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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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This isn't the first time that the name Badr Hari has come up in the realm of possibly entering the boxing world. Initially there was a rumor that Badr Hari wanted to try out for the Olympics in boxing, then in his interview with Michael Schiavello, Badr Hari talked at length about his love for boxing and possibly turning to that sport. Now the latest wood on the fire is an interview with Mike Passenier, his longtime trainer who talks about Badr Hari and boxing;

"Badr is only 2cm [1"] shorter [than the Klitschkos] and his weight is between 112kg and 115kg [246.4lbs. and 253lbs]. And don't forget, he is used to fighting a tall fighter. Hong man Choi is 2m 18cm [7'2"]. Sem Schilt, 2m 11cm [6'11"]. And a lot of fighters between 1m 96cm and 2m 03cm [6'5" and 6'8"]," Passenier added as he talked about how Hari would size up to the reigning heavyweight champions. "If he has a trainer who can trigger him, absolutely! He is determened[sic] and he is willing to give his all."

Originally scheduled to fight again in September, the bout was cancelled so now, Hari is evidently making plans to find a world-class boxing trainer to sharpen his skills in order to make a legitimate transition to the sport. "The September fight is off. He is supposed to fight in October for K-1, but it isn't confirmed yet, so you never know, especially with a guy like Badr. If there is a gym who is willing to help him, or a trainer who can prepare him on the top level, he might be on the next plane after the Ramadan. But I think he wants to test the waters first and see who or where suits him the best," Passenier continued. "Like I said, he is testing the waters to see who'll come up or who'll come forward because maybe there is a trainer who we've overlooked who will see a great potantial[sic] in him and steps up to the plate." [source]
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This Saturday in Primm Nevada Cosmo Alexandre will be fighting a true legend of Muay Thai, Sakmongkol Zingano, who formerly went by Sakmongkol Sitchuchoke. On paper it would appear that this is a bit of a gimme for Cosmo. He's younger, he's stronger, he's bigger, and he's near or maybe even in his prime years. Sakmongkol on the other hand is probably about 15-18 years past his prime, and has been very inactive over the last 6 or 7 years, with his last notable win being over John Wayne Parr. He' mostly been doing Kyokushin tournaments under the name Kalek Mongkon and has been very successful. He recently moved to Colorado to teach Muay Thai at Zingano BJJ, and apparently decided he wanted to mix things up in the ring again. 

Something Sakmongkol has going for him is he can still kick like hell. That was shown in his fight earlier this year against Contender Asia participant, James Martinez. In the fight he continuously battered Martinez with brutal left kicks on the arm. By the third round it was clear Martinez was hurt badly and after eating 7 or 8 more really hard blows the referee had seen enough and Martinez went home with a broken arm. Yodsanklai Fairtex has shown a hard kicking southpaw can have success against Cosmo.

Another thing Sak will have on his side is experience. In Muay Thai when you're 38, and your opponent is a lot younger, experience generally doesn't help the older man, but I think this time is an exception. As mentioned earlier, Sakmongkol hasn't been an active fighter lately, and that will only help him here. He's well rested and in all likelihood coming into this fight healthy, and injury free. With 250 fights and a good chunk of those being against the best fighters of the 90's in multiple weight divisions its probably fair to say Cosmo can't show him anything new. 

One of the main reasons why Sakmongkol is so popular amongst fans is his tenacity. After the first feeling out round its usually balls to the wall with him. If you hit him he isn't going anywhere, he just gets a mad look on his face and tries to kill you. He's won many fights by just staying glued to his opponent, and by the 4th or 5th round they don't bother to fight back, but just do everything they can to not get hit. 155 pounds is a much more natural fit for Sakmongkol than it is for Cosmo, who has had his best performances at 160 and up. Alexandre can sometimes be lethargic at this weight, and with Sak's in your face style it won't be good news for Cosmo if he's expecting an easy win.

And lastly, Sakmongkol is a different kind of tough. People point to the classic 5th fight against Jongsanan Fairtex, but its a fight against Perry Ubeda at the 1999 King's Cup in Thailand that really shows what Sakmongkol is all about as a fighter. Sakmongkol has had a recurring shoulder problem, and the only time I've ever seen him grimace or show any real distress in a fight was against Jomhod Kiatadisak. That fight was stopped do to a shoulder problem. It appears the exact same injury happens against Ubeda in round 2, and he tries to twist his arm and fix the problem but its clear its not helping. However with hundred's of thousands of people in attendance he fights on and remains poised. The bout continues, and often in the clinch. Sakmongkol at this point seems like he's only using his left arm as something to hold onto. At the beginning of round 3 Ubeda lands a FLUSH spinning kick right on the jaw, and Sakmongkol shakes it off, but the ref gives him an 8 count as he lets his guard down. Later in the round Sak comes back and scores an elbow knockdown with his good arm. Finally, and ironically in the 5th round the bout comes to an end after Sakmogkol throws a left kick that breaks the right arm of Ubeda, who looks like he's lost all desire to fight. Once the fight ends the pain really starts to sink in and Sakmongkol is assisted out of the ring by his corner. 

