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LiverKick.com Podcast Volume 13: Glory 3 Rome - Petrosyan Rules

  • Published in LK Podcast

Podcast

Whew, what a weekend, right? Glory 3 Rome happened and it was pretty incredible. Giorgio Petrosyan continued his reign of dominance in the world of 70kg Kickboxing and shows no signs of relenting, but fighters like Sanny Dahlback and Davit Kiria came from out of nowhere and impressed the world. Listen to Rian Scalia (@rianscalia) and myself (@LiverKickdotcom / @dvewlsh) as we discuss the latest and greatest in Kickboxing news.

Also note that we've changed software, so going forward the Podcast will be using the player below. You can still download the episode by right clicking on the player and choosing download. You can also subscribe by clicking the button on the left and it should be up on iTunes shortly. See, we listen to your feedback.

{enclose LKVol13.mp3}

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LiverKick.com Middleweight Rankings: Mar 2010

  • Published in Rankings
Middleweight
1. Giorgio Petrosyan
2. Buakaw Por. Pramuk
3. Andy Souwer
4. Artur Kyshenko
5. Yoshihiro Sato
6. Nieky Holzken
7. Mike Zambidis
8. Albert Kraus
9. Murat Direkci
10. Pajonsuk
11. Sudsakorn Sor Klinmee
12. Gago Drago
13. Hinata
14. Saiyok Pumpanmuang
15. Armen Petrosyan
16. Yuichiro Nagashima
17. Chris Ngimbi
18. Muhammed Khamal
19. Yuya Yamamoto
20. Khem Sitsongpeenong
21. John Wayne Parr
22. Leroy Kaestner
23. Dzhabar Askerov
24. Marcus Oberg
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.

March 2011

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#1 Giorgio Petrosyan 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.

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Andy Ristie Dethrones Giorgio Petrosyan in R3

  • Published in Glory

GLORY

If there was an improbability it was for Giorgio Petrosyan to lose. If there was something that was nearly impossible it was Giorgio Petrosyan losing via Knockout, yet, yet... Here we are and Giorgio Petrosyan has been knocked out in Round 3 by Andy Ristie. Andy Ristie was applying lots of pressure in the first round with Petrosyan not able to find his rhythm until the very end. The second round saw a lot of the same with Petrosyan in control, but not able to find his rhythm.

Round three was do or die for Ristie and Andy Ristie just rushed out there like a bat out of hell but it wasn't enough to put Petrosyan down. Then Ristie landed a huge right hand that had Petrosyan stunned only for him to follow it up with a combination of a right, left and another left that finished it. Petrosyan went down and Andy Ristie had done the impossible.

GIF by ZombieProphet.

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LiverKick.com Middleweight Rankings: Feb. 2010

  • Published in Rankings
Middleweight
1. Giorgio Petrosyan
2. Buakaw Por. Pramuk
3. Yoshihiro Sato
4. Andy Souwer
5. Albert Kraus
6. Nieky Holzken
7. Artur Kyshenko
8. Murat Dirkeci
9. Gago Drago
10. Pajonsuk
11. Mike Zambidis
12. Hinata
13. Saiyok Pumpanmuang
14. Sudsakorn Sor Klinmee
15. Yuichiro Nagashima
16. Chris Ngimbi
17. Mohamed Khamal
18. Yuya Yamamoto
19. Khem Sitsongpeenong
20. Hiroki Nakajima
21. John Wayne Parr
22. Chahid Oulad El Hadj
23. Leroy Kaestner
24. Marcus Oberg
25. Armen Petrosyan

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.

February 2011

The Middleweight rankings are, in a word, a mess.

The one thing we know for certain is #1.  Giorgio Petrosyan is starting his 2nd year ruling over the division with an iron fist.  He's clearly the #1 Middleweight, the #1 pound for pound kickboxer out there, and is entering that territory of best fighter period.  The trouble is, when a division has such a dominant #1, it often means the rest of the rankings begin to falter a bit.  And that's what we're seeing now.

The race for #2 is a tough one between a lot of fighters who have real reasons not to be considered #2.  By virtue of his legendary career, S-Cup win, and six fight win streak, Buakaw Por. Pramuk retains the #2 spot, but it gets harder to keep him there.  He started showing signs of slipping back in 2008, and hasn't defeated a ranked opponent in over a year and a half.

