|2.||Buakaw Por. Pramuk|
|11.||Sudsakorn Sor Klinmee|
|21.||John Wayne Parr
|25.||Chahid Oulad El Hadj|
Welcome back to the LiverKick.com rankings. These rankings are an attempt to break down the top 25 fighters in two different weight classes - Heavyweight, for fighters above the 77kg limit, and Middleweight, for fighters at the 70-72.5kg limit. Our rankings are based on in-ring accomplishments and recent wins and loses. We hope they reflect where these fighters currently stand, although we recognize that all rankings are inherently subjective.
The past month has been fast and furious in the Middleweight division, with many of the top 25 fighting, and a lot of rankings implications. The overriding story is that #1 Giorgio Petrosyan continues to widen the gap between himself and the rest of the field. The Doctor held onto his top spot with a win over Cosmo Alexandre - a very tough opponent who is only unranked because he regularly fights up a division at 77kg (where he would be in the top 4).
Meanwhile, in a pair of top 5 upsets, former #4 Yoshihiro Sato fell to Giorgio's brother Armen Petrosyan, and former #5 Albert Kraus lost to Batu Khasikov. Sato and Kraus drop to #5 and #8 respectively. More impressive were #3 Andy Souwer, #4 Artur Kyshenko, and #7 Mike Zambidis. All 3 scored big wins over tough opponents, moving themselves back up the ranks. Lots of other movement as well, including rises for #11 Sudsakorn, #15 Armen Petrosyan, #22 Leroy Kaestner, and #23 Dzhabar Askerov.
As we look to the coming months, we have an absolute abundance of MW action still to come. As always, It's Showtime seems to lead the pack. On May 14 they have #1 Giorgio Petrosyan vs. #25 Chahid Oulad El Hadj in what will actually be an intriguing fight in some ways - how will Petrosyan handle the aggression from Chahid? Should be interesting. Also on that card, #17 Chris Ngimbi vs. Willy Borrel. Then on July 23 it's their huge Russian event with #4 Artur Kyshenko vs. L'houcine Ouzgni, and a tournament that features Giorgio Petrosyan, Ngimbi, #3 Andy Souwer, #5 Yoshihiro Sato, #9 Murat Direkci, #12 Gago Drago, and #23 Dzhabar Askerov. Just take a look at that line-up. Amazing. I'm not betting on seeing a MAX Grand Prix this year, and even if there is one, it will be hard pressed to top this show as THE elite Middleweight tournament of 2011.
Various other upcoming fights: April 23 #3 Andy Souwer returns to Shootboxing - opponent TBA; #21 John Wayne Parr's 2011 farewell series starts on May 28 against #7 Mike Zambidis, and continues on July 30 against Vusi Colossa; April 2 #11 Sudsakorn takes part in a European tournament at Explosion Fight Night 3; and on April 30 (newly rescheduled from March 19), #19 Yuya Yamamoto should face Pride veteran Akihiro Gono at Krush. And expect news on the Krush 70kg tournament to come at some point as well.
We've spent a lot of the past few months discussing the difficulties K-1 and kickboxing has been going through - but if you take a look at what we've seen in the past few weeks in this division, as well as what we have coming up, and you are not excited about these fights, then I don't know what we can do for you. For me, that July 23 It's Showtime show in particular can't come soon enough.
Dave Walsh has been covering MMA and Kickboxing since 2007 before changing his focus solely to Kickboxing in 2009, launching what was the only English-language site dedicated to giving Kickboxing similar coverage to what MMA receives. He was the co-founder of HeadKickLegend and now LiverKick. He resides in Albuquerque, New Mexico where he works as a writer of all trades.
His first novel, the Godslayer, is available now.