I'm not convinced Sakmongkol will win, but if he does out hustle Cosmo and takes the fight don't be surprised. Either way expect this to be one of the more memorable fights of 2011. The event can be purchased at www.gfl.tv and if you've never seen any of the fights mentioned please go check them out. You won't be disappointed. 

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We've documented that Tyrone Spong has been spending his time working with UFC fighter Rashad Evans, but it looks like Tyrone is working with Rashad's management, Authentic Sports Management and that they have big plans for him in 2012. What these plans are exactly is unclear, but the hype video says that Tyrone Spong is "coming" in 2012. One can only assume to the United States to fight, but then you have to ask the question of if this could possibly be in Mixed Martial Arts.

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Saenchai returned to America on the weekend and he took on one of the best stand up fighters in the country, Kevin Ross. Both fighters showed huge heart in the fight, especially Kevin Ross who was relentless in trying to attack Saenchai.  This is an action packed fight that you don't want to miss. Saenchai is one of the best fighters in the world and Kevin Ross put up a great fight. Check out the video in two parts below:

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August 28th will mark the second It's Showtime Japan event, this time a co-promotion with the Fujiwara Festival. However, its biggest impact on the kickboxing world will be Hisanori Maeda's retirement ceremony. Maeda was the 20th AJKF Featherweight Champion and has faced nearly every notable name at 60-63kg in Japan. During his time in AJKF, he faced Naoki Ishikawa, Masahiro Yamamoto, Genki Yamamoto, Hiromasa Masuda, Haruaki Otsuki, Kanongsuk and Ryuji Kajiwara. Though he was unsuccessful against many of them, he managed to go 2-1-1 against Naoki Ishikawa, with their final encounter being a draw for the AJKF Super Featherweight Championship at the last AJKF show.

After AJKF disbanded, he entered the 2009 Krush Lightweight tournament, defeating Fire Harada by knockout in the opening round of the tournament, but losing to Genki Yamamoto in the quarterfinals. He went on to defeat Daisuke Uematsu in a super fight at the finals of the Krush tournament. However, he finished out his career going 1-4 in 2010, losing to TURBΦ and Rashata in that stretch.

Maeda is just one of the many AJKF fighters who has struggled to find success in the post-AJKF Japanese scene and his retirement signifies another step in this changing of the guard in the Japanese scene which has seen many K-1 Koshien fighters find success in both K-1 and Krush. AJKF fighters may have a resurgence in the near future, but Hisanori Maeda will not be one of them.

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I wanted to write this article after seeing the scorecards for the Saenchai vs Kevin Ross fight and also in light of the scoring on the Cosmo Alexandre vs Cyrus Washington fight which was held in the US earlier this year.

Before I get started I should make it clear that I am not a qualified judge. For a definitive guide to how a Muay Thai fight should be scored you should check out this article by Tony Myers:

Judging a Muay Thai fight part onepart two

This is only intended to be a quick and rough guide for those who (like the judges in the US...) don't understand how a Muay Thai fight should be scored.

Muay Thai is not scored in the same way as boxing, K-1 or MMA so trying to apply the same criteria to a Muay Thai fight that you would any another combat sport is a waste of time.

The first two rounds of a Muay Thai fight are always scored a draw, unless one fighter absolutely dominates or visibly hurts his opponent. The opening rounds are only intended to be used as a feeling out process and good fighters will almost always treat them as such. Rounds one and two are an opportunity to size up your opponents and to begin to demonstrate your superiority to the judges BUT will generally have no effect on the scoring of the fight.

Rounds three, four and five are the decisive rounds and the result of them will settle the outcome of the fight unless there is a stoppage. Muay Thai rounds are not scored in isolation though so, for instance, if one fighter looked stronger in rounds one and two but round three is even the judges will often give round three to the fighter who looked stronger in the opening rounds.

A fighter who is already ahead normally seems to get the benefit of the doubt in a close round which means that once a fighter has taken a lead on the scorecards he only needs to be as good as his opponent to win the fight, whereas the opponent needs to clearly demonstrate that he is better. This may seem like merely a semantic difference but it is never the less an important one.

Another way that Muay Thai differs dramatically from other combat sports is in the way that different techniques are scored. Any strike which lands cleanly scores points but straight knees and kicks to the mid section seem to score more points than any other techniques.

Read more after the break...

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