|Heavyweight (Per 10/13)|
|1.||Semmy Schilt (?)|
|7.||Mirko Cro Cop|
|Light HW (per 10/13)|
|Middleweight (per 11/25)|
|Welterweight (per 10/13)|
|70kg (Per 11/25)|
|2.||Robin van Roosmalen|
|65kg (per 10/6)|
|10.||Jerome Le Banner
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.
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.
Former #1 Alistair Overeem has been removed from the rankings after some intense discussion, we've come to the conclusion that as long as he is contracted with Zuffa the chances of Overeem fighting in another organization as a kickboxer has decreased to about zero. We are sad to see a talent such as his be confined to only Mixed Martial Arts but will continue to cheer him on.
This means that there was a lot of reshuffling to the weight classes for them to make sense, as with K-1's silence and a sincere doubt that there will be a K-1 World Heavyweight Grand Prix this year, we take a more global look at the weight classes and rankings for them. It is without dispute that the most accomplished kickboxer at Heavyweight/Super Heavyweight, and the man to beat is Semmy Schilt. Schilt does hold a WGP loss to Peter Aerts in 2011 and a loss to Badr Hari in 2010, but outside of that his record is pristine.
After a year of inaction, Badr Hari returned to the ring against a less-than-game Gregory Tony. Tony's performance might have been shameful, but Hari was in good shape, kept his cool and there is a promise of a bout with Tyrone Spong or Daniel Ghita on the horizon for It's Showtime in the Fall. For his recent accomplishments, though, without a doubt Badr Hari is one of the men to beat and secures his spot at #2. Mr. K1, Peter Aerts shocked the world taking it to Sem Schilt in December, making the Finals of the Heavyweight GP. Aerts had stated before the Grand Prix that it would be his last and he is contemplating retirement, so under those circumstances and for his recent accomplishments, the #3 slot is a great fit for him.
#4 Gokhan Saki is in action at the end of this month in the finals of the Glory World Series Heavyweight Tournament, where he'll take on Brice Guidon. While the tournament was not the toughest road for Saki, a win in it would further cement his spot in the top 5. We hope to see him against other top 5 competition soon. #5 Hesdy Gerges has once again been released from police custody and will be in action this weekend at It's Showtime. His bout with #6 Daniel Ghita was the biggest Heavyweight fight of the year so far and his win cemented his spot above Ghita. #7 Tyrone Spong is where things get messy, Spong holds a victory over #8 Kyotaro last year, who himself is largely inactive without K-1, but has a loss to #10 Jerome Le Banner. Le Banner of course has his forfeit loss to Kyotaro but little else outside of the Spong win recently. #9 Ewerton Teixeira is another fighter who only fights for K-1 so is in a state of limbo for the time being.Add a comment
Amir Zeyada has spent his career fighting in lower weight classes such as -70kg, -73kg and -77kg. This will be his first fight at -85kg, a big step up in weight. His last fight took place at -76kg and he lost that one against Murthel Groenhart. Having not fought for over a year you have to wonder if he'll be ready to face such a challenge in Sahak Parparyan. Judging from the weigh in pictures, Zeyada looks to have spent the time putting on the weight properly.
Sahak Parparyan is the exact opposite. He's spent his career fighting in the higher weight classes, most recently at -95kg back on March 26 against Marco Vlieger where he won a decision. Sahak looked much thinner than I've ever seen him at the weigh ins, as shown in the picture above. Once again, you have to wonder how the big change in weight has affected him. Just 2 months ago he fought at -95kg.
The fight being a 5 round fight should also ask some questions. Both men have proven they can go the distance, but with the new weight class, will they be able to last for all 5 rounds? Zeyada is a pretty high paced fighter while Sahak likes to take his time. We can't assume how the new weights will affect the fighters except for that usually getting bigger will slow down a fighter and cutting down will result in more speed and better conditioning if done right. Zeyada is the one who is moving up and Sahak the one who is moving down. Zeyada looks to have put on the weight well and surprisingly looks a bit bigger than Sahak.
