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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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Middleweight
1. Giorgio Petrosyan
2. Buakaw Por. Pramuk
3. Robin Van Roosmalen
4. Artur Kyshenko
5. Andy Souwer
6. Mohammed Khamal
7. Sudsakorn Sor Klinmee
8. Yuji Nashiro
9. Armen Petrosyan
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.

September 2011

Giorgio Petrosyan

After what felt like endless months of inactivity for top level competition between each other, September delivered in an incredibly big way all in one weekend. Over the course of the last weekend we saw It's Showtime promote their "Fast and Furious 70kg MAX" tournament which saw Andy Souwer fall victim to an injury and Artur Kyshenko and the unlikely hero of Robin Van Roosmalen emerge as the victor. It's Showtime's 70kg champion Chris Ngimbi suffered from a very poor showing and awaits a fate of squaring off against Giorgio Petrosyan in a few months for that very title, something that many see as Ngimbi's curtain call at the top.

On the other side of the world in Japan K-1 promoted their MAX Japan tournament the very next day with Albert Kraus seen as the favorite in the tournament. What happened instead was Yuji Nashiro took Kraus out in the first round before marching forward to the round where he defeated Takafumi Morita and then in the finals beat past MAX Japan victor Yuya Yamamoto. It was not expected in the least, but was the second tournament with an unexpected winner and a very entertaining show.

There has been a lot of motion within the division due to these two tournaments, including a few fighters departing the top 10 and others being added. As always, #1 is Giorgio Petrosyan who has yet to even be challenged. It was difficult to choose the #2 spot, but on a very solid win-streak with no end in sight is Buakaw Por. Pramuk who is fighting for Thai Fight Extreme right now. The #3 slot was a bit easier to choose in It's Showtime Fast and Furious winner Robin Van Roosmalen. Van Roosmalen's stock has been steadily on the rise over the past two years, and this tournament win elevates him into the elite and in a hurry.

After a solid showing at the It's Showtime tournament, the #4 spot can be firmly given to Artur Kyshenko.Kyshenko who at our last ranking was #5 moves up a full spot, and a tough spot to move up in at that with two big wins in one night to help propel that. The biggest slip within the top ten is #5 Andy Souwer. Souwer has had a rough year and his leg injury against Kyshenko cost him what could have been a tournament win over the weekend. There is no doubt that Souwer is not only still relevant, but that he can easily jump up a few spots again in a hurry once he is healthy. A new addition to the rankings comes in at #6 as Mohammed Khamal makes his debut in the top 10. His last big win was over van Roosmalen in May and actually holds two wins over him, as well as wins over Kyshenko and Mosab Amrani.

Sudsakorn Sor Klimnee holds strong in the rankings at #7 with only one loss this year to Giorgio Petrosyan and a string of wins over lesser opponents in Thai Fight Extreme. The #8 spot goes to another newcomer, Yuji Nashiro whose run in the K-1 MAX Japan tournament helped propel him into the international scene in a big way. Wins over Albert Kraus and Yuya Yamamoto help secure his spot. Rounding out the #9 and #10 spots respectively are Armen Petrosyan and HINATA, both who have had strong wins within the past year and losses, but only to top names.

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In 2009 the Wor. Wiwatananont gym was voted as the best gym at the Lumpinee Stadium awards. The best fighter, or at the very the least the most notable fighter from the gym is Werachai Wor. Wiwatananont. A teen who fights with a swagger and once 105 pound champion of Lumpinee. Over the last year or two he has grown into a top 10 ranked fighter at 115. A long the way he has beaten good competition, including a pair of wins over the current champion, Wanchalong Sitzornong.

In 2010 and into 2011 he had a trilogy with Mongkolchai Skindaewgym. Unfortunately there is no video of the first fight, but Mongkolchai won after dominating Werachai and finally in the 5th he scored a head kick knockout. Here's a look at the two fights they have had since and how his favorite technique, the teep helped him win both fights.

Werachai is a bit unconventional in that he uses a lot of push kicks to the face, not just as a measuring stick, but an actual way of hurting someone. Here he does just that.  

                   

The 3rd fight was just this July, and again Werachai's teeps played a major roll in how this fight was decided. You can see they both get a little careless and perhaps tired later in the fight and start swinging punches, which is undoubtedly the weak point for most elite Thai boxers. But when the well timed teep lands it clearly has an effect on Mongkolchai, and Werachai is able to finish in spectacular fashion, and avenge his head kick loss from the previous year. 

 

This fight was against Nueangthep Eminentair one of the top fighters in Thaialnd regardless of weight. He was too big and probably too good for Werachai, but as you can see at 8:30, and 12:12 he is always capable of landing that kick. 

