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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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Eastern Europe is quietly becoming one of the areas where more and more strikers are entering MMA. Konstantin Gluhov (as highlighted here), Zabit Samedov and a bevy of lesser known strikers from Eastern Europe have dawned the open gloves and participated in MMA this year and in years past. One of the best up and coming heavyweights out of the area in my opinion is Alexei Kudin.

In kickboxing, Kudin is probably most known for fighting Pavel Zhuravlev six times. Yes, six times. Although his record against Zhuravlev isn't very pretty at 1-4-1, all the fights have been competitive with three split decisions, a majority decision and a draw between them. Recently, Kudin won the IFMA European Championships of Muay Thai, defeating Dmitry Bezus in the final. Kudin stands 6'2, 242 pounds. With the recent major success of Junior Dos Santos and Cain Velasquez, it's a body frame that is quite optimal for MMA if the skills and speed are possessed to make up for the strength of the behemoths in the division.

Of Kudin's four wins this year, three have been stoppages with punches. He seems to favor the hands when he fights in MMA and rightfully so, as they pose less threat of getting taken down than kicks and knees do. He'll often leave his hands a bit low, but he doesn't mind eating a few shots for it as long as he can effectively counter with punches. His fight with Dmitry Poberezhets is a good gauge of where he's at, stylewise and skillwise.

Kudin recently won a ProFC tournament in Moldova, stopping both of his opponents in under a minute, including a seven second knockout in the first fight (video). In the second fight, he dropped his opponent with low kicks and finished off on the ground. Low kicks are a weapon that Kudin should definitely use more in MMA, even if there's a bigger threat of getting taken down. Kudin's low kicks pack some power and most MMA fighters won't be able to handle them if hit cleanly a few times.

The opportunities are there in Eastern Europe, more specifically Russia for MMA fighters to keep active. Even if the opposition is week, staying active with fights is good for progression and experience. Then again, Kudin could always head back to stand up fighting too, where there are some pretty good cards coming up in Russia. Most fighters in Eastern Europe who compete in both stand up fighting and MMA often compete in both, as there's more opportunities to make money between them, rather than just one. If Kudin is serious about doing MMA full time, he could turn out to be a pretty decent heavyweight.

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A couple weeks ago, WBC Muay Thai Japan announced an October 2nd card headlined by Tetsuya Yamato taking on WBC Muay Thai World Champion Jomthong Chuwattana, as well as Erika Kamimura vs Denise Mellor and a WBC Japan Lightweight Title fight between Rashata and Hiromasa Masuda. It seems as though WBC Japan is looking to set up a big event with as many title fights as possible in the near future, as this event has been subtitled "Path to the Championship" and will now feature 2 more WBC Japan Title fights and 3 "playoff" matches that could possibly be #1 contender bouts, all of which contain promising, young talent.

First, WBC Japan Flyweight champion Naoki Otsuki will defend his title against WPMF Japan Flyweight champion Ryuji Kato. Otsuki was recently on a 4 fight winning streak before being upset by J-NETWORK #6 flyweight Hiroyuki Yamamo by split decision in July.

The other title fight announced is a match between current Super Lightweight champion Seiji Takahashi and J-Network Super Lightweight champion Yusuke Sugawara.

The first of the playoff bouts is a Super Bantamweight fight between Shootboxing 55kg champion Ryuya Kusakabe and #1 ranked NJKF Super Bantamweight Rookie. Kusakabe was on a tear since leaving the K-1 Koshien system, racking up 7 straight wins before losing in the finals of the Krush 55kg Tournament to Shota Takiya. Rookie put himself in a match for the vacant NJKF Super Bantamweight title by defeating Shinya Haga and will face Hiroshi Senchaigym for that title. The winner will probably face current champion Genji Umeno who is set to take on Thai Utideto Rukupurabato at It's Showtime Japan 3 this Sunday.

The next playoff bout is a Bantamweight contest between WPMF Japan Super Flyweight champion TO-MA and NJKF #2 ranked Bantamweight Kojiro. TO-MA was riding a 5 fight win streak which included him picking up the M-1, J-NETWORK and WPMF Japan Super Flyweight titles until he lost to Arashi Fujiwara at It's Showtime Japan 1. Afterwards, he vacated his J-NETWORK title. Kojiro is currently on a 4-fight losing streak. If TO-MA wins, he will likely face current champion Arashi Fujiwara for the title. However, if Kojiro scores the upset another playoff bout would seem to be a good idea, possibly a rematch against Noboru Yamamoto who is ranked #1, Takuma Ito who is ranked #2 or Hiroyuki Yamano, all of which would be interesting rematches.

