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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

Our good friends at HDnet have been working hard to make their website all sorts of new, and a part of that is their blog section, which has brought us some great Michael Schiavello content. Schiavello has been one of those love him or hate him characters in the MMA community. Many of us love the absolute passion he brings to every fight that he calls, loves the way he puts himself right there into the action and makes the fights come to life. Other people enjoy more subdued commentary and want the fights to speak for themselves, to each their own I guess.

Schiavello is known for his now legendary cry of "Good night Irene!" whenever a fight has the pace pushed so hard that you have to reach a spectacular conclusion. Well, for those of us that have wondered the exact origins of the cry, he fills us in. For those who missed the part of their childhoods that involved professional wrestling, it involves Adrian Adonis and Gorilla Monsoon.

For a big man Adonis had an amazing repertoire of techniques including a sleeper hold finish called “Good Night Irene.” Nothing gave me more pleasure during my days of wrestling fanaticism than seeing Adonis put an opponent in a sleeper and hearing Gorilla Monsoon announce “he slaps on Good Night Irene.”

To this day Iʼm not really sure what caused those words to come out of my mouth while commentating the APS Track and Field Championships as a 16 year old. I would later use the phrase when commentating Victorian Premier League soccer on radio, and eventually made it my fight sports catch-cry when I began commentating Muay Thai and kickboxing as a 21 year old on Fox Sports.

To find out how a track and field meet plays into a sleeper hold, read the rest of the entry and support every fight fans' best friend, HDnet.

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Mirko CroCopLast week we talked about the much discussed Strikeforce Heavyweight tournament and why fans of K-1 and kickboxing should have some interest in these events, even if they don't care at all about Fedor Emelianenko.  Well, Strikeforce is not the only MMA game in the US to feature notable K-1 veterans, as the UFC has a handful of fights on tap worth a look.  At the moment, the UFC has 3 former K-1 heavyweights on contract (a 4th, Antoni Hardonk, quietly retired last summer with little notice), and all 3 have fights scheduled in the coming weeks.  Let's take a look at what's next for our former kickboxing names, and take a quick look at their chances:

MIRKO CROCOP vs. Brendan Schaub, UFC 128: Shogun vs. Evans, March 19 - Without a doubt, Mirko CroCop Filipovic remains the gold standard by which to judge any K-1 fighter looking to make the transition to MMA.  After leaving K-1 behind in 2003, CroCop was dominant in MMA, terrorizing Pride with his brutal head kicks.  But in recent years, that dominance has looked more and more like a thing of the distant past.  He's had a lackluster 4-4 run in the UFC, and is coming in off a dull loss to Frank Mir where the former K-1 GP finalist was KO'd by jiu jitsu fighter Mir.  There were flashes of the old CroCop in his fight with Pat Barry, but those flashes are increasingly rare.  Schaub is a young fighter and relatively new to the UFC, but is currently on a 3 fight win streak.  His last win was a career best victory for him, as he defeated Gabriel Gonzaga - the man who famously CroCop'd CroCop in what was the beginning of the end for the Croatian's career.  No doubt at all I'll be rooting for CroCop here, but Schaub is young, hungry, and a deceptively tough challenge.

MARK HUNT vs. Chris Tuchscherer, UFC 127: Penn vs. Fitch, February 27 - Like CroCop, Mark Hunt traded in K-1 success for a strong run in Pride.  And like CroCop, he's recently fallen on hard times in the ring.  The 2001 K-1 Grand Prix champion is on a dreadful 7 fight combined losing streak in MMA and K-1, and has not won a fight since retiring Tsuyoshi Kohsaka back in May 2006.  Recent fights have seen the once unstoppable Hunt KO'd by Melvin Manhoef and repeatedly submitted, seemingly with ease.  This show takes place in Australia, and maybe this will be a good opportunity for Hunt to take part in his final fight, as he just doesn't seem to have the drive any more.  His opponent, Chris Tuchscherer is a training partner to Brock Lesnar, and has yet to show much of note in the UFC, but I still find it hard to pick Hunt over him.  Despite Hunt's recent troubles, I'm still glad to see him in the UFC, and it's particularly satisfying that with this fight and Overeem vs. Werdum in Strikeforce, MMA fans will see two of the K-1 Grand Prix champions in action next month.

