|Heavyweight (Per 10/13)|
|1.||Semmy Schilt (?)|
|7.||Mirko Cro Cop|
|Light HW (per 10/13)|
|Middleweight (per 11/25)|
|Welterweight (per 10/13)|
|70kg (Per 11/25)|
|2.||Robin van Roosmalen|
|65kg (per 10/6)|
It came out yesterday that Silver Star was once again using Nazi imagery on some of their products. This is hot on the heels of last year's Hoelzer Reich incident which turned stomaches everywhere. The bottom line for this should be that using imagery on products that anyone would wear is wrong. Silver Star Casting Company is a MMA "lifestyle" clothing company with association to the UFC. Some of the sport's biggest stars wear Silver Star shirts, from Georges St. Pierre, Anderson Silva, Rashad Evans and Quinton "Rampage" Jackson. It should also be noted that much like TapouT, Silver Star was acquired by an acquisition and brand-building company, Authentic Brands Group, and through that acquisition, has been placed in major retail outlets around the country.
Authentic Brands Group is a company that purchases budding companies for healthy sums of money, uses their wide distribution network to make the brand stronger, then in a calculated manner sell to the highest bidder. They were, of course, quick to issue a statement about how they do not support Nazi imagery and how Silver Star has acted quickly. You'll notice in the same article, Luke Burrett of Silver Star was also quick to respond, but throughout this whole thing, there is something missing.
An apology. Silver Star owes the world an apology, they need to take responsibility for their actions, regardless of the status of the designer with the company. Silver Star produced and distributed those t-shirts, hats and other products with Nazi symbols, there should be an apology. (Read after the break as to why they should apologize)Add a comment
|12.||Jerome Le Banner|
Welcome to the first edition of our LiverKick.com rankings. These rankings are an attempt to break down the top 25 fighters in two different weight classes - Heavyweight, for fighters above the 77kg limit, and Middleweight, for fighters at the 70-72.5kg limit. We'll be posting rankings on roughly a quarterly basis, with the inaugural Middleweight rankings out tomorrow. Before we discuss, I want to stress that all rankings are inherently subjective, and are sure to ruffle a few feathers. To be clear, our rankings are based on in-ring accomplishments and recent wins and loses, and as such, we hope they reflect where these fighters currently stand.
The biggest talking point here is likely the ascension of a new #1. Alistair Overeem, with only 14 pro kickboxing fights to his credit, rises to the top spot by becoming the 8th man to win the K-1 Grand Prix crown. Always a subject of controversy, many fans still view him as an outsider to kickboxing, and can't fathom The Reem as the #1 man. But with wins over Saki, Aerts, Hari, Teixeira and Spong, plus the GP victory, it's hard to place him elsewhere. Beyond that, there's also the question that if Overeem is not #1 - who is?
Also making a huge move up the ladder is Peter Aerts. Aerts looked like his time near the top was at an end just a few months ago, but with a history making win over Semmy Schilt, Aerts moves into the #2 spot. Glad to see the Dutch Lumberjack there one more time.
A few fighters are near the point of being removed from rankings due to inactivity - most notably #4 Remy Bonjasky. Bonjasky has not fought in over a year, and may have one last fight in him before retirement. If he doesn't announce another fight soon, it will be hard to keep him ranked. It's a similar case with the often unreliable #16 Ruslan Karaev, who likewise has not competed since the 2009 GP Finals. Finally, #15 Ashwin Balrak may be dropped out of the rankings, as his next few years could be spent behind bars after his 2010 cocaine bust.
Looking ahead, there are not a huge number of big heavyweight fights currently announced, which is always the case as the year ends. A few cards are worth noting though.
At Dynamite!! on Dec. 31, #7 Kyotaro will face Gegard Mousasi under K-1 rules. Also competing on that card are Overeem and #12 Jerome Le Banner, though both fights are under MMA rules.
January 30 marks the 2nd round in the Ultimate Glory world series event. This round of 4 includes #6 Gokhan Saki v. Wendell Roche, and #18 Brice Guidon v. #21 Mourad Bouzidi, with the winners meeting at the April 21 finals.
Finally, It's Showtime heavyweight champion #10 Hesdy Gerges has a busy time ahead of him. He faces #9 Daniel Ghita on March 6 in an absolute blockbuster of a fight, and Alexey Ignashov on July 3. That Gerges v. Ghita bout could be the biggest heavyweight fight of the next 6 months, though it could see some competition from the It's Showtime/K-1 Qualifying Grand Prix event on May 21 - no names yet announced for that show, but expect some big fights.Add a comment
Fight #5 in our fight of the year series is the first of two Final 16 fights, and a bit of an overlooked fight from the year...
