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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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Yesterday afternoon I had the pleasure of speaking with a guy you all should know by now, Steven Wright for a while. Steve is a guy that has been around the fight industry for a while now. Be it fighting himself, training UFC-level fighters or filming his upcoming documentary on the kickfighting world, he is a guy you should know. Steve has a pretty awesome podcast that has been going strong for most of this year, Warman's Kickfighting Show. Basically if something big is happening, he talks about it. Yesterday I spoke with Steve for the better part of an hour about this weekend's upcoming shows, from It's Showtime's Fast and Furious 70kg MAX tournament, K-1's MAX Japan tournament to the Thai Fight Extreme card. We talk about it all and technology only hates us a few times. Make sure to visit the home of the show and subscribe on itunes as well. You should also be following him on Twitter because there will be a lot of shows and a lot of talk about them coming up.

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Earlier today, RISE and Shooto kicked off this weekend's packed schedule which includes events being put on by It's Showtime, K-1, UFC, DREAM and Strikeforce.

In the night's main event, RISE Super Featherweight champion and K-1 veteran Kosuke Komiyama won a non-title bout against Korean Muay Thai Federation Super Featherweight champion Kim Jin-Hyuk by decision on scores of 27-26, 28-27 and 29-28. I'm not sure what prompted the weird scores, but all judges seemed to have the same idea, having Komiyama ahead by a point on all 3 cards. The win makes it 5 in a row for the champion who took the title from Kan Itabashi at RISE 74 back in February. Up next for Komiyama will probably be a title defense or perhaps a fight with Krush 60kg champion Hirotaka Urabe who Komiyama called out. However at the Krush 12 weigh-ins today, Urabe dismissed the notion. A rematch with Itabashi for the title would have to wait a while as Itabashi is set to face Masahiro Yamamoto at It's Showtime Japan 4/REBELS 9 on October 23rd.

In the night's co-feature, RISE Super Lightweight champion Koji Yoshimoto beat #1 ranked Lightweight Hiroshi Mizumachi by majority decision on scores of 28-27(x2) and 27-27. The win is Yoshimoto's second straight after winning a decision against Shohei Asahara in a reserve fight of the K-1 Japan 63kg Tournament. If Yoshimoto defends his title successfully, look for him to face off with Yusuke Sugawara for a third time with the winner possibly getting some attention from K-1. For Mizumachi, it's a 5th straight loss and could signal an end to his career in the near future.

In a #1 contender's bout for the right to face Yoshimoto, #2 ranked Yasuomi Soda remained undefeated, improving his record to 11-0 (4 KO) with a 2nd round knockout of #3 ranked Kotetsu. Soda picked up a win in an opening fight at the K-1 Japan 63kg Tournament. His fight with Yoshimoto will be a good step up in competition and will show just how good the 23 year old is. A win would definitely put Soda on K-1's radar.

In the semifinals of a 4-man tournament for Nobuchika Terado's recently vacated Bantamweight title, Yuta Kubo's brother and NJKF Flyweight champion KENJI beat RISE #3 ranked bantamweight Ryuma Tobe by majority decision on scores of 29-28, 28-27 and 28-28. In the other semifinal, #1 ranked Dyki knocked out 20 year old Shootboxing representative Kazayuki Fushimi in the 3rd round. The finals will take place at RISE 85 on November 23rd which already has RENA vs Erika Kamimura set as the main event.

In the Heavyweight division, K-1 fighter Singh "Heart" Jaideep and Korean Raoumaru both picked up knockout wins. Jaideep scored a 1st round flying knee KO of #5 ranked Tsutomu Takahagi while Raoumaru scored a 3rd round knockout of MMA fighter Bernard Ackah. For Jaideep, it's a 3rd straight win and for Raoumaru, it's a bounce back from his loss in a title fight with Makoto Uehara back at RISE 80 in July.