Meanwhile, Andy Souwer, a constant factor at the very top of the ranks, just recorded his 2nd loss to an unranked opponent in the past few months, losing a decision to Abraham Roqueni.  He drops to #4, while Yoshihiro Sato moves up to #3 - more by virtue of Souwer's loss then his own victories, although he has put together a good string of wins since his very rough late 2008-early 2009 run.

Overall, the MW ranks seem to be waiting for some of their newer fighters to really stake their claim at the top.  And there are definitely some good names out there ready to move up: #10 Pajonsuk, #12 Hinata, #14 Sudsakorn, #15 Yuichiro Nagashima, #16 Chris Ngimbi, and #17 Mohamed Khamal have all made big moves lately and are poised to move even higher.  Of those names, the two that had particularly noteworthy months are Sudsakorn and Nagashima.  Sudsakorn's win over now #19 Khem Sitsongpeenong in Thailand was the biggest fight yet this year from a rankings standpoint, while Nagashima defended K-1's honor with his stunning New Year's Eve knockout of Dream champion Shinya Aoki.

As we saw in the Heavyweight division, this next month will remain somewhat of a holding pattern for the Middleweights, with nothing big scheduled in February.  But that changes in March with a host of major fights.

First up, the March 6 It's Showtime show, which features #4 Andy Souwer trying to get back in the win column against L'houcine Ouzgni; a great fight between #7 Artur Kyshenko and #9 Gago Drago; #22 Chahid Oulad El Hadj vs. Robin van Roosmalen; and #23 Leroy Kaestner vs. Ramzi Tamaditi.

Giorgio PetrosyanMarch 12 is the Oktagon show from Italy with #1 Giorgio Petrosyan defending his status against the excellent Cosmo Alexandre, plus #3 Yoshihiro Sato vs. #25 Armen Petrosyan.  If Giorgio loses there I don't know what will become of the top 25.

But the big action to watch for is the July 3 It's Showtime show in Russia with #7 Artur Kyshenko vs. L'houcine Ouzgni, plus an 8 man tournament that could be the premiere Middleweight tournament of the year including #1 Giorgio Petrosyan, #4 Andy Souwer, #3 Yoshihiro Sato, #8 Murat Direkci, #9 Gago Drago, and #16 Chris Ngimbi.

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LiverKick.com Middleweight Rankings

  • Published in Rankings

Middleweight
1. Giorgio Petrosyan
2. Buakaw Por. Pramuk
3. Andy Souwer
4. Albert Kraus
5. Yoshihiro Sato
6. Nieky Holzken
7. Artur Kyshenko
8. Murat Dirkeci
9. Gago Drago
10. Pajonsuk
11. Mike Zambidis
12. Hinata
13. Chris Ngimbi
14. Yuichiro Nagashima
15. Mohamed Khamal
16. Yuya Yamamoto
17. Hiroki Nakajima
18. Khem Sitsongpeenong
19. Sudsakorn Sor Klinmee
20. John Wayne Parr
21. Chahid Oulad El Hadj
22. Leroy Kaestner
23. Marcus Oberg
24. Armen Petrosyan
25. Chi Bin Lim

Welcome to part two of our inaugural 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.  We'll be posting rankings on roughly a quarterly basis.  Just as yesterday, I want to stress that all rankings are inherently subjective, and are sure to ruffle a few feathers.  To be clear, our rankings are based on in-ring accomplishments and recent wins and loses, and as such, we hope they reflect where these fighters currently stand.

It's been a tough year for the Middleweight division.  Where the K-1 MAX Grand Prix once stood as the clear pinnacle of accomplishment for a 70kg fighter, this year's GP was somewhat watered down by the loses of Souwer and Buakaw.  In the end, only 5 of the top 10 fighters were even entered in the GP.

Hopefully we can all agree that depleted line-up or not, K-1 MAX champion Giorgio Petrosyan remains the #1 man at MW.  The man is simply amazing, with only one loss to his name, and a massive undefeated streak stretching nearly 4 years.  That said, Petrosyan wasn't truly pushed this year.  The man to challenge him is probably #2 Buakaw Por. Pramuk, the newly crowned Shootboxing S-Cup champion.  These two men met in 2007 and fought to a draw - a rematch absolutely must happen.  Let's hope It's Showtime puts it together.

The warring crowns of Buakaw and Petrosyan speak to the difficulties currently facing this division.  With MAX having a rough 2010, the 70kg division has become quite fractured.  A number of fighters are competing almost exclusively in Japan, or Europe, or for select companies, with no central event bringing them together.  As a result, rankings have become increasingly difficult, with many of the top fighters not having met in recent years.

