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Dave Walsh

Dave Walsh

Dave Walsh has been covering MMA and Kickboxing since 2007 before changing his focus solely to Kickboxing in 2009, launching what was the only English-language site dedicated to giving Kickboxing similar coverage to what MMA receives. He was the co-founder of HeadKickLegend and now LiverKick. He resides in Albuquerque, New Mexico where he works as a writer of all trades.

His second novel, Terminus Cycle, is available now via Kindle and Paperback.

Dave (a) LiverKick dot com.

Website URL: http://www.dvewlsh.com

May 2016 LiverKick Rankings Update: Ch-ch-ch-changes Galore

There has been a lot going on this year for both Jay and I, so we waited for the rankings to really need an update. The thing is, now that we got to tackle them, they needed a lot of changes. After a rather uneventful early part of the year we are seeing major changes in quite a few divisions. While at times we've been able to let entire divisions stand as they are, this time around each division has at least one big change.

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. 

Heavyweight saw some changes, some were good, others were questionable. Brian Douwes had a win over Jamal Ben Saddik to earn his spot, then had an incredible slide that bumped him out. Easy come, easy go. New additions are in WFL tournament winner Fabio Kwasi and GLORY newcomer Guto Inocente. Both had ranked wins that put them on the map here and have taken hold of the middle of the division. Their addition means that Badr Hari once again slides out of the rankings, mirroring his lack of activity against, well, anyone. 

Light Heavyweight saw a big departure in the way of Gokhan Saki. In a way, that was a long time coming. Saki hasn't competed at this weight in a very long time and his last fight was now well over a year ago now, meaning that he has finally been dropped. This makes Artem Vakhitov the undisputed #1 Light Heavyweight in the world. There are two additions to the rankings at this point, one being Mladen Kujundzic thanks to his recent win over Andrei Stoica and Luis Tavares. Middleweight only saw movement really at the top with Marcus and Levin swapping, Wilnis and Schilling swapping and the addition of Cedric Doumbe who is a rare case of a fighter ranked in two divisions.

Welterweight is another division that has seen some shake-ups. While Holzken is still unmoving, Artur Kyshenko is on an incredible run and Cedric Doumbe hasn't tasted defeat in a while now. Mustapha Haida has made some big strides and makes his debut. Lightweight has seen only a few changes, notably the slide of Davit Kiria. Enriko Gogokhia's win over him earns him a rather high spot on the list. Tayfun Ozcan has quietly been making his way into the top ten for a while now and once again, Davit Kiria is welcoming new names into the rankings.

Featherweight is, well, Featherweight. That'll probably change again soon after the next K-1 Japan event. 

LiverKick Rankings Updated on 5/26/2016

Heavyweight (Per 5/16)

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 Andrei Gerasmichuk
10 Zabit Samedov

Light

Heavyweight (Per 5/16)

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

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

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

1 Robin van Roosmalen
2 Sitthichai
3 Enriko Gogokhia
4 Giorgio Petrosyan
5 Yodsanklai Fairtex
6 Marat Grigorian
7 Wu Xuesong
8 Tayfun Ozcan
9 Dzhabar Askerov
10 Josh Jauncey
Featherweight (Per 5/16)

1 Kaew Fairtex
2 Hidaeki Yamazaki
3 Masaaki Noiri
4 Minoru Kimura
5 Massaro Glunder
6 Yasuomi Soda
7 Yuta Kubo
8 Serhiy Adamchuk
9 Gabriel Varga
10 Qui Jian Liang

Results From W5 'It's Time: Never Give Up' in Vienna

This past weekend in Vienna W5 held a huge event headlined by Massaro Glunder looking to defend his W5 European Championship against tough competition in Foad Sadeghi. The two men battled it out over the span of three rounds before Glunder was given the nod, retaining his championship. Also on the card was Agron Preteni picking up a big KO victory over Labinot Zekaj. If you missed any of the action you can watch the event on-demand on W5's site for just a little over $6 USD (5.50 euros).

Results via W5.