Ewerton Teixeira v. Peter Aerts (K-1 Grand Prix Final 16, October 2)
Heading into this fight, both men were in serious need of a win. Teixeira had ended 2009 on a bad note: a notoriously boring fight with Singh Jaideep, followed by an all time highlight reel KO loss to Alistair Overeem. He had rebounded with a win at K-1 Oceania, but no one saw that show, so the lasting image most fans had was Ewerton face down, his hair pooled around him. Aerts too was a recent KO victim, his coming at the hands of Kyotaro. After missing his first ever GP in 2009, a 2nd missed GP could mean the end of an era for Aerts. Both men needed the win, and both men came in fighting that way.
This fight may not have the fireworks of the last few we've looked at, but it really is a fabulous technical display between two experts at their craft. This fight shows a bit of everything - clinch fighting, kicks, punches, defense, aggression... it's all here, and it's all executed flawlessly. For Aerts, this would be the beginning of what will go down as a legendary Grand Prix run, while Teixeira gained momentum even in his loss and has since defeated Errol Zimmerman.
There will be 10 fights total posted. Fights 5 & 6 on Monday, 7 & 8 on Tuesday, and 9 & 10 conclude on Wednesday. Fights are featured in chronological order moving through the year. Voting will be open Wednesday night to determine the winner.Add a comment
Both men have fought and held for numerous championships and have faced some of the best fighters on the planet in their careers. The fight between the two has been talked about since Strikeforce CEO, Scott Coker, announced a working deal with DREAM last summer. Nearly sixteen months later, MMA fans get to see the two top 10 lightweights go head to head. In that time, both men have had nearly polar opposite careers.
At DYNAMITE! last year, Kawajiri won a dominating decision over the tough, Kazunori Yokota. In the first half of 2010 he nursed several injuries and waited for an opportunity to fight Shinya Aoki for the DREAM lightweight title. He was unsuccessful in his July bid when Aoki forced Kawajiri to submit with an Achilles lock barely two minutes into the fight. Thomson also spent the beginning of the year recovering from past ailments. When he returned to the Strikeforce cage in June, Josh Thomson submitted Pat Healy in the third frame in a tougher than expected bout. The former Strikeforce lightweight champion continued his winning ways when he earned a very narrow (and controversial) decision over Gesias "JZ" Cavalcante. With that win, "The Punk" looked like he had positioned himself for a title shot and a rubber match with Gilbert Melendez. So that brings up the question, is the reward of a potential lightweight classic worth risking one of the biggest fights Strikeforce could make in 2011?
I'm sure most fans would say it is. The stylistic match-up between Thomson and Kawajiri almost guarantees fireworks and it's rare to get two top 10 opponents face one another outside the UFC. It's also one of the most compelling and competitive fights on DREAM's New Year's Eve card. However, Melendez vs. Thomson is a proven formula for a fight of the year candidate. Both of their first two fights had MMA fans praising both men's performance and yearning for the next installment. I would personally say that Tatsuya Kawajiri has a very good chance of throwing a wrench in Strikeforce's marquee lightweight championship affair. He has a very similar style to Gilbert Melendez (as evidence by the Melendez/Kawajiri fight in 2006) and Thomson hasn't exactly looked stellar in his past two outings. Kawajiri probably will have some ring rust, but I think he's got a very good chance of going into DYNAMITE! and winning a close decision.
Scott Coker and company don't gain much from a Josh Thomson win. He's already got two solid wins under his belt, and with the nature of his rivalry with Gilbert Melendez, another win really isn't necessary to set up that trilogy fight. If you had to make a list of the biggest fights Strikeforce could make, I'd be comfortable in predicting that Melendez/Thomson III probably cracks the top 5 to 10. There aren't many fights that can be so easily as that one. Melendez/Kawajiri II takes a lot more marketing firepower.Add a comment
Under a week until FEG presents Dynamite!! 2010 - the year end super show of the Japanese fight scene. To get ready, check out the VIDEO OF THE DAY all week as we feature highlights from years past.
Dynamite!! has always, for me, been a show all about the spectacle and joy of Japanese fighting. It's a chance to kick back, relax, and enjoy some fun fights. So while a fight like 2008's Kyshenko v. Sato may have been technically great, it doesn't really capture that same crazy Dynamite!! spirit the same way Bob Sapp fighting a comic book character does.
Today's feature: We end with a personal favorite of mine - KID YAMAMOTO v. GENKI SUDO
Sunday: BOB SAPP v. AKEBONO
Monday: SHINYA AOKI v. MIZUTO HIROTA
Tuesday: GENKI SUDO v. BUTTERBEAN
Wednesday: DON FRYE v. JEROME LE BANNER
Your picks for Dynamite!! highlights?Add a comment