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LiverKick.com Middleweight Rankings: Mar 2010

Middleweight
1. Giorgio Petrosyan
2. Buakaw Por. Pramuk
3. Andy Souwer
4. Artur Kyshenko
5. Yoshihiro Sato
6. Nieky Holzken
7. Mike Zambidis
8. Albert Kraus
9. Murat Direkci
10. Pajonsuk
11. Sudsakorn Sor Klinmee
12. Gago Drago
13. Hinata
14. Saiyok Pumpanmuang
15. Armen Petrosyan
16. Yuichiro Nagashima
17. Chris Ngimbi
18. Muhammed Khamal
19. Yuya Yamamoto
20. Khem Sitsongpeenong
21. John Wayne Parr
22. Leroy Kaestner
23. Dzhabar Askerov
24. Marcus Oberg
25. Chahid Oulad El Hadj

Welcome back to the LiverKick.com rankings. These rankings are an attempt to break down the top 25 fighters in two different weight classes - Heavyweight, for fighters above the 77kg limit, and Middleweight, for fighters at the 70-72.5kg 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.

March 2011

The past month has been fast and furious in the Middleweight division, with many of the top 25 fighting, and a lot of rankings implications.  The overriding story is that #1 Giorgio Petrosyan continues to widen the gap between himself and the rest of the field.  The Doctor held onto his top spot with a win over Cosmo Alexandre - a very tough opponent who is only unranked because he regularly fights up a division at 77kg (where he would be in the top 4).

Meanwhile, in a pair of top 5 upsets, former #4 Yoshihiro Sato fell to Giorgio's brother Armen Petrosyan, and former #5 Albert Kraus lost to Batu Khasikov.  Sato and Kraus drop to #5 and #8 respectively.  More impressive were #3 Andy Souwer, #4 Artur Kyshenko, and #7 Mike Zambidis.  All 3 scored big wins over tough opponents, moving themselves back up the ranks.  Lots of other movement as well, including rises for #11 Sudsakorn, #15 Armen Petrosyan, #22 Leroy Kaestner, and #23 Dzhabar Askerov.

As we look to the coming months, we have an absolute abundance of MW action still to come.  As always, It's Showtime seems to lead the pack.  On May 14 they have #1 Giorgio Petrosyan vs. #25 Chahid Oulad El Hadj in what will actually be an intriguing fight in some ways - how will Petrosyan handle the aggression from Chahid?  Should be interesting.  Also on that card, #17 Chris Ngimbi vs. Willy Borrel.  Then on July 23 it's their huge Russian event with #4 Artur Kyshenko vs. L'houcine Ouzgni, and a tournament that features Giorgio Petrosyan, Ngimbi, #3 Andy Souwer, #5 Yoshihiro Sato, #9 Murat Direkci, #12 Gago Drago, and #23 Dzhabar Askerov.  Just take a look at that line-up.  Amazing.  I'm not betting on seeing a MAX Grand Prix this year, and even if there is one, it will be hard pressed to top this show as THE elite Middleweight tournament of 2011.

Various other upcoming fights: April 23 #3 Andy Souwer returns to Shootboxing - opponent TBA; #21 John Wayne Parr's 2011 farewell series starts on May 28 against #7 Mike Zambidis, and continues on July 30 against Vusi Colossa; April 2 #11 Sudsakorn takes part in a European tournament at Explosion Fight Night 3; and on April 30 (newly rescheduled from March 19), #19 Yuya Yamamoto should face Pride veteran Akihiro Gono at Krush.  And expect news on the Krush 70kg tournament to come at some point as well.

We've spent a lot of the past few months discussing the difficulties K-1 and kickboxing has been going through - but if you take#1 Giorgio Petrosyan a look at what we've seen in the past few weeks in this division, as well as what we have coming up, and you are not excited about these fights, then I don't know what we can do for you.  For me, that July 23 It's Showtime show in particular can't come soon enough.

