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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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Watch the above video and note some of the key words that Tanikawa uses and that he does seem dead set that not only will K-1 continue on, but that K-1 will be fine. While in the past I've felt that those were empty words, I can confirm now that things are indeed looking up. The PUJI deal has actually yielded some capital for K-1 and there are some investors (or possibly even buyers) who are serious about K-1 continuing and becoming a worldwide force. The show in China that Tanikawa mentions is currently airmarked for October and does indeed seem like a reality as opposed to "Japanese Grandstanding" that we hear about.

LiverKick.com has been made aware of who some of the investors are, and confirmed through a number of sources the accuracy of the information, but will continue to keep it under wraps until the deals are finalized on all sides and the exchange of money and power have been made. What we can say is that the companies investing in K-1 are very serious about kickboxing and K-1 and have the money to make sure there are not as many hurdles. It also means that K-1's typical Japan-centric approach will be compromised as it is not a viable business model, nor is it one these new investors would support. K-1 putting on one show is a big deal, as will be paying fighters who are owed money. For all the talk of Japanese television deals, while those will be important for K-1, they will no longer be the driving force of revenue and motivation like they once were if these deals go according to plan.

K-1 is lucky that they made themselves the undeniable brand in kickboxing, mainly by establishing a set of rules that were universally adopted and by running worldwide tournaments on a yearly basis to determine who the best are. Many promotions are able to book some of the top talent from K-1, but it seems like no one can pull in all of the exact names (granted, some like It's Showtime have their own pool of talent and exclude some headscratchers of names like Teixeira and Jaideep) and pit them against each other successfully.

A K-1 looking to take a global scale seriously is a K-1 that will have multiple revenue streams and actually build up its name internationally, with a focus on Japan as a homebase but not its only base there is a greater chance for the company to succeed and prosper. Expect big things to come from K-1 if things go according to plan.

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Thai Fight Extreme's Tokyo event on August 7 is set and It's Showtime 73MAX World Champion Yohan Lidon will take on MMA veteran Akihiro Gono at -75kg.

After many years fighting MMA, Gono recently switched his focus to pure striking this year. Gono started off his kickboxing career, jumping straight into the deep end, dropping a decision to Yuya Yamamoto. Gono then went straight into Thai rules, winning a 4 man tournament to qualify as the Japanese representative in the -70kg Thai Fight final tournament later this year. Once again, Gono will go straight into the deep end again when he takes on a high level fighter in Yohan Lidon.

Yohan Lidon recently won the It's Showtime 73MAX World Title, topping Marat Grigorian in a tough 5 round bout. Lidon returned to action just a month later, getting a 5 round devision over Kongjak Sor Tuantong, a fighter who had previously stopped Lidon in Thailand. Lidon is riding a 3 fight win streak and Gono will be a notable step down in competition.

Lidon really shouldn't have much trouble here, as Gono is quite inexperienced and hasn't fought anywhere near the competition of Lidon.

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At Saturday's K-1 MAX -63kg 2011 Japan GP, the biggest non-tournament news coming out of the event was the announcement of six of the eight competitors in this year's MAX -70kg Japan Tournament. The Japan tournament is often the highest profile of the qualifying tournaments for the MAX Final 16 and has launched the K-1 careers of many Japanese kickboxers. Notable past winners include Masato, Taishin Kohiruimaki, Yoshihiro Sato, Yoshihiro Kido and last year's tournament champion Yuichiro "Jienotsu" Nagashima.

Last year's tournament rivaled the excitement of the 2010 K-1 -63kg Tournament, providing upsets, spectacular knockouts and a FOTY candidate finals in which Nagashima and Hiroki Nagashima slugged it out until Nagashima rattled Nakajima with a right hand that ultimately ended his night.

The announced participants of this year's tournament are 2010 Japan GP Champion Yuichiro Nagashima, 2010 Runner-up Hiroki Nakajima, 2009 Japan GP Finalist and 2009 World MAX Final 4 competitor Yuya Yamamoto, 2008 Japan GP Champion Yasuhiro Kido and tournament newcomers Shintaro Matsukura and Go Yokoyama. The two open slots will likely go to tournament mainstays Tatsuji and Ryuji are up for grabs and no word has been put out by K-1 regarding the final two slots.

Nagashima is likely to be pushed as the face and favorite of this tournament because of last year's win as well as his appearance in the Final 8 and his upset victory over Shinya Aoki in their exhibition at Dynamite!! 2010. Nagashima hasn't fought since the exhibition against Aoki, making his pro-wrestling debut in the meantime. Looking for a repeat, Nagashima will have to use his heavy hands to blast his way through the tournament yet again.

Nakajima was hand-picked as Masato's successor by the man himself, but has yet to show the level of promise that many have expected. Since his loss in the tournament finals, Nakajima has been outclassed by Albert Kraus at the Final 16 and Buakaw Por. Pramuk at Sengoku Soul of Fight. Nakajima comes in off of a KO victory over YOSHI in the quarterfinals of the Krush 70kg GP. Another trip to the finals wouldn't be unlikely, but with such high expectations, a tournament win is what he really needs.

