just going to start trying to dry hump him allday in the clinch you best believe he will be eating knees and hooks from petro. that wont work for them. also they will try to hail mary an elbow cut after they realize they cant stand toe to toe with petro. if mohammed khamal was still fighting he would be fucking mad shit up. and also i predicted that outcome of him beating saiyok.

      • @Surin25 I don’t think Buakaw would be able to beat petrosyan (now) in a MT or K1 fight simply due to the fact that Buakaw has not fought anyone on Petrosyans level for years! Seriously I love Buakaw but look at the fighters they put him up against in Thai fight! Its ridiculous! Its like putting Manny pacquiao up against an average pro boxer from my local gym. Its not fair! Both Petrosyan and Buakaw have met before in the ring even thou it was outside of Thailand and it was a draw which I fought should of gone to Buakaw but it was very close and that was a Buakaw at his peak in 07. Petrosyan was not as good then as he is today even if he does only fight under K1 rules. If he decided to fight Buakaw he would obviously change up his training and get himself ready for a full 5 round MT fight. He’s not stupid. All he would need to do is take a trip to a camp like Sitsongpeenong or Meenoyathin where they have heavy thai fighters and spend a few hours a day clinching and sparring with fighters like Kem or Aikpracha mixed in with his training and I guarantee you he would be more then ready. But then again you never know until it happens, just my opinion.

        • If I may state my opinion, Joshua1990….Even though what you are saying makes sense on the surface it really doesn’t if u look at the facts. I would agree that Buakaw hasn’t really fought any worthy opponent up until his last fight vs Mickael Piscitello who was definitely not a pushover (youtube his name) so unless you train at one of the top gyms in France of England I doubt that comparing his opponents to ” putting Manny pacquiao up against an average pro boxer from my local gym” is fair to those fighters….lol.

          What really baffled me though is the fact that you are saying that Petrosyan spending a couple weeks/months at Sitsongpeenong with Kem and ’em would get him ready vs someone who has been breathing Muay Thai since the age of 8. That’s a lil absurb. The clinch itself is somethin that takes YEARS to master (well as close to mastering it as u can get). Now I’m not saying that Petro would DEFINITELY lose the fight because after all a fight is a fight….but He would be at a serious disadvantage to begin with. That’s my humble opinion though

          • Yeah I understand what you are saying and no disrespect to any of Buakaws most recent opponents. And I wasn’t saying it will only take Petrosyan a few weeks to learn the clinch because I doubt very much that he is completely clueless when it comes to clinching after all his years of training/fighting so at least he knows the basics and it showed not to be a problem for him in there last fight but sparring and clinching in a Muay Thai fashion against fighters similar to Buakaw will add on and help just that little bit more, not that he wouldn’t do well without that type of training but it will get him ready.

  2. Joshua1990, “spoiler” simply indicates when the following information will reveal the results of the fight, thus “spoiling” the suspense for those who haven’t watched it yet. Nop is kind enough to warn us in advance before discussing his impressions of the outcome.

    All of Petro’s opponents in this tournament took an aggressive approach towards fighting him, but he handled them all. His anticipation and timing are unmatched. I’d love to see him against Yodsaenklai!

  3. too bad kem didn’t make it out of the first round, would have been great to see them in action against eachother again even if it was still k-1 rules, i wish petro would do some full MT rules fights.

    Not like there is anyone left in kickboxing to really challenge him.

  4. As much as I love Yoddy, I think at the current stages of their career georgio would beat Yoddy pretty easily. Even more so if it was K1. Can’t wait to see that fight between Yoddy and kem in Dec. I think it’s all confirmed

  5. That knee was definitely sick but he is obviously unable to stand on his right leg. Looks like an injury to me, unless he’s faking it, which doesn’t seem to be his character.

  6. Petrosyan is a fantastic fighter and just because he fought in k1 does that make him a lesser fighter than a muay thai fighter? He can hold his own against anyone thats put in front of him. No one can truly say Petro wouldnt last in a ring with a lumpinee champion or raja champion. Its all just speculation and opinion. The same would had been said of Mohammed Khamal fighting one of thailands great fighters but he showed his critics otherwise. Likewise for Petro He is just too good to be counted as a no contest in MT

    • Muay Thai as a combat sport OWNS Kickboxing…’s just common sense…..Muay Thai is kickboxing on steroids with 4 more limbs..and a completely foreign part of fighting called the CLINCH.
      Anyway…saying “He can hold his own against anyone thats put in front of him” is completely presumptuous. I do however believe that HE can hold his own against anyone thats put in front of him in a KICKBOXING bout.

