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LiverKick 2016 Awards: Fight of the Year - Jaraya vs. Ben Moh

There were a ton of great fights in 2016, so it was difficult for Jay and myself to pick the fight that best encapsulated what was 2016. We wanted to select what was an exciting fight, but not sloppy or too much of a brawl. Part of what makes kickboxing so exciting is when fights can not only be fun to watch, but technical and fast as well. 

So while Danyo Ilunga vs. Michael Duut and a number of other fights seemed like solid contenders, it was pretty easy to rest on Mohammed Jaraya vs. Nordin Ben Moh from Enfusion Live on February 26th of 2016. Both guys went toe-to-toe and the fight was simply insanity. I urge you to watch it below, if you haven't already. They also have a rematch coming up, which means that 2017 should start off with yet another top contender.

The 2016 LiverKick Awards

For more, listen to our year-end podcast.

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LiverKick Podcast January 15, 2017: GLORY 37 Preview and 2016 Awards

Oh yes, it's back. The LiverKick Podcast is back for the second episode of this iteration where Jay Jauncey and myself talk about kickboxing and hopefully keep you, our fine readers and listeners, happy. 

Last time we talked about GLORY: Collision, rankings, the state of kickboxing and how much we missed Japanese kickboxing. It was kind of a blast, let me tell you. Now here we are, back again, this time with talk about the kickboxing-related stuff that went down at RIZIN at the end of the year, we do a full preview of the GLORY 37 Los Angeles card and even bring back the LiverKick Year-End Awards! 

So no, you aren't really going to get fully-fleshed out predictions on these fights, but you'll get us talking about the fighters, where they're at, what we expect to see and why we are excited about each fight. This leads us to having an in-depth discussion about how these one-night, four-man tournaments probably aren't worth doing anymore and how the SuperFight Series has continually been the best part of GLORY events since they signed on with UFC Fight Pass. 

We close out the show with our LiverKick Year-End Awards, which we'll be writing up in more detail for each award over the coming days and week(s). Excuse the fact that I have a pretty nasty head cold and have been running on four hours of sleep for the past few months due to the twins, but such is life. Enjoy.

We've also done away with SoundCloud for the embed since we got a few complaints. Hopefully the embedded player ins't too much of a bummer. The podcast should be showing up on iTunes shortly, I'll insert the link to that when it's up.


Download | Listen on Stitcher | Subscribe on iTunes

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LiverKick Rankings December 2016: A New Welterweight King

The cursed year of 2016 is drawing to a close and this seemed like an opportune time for LiverKick to update its rankings.

The LiverKick rankings date back to 2010 when Fraser Coffeen and myself began ranking fighters across multiple divisions, with the only way to move up the rankings (or being added to them) being defeating a ranked opponent. Therefore, these rankings are based upon who beats who, not talent, potential or anything else. They are also current, meaning that past wins or losses are not taken into account when ranking a fighter.

For the year-end update there was an unusual amount of movement since our previous update at the end of September. The top heavyweights stayed the same and we fixed an odd error on our part where we somehow neglected to rank Roman Kryklia after an early 2016 win. We rectified that situation, which did set some other parts of the division into chaos, but there were also wins and losses that shook things up, such as Jamal Ben Saddik's defeating the top GLORY contender in Ismael Londt and Mladen Brestovac defeating would-be top contender Jahfarr Wilnis. Drops happened accordingly and Andrei Gerasimachuk has been dropped from the rankings after no wins of consequence to the rankings.

Light Heavyweight didn't change that much, but there are three new names in the mix, which is noteworthy. Michael Duut defeated Danyo Ilunga, securing himself a spot in the top five, which sadly drops Ilunga to 6. Roman Kryklia plowed through K-1's European 95kg Championship tournament including wins over Fabio Kwasi. Kwasi earned himself a spot with a win over Mladen Kujundzic while Jorge Loren dropped. Ionut Iftimoaie was dropped as his last win was his retirement fight and his ranking was merely honorary for the spot he earned if he hadn't retired. Andrei Stoica and Luis Tavares drop out due to attrition.

Middleweight sees a robbery rectified and things return to where they were prior to the last update, with Filip Verlinden's loss to el Boustati overturned and literally everyone gets bumped up and Fang Bian returns to his rightful spot on the rankings.