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LiverKick.com Heavyweight Rankings: Mar 2011

Heavyweight

1. Alistair Overeem
2. Peter Aerts
3. Semmy Schilt
4. Badr Hari
5. Gokhan Saki
6. Ewerton Teixeira
7. Hesdy Gerges
8. Kyotaro
9. Daniel Ghita
10. Tyrone Spong
11. Jerome Le Banner
12. Nathan Corbett
13. Errol Zimmerman
14. Ashwin Balrak
15. Brice Guidon
16. Zabit Samedov
17. Pavel Zhuravlev
18. Melvin Manhoef
19. Mourad Bouzidi
20. Anderson Silva
21. Ruslan Karaev
22. Paul Slowinski
23. Rico Verhoeven
24. Mighty Mo
25. Raul Catinas

Welcome back to the LiverKick.com rankings. These rankings are an attempt to break down the top 25 fighters in two different weight classes - Heavyweight, for fighters above the 77kg limit, and Middleweight, for fighters at the 70-72.5kg 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.

March 2011

Another month, another period of essential inaction in the heavyweight ranks, although this time there were at least a few fights that impacted the rankings.

The biggest of course was the huge It's Showtime clash between Hesdy Gerges and Daniel Ghita.  This battle between the sport's next generation heavyweights lived up to the hype.  Gerges pulled out a close (and, according to some, controversial) decision - he moves up to #7, while Ghita falls back to #9.

The other notable fight was in Australia, where Paul Slowinski defeated Thor Hoopman handily in one round.  With that win, Slowinski brings his record in the last year up to an impressive 8-2, and earns himself a spot back in the rankings at #22.  Glad to see The Sting back in here after many wrote him off a few years ago.

Luckily, things are definitely gaining momentum, as we have some solid fights announced in the upcoming weeks and months.  This weekend is the Ultimate Glory semi-finals, featuring #5 Gokhan Saki vs. Wendell Roche and #15 Brice Guidon vs. #19 Mourad Bouzidi.  Also this weekend is a Local Kombat show with a number of fighters just outside the top 25: Freddy Kemayo vs. Sebastian Ciobanu, Dzevad Poturak vs. Ionut Ifitmoaie, Catalin Morosanu vs. Ayadin Yuksel, and hot upcoming prospect Andrei Stoica vs. Alex Rossi.  I'd expect at least the winner of Kemayo vs. Ciobanu to make it in to next month's rankings.

But the big news is the return of #4 Badr Hari.  It's been nearly a year since we've seen the Golden Boy in action - he'll make his long-awaited return on May 14 for It's Showtime in Lyon.  His opponent will be French fighter Tony Gregory.  Also on that card: #10 Tyrone Spong vs. Igor Mihaljevic, and #9 Daniel Ghita vs. #22 Paul Slowinski.  For some reason, rumors keep popping up about #11 Jerome Le Banner fighting on this card as well, but I would not count on it as the main card seems completed.

After that, It's Showtime continues their lock on the HW division with #7 Hesdy Gerges vs. Alexey Ignashov on July 23.

Finally, 2010 K-1 Oceania champion Ben Edwards has two upcoming fights - April 2 vs. Carter Williams, and July 30 vs. an opponent TBA.  Good chance for Edwards to get back into the rankings with a pair of wins.

The #1 Ranked Alistair OvereemAs for #1 Alistair Overeem?  No clue.  His next fight should be an MMA fight against Fabricio Werdum in the opening round of the Strikeforce Grand Prix.  But with the recent UFC buyout of Strikeforce, who knows what this means.  Will Overeem continue on as Strikeforce champion?  Will he move into the UFC?  Will Zuffa allow him to still take kickboxing bouts on the side (don't bet on it).  It's all up in the air.  For now, get your Reem fix with the first episode of The Reem, Part 2.

