For the longest time there have been questions about LiverKick’s rankings. Namely, that in the featherweight division GLORY is completely not a part of the equation anymore. That, in part, is because it’s a vastly more competitive division than most of the other divisions in kickboxing, talent-dense and, at the moment, Japan-centric. The other reason is interesting, in that GLORY at one point employed a few of the higher-level talents in their division, but then inexplicably cut them loose.
By proxy of how rankings work, eventually the GLORY champion continued to drop while the division flourished outside of GLORY, with new talent unseating established talent seemingly every few major events. But at Nuit des Champions this past weekend Abdallah Ezbiri was able to perhaps establish some equilibrium into the game when he defeated Masaaki Noiri. Noiri, currently ranked #1 in the LiverKick Rankings, fell via decision to Ezbiri, who was set to challenge Robin van Roosmalen for the GLORY Featherweight Championship in just a matter of weeks before van Roosmalen was injured. While Ezbiri was somehow inexplicably excluded from the upcoming interim title fight, chances are that in the near future he’ll get that shot at van Roosmalen or whomever is holding the belt. That means that whomever wins that inevitable fight with Ezbiri — including him — is the #1 ranked featherweight in the world.
There were other fights on the card, most of them fun, with the matchmaking for this event the deciding factor.
Chingiz Allazov (R3 – Dec) Cedric Manhoef
Abdellah Ezbiri (R3 – Dec) Masaaki Noiri
Eddy Nait-Slimani (R3 – Dec) Karim Bennoui
Roman Kryklia (R3 – Dec) Nordine Mahieddine