Welterweight saw a huge shake-up with only Murthel Groenhart holding onto his #4 spot and everyone else shifting thanks to Cedric Doumbe's win over long-reigning champion Nieky Holzken. Artur Kyshenko dropped simply because of the reshuffling, not due to any sort of loss. Dmitry Valent defeated Hicham El Goaui to earn a spot in the top ten, while Alexander Stetsurenko picked up a win over him, earning him a spot and everyone else simply shuffled, Mustapha Haida losing his #10 position and Karim Ghajji being bumped.

The biggest shake-up at Lightweight came when Cedric Manhoef defeated Wu Xuesong, which caused some downshifts and Christian Baya's win over Josh Jauncey bumped the young Canadian from the list for the time being. Dylan Salvador lands on the rankings, though, which is long overdue.

Featherweight saw one huge jump in China's very, very good Qiu Jianliang getting his just due in the rankings when he defeated Enfusion's posterboy of Ilias Bulaid. Everyone shifted down from there, including Massaro Glunder and Gabriel Varga was at 10, but was defeated by Robin van Roosmalen. This serves as only one of two categories where the current, reigning GLORY champion does not hold the top spot in a division. If anything, it is indicative of how deep the talent pools are for both Lightweight and Featherweight in Japan and China right now.  

LiverKick Rankings Updated on 12/29/2016

Heavyweight (Per 12/16)

1 Rico Verhoeven
2 Benjamin Adegbuyi
3 Roman Kryklia *
4 Jamal Ben Saddik ^
5 Ismael Londt v
6 Mladen Brestovac *
7 Jahfarr Wilnis v
8 Fabio Kwasi v
9 Guto Inocent v
10 Anderson "Braddock" Silva v

Light

Heavyweight (Per 12/16)

1 Artem Vakhitov
2 Saulo Cavalari
3 Zack Mwekassa 
4 Mourad Bouzidi 
5 Michael Duut *
6 Danyo Ilunga v
7 Roman Kryklia *
8 Fabio Kwasi *
9 Mladen Kujundzic v
10 Jorge Loren v
Middleweight (Per 12/16)

1 Jason Wilnis 
2 Simon Marcus 
3 Artem Levin 
4 Israel Adesenya 
5 Filip Verlinden ^
6 Alex Pereira ^
7 Joe Schilling ^
8 Dustin Jacoby ^
9 Cedric Doumbe ^
10 Fang Bian *
Welterweight (Per 12/16)

1 Cedric Doumbe ^
2 Nieky Holzken v
3 Artur Kyshenko v
4 Murthel Groenhart
5 Alexander Stetsurenko
6 Dmitry Valent *
7 Hicham El Gaoui v
8 Raymond Daniels v
9 Yoann Kongolo v
10 Zoltan Laszak v
Lightweight (Per 12/16)

1 Superbon Banchamek
2 Sitthichai
3 Robin van Roosmalen 
4 Giorgio Petrosyan
5 Marat Grigorian 
6 Cedric Manhoef *
7 Wu Xuesong v
8 Tayfun Ozcan v
9 Dylan Salvador *
10 Anatoly Moiseev v
Featherweight (Per 12/16)

1 Kaew Weerasakreck
2 Qiu Jianliang *
3 Ilias Bulaid v
4 Hidaeki Yamazaki v
5 Masaaki Noiri v
6 Minoru Kimura v
7 WEi Ninghui v
8 Abdellah Ezbiri v
9 Kim Minsoo v
10 Robin van Roosmalen *

Legend:

* - New Addition

^ - Moved Up

v - Moved Down

Rules:

The LiverKick.com rankings are living rankings that have existed in one form or another since 2009. After the initial rankings were tabulated, they moved on from there. If one fighter beats a fighter ranked above them, they take their place. If a new fighter is introduced, that means that said fighter is ranked above whomever he beat, moving everyone else down. 

Fighters can drop or move up in the rankings without losing or winning, depending on the division in general. After 12 months of inactivity, or if a retirement is announced, fighters can be removed from the rankings. These rankings are also at our discretion.