PAT BARRY vs. Joey Beltran, UFC: Fight for the Troops 2, January 22 - The least K-1 experienced fighter of the bunch, Barry is also the youngest and the one with the most potential for a future MMA career.  While CroCop and Hunt are winding down their decorated careers, the 31 year old Barry seems to be just getting started.  Barry competed in a handful of K-1 events from 2005-2007, with his biggest wins coming against Gary Goodridge and Rickard Nordstrand.  A former Ernesto Hoost trainee, Barry has now been in the UFC for just over two years.  His last fight was a good match with CroCop, where the young kickboxer seemed a bit star-struck and allowed himself to be awed by Mirko's legend before being choked out.  Previous to that fight, he showed good skills against Antoni Hardonk, proving that he is a worthy prospect.  He faces the unfortunately nicknamed "Mexicutioner" Joey Beltran, best known for wrecking the much anticipated UFC debut of Rolles Gracie at UFC 109.  Beltran is a lot like Barry - another tough young fighter looking to move up, making this a good, even match.  In the end I think it will be Barry's stand-up skills that earn him the win, although his 7 month layoff could make him rusty.

Add in Alistair Overeem, Ray Sefo, and Sergei Kharitonov in Strikeforce and that's 6 current or former K-1 fighters competing in major American MMA promotions in the upcoming months.  Definitely should be some exciting fights to watch.

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Another year and what we can expect is another year of K-1 Grand Prix tournaments. Nothing is set in stone yet, as FEG is currently amidst a restructuring and planning period for a better part of the month, but if they decide to run the standard Grad Prix tournaments this year, there could be a lot of interest going into each one.

The Heavyweights

This one will hold the most interest for Western fans, and rightfully so. In 2010 we saw the "sure bet" of a Semmy Schilt victory derailed at the skilled hands of Peter Aerts in what might very well be his last K-1 World Grand Prix tournament. To say that Aerts went out on his shield is an understatement, Peter Aerts is Mr. K-1 and will always be remembered for his World Grand Prix runs, and his last run to the finals will be remembered fondly.

The big story going into the 2011 World Grand Prix will be the return of Badr Hari. We've received confirmation from Mike's Gym that Badr Hari is indeed back in training and will be ready to compete this year, and after making the finals two years in a row an taking 2010 off, Hari will be poised to take the Grand Prix by storm, and it very well could be his year, finally.

We'll also see Semmy Schilt return with a vengeance, with no Peter Aerts to foil him, his only big obstacles would be Badr Hari or the returning champion, Alistair Overeem. With all of the media hype Overeem has been receiving, look for him to return to K-1 and defend his title, unless this Strikeforce Heavyweight GP gets in the way.

There will be other names involved as well, with Peter Aerts possibly not involved there would be an open slot for a new fighter to make the Final 8, but expect strong showings from Tyrone Spong, Gokhan Saki, Kyotaro and Daniel Ghita. All four of these fighters could very easily find themselves the king of the K-1 mountain in short order. Also expect Ewerton Teixeira, Errol Zimmerman, Jaideep Singh, Hesdy Gerges and Jerome Le Banner to make their way into the Final 16. If JLB can keep his temper in check, I fully expect him to make the Final 8 and give the World Grand Prix a run to remember.

There could be a number of other entrants into the Heavyweight field, with Ben Edwards, Ray Sefo, Raul Catinas and Mighty Mo all be solid additions.

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Buakaw Nuit des Titans2010 Shootboxing S-Cup champion Buakaw Por. Pramuk has just been announced for an upcoming fight.  On February 12, the 2 time former K-1 MAX champion will main event the "Nuit des Titans" card held in France.  His opponent will be Youssef Adgham-Boughanem, a French-Moroccan Muay Thai fighter.  The fight will be under full Muay Thai rules.

Boughanem has good experience, and is coming off a strong 2010 where he made the finals of the Isuzu Thai Fight tournament, ultimately losing to Fabio Pinca.  He's definitely not a can, but he is a huge underdog again Buakaw.  There's no shame in that as Buakaw is the clear #2 70kg fighter in the world at this point, and is currently riding a nice 6 fight win streak that includes his S-Cup championship run.

Since parting ways with K-1 at the end of 2009, Buakaw has been fighting in various organizations throughout the world.  This announcement also comes on the heels of Shootboxing revealing that Buakaw would be featured in their 2011 season.  Although it's unfortunate to have him out of K-1, it's nice seeing him compete in these different settings, and particularly great to see him back in Muay Thai competition as we see here.  It feels like he has transitioned into a new phase of his career where he faces various regional talents looking to take a shot at the legend.  These may not be the most competitive match-ups, but it is fun to see Buakaw do his thing.

