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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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Thai Fight Extreme's Tokyo event on August 7 is set and It's Showtime 73MAX World Champion Yohan Lidon will take on MMA veteran Akihiro Gono at -75kg.

After many years fighting MMA, Gono recently switched his focus to pure striking this year. Gono started off his kickboxing career, jumping straight into the deep end, dropping a decision to Yuya Yamamoto. Gono then went straight into Thai rules, winning a 4 man tournament to qualify as the Japanese representative in the -70kg Thai Fight final tournament later this year. Once again, Gono will go straight into the deep end again when he takes on a high level fighter in Yohan Lidon.

Yohan Lidon recently won the It's Showtime 73MAX World Title, topping Marat Grigorian in a tough 5 round bout. Lidon returned to action just a month later, getting a 5 round devision over Kongjak Sor Tuantong, a fighter who had previously stopped Lidon in Thailand. Lidon is riding a 3 fight win streak and Gono will be a notable step down in competition.

Lidon really shouldn't have much trouble here, as Gono is quite inexperienced and hasn't fought anywhere near the competition of Lidon.

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At Saturday's K-1 MAX -63kg 2011 Japan GP, the biggest non-tournament news coming out of the event was the announcement of six of the eight competitors in this year's MAX -70kg Japan Tournament. The Japan tournament is often the highest profile of the qualifying tournaments for the MAX Final 16 and has launched the K-1 careers of many Japanese kickboxers. Notable past winners include Masato, Taishin Kohiruimaki, Yoshihiro Sato, Yoshihiro Kido and last year's tournament champion Yuichiro "Jienotsu" Nagashima.

Last year's tournament rivaled the excitement of the 2010 K-1 -63kg Tournament, providing upsets, spectacular knockouts and a FOTY candidate finals in which Nagashima and Hiroki Nagashima slugged it out until Nagashima rattled Nakajima with a right hand that ultimately ended his night.

The announced participants of this year's tournament are 2010 Japan GP Champion Yuichiro Nagashima, 2010 Runner-up Hiroki Nakajima, 2009 Japan GP Finalist and 2009 World MAX Final 4 competitor Yuya Yamamoto, 2008 Japan GP Champion Yasuhiro Kido and tournament newcomers Shintaro Matsukura and Go Yokoyama. The two open slots will likely go to tournament mainstays Tatsuji and Ryuji are up for grabs and no word has been put out by K-1 regarding the final two slots.

Nagashima is likely to be pushed as the face and favorite of this tournament because of last year's win as well as his appearance in the Final 8 and his upset victory over Shinya Aoki in their exhibition at Dynamite!! 2010. Nagashima hasn't fought since the exhibition against Aoki, making his pro-wrestling debut in the meantime. Looking for a repeat, Nagashima will have to use his heavy hands to blast his way through the tournament yet again.

Nakajima was hand-picked as Masato's successor by the man himself, but has yet to show the level of promise that many have expected. Since his loss in the tournament finals, Nakajima has been outclassed by Albert Kraus at the Final 16 and Buakaw Por. Pramuk at Sengoku Soul of Fight. Nakajima comes in off of a KO victory over YOSHI in the quarterfinals of the Krush 70kg GP. Another trip to the finals wouldn't be unlikely, but with such high expectations, a tournament win is what he really needs.

Kido and Yamamoto are more or less in the same position. Both have been pegged as upcoming talents in the division yet have fallen on hard times recently. After a win at the 2008 Japan Tourmament, Kido knocked out Chi Bin Lim in the Final 16 only to go on a 4 fight losing streak. After two reserve fight wins in the 2009 Final 16 and Final 8 events, Kido was planted by a Yoshirio Sato right hook in a Finals reserve fight and has since dropped decisions to the unheralded Ryuji and Vahid Rosyani. Yamamoto managed to make it to the Finals of the World Tournament in 2004 after an impressive upset over Gago Drago in the Final 8, only to fall to eventual tournament winner and 70kg kingpin Giorgio Petrosyan. Since the loss, Yamamoto has gone 3-3, with upset losses against Hinata and fellow participant Shintaro Matsukura. A Japan Tournament victory may be the thing to re-ignite the careers of both fighters.

Matsukura and Go Yokoyama are relative unknowns, with Matsukura likely being invited to the tournament because of his upset win over Yuya Yamamoto in an entertaining fight in the Krush 70kg Tournament. Yokoyama has fought in K-1 before, losing via 3rd round TKO to Jae Gil Noh at the 2009 MAX Final 8 event. Matsukura brings decent power and combination punching combined with a good chin and great resiliency while Yokoyama brings a flashy karate style in the vein of Keiji Ozaki and Kizaemon Saiga. Honestly, I don't like the chances of either fighter, as Matsukura was being bullied by Yamamoto until a knockdown in the 3rd which won him the fight and Yokoyama often favors dropping his hands when he throws his kicks which got him KO'd against Noh and will most certainly get him KO'd against the likes of Nagashima, Nakajima, Kido and Yamamoto.

The biggest question about the tournament, however, does not involve any of the fighters, but when the tournament will take place. The Japan Tournament often takes place in February or March, but with K-1's financial troubles, they were unable to do so. With It's Showtime's Fast & Furious tournament taking place on September 24th, timing for K-1 will be crucial as many of the world's top fighters are locked up in that tournament. Sooner, rather than later would probably be wise for the tournament if K-1 wishes to have its MAX GP with top fighters in 2011.