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KNOCK OUT Releases Entire First Show Via YouTube

After kickboxing promotion KNOCK OUT began to pick up steam after their last event, they are looking to reach a wider audience than simply the Japanese fans that witnessed the event either live or via their YouTube channel later on. The promotion has gone ahead and released the entirety of the event via YouTube and now have created an English language channel for western fans to view the fights in an easier fashion. I know that a lot of you checked it out when they updated their original YouTube, but this is a great effort from the new promotion to reach out to fans outside of Japan.

Genji Umeno vs Sirimongkol PK Saenchaigym

Tenshin Nasukawa vs Wanchalong PK Saenchaigym 

Takuya Imamura vs Youichiro "Jienotsu" Nagashima

Yosuke Morii vs Yodwandee Nitisamui

Haruaki Otsuki vs Starboy

Keisuke Miyamoto vs Eisaku Ogasawara

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LiverKick Podcast Revival: December 15th, 2016 GLORY: Collision Fallout and More

So. It's been a while since LiverKick has done a podcast, hasn't it? In fact, I don't even want to know how long it's been. That's okay, though, because we made the conscious decision to jump right back into it and the fallout from GLORY: Collision seemed like the perfect opportunity for that. All it took was near-perfect timing for Jay and I, a time when our kids were asleep and not being crazy, then we were a go. 

There was a lot to talk about, that's for sure. The topics range from Badr Hari vs. Rico fallout, talk about the logistics, fights and disappointments of GLORY: Collision, GLORY's future in 2017 and less of a focus on the United States and then veered into other European kickboxing topics like SuperKombat's new television deal, Enfusion Live's push for top-level Thais but having a broadcast platform that nobody wants to pay for and then we get to Asia. Both Jay and myself miss Japanese kickboxing, but try to give Chinese kickboxing a chance, so we try to put our finger on what exactly Kunlun is missing to make it recapture that feel that old K-1 had.

This, of course, sent us down the rabbit hole. The strict runsheet that I had keeping us to an hour was thrown out the window and we delved into why old K-1 was so great, how their production was an important part to creating the big-match feels and everything in between. This includes talking about K-1 Japan being the best pound-for-pound promotion in the world, but still not old K-1 and even a brief reprieve into Japanese pro wrestling history to explain why KNOCK OUT's parent company, Bushi Road, could, in fact, be the savior of Japanese kickboxing after they were able to rehabilitate New Japan Pro Wrestling. 

We had fun, so we hope that you have fun listening. 


| Download | Listen on Stitcher | Subscribe on iTunes

 

 

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Video: Kunlun Fight Top 10 KO's of 2016

Kunlun Fight has been putting on shows almost every 2nd weekend for all of 2016. Most of the shows were kickboxing with the focus being on their huge 70kgs tournament which will be coming to an end soon. Even though they have only been around since 2014 they are quickly becoming one of the very top promotions in the world having most of top tier fighters on their shows. The best thing about Kunlun is that they have so many shows which allows fighters to stay active even if they are signed exclusively to them, for example Sittichai Sitsongpeenong even though he is not exclusive to Kunlun fought for them 6 times already in 2016 and still has at least one or two more to go, maybe with promotions putting on shows like this kickboxers can actually make a decent living soon.

Here is an amazing video Kunlun Fight has made of their Top 10 KO's of the year, Enjoy.

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Richard Abraham's Sacrifices and Coincidences Leading to GLORY 34

What sacrifices are you willing to make to realize your dream? Would you pay to work in your chosen profession? Would you exercise diligence in your pursuit, following up on every possibility? Could you be a chameleon, assuming all the roles necessary to win the prize.  Maybe you wouldn't, but Richard Abraham has, does and will.  One of the newest faces in the welterweight division at Glory, Abraham comes to the ring with a professional record of 10-3-0, with three wins already with Glory.  He has trained extensively in Thailand and arrived back home ready to work.  Hailing from Itasca, Illinois, Abraham found in kickboxing a positive way to deal with anger and a life that could have gone very wrong.  When asked what he'd be doing if he weren't fighting, he replied, "Probably nothing good."  

