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LiverKick.com Rankings


Heavyweight (Per 4/15)
1. Rico Verhoeven
2. Daniel Ghita
3. Gokhan Saki
4. Tyrone Spong
5. Peter Aerts
6. Errol Zimmerman up
7. Benjamin Adegbuyiup
8. Ismael Londt up
9. Hesdy Gerges up
10. Ben Edwards up

Light HW (per 4/15)
1. Gokhan Saki up
2. Tyrone Spong down
3. Danyo Ilunga
4. Nathan Corbett down
5. Saulo Cavalari

Middleweight (per 4/15)
1. Wayne Barrett
2. Joe Schilling
3. Artem Levin
4. Steven Wakeling
5. Franci Grajs

Welterweight (per 4/15)
1. Nieky Holzken 
2. Joseph Valtellini 
3. Simon Marcus
4. Marc de Bonte
5. Aussie Ouzgni

 

70kg (Per 4/15)
1. Davit Kiriaup
2. Andy Ristiedown
3. Robin van Roosmalendown
4. Giorgio Petrosyandown
5. Murthel Groenhart
6. Buakaw Banchamek
7. Dzhabar Askerov
8. Ky Hollenbeckup
9. Aikprachaup
10. Enriko Kehlup

65kg (per 1/20)
1. Masaaki Noiri
2. Mosab Amraniup
3. Yuta Kubo down
4. Sagetdao
5. Liam Harrison

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I finally got around to watching the MuayThai Premiere League's second event on TV that I had PVR'd from last night. The fights were great and filled with action. I'm going to focus on the actual production  and promotional aspects of the promotion. This was my first time watching the MPL on TV and I came away thinking that there is some room for improvement in their production values and promotion.

The show itself is pretty standard: Introductions, fights, post fight interview, repeat. There's not really any connection made to the fighters, no actual promotion of the fighters themselves on the broadcast. I myself don't mind as I have no problem with just standard fights but I can't help but feel that other people who watched the event feel a real pull towards a fighter. Sure, fighting speaks for itself and the fights were great but many are drawn in by personalities. There was really no showcase of individual personalities aside from a short, somewhat awkward post-fight interview. Most notably, they definitely missed the boat on promoting Ky Hollenbeck who is one of the top American fighters in Muay Thai. Fans can relate to someone from their home country competing on the world stage.

The event was definitely a missed opportunity for promotion. How is anyone supposed to know or care if there are no means of watching? The only place the event was broadcast was in Canada on The Score where I watched. Eurosport just got around to airing the first event. There's virtually no internet buzz.

In terms of the actual setting, it should be altered for a better viewing experience. The dark ring canvas along with the whole crowd seemingly blacked out (probably to hide the poor attendance) isn't very viewer-friendly. The setting needs to be brightened up a bit. It's a bit like Bellator's problem where the cage colours create a dull appearance but in this case, the setting is very contrasted.

As for commentary, Mauro Ranallo is cool and all for MMA but the reality is he just isn't that knowledgable about Muay Thai. He's out of his element. It also seems to me that the commentary is more kickboxing oriented than Muay Thai. This can be attributed to there being a lot of kickboxing stylists in the MPL but not enough attention is given to important aspects of Muay Thai like clinch striking, throws and overall dominance. These were really only highlighted a few times over the whole broadcast. Most of the time it seemed that punches were getting the most attention scoring-wise for the commentary team when they aren't valued as much as the other weapons in the arsenal of a nak muay.The judging seems to lean more towards kickboxing too, but that's a whole other story.

Do I like the MPL? Yes, I do but they have their flaws and this is just what I think they can improve on. Their format is great and the right idea is there. Hopefully they can make improvements to bring their product to the next level.

 

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There aren't many people in the world who conduct body heat, which means that for most of us humans, we wear jackets. It's OK to admit this, because the truth is, even Ubereem wears jackets and he has proven to be the next iteration of humanity's evolution through unparalleled striking and grappling skills and looking like the Incredible Hulk. Now that we've given you a strong point of reference in Alistair Overeem, K-1 World Grand Prix Champion 2010, DREAM Heavyweight Champion and former Strikeforce Heavyweight Champion (never lost the title, was fired for being too awesome) and possibly future UFC Heavyweight Champion, and proved that yes, he wears jackets.

So to explain that Columbia Sportswear, a company that is known for making quality winter gear and being one of the few industry standards, went out and found a guy who produces immense body heat with his mind and can survive arctic temperatures in nothing but a pair of shorts, well, you'll probably not believe it. So watch and learn. Columbia has developed a new electric jacket. Yes, it is literally goddamned electric, and it warms you up at the touch of a button. All in all, that is a whole love easier than mentally preparing yourself to "not be cold" while in sub-zero temperatures.

