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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

Daily News

We've been sitting on some information about Hesdy Gerges recently, where we've spoken to a few people close to the situation and the general thought is that Hesdy Gerges will be released from prison on Thursday and should be able to compete on March 6th against Daniel Ghita. Everyone close to the situation has felt a need to not talk about it as to not possibly interfere with the court proceedings.

Well, Simon Rutz spoke with FightstarTV today and the cat is out of the bag. Simon Rutz believes that Gerges will be released after his hearing on Thursday and maintains his innocence. Rutz speaks about lots of things, including the relationship with K-1 and possible replacements for Gerges. Watch. [source]

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The Bad Boy is Back!They say that the news never sleeps, and in that regard, neither do I, apparently. Keeping Dutch hours leads you to find pretty cool stuff in the wee hours of the morning, and it turns out that Badr Hari's return opponent has been announced by It's Showtime, officially, as has the rest of the Lyon card and it is lining up to be absolutely incredible.

The main event features the return of the Bad Boy, Badr Hari! Badr will be coming back after a year layoff due to some nagging legal issues, and his return opponent has been hotly debated for the past few weeks or so. The long-standing rumor was that the fight between Gokhan Saki and Badr Hari that was originally airmarked for the Amsterdam ArenA show would materialize in Lyon, but instead local kickboxer Tony Gregory has been called back into action to fight Badr Hari. This is a great return bout for Badr Hari, as it gives him a chance to hone his skills and gives him a bit of a cushion before heading back into the deep waters. Tony Gregory retired from kickboxing a few years ago to pursue a boxing career, but after disappointing results he finds himself back in the kickboxing mix, this time against one of the most dangerous fighters in the kickboxing world.

Tyrone Spong steps back into the It's Showtime ring, this time at Heavyweight as he'll take on Igor Mihaljevic, a Croatian Heavyweight. Igor provides a stiff challenge at Heavyweight for Spong, who is right now training with King Mo Lawal in Holland. Spong looks to cement his spot as one of the elite Heavyweights in the world by taking the fight to Igor here. Paul Slowinski's jam-packed year doesn't stop just yet, as he will take on the man that is more of a beast, the Romanian Daniel Ghita. Ghita looks to be heading into his fight with Hesdy Gerges in a few weeks, and a fight against Slowinski will provide another challenge, but will Slowinski just be a stepping stone for Ghita?

Then we move down from Heavyweight to Middleweight, as It's Showtime's 70kg MAX division fills out the rest of the card, with two-time K-1 MAX World Grand Prix Champion Giorgio Petrosyan takes on a fighter that last year put on one of the best fights imaginable against Mike Zambidis, Chahid Oulad El Hadj. This is a huge fight for Chahid, and for Petrosyan it is just another day at the office. With It's Showtime planning a 70kg MAX tournament in July and both men rumored to be involved, a win here is huge for momentum.

It's Showtime's 70kg MAX champion defends his crown finally, as Chris Ngimbi looks to ward off Willy Borrell. Ngimbi's title win has been disputed by some fans, so a strong performance by Ngimbi can help solidify his spot in It's Showtime this year and help build momentum for the MAX tournament in Russia this July. Rounding out the card is Abder Penda facing off against Marat Grigorian at 70kg, with both men looking to leave a big impression on the international kickboxing scene.

I'll say this, It's Showtime hasn't disappointed yet and keeps marching forward for what looks to be a banner year. I know many fans are upset with the lack of K-1, but It's Showtime is really churning out the big cards. [source]

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Amidst all of the talk of the possibility of Sakikabara, formerly of PRIDE, involved in one of the biggest yakuza scandals in Japanese MMA that led to the death of PRIDE and the Zuffa purchase, returning to promote MMA again, there is some news on FEG's future.

Daniel Herbertson spoke with FEG USA's Mike Kogan, and by the looks of things, FEG is planning on still hosting K-1, K-1 MAX and DREAM events in 2011, as long as things pan out. The voluntary shut down was supposed to last until March, and with March fast approaching, it looks like the new target date is May.

FEG USA's Mike Kogan this week confirmed to MMA Fighting that the leading Japanese promoter's internal restructuring will not be completed until at least May and no FEG events are expected until at least July. 

At the moment, FEG is planning to continue all three of its major events (K-1, K-1 MAX and DREAM), although that is obviously subject to change and it is clear that the events will be scaled down.

The financial state of FEG is still uncertain and Kogan was unable to confirm whether Chinese backer PUJI or any sponsors are still involved in FEG events. It seems as though Dynamite, K-1 MAX and DREAM broadcaster TBS has not signed on for 2011 yet, all signs are indicate that a new contract will be discussed after FEG's restructuring process is complete.

