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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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If you don't know Andy Hug, immediately go over to YouTube and search for his fights, that is really all that I can say to you. Andy Hug is one of the greatest kickboxers to ever grace the K-1 ring. Hug was a bit undersized to be fighting against the Heavyweights of the world but still not only held his own, but was successful. Love him or hate him, Bloodstain Lane's latest video does a great job of paying tribute to Andy Hug, who was diagnosed with acute leukemia in 2000, fell into a coma and passed away after multiple organ failure. [source]

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Generally speaking, when it comes to United States Muay Thai I leave it to great sites like MuayThaiAuthority.com to cover the latest news, but Clifton Brown and Warrior Caste Productions have a lot of interesting stuff planned. MuayThaiAuthority published this interview with figurehead Clifton Brown in June and most of us were just able to brush it off. American Muay Thai promotions have a certain stigma attached to them, as they mainly book the same talent and run in the same arenas. All of them start with big promises, talk of international talent and maybe for a show or two they will have some higher level international talent, but in the end the default seems to be the same group of twenty fighters spread out through certain regions competing against each other.

The MPL already has an incredible group of fighters announced, and there is a promise for more. All of the fields involve Muay Thai fighters, but also fighters who have participated in K-1 rules fight over the past few years, and I've been told of a few more names that the MPL are ready to drop as soon as things are settled, and kickboxing fans will have a lot to look forward to in the MPL. In some ways, it is like the ill-fated WCL, looking to make a huge, immediate impact and hope to be a success. The big difference is that the talent MPL has lined up and the classic league format (as opposed to WCL's team format) makes it accessible to all fans.

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On the card for this week, we've got a lot of kickboxing going on. Many familiar names are in action with some interesting match-ups. Here's a quick rundown:

Super Kombat World Grand Prix 2 - July 16

4 Man Heavyweight Tournament (K-1 Rules, 3x3)

Mighty Mo vs. Mladen Brestovac

Sebastian Ciobanu vs. Singh Jaideep

Wako-Pro -88.68kg Intercontinental Title Match (K-1 Rules, 5x3)

Bogdan Stoica vs. Hakan Aksoi

Super Fights (K-1 Rules)

Ismael Londt vs. TBA

Alex Tropimov vs. Mihai Barbu

Andrei Stoica vs. Henriques Zowa

Benjamin Adegbuyi vs. TBA

Catalin Morosanu vs. Stefan Leko

REBELS 8 x It's Showtime Japan Countdown 1 - July 18

It's Showtime (It's Showtime Rules, 3x3)

Giorgio Petrosyan vs. HINATA

Mosab Amrani vs. Chi Bin Lim

Genki Yamamoto vs. Itabashi Kan

Kouichi Pettas vs. Nami Il

Keita Watanabe vs. T-98

Shigeru vs. Pandam M-16

Fujiwara Storm vs. Battle Magic

REBELS (Muay Thai)