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A picture often says a thousand words, and for 23 year old Yuta Kubo, this picture explains exactly what he did last night. Kubo was definitely not the favorite going in, but looking back, he should have been on the radar. [source]

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The K-1 World Max 2011 -63kg Japan Tournament will be streaming live at 2:30 EST/11:30 PST. An eight man -63kg tournament featuring names such as Koya Urabe, Tetsuya Yamato and Yuta Kubo will fill most of the card. Along with the tournament, a super fight between long time K-1 MAX competitors Yoshihiro Sato and Albert Kraus will be fought at -70kg. You can watch the fight on K-1's Youtube channel, Ustream channel or Facebook page. Click on each one for links.If you'd like play by play, we'll be on twitter at @LiverKickdotcom or @rianscalia. Enjoy what's sure to be an action packed event.

Reserve Fight #1:

Toshiki Taniyama defeats Yuto Watanabe by Unanimous Decision in an Extra Round.

Reserve Fight #2:

Koji Yoshimoto defeats Shohei Asahara by Unanimous Decision in an Extra Round.

Quarter Final #1:

Tetsuya Yamato defeats HIROYA by Unanimous Decision.

Quarter Final #2:

Koya Urabe defeats Yuki by Majority Decision.

Quarter Final #3:

Yuta Kubo defeats Kizaemon Saiga by Majority Decision.

Quarter Final #4:

Masaaki Noiri defeats Ryuji Kajiwara by Split Decision in an Extra Round.

Semi Final #1:

Koya Urabe defeats Tetsuya Yamato by Unanimous Decision.

Semi Final #1:

Yuta Kubo defeats Masaaki Noiri by Unanimous Decision.

Super Fight:

Yoshihiro Sato defeats Albert Kraus by Majority Decision.


Yuta Kubo defeats Koya Urabe by Unanimous Decision. Add a comment

It's Showtime officially sent out a press release today regarding their draws for their Fast and Furious 70kg MAX tournament, the draw takes place in Brussels, Belgium on June 30th at 1pm Eastern. [source]

On June 30th, the world’s best kickboxing champions will come to Forest National in Brussels for the grand draw of the Fast & Furious 70 Max Tournament. The ultimate moment when it will finally be revealed who competes with whom during 'Music Hall & BFN Group present IT'S SHOWTIME Fast & Furious 70 Max' on September 24th. The draw will be streamed live and for free and will be as glamorous as the tournament itself.

On the list of kickboxers are Giorgio Petrosyan, Andy Souwer, Gago Drago, Murat Direkçi, Chris Ngimbi, Harut Grigorian, Artur Kyshenko and Chahid Oulad el Hadj. Daniella Somers, eightfold world champion, who is training two of the kickboxers, will also be present at the draw.

IT'S SHOWTIME is world’s greatest kickboxing organization and combines top-class sport with lots of glitter and glamour. The
organization tours around the world and is counting on sold-out arenas everywhere. The event on September 24th in Forest National will be broadcasted in 162 countries. Since May, Music Hall has been exclusive agent and co-producer of the shows together with BFN Group.

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With this weekend's K-1 -63kg Tournament, I thought it would be appropriate to rank the fighters in terms of their chances of winning the tournament. Tetsuya Yamato entered the tournament last year as a relative unknown and powered his way through the tournament, concluding with an all-action final against Yuta Kubo in one of 2010's FOTY candidates. This year's field is comprised of eight of the very best Lightweights in Japan, all of whom have the legitimate ability to take this year's throne. Who are this year's favorites? Who are this year's dark horses? Who will reign supreme? We'll find out on June 25th, but for now, here's my speculation as to who's who in the -63kg division.

1. Yuta Kubo - In the two major lightweight tournaments Kubo has been in, he made it to the finals of both. Unfortunately for him, he lost both as a result of a 3rd round knockdown and a 3rd round knockout in fights he was presumably winning, at the hands of Masahiro Yamamoto and Tetsuya Yamato, respectively. However, in the lead up to both of those finals and even in the finals themselves, Kubo displayed high level technique, accompanied with power, dispatching  the likes of Naoki Ishikawa, leg kick wizard DJ Taiki, Keiji Ozaki and Yoshimichi Matsumoto, the last of which by spectacular KO. Kubo fell to Yamato in the exciting finals of last year's -63kg GP, seeming to have simply run out of steam in the third round of their fight. Despite his tournament finals shortcomings, Kubo brings to the table a variety of deceptive, powerful kicks and the hands to set them up, culminating in the ability to reach yet another tournament final. However this time, I feel it is his for the taking.

2. Koya Urabe - Just three months ago, it would seem ludicrous to not have Urabe as the tournament favorite. He was the king without a crown, being left out of last year's Final 8 despite winning his Final 22(16?) match quite handily. Then, in September of last year, after Tetsuya Yamato's tournament victory, Urabe dismantled the K-1 Champion over the course of three rounds, earning a decisive victory, leading many to call for his standing as the true K-1 Champion. After a close fight against rising sensation Sung Hyun Lee in the quarterfinals of the Krush 63kg Tournament and a relatively easy win over Takuya Shirahama in the semis, Urabe looked poised to stay atop the scene at 63kg before being upset by Ruyji Kajiwara in the finals. Urabe's strengths are his hands, which may be the best among the tournament field, and his defense, both of which make him a considerable favorite over his first round opponent Yuki. Revenge is on Urabe's mind, but will he be able to enact it? Only time will tell.


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