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LiverKick.com Heavyweight Rankings: January 2012

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Welcome back to the LiverKick.com rankings. These rankings are an attempt to break down the top 10 fighters in three different weight classes - Heavyweight, for fighters above the 85kg limit, Middleweight, for fighters at the 70-72.5kg limit, and Light Heavyweight, for fighters at the 77-84kg 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.

Heavyweight

1. Semmy Schilt
2. Badr Hari
3. Peter Aerts
4. Gokhan Saki
5. Daniel Ghita
6. Rico Verhoeven
7. Tyrone Spong
8. Hesdy Gerges
9. Errol Zimmerman
10. Sergei Laschenko

Sem SchiltHeavyweight - January 2012

Heavyweight actually saw a lot of movement this time around, which after a rather static year in 2011 was refreshing to see. While it does feel a bit odd to still include Semmy Schilt as #1 in the division due to A) not winning the 2010 World Grand Prix and B) he did not fight in 2011 at all, he is still the measuring stick for success within the division. It is safe to say that as long as Alistair Overeem, the 2010 World Grand Prix winner, is under a contract to the UFC, he will not be kickboxing anytime soon. Schilt still plans on being active in 2012 and will without a doubt be involved in whatever FIKA organizes. Badr Hari holds strong at #2 for his achievements in past years, for fighting in 2011 and having a high profile fight scheduled for this month. Peter Aerts holds strong at #3 after an amazing performance in the 2010 K-1 World Grand Prix and remaining somewhat active in 2011 having at least one fight against a lesser opponent. Aerts has remained in fighting shape and has decided it is still not time to retire. While it is rough that he lost all of 2011, 2012 will be a different year.

 

Gokhan Saki had a pretty good 2011, winning the Glory World Series with two wins, one over Wendell Roche and another over Brice Guidon. Not top competition within the division, but tough fighters. Rumors of him leaving Kickboxing seem to not be true as there are rumors of him fighting in June for It's Showtime, and of course, he fights #2 Badr Hari in a few weeks. From here is where the big shifting goes on. Daniel Ghita shifts up one position not out of defeating someone above him, but more because of the fall of Hesdy Gerges to Rico Verhoeven. Rico makes his apprehensive debut in the top ten at #6, with the question of will he be able to get another big win or will he fall back into obscurity? Hesdy, on the other hand, will rematch against Daniel Ghita with Ghita getting a chance at redemption. Tyrone Spong stays at #7 and looks to not be "retiring" from Kickboxing, either.

Errol Zimmerman makes his heroic return to the top ten after having a redemption year of redemption years in 2011. Zimmerman went 6-0 for the year, demolishing some lesser competition while moving back up the ladder before running through the SuperKombat: Fight Club one night tournament at the end of the year to cement his spot at the top. Another product of a SuperKombat tournament moving up in the world is Sergei Laschenko, making his debut in the LiverKick Top 10. He had a very strong 2011 in SuperKombat before winning their World Grand Prix, putting fringe-top ten fighter Ismael Londt to sleep in the first round to secure his spot in the sun.

With every rise must come a fall, and the retirement and Boxing debut of Kyotaro has forced our hand to remove him. Many other fighters had talked about leaving Kickboxing behind, but Kyotaro vacated his K-1 Heavyweight Championship and severed his ties with FEG, which in Japan is not a great idea if you want to continue moving forward. Seeing as though no one outside of FEG has booked Kyotaro for a fight in ages, it is fair to say he might be done. Ewerton Teixeira is in a similar situation, to where K-1 was using him to add international flavor. With FEG out of the K-1 picture, potentially, and him being incredibly inactive, it is safe to say that Teixeira is done for the time being. Jerome Le Banner has fallen off of the top ten as his Le Banner Tour is seemingly him against smaller men, not actual Heavyweights, who are unranked. This, as well as his commitments to Antonio Inoki's IGF professional wrestling means for the time being, until he faces another top 10 fighters, JLB is out of the picture.

 

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LiverKick.com Heavyweight Rankings: Mar 2011

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Heavyweight

1. Alistair Overeem
2. Peter Aerts
3. Semmy Schilt
4. Badr Hari
5. Gokhan Saki
6. Ewerton Teixeira
7. Hesdy Gerges
8. Kyotaro
9. Daniel Ghita
10. Tyrone Spong
11. Jerome Le Banner
12. Nathan Corbett
13. Errol Zimmerman
14. Ashwin Balrak
15. Brice Guidon
16. Zabit Samedov
17. Pavel Zhuravlev
18. Melvin Manhoef
19. Mourad Bouzidi
20. Anderson Silva
21. Ruslan Karaev
22. Paul Slowinski
23. Rico Verhoeven
24. Mighty Mo
25. Raul Catinas

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

Another month, another period of essential inaction in the heavyweight ranks, although this time there were at least a few fights that impacted the rankings.

