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LiverKick.com Middleweight Rankings: January 2012

Middleweight
1. Giorgio Petrosyan
2. Buakaw Por. Pramuk
3. Robin Van Roosmalen
4. Artur Kyshenko
5. Andy Souwer
6. Mohammed Khamal
7. Jury Bessmertny
8. Sudsakorn Sor Klinmee
9. Yuji Nashiro
10. HINATA

Welcome back to the LiverKick.com rankings. These rankings are an attempt to break down the top 10 fighters in three different weight classes - Heavyweight, for fighters above the 85kg limit, Middleweight, for fighters at the 70-72.5kg limit, and Light Heavyweight, for fighters at the 77-84kg limit. Our rankings are based on in-ring accomplishments and recent wins and loses. We hope they reflect where these fighters currently stand, although we recognize that all rankings are inherently subjective. Rankings are compiled by Rian Scalia and Dave Walsh.

January 2012

PetrosyanMiddleweight is one of the most active divisions in the world of Kickboxing, always churning out some of the best fights and being extremely competitive. For how competitive the division is, there are two men who have been reigning at the top for quite a while, and they are the #1 and #2 in the division, Giorgio Petrosyan and Buakaw Por. Pramuk, respectively. Petrosyan, whose only crutch seems to be his brittle hands has not relented at all in 2011. There was one close call for him at It's Showtime where certain judges decided to give rounds to Zeben Diaz, but he has never looked anything but untouchable. Buakaw, on the other hand has blew through Thai Fight's 70kg division this year.

Since our last round of updates there have been little in the way of movement in the top 6. Robin Van Roosmalen, Artur Kyshenko, Andy Souwer and Mootje Khamal hold strong in their respective positions as well. Khamal has been competing in the MPL under the Welterweight division (66.7kg) with impressive wins over Liam Harrison and Michael Dicks, but not within the 70kg division.

The most movement comes at the hands of Jury Bessmertny, the man who won the Fight Code Dragons Tournament, coming seemingly out of nowhere by defeating Armen Petrosyan twice to prove his mettle. His biggest win was over the former #7, Sudsakorn Sor. Klinmee, a huge win that has re-shaped the second half of the division. Jury takes Sudsakorn's place at #7, bumping Suds down to #8. Armen Petrosyan's two losses bump him off of the top ten for now, with Yuji Nashiro moving down to #9 and HINATA holding strong at #10.

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LiverKick.com Heavyweight Rankings: January 2012

Welcome back to the LiverKick.com rankings. These rankings are an attempt to break down the top 10 fighters in three different weight classes - Heavyweight, for fighters above the 85kg limit, Middleweight, for fighters at the 70-72.5kg limit, and Light Heavyweight, for fighters at the 77-84kg limit. Our rankings are based on in-ring accomplishments and recent wins and loses. We hope they reflect where these fighters currently stand, although we recognize that all rankings are inherently subjective.

Heavyweight

1. Semmy Schilt
2. Badr Hari
3. Peter Aerts
4. Gokhan Saki
5. Daniel Ghita
6. Rico Verhoeven
7. Tyrone Spong
8. Hesdy Gerges
9. Errol Zimmerman
10. Sergei Laschenko

Sem SchiltHeavyweight - January 2012

Heavyweight actually saw a lot of movement this time around, which after a rather static year in 2011 was refreshing to see. While it does feel a bit odd to still include Semmy Schilt as #1 in the division due to A) not winning the 2010 World Grand Prix and B) he did not fight in 2011 at all, he is still the measuring stick for success within the division. It is safe to say that as long as Alistair Overeem, the 2010 World Grand Prix winner, is under a contract to the UFC, he will not be kickboxing anytime soon. Schilt still plans on being active in 2012 and will without a doubt be involved in whatever FIKA organizes. Badr Hari holds strong at #2 for his achievements in past years, for fighting in 2011 and having a high profile fight scheduled for this month. Peter Aerts holds strong at #3 after an amazing performance in the 2010 K-1 World Grand Prix and remaining somewhat active in 2011 having at least one fight against a lesser opponent. Aerts has remained in fighting shape and has decided it is still not time to retire. While it is rough that he lost all of 2011, 2012 will be a different year.

 

Gokhan Saki had a pretty good 2011, winning the Glory World Series with two wins, one over Wendell Roche and another over Brice Guidon. Not top competition within the division, but tough fighters. Rumors of him leaving Kickboxing seem to not be true as there are rumors of him fighting in June for It's Showtime, and of course, he fights #2 Badr Hari in a few weeks. From here is where the big shifting goes on. Daniel Ghita shifts up one position not out of defeating someone above him, but more because of the fall of Hesdy Gerges to Rico Verhoeven. Rico makes his apprehensive debut in the top ten at #6, with the question of will he be able to get another big win or will he fall back into obscurity? Hesdy, on the other hand, will rematch against Daniel Ghita with Ghita getting a chance at redemption. Tyrone Spong stays at #7 and looks to not be "retiring" from Kickboxing, either.