Kido and Yamamoto are more or less in the same position. Both have been pegged as upcoming talents in the division yet have fallen on hard times recently. After a win at the 2008 Japan Tourmament, Kido knocked out Chi Bin Lim in the Final 16 only to go on a 4 fight losing streak. After two reserve fight wins in the 2009 Final 16 and Final 8 events, Kido was planted by a Yoshirio Sato right hook in a Finals reserve fight and has since dropped decisions to the unheralded Ryuji and Vahid Rosyani. Yamamoto managed to make it to the Finals of the World Tournament in 2004 after an impressive upset over Gago Drago in the Final 8, only to fall to eventual tournament winner and 70kg kingpin Giorgio Petrosyan. Since the loss, Yamamoto has gone 3-3, with upset losses against Hinata and fellow participant Shintaro Matsukura. A Japan Tournament victory may be the thing to re-ignite the careers of both fighters.

Matsukura and Go Yokoyama are relative unknowns, with Matsukura likely being invited to the tournament because of his upset win over Yuya Yamamoto in an entertaining fight in the Krush 70kg Tournament. Yokoyama has fought in K-1 before, losing via 3rd round TKO to Jae Gil Noh at the 2009 MAX Final 8 event. Matsukura brings decent power and combination punching combined with a good chin and great resiliency while Yokoyama brings a flashy karate style in the vein of Keiji Ozaki and Kizaemon Saiga. Honestly, I don't like the chances of either fighter, as Matsukura was being bullied by Yamamoto until a knockdown in the 3rd which won him the fight and Yokoyama often favors dropping his hands when he throws his kicks which got him KO'd against Noh and will most certainly get him KO'd against the likes of Nagashima, Nakajima, Kido and Yamamoto.

The biggest question about the tournament, however, does not involve any of the fighters, but when the tournament will take place. The Japan Tournament often takes place in February or March, but with K-1's financial troubles, they were unable to do so. With It's Showtime's Fast & Furious tournament taking place on September 24th, timing for K-1 will be crucial as many of the world's top fighters are locked up in that tournament. Sooner, rather than later would probably be wise for the tournament if K-1 wishes to have its MAX GP with top fighters in 2011.

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A picture often says a thousand words, and for 23 year old Yuta Kubo, this picture explains exactly what he did last night. Kubo was definitely not the favorite going in, but looking back, he should have been on the radar. [source]

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The K-1 World Max 2011 -63kg Japan Tournament will be streaming live at 2:30 EST/11:30 PST. An eight man -63kg tournament featuring names such as Koya Urabe, Tetsuya Yamato and Yuta Kubo will fill most of the card. Along with the tournament, a super fight between long time K-1 MAX competitors Yoshihiro Sato and Albert Kraus will be fought at -70kg. You can watch the fight on K-1's Youtube channel, Ustream channel or Facebook page. Click on each one for links.If you'd like play by play, we'll be on twitter at @LiverKickdotcom or @rianscalia. Enjoy what's sure to be an action packed event.

Reserve Fight #1:

Toshiki Taniyama defeats Yuto Watanabe by Unanimous Decision in an Extra Round.

Reserve Fight #2:

Koji Yoshimoto defeats Shohei Asahara by Unanimous Decision in an Extra Round.

Quarter Final #1:

Tetsuya Yamato defeats HIROYA by Unanimous Decision.

Quarter Final #2:

Koya Urabe defeats Yuki by Majority Decision.

Quarter Final #3:

Yuta Kubo defeats Kizaemon Saiga by Majority Decision.

Quarter Final #4:

Masaaki Noiri defeats Ryuji Kajiwara by Split Decision in an Extra Round.

Semi Final #1:

Koya Urabe defeats Tetsuya Yamato by Unanimous Decision.

Semi Final #1:

Yuta Kubo defeats Masaaki Noiri by Unanimous Decision.

Super Fight:

Yoshihiro Sato defeats Albert Kraus by Majority Decision.


Yuta Kubo defeats Koya Urabe by Unanimous Decision. Add a comment

It's Showtime officially sent out a press release today regarding their draws for their Fast and Furious 70kg MAX tournament, the draw takes place in Brussels, Belgium on June 30th at 1pm Eastern. [source]

On June 30th, the world’s best kickboxing champions will come to Forest National in Brussels for the grand draw of the Fast & Furious 70 Max Tournament. The ultimate moment when it will finally be revealed who competes with whom during 'Music Hall & BFN Group present IT'S SHOWTIME Fast & Furious 70 Max' on September 24th. The draw will be streamed live and for free and will be as glamorous as the tournament itself.

On the list of kickboxers are Giorgio Petrosyan, Andy Souwer, Gago Drago, Murat Direkçi, Chris Ngimbi, Harut Grigorian, Artur Kyshenko and Chahid Oulad el Hadj. Daniella Somers, eightfold world champion, who is training two of the kickboxers, will also be present at the draw.

IT'S SHOWTIME is world’s greatest kickboxing organization and combines top-class sport with lots of glitter and glamour. The
organization tours around the world and is counting on sold-out arenas everywhere. The event on September 24th in Forest National will be broadcasted in 162 countries. Since May, Music Hall has been exclusive agent and co-producer of the shows together with BFN Group.

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