Windy Kao Kawn Gym vs. Umeno

ヨーゲンチャイ エスジム vs. Hiromasa Masuda

Shuya Tanaka vs. Fujikura Yuki

Jiro Minato vs. Atsushi 立嶋

Iida vs. Hyakkaryoran

Inoue Yu Ma vs. Niizumax

Yuasa Xiang Yang vs. Ogasawara Eiki

Tomomi Soda vs. Suzumiya Haruka

Krush -70kg Tournament - Final Round - July 16

-58kg (K-1 Rules): Norifumi Kitani vs. Okawa Kazuki

-60kg (K-1 Rules): Taizo Sasaki vs. Uesugi Hayabusa

-60kg (K-1 Rules): Yamaguchi Masamichi vs. Kobe Shota

-60kg (K-1 Rules): Xiang Rong vs. Ogawa Sho

-70kg reserve bout (K-1 Rules): Yuko Hirono vs. Tora

-70kg Tournament Semi-Finals

Taro Yamauchi vs. Shintaro Matsukura

Hiroki Nakajima vs. Kenta

Women Featherweight (K-1 Rules): Masako Sasaki vs. Cherry

-55kg (K-1 Rules): Takumi vs. SATOI

-63kg (K-1 Rules): Hideaki Yamazaki vs. NOMAN

-60.5kg (K-1 Rules): Masahiro Urabe vs. Chen Mingming

Tournament Final

New Japan Blood 7 - July 17

WBC Muay Thai Japan Super Featherweight Title Match

Yoshinori Nakasuka vs. Naoki Ishikawa

WBC Muay Thai Japan Welterweight Title Fight

Soichiro Miyakoshi vs. Yuya Yamato

Super Fights

Naoki Otsuki vs Hiroyuki Yamano

Hiroki Maeda vs Yutaka

Dragon Ilan vs Sho

Land of Yamato vs Kota fountain

Ford Stone Shinji vs Kaz Miyazawa

World Stand Off - Thailand vs. USA - July 16






Real Fighters - July 16

4 Man Tournament Semi Finals (K-1 Rules)

Rachid Belaini vs. Jonay Risco

Fran Palenzuela vs. Javier Maiz


Super Fights

Zeben Díaz vs Warren Stevelmans 70 kg

Bruno Carvallo vs Faldir Chabari 72kg

Khalid Chabrani vs Emad Kadyear 73kg

Milles Simson vs Carlos De Celis 72 kg

Iman Chairy vs Mariela 58 kg

Bernardo Marban vs Jesus Daza 64 kg

David Poley vs Mike Sprang 74 kg

La Mamba Negra vs Huseyin Baskurt 75 kg

Óscar Rueda vs Mustapha Affaoui 65 kg

Crespo vs Frank 63 kg

Salva Guerrero vs Miguel España 58 kg

Rubén lee vs TBA

Moztazo vs TBA

Thai Fight Extreme - Hong Kong - July 17

Egon RACZ (Slovaquia) vs Sudsakorn SORKLINMEE (Thailand) 67 kg

Karim GHAJJI (Marocco) vs Yodsanklai FAIRTEX (Thaïland) 73 kg

Fabio PINCA (France) vs Wang WEI (China) 67 kg

Gilmar CHINA (Brazil) vs Buakaw POR PRAMUK (Thaïland) 70 kg

Mourad ZRADNI (Algeria) vs Heung PAK WING (China) 70 kg

Ibrahim  CHIAHOU (Marocco) vs Yamasaki YOICHI (Japan) 70 kg

James KAOUMI (Côte d'Ivoire) vs Matsumoto TOSHIO (Japan) 95 kg

Leo KENYA  vs Ekapol Juke (Thailand) 65 kg

ヨーゲンチャイ エスジム vs Hiromasa Masuda

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I'm not joking, Josh Barnett and Jerome Le Banner will square off on August 27th at the Ryogoku Kokugikan -- Japan's Sumo Hall, and this bout between the titans will be for a world championship. Who is promoting this bout? None other than Antonio Inoki, the grandfather of MMA in Japan and a pro wrestling celebrity. It is hard to believe that the MMA world and the Kickboxing world will be colliding like this, until you realize that it is under Inoki's IGF banner, which is professional wrestling.

Yes, Josh Barnett of Strikeforce fame will take on Jerome Le Banner of K-1 fame to declare the first IGF World Champion in August. IGF ran a tournament on the 10th in Japan that involved some pretty big names, including Ray Sefo, Eric Hammer, Josh Barnett, Jerome Le Banner and Bobby Lashley. Eric Hammer tapped Ray Sefo out in the qualifying round with an armbar, Josh Barnett tapped Bobby Lashley out with an armbar as well in the semi-finals. Hammer met Jerome Le Banner in the semi-finals by knocking him down five times, which sets up Barnett vs. Le Banner in the finals.

