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LiverKick.com Middleweight Rankings: May 2011

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 Heavyweight Rankings: May 2011

Heavyweight

1. Semmy Schilt
2. Badr Hari
3. Peter Aerts
4. Gokhan Saki
5. Hesdy Gerges
6. Daniel Ghita
7. Tyrone Spong
8. Kyotaro
9. Ewerton Teixeira
10. Jerome Le Banner

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.

Former #1 Alistair Overeem has been removed from the rankings after some intense discussion, we've come to the conclusion that as long as he is contracted with Zuffa the chances of Overeem fighting in another organization as a kickboxer has decreased to about zero. We are sad to see a talent such as his be confined to only Mixed Martial Arts but will continue to cheer him on.

This means that there was a lot of reshuffling to the weight classes for them to make sense, as with K-1's silence and a sincere doubt that there will be a K-1 World Heavyweight Grand Prix this year, we take a more global look at the weight classes and rankings for them. It is without dispute that the most accomplished kickboxer at Heavyweight/Super Heavyweight, and the man to beat is Semmy Schilt. Schilt does hold a WGP loss to Peter Aerts in 2011 and a loss to Badr Hari in 2010, but outside of that his record is pristine.

After a year of inaction, Badr Hari returned to the ring against a less-than-game Gregory Tony. Tony's performance might have been shameful, but Hari was in good shape, kept his cool and there is a promise of a bout with Tyrone Spong or Daniel Ghita on the horizon for It's Showtime in the Fall. For his recent accomplishments, though, without a doubt Badr Hari is one of the men to beat and secures his spot at #2. Mr. K1, Peter Aerts shocked the world taking it to Sem Schilt in December, making the Finals of the Heavyweight GP. Aerts had stated before the Grand Prix that it would be his last and he is contemplating retirement, so under those circumstances and for his recent accomplishments, the #3 slot is a great fit for him.

#4 Gokhan Saki is in action at the end of this month in the finals of the Glory World Series Heavyweight Tournament, where he'll take on Brice Guidon. While the tournament was not the toughest road for Saki, a win in it would further cement his spot in the top 5. We hope to see him against other top 5 competition soon. #5 Hesdy Gerges has once again been released from police custody and will be in action this weekend at It's Showtime. His bout with #6 Daniel Ghita was the biggest Heavyweight fight of the year so far and his win cemented his spot above Ghita. #7 Tyrone Spong is where things get messy, Spong holds a victory over #8 Kyotaro last year, who himself is largely inactive without K-1, but has a loss to #10 Jerome Le Banner. Le Banner of course has his forfeit loss to Kyotaro but little else outside of the Spong win recently. #9 Ewerton Teixeira is another fighter who only fights for K-1 so is in a state of limbo for the time being.

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LiverKick.com Middleweight Rankings: April 2011

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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LiverKick.com Heavyweight Rankings: April 2011

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. Brice Guidon
14. Errol Zimmerman
15. Ashwin Balrak
16. Zabit Samedov
17. Pavel Zhuravlev
18. Mourad Bouzidi
19. Anderson Silva
20. Melvin Manhoef
21. Ruslan Karaev
22. Paul Slowinski
23. Rico Verhoeven
24. Freddy Kemayo
25. Dzevad Poturak

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

Kickboxing continues on in the face of K-1's silence, but the Heavyweight division has definitely felt the blow.  Only a handful of ranked fighters saw action since our last rankings, and the top 25 remains essentially the same.

The biggest mover this month was Brice Guidon, who jumped up two spots to #13 with a win over #18 Mourad Bouzidi.  Guidon will next face #5 Gokhan Saki at the United Glory final round on May 28.

Also moving up were #24 Freddy Kemayo and #25 Dzevad Poturak - both men returned to the rankings after wins in Romania.

The rest of April doesn't hold too much more Heavyweight action.  Next weekend, #12 Nathan Corbett faces Tomasz Nowack at Domination 6 in Australia, and... that's it for the top 25 for April.  Like I said, there's definitely been a Heavyweight slowdown.

That will change in May, as a number of big fights are set to go down.  And none are bigger than #4 Badr Hari making his return against Tony Gregory at It's Showtime Lyon.  Also on that card is #10 Tyrone Spong vs. Igor Mihaljevic and #9 Daniel Ghita vs. #19 Anderson Silva.  Then on May 21, It's Showtime returns with #7 Hesdy Gerges vs. Chris Knowles in Amsterdam.

Also in May is the United Glory finals previously mentioned, headlined by Saki vs. Guidon.  A few other top 25 clashes are on that show including #14 Errol Zimmerman vs. #18 Mourad Bouzidi and #17 Pavel Zhuravlev vs. Igor Jurkovic.

The #1 Ranked Alistair OvereemOne other scheduled fight to take note of: we've known for awhile that the next appearance of #1 Alistair Overeem will be in an MMA cage, likely against Fabricio Werdum in the opening round of the Strikeforce Grand Prix.  That fight is now set for June 18 in Dallas, TX.  Sad to see The Reem likely gone from kickboxing for awhile, but we'll be cheering the K-1 champ on in his quest to dominate the US MMA landscape.

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