      • emotive subject this one…

        Well MT may “own” KB in some respects, but we are talking about Petroysan here. He is not kickboxing and kickboxing is not him. He has unique reflexes, he is an outlier. I actually think most Thai fighters would get beaten thoroughly because of their level of boxing too low to deal with the likes of Petro. Best situation would be to get countered all night every time they opened up. Worst would be to get knocked out cold. Khems a quality Thai fighter and he struggled with Petro…

        I actually don’t like watching him fight, he is too clinical for me. I prefer to watch beautiful Thai techniques, which Buakaw has in abundance. But I have to admire his skill. He is just too quick, too hard to hit and too accurate when he hits. Plus he is damn strong too! I think him and Buakaw have both fought Askerov and which one knocked him down with a knee?

        He seems like a humble guy, but like I say I dont particularly like his style. I would like to see authentic Thai techniques (low, middle kicks, knees or elbows) cut him down but thats not going to happen.

        Saenchai maybe? But the weight diff would be way too much

        • I know there not the same weight class but I think if Jomthong could ever go up in weight within the next couple years Jomthong vs Petrosyan would be a great match up based on Jomthongs Muay Thai experience and boxing skills whether it be K1 or Muay Thai! Also Petrosyan tends to not do as well against southpaws. Sittichai could be another one but like I said he would have to work a lot more on his boxing. I have kept a close eye on him for the last few years and I think Sittichai has a bright future if he starts to fight a lot more internationally but just depends on what Sitsongpeenongs plans are for him.

        • ehh best possible scenario would be to clinch him all night and elbow the shit out of him when he comes in for the punches. and petro fought kem under kickboxing rules, not applicable to this argument.

        • Petrosyan may not be “kickboxing” but he has definitely been molded into its rules. Which are way different from Muay Thai rules. “Most thai fighters would get beat thoroughly because of Petro’s boxing skills?” Are you trying to say that someone who might be superior at using 2 of the 8 limbs a nakmuay uses is a superior fighter? I hope u understand how crazy your theory sounds, my friend. Khem struggled with Petro in a kickboxing match. Let’s match them up at the Lumpini stadium in a 5 round full Muay Thai rules and lets see would be the one struggling against Aikprachai’s elbows….let a fighter with Sakkedao’s clinching ability catch him in a full plum where no referee will seperate them after ONE knee. Double six…..I dont know if uve fought before….but if u have then u should definitely know that comparing the way Petro handled Askerov as opposed to the Buakaw handled is something a newbie would say….and u don’t sound like one so I will let it slide…….lol.

  7. Umm are u guys fucking stupid? Petro can clinch if you watch his fights….he knows how to wrestle in the clinch and would probably score clinch throws right now againgst top thai fighters without even training specifically for it. The only thing he and his management are worried aboyt is elbow cuts.

    • I think Buakaws clinch knees and throws are very good, look how he tossed everyone around like rag dolls in the first k1 he entered. Yet Petroysan is the only fighter I have seen to nullify and even start lifting Buakaw about and nobody ever does that.

      Sittichai and Jomthong would probably fair better than most, but i think they would be edged out on points. Sittichai is tricky though,,,

      SE’s right on re elbows. They don’t want a loss due to a cut stoppage.

      I also don’t buy it that if we allowed elbows he would be severely disadvantaged. I think you would be disappointed to see that his sublime reflexes are not only limited to his k1 tools.

      He has lost to 2 Thais. Pinsinchai and Nonthanan por Pramuk. One of them he said he was given a dodgy drink before the fight so he attributed his loss to this. I assume the other one was a genuine loss, which i believe was to Nonthanan. I think the success there was due to the use of low kicks against him.

      I have never seen a fighter go after his legs, but maybe that’s because the plan goes out of the window against Petro when the fight starts.

  8. Lol, people here are giving Petrosyan way too much credit. People are already saying he would be a top level Nak Muay?????

