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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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A few weeks ago Lumpini held its birthday show, and now its time for Rajadamnern to do the same. It will mark the 66th year of the stadium and they'll be celebrating it by putting together a very good night of fights. 

The Main event will pit two of the better fighters in all of Thailand against each other when Kongsak Sitboonmee takes on 130 pound champion, Jomthong Chuwattana. Kongsak has had a fight or 2 down in Southern Thailand recently where beat Pakon Sakyothin for the 2nd time this year. On the other hand, Pakon has handed Jomthong his last two defeats. Since then he's fought a pair of Japanese opponents in Hiromasa Masuda, and Tetsuya Yamato who we're really nothing more than fodder for him. Jomthong usually wins when his opponents aren't primarily strong clinchers. Kongsak is not a fighter who prefers to clinch, but rather stay on the outside and pound away with kicks, which is good news for Jomthong. However, Kongsak has shown he has little weakness and can fight well against any style. On paper this is a true coin flip.

In the fight prior to the main event the aforementioned Pakon Sakyothin will take on Wanchalerm Aoddonmuang. Most people know Pakon from his brawl in the Lumpini fight of the year from 2010 with Ponsaneh Sitmonchai. However that was not a good representation of him as a fighter. He's actually very strong in the clinch, which is also Wanchalerm's specialty. Wanchalerm will be the bigger fighter, but should be outgunned by Pakon who will have more options. 

Next up long time veteran Singthongnoi Por. Telakoon will take on Saeksan Or. Kwamuang. Saeksan was already involved in this years Rajadamnern fight of the year when he came back from multiple knockdowns to stop Kaimukkaw Chuwattana in the 4th round in an epic fight. Singthongnoi is also known as a tough fighter who isn't afraid to mix things up. This could very well be fight of the night. 

Noppakrit Kor. Kumpanart is back down to a much more suitable weight of 132 pounds. He recently took part in an Isuzu tournament at 145 where he looked rather pedestrian. In 2010 he had a handful of performances where he looked like a world beater. Now he takes on Petek Aikbangzai who is naturally too small for Noppakrit. If Noppakrit can handle the weight cut he should win and look like the fighter he was last year.  

Finally Wanchalong Sitzornong will fight Rataket Tedet99. These two have been scheduled to fight for some time now but the fight has always fallen apart. Rataket's key to victory will definitely be to use his size and wear Wanchalong out in close, but it will be tough as Rataket has questionable stamina himself. Wanchalong will probably look to keep this fight on the outside to land kicks and maybe catch Rataket off guard with an unconventional strike. 

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The K-1 World Grand Prix will not happen for the first time since 1993 this year. Sometimes you have to make a sacrifice for the good of the sport and a promotion like K-1, and having this time to re-organize and re-group and kick off next year with FIKA is vital. This, of course, means that over the past week or so many of us who have been following K-1 for years were sorely missing the K-1 World Grand Prix. If you are like me, then go ahead and watch the Finals to the very first World Grand Prix, held in 1993. If you have the time, check out K-1's official YouTube channel that still features the 1993 - 1999 World Grand Prix events, which you should be studying for the holidays.

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When Buakaw Por. Pramuk fights, the world watches. Thai Fight 2011 was no different. Buakaw made it all the way to the Thai Fight 2011 70kg Finals where he squared off with Frank Giorgi. On paper, this fight was all Buakaw, but if you don't know how this fight turns out we aren't about to spoil it for you. Go ahead and watch it below. If you want to catch the entire event, head on over to GFL.tv to watch it for the confusing price of $14.99.

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Japanese hybrid Kickboxing-MMA promotion HEAT held HEAT 20 at Differ Ariake in Tokyo on the 17th.

In the main event, HEAT Middleweight champion Danilo Zanolini defended his title for the second time against K-1 veteran Su Hwan Lee via 2nd round KO at 2:37 into the round. Zanolini, who is probably best known for his KO loss to Yoshihiro Sato in K-1, has made a bit of a name for himself at 70kg in Japan. Along with this win over Lee, he holds wins over Shunsuke Oishi, Yuto Watanabe and Shingo Garyu. The win moves Zanolini to 22-8 (14 KO) and should see him taking a step up in competition against someone like Kenta, Yutaro Yamauchi or even Yasuhiro Kido. For Lee, the loss snaps a 4-fight win-streak and brings him to 19-10 (11 KO) on his career and likely halts a comeback to the world of K-1. Up next for Lee is a rematch with Woo Yong Choi, most known for his one-sided beating at the hands of Pajonsuk in K-1, at The Khan 3 on January 15th.