Main Card

75 kg Manuel Sembera def. Alin Cipman (Romania) via disqualification

85 kg Adrian Valentin (Slovakia) def. Igor Emkic (Bosnia) via TKO, Doc decision, 1st round

86 kg Dardan Avdulaj (Albania) def. Luka Petrovic (Serbia) via UD

77 kg Darryl Sichtman (The Netherlands) def. Marco Pleschberger (Austria) via TKO, 1st round

84 kg Karim Mabrouk (Egypt) def. Petar Jaman (Croatia) via UD

84 kg Marcel Jager (Slovakia) def. Henry Bannert (Austria) via KO (RSC)

72,5 kg Vladislav Tuinov (Russia) def. Angaar Nasr (The Netherlands) via split decision

85 kg Agron Preteni (Croatia) def. Labinot Zekaj (Albania) via KO (RSC)

W5 European title fight up to 72,5 kg

Massaro Glunder (The Netherlands) def. Foad Sadeghi (Austria) via UD

Schilling vs. Kato II Headlining Bellator's Second Kickboxing Card

When Joe Schilling initially made the move to Bellator MMA's middleweight division many saw this as his opportunity to break out and really make a name for himself. His debut came against Melvin Manhoef in what was a crazy brawl of a fight that ended with Schilling knocking Manhoef out in spectacular fashion. Joe Schilling had arrived. His next fight against Rafael Carvalho saw Schilling demonstrate some of the grappling that he had been working on to spruce up his MMA game, but ultimately the judges gave the fight to Carvalho, which was not without some controversy. 

His next fight was against Hisaki Kato in Kato's Bellator debut in a fight that many saw as a foregone conclusion. The only problem was that no one told Kato that. Kato scored a rather crazy superman punch against Schilling, putting Schilling down and out. Interestingly enough, the superman punch has been one of Schilling's signature moves in the kickboxing realm, it being the punch that put down Artem Levin in their first meeting back at GLORY 10, leading to Schilling's big tournament victory. Since the June loss to Kato Schilling has been competing in kickboxing, working his way through the remainder of his GLORY contract with wins over Jason Wilnis and Mike Lemaire followed by a loss to Wilnis at the recent GLORY 30.

This past weekend it was announced that Bellator was setting up Hisaki Kato vs. Joe Schilling II, but that interestingly enough, it would headline Bellator's second kickboxing event. That event is set to take place directly following Bellator MMA: Dynamite 2 on June 24th. 

Absolutely Do Not Push Takeru While He's Wearing His K-1 Championship

K-1 Japan has another, star-studded and most likely knockout-filled card approaching on the 24th of June, featuring a 65kg tournament. Also featured on the card will be K-1 -55kg Champion Takeru taking on Ozawa Kaito. At a recent press conference for the event both men stared down and Kaito decided to get cute with Takeru. Takeru is, of course, a beautiful, violent soul, which is to say that it didn't work out too well. Here's the thing, don't come at Takeru while he's wearing his belt.

Apparently he's kind of invincible while wearing it, because this one-handed judo takedown is just a thing of beauty.

WATCH: Yohan Lidon Lands a Monster Head Kick KO

Yes, slow news day. That being said, this head kick KO from Yohan Lidon over Karapet Karapetyan from May 19th at Capital Fights in France is simply a thing of beauty. Does it match the Marat Grigorian one from the last GLORY show? Maybe, maybe not, but who cares? It's a beautiful head kick KO and that's the reason why we are here. 

Énorme KO de Lidon sur Karapetyan

Incroyable KO infligé par Yohan Lidon ! Rassurez-vous, son adversaire d'un soir s'est relevé quelques instants après. #boxe21

Posted by L'ÉQUIPE 21 on Thursday, May 19, 2016

Changes to the GLORY 31 SuperFight Series

Hot on the heels of the announcement that Iman Barlow was pulling out of the GLORY Super Bantamweight tournament and, subsequently, her bout on June 25th at GLORY 31's SuperFight Series, GLORY has released a revised fight card for the GLORY 31 SuperFight Series. Filling in for Iman Barlow will be reserve fighter Irina Mazepa. Another big change comes to the headline bout of the card, originally slated to be a GLORY Light Heavyweight Championship bout between Mourad Bouzidi challenging champion Artem Vakhitov. 