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It's Showtime sure does know how to package the good in with the [possibly] bad. in the process of announcing that Badr Hari's last fight in the realm of Kickboxing will be on January 28th against Gokhan Saki and that the K-1 World Grand Prix even happening depends on FEG paying all of the It's Showtime fighters in advance. That is a lot of news that will leave you wondering why you got up this morning, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel, as they announced their January 28th card and it is incredibly stacked, if not the most stacked event we've seen in years.

Fight card January 28, 2012 in Leeuwarden, The Netherlands:

Badr Hari vs Gökhan Saki
Daniel Ghita vs Hesdy Gerges (IT’S SHOWTIME world title heavyweight)
Tyrone Spong vs Melvin Manhoef
Errol Zimmerman vs Rico Verhoeven
Ben Edwards vs Ricardo van den Bos
Murat Direkçi vs Robin van Roosmalen
Lhoucine ‘Aussie’ Ouzgni vs Yohan Lidon (IT’S SHOWTIME world title 73kg max)
Gago Drago vs Hinata Watanabe
Chahid Oulad El Hadj vs Harut Grigorian
Danyo Ilunga vs Mourad Bouzidi
Michael Duut vs Anderson ‘Braddock’ Silva
Henry van Opstal vs Hafid el Boustati


There are two relevant title matches, four competitive Heavyweight/Super Heavyweight bouts, competitive 95kg bouts and a lot more. [source]

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Not many events in the kickboxing world can leave you speechless, but the retirement of one of Heavyweight Kickboxing's biggest stars in the past ten years will do just that. The big secret announcement from It's Showtime was originally scheduled for Friday but was then pushed back to today. In the meantime, word got out that Badr Hari would take on Gokhan Saki on January 28th for It's Showtime. To many, this was the big announcement that It's Showtime was trying to keep under wraps, but it would turn out to be much bigger.

Badr Hari has spoken about his desire to enter the world of Boxing for a long time now, much more seriously over the past year. This includes talk of possible Olympic Boxing that seemed to die off and talking with Michael Schiavello in a Voice Versus episode about possibly leaving kickboxing for boxing. Add in the steady decline of K-1 over the past few years and Badr Hari's legal troubles and kickboxing became less and less his passion.

Tonight It's Showtime sent around a press release announcing Badr Hari's retirement from kickboxing on January 28th against his hand-selected opponent of Gokhan Saki. The irony is, of course, that Gokhan Saki might do exactly the same thing next year and pass on Kickboxing to enter into the Boxing or MMA world. It's Showtime also casts some serious doubt onto the possibility of the K-1 World Grand Prix;

If K-1 will host a World Grand Prix this year, Badr will also participate to that. The Grand Prix Final is scheduled for December 10 in China. If this World Grand Prix will take place, depends if K-1 will be able to pay its debts to IT’S SHOWTIME and others. If not, the fight on January 28 will be Badr’s only remaining fight as a kickboxer.

This is huge, if not crushing news to kickboxing fans around the world and good news for Boxing.

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With the K-1 MAX 70kg Japan Tournament taking place the following day, September 24th's Krush 12 was largely forgotten about. The event was headlined by a triple main event of Team Dragon's Hirotaka Urabe, Ryuji Kajiwara and Hideaki Yamazaki facing off against Chinese Sanshou fighters whose names I believe are Zhang Bo, Liu Wei and Ming Ming Chen. Also on this card was the rematch of the Krush 2009 Lightweight tournament semifinal between Naoki "Naokick" Ishikawa and "Kyoken" Yuji Takeuchi.

In the main event, Krush 60kg champion Hirotaka Urabe defeated Chinese Sanshou fighter Zhang Bo, but not without some trouble. Urabe took a majority decision on scores of 30-30 and 30-29(x2) and Boutreview's on-site reporter scored it a 30-30 draw after 3. The close win is somewhat of a letdown as Urabe had been on a roll with his dominant performances in the Krush 60kg tournament. Nonetheless, it's a 5th straight win for Urabe. Next for him is unknown as he just dismissed a fight with RISE champion Kosuke Komiyama. Perhaps a title defense against Naoki Ishikawa could be in his future with Masaaki Noiri being tied up in the Krush Supernova tournament.

In the co-main event, Krush 63kg champion Ryuji Kajiwara managed to squeak by Chinese fighter Liu Wei as a result of a 2nd round penalty by Wei that resulted in an immediate yellow card and a point deduction. The final scores were 30-29, 29-28 and 30-28 in favor of Kajiwara and had it not been for the point deduction, the fight would have gone to an extension round. The win puts Kajiwara back on the winning track after his loss to Masaaki Noiri in the quarterfinals of the K-1 63kg Japan tournament ended his 6-fight win streak.