Through the sport, however, he has found the discipline and skills needed to be successful in life.  So far he's enjoying the ride at Glory and is on a three fight win streak having defeated Pawel Jedrzejczyk in his Glory debut as well as Casey Greene and Francois Ambang at Glory 30 in Los Angeles.  Interestingly enough, prior to his debut at Glory 27, he had planned to return to Thailand.  The gods, however, were with him and he answered Glory's call.  Coincidentally, although he was scheduled to fight at Max Muay Thai stadium in Thailand, the stadium caught fire making Glory his blessing in disguise. Abraham expresses little fear in the face of any opponent his main goal is to be matched with fighters that will challenge him and take his skill level even higher and he doesn't mind being an underdog.  Being able to fight and be successful at his craft is his primary goal.  Abraham is a  self described well rounded fighter, with the ability to fight off multiple different styles. He is also keenly aware of the need for a synthesis between not only physical conditioning but also the mental aspect of fighting.  It's mind, body and soul.  

At Glory 34 Abraham prepares to face "The Blood Diamond" Mike Mathetha.  While not much is known about this opponent, Abraham is confident and prepared. Richard extends many thanks to all the fans for their support and he plans to continue to push hard and to show the world that he is a force.  For those interested in continue to watch this fighter on his journey you can follow him on both Twitter and Instagram @muaythaichicago or via his Facebook fan page Richard Maximus Abraham.  It's fight night on Friday, October 21st at Glory 34 Denver and another opportunity for this fighter to prove what he's made of.  

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Casey 'Go' Greene and Whatever It Takes at GLORY 34

Ready. Set. Go. Casey "Go" Greene that is. It's always great to talk to someone who is invested in advancing to the highest level of their craft.  What's even better is when you meet someone who attacks their goal with such tenacity that it would seem that their very life depended on it.  That is what you get when you meet Casey Greene.  The California native has joined the team and it's all or nothing.  Actually it's all for Greene, there is no other option.  Using the hashtag #Project WIT, Greene is living his philosophy, "Whatever it takes" (WIT).  Whatever it takes to be the best, whatever it takes to stay on top.  Whatever it takes to be the best man he can be in all aspects of his life. As kickboxing in the US steadily climbs in popularity, Greene plans to fulfill his dream of being on another level as well as taking the sport to another level.    

With a 4-3 record in Glory and currently ranked at #6, Greene is determined to set the welterweight division aflame.  A California native, Greene embarked upon his kickboxing journey fearlessly and with the idea in mind that becoming the best means training with the best, Carlos Dekkers, brother of the late and great Ramon Dekkers.  While seven fights does not a champion make, Greene has in this short time faced some of the best and brightest in Glory including Mike Lemaire, Dustin Jacoby and Francois Ambang.  Greene states that he works toward becoming a well rounded fighter and with experience in MMA, he counts his ability to stand and bang as an asset.

This Friday, October 21st, Greene is prepared  to do whatever it takes as he faces Glory newcomer Thongchai Sitsonpeenong at Glory 34 in Denver.  While his opponent has a record of more than 100 fights a fact like that doesn't phase Greene as he is willing to take on all comers as he continues to climb the ranks in his division.  

So if you haven't heard the name before, remember it, you'll be hearing it again and again. 

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September 2016 LiverKick Rankings Update: Featherweight In Chaos

As we leave the summer behind there were a lot of changes in the LiverKick rankings. From a personal standpoint, my wife and I just had twins, which accounts for why this is later than we would have liked. That just meant that Jay and I had a lot of work to do for these. 

The LiverKick rankings date back to 2010 when Fraser Coffeen and myself began ranking fighters across multiple divisions, with the only way to move up the rankings (or being added to them) being defeating a ranked opponent. Therefore, these rankings are based upon who beats who, not talent, potential or anything else. They are also current, meaning that past wins or losses are not taken into account when ranking a fighter. 

 There wasn't a ton of movement at Heavyweight this time out. The biggest changes come by the way of Hesdy Gerges finding his way back onto the rankings and Andrei Gerasmichuk drops down accordingly. Light Heavyweight saw Zack Mwekassa become the Interim GLORY champion, defeating Mourad Bouzidi, which caused a few slides. Ionut Iftimoaie makes his debut after defeating Jorge Loren.

Middleweight is where there was some serious action. Jason Wilnis is the new GLORY champ, usurping Simon Marcus. Israel Adesenya has had a tremendous run since our last update in May and Ibrahim El Boustati makes his way onto the rankings thanks to a big win over Verlinden. Joe Schilling's drop is entirely because of the loss to Hisaki Kato, who immediately "retired" from kickboxing afterwards. It'll be interesting to see what else shakes up in this division.