One other tricky point in these rankings is the split between Muay Thai and kickboxing.  Muay Thai inspires a great passion in their fans, which inevitably results in some heated discussions over these rankings.  I find including Muay Thai to be a tricky proposition.  On the one hand, since so many of these fighters regularly compete in both, it seems foolish to discredit a result just because it was under Muay Thai rules.  If Buakaw defeats Petrosyan in a Muay Thai contest, should Buakaw be #1?  I would think so.  But a lot of the Muay Thai scene is concentrated in Thailand, making it difficult to rank on an international level.  My philosophy is this: in these rankings I am focusing on kickboxing and including fighters who compete on at least a semi-regular basis in the international kickboxing scene.  I factor in wins and loses in Muay Thai just as I would wins and loses in other kickboxing events.  Disagree with that plan?  I absolutely welcome any feedback in the comments.

Moving on, there are some good fights coming up involving big MW names.  On New Year's Eve #2 Buakaw faces #17 Hiroki Nakajima for SRC, while #14 Yuichiro Nagashima meets Shinya Aoki at Dynamite.

Switching into the new year, Giorgio Petrosyan is currently set to defend his #1 spot twice inGiorgio Petrosyan upcoming fights - first against #19 Sudsakorn Sor Klinmee on January 29, then against 77kg fighter Cosmo Alexandre in March, though his hand injury could easily force him out of those fights.

Finally, It's Showtime has some big plans set.  Their March 6 shows features two superb fights in #3 Andy Souwer v. L'houcine Ouzgni and #7 Artur Kyshenko v. #9 Gago Drago.  And their July 3 show features Kyshenko v. Ouzgni plus a stacked 8 man tournament which could rival the K-1 MAX Grand Prix in determining the #1 man at MW.  The current line-up for that tournament includes #1 Petrosyan, #3 Souwer, #5 Yoshihiro Sato, #8 Murat Direkci, #9 Drago, and #13 Chris Ngimbi.

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The Disbelief of Giorgio Petrosyan's Loss to Andy Ristie

  • Published in News

Petrosyan (C) Bauzen for WKA

Saturday night was surreal, that’s the only way to describe it. Giorgio Petrosyan the king of kickboxing, the best 70 KG kickboxer we’ve ever seen, hell quite possibly the best kickboxer we’ve ever seen in any weight class. He defined perfection, he was a man who not only would win, but he would tactically embarrass his opponents for the entirety of the match. I’m not sure there is anyone else that has made more top level fighters look like amateurs more or less. The sheer thought of Petrosyan losing seemed about as realistic as an Ed Wood film. Yet, here we are a few days out and that’s the case.

After Andy Ristie rendered Petrosyan unconscious it was just pure disbelief in the arena. Everyone was gasping, their hands up in the air, mouths agape. Up to that point, Andy Ristie was fighting the perfect fight, he was throwing of Petrosyan’s timing, wasn’t letting him get comfortable with his range and he was still losing the fight on most people's scorecards. Ristie did put on the performance of a lifetime, beating the number one and two guys at 70KG. He not only defeated them, he knocked out a man who was 76-1-1 who’s never been knocked out and he knocked out a man who was knocked out once in 73 fights. It was one of the best one night performances in recent memory, it’s up there with Semmy’s K1 WGP run in 09, it was something to behold as it truly felt special.

Even though I consider myself an unbiased observer of kickboxing, I still had a weird feeling after seeing Petrosyan lose. On the train ride home from the event I was racking my brain, trying to sum up my feelings on it and the only thing I could come up with was a comment Pat Miletich made after Fedor lost to Werdum. “My heart sank not for Fedor but for the reality of perfection that is not attainable in the sport of MMA. All experienced fighters know you’re going to lose if you’re fighting world-class opponents, but Fedor was different.” For me it’s sad to see the guy who was thought to be unbeatable, bested. Sure, at the end of the day, it was bound to happen, you can only fight the best of the best for so long without getting caught.