The biggest of course was the huge It's Showtime clash between Hesdy Gerges and Daniel Ghita.  This battle between the sport's next generation heavyweights lived up to the hype.  Gerges pulled out a close (and, according to some, controversial) decision - he moves up to #7, while Ghita falls back to #9.

The other notable fight was in Australia, where Paul Slowinski defeated Thor Hoopman handily in one round.  With that win, Slowinski brings his record in the last year up to an impressive 8-2, and earns himself a spot back in the rankings at #22.  Glad to see The Sting back in here after many wrote him off a few years ago.

Luckily, things are definitely gaining momentum, as we have some solid fights announced in the upcoming weeks and months.  This weekend is the Ultimate Glory semi-finals, featuring #5 Gokhan Saki vs. Wendell Roche and #15 Brice Guidon vs. #19 Mourad Bouzidi.  Also this weekend is a Local Kombat show with a number of fighters just outside the top 25: Freddy Kemayo vs. Sebastian Ciobanu, Dzevad Poturak vs. Ionut Ifitmoaie, Catalin Morosanu vs. Ayadin Yuksel, and hot upcoming prospect Andrei Stoica vs. Alex Rossi.  I'd expect at least the winner of Kemayo vs. Ciobanu to make it in to next month's rankings.

But the big news is the return of #4 Badr Hari.  It's been nearly a year since we've seen the Golden Boy in action - he'll make his long-awaited return on May 14 for It's Showtime in Lyon.  His opponent will be French fighter Tony Gregory.  Also on that card: #10 Tyrone Spong vs. Igor Mihaljevic, and #9 Daniel Ghita vs. #22 Paul Slowinski.  For some reason, rumors keep popping up about #11 Jerome Le Banner fighting on this card as well, but I would not count on it as the main card seems completed.

After that, It's Showtime continues their lock on the HW division with #7 Hesdy Gerges vs. Alexey Ignashov on July 23.

Finally, 2010 K-1 Oceania champion Ben Edwards has two upcoming fights - April 2 vs. Carter Williams, and July 30 vs. an opponent TBA.  Good chance for Edwards to get back into the rankings with a pair of wins.

The #1 Ranked Alistair OvereemAs for #1 Alistair Overeem?  No clue.  His next fight should be an MMA fight against Fabricio Werdum in the opening round of the Strikeforce Grand Prix.  But with the recent UFC buyout of Strikeforce, who knows what this means.  Will Overeem continue on as Strikeforce champion?  Will he move into the UFC?  Will Zuffa allow him to still take kickboxing bouts on the side (don't bet on it).  It's all up in the air.  For now, get your Reem fix with the first episode of The Reem, Part 2.

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LiverKick.com Heavyweight Rankings

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Heavyweight

1. Alistair Overeem
2. Peter Aerts
3. Semmy Schilt
4. Remy Bonjasky
5. Badr Hari
6. Gokhan Saki
7. Kyotaro
8. Ewerton Teixeira
9. Daniel Ghita
10. Hesdy Gerges
11. Tyrone Spong
12. Jerome Le Banner
13. Nathan Corbett
14. Errol Zimmerman
15. Ashwin Balrak
16. Ruslan Karaev
17. Zabit Samedov
18. Brice Guidon
19. Melvin Manhoef
20. Pavel Zhuravlev
21. Mourad Bouzidi
22. Anderson Silva
23. Rico Verhoeven
24. Mighty Mo
25. Raul Catinas

Welcome to the first edition of our 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, with the inaugural Middleweight rankings out tomorrow.  Before we discuss, 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.

The biggest talking point here is likely the ascension of a new #1.  Alistair Overeem, with only 14 pro kickboxing fights to his credit, rises to the top spot by becoming the 8th man to win the K-1 Grand Prix crown.  Always a subject of controversy, many fans still view him as an outsider to kickboxing, and can't fathom The Reem as the #1 man.  But with wins over Saki, Aerts, Hari, Teixeira and Spong, plus the GP victory, it's hard to place him elsewhere.  Beyond that, there's also the question that if Overeem is not #1 - who is?