Welterweight has been relatively static, mostly because Nieky Holzken is still the king and nobody has beaten him. The only movement comes thanks to Bellator Kickboxing's shake-up at the top of their division, with Zoltan Laszak defeating Karim Ghajji.

The lighter weight classes are where things get really odd. Superbon Banchamek is a beast and made Sitthichai look human, which is kind of amazing. There were a few omissions this time out due to activity issues of Yodsanklai and yet another "I'm leaving kickboxing," this time from Enriko Gogokhia, who has moved to the US to pursue a boxing career. Wu Xuesong has continued to be impressive, as has Tayfun Ozcan. Josh Jauncey hit a rough patch, but due to departures moved up and Jomthong makes his rankings debut.

Featherweight is where the shake-up was, with super-hyped Ilias Bulaid making his rankings debut at #2 thanks to a strong performance in the K-1 tournament. The real shake-up came from Massaro Glunder losing. For those of you who might not grasp how ridiculous these rankings can be to tabulate, Glunder's loss to Kim Minsoo then opened up the division for Wei Ninghui and Abdallah Ezbiri, meaning that some of the names on the list had to drop. 

As an aside, Gabriel Varga remains in his spot even though he did win the GLORY championship. The reality is that Featherweight is the most competitive division in the entire sport and it is also a fractured division. Due to these shake-ups, mainstays like Yuta Kubo had to be removed, as did former champion Serhiy Adamchuk. Remember, these rankings began a while back and rely on who-beats-who. One loss to someone outside of the rankings can -- and does -- create chaos. 

LiverKick Rankings Updated on 9/28/2016

Heavyweight (Per 9/16)

1 Rico Verhoeven
2 Benjamin Adegbuyi
3 Ismael Londt
4 Jahfarr Wilnis
5 Fabio Kwasi
6 Guto Inocente
7 Jamal Ben Saddik
8 Anderson Silva
9 Hesdy Gerges *
10 Andrei Gerasmichuk v

Light

Heavyweight (Per 9/16)

1 Artem Vakhitov
2 Saulo Cavalari
3 Zack Mwekassa ^
4 Mourad Bouzidi v
5 Danyo Ilunga v
6 Mladen Kujundzic v
7 Ionut Iftimoaie *
8 Jorge Loren v 
9 Andrei Stoica v
10 Luis Tavares
Middleweight (Per 9/16)

1 Jason Wilnis ^
2 Simon Marcus v
3 Artem Levin v
4 Israel Adesenya ^
5 Ibrahim El Boustati *
6 Filip Verlinden v
7 Alex Pereira v
8 Joe Schilling v
9 Dustin Jacoby v
10 Cedric Doumbe v
Welterweight (Per 9/16)

1 Nieky Holzken
2 Artur Kyshenko
3 Cedric Doumbe
4 Murthel Groenhart
5 Hicham El Gaoui
6 Raymond Daniels
7 Yoann Kongolo
8 Zoltan Laszak *
9 Karim Ghajji
10 Mustapha Haida v
Lightweight (Per 9/16)

1 Superbon Banchamek *
2 Sitthichai
3 Robin van Roosmalen v
4 Giorgio Petrosyan
5 Marat Grigorian ^
6 Wu Xuesong ^
7 Tayfun Ozcan ^
8 Anatoly Moiseev *
9 Josh Jauncey ^
10 Jomthong Chuwattana *
Featherweight (Per 9/16)

1 Kaew Weerasakreck
2 Ilias Bulaid *
3 Hidaeki Yamazaki v
4 Masaaki Noiri v
5 Minoru Kimura v
6 Wei Ninghui *
7 Abdallah Ezbiri *
8 Kim Minsoo *
9 Gabriel Varga
10 Massaro Glunder v

Legend:

* - New Addition

^ - Moved Up

v - Moved Down

Rules:

The LiverKick.com rankings are living rankings that have existed in one form or another since 2009. After the initial rankings were tabulated, they moved on from there. If one fighter beats a fighter ranked above them, they take their place. If a new fighter is introduced, that means that said fighter is ranked above whomever he beat, moving everyone else down. 

Fighters can drop or move up in the rankings without losing or winning, depending on the division in general. After 12 months of inactivity, or if a retirement is announced, fighters can be removed from the rankings. These rankings are also at our discretion.

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