Errol Zimmerman makes his heroic return to the top ten after having a redemption year of redemption years in 2011. Zimmerman went 6-0 for the year, demolishing some lesser competition while moving back up the ladder before running through the SuperKombat: Fight Club one night tournament at the end of the year to cement his spot at the top. Another product of a SuperKombat tournament moving up in the world is Sergei Laschenko, making his debut in the LiverKick Top 10. He had a very strong 2011 in SuperKombat before winning their World Grand Prix, putting fringe-top ten fighter Ismael Londt to sleep in the first round to secure his spot in the sun.

With every rise must come a fall, and the retirement and Boxing debut of Kyotaro has forced our hand to remove him. Many other fighters had talked about leaving Kickboxing behind, but Kyotaro vacated his K-1 Heavyweight Championship and severed his ties with FEG, which in Japan is not a great idea if you want to continue moving forward. Seeing as though no one outside of FEG has booked Kyotaro for a fight in ages, it is fair to say he might be done. Ewerton Teixeira is in a similar situation, to where K-1 was using him to add international flavor. With FEG out of the K-1 picture, potentially, and him being incredibly inactive, it is safe to say that Teixeira is done for the time being. Jerome Le Banner has fallen off of the top ten as his Le Banner Tour is seemingly him against smaller men, not actual Heavyweights, who are unranked. This, as well as his commitments to Antonio Inoki's IGF professional wrestling means for the time being, until he faces another top 10 fighters, JLB is out of the picture.

 

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LiverKick.com Middleweight Rankings: September 2011

Middleweight
1. Giorgio Petrosyan
2. Buakaw Por. Pramuk
3. Robin Van Roosmalen
4. Artur Kyshenko
5. Andy Souwer
6. Mohammed Khamal
7. Sudsakorn Sor Klinmee
8. Yuji Nashiro
9. Armen Petrosyan
10. HINATA

Welcome back to the LiverKick.com rankings. These rankings are an attempt to break down the top 10 fighters in three different weight classes - Heavyweight, for fighters above the 85kg limit, Middleweight, for fighters at the 70-72.5kg limit, and Light Heavyweight, for fighters at the 77-84kg limit. Our rankings are based on in-ring accomplishments and recent wins and loses. We hope they reflect where these fighters currently stand, although we recognize that all rankings are inherently subjective. Rankings are compiled by Rian Scalia and Dave Walsh.

September 2011

Giorgio Petrosyan

After what felt like endless months of inactivity for top level competition between each other, September delivered in an incredibly big way all in one weekend. Over the course of the last weekend we saw It's Showtime promote their "Fast and Furious 70kg MAX" tournament which saw Andy Souwer fall victim to an injury and Artur Kyshenko and the unlikely hero of Robin Van Roosmalen emerge as the victor. It's Showtime's 70kg champion Chris Ngimbi suffered from a very poor showing and awaits a fate of squaring off against Giorgio Petrosyan in a few months for that very title, something that many see as Ngimbi's curtain call at the top.

On the other side of the world in Japan K-1 promoted their MAX Japan tournament the very next day with Albert Kraus seen as the favorite in the tournament. What happened instead was Yuji Nashiro took Kraus out in the first round before marching forward to the round where he defeated Takafumi Morita and then in the finals beat past MAX Japan victor Yuya Yamamoto. It was not expected in the least, but was the second tournament with an unexpected winner and a very entertaining show.

There has been a lot of motion within the division due to these two tournaments, including a few fighters departing the top 10 and others being added. As always, #1 is Giorgio Petrosyan who has yet to even be challenged. It was difficult to choose the #2 spot, but on a very solid win-streak with no end in sight is Buakaw Por. Pramuk who is fighting for Thai Fight Extreme right now. The #3 slot was a bit easier to choose in It's Showtime Fast and Furious winner Robin Van Roosmalen. Van Roosmalen's stock has been steadily on the rise over the past two years, and this tournament win elevates him into the elite and in a hurry.

After a solid showing at the It's Showtime tournament, the #4 spot can be firmly given to Artur Kyshenko.Kyshenko who at our last ranking was #5 moves up a full spot, and a tough spot to move up in at that with two big wins in one night to help propel that. The biggest slip within the top ten is #5 Andy Souwer. Souwer has had a rough year and his leg injury against Kyshenko cost him what could have been a tournament win over the weekend. There is no doubt that Souwer is not only still relevant, but that he can easily jump up a few spots again in a hurry once he is healthy. A new addition to the rankings comes in at #6 as Mohammed Khamal makes his debut in the top 10. His last big win was over van Roosmalen in May and actually holds two wins over him, as well as wins over Kyshenko and Mosab Amrani.