Amir Zeyada has lost a lot of fights in the lower weight classes. Most of the times he's just gotten outskilled and a few times stopped. Moving up in weight isn't an easy task. A lot of fighters who move up can't maintain their chins in a higher weight class. Zeyada has been dropped and stopped before at lower weight classes. Sahak isn't a knockout artist by any means but he is primarily a puncher who throws hand combinations. With Sahak having fought at higher weight classes, it's hard to see him being hurt by Zeyada as well.
With Sahak primarily throwing punches, Zeyada will have to utilize his kicks which he can throw quite hard. Zeyada's kicks are the key to wearing Sahak down and limiting the power on his punches. It'd be better for Sahak to throw some kicks also as Zeyada is pretty susceptible to low kicks. Sahak will need to be active with his hands and work combinations to the body and head. Sometimes Sahak won't be active enough and that will result in Zeyada throwing a lot of hard kicks at him.
With both fighters changing weight classes, it's hard to say who will get the better of the weight change. I'd lean towards Sahak as he's fought in higher weight classes and felt power that Amir Zeyada probably doesn't possess. With Zeyada having been worked so many times in lower weight classes, it's hard to see him being able to withstand the Sahak's punches even though he isn't even a big puncher. 85kg is 9kg above where he last fought. That's almost 20lbs that he's moved up and 20lbs more power that he'll have to withstand. You also have to ask if he'll be slower with the added weight.
I favor Sahak in the fight just because Zeyada has never fought this high in weight. While Sahak has gone down almost 20lbs, it should only make him better. Zeyada won't be able to phase him and should be there all night for Sahak to hit him. Sahak will just have to stay active and he should be able to wear Zeyada down, possibly stopping him.Add a comment
Two Moroccan warriors clash in the third fight of the card as Mohammed Medhar takes on Hafid el Boustati.
Mohammed Medhar scored a big win over Gago Drago last September. Shortly after, many fans began to take notice. He went on to beat Jan van Denderen the next month and continued his on his roll. Unfortunately for him, his hype was derailed when he lost to Warren Stevelmans on the March 6 It's Showtime event in Amsterdam. Medhar looks to get back on track with a win over Hafid el Boustati.
Hafid el Boustati is looking to add to his resume of wins, already consisting of Chahid Oulad El Hadj and William Diender. el Boustati is coming off a draw on February 6 in Spain against Manuel Hinojo. He'll look to get back on track and higher into the ranks of the -70kg division with a win. el Boustati fights with a style that many Moroccan fighters like his stablemate Mosab Amrani have become known for, being fearless warriors in the ring.
Both fighters love to brawl and push forward throwing combos filled with power shots. Medhar proved in his fight against Gago Drago that he can go full speed for 3 full rounds and out pressure a pressure fighter. Although Medhar appeared tired at times, he pushed through it with pure grit and determination. Grit and determination will be the story of this fight as Hafid el Boustati won't be one to back down either.
Punches and kicks will be flying all over the place as one man looks to establish an advantage over his opponent. Each fighter will probably take turns backing up as they try to dictate the fight. I'd give the power advantage to Medhar. He has the type of power that can change a fight, visibly rocking Gago Drago and stopping Jan van Denderen. el Boustati is a tough customer and it will take a lot to phase him.
This fight has a good chance of being a war and possible fight of the night. Both men will leave it all on the line in the ring. Medhar looks to come back off a loss and el Boustati looks to come back off a disappointing draw. Hunger will be in the air and whoever wants it more will likely get it.
Don't be surprised if Medhar's power changes the fight in the blink of an eye. Still very young, you don't even know if Medhar has his "man strength" yet. He could get it all of a sudden and start knocking guys out left and right. I don't know about a knockout, but I do think Medhar will get the win in a hard fought fight. Look for a close decision in a back and forth fight with Medhar getting the better of the exchanges.Add a comment
Some quick programming notes for tonight, as HDnet adds on to their usual programming of Inside MMA and a fight card with a few awesome additions tonight. While tomorrow is the live It's Showtime event from The Sand in Amsterdam featuring Hesdy Gerges, tonight It's Showtime makes their United States debut on HDnet. What was a really fun card headlined by Badr Hari and a scared-out-of-his-mind Gregory Tony should be fun to watch with Michael Schiavello and Melvin Manhoef calling the action. The show was filled with some awesome knockouts and great action, but is just a taste of whats to come if you for some reason haven't seen It's Showtime yet.
It's Showtime airs at 11PM Eastern time.