Also making a huge move up the ladder is Peter Aerts.  Aerts looked like his time near the top was at an end just a few months ago, but with a history making win over Semmy Schilt, Aerts moves into the #2 spot.  Glad to see the Dutch Lumberjack there one more time.

A few fighters are near the point of being removed from rankings due to inactivity - most notably #4 Remy Bonjasky.  Bonjasky has not fought in over a year, and may have one last fight in him before retirement.  If he doesn't announce another fight soon, it will be hard to keep him ranked.  It's a similar case with the often unreliable #16 Ruslan Karaev, who likewise has not competed since the 2009 GP Finals.  Finally, #15 Ashwin Balrak may be dropped out of the rankings, as his next few years could be spent behind bars after his 2010 cocaine bust.

Looking ahead, there are not a huge number of big heavyweight fights currently announced, which is always the case as the year ends.  A few cards are worth noting though.Alistair Overeem

At Dynamite!! on Dec. 31, #7 Kyotaro will face Gegard Mousasi under K-1 rules.  Also competing on that card are Overeem and #12 Jerome Le Banner, though both fights are under MMA rules.

January 30 marks the 2nd round in the Ultimate Glory world series event.  This round of 4 includes #6 Gokhan Saki v. Wendell Roche, and #18 Brice Guidon v. #21 Mourad Bouzidi, with the winners meeting at the April 21 finals.

Finally, It's Showtime heavyweight champion #10 Hesdy Gerges has a busy time ahead of him.  He faces #9 Daniel Ghita on March 6 in an absolute blockbuster of a fight, and Alexey Ignashov on July 3.  That Gerges v. Ghita bout could be the biggest heavyweight fight of the next 6 months, though it could see some competition from the It's Showtime/K-1 Qualifying Grand Prix event on May 21 - no names yet announced for that show, but expect some big fights.

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LiverKick.com Heavyweight Rankings: January 2013

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Welcome back to the LiverKick.com rankings. These rankings are an attempt to break down the top 10 fighters in three different weight classes - Heavyweight, for fighters above the 85kg limit, Middleweight, for fighters at the 70-72.5kg limit, and Lightweight, for fighters under 63kg. 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.

Heavyweight

1. Semmy Schilt
2. Daniel Ghita
3. Gokhan Saki
4. Rico Verhoeven up
5. Jamal Ben Saddik up
6. Tyrone Spong
7. Hesdy Gerges
8. Errol Zimmerman down
9. Pavel Zhuravlev up
10. Freddy Kemayo up

Sem SchiltHeavyweight - January 2013

There is a phrase when it comes to Heavyweight Kickboxing and that phrase is "Heavyweights gonna Heavyweight," and that is exactly what we have seen over the past few weeks. There has been a lot of movement in the Heavyweight rankings due in part to the SuperKombat World Grand Prix Finals and then of course the Glory World Series Grand Slam tournament.

#1 Semmy Schilt once again cemented his spot at the very top of the sport by defeating four men in one night to take home yet another tournament crown. As always, our rankings tend to favor the tournament format for rankings as that is the standard for which Heavyweight kickboxing is weighed. That is the easiest way to explain that #2 Daniel Ghita holds steady at the number two spot. Ghita worked through three opponents in one night and lost to Semmy Schilt in the finals in a disputed decision. Surely there are lots of fans of #3 Gokhan Saki upset that Saki is not in the second spot, but the reality is that he did not make it to the finals, but was very close indeed. Saki put up a very good fight against Semmy Schilt and is slated to fight Daniel Ghita in April.

#4 Rico Verhoeven earned his spot over the past year, where his inclusion on the rankings was always based on a win over Hesdy Gerges, who was ranked due to a DQ win over Badr Hari. Verhoeven has without a doubt proven his mettle and was only ousted by Schilt. #5 Jamal Ben Saddik is the guy who really threw a wrench in everyone's plans by making it to the semi-finals. There will be some dispute that he belongs above Rico, but the loss to Jafhar Wilnis does weight heavily on him right now. He still has shot onto the rankings in a heartbeat and should be here to stay.

