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LiverKick.com Rankings

Heavyweight (Per 4/15)
1. Rico Verhoeven
2. Daniel Ghita
3. Gokhan Saki
4. Tyrone Spong
5. Peter Aerts
6. Errol Zimmerman up
7. Benjamin Adegbuyiup
8. Ismael Londt up
9. Hesdy Gerges up
10. Ben Edwards up

Light HW (per 4/15)
1. Gokhan Saki up
2. Tyrone Spong down
3. Danyo Ilunga
4. Nathan Corbett down
5. Saulo Cavalari

Middleweight (per 4/15)
1. Wayne Barrett
2. Joe Schilling
3. Artem Levin
4. Steven Wakeling
5. Franci Grajs

Welterweight (per 4/15)
1. Nieky Holzken 
2. Joseph Valtellini 
3. Simon Marcus
4. Marc de Bonte
5. Aussie Ouzgni


70kg (Per 4/15)
1. Davit Kiriaup
2. Andy Ristiedown
3. Robin van Roosmalendown
4. Giorgio Petrosyandown
5. Murthel Groenhart
6. Buakaw Banchamek
7. Dzhabar Askerov
8. Ky Hollenbeckup
9. Aikprachaup
10. Enriko Kehlup

65kg (per 1/20)
1. Masaaki Noiri
2. Mosab Amraniup
3. Yuta Kubo down
4. Sagetdao
5. Liam Harrison

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Gokhan Saki and Badr Hari will meet this Saturday, January 28 at It's Showtime in a battle of two of kickboxing's finest in the heavyweight division. It's arguably the biggest fight that kickboxing has had since the 2009 K-1 World Grand Prix. When Hari and Saki meet on Saturday, it won't be the first time they've stared across the ring at each other.

The two met in the ring on October 10th of 2004 in Rotterdam at a 2 Hot 2 Handle event. Hari wasn't the monstrous, intimidating figure that he is now. Rather, he was a tall, lanky 19-year-old trying to break into the bigger stages of kickboxing, working his way up into K-1. It wasn't until 2005 in his second fight against Stefan Leko where he made his "real" K-1 debut by emphatically knocking out Stefan Leko with what is now known as the "Leko Buster."

Gokhan Saki at the time of this fight was physically the same as he is today, being a small, pudgy heavyweight. He wasn't the devastating combination fighter and one of the fastest heavyweights in the world like he is now. Saki's career didn't get quite off to the same start as Badr Hari's, as he had already been stopped four times prior to their first meeting and had faced much lesser competition than that of Hari. Hari was the one who seemed to have the bright future, already having faced the likes of Alexey Ignashov and having defeated Antoni Hardonk, Aziz Khattou and Errol Parris.

The fight only lasted two rounds. Both Hari and Saki showed glimpses of what they would become in the future. Hari, despite not a full on monster yet, had tremendous power in his strikes. Saki, who wasn't quite the speed demon, combination machine of today, had the punch-kick combinations that would develop into some of the best at heavyweight. The fight was somewhat sloppy, with both Hari and Saki tumbling to the canvas.

One of Saki's tumbles to the canvas was ruled a knockdown for Hari. Saki threw a kick but was hit with a punch at the same time, resulting in him falling to the ground. Badr seemed to have a bit of an edge after the "knockdown," and had a real edge on the scorecards with a 10-8 second round.

Read more and watch the video of the first fight between Badr Hari and Gokhan Saki after the break...

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Many fans have took to Twitter and Facebook to let It's Showtime know that they want the full fight card featuring 12 fights to be shown, rather than just 6 fights on the main card. It's Showtime has responded to the requests from its fans with some great news.

All 12 fights on this Saturday's It's Showtime card will be streamed on showtimefights.com. We'll all be able to see the great fights that we thought we never would, like Tyrone Spong vs. Melvin Manhoef and Yohan Lidon vs. L'houcine "Aussie" Ouzgni for the It's Showtime 73MAX World Title.

It's Showtime's undercard fights usually never see the light of day. With such a stacked card like this though, it was a good move to listen to the fans and stream the entire fight card.

HDNet will be showing the six fight main card portion featuring Badr Hari vs. Gokhan Saki and Daniel Ghita live. The undercard featuring Melvin Manhoef vs. Tyrone Spong and L'houcine "Aussie" Ouzgni vs. Yohan Lidon will be aired on February 3rd.

Great job by both It's Showtime and HDNet here in making the whole fight card available.

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A press conference took place today in Zagreb, Croatia to officially announce the "Cro Cop Final Fight" event that will take place on March 10th in Zagreb. Despite the moniker, Cro Cop's fight against Ray Sefo will not be his last fight. Aside from Mirko Cro Cop vs. Ray Sefo, the rest of the fight card was released and it is stacked.

