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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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Sadaharu Tanikawa went on a talk show the other day to clear the air about a few persisting FEG/K-1 rumors. The FEG camp has been notoriously quiet and hard to deal with during their period of restructuring, which has included fighters not being paid their promised purses. One can say that this is simply "business as usual" for the Japanese company who is known to put clauses in their contracts that they might not pay fighters for a full six months after they fight.

There have been many voices that have spoken out over the past year, but one of the most surprising has been Sugar Ray Sefo. Sefo is a K-1 legend and has had a very good working relationship with them for many years now. If any fighter were to know how business is done with K-1, it would be Sefo. It all started when the American contact within FEG, Mike Kogan, parted ways with FEG. For many fighters, Kogan was who they would directly deal with, who would be the go-between and make everything a bit easier to deal with. People have given Kogan flack over the past few years, but he is a veteran of the martial arts world and knows the ins and outs very well.

Tanikawa told fighters they were to deal with him directly now, of course, Tanikawa does not exactly speak English very well. This interview with Tanikawa is really a must-read, as it contains a lot of information about the future of K-1 and DREAM on top of the usual fluff. Some of the topics are just out there, like Spike TV was in negotiations with K-1 until the manager they were in talks with was fired and Spike TV went with UFC. He also fired another blow over the bow at main rival It's Showtime, claiming that K-1 has "no rivals" and that It's Showtime does great in Amsterdam but not well outside of there, which we know is a lot of hot air.

There is a key word coming up in regards to the World Grand Prix, and that is if. IF K-1 decides to run a World Grand Prix, it won't start until late summer, and he also states that there will not be any large scale shows until later on in the year, fall or later.

Then comes the bit about pay, where he claims that all fighters, including Ray Sefo, have been paid. Our good friend Mike Hackler at MMA-Japan.com reached out to Ray Sefo to ask if he had received the $700,000 he was owed, and the response was that no, he was not paid yet. There is still a lot of uncertainty right now and while the public face that FEG is pushing out is one that is fixing itself, one has to wonder what is really going on behind closed doors.

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Badr Hari is a name that strikes strong emotions with kickboxing fans across the world, some love him while others find his behavior in and outside of the ring a disgrace to the sport. Regardless, Badr Hari has made a huge impact on the world of kickboxing in the past five years or so. We've seen Badr Hari climb up to the very peak of the mountain only to melt down twice now.

Yesterday we took a look at Badr Hari's breakout bout of 2009 where he met then three-time K-1 World Grand Prix Champion, Semmy Schilt, in the It's Showtime ring for the It's Showtime World Heavyweight Championship. This was a big bout for Badr Hari, as he was able to bull rush Semmy Schilt, knock him off balance and quickly knock him out. The usual approach to taking out Semmy Schilt is a slow, methodical pace, wait for him to make a mistake and swarm him. Badr Hari didn't bother waiting, he just swarmed, smelled blood and took the title home. Badr Hari then went into the Final 16 in Korea with a world of momentum behind him, leaving poor Zabit Samedov to square off with a hungry and well-prepared Badr Hari.

Zabit Samedov is no slouch, he is a world class kickboxer who often finds himself in bad situations due to his size. In the world of K-1 there are Heavyweights and there are Super Heavyweights. Samedov is a small Heavyweight fighting against monsters of men like Hari. None of that mattered when he stepped into the ring against Badr Hari. This was stop two on Badr Hari's road to redemption.

We will continue to look at what led Badr Hari to his May 14th clash with Gregory Tony for It's Showtime, why he hasn't fought for a year and the fights that happened along the way.

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Fans of stand up fighting in the UK can count themselves amongst some of the lucky ones, as they have a healthy community of kickboxing and muay thai. Rumble at the Reebok has put on a few shows now and is aiming on June 11th to promote their next big UK event headlined by Jordan Watson vs. Michael Wakeling.

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By Daniel Fletcher

Yasubey Enomoto. Tremendous at his best, a mercurial talent, but both the three fight win streaks that represent his entire successful body of work in the sport were ended by extremely sub par performances, losing to opponents he was heavily expected to crush, and bludgeon early. The little known Tyler Stinson earned a surprise technical knockout over Enomoto in his fourth fight, and of course after Yasubey reached the Sengoku Welterweight Grand Prix final after three imperious displays, he choked against Keita Kakamura. Which Enomoto will show up – the dextrous striker who bitchslapped Taisuke Okuno at Sengoku 15 and then Saenchai-kicked him, or the man who turned in a dud in the final?

Yasubey Enomoto

Shamil Zavurov – yours truly wrote the hype feature of this prospect, a man with considerable pedigree in a variety of martial arts of both the grappling and striking variety. Please refer to: http://www.lowkick.com/Other/Shamil-Zavurov-The-Rising-Star-of-Russia-12275

As the piece notes, Zavurov suffered a “Fedor-esque” first defeat – with many putting that particular ‘loss’ in parentheses – which he bounced back from with a perfect 9-0-0 slate in 2010. That is quite an incredible achievement on the top European stage regardless of the quality of opposition, and even more so for the fact that his opponents just about all had winning records, with a total combined tally of 75 wins and 58 defeats. And he scored submissions, knockouts and decisions. He outgrappled them, outstruck them, and demolished them. They were supposed to help build up a star and give him rounds, yet for the most part they got dominated and swiftly dispatched.

In the frankly exciting signing of Yasubey Enomoto, M-1 have put together a really meaty matchup together, one that offers a range of possible conclusions. Enomoto is flashy standing, whereas Zavurov is more stolid; planting his feet and throwing power punches, often using them to close the range to get inside and throw his opponent. Enomoto kicks and clowns his foes, Zavurov has dropped some of his own with hard overhand rights and pounded them to the finish. What wins in this field; dexterity and style, and aesthetically pleasing attacks, or solid technique and uncompromising power?

