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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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Earlier this week Strikeforce finally announced some details in regards to their April 9th event. No, we won't get the Heavyweight GP but we do get a couple great title fights including Lightweight champ Gilbert Melendez (18-2) defending his belt against Tatsuya Kawajiri (27-6-2).

In anticpation of what's sure to be a great fight, here's a finely produced Japanese VTR I stumbled across. Enjoy!

 

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It's ShowtimeThis Saturday marks the start of the 2011 It’s Showtime season, and in many ways, the start of the major international 2011 season. There have been a few notable fights already this year (Giorgio Petrosyan vs. Sudsakorn and Andy Souwer’s upset loss both come to mind), but this will be the first major top-to-bottom event. So, why should you care about this show? Well…

1. It’s Showtime might very well be the future of kickboxing. This coming year is going to be a big one in determining the future of our sport. With K-1 in serious trouble and the European hotbed of Amsterdam causing headaches for promoters, we could see a drastic reduction in the international scope of professional kickboxing. It’s Showtime is doing everything they can to fight against that tide. By running more and more shows in an increasingly diverse market, they are continuing the steady expansion plan that has brought them success so far. Of course, with expansion there is always a fear that you will overextend yourself, creating a company too large for the resources in hand. So far, It’s Showtime has been very strategic in their expansion, and I think that will continue this year – but there’s no doubt 2011 represents a key moment in the history of kickboxing.

2. The main event is a beautifully matched top 10 showdown. It’s rare in any combat sport that we get two fighters so closely matched, but Daniel Ghita vs. Hesdy Gerges is a perfect match-up. Both men are young fighters who look to be the future of the sport. Both are in the top 10, with Ghita just one spot ahead of Gerges. Both had break-out years in 2009 and 2010, but neither man has yet scored that one major win that propels them to the next level. Most are favoring Ghita here (including a massive 70% of LK readers), which is understandable, but this is a very close fight that Gerges has every opportunity to win. One tough hurdle for the It’s Showtime champ could be his recent arrest for suspected drug trafficking. That case seems to be dropped, but the interruption to his training and the mental stress of being incarcerated can’t be good for a fighter heading into such a serious challenge.

3. Both men in the semi-main event need to win. Andy Souwer vs. L’houcine Ouzgni could easily headline a show. Two technical marvels, this is a fight that will be pure candy for fans of the precise art of stand-up. That’s reason enough to be excited for this one, but there’s an extra element to this fight given where each man stands in his career. Souwer’s last year was not exactly a career highlight for the decorated veteran. After suffering an eye injury and finding himself inexplicably on the outs with K-1 MAX, Souwer has since lost 2 of his last 3 fights – both against unranked opponents. He really needs to win here, but he has a tough task ahead of him. Ouzgni meanwhile had a tremendous 2010... almost. He made huge waves in his It’s Showtime debut, and looked poised to win the company’s 77kg title and start a dominant run as champion. Instead, in the year’s last show, Ouzgni was stopped by Artem Levin. In that fight, Ouzgni seemed to give up both size and strength to his opponent. Now, he’s dropping down to 70kg. He’ll have a massive size advantage here, but will it come at the expense of a too severe weight cut? Hopefully not, as Ouzgni could end up a man lost between two divisions.

4. Gago Drago vs. Artur Kyshenko. Not too much to say here, except that this match will be fun. Drago always brings the excitement, and I expect Kyshenko will match him. This one has kind of been lost in the shuffle, but it’s another excellent, very evenly matched fight that could steal the show. Along those same lines, look for exciting fights from William Diender vs, Rachid Belaini and Chahid Oulad El Hadj vs. Robin van Roosmalen.

