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LiverKick.com Light Heavyweight Rankings: January 2012

Middleweight
1. Artem Levin
2. Alexander Oleinik
3. Hicham El Gaoui
4. Dmitry Shakuta
5. Sem Braan
6. Alexander Stetsurenko
7. L'houcine Ouzgni
8. Constantin Tutu
9. Simon Marcus
10. Artem Vakhitov

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

levinlhw

We've completely revamped the Light Heavyweight rankings, due to a number of fighters dropping back down to 70 and 72.5kg. This time, we have 10 solid fighters that all are legit, solid Light Heavyweights and have been at the weight for a while.

Light Heavyweight is probably the most under-the-rader division in all of kickfighting, spanning from 77kg to 84kg. Unlike most other divisions, top fighters are consistently fighting each other, which actually makes for a much more solid ranking system. The top 10 is quite competitive, but one fighter that stands out and has been atop the field for some time now is Artem Levin. Levin's strength of record stems mostly from 2009 and 2010, where he defeated top fighters such as Dmitry Shakuta, Alexander Stetsurenko, Artem Vakhitov and L'houcine "Aussie" Ouzgni. In 2011, Levin stayed active but didn't face any top 10 competition, although he stopped two pretty decent fighters in David Keclik and Murthel Groenhart. 

Right below Artem Levin at #2 is Alexander Oleinik, who had somewhat of a coming out party starting at the end of 2010 and continued through 2011 where he won the 2011 Tatneft Cup. Oleinik is probably the best challenge for Artem Levin and he's proved it with wins over four top 10 fighters in Sem Braan, Constantin Tutu, Alexander Stetsurenko and Dmitry Shakuta. Filling in at #3 is Hicham El Gaoui, who we highlighted not too long ago. Hicham rose to prominence this year with a win over L'houcine "Aussie" Ouzgni in October and then fought at the 2011 Tatneft Cup finale, taking a decision over Alexander Stetsurenko.

Dmitry Shakuta is close behind at #4, being around the top for years now. After a rather inactive 2010, Shakuta came back in 2011 with notable top wins over Alexander Stetsurenko and a fringe top 10 fighter in Yordan Yankov. At #5 is Sem Braan, another fighter like Shakuta has been around the top for a long time. Sem hasn't had a top win in a while, but he's racked up a bunch of good wins, most recently over Miran Fabjan. Alexander Stetsurenko comes in at #6, although he went on a three fight losing skid in 2011. He lost to Alexander Oleinik, Dmitry Shakuta and Hicham el Gaoui consecutively but he rebounded two weeks after, winning three fights in one night. Stetsurenko has remained one of the most active fighters in kickboxing, having fought 12 times this year.

At #7 is L'houcine "Aussie" Ouzgni, who had a really bad 2011, losing both of his fights this year. In 2010 he beat Sem Braan and Nieky Holzken and was hailed as one of the top fighters at the weight before losing to Artem Levin. "Aussie" has some work to do to get back on track in 2012. #8 is the Moldovan fighter Constantin Tutu, who has very quietly put together a nice resume. Tutu was fighting as low as 70kg in early 2010 but by the end, he was all the way up to Light Heavyweight where he has only lost to Alexander Oleinik in his third fight of the night. He recently ran through three fights in one night on October 1st, stopping some pretty decent fighters.

Simon Marcus fills the #9 spot, after his win over Artem Vakhitov at the MPL's inaugural show in September. Skillwise, I think Marcus would beat a lot of guys in the top 10, but he doesn't have the wins to be any higher. The man Marcus beat, Artem Vakhitov takes the #10 spot. He beat Jiri Zak at the MPL's third event and took a decent win over Vando Cabral in December. Vakhitov also has a win over Yordan Yankov from 2010.

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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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