    Ten years ago I would probably agree. I started out doing kickboxing, and I switched to Muay Thai since I found out there was a real martial art out there. And boy, can I tell you how I misjudged Muay Thai. And even now I can spar with people by kickboxing rules and get my ass kicked, but do I spar with them Muay Thai style it’s the other way around.

    Just like Khem seems unbeatable in Muay Thai, he got beaten by lesser fighters (on paper) in kickboxing rules. To say Petrosyan would only get resistance from the very best Thai fighters, is a pure underestimation of Muay Thai.

    People who say that stuff probably haven’t trained in both disciplines.

    • I dont class Petroysan as a classic kickboxer, with jumping around and flashy kicks. Far from it. He throws thai kicks and knees (that damn left step knee) and adds devastating boxing with clever movement and timing. The only difference really is that he enters into a ruleset without elbows.

      But people seem to think that if he entered into a bout with elbows, he is bound to lose against a Thai? Sure there is a chance he will get caught and cut, but he would be putting so much pressure on the other guy elbows may not come into it. Of course this is all conjecture and we will never know, as his management prefer to take the safe route.

  9. But thats the whole point. Petro has experience in both disciplines.. he can clinch and elbow.. he has fought in thailand a few times.. I have seen his fights on youtube some years ago.. not sure if its still up) which he won. He started in muay thai. Its why he wears the mongkon when he enters the ring to show his respect for his roots in MT. He can foot it with the best.. he didnt get to the top of his game coz hes an average joe.. he has the weapons and hes dam clever how he uses them.. Hes too fast for most fighters i seen so far… and his reflexes are 2nd to none.. its why hes unbeaten at his game. He walked through the top brass of k1 with hardly a scratch but everyone since then sees him as solely a kick boxer with no mt experience..

    • basically because he gets more money fighting other rules.There seems to be a general idea or feeling that Petro and management are ducking FTR, Im sure if there was the same money to be made he’d do it.Id love to see him fight loads of top ranked MT guys under FTR, its not going to happen because he can make money easier the way he’s doing now.I actually think he’d fair very well at the elite level of MT after a few warm up fights.Be interesting to see.Remember Buakaw is fighting FTR now because he got canned by k1.Im sure given the option hed still be doing that if it paid more, as would all the other proffesionals!

    • Getting stopped due to a cut is getting fundamentally beat. Also, clinch is fundamental, where he would get beat as well. His style is great for kickboxing it has massive flaws in a full rules match. Let him be the best in kickboxing, and someone else is the best in Muay Thai. The way I feel about it now is that there is no need to compare them, they are just different sports. It’s true that Muay Thai has less restriction, but MMA has even less than Muay Thai, that doesn’t mean that MMA fighters are the best in the world. Again, they are just different disciplines, and each have their kings, and comparison between them is futile in my opinion.

      • U probably make the most sense outta the bunch. However….When I compared the styles, I did so in a practical sense. With that said, u cannot compare MMA to Muay Thai that would be like comparing California to The United states or France to Europe. Just like France is part of Europe……Muay Thai is part of MMA.

        As u mention, Petro might be the best kicboxer in the world p4p but he certainly is nowhere near the best in the art of 8 limbs.

        btw….Petrosyan is my favorite kickboxer of all time. (after Van Damne)

      • its getting technically beat. so biased parties can continue on about how “fighter a” would have won if not for the cut. EXACTLY like people did when Saiyok lost to khamal.

        all of you guys are so obsessed with rules and making it a kickboxing vs muay thai argument, which is absolutely fucking stupid. we are talking about one person and his skill. his skill being the main point. its the INDIVIDUAL who makes any martial art effective. not the martial art itself. also all of you apparently dont have eyes or have never watched enough of petros fights because he is super competent in the clinch and scoring with take downs/knees/etc. i dont know what kind of logic people are using when they think someone can just walk up to petro and constantly try to clinch with him….before the clinch they have to get through the striking zone of petro, and he doesnt necessarily go with the flow of muay thai and just accept a clinch battle, he can choose if he wants to or not.

        • You don’t make sense at all. I don’t know why you have to bring Khamal again and again in this discussion, but he made a good elbow and won. And because it was so quick it’s rather hard to tell which fighter would dominate the other, as it is the dominating fighter who USUALLY provokes the stoppage. So that’s that.