In the grappling sense, Zavurov surely has the edge. The positional dominance he displays was recounted in loving detail in the aforementioned feature report (link above), and his world champion pedigree in Sambo adds a repertoire and fondness for both throws and submissions into his arsenal. His physical attributes help; stocky and powerful, a low centre of gravity for open-weight grappling competition at 5’10”, and athleticism as displayed when he reverses holds and scramble attempts. His physical package (no pun intended) suits his hybrid style.

Zavurov

One potential outcome could be the GSP/Koscheck scenario, only with Enomoto being more willing to take risks, and capable of throwing flashier strikes than Canada’s favourite son does in his now predictably dominant yet unexciting conveyor belt of title defences. If Zavurov cannot clinch up, or land a big shot on the feet, can he stop M-1 Global’s newest signing from taking the championship belt?

It should be noted that M-1 Global pulled off a major coup with this. Most big organisations would have pulled their champion from the card had the contender pulled out of the fight injured as Rashid Magomedov did, or found a replacement on short notice to carry out a glorified squash match. But in this case, M-1 found an extremely capable and dangerous opponent for Zavurov, and have pitted rising star vs rising star in a fight arguably much more intriguing than the bout originally booked for the card!

Also on the M-1 Challenge XXV card (streamed live on M-1 Global’s official website, http://m-1global.com) Vinny Magalhaes (7-5) and Viktor Nemkov (10-2) will compete for the vacant light heavyweight (205 Lbs) strap.

Magalhaes is one of the five best Brazilian Jiu Jitsu practitioners in MMA today. That is no exaggeration; he is a special grappler. I’d advise readers to check his flying armbar victory over Pe De Pano in the Abu Dhabi Combat Club submission grappling world championships (the guy who smashed Frank Mir back in 2006). Magalhaes is up there with Jacare Souza, Fabricio Werdum, Roger Gracie and perhaps Shinya Aoki or Demian Maia in the pantheon of MMA elites who you’d really be best served avoiding entering the grappling realm with at all costs. He is a bad man.

The most noteworthy fight on a pretty solid card outside of the two main events is probably the scrap between middleweight veteran contenders Andrei Semenov (29-9-2) who is looking for his thirtieth career win, a significant landmark for most fighters, and Luigi Fioravanti (22-8). Both are well versed on the European scene, and a win would certainly help one of them take a step closer to a shot at middleweight gold with M-1.

The entire card after the break. Add a comment

The return of Badr Hari on May 14th is a big deal, as Badr Hari is one of the kickboxing world's top fighters. Badr Hari has for a long time been a very strong prospect before making it to the finals of the K-1 World Grand Prix in 2008. Making the Finals in 2008 was huge for Badr Hari, but his much-talked about temper reared its ugly head when he couldn't get the better of Remy Bonjasky. Bonjasky went down after being tripped and Badr Hari's heel met Bonjasky's face.

In 2009 Badr Hari had a lot to prove, to the world and to himself. His temper kept him from achieving what many saw as his destiny, to win the K-1 World Grand Prix. So for Badr Hari, the year of 2009 was a year of redemption and second chances. Not only was he disqualified against Remy Bonjasky in the Finals, but at Dynamite!! he was knocked out by Alistair Overeem. To say when he was given a shot at then three-time K-1 World Grand Prix Champion Semmy Schilt that he had a lot to prove is an understatement. Badr Hari walked into the Amsterdam ArenA to fight for It's Showtime in a bout to decide the It's Showtime World Heavyweight Championship.

Many saw this fight as Semmy Schilt's fight, for Badr Hari to defeat Schilt he would need to pull off a miracle Peter Aerts performance.

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With Saenchai Sinbimuaythai now concentrating on fighting over sea's a lot more, and Nong-O in a bit of a slump, a clear #1 has emerged in Thailand. That man would be Kongsak Sitboonmee, the latest winner of the Thailand's Sportswriters fighter of the year, the most prestigious award that can be given to a fighter. He went a perfect 8-0 from March of 2010 - March of 2011. After going 7-0 he was paired against Pakon Sakyotin in a fight at 127 pounds that would determine the winner of the award. Pakon who is remembered for his ultra violent fight with Pornsaneh Sitmonchai from last year was also riding a great record coming into the fight, and a win over Kongsak was the only thing holding him back from grasping the award he has come close to winning before. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GncRVBMFM14

You can see the fight is competitive, even though it gets a bit ugly. It seems like there was a little bit of tension in both guys, and neither are throwing with there usual superb technique, though its still very good. I think a lot of that can be do to the importance of the fight. By R4 it appears Kongsak has got the fight where he wants it. Pakon who is a strong clinch fighter has struggles tying the bigger Kongsak up, but does get in his share of strikes at times. The left leg of Kongsak and his ability to not let Pakon get comfortable were the determining factors. While not super exciting, Kongsak is a very smart fighter, and throws a heavy kick. This style of fighting will allow the 21 year old to be around for many more years.

Next month he looks to start off another run at fighter of the year when he faces one of Thailand's best, Sam-A Thor Ratonakiat. 

For the sake of Muay Thai I hope he and Saenchai who will also be competing next month on the same card against Petchboonchu F.A Group.... again, (sigh) can agree on a suitable catch weight. Kongsak vs. Saenchai is the biggest, and best fight that can be made in all of Muay Thai. Lets cross our fingers and hope it happens.

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