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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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Andrei Arlovski has always been one of the greats in the world of MMA for a reason, and it didn't really have a lot to do with his fighting ability as much as it did his personality. Andrei Arlovski in the UFC was a breath of fresh air in a world of fighters with shaved or buzzed heads, covered head to toe in tattoos. He came into UFC with wild, crazy hair, a beard, chest hair and a mouthpiece with fangs on it. The fact that his fist could cripple anyone that stands in its path was just the icing on the cake.

Over the years we've been treated to the indignity of seeing him getting repeatedly hit in the jaw and taking a nap or simply being far too timid in the ring. Where was the wild man? Where was the Pitbull? The Strikeforce Heavyweight GP is a chance for Arlovski to prove to the world that he is still for real. He takes on stiff competition from Golden Glory's Sergei Kharitonov and is currently training with Greg Jackson's camp in my adopted home of Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Sadly for me, I have yet to see Arlovski walking the streets of the Duke City like I have with other fighters. I've seen GSP bumping and grinding with some chunky chicks, Rashad Evans in a pretty sharp suit, Melvin Guillard jogging, Greg Jackson almost side-swiped me on the way to work one morning, rolled his window down and yelled "sorry, bro" while I flipped him off, and I did my laundry next to Keith Jardine in the area of town we lovingly call the "student ghetto."

Go figure, one of the coolest figures in MMA history is around and I have yet to bump into him walking the dog. Jackson's MMA released a video on YouTube earlier today that shows why everybody loves Andrei, he is a legitimately fun guy to be around, and apparently a part of his training is running full speed at a bag, doing a push kick and shouting "This is Sparta!" while Jon Jones giggles.

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There are some topics that are just so strange that you have to say them out loud to believe that they truly exist. The mysterious kickboxing fight between Olympic boxer Somluck Kamsing and action movie star Jean-Claude Van Damme is one of them. We've been covering this fight for a while now, almost two years by the time the fight is actually scheduled to take place, which is amazing in and of itself.

JCVD himself has set up a Facebook "event" page for the fight, currently scheduled for April 1, 2011 in Las Vegas. As of this story being published, no one that I've spoken with in Las Vegas knows of this fight and the page itself says that the date and place are subject to change. There have been multiple places named as well as multiple dates floating around for this fight, everything was set to line up with three projects JCVD is currently working on, from a film project, to a reality series, to a documentary on training for a fight. He will also do his first major VO work in the second Kung Fu Panda film and there is talk of him working on a "Muppets" project as well.

His team recently released a video where JCVD publicly speaks about his decision to fight at this point in his career, how he is a normal guy and is doing this because he believes it is the right thing for him to do. Then some of his fans from around the world tell you that JCVD will win or do crazy, JCVD-esque kicks to show you why he'll win (the Hindi dude at 2:33 yells with such conviction).

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Phil CollenThere is always a sort of stigma that follows around fight fans, that they can be critical but refuse to learn about the sports they love to criticize. That is often-times untrue, as there are tons of fans who end up jumping into the deep end and training with some of the best trainers available in their area due to their love of fighting. For those of you that might have an inkling of participating, but for some reason don't, here is a bit of a motivational tool for you.

Phil Collen (no, not Phil Collins), the guitar player from 80's hair metal band Def Leppard from about 1982 on in a recent interview with the LA Times talked about his love for martial arts. Collen is a black belt in Kempo Karate and has for years now practiced Muay Thai to keep himself in shape. To understand how weird this is, the dude is 53 years old and maintains a rather rigorous training schedule as well as a touring schedule with the band. He talks a lot about his fitness now, more than he does about his guitar playing (well, I can't blame people there) or the band (ditto).

About 12 weeks before a tour I'll start training, and the last eight weeks I'll work out two to three times a day doing weights, jumping rope, hopping on the spin bike. The rest of the time I work out three to four times a week and try to eat OK. Jean (Carrillo) does come with me on tour, and we work out -- there are so many different ways to do it, and switching it out makes it fun.
We've been in places where there's just a bar or a beam to hang from, but you can do push-ups or pull-ups or do bits on a chair. You can have the most fantastic workout if you use your imagination.

Collen talks about how after sobering up he was looking for ways to get himself into shape, he used to jog until he realized how much he hated it, then started kickboxing and has for the past 23 years loved the sport. While I don't see him stepping into the ring with Badr Hari or Ubereem any time soon, he shows that literally anyone can kickbox. [source]

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Just a few days ago Golden Glory announced that the United Glory Tournament's second round show, which was set to take place on January 30th was postponed, mainly due to Gokhan Saki's hand injury. Saki was one of the top-billed fighters on the card and had to bow out due to the injuries he sustained during the K-1 World Grand Prix. The second round of the tournament was set for the 30th in Charleroi, Belgium, but has now seemingly been pushed back to March 19th.

