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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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With the K-1 WGP Final 16 being cancelled, making this the first year in K-1's existence without a World Grand Prix, many are throwing around the misconception that Kickboxing is dying. The statement couldn't be any more false. It's a reality of the Kickboxing world: For many, K-1 is kickboxing. With K-1 not hosting a World Grand Prix this year, many have also falsely declared that the organization is dead which is another notion that couldn't be any farther from the truth. The false thought of K-1 supposedly being dead in the minds of many fans is enough to claim that the entire sport of Kickboxing is dying. Dave Walsh gave some information on K-1's future here, to get rid of the thought that K-1 is dead.

The reality is that right now, there are a lot more viable options for kickboxing than in the past. Yes, the big monster K-1 isn't around for the time being but think for a minute: For all the years that K-1 ruled kickboxing, was there really any alternatives with potential? Sure, SuperLeague was around for a few years and had some real quality, but it didn't last that long. There were pretty much no sustainable alternatives in Kickboxing that were easy to follow. Fast forward to the present day and there's a healthy stable of Kickboxing promotions slowly rising to prominence. It's Showtime in 2010 and mostly in 2011 has really expanded their territory, both geographically and in the general picture of Kickboxing. Fight Code has really put together a nice 2011, slowly gaining some ground. SuperKombat is also gaining ground, and with some tweaks here and there could really expand their product, especially its internet presence.

More fighters that would normally be in the shadows of K-1 are getting a shot on bigger stages than they would have before. With K-1 only having two (only very recently three) weight classes, everyone in between and below 70kg-Heavyweight/Super Heavyweight was left in the dust. It's Showtime is providing a better platform for these weight classes to receive their due and with the direction of the promotion seeming to be straight ahead, I think we can expect even more progress. Who would know who Javier Hernandez and Karim Bennoui are if not for It's Showtime?

Although the current viable promotions that are present now have nowhere near the awareness and hype that K-1 had, it's still a building block. More fans have taken notice with K-1's absence and now are aware that there are alternatives. Even if the amount of these fans is little, every one counts.

If K-1 is finally, completely sold and running by next year, it's an additional plus for the sport. Not only would K-1 be back and running, it would be running alongside these other promotions like It's Showtime, Fight Code and SuperKombat that have picked up awareness from K-1's absence. Normally, the typical kickboxing fan would not have many events to look forward to due to K-1's schedule. The fans that have picked up on other promotions would now have other events to watch alongside K-1.

Despite the numerous ideas and opinions being thrown around, Kickboxing isn't going anywhere. One might not realize looking at it from a purely North American standpoint, but countries all over Europe and around the world like Australia and Japan have had established scenes for years that just won't die off. No matter how obscure that some parts of the Kickboxing world may appear, the fact is they're still there and will remain there. Promotions have popped up and are making advances. K-1's absence, Badr Hari's moves to boxing and the potential loss of Gokhan Saki and Tyrone Spong to other sports may seem like the dagger in kickboxing, but all these situations have been overblown for the most part. Kickboxing will live on to see another day.

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On August 14th Kevin Ross fought arguably the best Thai boxer in the world, Saenchai Sinbimuaythai. He did not win but in defeat he showed he could at the very least be competitive with the worlds best. Just over two months later he will get another chance against an elite Thai when he takes on Lumpinee lightweight champion, Sagetdao Petpaiyathai. Sagetdao however will bring a completely different style of fighting, something that may be even harder for Ross to deal with. The 24 year old Thai is a southpaw with a solid left kick and a fairly decent punch, but being that he's 5'10 or 5'11 his strong point would obviously be kneeing on the way into the clinch, and strong sharp knees while tying up his opponent with a plethora of different clinch techniques. Kevin Ross will likely have his chances to land on Sagetdao, as he is very hittable, particularly with punches. When he fought Liam Harrison he was able to land his kicks and knees, but ate a lot of hard punches, fortunately he has a great chin and was able to absorb them and win the fight. Another thing that could help Ross is his style. Sagetdao often fights at the pace that his opponent chooses, which may have costed him some wins. However its hard to say Ross brings something to the table that Sagetdao's never seen. He's fought and beaten one of the top foreign Thai boxers, Liam Harrison, and has wins over top Thai's like Saenchai Sinbimuaythai, Petchboonchu FA Group, Singdam Kiatmuu9, Nong-O Kaiyanghadaogym, Jomthong Chuwattana, and many others. Seeing as Saenchai was able to hurt Ross to the body I find it difficult to believe he'll be able to last all 5 rounds from a fighter with a much better body assault. 

Ross can suck Sagetdao into a brawl, but he will need to be careful.


Sagetdao has good finishing instinct.

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On December 17th at The Sand in Amsterdam It's Showtime will once again hold their holiday time event after last year's much-celebrated card. This year's main event features the 70kg MAX Championship on the line as Giorgio Petrosyan challenges the Champion Chris Ngimbi.