That is of course directly following after the latest episode of Michael Schiavello's "The Voice Versus" series, a series of sit down interviews that pits Schiavello mano-e-mano with some of the biggest names in the world of combat sports. He takes a bit of a departure for this episode and will sit opposite someone who has had a very different impact on the world of fighting; Hulk Hogan. Now, I know what some people are thinking, that Hulk Hogan was just a professional wrestler from the 80's and maybe 90's if you were young enough or even young enough at heart.
What many seem to disregard is how closely related professional wrestling and MMA really are, with the easiest example I can think of is how the first season of The Ultimate Fighter can directly credit a lead-in from WWE's Monday Night RAW program. The first TUF was a bit over-the-top, with some larger than life characters and a lot of drama, it just so happened to also be one of the most talent-rich casts of the show ever. The sad irony is that was the first season, but the format has yielded some other contenders and champions after that first season. But, the point is that the professional wrestling audience that spilled over helped give MMA and the UFC a ton of exposure in a world that was still being a bit cold to Mixed Martial Arts.
Schiavello is clearly well-school in pro wrestling, asking questions about Hogan's career in Japan, the AWA and other parts of his early career outside of the standard "who was your favorite opponent" line of questioning. Hogan was, for what it's worth, pretty honest when in the past he has been known to pat himself on his back and push for his own agenda. A lot of older professional wrestlers have gone the way of the "shoot interview" -- a concept best known to hardcore wrestling fans, where an older wrestler sits down and talks about the wrestling world and "tells it how it is." This is of course rare, less rare since the surge of the internet, but the wrestling world is secretive and many wrestlers don't like to break down the wall between outsiders and themselves.
Hogan came across as personable and a bit humbled, especially when talking about some of his fallen friends such as Andre the Giant and more recent losses such as "Mr. Perfect" Curt Hennig and "Ravishing" Rick Roode.
The Voice Versus airs at 10PM on HDnet tonight.Add a comment
In the second fight of the main card, Dutchman Robert van Nimwegen takes on Peruvian Frank Pareces Vilches in a -65kg contest.
Robert van Nimwegen fights out of the Van Os Gym in Alkmaar, Holland. He holds an unspectacular 0-4 record in It's Showtime. Tomorrow at It's Showtime in Amsterdam, he's looking to finally get in the win column under the It's Showtime banner.
A veteran of the game, van Nimwegen has yet to have a breakthrough in the kickboxing world. He's often lost when he takes a step up in competition and can win fighting lower level opponents. His next opponent will be another step up in competition. Can he finally win and make a move up the ladder?
Although not well known, Frank Pareces Vilches is a veteran of the kickboxing game, mostly fighting under Thai rules. He's fought and trained all over the world including living and training in Russia and Uzbekistan. Currently living and training out of the Superpro Samui camp in Thailand, he's looking to make a name for himself on the main card of a big event. It's Showtime is one of the biggest stages of kickboxing and just fighting there will make him more recognized.
This fight likely comes down to who will throw more strikes and dictate the fight. van Nimwegen likes to come forward but he doesn't throw anything if strikes are coming his way. Vilches has shown that he can move around his opponent with footwork and get some shots off. Vilches like to counter with the hands and string together combinations. Although he doesn't have the prettiest technique with his hands, his combinations are put together quite nicely and accurately. If Vilches can keep throwing strikes while moving, he has a high chance of winning.
van Nimwegen's best strike is probably his right low kick. He throws a hard low kick that will definitely slow down opponents. The problem with him though is that he doesn't strike enough. He'll come forward and cover up without throwing anything back while opponents are striking. Vilches can move around the ring and strike so van Nimwegen will need to open up to win the fight. van Nimwegen can absorb a lot of punishment and all of that happens when he covers up and doesn't throw anything.
Although primarily fighting under Thai rules, Vilches has the style to make it work in It's Showtime's K-1-like ruleset. He mixes his combinations together nicely, utilizing both punches and kicks. He'll mostly just throw low kicks at his opponents and then get to work with the hands.
Vilches has the style to give van Nimwegen fits. van Nimwegen will most likely be following Vilches around the ring while Vilches picks his shots. Vilches' hand combinations will come through and get him a unanimous decision victory.Add a comment