In the kickboxing co-main event, MA Kick Heavyweight champion Magnum Sakai picked up a 2nd round KO at 28 seconds into the round over SNKA #1 ranked Heavyweight Kuniyoshi. Sakai has fought all over Japan from 70kg up to heavyweight and has fought the likes of Takashi Ohno, Nathan Corbett, Fabiano Cyclone, Kaoklai, Taiei Kin and even former MMA fighter turned boxer Hiromitsu Miura, compiling a 21-10-2 (10 KO) record, though never really breaking out as a great fighter. He could be someone considered to fight Toshio Matsumoto at REBELS.10 for the It’s Showtime 95kg title shot.

In Featherweight action, Thai fighter and HEAT regular Chao “Shimura” Logate defeated RISE #1 ranked Featherweight Ryo Pegasus, forcing a doctor stoppage due to a cut at 2:20 into the 2nd round. The win moves Shimura’s record to an impressive 207-88 (18 KO) and drops Ryo Pegasus to 14-12-1 (4 KO). Pegasus is an interesting fighter as he is more or less a gatekeeper at Featherweight, fighting the likes of Yosuke Morii, Junpei Aotsu, Takaaki Kimura and Turbo, losing to all of them. An interesting fight for him would be against J-Network Featherweight champ Masato Sato for the vacant RISE Featherweight title as Sato sits behind Ryo Pegasus at #2.

Finally, K-1 veteran Tsutomu Takahagi scored a 2nd round KO at 2:48 into the round over Kazuki Ozawa. The win puts Takahagi (8-11-2, 3 KO) back on the winning track after he lost back to back fighst to Hiromi Amada at RISE 80 and Singh “Heart” Jaideep at RISE 83 which cost him a spot in the RISE Heavyweight Tournament. At 28, don’t expect Takahagi to make any waves in the heavyweight division, but he’ll still exist to serve as a gateway into the upper echelon of Japanese heavyweight talent.

Also on the card in MMA action was heavyweight Henry “Sentoryu” Miller who dropped his 5th straight fight to Shunsuke Inoue.

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Fresh off two wins yesterday over Norbert Balogh and Sudsakorn Sor Klinmee to win the Fight Code Dragons Series tournament, Yury Bessmertny is already reaping the benefits. Aside from winning $80 000, it seems as if winning the Fight Code Dragons tournament has also landed him some fights. This can be attributed to Carlo di Blasi, Fight Code's promoter, who has rewarded Bessmertny in more than one way for winning the tournament.

First off on February 4th in Turin, Italy, Bessmertny will face Gago Drago at the annual Thai Boxe Mania event. Even though Drago probably isn't the best opponent he's faced, he is the most high profile one, stemming from his K-1 days. A win over Drago would definitely garner Bessmertny some more interest from fans. I think it's a pretty favorable match-up for the Belarussian. Roberto Cocco vs. Artur Kyshenko also takes place on this card.

Next, he'll fight the Italian fighter Fabio Sicilliani in Milan on the Oktagon-Fight Code card that features Giorgio Petrosyan vs. Artur Kyshenko on March 24th. It's definitely a short turn-around from his fight in February, but he's shown he can do that this year when he beat Armen Petrosyan twice in a month's span and then won the Fight Code tournament under a month after. To me these two fights look like Yury Bessmertny will be kicking off 2012 with two straight wins.

 

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In the realm of Mixed Martial Arts, there are some clear levels, much like Dante Alighieri wrote in his epic La Divina Commedia (The Divine Comedy). For Dante, there was a clear progression as he toiled through the afterlife, he was first led through Hell, then he was led through Purgatory before finally having a glimpse at Heaven. If you wanted to compare it to MMA, the smaller, regional promotions are the veritable Hell. Low pay, bad attendance, poorly organized and promoted, but for most fighters, a necessity to move on to the “big leagues.” For many fighters, the biggest achievement is to be accepted into the UFC, to walk amongst the gods themselves beyond the steel gates of the Octagon. For fighters, the UFC is Heaven.

For a promotion like Strikeforce, though, there is a sense of being left-behind, like a middle child. Strikeforce finds itself not a containing the same rigors and lack of pay like the small minor leagues, but does not include the perks and the money that comes with fighting for the UFC. Instead, it is a virtual Purgatory for fighters. Fighters are left to reflect on their careers and see that they aren’t deemed as good enough to be called into the UFC, but are beyond the toiling in the reigional promotions.

Last night proved to be the first bigger Strikeforce event since the Showtime deal was re-negotiated, and something about the show did not come off as planned. On paper, the card was exciting and showed a lot of promise, but in execution it was a mess. If a fighter is competing within a promotion that stands on its own, there is something for them to achieve, but when the promotion is a feeder league with parallel divisions, the whole scope of the game changes. Part of what helped with Strikeforce’s charm was the attitude and identity of the promotion. It felt like a spiritual successor to some of the bigger Japanese events, with a focus on entertainment and promoting the fighters, not just the brand.

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