The final fight in the Team Dragon vs China saga was also at 63kg where Team Dragon fighter Hideaki Yamazaki knocked out Chinese fighter Ming Ming Chen at 56 seconds into the 2nd round with a knee to the body, sweeping the challenge for Team Dragon. The win is Yamazaki's 3rd straight and moves the 24 year old to 10-1-1 (5 KOs) with the only blemishes on his record being a draw back in 2009 and a TKO loss to TaCa earlier this. For Chen, it's a second straight stoppage loss after losing to Hirotaka Urabe by stoppage back in July.

In the night's most hyped fight, Naoki "Naokick" Ishikawa got back on the winning track with a 2 round technical decision win in a rematch of a great fight with "Kyoken" Yuji Takeuchi on scores of 18-17(x3). In their first fight, a spot in the finals of the Krush 2009 Lightweight tournament was up for grabs and both men fought hard for it, but ultimately Naokick scored a spectacular 2nd round flying knee knockout. However, Ishikawa got cut and was unable to participate in the finals. Before this bout, Takeuchi weighed in 1.7kg over and was deducted a point, 30% of his purse and had to wear 8 oz. gloves compared to Ishikawa's 6 oz. gloves. Both camps also decided to allow clinches and elbows. In the first round, I believe Takeuchi was able to score one or two downs while Ishikawa either scored one or two downs, as Boutreview's reporter scored the round 8-8, with the round ultimately going to Ishikawa 8-7 as a result of the point deduction. In the second round, Ishikawa started to take an advantage, but not before a clash of heads near the end of the round caused a cut to form on Naokick's head, much like their first bout. With the cut, the fight was stopped and Ishikawa got the decision. After the bout, Ishikawa announced that he wished to face the winner of the Krush Supernova tournament and would retire following the bout. Krush event producer Mitsuru Miyata was reluctant to give Ishikawa the bout and was hesitant about letting him retire. The win is a bright spot in what has been a rough patch of Ishikawa's career, as this win puts him at just 2-4 in his last 6. Takeuchi is now on a two-fight losing streak after losing in the finals of the Krush tournament to Hirotaka Urabe.

In a trio of 63kg fights, Krush 63kg Tournament participant Naoki Terazaki got an extension round decision over Makoto Nishiyama while fellow Krush 63kg tournament participants TaCa and Takuya Shirahama lost to former NJKF Lightweight champion Kazuki and NOMAN, respectively. TaCa was coming off of a win over Hideaki Yamazaki, but lost in the extension round by TKO to Kazuki who is bouncing back from losing his NJKF title to Keijiro Miyakoshi. Shirahama made it to the semifinals of the Krush tournament, but lost to Koya Urabe and has now lost two straight after this loss to NOMAN.

Members of Team Dragon rounded out the card, going 5-2 overall with notable member Takumi picking up a win.

The next Krush event is the day-night round of 16 and quarterfinals of their Under-22 Supernova Tournament.

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Shortly after the initial announcement of the K-1 Final 16 and its confirmed participants, we've got some more news. Albanian news website zeri.info is reporting that Xhavit Bajrami and Rustemi Kreshnik will both participate in the K-1 World Grand Prix Final 16 on October 29 in Nanjing, China.

The news basically solidifies what many have been thinking; that the K-1 World Grand Prix just isn't as stacked as previous years. Bajrami and Kreshnik aren't elite fighters by any means. Bajrami did beat Jaideep in July, while Kreshnik picked up a win over Moises Baute on Saturday in his first fight of 2011.

Here's some quotes from Xhavit Bajrami on his participation:

"This is the result of my work and successes that I had in the past five years, having owned titles in stronger versions of kickboxing in the world".

 

"I go to China to show that I am still strong and I am one of the best in the world. It was a great pleasure to invite me to go to China and to participate in a tour that opens multiple ways, but more importantly is what I tell you the place among the Righteous, "said Bajrami for whom this is his first appearance outside of Europe, after 2008, in Macao in Asia tour.

You may remember Bajrami from way back in the nineties when he beat Mirko Cro Cop in the K-1 Braves '99 tournament, later going on to win the whole thing. With the absence of Semmy Schilt, Bajrami will likely be the tallest fighter in the tournament at nearly 6'9. Rustemi Kreshnik is probably not as well known, being a regular on It's Showtime events for the past few years. If I were to be completely honest, I don't think either of these fighters will make the Final 8.

You can read the full article here, translated.

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