5. The return of the 95kg title. Former champ Tyrone Spong has kept this division on ice for the last few years as he has made the move up to Heavyweight. Now, with Spong out of the picture, It’s Showtime looks to crown a new champ between Wendell Roche and Danyo Ilunga. Their inclusion of different weight classes is one of the things that makes IS unique, and it will be exciting to see how this division grows in 2011. Last year, Cosmo Alexandre’s title run brought the 77kg division to the spotlight – can either Roche or Ilunga do the same for 95?

Don’t forget, the show is tomorrow and is available for purchase at showtimefights.com for 10 euro. Start time is 2:00 p.m. Eastern.

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yamamotoK-1 MAX fighter Yuya Yamamoto held a public practice session on Friday as he prepares for his March 19th Superfight against Mixed-Martial-Artist and former All-Japan Kickboxing champion Akihiro Gono.

Yamamoto has found success in the smaller Krush promotion winning his past two fights including a knock out win over Masakazu Watanabe this past January whereas he's struggled on the bigger K-1 stage losing his last three fights.

Krush recently announced a -70kg Tournament (K-1 MAX weight) kicking off April 30th and baring any injuries, I would expect to see particiaption from Yamamoto in the tournament regardless of the outcome in his match against Gono.

Krush ~ Triple Final Round, March 19th, 2011
Tokyo Korakuen Hall

  • Superfight 70kg (K-1 3Rx3min Ext. 1R)
    Akihiro Gono vs. Yuya Yamamoto
  • -63kg Semi-Final (K-1 3Rx3min Ext. 1R)
    Koya Urabe vs. Takuya Shirahama
  • -63kg Semi-Final (K-1 3Rx3min Ext. 1R)
    Ryujia Kajiwara vs. Kizaemon Saiga
  • -60kg Semi-Final (K-1 3Rx3min Ext. 1R)
    Massaki Noiri vs. Yuji Takeuchi
  • -60kg Semi-Final (K-1 3Rx3min Ext. 1R)
    Massaki Noiri vs. Yuji Takeuchi
  • -55kg Semi-Final (K-1 3Rx3min Ext. 1R)
    Ryuya Kusakabe vs. Hiroaki Mizuhara
  • -55kg Semi-Final (K-1 3Rx3min Ext. 1R)
    KENJI vs. Shota Takiya
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Ichiro Kanai (PANCRASEism) will appear on the May 3rd Pancrase Differ Ariake card against an opponent yet to be named. It was a tough 2010 for Kanai losing by decisions to both Yuki Kondo and Sojiro Orui.

Already announced for the Pancrase May 3rd Impressive Tour card will be King of Pancrase Bantamweight champion Seiya Kawahara defending the title against Manabu Inoue. Also expected to appear on the card is Light-Heavyweight Ryo Kawamura and Welterweight Masahiro Toryu.

IchiroKanai
(source:http://blog.livedoor.jp/pancrasenews)

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Scott LightyK-1's short run of USA shows have produced more MMA talent than one might think at a first glance. That isn't to say that there is a wealth of talent that came out of it, but Pat Barry is currently a UFC Heavyweight who has had mixed results and there was one man that beat him that went on to MMA, Scott Lighty. Scott Lighty trains with The Pit, you know, John Hackleman's camp, best known for former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Chuck Liddell. Lighty made the transition to MMA after mixed success in the K-1 USA ring. In the 2004 USA GP he knocked out Frank Cota before being stopped himself by Mighty Mo. Then in 2005 he defeated Pat Barry in a Reserve bout and got called into action, where he was knocked out by a then game Gary Goodridge.

People hate on Goodridge for his most recent performances, but in 2005 squaring off with Goodridge was a scary affair. K-1 ran another Vegas GP in August and Lighty's guts and determination earned him a spot again. This time he pushed forward, knocking out Tatsufumi Tomihira, taking Chalid "Die Faust" to a decision only to lose a close fight to Ruslan Karaev in the Finals. He came back, again, in 2006 to take Dewy Cooper to a Decision before running head first into Gary Goodridge again, and that, as they say, was that, for Lighty's K-1 career. Lighty didn't stop because he didn't have the talent, drive and determination, it stopped because K-1 stopped running their Las Vegas GP and he started training for MMA. This was the height of the Chuck Liddell era, so for a kickboxer like Lighty to see Liddell running roughshod over an entire division, he had to think, "I can do that."