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I've got to admit the idea of hopping on a Greyhound bus and traveling to Atlantic City has never been on my top ten list of things I'm really interested in doing before I die. Actually it has never even been on my list of things to ever contemplate doing in my life. I would have probably thrown going to Atlantic City on my list of things I'll be happy to never do. Fortunately my good buddy Bauzen used some jedi mind trickery and dangled some Catvonc style kryptonite in front of my face and convinced me to cash in some travel vouchers and head to the Jersey shore for the weekend. I say fortunately because had Bauzen not exploited my weakness I might not have gone out of my way to attend what in my opinion was one of the most well run, classiest and amazing combat sports events I've ever attended.

The show that Take On Productions, in association with MSG Sports puts on is a well oiled machine and I can only hope they continue to grow and their show is able to expand throughout the country. From the local favorite talented ring announcer Larry Legend to MuayThaiislife.com owner Eric Rivera handling the fight commentary, to the promotors and fighters-this is a professional and entertaining show. I know from personal experience, we've got nothing that even comes close to their level of production quality here in Atlanta. Take On's event truly made me fall deeper in lust with the sport of Muay Thai and if you ever have the opportunity to go to one of their shows I say you had better jump on it. I'm not even mad that I somehow lost an earring, a ring, a phone charger and a flat iron in the post fight celebrations. I'll blame all of that on sharing too many watermelon rock rancher drinks with Bauzen's girlfriend.

The West Coast has always boasted about having the creme de la creme of Muay Thai fighters on American soil but I think the gyms on the East Coast are ready to give them a run for their money. Gyms like Sitan NY, Phil Nurse's The Wat, Cool Hearts from Philly and Boston Muay Thai just to name a few-have trained and assembled crews of skilled and exciting fighters that combat sport junkies need to start paying close attention to. From the ammy fights to the pro debuts and full rules title fights-there was not one moment where I felt the action was lagging. Here's some of the highlights of the night:

Amateur fight Rich Brattole of Weapons 9/Strategic Combat Gym vs Tim Scmeier of Sitan NY

These guys were both obviously not used to wearing headgear, which is a New Jersey athletic commission rule and not a requirement where the fighters normally fight in their home state of NY, but despite that they went to war with each other trading blows back and forth for the entire 3 round contest.

Amateur fight Caitlyn Dempsey of Impact Martial Arts vs Christina Rodriguez of Girl Fight MMA NJ

The ladies brought the first blood of the evening and the first extremely loud crowd response of the night. Caitlyn Dempsey won her debut fight and the crowd erupted in excitement.

Amateur fight Tianna Urman of The Wat vs Prarie Ruglio of Girl Fight MMA

Prarie came at Tianna Urman raging with unrelenting fists for one full minute before her right hand shut Urman down for good. Girl Fight MMA fans in the crowd went absolutely bonkers and let's be honest, Bauzen had a momentary fear of being trampelled by a mass of angry lesbians.

Main event Justin Greskiewicz of Cool Hearts Muay Thai Philly vs Eddie Martinez of Sitan Gym NY

Another really great fight featuring one of the Sitan gym fighters Eddie Martinez versus the always fun to watch purple haired Justin Greskiewicz. Justin took full advantage of the NJ elbow allowance and used those along with some kicks and punching combos to take the very close split decision win over Eddie Martinez.

Pro fight Jay Matias of Sitan Gym NY vs Jake Mainini of Boston Muay Thai

Saving the best for last here-this was the pro debut for both of these fighters and most of the media in attendance agree it was hands down the fight of the night. These two stole the show and put on an amazing display of technical and precise Muay Thai from round one all the way to the end of the fifth round and never once looked fatigued. Jay Matias gave the crowd a show that they will talk about for years afterwards with his arsenal of kicks and unrelenting combinations that ultimately won him the unanimous decision over an also very skilled Mainini. Here's a small video clip from this fan favorite fight to help fill your hungry Muay Thai bellies.

I know right now you are sitting there dying to watch the rest of that fight. As a matter of fact, I'm certain you want to watch the whole event and you are now angrily axe kicking your little sister into your mom's plastic covered couch because you missed out on all the action this weekend. Well calm down and stop being an angry bully. You can go check out the whole event on GFL.tv right now. The full event results on TakeOnProductions.com and don't forget to follow TakeOn Muay Thai on Twitter and like them on Facebook for all the information you are going to need about their upcoming shows.