#6 Tyrone Spong actually opted not to participate in the tournament for whatever reason, so he does not move, but he faces a still unranked Remy Bonjasky soon, which could change things. #7 Hesdy Gerges is in the same boat, except he is fighting for K-1 and no one is clear when his next high level fight will be. The big upset was for #8 Errol Zimmerman who went from being in the top 5 to slipping to the eighth spot after his loss to Jamal Ben Saddik. The next two are courtesy of the SuperKombat WGP where #9 Pavel Zhuravlev made sure that Benjamin Adegbuyi was knocked out of the rankings and secured himself a spot in the top. Then came #10 Freddy Kemayo who won a reserve fight over the formerly ranked Sergei Laschenko who continues his downward spiral.

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LiverKick.com Rankings - July 2012

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As of July 2012 As of July 2012 As of July 2012

Heavyweight

1. Semmy Schilt
2. Daniel Ghita
3. Badr Hari
4. Gokhan Saki
5. Errol Zimmerman
6. Sergei Laschenko up
7. Rico Verhoeven up
8. Tyrone Spong up
9. Peter Aerts down
10. Hesdy Gerges down
Light Heavyweight
1. Artem Levin
2. Hicham el Gaoui
3. Alexander Oleynik
4. Dmitry Shakuta
5. Alexander Stretsurenko
6. Simon Marcus
7. Artem Vakhitov
8. Constantin Tutu
9. Yordan Yankov
10. Yoann Kongolo
Middleweight
1. Giorgio Petrosyan
2. Robin van Roosmalen
3. Artur Kyshenko
4. Andy Souwer
5. Jury Bessmertny
6. Sudsakorn Sor. Klinmee
7. Frank Giorgi
8. Andy Ristie
9. Abraham Roqueni
10. Shemsi Beqiri

Welcome back to the LiverKick.com rankings. These rankings are an attempt to break down the top 10 fighters in three different weight classes - Heavyweight, for fighters above the 85kg limit, Middleweight, for fighters at the 70-72.5kg limit, and Light Heavyweight, for fighters at the 77-84kg 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.

Once again it is that time, where the LiverKick.com Rankings have been updated. So far in July there has only really been movement in Heavyweight, but as the month moves along we are sure there will be movement elsewhere. The It's Showtime event this weekend was not only historic, but helped to clear up some rankings issues as well. Sergei Laschenko and Rico Verhoeven move up a spot apiece due to sheer force of will. In Rico's case, his second win over Hesdy Gerges solidifies his spot in the top ten, but also puts Hesdy's spot in jeopardy. Peter Aerts dropped from his #6 spot and into #9 after a tough loss to Tyrone Spong, who also moves up two spots to #8.

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LiverKick.com Middleweight Rankings: Mar 2010

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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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LiverKick.com Middleweight Rankings: May 2011

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Middleweight
1. Giorgio Petrosyan
2. Andy Souwer
3. Buakaw Por. Pramuk
4. Mike Zambidis
5. Artur Kyshenko
6. Sudsakorn Sor Klinmee
7. Yoshihiro Sato
8. Chris Ngimbi
9. Albert Kraus
10. HINATA

Welcome back to the LiverKick.com rankings. These rankings are an attempt to break down the top 10 fighters in three different weight classes - Heavyweight, for fighters above the 85kg limit, Middleweight, for fighters at the 70-72.5kg limit, and Light Heavyweight, for fighters at the 77-84kg 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.

May 2011

We've decided to take a different approach to the rankings, in the past Fraser Coffeen handled them, but as many are aware, Fraser has since had to step down from his responsibilities at LiverKick.com and has since moved on to other ventures. Our Top 10 list a while back moved on to being a top 25 to reflect a uniformity with our then home of SBNation. We've decided to move back to only including the Top 10 and to opt for the inclusion of Light Heavyweight (77kg - 84kg) to reflect the depth of talent in that weight class.

PetroThat means there were some very pronounced changes to the 70-72.5kg rankings. Part of the move to adding a 77kg ranking is certain fighters, Nieky Holzken in particular, will be absent from the 70kg rankings, and others will be moving up to reflect the changes. Of course no one will usurp #1 Giorgio Petrosyan, as he has earned his spot as the top Middleweight in the world. He'll have to prove his mettle once again in his third big tournament this year with It's Showtime running a huge 70kg tournament later this year. Petrosyan's next challenge is #10 HINATA. HINATA has been fighting for REBELS in Japan, who has just announced will become a part of It's Showtime Japan, and the first bout to promote the name will be Petro vs. HINATA.