Dan's awesome Nippon Weekly has lots of information about Sakakiraba and what's new in Japanese MMA, so check that out. [source]

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Evolution 23If you don't watch anything from the Australian kickboxing/Muay Thai scene, you are sadly missing out on some great action.  There are a number of great promotions running in Australia, and the shows consistently deliver top end fights with a combination of veterans like Paul Slowinski and John Wayne Parr, along with hot prospects like Thor Hoopman and recent K-1 star Ben Edwards.  It's a very busy scene, with multiple upcoming shows; here are four shows definitely worth a look:

Feb. 26 - Knees of Fury 32: This show is all about the main event, which is a great battle of old guard vs. new.  On one side is Paul Slowinski, who for years has been the top Australian representative to the international Heavyweight kickboxing scene.  He faces the young Thor Hoopman, a John Wayne Parr trainee who is on the cusp of big things.  Hoopman defeated Slowinski via decision in late 2009, and will look to score the 2nd victory here.  Hoopman is still developing, and is not yet perfectly consistent, but I have high hopes for his future, and would love to see him get another good win here.  The rest of the card includes: Kym Johnson vs Wes Capper; Myles Simpson vs Flip Street; Martin Olczak vs Jye Demmrich; Charlie Chau vs Hiki Hanui; Tenille May vs Sarah O'Connell; Steve Behan vs Cameran Murcott; and Tom Boyle vs Jun Lee.

April 2 - Kings of Kombat 3: More from the busy Slowinski, as this time he takes on the legend Peter Graham.  This is a sort of battle of generations, as Graham was one of K-1's main Australian representatives through the early 2000's, winning a number of big fights, including a defeat of Badr Hari, until he saw that spot taken by Slowinski in the middle part of the decade.  These two have met twice before, splitting the battles 1-1.  While neither man is at his peak any more, this will still be a battle that Australian fans are excited about, and it should be close.  Both men have had recent successes, including an MMA victory over Aleksander Emelianenko for Graham.  The semi main event is also a big fight, as reigning K-1 Oceania champion Ben Edwards faces the former K-1 Vegas champ Carter Williams, who continues to try and make a comeback after a lengthy absence from the ring. Also signed is Jordan Tai vs. Steve Moxon and Atal Kakar vs. Supi Lanumata.

April 9 - Evolution 23: In this crowded scene, Evolution is leads the way.  They put on shows featuring full Muay Thai rules that spotlight both local fighters along with some names from Thailand.  Their 23rd show is coming up, and the main event is a good one, as longtime Aussie veteran Bruce "The Preacher" Macfie faces Frank Giorgi.  This is a rematch from Evolution 22 where Giorgi scored the somewhat surprising win over Macfie, who at the time was riding high off a win over John Wayne Parr.  The other fight I'm really looking forward to is Michael Thompson vs. Flip Street.  Thompson is one of my favorite younger talents in this scene, and this is a good fight for him.  Also on the card: Leonard Sitpholek vs. Danny Derdowski; Dane Daddy Cool vs. Serrachino; and Eli Madigan vs. Jason Scerri.

May 27 - Payback Time 3: Finally, the first fight in John Wayne Parr's 2011 retirement tour sees him main event here against his longtime rival Mike Zambidis.  Zambidis is coming off his resurgent 2010 that saw him win the fight of the year against Chahid in K-1 MAX, while Parr has announced that 2011 will be his last year as a fighter. These two men are 1-1 against each other, with their fights held up as some of the greatest in the history of the Australian scene.  With Parr's career coming to and end, Zambidis on the comeback trail, and both men looking to definitively win the series, this could be the Fight of the Year.

For more on these shows and the entire Australian scene, check out International Kickboxer magazine.

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(C) Ben PontierThere have been some clouds over the kickboxing world of late, as the first big kickboxing event of the year, Fighting Stars presents It's Showtime on March 6 had its main event threatened when headliner Hesdy Gerges was arrested for involvement in possible drug trafficking. His half brother was arrested last May in a warehouse in Belgium that contained 128 kilos of cocaine. Hesdy was already out of the picture in the investigation last year, but for some reason the investigation had stalled and he was put back in the picture last week. There was no cocaine or any weapons found in Gerges residence, unlike you'll see reported or rumored, and I've believed the entire time that Hesdy would not be held for much longer as the timeline doesn't add up for his involvement in this.