This hopefully gives time for Saki as well as John Alessio, who was also injured heading into the January 30th event, time to fully recover and appear on the March 19th show.

The MMA Welterweight tournament brackets are as follows:

John Alessio vs. Siyar Bahudurzada
Tommy Depret vs. Roan Carneiro

The Kickboxing Heavyweight tournament is as follows:

Gokhan Saki vs. Wendel Roche
Brice Guidon vs. Mourad Bouzidi

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There has been a lot written about Nick Diaz over the past few years, and his hilarious performance at the recent Strikeforce conference call has helped lead him into the limelight once again. This weekend he defends his Welterweight Championship against Brazilian striker Evangelista "Cyborg" Santos. Cyborg has fought just about everywhere, from Brazil to the US and Japan and fights with that crazy, brawling Chute Boxe style that we all know, love and miss in modern MMA. Robbie Lawler is also coming off the destruction of Manhoef last year to take on Jacare. Even if you are just a stand up fan, you are bound to see some awesomeness this weekend.

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Shigeki OsawaShootboxing has made a handful of fight announcements in the past few days as their 2011 act.1 show on February 19 begins to take shape. Already announced was a main event rematch between Shootboxing’s top Japanese star HIROKI SHISHIDO and BOVY SOR. UDOMSON that promises to be a fun fight. Over the past week, 3 new fights have been added to the show:

SHIGEKI OSAWA vs. HIROAKI SUZUKI

Osawa (pictured, in white) is an interesting addition to Shootboxing’s roster. An MMA fighter with a strong wrestling background, Osawa’s professional career has largely been in SRC, where he’s had a number of wins under MMA rules. He’s also an accomplished wrestler and is looking to represent Japan at the 2012 Olympics in London. He’s a potentially great signing for Shootboxing, as Japanese fans love a national sports star, and could really take some interest in Osawa. Normally an MMA fighter with a wrestling background doesn’t have much of a chance in a stand-up organization, but this is Shootboxing, and Osawa’s wrestling skills could help him earn a Toby Imada style victory via takedowns. Shootboxing is pushing the idea that there is a “new style” in the organization with an emphasis on throws and takedowns, and there’s no doubt Osawa is there to help encourage that style. He’s got a very tough debut opponent though, as Hiroaki Suzuki is one of the best young stars in Shootboxing and is the marquee fighter of their 65kg division. He’s coming in off an S-Cup win over Mitsuhiro Ishida – another debuting MMA fighter with a wrestling background. Suzuki shut him down and knocked him out, and will look to do the same here.

Osawa had this to say about the fight and his lofty goals, courtesy of Nightmare of Battle:

“I thought striking was the core of SB but at the S-cup, applying takedowns cleverly while also exchanging strikes, MMA fighter Imada left a deep impression on me. But if it’s me I’m confident that I can do even more awesome takedowns and fire up the arena, and since I’m doing this I want to aim for the Shoot Boxing belt as well. My goal is to have reached the top of both SB and MMA when I win the gold medal in London.”

KUNIYOSHI HIRONAKA vs. TBA

Hironaka is another MMA fighter, although he has competed in Shootboxing before, KO-ing Shinichiro Kuroki at Ishin 1 last February. Hironaka is the Cage Force Lightweight champion, and has fought in both Dream and the UFC. He holds a 2002 win over Strikeforce champion Nick Diaz. No word yet on his opponent.

AI TAKAHASHI vs. ZAZA SOR AREE

Shootboxing’s #2 in the women’s division, Ai Takahashi returns to action here. Last year, Takahashi made it to the finals at the Girls’ S-Cup where she was finally defeated by RENA after two extension rounds in an excellent fight. She’s one of the women out there who can give RENA a real challenge, and it seems likely those two will clash again this year. Zaza Sor Aree is a Muay Thai fighter, who also competed at last year’s S-Cup where she was choked out by American Kate Martinez in the quarter-finals. I’ll be interested to see her back, but I don’t see her defeating Takahashi here.

Those four fights likely make up the top portion of the card, and make a great night of fights so far.

One final Shootboxing note – this weekend is the first event in the 2011 Young Ceaser’s Cup. Hopefully we will have results from that show up on Monday.

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