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LiverKick.com Middleweight Rankings: Feb. 2010

Middleweight
1. Giorgio Petrosyan
2. Buakaw Por. Pramuk
3. Yoshihiro Sato
4. Andy Souwer
5. Albert Kraus
6. Nieky Holzken
7. Artur Kyshenko
8. Murat Dirkeci
9. Gago Drago
10. Pajonsuk
11. Mike Zambidis
12. Hinata
13. Saiyok Pumpanmuang
14. Sudsakorn Sor Klinmee
15. Yuichiro Nagashima
16. Chris Ngimbi
17. Mohamed Khamal
18. Yuya Yamamoto
19. Khem Sitsongpeenong
20. Hiroki Nakajima
21. John Wayne Parr
22. Chahid Oulad El Hadj
23. Leroy Kaestner
24. Marcus Oberg
25. Armen Petrosyan

Welcome back to the LiverKick.com rankings. These rankings are an attempt to break down the top 25 fighters in two different weight classes - Heavyweight, for fighters above the 77kg limit, and Middleweight, for fighters at the 70-72.5kg 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.

February 2011

The Middleweight rankings are, in a word, a mess.

The one thing we know for certain is #1.  Giorgio Petrosyan is starting his 2nd year ruling over the division with an iron fist.  He's clearly the #1 Middleweight, the #1 pound for pound kickboxer out there, and is entering that territory of best fighter period.  The trouble is, when a division has such a dominant #1, it often means the rest of the rankings begin to falter a bit.  And that's what we're seeing now.

The race for #2 is a tough one between a lot of fighters who have real reasons not to be considered #2.  By virtue of his legendary career, S-Cup win, and six fight win streak, Buakaw Por. Pramuk retains the #2 spot, but it gets harder to keep him there.  He started showing signs of slipping back in 2008, and hasn't defeated a ranked opponent in over a year and a half.

Meanwhile, Andy Souwer, a constant factor at the very top of the ranks, just recorded his 2nd loss to an unranked opponent in the past few months, losing a decision to Abraham Roqueni.  He drops to #4, while Yoshihiro Sato moves up to #3 - more by virtue of Souwer's loss then his own victories, although he has put together a good string of wins since his very rough late 2008-early 2009 run.

Overall, the MW ranks seem to be waiting for some of their newer fighters to really stake their claim at the top.  And there are definitely some good names out there ready to move up: #10 Pajonsuk, #12 Hinata, #14 Sudsakorn, #15 Yuichiro Nagashima, #16 Chris Ngimbi, and #17 Mohamed Khamal have all made big moves lately and are poised to move even higher.  Of those names, the two that had particularly noteworthy months are Sudsakorn and Nagashima.  Sudsakorn's win over now #19 Khem Sitsongpeenong in Thailand was the biggest fight yet this year from a rankings standpoint, while Nagashima defended K-1's honor with his stunning New Year's Eve knockout of Dream champion Shinya Aoki.

As we saw in the Heavyweight division, this next month will remain somewhat of a holding pattern for the Middleweights, with nothing big scheduled in February.  But that changes in March with a host of major fights.

First up, the March 6 It's Showtime show, which features #4 Andy Souwer trying to get back in the win column against L'houcine Ouzgni; a great fight between #7 Artur Kyshenko and #9 Gago Drago; #22 Chahid Oulad El Hadj vs. Robin van Roosmalen; and #23 Leroy Kaestner vs. Ramzi Tamaditi.

Giorgio PetrosyanMarch 12 is the Oktagon show from Italy with #1 Giorgio Petrosyan defending his status against the excellent Cosmo Alexandre, plus #3 Yoshihiro Sato vs. #25 Armen Petrosyan.  If Giorgio loses there I don't know what will become of the top 25.