Now I know sports are a very reactionary world, I’ve been guilty being reactionary after an event as well, it happens. After Saturday night, I saw a few people question Petrosyan his record and his skill level. Now, let me address his record, sure, there are times when he faced guys that are out of the top 20, but he also fights 5 times or more a year and he continually faces the best of the best. Now, here’s a gripe that I have, is about this talk about padding records, first of all, Petrosyan doesn’t have a padded record, plain and simple. If he did have a padded record, so what? If a promotion can pad a guys record, sell him to me as a world beater and make me want to see him fight, I’m 100% for it. That’s one of the biggest problems that I have with the UFC, they don’t know how to build guys up properly, they throw them to the wolves and if they lose, they lose all drawing power. Now onto the Petrosyan’s skill, I hate the fact that this is even a question, he’s the best 70KG kickboxer ever, end of story. The way he slips punches, counters, draws everyone into his fight, it’s a thing of beauty. Combat sports are tricky, it’s not like baseball where you have numbers to quantify how good a player is. It’s all an eye test, you have to have a trained eye to see it and while I don’t consider myself an expert, I do consider myself a seasoned viewer and have seen a fair share of Petro’s fights. Any positive adjective you can think of, Petro fits it.

At the end of the day, perfection isn’t something that can be obtained, it’s the idea of it that’s so beautiful, the idea of a man trying to become this abstract idea, it’s just so fascinating. Everytime you tell yourself it’s something that can’t happen, someone will come along and change your mind and Petrosyan was that guy. Even with his knockout loss, Petrosyan will continue to chase the unobtainable goal of perfection.

 

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Petrosyan vs. Sudsakorn, Cosmo

  • Published in Kickboxing

Giorgio PetrosyanK-1 MAX champion and all around fighting genius Giorgio Petrosyan has two exciting upcoming bouts scheduled.

First up,on January 29, he faces Sudsakorn 13 Coins (formerly Sudsakorn Sor. Klinmee) for Thai Boxe Mania.  Despite the event name, this is not a Muay Thai fight, and will be 3 rounds under K-1 rules.  Sudsakorn is our #18 ranked fighter at 70kg, and really made a name for himself in the international scene in 2010.  He started last year with a decision win over K-1 MAX fighter Chahid Oulad El Hadj in It's Showtime, and followed that up with a tournament win where he defeated Andrei Kulebin in the finals.  He's currently set to face Khem Sitsongpeenong in just a few days, and if he can pull off a win there, it will give him great momentum heading into the Petrosyan fight.  Other notable fights on the Thai Boxe Mania card: Andrei Kulebin vs. Kaopon Lek, Abdallah Mabel vs. Kostantin Serebrennikov, and Armen Petrosyan vs. Miodrag Olar.  Kulebin's fight is Muay Thai rules, the rest are K-1.

After that, Petrosyan faces former It's Showtime champion Cosmo Alexandre at another Italian event - Oktagon 2011 on March 12.  It looks like that fight will be again under K-1 rules, and at 70kg, which puts Cosmo at a distinct disadvantage.  Alexandre has spent the last year fighting primarily at 77kg in It's Showtime, and will be dropping a lot of weight to make the 70kg limit.  At 72 and 77kgs, Alexandre has found tremendous success lately, winning the It's Showtime belt and 2009 Thailand King's Cup among other notable victories.  He's not ranked at 70kg due to his inactivity in that division, though at 77kg he would easily be in the top 5.  He's an interesting challenger for Petrosyan, as the two men share a very cerebral, technical approach to the game.  He also possesses a great flying knee, which he has used to win fights by opening up cuts.  And no matter how good a fighter is, a  cut can always end a fight.  Petrosyan is the favorite here undoubtedly, but I think Cosmo will challenge him.

I had some questions about these fight due to Petrosyan's broken hand suffered at the K-1 MAX finals, but as we draw closer, new reports are coming out that indicate these fights are in fact going to happen.  Assuming they do, these are two fantastic chances to see the pound for pound best kickboxer in the world in action.  And unlike some other fights, these are not just Petrosyan being trotted out to face an overmatched opponent - both Sudsakorn and Cosmo provide interesting, and very different challenges to the champ.  Of course, Giorgio is so good that he may make these fights look beyond simple, but isn't that part of his charm?

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Stand Up Japan, July 18 - Giorgio Petrosyan vs. HINATA

  • Published in K-1

HINATA vs. PetroK-1's relative silence continues, although there is a rumor of K-1 MAX happening in June or July, we've seen nothing definitive yet. The recent success of the Stand Up Japan event featuring Masato and KID Yamamoto has spawned a lot of positive press and apparently another charity event coming up in July. The Japanese press is all over the main event for the event as it will be a clash between Europe and Japan.

Japanese press have dubbed it "It's Showtime Japan vs. REBELS" with the main event being Giorgio Petrosyan vs. HINATA. Both men are at the top of the heap in the 70kg weight class. Petrosyan is currently the man to beat at 70kg, looking utterly unstoppable with two K-1 World MAX Championships in his possession. At the It's Showtime Lyon press conference Petrosyan mentioned that K-1 has still yet to pay him for his backpay, so there is a slim chance outside of K-1 making it up to Petrosyan, and if they actually have an event, that we'll see him competiing for them again.