Vakhitov has been forced to pull out thanks to an injury that he suffered in training and instead Zack Mwekassa will be stepping in to fight Mourad Bouzidi. 

GLORY 31 SuperFight Series

Light Heavyweight Headline Bout: Zack Mwekassa vs. Mourad Bouzidi

Lightweight Co-Headline Bout: Josh Jauncey vs. Anatoly Moiseev

Featherweight Bout: Mosab Amrani vs. Eddy Naït-Slimani

Super Bantamweight Bout: Isis Verbeek vs. Irina Mazepa

Welterweight Bout: Máximo Suarez vs. Eyevan Danenberg

Iman Barlow Pulls Out Of GLORY Super Bantamweight Tournament

Interesting update following the announcement of the GLORY Super Bantamweight Tournament, as one of the bigger names that was signed has already pulled out. That name is Iman Barlow, the UK-based fighter known as one of the best in the world. Her statement via Facebook points towards a lack of communication.

Unfortunately I have come to a decision that I am not going to be part of the Glory tournament. I was asked to fight on Glory 25th June to which I said Yes. I then later find out via social media that it was a tournament which is above my fight weight class. This was bad communication, I was never told it was at 55.5 or more than one bout. I can not commit to this as I have other commitments to fulfil. I would and am willing to fight Tiffany (as I know many want to see this fight) after the tournament if they want in a one off

Fight, but without signing a long confusing contract. I wish everyone in it the best of luck and I hope it's a great success for Glory. It's an amazing opportunity but for me just came across at the wrong time. 

I hope you all understand.Thanks X

So, according to Barlow, she didn't know the weight class that she was supposed to be competing in, didn't know that it was a tournament and it seems like she didn't understand that the contract with GLORY was a longer term one and not just one fight. This all feels like strange oversight considering how the tournament came together. Possibly her and her team agreeing to a deal without weighing deals she already had in place? Especially considering just the other day she posted a screenshot of the GLORY rankings (with the weight clearly listed) celebrating her #1 spot, she seemed excited about fighting in GLORY and being atop of their division.

This wouldn't be the first false-start that GLORY has seen with well-known muay thai fighters. GLORY had initially announced signing muay thai phenom Kevin Ross only for his previous contract with Lion Fight ultimately getting in the way. Here's to hoping that this gets worked out in the near future and that we're able to see more of Iman Barlow in the near future.

We've reached out to GLORY for comment.

Ratings Up for GLORY 30 on ESPN2

After a few disappointing performances for GLORY replays on ESPN2, GLORY 30 came back with stronger numbers. Maybe, in part, thanks to the appearance on ESPN SportsCenter late in the week featuring CEO Jon J. Franklin, Simon Marcus, Dustin Jacoby and Tiffany van Soest. Regardless, GLORY 30 aired on Sunday evening and the numbers were up. 

GLORY 30 on ESPN2 averaged 209,000 viewers at a 9pm time slot for the welterweight tournament, the incredible headkick knockout from Marat Grigorian and Simon Marcus defending his GLORY Middleweight Championship against Dustin Jacoby. [source]

Badr Hari Released on Bail After Weekend Arrest in Morocco

While initial reports as to the situation with Badr Hari in Morocco were foggy at best, further information was released today by the press. Badr Hari was indeed arrested on this weekend in Morocco at the Casablanca airport, but he was not flying to Brussels, instead he was flying from Brussels and was detained upon landing in his home country. The reason behind the arrest was the assault in Marrakesh the previous month. The arrest also happened on Saturday, not Thursday.

Hari has been released on bail and it looks like the kickboxing bad boy has indeed found himself in trouble yet again, contrary to friends and fans persistence that the media was somehow trying to make Hari look bad yet again. 

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