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Fight CodeThere are countless reasons to love Fight Code, the first being that they are a group that began running events this year and decided to run parallel tournaments in the Kickboxing world's two most popular divisions; -72.5kg and -95kg, or Middleweight and Heavyweight respectively. The Dragons and Rhinos tournaments have been a success throughout the year, running co-promoted cards with local promoters and airing the Fight Code portions internationally. Over the weekend Fight Code held the Dragon Series' Final 8, but not without controversy.

Fight Code distributed a press release earlier in the afternoon explaining that French officials had decided to not allow full Fight Code rules just hours before the event was set to take place. There was an agreement on the general rules, but French officials would not allow for there to be an extension round, which was a part of the Fight Code tournament rules. Seeing as though all other fighters competing under the Fight Code tournaments were given the chance of redemption in an extension round if the fight was close, Fight Code officials ruled that the two tournament bouts that went to a close decision will stand as "Prestige" non-tournament fights. The four competitors must lace their gloves up again and compete to move on in the Fight Code tournament, which means that Xu Yan has another chance at Abdalleh Mabel and Armen Petrosyan will have another shot at Juri Besmerty.

Both fights were close, but due to there being no extension rounds the judges were forced to come to conclusions on the available fights. The logic behind this is sound and does indeed give two eliminated fighters a chance at redemption, but there are questions of if Armen Petrosyan was not involved in one of the decisions if this same conversation would be happening. Regardless of possible motives, it is a good move on Fight Code's behalf and fair. The two bouts will take place again on November 26th at Fight Code's Geneva event, home of the Rhinos Final 4.

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With the recent reports of the K-1 World Grand Prix Final 16 in Nanjing being cancelled for October 29th, Mr. K-1 himself, Peter Aerts, has opted to take a fight against 46 year old Japanese heavyweight Mr. KAMIKAZE. Aerts hasn't fought since his incredible run in last year's World Grand Prix, but did participate in the IGF Inoki Genome back in August in a professional wrestling match against Shinichi Suzakawa. Mr. KAMIKAZE has racked up a professional record of 22-5 (14 KOs) in Japanese promotions like NJKF and Shootboxing.

With Aerts' performance at last year's GP, this should be more or less of a walkover for the 3-time GP champion. It's also interesting to note that Aerts said last year's GP would be his last, so this may be one of the last few fights of Aerts' career should he follow through with what he said. Add a comment
On the 16th at Korakuen Hall, J-NETWORK held an event which featured a Welterweight title fight as well as a Super Bantamweight title unification fight.

In the night’s main event, undefeated Masato Otake improved to 9-0, capturing the J-Network Welterweight title from former champion Atsushi Sasatani by unanimous decision on scores of 50-47(x3). Sasatani won the title against Tomo Kiire in October of last year and this was his first defense. Otake earned the right to fight for the title by defeating former K-1 Koshien fighter Kohei Nishikawa in August. Otake should be an interesting fighter to watch going forward as he has faced little resistance on his path to the title. I would liken him, as a prospect, to Takafumi Morita as he captured a major promotional title within 11 fights and they have a common opponent in Nishikawa. However, Morita took a big step up in his following three fights as well as knocking out Nishikawa in the first round while Otake took him to a decision. Otake has a few options going forward as he could defend his title against #1 ranked Tomo Kiire or he could set his sights on the WPMF or WBC Japan titles.

In a Super Bantamweight title unification bout, reigning champion Hiroaki Mizuhara defeated interim champ Hidemaru by split decision on scores of 49-47, 48-50 and 50-48. Mizuhara was a part of the Krush 55kg tournament and made it to the semifinals, losing to Ryuya Kusakabe by decision and this win is his first successful defense. Hidemaru won the interim title back in June by unanimous decision. Next could be a rematch between the two, but with a relatively strong weight class, Mizuhara could find himself fighting WPMF Japan Bantamweight champ Ichinohe Sota while a good matchup for Hidemaru would be against Takayuki Umehara in a fight that would have J-Network and WPMF Japan implications.

Finally, in a matchup of Krush regulars, Junpei Aotsu defeated DYNAMITE Yuta by unanimous extension round decision on scores of 10-9(x3) after a majority draw with scores of 29-28 and 29-29(x2). In the past 2 and a half years, Aotsu has fought 17 times, going 9-8-1 against a who’s who of Japanese Lightweights the likes of Masahiro Yamamoto, Fire Harada, Yuta Kubo, Masaaki Noiri, TaCa, Arita Tsukahara and TURBΦ. Aotsu is currently on a 2-fight win streak. DYNAMITE Yuta scored a big upset in the quarterfinals of the Krush 63kg tournament with a first round knockout of former K-1 63kg posterboy Daisuke Uematsu, but lost to Koya Urabe in the semifinals.

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