In May of last year, Hesdy Gerges was fighting for It's Showtime in their big ArenA event, fighting the highest profile fight of his career against Badr Hari. He made a huge impression, holding his own against the fighter known to be one of the best, if not best in the world. He was so on his game that it frustrated Badr Hari to the point of kicking him after tripping him and making international headlines. Hesdy Gerges became a household name due to that fight, and was invited back to K-1. His career finally taking off, on top of a tough training schedule doesn't leave much time or reason to throw it all away with a risky drug endeavor.

His trainer, Thom Harinck spoke with the Dutch Metro News today, and outright said, "Gerges has been framed." Fighter Stars and It's Showtime believe that Gerges is innocent as well and have not gone ahead with an official replacement yet. Harinck discussed why he believes Gerges is innocent, outlining his schedule. "He wakes up at 7:30, at 10:00am he trains with me, rests in the afternoon, then in the evening does strength and conditioning and is in bed by 10:00 PM. I cannot imagine that he still would have time for things like this."

Fighting Stars representatives believe that Gerges will still be able to make the event, and Harinck believes that Hesdy should be released by the end of the week, putting this whole nightmare behind us. [source]

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Souwer Power (C) SusumuWhen worlds collide sometimes, it can make your head explode. Today, that occurred as Andy Souwer on his official Twitter made mention that Jose Aldo had just arrived in Holland to train with Team Souwer for three weeks in preparation for his April 30th UFC Featherweight Title defense against Mark Hominick. To understand the gravity of this, Jose Aldo, the beast of a striker from WEC's Featherweight division, now the UFC's Featherweight division, will be training in Holland with Andy Souwer and countless other names to prepare for his upcoming UFC Title Fight at UFC 129, the biggest show UFC has ever attempted.

There is a lot of awesome involved in that.

Jose Aldo's WEC career consisted of seven forms of KO or TKO and only one decision against the tough-as-nails Urijah Faber, where Aldo turned Faber's knee into hamburger meat but couldn't finish the California Kid. Aldo is a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu blackbelt, not that anyone gets to see his ground work in his MMA fights, who is well known for his Muay Thai, training with the Black House fighters in Brazil. Sharpening his skills with some of the best Dutch kickboxers is truly a great idea and can only help him to refine that raw striking talent he has.

The other news bit is that Andy Souwer made mention to possibly switching over to MMA. I'm not joking.

souwerpower82: k1 is game over so no changes for Jose, i hope i'll get the change in his discipline (UFC)!!!

The english isn't fantastic and you could read it a few different ways if you wish to, but it does indeed read like Andy Souwer has his eyes set on fighting in Mixed Martial Arts if his K-1 career is indeed over like he believes it to be. For now we know that Andy Souwer has a fight on March 6th with It's Showtime and is slated to participate in It's Showtime's Russian event, featuring an 8-man 70kgs MAX tournament, so I don't see Souwer going anywhere for the time being.

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Do you know how long I've been waiting to say, "The Bad Boy is Back?" It has almost been a year now, and finally we have good news about Badr Hari. There have been persisting rumors over the past few months that Badr Hari might have fractured from his training group at Mike's Gym, but the photos we posted the other day, along with this video we are posting (oh yeah) is enough proof that all is well in Mike's Gym and that Badr Hari is back in training.

The rumor, which was confirmed by Simon Rutz himself, is that Badr Hari will make his official return to action on May 14th in Lyon, France. The opponent is yet to be officially locked in as the sponsor was yet to be officially locked in. Well, that is, until today, as legendary Muay Thai fighter Kader Marouf will be presenting It's Showtime Lyon, featuring Badr Hari. This is huge, great news for It's Showtime and the kickboxing world.

Well, here is video footage of Badr Hari from his training session last week, as well as an interview, in Dutch. So, if you speak Dutch, please feel free to provide us with a gist of what is going on in the comments!

UPDATE: From Yari on the Team Takeover forums:

- He didnt want to give a scoop on his next opponent, and still claims he fights in May. I guess he wont replace Hesdy Gerges.
- He said he wants to stop surrounding himself with negative news, and be known as a athlete again.
- Didnt want to promise/guarantee he will never go beyond the ref's call again (ala Remy/Gerges).

UPDATE 2: Now with full translation courtesy of an anonymous friend through Bloodstain Lane.

 

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On March 6th, It's Showtime presents an interesting card, which will be headlined against Daniel Ghita in a Superheavyweight contest. We know that much, but one of the other big fights of the evening is L'houcine "Aussie" Ouzgni will be taking on LiverKick's good friend Andy Souwer. Souwer has hit a rough patch of late, with his loss to MMA fighter Toby Imada preventing him from having another war with Buakaw Por. Pramuk in the Shootboxing S-Cup tournament, and then in a warm-up fight to prepare for Aussie, he dropped a disputed decision to Abraham Roqueni in France earlier this month. Souwer has been plagued by a back injury of late which has prevented him from training up to his full potential, but all seems to be in order now.