In a lightweight matchup, former J-NETWORK Super Lightweight champion Shunsuke Oishi knocked out RISE #2 ranked Lightweight Yuto Watanabe in the 3rd round. The win is Oishi's first this year as he lost his title to Yusuke Sugawara in June. For Watanabe, it's a second straight defeat after coming off a loss to Toshiki Taniyama in a reserve fight at the K-1 63kg Japan Tournament in June. Oishi could end up facing off with Sugawara in J-NETWORK or RISE in the future to determine a challenger to Yoshimoto's title.

In a slight upset, #4 ranked Super Featherweight TURBΦ dropped a decision to #5 ranked Yutonaka Egawa on scores of 28-27(x2) and 29-28. TURBΦ had just snapped his 3-fight losing streak with a close win over Junpei Aotsu and is now back on the losing trail. Next for Egawa could be a fight with the #2 or #3 fighters in his division in what could be a #1 contender's bout as #1 ranked Kan Itabashi is currently wrapped up with It's Showtime obligations.

Finally, K-1 vet Jae Gil Noh picked up a decision win over #7 ranked RISE Middleweight KEN. Noh was last seen in K-1 knocking out Go Yokoyama who is set for a reserve fight at this weekend's K-1 MAX 70kg Japan Tournament.

Next up for RISE is RISE 84 on October 30th.

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Before we get to the main attraction on Saturday at the It's Showtime Fast & Furious 70MAX event, the reserve fights will be taking place on the undercard. These fights won't be televised,and we'll probably never see them but they're still important in that if one of the tournament participants get injured, the winners of these bouts will be substituted in their place. Now before we get into breaking down the fights, let's be real here. None of these fighters really deserve a reserve spot, having not done anything to warrant them.

Reserve Fight #1: William Diender vs. Andy Ristie

How William Diender received a reserve spot is pretty puzzling. Name a fighter and there's a big chance he's lost to them. Diender has lost seven of his last eight, including a dreadful six fight losing streak. As for Andy Ristie, he's a pretty decent fighter himself. Ristie still doesn't have the resume to justify a reserve spot though.

A good comparison to Andy Ristie in my opinion would be Marco Pique.  Much like Pique, Ristie loves using his step up and jump knees. He's really light on his feet and can move around the ring efficiently enough to give opponents trouble. Add in his aggressive fighting style and I favor Andy Ristie in this fight. Both guys don't have great defence by any means but atleast Ristie will move away from strikes while Diender just stands in front of his opponent and absorbs shots. Ristie will leave himself open a lot but Diender doesn't have enough power to throw him off.

If I were to predict the outcome, I'd say Andy Ristie will tag Diender with knees to the body many times in the fight and finish it in the third round. That or he takes a wide decision.

Reserve Fight #2: Fatih Ozkan vs. Nordin Benmoh

Again, another head-scratcher here. Neither of these guys have done anything to warrant a reserve spot. Fatih Ozkan came up short in a competitive fight against Mosab Amrani in February while Nordin Benmoh laid out Ibrahim Chiahou in pretty spectacular fashion in the same month. Benmoh has grown quite well into a 70kg frame, while Ozkan is still on the small side and could probably fight at lower weights.

Nordin Benmoh has a decent understanding of how to fight tall, and he'll need to do it in this fight. He'll have to stay on the outside and pick his shots. He tends to explode on opponents when he has them backed up and often leaves himself open. This is where Ozkan could catch him if he isn't careful. Benmoh has sufficient power and his progression as a fighter from a few years ago has been apparent. Ozkan will have to pressure him in order to win.  He can't afford to have lapses of inactivity in the fight either, as that's where Benmoh will start unleashing the full arsenal of power strikes.

My prediction? Nordin Benmoh by decision. I think he has some upside and potential that can be utilized with his frame at 70kg. In his recent fights, he's shown a better understanding of using his height and better judgement of when to unleash with power shots. Then again, I could be way off here, as Steven Wright and Dave Walsh both picked Fatih Ozkan.

To sum it up: None of these fighters really stand a chance against anyone in the tournament. No one here has done anything to warrant a reserve spot. Hate to sound like a negative nancy but that's just how I see it, and I'm sure how many others do as well.