The final bout announced will feature one of Japan's most promising prospects and recently crowned NJKF Lightweight champion Keijiro Miyakoshi taking on J-NETWORK Lightweight champion Akihiro Kuroda. Miyakoshi beat former NJKF champion Ikki in a rematch in July, winning by a wide decision. Kuroda was riding a 2-fight losing streak with losses to HIROYA and WBC Japan Super Lightweight champion Seiji Takahashi but just defended his title against Fire Harada in Harada's retirement match. The winner will likely face the winner of the Lightweight title match between Rashata and Hiromasa Masuda.

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The IGF is a pro wrestling promotion ran out of Japan by former New Japan Pro Wrestling head and MMA pioneer Antonio Inoki. It features his "brand" of pro wrestling, which is a hybrid of real fighting and the theatrics and "booking" (read: scripted nature) of pro wrestling. In the end what it yields is the high drama of pro wrestling with the grit, violence and impact of a real fight. That style goes far back to catch-as-catch-can wrestling and Japan was king of the "shoot-style" with the early UWF, early Pancrase, RINGS, UWF-i and U-Style. Inoki's last show was an eclectic mix, featuring Jerome Le Banner against Kazuyoshi Fujita, Yuichiro "Jienotsu" Nagashima against pro wrestling legend Masahiro Chono and Peter Aerts against fallen sumo Shinichi Suzukawa.

Chono vs. Jienotsu

Peter Aerts vs. Shinichi Suzukawa

Jerome Le Banner vs. Kazuyoshi Fujita

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It's Showtime owner Simon Rutz took to Facebook today to announce a plethora of big names for It's Showtime's January 28 mega event. Among the fighters confirmed for the event are Badr Hari, Gokhan Saki, Daniel Ghita, Hesdy Gerges, Tyrone Spong, Rico Verhoeven and Ben Edwards. Quite the lineup right there. More fighters and match-ups will be confirmed soon.

rutz

So far, it's already evident that It's Showtime is stacking the card big time with all their stars. It's Showtime hasn't had any meaningful heavyweight fights this year in terms of rankings besides when Daniel Ghita fought Hesdy Gerges back in March.  Rutz has said that the card will feature all super fights. With all these big names on deck, I'd hope that they would be fighting each other. Based on rumblings within the kickboxing community, it sounds like it may just happen, which would really make these "super" fights.

With tickets going on sale starting October 15th, a safe assumption could be made that actual match-ups could be announced in the coming weeks. Be on the lookout for more news here at LiverKick.com.

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Elite Boxing are quietly establishing themselves as quite a name in the Muay Thai world. With their first event in Russia only two days away and another in Germany on the 17th, things are looking good for the promotion.

Elite Boxing established their Russian subsidiary, Elite Boxing Russia recently and are already kicking things off with an "Elite Fight Night" series event on the 8th. Stanislav Bukhlov, the company director quickly made big moves, acquiring the Russian promotion Ice Storm. Ice Storm is set to be rebranded as Elite Fight Night Russia. The format will stay the same as when it was under Ice Storm, in the same venue and same city at the Tyumen Circus Arena in the Russian city of Tyumen.

Also, in another good move for the company, all events held under the Elite Boxing Russia banner will be filmed in high definition and "distributed to 180 countries around the world through Elite Boxing’s network of broadcast partners, including ESPN/Star Sports and Eurosport." Anytime Muay Thai can get on television is good for the sport, as it definitely lacks exposure to more eyes.

Here's the fight card for Elite Boxing's Russian debut on September 8th:

1 Ruslan Berdiev vs Titipong Daengsi 63 kg 5 rounds
2 Alexei Ulyanov vs Chalermdet Infinity 66 kg 5 rounds
3 Marsel Adzhiniyazov vs Chutimant Maneejak 71 kg 5 rounds
4 Vladislav Popov vs Cheick Sidibé 86 kg 5 rounds
5 Stanislav Popov vs Issam Reghi 86 kg 5 rounds

And here's the full press release:

The growing popularity of muaythai in Russia is about to receive a major boost as Elite Boxing Russia—a recently established subsidiary of Bangkok-based Elite Boxing—has announced it is set to launch a new series of muaythai events. Under the brand name Elite Fight Night Russia, events will be held every 3 months at the 1,600-seat Tyumen Circus Arena in the central Russian city of Tyumen. The first event is scheduled for September 8, 2011.