Aussie is a star on the rise, and he is in the way of Andy Souwer, who wants to take his place at the top of the mountain once again. Thankfully for everyone, our friends at AFAV have decided to document both fighters' paths to the fight for the two weeks leading up to the fight. The first episode is catching up with Andy Souwer while he trains. [source]

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Last week's results: After his loss at Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Silva, what now for Ray Sefo?

55% - Focus on being a trainer, not a fighter

26% - Stop MMA and focus on kickboxing for one final run

11% - Keep doing what he's doing

8% - Stop kickboxing and focus full time on MMA

This week - a pretty straight forward question:

Who is K-1's Greatest of All Time?

Vote now!

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(C) MMAWEEKLYJapan's kickboxing world marches on while everyone speculates about K-1's future. That is, in part, why it is so important to keep a positive attitude as a kickboxing fan, because no matter what, there will always be good fights surfacing. KRUSH will continue on this year, much like Shootboxing, and push forward with their March 19th event.

The big news is that MMA fighter Akihiro Gono will be making his return to the kickboxing ring, fighting at 70kgs against K-1 MAX fighter Yuya Yamamoto. Yamamoto's K-1 run was less-than-impressive and he has been working his way back up the ladder of late, while Gono has had some mixed success over the past few years, from UFC to DREAM to SRC. Gono will provide some stiff competition for Yuya, but it should be a war regardless.

NOB has a breakdown of the rest of the card. [source]

Krush First 55kg Champion Tournament Finals
Ryuya Kusakabe vs. Hiroaki Mizuhara
KENJI vs. Shota Takiya

Krush First 60kg Champion Tournament Finals
Hirotaka Urabe vs. Dynamite Yuta
Masaaki Noiri vs. “Crazy Fist” Yuji Takeuchi

Krush First 63kg Champion Tournament Finals
Koya Urabe vs. Takuya Shirahama
Ryuji Kajiwara vs. Kizaemon Saiga

Superfights
70kg: Yuya Yamamoto vs. Akihiro Gono
63kg: Yuki Yamamoto vs. Shunsuke Oishi
55kg: TAKUMI vs. Kazuki Tanaka

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Van der LaanWhen navigating Dutch websites to see if there was any update on the Hesdy Gerges situation I saw something that I really didn't want to see as a kickboxing fan. I saw an interview with Mayor Van der Laan of Amsterdam, pulling the whole "you see, I was right" act in regards to It's Showtime's Hesdy Gerges being arrested for possible cocaine trafficking.

Mayor Van der Laan had been talking the past year or so about cracking down on martial arts events in the city due to the unwanted criminal elements that would show up there. He was upset that while he and his administration are trying to clean up the city, these events would have prominent members of organized crime treated as VIPs and paraded around in front of people. Seeing as though Amsterdam is the center of the kickboxing scene in Holland, this is bothersome to many.

For It's Showtime it means not being able to run in their home city, in the Amsterdam ArenA as they have almost yearly now, drawing around 20,000 fans per event, if not more. Well, Van der Laan spoke on his Thursday AT5 show, "Conversation with the Mayor" about the Gerges situation. When prompted on the issue, "You see!"

This validated the point Van der Laan had been making about criminal activity in kickboxing events. "It was not a nice thought to have, but I thought to myself, I have him now."

It wasn't like Van der Laan needed a lot of proof, as last year Badr Hari went to prison for assaulting a doorman, and Ashwin Balrak was arrested for possessing and possibly trafficking 80kilos of cocaine. So this year, Hesdy Gerges, a fighter being pushed as one of the new stars being suspected of being involved in an international drug trafficking incident is another nail in the coffin.

To understand why It's Showtime is in a hard situation, think about this. There is an Act in the Netherlands, known as BIBOB. BIBOB is intended to keep criminals out of Government contracts and keeping things "clean." It is up to local municipality's in the end to approve or disapprove a company under the BIBOB Act. In this case, Van der Laan has made it clear that he will not approve of anyone involved with organized crime. What the process for BIBOB is, in a nutshell, is to get licensed in your municipality to serve the public, you need to fill out paperwork and submit the form to the government, they then vet your company for possible criminal ties and decide if you can do business or not.

You are guilty until proven innocent in most cases. You have the legal right to defend yourself and your company, but in the case of It's Showtime, that is three fighters, two of which are under direct management of the company, involved in serious, very public crimes. That helps explain what Simon Rutz was talking about recently in spending money to clear the company's name. [source]

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