Daniel Ghita will meet Sergei Lascenko in a battle of our Top 10 heavyweights. Ghita sits at #5 and Lascenko at #10 on our Liverkick.com rankings. The heavyweight landscape in kickboxing will start to undergo some big changes, starting at this Saturday's It's Showtime event. Top heavyweights are actually starting to fight each other again so match-ups like this give us a good idea of where the heavyweight division stands. Ghita will be fighting Hesdy Gerges for the It's Showtime World Heavyweight Title this coming weekend and Lascenko's last fight was a dramatic KO over Ismael Londt to win SuperKombat's World Grand Prix.

Dzevad Poturak will take on Ismael Londt in a battle of a long time veteran against a fighter trying to break into the upper echelon of the division. Poturak is a good test for Londt, as he never stops throwing power shots and keeps coming, so Londt might have to show something different than in his previous outings to secure the win. The fight has slugfest written all over it with, being that both fighters love to swing for the fences.

Up and coming Croatian heavyweight Igor Jurkovic will take on the K-1 veteran Freddy Kemayo. Jurkovic's biggest win to date was his upset over Pavel Zhuravlev in May. He has power but imposing his game on his opponents and defense have been a bit of a struggle for him. Kemayo should test Jurkovic's defensive skills as he'll try to impose his game on the Croatian. Mladen Brestovac meets Mourad Bouzidi in another good heavyweight fight. Brestovac last fought in July where he was knocked out by Ismael Londt in the final of one of SuperKombat's qualifying tournaments. He'll look to rebound against Bouzidi, who fights Sahak Parparyan this Saturday for It's Showtime. Speaking of Sahak Parparyan, he's on the card against a to be announced opponent. Full fight card below. [source]

Igor Jurković vs Freddy Kemayo

Daniel Ghita vs Sergei Lascenko

Mladen Brestovac vs Mourad Bouzidi

Dževad Poturak vs Ismael Lundt

Mladen Kojundžić vs Marin Došen

Agron Preteni vs Guy Pacome Assi

Stefan Jelić vs Michael Duut

Miran Fabjan vs Ivan Posavec

Sahak Paparyan vs TBA

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This Saturday, January 28th in Leeuwarden, Holland Daniel Ghita and Hesdy Gerges will face off for the It's Showtime World Heavyweight Title. This isn't the first time they've met, however.

Daniel Ghita and Hesdy Gerges first fought on March 6th, 2011 at the Sporthallen Zuid in Amsterdam. Gerges came into the bout the It's Showtime World Heavyweight Champion, thanks to being on the receiving end of a Badr Hari soccer kick in May of 2010. Both Ghita and Gerges were right below the top, and both wanted to establish themselves as elite fighters in the heavyweight division. They both shared a common history coming into the fight, as they'd both competed in the K-1 World GP in 2010, and both lost to elite fighters in Semmy Schilt and Gokhan Saki. The fight would move one fighter into the "elite" category, and one in the same position of right below the elite...Well, that's how it was supposed to be.

The first round started quickly, with kicks to the legs and body being traded left and right. Both fighters, known as kickers, tried to show the evolution of their games by mixing in punches to the body and head. The pace was furious and neither would back up, standing in front of one another trading shots with a speed that isn't normally seen in the heavyweight division. The round as a whole was contested very evenly, and you'd be hard pressed to pick a clear winner. Neither fighter would let the other get ahead. One would throw a combination, the other would answer right back.

Round 2 started off much like the second round, guns ablazing. Gerges started to land cleanly with some big punches. Then, in a situation reminiscent of Ricardo Mayorga against Vernon Forrest, Daniel Ghita stood right in front of Gerges, dropped his hands and motioned him to punch him in the face. Gerges obliged with four huge punches while Ghita stood there and ate them. Shots continued to be traded back and forth, until the determing factor of the fight took place. Gerges went for a knee and it landed straight in the junk of Daniel Ghita. Ghita went down, but surprisingly the referee administered a count, pretty much sealing the round as a 10-8 for Gerges. Ghita was noticeably hindered by the low blow and both fighters started to feel the effects of the pace. Two rounds down and Gerges was up because of the count given to Ghita.

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I am all for recognizing talent and taking time out of my day to talk about a job well done, so it is nice to see that I am not alone in that regard. Watch this video message from Gokhan Saki that he sent to Will Prescott, better known as StillWill who produces some of the absolute greatest Kickboxing highlights that the world has seen. Well done, Will.

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