Following the recent establishment of Elite Boxing Russia, company director Stanislav Bukhlov has quickly made his mark in the potentially very lucrative Russian market by negotiating the acquisition of the popular Ice Storm muaythai series. Under the agreement, Ice Storm will be rebranded as Elite Fight Night Russia.
Bukhlov confirmed that the format of EFN Russia will remain the same as Ice Storm with events held every 3 months in the 1,600 seat Tyumen Circus Arena in the central Russian city of Tyumen 2,144 kilometres from Moscow.

Each EFN Russia event will be filmed in HD and distributed to 180 countries around the world through Elite Boxing’s network of broadcast partners, including ESPN/Star Sports and Eurosport.

The fights will also feature the best muaythai talent from across Russia and will provide the Elite Boxing Group with better access to the finest Russian fighters for its annual Thailand VS Russia event in the company’s flagship Thailand VS Challenger Series. This year’s Thailand VS Russia event is scheduled for October, just a month after the first EFN Russia event.

In addition to providing fighters for Thailand VS Russia, EFN Russia also offers Elite Boxing a strategic and cost-effective marketing tool that can be used to raise awareness of the Thailand VS Challenger brand as Elite Boxing looks to penetrate the huge Russian market.

Despite only taking on his new role as head of Elite Boxing Russia in June of this year, Bukhlov is already repaying the faith placed in him by Elite Boxing. Bukhlov is a very experienced promoter, matchmaker and judge, and although his background is primarily in Western boxing, he—along with many other Russians—has become increasingly interested in muaythai in recent years.

One of Bukhlov’s biggest assets is his network of contacts and this played a big part in allowing him to negotiate the acquisition of Ice Storm. Under the new name of EFN Russia, the events will continue to be supported by the local police chief, who is a big fan of muaythai and just one of Bukhlov’s many influential contacts.

Bukhlov’s hard work has not gone unnoticed. Speaking from Bangkok, where he is preparing for the upcoming TVC at the Queen’s Cup event, Elite Boxing co-founder Seth Fishman was full of praise for Bukhlov. “Stani really has a great pedigree in the world of martial arts and we are honoured and proud to have him in the EB team,” said Fishman.

“He is a very pro-active guy and we have to say a big thank you for the work he has already done in establishing both EB and TVC in Russia,” continued Fishman. “We are very excited about the future of muaythai and EB in Russia, and Stani is the perfect person to help us achieve our goals there.”

So far from the outside looking in, Elite Boxing is building a strong brand. With their Thailand vs. Challengers and Elite Fight Night series being held regularly, more hopefully start to take notice. I wouldn't be surprised to see Elite Boxing start picking up bigger name fighters for their events if they can garner success from their expansion into new territory. They've already picked up names for their events such as It's Showtime 95MAX champ Danyo Ilunga, who fights on their Thailand vs. Europe event on September 17th.

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Today at Lumpinee Stadium the Super featherweight champ and current fighter of the year Kongsak Sitboonmee lost his crown to F16 Rajanont. Just last month the two met with Kongsak taking home a razor thin points win. The fight was so close that promotors booked an immediate rematch, and this time around things went F16's way as he took home a five round decision. 

The other title that changed hands was at 115 pounds. Knockout artist Chokprecha Kor. Sakooncher was bested by Wanchalong Sitzornong. This was also a rematch of a fight that took place in the past few months, Wanchalong won that fight too. This time however it was at 115 pounds where the previous bout was over the weight limit. 

Sagetdao Petpaiyathai however did not let his title go over to Singdam Kiatmuu9. The two have fought several times previously with both picking up wins. This time the current 135 pound champ got the best of the hard kicking veteran. 

In other results, Featherweight has its first champion since Kongsak Sitboonmee vacated. Penaik Sitnumnoi beat Mongkolchai Petsupapaan over five rounds. Nong-O Kaiyanghadaogym appears to be back as a top fighter. After winning a 1 day, 8 man marathon tournament last month he followed it up with a fourth round knockout of top 5 contender Sitisak Siangsimaewgym. 

 

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