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The countdown to It's Showtime's huge Fast and Furious tournament is on and there is a lot to be excited over. If you want to know how the media is picking it up internationally, this newspaper clipping of Chris Ngimbi training and breaking down the tournament from a Belgian newspaper.


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Mark Miller has been training his ass off since making his big comeback in May knocking out Nikolaj Falin in just under 9 seconds. It was one of those moments that was almost too perfect to sum up. Since then he has been training just as hard waiting for his next fight to come together, and this training also included making a special appearance at Rampage Jackson's training camp as a sparring partner and coach for Rampage in his upcoming fight. Regardless of the whole, ridiculous "spygate" non-scandal that has been talked about for Rampage's training camp, a lot of actual work was done and Mark helped push Rampage to his limits.

Since then he has been training using the Mass Suit, something almost out of a science fiction movie that was made to help athletes maximize their workouts by providing extra tension. This video is of Mark working out with the suit and they interview him for some background information as well. [source]

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This Sunday marks the second big K-1 event of the year, the 70kg MAX Japan tournament. Last year's tournament featured Yuichiro Nagashima and Hiroki Nakajima scoring knockouts in their quarter and semifinal bouts which culminated in a dramatic 3rd round knockout by Nagashima in the finals in a wild brawl. This year's tournament is extremely interesting because, for the first time, K-1 has placed a former K-1 MAX World Champion into the field in Albert Kraus. It is also interesting because of the new blood brought in by K-1. They have brought in young prospects in RISE Middleweight champion Takafumi Morita, Krush 70kg tournament champion Kenta and K-1 Koshien 2009 70kg champion Shintaro Matsukura. Returning from last year's tournament are 2010 Japan MAX tournament finalist Hiroki Nakajima, 2009 K-1 World MAX semifinalist Yuya Yamamoto, 2008 Japan MAX tournament winner Yasuhiro Kido and Yuji Nashiro. Despite losing tournament mainstays Ryuji and Tatsuji as well as last year's winner Yuichiro Nagashima and semifinalist Hinata, the tournament field is as strong as ever and could produce a couple new stars for K-1. I have decided to rank the fighters in this tournament by their likelihood of winning to give people who may not know much about some of the participating fighters an idea as to where each fighter stands entering the tournament.

1. Albert Kraus: I doubt there are many people who don't have Kraus as a big favorite to win this tournament and for good reason. Despite winning his K-1 MAX World championship back in 2002, Kraus has stayed an elite fighter. He is coming off a controversial loss to Yoshihiro Sato in which Sato got a bit of a gift from the judges and it would be hard to argue that Sato isn't the best fighter at 70kg in Japan at the moment. Outside of an upset loss to Batu Khasikov in March, his only other losses in the past two years have come in the quarterfinals of the K-1 MAX World tournament to eventual champion Giorgio Petrosyan. In the past two years' Final 16s, Kraus absolutely dominated last year's Japan MAX tournament's finalists Nagashima and Nakajima. Upsets can happen, but Kraus is well above the competition in this field.

2. Yuya Yamamoto: Upsets happen. Despite the loss to Shintaro Matsukura in Krush, I still feel Yuya is the #3 fighter in Japan behind Sato and Hinata. Outside of the knockdown, Yuya was outworking and outlanding Matsukura. While his aggressive, brawling style may not fare too well against the elite fighters in the division, it should hold up well in this tournament which features a few fighters who haven't shied away from slugfests. I don't doubt that I could be completely wrong in placing him this high, but I don't think Yuya's lack of defense is going to hold him back in this tournament. A quarterfinal rematch with Matsukura will be telling of Yuya's success. If he is able to impose his will, Yuya could find himself in the finals. If not, it'll be a long road ahead for the former World MAX tournament semifinalist.

3. Kenta: I can't get over how good Kenta looked in the Krush 70kg tournament. He was accurate, he beat Nakajima and Yamauchi to the punch consistently and rarely got hit. Kenta has the most momentum heading into this tournament and if he looked as good as he did in Krush, I can definitely see him making it to the finals. Kido is a difficult first round matchup and Kenta likely won't be able to put him away, but his defense should be strong enough to stay away from a knockdown or a knockout.

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