          Now, I clearly can tell that you don’t have a clue about Muay Thai, because if you would, you could see that Petrosyan’s style wouldn’t be far less succesful if his kicks could get caught (watch Petrosyan vs Cosmo), if clinch was allowed (watch Pinca vs Petrosyan, Buakaw vs Petrosyan, and Pinsinchai vs Petrosyan), and then we haven’t even mentioned elbows. I don’t know where you get the idea that he has a good clinch. He has good balance, but his clinch game obviously has flaws.

          His Muay Thai career was unsuccesful, only one win, 2 draws (which should’ve been losses) and one loss. But even without that information, I think you are pretty ignorant to assume someone would be a top level contender without even haven’t proven himself in a particular discipline. And that’s that.

  10. im done with petro v nak muay rant.. But since you mention mr van damm.. whatever happened to his supposed gauranteed fight that was supposed to happen so many times with somluck..

    • I believe that was just a publicity stunts….To boost up Van Damne career and bring back some interest in him since he was already due to be in “The Expendables 2″…..but that’s just what i think it was….it’s not a fact but it would make a lotta sense.

  11. They stop the fight if the cut is bleeding into the eye. I’m not familiar enough with the Saiyok fight to make a call on that. But, if you cannot see, you cannot fight. That is not a technicality.

    Also, the clinch absolutely neutralizes good striking. Keep the guard up, move forward, grab, knee, elbow, dump, repeat. How do you think Phetboonchu beats Saenchai?

    • ok sanchai has been a top level nak muay. why is it that only phetboonchu can only use the clinch to beat sanchai? im sure other fighters like sagatdao has used this but not nearly as many as people think…if clinch ruled muay thai than phet and sagat, etc would be number 1…..and i dont remember what the weight the fight was at but im not sure if phet was heavier. maybe you can refresh my memory.

      • Funny u would mention Sagatdao as he is famously known as a clinch fighter he definitely does use it as much as ppl think.. As Grime mentioned the clinching game is DEFINITELY an advantage. Clinch is definitely a HUGE part of Muay Thai and you can clearly see it by how much it is used in the later rounds of a traditional Muay Thai fight. Even Saenchai (who was also mentioned) uses the clinch very effectively to tie up fighters who are punch heavy. I don’t doubt that Petro can manage himself in the clinch vs someone who has not been practicing how to clinch since the age of 9.

        Also, I would like to give a big thumbs up to anyone in the MMT community who has the ability to prove their point on here in a calmly fashion without having to revert to the use of profanities and name calling.

  12. Wow! Is this argument still going on? All from what I said about Petrosyan! How did we go from my opinion on Petrosyan vs Buakaw to Muay Thai vs Kickboxing? The real definition of Muay Thai vs Kickboxing would be someone like Singdam Kiatmoo9 against a germam kickboxing champion that has never practiced Muay Thai in his life (for example)! You can not put Buakaw in the category of Muay Thai when he hasn’t had a full MT fight against a top class Thai in about 11 years!!! And you can not put Petrosyan in the category of a “kickboxer” when he started off in Muay Thai and has fought Muay Thai in Thailand against a Thai on more then one occasion! Me saying Petrosyan would win is my opinion but know one know’s what would happen in reality until it actually happens, the best you can do now is watch this video whilst in the back of your mind remember that this was in 2007 and things have changed:

  13. I’m not saying that clinch is the king of muay thai, though an argument probably could be made for that. What I’m saying is a strong clincher can neutralize a strong striker. In the case of Phet and Saen, both are strong clinchers, but Phetboonchu maybe has a slight advantage over Saenchai in the clinch. In the case of Petro vs any top Thai fighter, there will be an enormous disparity in clinching ability. I don’t care if Petro has had 4 Muay Thai fights and he started out training full rules. We’re talking about guys with 200+ full rules fights that clinch for at least an hour a day, 6 days a week. How often does Petro clinch when he’s training for his kickboxing matches? For me, it isn’t even a question. Petro would get neutralized in the clinch, and his boxing style of standing close with the gloves at the head would be incredibly vulnerable to elbows. But again..I don’t even care..Petro is the best kickboxer, that is his sport, it doesn’t make him any less of an athlete that he would lose in a full rules fight against a top Thai, I just don’t think it’s appropriate to say that he would beat the top Thais because he is successful in kickboxing, OR VICE VERSA with Thais under kickboxing rules. Different sports..

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