Coming into his next fight, he will be 6-1, with his only loss to hot prospect Antwain Britt, whose wrestling was a bit out of Lighty's league. But regardless, yeah, Lighty can do that. Lighty was picked up by EliteXC in his first year as a professional MMA fighter, which turned out to be EliteXC's last year. He moved on to Strikeforce where he is 1-1 and looks at his next step to moving up the ladder; 2008 Judo Olympic Gold Medalist, Satoshi Ishii.

Ishii talked and talked about making a Strikeforce debut in April, and it turns out, for once, that wasn't grandstanding, he will make his Strikeforce debut on April 1 on a Strikeforce Contenders/ShoMMA card against Lighty. This is a good fight for both fighters, as a win can justify moving up in the rankings and taking on stiffer competition, with each men providing a foil for each other. Lighty has superior stand up, if anything, K-1 level beyond UFC's Pat Barry, and Ishii has Olympic Judo skills.

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(C) HeavyMMATonight at UFC: Sanchez vs. Kampmann we saw Diego Sanchez once again at Welterweight against Martin Kampmann. Kampmann, a Danish Muay Thai fighter-turned-MMA fighter who has rounded out his game considerably in MMA. Diego Sanchez saw mixed results at Lightweight, making his way to a fight with BJ Penn and being decimated, so badly that he refused to fight at Lightweight again. His return to Welterweight did him no favors, but he came into this fight with a win over Paulo Thiago and an uncertain future.

Kampmann came into the fight calm, collected and with a game plan. He was able to drop Diego Sanchez in the first round and in the second round was able to continually stuff Diego's takedown attempts and keep him at a distance with his jabs. Everything from his composure to stance were exactly what he needed to do in this fight.

Diego came into the fight looking soft, as UFC President Dana White so aptly pointed out on Twitter (how'd you like your boss with a million plus followers calling you fat?) and slow. He had next to no defense for Kampmann's striking and due to Kampmann's stance of keeping his front leg heavy, was nearly impossible to get a takedown, which he needed.

In the third round Kampmann broke his hand and was unable to piece together combinations, which meant Diego was able to swarm Kampmann with wild, looping hooks, connecting once in a while. The problem was, whenever he backed off, after maybe connecting a wild shot or two, Kampmann was able to score at will against Diego. This was the story of the night. Kampmann won all of the exchanges with crisp striking while Diego simply threw like Leonard Garcia.

Amazingly enough, the judges all scored the fight 29-28 for Diego Sanchez. The question is; why? Ariel Helwani on the post-fight show makes the point that many of us were making on Twitter, that judges see the aggression and think that means they are winning the fight. We've seen Leonard Garcia get a few "gifted" decisions, and now this fight falls right in line.

As an avid kickboxing fan, this fight was very cut and dry; a knockdown as well as clear connections against wild shots that were being deflected. As a MMA fan, it was even more cut and dry; a knockdown as well as clear connections and stuffing every takedown. It doesn't help that Dana White on Twitter after the fight says that Diego "clearly" won the fight. This was the second decision against Kampmann in a row that was disputed by fans and analysts. To me, that speaks volumes about the mythical bad MMA judging that we all often speak about.

The argument used to define poor MMA judging has usually been that judges do not understand grappling and come from a boxing background. At this point, I argue that they also do not understand striking. The criteria for the judging is fine, it is the lack of knowledge that holds the sport back and gives us piss poor decisions. The amount of times I hear Joe Rogan quote poor judging on UFC shows is just astounding.

I'll toss this out here; if you are a professional judge and want to learn more about striking, contact me, and I'll help you as well as point you in the direction of those that can help you. I'm being serious.

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