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The Tatneft Cup tournament is once again in its final stages. Competitors have advanced to the finals, having to win three fights over the course of the Tatneft Cup 2011 campaign to get there. The final match-ups are looking great due to some more talent being recruited this year. All the finals bouts will be six rounds of three minutes, unlike the normal four rounds of three minute matches in the Tatneft Cup. For more info on just what exactly the Tatneft Cup is, I wrote an article a while back illustrating why it's pretty awesome.

Starting off with the 70kg final, Dzhabar Askerov takes on Maxim Smirnov in what has all the makings of a great fight. Askerov always comes to throw down, and his fight with Enriko Gogokhia that advanced him to this position is a great example of that. With Smirnov having a pretty good boxing background (8-4-2 as a pro boxer with respectable losses), he tends to be pretty hands-heavy in his approach and this is what can really make the fight a slugfest. Smirnov is fresh off a stoppage win over Maxim Shalnev on Saturday while Askerov's last fight was on July 23rd in a win over Enriko Gogokhia that advanced him here. This should be a great one.

In the 80kg final, a battle of two top fighters at the weight takes place between Dmitry Shakuta and Alexander Oleinik. Both fighters are really good. Shakuta has been around for a long time, with the former It's Showtime 77MAX World Champion being among his accolades. Oleinik has burst on the scene over the past year or two, particularly after his tournament win in Moldova that included stoppage wins over Sem Braan and Constantin Tutu. This year, Oleinik beat another top fighter in Alexander Stetsurenko to get to the finals. Shakuta just picked up a win over Stetsurenko on October 20th. This should be a really good, technical fight. Both of their last fights in the Tatneft tournament against Yordan Yankov and Alexander Stetsurenko respectively are ones that you should definitely check out.

Lastly, in the heavyweight final Dutch-based fighter Hicham Achalhi faces Ukrainian Dmitry Bezus. Achalhi has popped up this year due to his participation in the tournament and actually just picked up a win on Sunday. Bezus has experience fighting at heavyweight, including a win over Konstantin Gluhov and a good amateur pedigree. Ismael Londt won the Tatneft Cup in this divison last year and has since skyrocketed up the ranks. Maybe the winner of this bout can have similar success.

Along with the final match-ups are some single bouts. Enriko Gogokhia fights Philippe Salmon at 70kg, Alexander Stetsurenko fights Hicham El Gaoui, who recently beat L'houcine "Aussie" Ouzgni, at 80kg and Dzevad Poturak fights Brazillian Ricardo Christian at heayvweight.

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LondtThe departure of a select few Heavyweight and Super Heavyweight Kickboxers from K-1 action has led the media and fans to quickly declare Heavyweight Kickboxing as "dead" and that there is a shallow talent pool. We here at LiverKick.com beg to differ, as K-1 might be the type of company to promote the same fighters year in and year out, but that does not mean there is no other talent out there. About a week ago, I wrote an article that Heavyweight Kickboxing was not dead, and Rian followed up with his own proof. The basic idea is that while some of your favorites might not be fighting in Kickboxing (for a while, let's be honest, they'll be back), that does not mean that there is a lack of talent. There is actually a ton of talent out there, and just as I promised, it is time to start introducing more fans to them.

First up is Ismael Londt. Londt fights out of the legendary Team Slamm, known for their Muay Thai adapted to Kickboxing. He is a 24 year old fighter and for a fighter as young as he is, he is already getting a lot of hype and has amassed a 25-2-1 record, which is impressive considering the level of competition he has been fighting. He has wins over fighters like Sergei Laschenko, Sebastian Ciobanu, Rico Verhoeven and Mladen Brestovac. If you aren't familiar with all of those names that is OK, but understand they are some of the best fighters coming up in the scene.

Londt has moved up in the SuperKombat tournament to the Final 4 and he faces yet another young star in Pavel Zhuravlev in a widely anticipated bout. Now, as to why people are excited about Londt.

The way Londt moves is like a veteren who has been around for many years. He mixes in a lot of the explosiveness that a fighter like Badr Hari brings to the table while still controlling his emotions and remembering to defend himself before going crazy. He is a Kickboxers Kickboxer, with great technique and legitimate Fight IQ. He goes for the kill when he sees it, and when he doesn't he makes sure to cover his bases without getting frustrated. So of course, why tell when we can show?

Vs. Mladen Brestovac

Vs. Sebastian Ciobanu

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I don't even need to say much, this picture is worth a thousand words.

Londt

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