Come Feb. 12, Buakaw's 2011 begins.  I don't expect Boughanem to provide much of a challenge just yet, so we will see just who can indeed challenge the champ in the new year.

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We're still coming off of the big rush of the year-end kickboxing shows when Shootboxing gives us something to look forward to over the next year. There will be 5 shows spread out over the rest of the year, the first in February and the last in November. Expect the big names to return, with Buakaw Por. Pramuk looking to defend his Shootboxing S-Cup Championship honor, as will newcomer Toby Imada who made a giant impression making it further than anyone expected a MMA fighter who specializes in submissions and judo would make it in a stand up tournament. Also returning with be Andy Souwer, Takaai Umeno and Hiroki Shishido.

The schedule unfolds as such:

SHOOT BOXING2001 acts. 1 - 5, Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan

  1. February 19
  2. April 23
  3. June 5
  4. September 10
  5. November 11

After all of the surprises that unfolded in 2010, expect 2011 to be another dynamite year for that strange kickboxing promotion with standing submissions and throws. Shootboxing has really gone out of its way to provide dynamic, exciting events for fans of K-1 MAX. [source]

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Tyrone Spong Saves Lives at the It's Showtime 2010 Amsterdam Press Conference

This was back in 2010, so a bunch of you may have seen it already, but Tyrone Spong keeps humorous and awkward from becoming a genuine fracas. I smiled. The eventual Saki/ Manhoef match was pretty good, too!

Tensions between them might still be high, if you remember Saki's half-serious Tweet about wanting to submit Manhoef in MMA.

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This is a follow-up to the article from the other day about Badr Hari and commentators on crimesite.nl reporting news about the Amsterdam assault from last February at the night club BlinQ (thanks to reader Ramon for translation help). Wim van den Pol of the website considers himself a journalist and the readers who comment on his articles as "sources." Like any media source, he claims, he refuses to disclose their personal information. Amsterdam officials believe otherwise, that van den Pol is a "telecommunications provider" and must abide by those laws -- which means to hand over IP addresses of those posting comments on his site so that they can be questioned and used as witnesses in the case.

How serious are officials? Van den Pol might be arrested if the IP addresses of the users are not forwarded to Amsterdam officials. That is pretty serious and shows just how much attention this case is garnering at this point in time. Officials are doing more research into the matter currently, with the investigation "frozen" until they can conclude if van den Pol is truly, legally considered a "journalist" or as an operator of a website, simply a telecommunications network provider.

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Satoshi Ishii may be a bust but his MMA rules fight against K-1 legend Jerome Le Banner was the highest rated fight during the Dynamite!! show with a 14.1% share. Coming in second is K-1 MAX fighter Nagashima's brutal KO of DREAM lightweight champion Shinya Aoki.

Dave covered the Dynamite!! ratings situation and they weren't good. Obviously down from the year prior.

Ishii, an Olympic gold medal winning judoka in the 2008 games, entered the Japanese MMA scene with much hype. He was the one that would supposedly resurrect MMA in Japan. Satoshi had the credentials and potential but so far, it hasn't happened. Between his odd behavior and failure to endear himself in Japan, the fans haven't taken to Ishii. The future doesn't look bright either as he was booed after his victory over JLB by the normally reserved Japanese crowd. It will be interesting to see if Ishii can resurrect his own image before he can help Japanese MMA improve their own. (Source)

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Here's a show announcement that kind of snuck up out of nowhere - this weekend in Madrid, Spain will be a regional K-1 MAX show.  The show is being put on by K-1 MAX Madrid, and will feature a traditional 8 man tournament.  These kind of regional events are not out of the ordinary for K-1, who brand many smaller, local shows as K-1 shows.  While these shows are affiliated with K-1, they are typically not a part of the official K-1 season - meaning don't expect mention of this event on the K-1 website, or for the tournament winner to automatically enter the GP Final 16.

The biggest name in the tournament is definitely Warren Stevelmans.  A K-1 MAX veteran who won the MAX 2008 Netherlands tournament, Stevelmans has been in there with the division's very best, including Andy Souwer, Giorgio Petrosyan, and Albert Kraus among many others.  He fights often, and almost always against tough competition, so his record only stands at 4-5 in the last 2 years, but those loses all come against tough opposition.  I would consider him the favorite in this field.

Stevelmans's toughest challenger here is likely Rachid Belaini, who comes in off a huge win over the top 25 ranked Khem Sitsonpeenong at It's Showtime in September.  If Belaini can keep that momentum going, he can definitely win this event and use that victory as the start of a big 2011.