But the big action to watch for is the July 3 It's Showtime show in Russia with #7 Artur Kyshenko vs. L'houcine Ouzgni, plus an 8 man tournament that could be the premiere Middleweight tournament of the year including #1 Giorgio Petrosyan, #4 Andy Souwer, #3 Yoshihiro Sato, #8 Murat Direkci, #9 Gago Drago, and #16 Chris Ngimbi.

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LiverKick.com Heavyweight Rankings

Heavyweight

1. Alistair Overeem
2. Peter Aerts
3. Semmy Schilt
4. Badr Hari
5. Gokhan Saki
6. Ewerton Teixeira
7. Kyotaro
8. Daniel Ghita
9. Hesdy Gerges
10. Tyrone Spong
11. Jerome Le Banner
12. Nathan Corbett
13. Errol Zimmerman
14. Ashwin Balrak
15. Ruslan Karaev
16. Zabit Samedov
17. Brice Guidon
18. Melvin Manhoef
19. Pavel Zhuravlev
20. Mourad Bouzidi
21. Anderson Silva
22. Rico Verhoeven
23. Mighty Mo
24. Raul Catinas
25. Alexey Ignashov

Welcome back to the LiverKick.com rankings. These rankings are an attempt to break down the top 25 fighters in two different weight classes - Heavyweight, for fighters above the 77kg limit, and Middleweight, for fighters at the 70-72.5kg 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.

February 2011

Since the January rankings, there has been very little movement in the heavyweight division.  The biggest HW fights were set to take place at the January 30 Ultimate Glory show, but once that was moved back to March, the HW division was essentially put on deep freeze for the time being.

There were, however, three points worth mentioning:

First, our last rankings were just before New Year's Eve, and so did not include Kyotaro's upset loss at the hands of Gegard Mousasi.  With that loss, Kyotaro drops one spot, being passed by Ewerton Teixeira (who holds a 2008 win over Kyotaro).

Second, Alexey Ignashov was in action, defeating Roman Kleibl, another fighter just outside the top 25.  While his performance wasn't great, recent wins over Kleibl and Freddy Kemayo are enough to sneak Ignashov in to the rankings at #25.  Ignashov will have his next big opportunity on July 23 when he challenges #9 Hesdy Gerges for the It's Showtime Heavyeight title.

Finally, the biggest news actually concerns out of the ring events.  While it pains me to do it, I've removed the formerly #4 ranked Remy Bonjasky from the rankings.  It's been well over a year since he last fought, and in that time we've heard that he's retiring soon, then silence.  There's still a chance we'll see him again, but it will likely just be a farewell fight, if it even happens at all.  I know Remy has his detractors, but he's in a rare air of K-1 greats, and it's a shame to see his career fade away in such a lackluster way.

As far as upcoming fights are concerned, we'll have to wait until March for much to happen - that's when we'll get both the Ultimate Glory semi-finals (#5 Gokhan Saki vs. Wendell Roche and #17 Brice Guidon vs. #20 Mourad Bouzidi), and the superb It's Showtime fight between #8 Daniel Ghita and #9 Hesdy Gerges.  Given K-1's troubles, it may be awhile before be get a HW fight to rival Gerges vs. Ghita.  That fight is set for It's Showtime Amsterdam on March 6, which will also feature #22 Rico Verhoeven vs. Jamal Benz on the undercard.

One other fight to note - on February 26 in Australia it will be Thor Hoopman vs. Paul Slowinski.  Although neither man is currently ranked, both are just outside the top 25, and a big win here could propel one of them into the rankings.

The #1 Ranked Alistair OvereemAnd finally, don't forget to keep your eyes on MMA promotion Strikeforce in the coming months.  That's where #1 Alistair Overeem will be found, as he faces Fabricio Werdum in the opening round of their Grand Prix tournament.  This weekend for Strikeforce, K-1 veteran Ray Sefo continues his MMA career against The Reem's big brother Valentijn Overeem, plus K-1 newcomer and MMA veteran Sergei Kharitonov meets Andrei Arlovski in the HW Grand Prix.

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