Sudsakorn Sor Klimnee holds strong in the rankings at #7 with only one loss this year to Giorgio Petrosyan and a string of wins over lesser opponents in Thai Fight Extreme. The #8 spot goes to another newcomer, Yuji Nashiro whose run in the K-1 MAX Japan tournament helped propel him into the international scene in a big way. Wins over Albert Kraus and Yuya Yamamoto help secure his spot. Rounding out the #9 and #10 spots respectively are Armen Petrosyan and HINATA, both who have had strong wins within the past year and losses, but only to top names.

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Liverkick.com Light Heavyweight Rankings: May 2011

Light Heavyweight
1. Artem Levin
2. Yodsanklai Fairtex
3. Cosmo Alexandre
4. L'houcine "Aussie" Ouzgni
5. Nieky Holzken
6. Dmitry Shakuta
7. Vladimir Moravcik
8. Alexander Stretsurenko
9. Sem Braan
10. Khalid Bourdif

Welcome back to the LiverKick.com rankings. These rankings are an attempt to break down the top 10 fighters in three different weight classes - Heavyweight, for fighters above the 85kg limit, Middleweight, for fighters at the 70-72.5kg limit, and Light Heavyweight, for fighters at the 77-84kg limit. Our rankings are based on in-ring accomplishments and recent wins and loses. We hope they reflect where these fighters currently stand, although we recognize that all rankings are inherently subjective.

May 2011

We've decided to take a different approach to the rankings, in the past Fraser Coffeen handled them, but as many are aware, Fraser has since had to step down from his responsibilities at LiverKick.com and has since moved on to other ventures. Our Top 10 list a while back moved on to being a top 25 to reflect a uniformity with our then home of SBNation. We've decided to move back to only including the Top 10 and to opt for the inclusion of Light Heavyweight (77kg - 84kg) to reflect the depth of talent in that weight class.

As this serves as our first foray into the Light Heavyweight division, feel free to speak out if you feel anything is out of place, but we did spend a considerable amount of time tweaking these rankings to make sure they were the best possible representation for this weight class. #1 Artem Levin was a no-brainer. In 2010 he won the IFMA European Muay Thai 75kg tournament, won the SportAccord Muay Thai 75kg tournament, became the WBC World Muay Thai Light Heavyweight Champion and won the It's Showtime 77kg MAX Championship. Then in 2011 he moved up to 81kg in the IFMA European Muay Thai tournament and won that as well. He has pretty much beaten a who's-who in the division and is easily reigning at the top.

The clear cut #2 is Yodsanklai, a Muay Thai fighter who also fights world class kickboxers in his down time. While Yods does hop between weight classes sometimes, he mainly fights at 77kg, with only a few kickboxing losses to Viyisile Colossa, John Wayne Parr and Artem Levin. Wins over Viyisile, the UK's Jordan Watson (I know, Fletch, I know) were still within the 70-73kg class, but a win over #3 Cosmo Alexandre propels him into the top of the division.

Cosmo is an interesting case, as he is among one of the top fighters in the world, and was at one time It's Showtime 77kg MAX Champion, until he decided to participate in Thai Fight without alerting It's Showtime as well as rejecting a lower offer for a fight and severed ties with It's Showtime. After a few tough losses he got back on track at Lion Fights in the United States a few weeks ago. #4 L'houcine "Aussie" Ouzgni is a fighter that can be frustrating at times. Aussie is clearly a 77kg fighter; he is tall, lean and powerful, but he still insists at times to drop down to 70kg where he looks a bit rough around the edges. A few losses can't derail forward movement for him, though, as he continues to forge ahead.

#5 Nieky Holzken is in action this weekend, fighting someone from his past home of 70kg in Artur Kyshenko at a catchweight of 74kg (technically within the -77kg division) at the Glory World Series. Since committing to 77kg Holzken has been on a roll, with only one loss to Aussie last year. If you don't know #6 Dmitry Shakuta you will soon enough. Shok is the former It's Showtime 77kg MAX Champion before losing the title to Cosmo, he also holds a rare win over Artem Levin and could at any time make a run at the top again. #7 Vladimir Moravcik has kept himself incredibly busy over the last few years against top competition and is still only walking around with 3 losses, he fights at 73 - 74kg usually, making him too big for 70kg and too small for 77kg, but a perfect fit for It's Showtime's 73kg MAX title.

#8 Alexander Stretsurenko is a fighter whose name you'll see on a lot of the top fighter's records as a (W), but still holds very impressive victories as well as holds his own with the very top fighters in the division. #9 Sem Braan falls into the same category as a fighter who is working his way up and ready to breakout. #10 Khalid Bourdif is a fighter that we honestly do not know a ton about, but every time we've seen him he was incredible impressive and holds some very good victories over big names, he could easily move up a few spots within this year if he remains active.

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