Something about this just reeks of awesomeness.

Barnett, Inoki, JLB

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K-1's financial woes are nothing new to LiverKick.com's readers, as we've been covering K-1's inability to pay their fighters on time for longer than the existence of LiverKick.com now. Ray Sefo's last bout with K-1 was in October of 2010 after fighting for K-1 3 times within the span of a year. Sefo's deal with K-1 was heavily talked about throughout the hardcore fan community as being upwards of 3 million dollars for a multi-fight deal, and apparently the last part of that deal was to pay Sefo $700,000. It has been 9 months now, and Sefo has been very publicly discussing how K-1 has yet to pay him. Many have rushed to defend K-1, whose contracts do have certain clauses about pay and the timeliness of it. This is standard in the international fighting world, for example Ultimate Glory pays 30 days after the event. K-1's clause is usually in the range of six months, and Ray Sefo has worked with K-1 for many years, so there is no chance of him not knowing this.

This is all immaterial now, as it has been over nine months and Tanikawa has even stated that the Sefo situation is "taken care of." It is important to note that the Japanese media have an unspoken gag order of sorts of them when it comes to matters like this. Business in Japan is very different and there are a lot of secrets, what happens behind closed doors is usually not as public as it is in other places. For a Japanese newspaper to print an article about Ray Sefo, Peter Aerts and more being owed money by Tanikawa, as well as Tanikawa lying, it would have to be considered a big deal. It is. [source]

Ray Sefo

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It's Showtime has long-been the number two kickboxing promotion in the world and in 2011 has decided to go all-out while K-1 was experiencing financial problems. In the span of time that it took for K-1 to run one event, It's Showtime has run six events and already has a 70kg MAX tournament lineup prepared for September as well as other big bouts planned like Badr Hari vs. Daniel Ghita. There have been rumblings of K-1's future activities, including being bought out and running further tournaments, as well as their Facebook campaign, but outside of the Facebook activity things have been very quiet on the K-1 front.

Heavyweight Grand Prix
Simon Rutz is very active on his Facebook, to the extent where if you ask him a question the chances of him replying are indeed very good. One of our awesome readers who uses the Facebook tag of "Ruslan Karaev" asked Mr. Rutz if they plan on running a Heavyweight tournament in the wake of K-1 not running it. Rutz's response was to the point; "If K-1 do not survive then we shall do it."

Since at this point in time I am certain that K-1 will "survive" I'm not exactly sure that they will run a Heavyweight Grand Prix soon, and if they do, it will be last minute. Even if the K-1 World Heavyweight Grand Prix does have a lot of prestige and history behind it, that does not mean that no one else should try to run a tournament. Fight Code is running their Rhinos tournament, and while the talent is definitely second-tier compared to K-1 or It's Showtime's top talent, the effort is appreciated and the output is fun to watch. United Glory also ran a Heavyweight Kickboxing tournament, and while it did not feature the very, very best in the world it did feature a solid line-up. It's Showtime has enough talent under contract to make this happen, as we've seen with their 70kg MAX tournament.

REBELS X It's Showtime Japan Countdown-1
Many people have gone out on a limb and assumed that It's Showtime would be live streaming the July 18th Countdown to It's Showtime Japan show which is co-promoted with REBELS Muay Thai in Japan, but I have confirmed with It's Showtime management that they have no plans to air the It's Showtime Japan Countdown series. Seeing as though the event features Giorgio Petrosyan it is indeed a bit upsetting that It's Showtime won't be carrying the fight.

Nightmare of Battle has reported that the REBELS portion of the event will be streamed live on the REBELS UStream channel. The It's Showtime Japan portion of the event will be streamed live as well, but at a cost, and a rather steep one at that. The event will be available on UStream PPV for 2,100 Yen, which converts to between 25 and 26 dollars USD, which is a steep increase from the $15 the average It's Showtime card costs with decidedly less fights to watch.

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