The #2 spot was a lot tougher to choose, as #3 Buakaw Por Pramuk does hold his victory in the 2010 S-Cup, but he also has no major kickboxing bouts on his plate as of right now. He has re-focused on Muay Thai, mainly in the Thai Fight promotion. #2 Andy Souwer has stayed active in the thick of the action, and while there are some head-scratchers of losses on his record, he has solid wins over top competition in 70kg as well as over fighters from the 77kg division. #4 Mike Zambidis has had an incredible career resurgence of late. Last year he made it to the Finals of the K-1 World MAX tournament and has continued in his winning ways this year, including a 4-man tournament recently.

The #5, #6 and #7 spots were a lot more difficult to decide, as Artur Kyshenko, Sudsakorn and Yoshihiro Sato have all had their ups and downs within the division. Kyshenko is clearly the front-runner out of the three fighters, with Sudsakorn making a very calculated and successful approach on the international scene over the past few years. Sato has had a few tough losses, including one to Andy Souwer that keep him in the top 10 but make it a lot easier for him to slip.

#8 Chris Ngimbi will be a part of It's Showtime's upcoming tournament and many are outwardly calling for Ngimbi to fight Giorgio Petrosyan, just to see the It's Showtime 70kg MAX title around the waist of an undisputed champion. Ngimbi has successfully defended his title in an incredible fashion at It's Showtime Lyon with a flying knee KO on Willy Borrel. Many feel that Petrosyan is clearly the top fighter and to have a fighter like Ngimbi holding the title makes little sense, but Ngimbi has the skills, passion and power to make a run at the top, and all will be decided later this year in It's Showtime's tournament.

Both #9 Albert Kraus and #10 HINATA are top level fighters who have had some struggles of late, losing to some lower-ranked competition while holding their own against top competition. Both men are far from done and continue to prove in every fight that the 70kg division is a deep division with a lot of talent. HINATA challenges Petrosyan over the summer. Kraus should, without a doubt be a lot higher in the rankings, as his only losses over the past two years come by the way of Giorgio Petrosyan for top competition, then comes the head scratcher. His loss to Bhatu Khasikov hurts him immensely. Bhatu is still young and a relative unknown, plus the judging in the fight seemed less-than-fair. Regardless, it is a mark of shame on Kraus's record for the time being, which can be avenged with wins over some top 5 competition.

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LiverKick.com Middleweight Rankings: Feb. 2010

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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

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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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LiverKick.com Middleweight Rankings: January 2012

  • Published in Rankings
Middleweight
1. Giorgio Petrosyan
2. Buakaw Por. Pramuk
3. Robin Van Roosmalen
4. Artur Kyshenko
5. Andy Souwer
6. Mohammed Khamal
7. Jury Bessmertny
8. Sudsakorn Sor Klinmee
9. Yuji Nashiro
10. HINATA

Welcome back to the LiverKick.com rankings. These rankings are an attempt to break down the top 10 fighters in three different weight classes - Heavyweight, for fighters above the 85kg limit, Middleweight, for fighters at the 70-72.5kg limit, and Light Heavyweight, for fighters at the 77-84kg 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. Rankings are compiled by Rian Scalia and Dave Walsh.

January 2012

PetrosyanMiddleweight is one of the most active divisions in the world of Kickboxing, always churning out some of the best fights and being extremely competitive. For how competitive the division is, there are two men who have been reigning at the top for quite a while, and they are the #1 and #2 in the division, Giorgio Petrosyan and Buakaw Por. Pramuk, respectively. Petrosyan, whose only crutch seems to be his brittle hands has not relented at all in 2011. There was one close call for him at It's Showtime where certain judges decided to give rounds to Zeben Diaz, but he has never looked anything but untouchable. Buakaw, on the other hand has blew through Thai Fight's 70kg division this year.

Since our last round of updates there have been little in the way of movement in the top 6. Robin Van Roosmalen, Artur Kyshenko, Andy Souwer and Mootje Khamal hold strong in their respective positions as well. Khamal has been competing in the MPL under the Welterweight division (66.7kg) with impressive wins over Liam Harrison and Michael Dicks, but not within the 70kg division.

The most movement comes at the hands of Jury Bessmertny, the man who won the Fight Code Dragons Tournament, coming seemingly out of nowhere by defeating Armen Petrosyan twice to prove his mettle. His biggest win was over the former #7, Sudsakorn Sor. Klinmee, a huge win that has re-shaped the second half of the division. Jury takes Sudsakorn's place at #7, bumping Suds down to #8. Armen Petrosyan's two losses bump him off of the top ten for now, with Yuji Nashiro moving down to #9 and HINATA holding strong at #10.

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