So this should be considered a rare appearance in Japan for Petrosyan, against the top Japanese 70kg fighter outside of Yoshihiro Sato. There is talk of European Fighting Network and It's Showtime being more involved with the event, so stay tuned for more news regarding this event. [source]

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More on the Giorgio Petrosyan/It's Showtime Situation

  • Published in Kickboxing

The big news came out the other day that Giorgio Petrosyan had terminated his management contract which kept him linked to It's Showtime and would now simply be working with his original manager, Carlo Di Blasi. LiverKick has spoken with both Di Blasi and officials at It's Showtime about the matter in an attempt to clarify exactly what is going on with Petrosyan and this management situation.

I feel like there is a need for some backstory to get a clearer picture if you are not well-versed in the current atmosphere in Kickboxing. As we all know, K-1 had an extremely rough 2011 while It's Showtime had an active year that involved running many successful shows as well as a successful 70kg tournament. A Korean investor, known simply as "Mr. Kim" came into the equation later on in the year, looking to purchase K-1 and strike up a working relationship with Rutz's It's Showtime organization. This is why when the K-1 World Grand Prix Final 16 was being organized, most of the fighters were under contract to It's Showtime or affiliated companies. The official word that we got from Simon Rutz on this matter is that It's Showtime is not looking to buy a part of K-1, but are more than willing to help anyone who does invest in K-1, as the Kickboxing market is a difficult one right now.

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LiverKick.com Middleweight Rankings: April 2011

  • Published in Rankings
Middleweight
1. Giorgio Petrosyan
2. Buakaw Por. Pramuk
3. Andy Souwer
4. Artur Kyshenko
5. Yoshihiro Sato
6. Nieky Holzken
7. Mike Zambidis
8. Albert Kraus
9. Murat Direkci
10. Pajonsuk
11. Sudsakorn Sor Klinmee
12. Gago Drago
13. Hinata
14. Saiyok Pumpanmuang
15. Armen Petrosyan
16. Yuichiro Nagashima
17. Chris Ngimbi
18. Mohammed Khamal
19. Khem Sitsongpeenong
20. Yuya Yamamoto
21. John Wayne Parr
22. Leroy Kaestner
23. Dzhabar Askerov
24. Marcus Oberg
25. Robin van Roosmalen

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.

April 2011

Unlike the Heavyweight division, the Middleweights continue to see a lot of action - there just wasn't much of it since our last rankings.  Khem Sitsongpeenong snuck up a spot with a win in Thailand, while Robin van Roosmalen made it into the rankings at #25, but that's it for changes.  No worries, as there's some excellent matchmaking around the corner.

April's big MW fight will come on the 23rd at Shootboxing as #3 Andy Souwer faces #5 Yoshihiro Sato.  Any clash between two top 5 fighters is worth taking note of, and this will be a good one.

Also in April, #19 Khem Sitsongpeenong vs. Prakaisaeng in the Isuzu Thai Fight qualifying tournament semi-final, and #20 Yuya Yamamoto vs. MMA's Akihiro Gono in Krush.  Hopefully we'll also get some news on the delayed Krush 70kg tournament as well, as it will be interesting to see who makes their way into that field given the lack of K-1 MAX options at the moment.

Looking ahead, we will be gifted with a glut of major Middleweight fights in May.  Some of the May highlights include #1 Giorgio Petrosyan vs. Chahid Oulad El Hadj, #4 Artur Kyshenko vs. #6 Nieky Holzken, #7 Mike Zambidis vs. #21 John Wayne Parr, #17 Chris Ngimbi's first It's Showtime title defense, #18 Mohammed Khamal vs. #25 Robin van Roosmalen, plus #2 Buakaw, #11 Sudsakorn, and #14 Saiyok all in action at the France Thai Fight show.  That's a lot of big fights, so start clearing your schedule.

One fiGiorgio Petrosyannal note - the big 70kg event remains the It's Showtime July 23 tournament with #1 Giorgio Petrosyan, #3 Andy Souwer, #5 Yoshihiro Sato, #9 Murat Direkci, #12 Gago Drago, #17 Chris Ngimbi and #23 Dzhabar Askerov.  Winner of that will easily claim the #1 spot - the only question is, can anyone take the crown away from the Doctor?

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