Also in the tournament are WBC champion Alex Asumu; Hassan Ait Bassou, a good fighter making the move up to 70kg from his normal 63kg weight; Jonay Risco; Manzy Pauwels, a Muay Thai fighter who won a similar regional tournament in 2009; Rafa Del Toro; and Rafi Zohueir, a Muay Thai fighter who was slated to represent Spain on the ill-fated The Contender Asia Season 2.

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The Dutch kickboxing organization, IT'S SHOWTIME, has officialy stripped Tyrone Spong of his 95KG MAX title. In a press release, they listed his failure to defend the title in the two years allowed by the promotion as the main reason. Also, Spong's management has made it known that Tyrone will not be fighting at the 95KG weight in the future.

To me, this shows that Tyrone has set his sights firmly on K-1 and the heavyweight division. With Spong going 2-2 in his last four K-1 fights, some may question this choice. I believe that training with Ernesto Hoost and the considerable experience he has for his age, will lead him to success in 2011.

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Alistair OvereemI was debating discussing this story at all. I mean, yes it does involve K-1 Grand Prix champion Alistair Overeem, but there are so many places where the Strikeforce Heavyweight Tournament is getting coverage that it seemed maybe unnecessary. Then this morning, Strikeforce added an extra fight to the tournament that really piqued my interest.

In an upcoming fight, Valentijn Overeem will face one of K-1’s favorite sons, Sugar Ray Sefo. The fight is not 100% confirmed yet, and it is unclear if it will be on the Feb. 12 card or a future date, or a prelim or main card fight.

Now, here’s the interesting thing from our end about this tournament. You have 8 names in the main draw, plus 4 more Heavyweights currently set to compete in fights on these shows. Of those 12, 3 are current, active K-1 fighters (Overeem, Sefo, Sergei Kharitonov) and one more (Andrei Arlovski) was very nearly in the 2010 Grand Prix. This tournament is a major event – the most prominent US tournament in MMA since Don Frye won the UFC Ultimate Ultimate way back in 1996. For the tournament to feature a significant K-1 presence is definitely a point worth discussing.

Much has been made of the Strikeforce/Dream partnership that has resulted in fights like Shinya Aoki v. Gilbert Melendez and Tatsuya Kawajiri v. Josh Thomson. But one aspect that has been largely overlooked previously is that Dream and K-1 are both part of FEG, so as Strikeforce works with Dream, they open the door to working with K-1. We are seeing that door crack open here in the tournament. Now, obviously the fighters we are seeing her are not K-1 exclusive fighters, and all have experience in MMA; most fans still view Overeem and Kharitonov as primarily MMA fighters trying their hand at K-1, while Sefo has been working on his fledgling MMA career for the past 2 years. But they are all fighters whose recent careers have been more marked by K-1 action than MMA, and who hold interest for K-1 fans.

Last year, there were vague rumblings of Strikeforce considering running some kickboxing fights in the US – remember that Strikeforce started in the kickboxing heavy California scene – but these plans never came to fruition. Since then, we have heard rumors of It’s Showtime making their US debut in 2011, though again, nothing is confirmed. With this tournament including some big players in the kickboxing scene (and right now, no one is bigger than Alistair Overeem), there definitely is potential to generate some stateside interest in kickboxing.

Will this tournament lead to Overeem v. Badr Hari here in America? No, but depending on how they promote Overeem, Kharitonov, and Sefo, it could lead to a significant number of MMA fans hearing an awful lot about K-1 and kickboxing throughout the course of the tournament. Much will be told by how the videos and commentary position these three fighters. If they focus on MMA, there will be little benefit for kickboxing. But if they talk up Overeem as the GP champ, Sefo as a K-1 legend, and Kharitonov as pursuing a kickboxing career, it will give kickboxing valuable exposure to the large US MMA audience. And as K-1 struggles at home, increased international exposure can only be a good thing.

Alistair Overeem faces Fabricio Werdum in the quarter-final round at a date yet to be determined. The winner moves on to the semi-finals to face either Fedor Emelianenko or Antonio Silva, who meet on February 12.

Sergei Kharitonov v. Andrei Arlovski is also set for February 12 with the winner meeting Josh Barnett or Brett Rogers in the other semi-final.

Ray Sefo v. Valentijn Overeem may be on Feb. 12, or may be at a later date. The other announced fight is a reserve fight on the Feb. 12 card between Shane Del Roasrio and Lavar Johnson.

No dates are yet set for the 2nd half of the quarter-finals, semi-finals, or finals.

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