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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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Last week "Fightshark" Mark Miller was featured on Ariel Helwani's radio show on AOL/MMAFighting.com, which garnered a whole lot of attention. That is something to be said for this whole ordeal, about six months ago the average fan did not know about Mark's story, nor did the average promoter. There were a lot of talks with a lot of promoters and some remembered him while others had no clue. It was frustrating, to say the least, to see such a talent with such a huge story and people did not know what to make of it. Finally, it took Martijn de Jong's Glory World Series to say, "that guy, we want that guy."

Now I can only imagine how those promoters who passed up the opportunity feel as Mark has received a ton of more mainstream media attention in the United States than any kickboxing show has received in many, many years. So you reap what you sow. Of course, with more attention from the media comes... more attention. If you've been on the internet for a while, you know what that means; more people trolling, insulting and generally speaking being snotty. Being featured on the AOL Sports homepage led to some doubting the shape he is in, or how smart it is for him to fight. In his last installment of his MMAWeekly blog, Mark replies.

Before I launch too far into this I want to clear something up. I recently was a featured article on AOL Sports, and I understand a lot of comments were made regarding my health, questioning if my coming back is truly a good idea.

I can say this: my surgery was performed at the Cleveland Clinic, and was done by the greatest specialists and surgeons in the world regarding my particular kind of condition. I was cleared to fight, told I was at no more risk than any other fighter, by these same specialists. That said, there should be no concern of any kind regarding my safety any more than there is concern for any other fighter.

I am not risking my life any more than I would be had I not had the surgery, and I am at no risk. In fact, my heart is stronger now than it ever was when I fought before.

Read the rest of the article to see how he handles preparing for the fight, his mental state and the thoughts that race through his head.

The Glory World Series is Saturday morning in the United States, airing live on YouTube at 11am Eastern time for $7.95. You can order the event now or just wait until Saturday morning when the event is live. Mark is the first fighter to return from open heart surgery, a surgery where his aortic valve was replaced with a cadaver valve, one that is considered "as good as new" for him to ensure he would not only be able to keep fighting, but be in better shape than ever. He fights Nikolaj Falin at Heavyweight.

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Middleweight
1. Giorgio Petrosyan
2. Andy Souwer
3. Buakaw Por. Pramuk
4. Mike Zambidis
5. Artur Kyshenko
6. Sudsakorn Sor Klinmee
7. Yoshihiro Sato
8. Chris Ngimbi
9. Albert Kraus
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.

May 2011

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.

PetroThat means there were some very pronounced changes to the 70-72.5kg rankings. Part of the move to adding a 77kg ranking is certain fighters, Nieky Holzken in particular, will be absent from the 70kg rankings, and others will be moving up to reflect the changes. Of course no one will usurp #1 Giorgio Petrosyan, as he has earned his spot as the top Middleweight in the world. He'll have to prove his mettle once again in his third big tournament this year with It's Showtime running a huge 70kg tournament later this year. Petrosyan's next challenge is #10 HINATA. HINATA has been fighting for REBELS in Japan, who has just announced will become a part of It's Showtime Japan, and the first bout to promote the name will be Petro vs. HINATA.

The #2 spot was a lot tougher to choose, as #3 Buakaw Por Pramuk does hold his victory in the 2010 S-Cup, but he also has no major kickboxing bouts on his plate as of right now. He has re-focused on Muay Thai, mainly in the Thai Fight promotion. #2 Andy Souwer has stayed active in the thick of the action, and while there are some head-scratchers of losses on his record, he has solid wins over top competition in 70kg as well as over fighters from the 77kg division. #4 Mike Zambidis has had an incredible career resurgence of late. Last year he made it to the Finals of the K-1 World MAX tournament and has continued in his winning ways this year, including a 4-man tournament recently.

The #5, #6 and #7 spots were a lot more difficult to decide, as Artur Kyshenko, Sudsakorn and Yoshihiro Sato have all had their ups and downs within the division. Kyshenko is clearly the front-runner out of the three fighters, with Sudsakorn making a very calculated and successful approach on the international scene over the past few years. Sato has had a few tough losses, including one to Andy Souwer that keep him in the top 10 but make it a lot easier for him to slip.

#8 Chris Ngimbi will be a part of It's Showtime's upcoming tournament and many are outwardly calling for Ngimbi to fight Giorgio Petrosyan, just to see the It's Showtime 70kg MAX title around the waist of an undisputed champion. Ngimbi has successfully defended his title in an incredible fashion at It's Showtime Lyon with a flying knee KO on Willy Borrel. Many feel that Petrosyan is clearly the top fighter and to have a fighter like Ngimbi holding the title makes little sense, but Ngimbi has the skills, passion and power to make a run at the top, and all will be decided later this year in It's Showtime's tournament.

Both #9 Albert Kraus and #10 HINATA are top level fighters who have had some struggles of late, losing to some lower-ranked competition while holding their own against top competition. Both men are far from done and continue to prove in every fight that the 70kg division is a deep division with a lot of talent. HINATA challenges Petrosyan over the summer. Kraus should, without a doubt be a lot higher in the rankings, as his only losses over the past two years come by the way of Giorgio Petrosyan for top competition, then comes the head scratcher. His loss to Bhatu Khasikov hurts him immensely. Bhatu is still young and a relative unknown, plus the judging in the fight seemed less-than-fair. Regardless, it is a mark of shame on Kraus's record for the time being, which can be avenged with wins over some top 5 competition.

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K-1

Just about twenty-four hours after It's Showtime was announced to be entering into the Land of the Rising Sun, forming It's Showtime Japan, K-1 director Tanikawa decided that it was time to "strike back." There have long been rumors as to when exactly K-1 will return, if ever. The first big rumor was that K-1 would announce a comeback in the beginning of May. Seeing as though we are staring down the barrel of June, it's safe to say that it is a few weeks behind schedule.

It would be crass to not assume that It's Showtime's announcement had nothing to do with K-1 all of a sudden springing to life and wishing to protect their turf. We will keep you updated on the situation, and if the rumors are true we can expect another 63kg K-1 show, as the shows from last year were Japan-centric and helped work on building new stars for the Japanese audience.

In other K-1-related news, Tetsuya Yamato, the 63kg tournament winner last year was victorious in NJKF action against Masato Nishiyama, and K-1 Heavyweight star Kyotaro has announced on his Twitter that he is looking to enter the world of professional wrestling, much like Nagashima has.

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The Glory World Series is happening this weekend, and honestly, this is one of the biggest kickboxing cards of the year. The Glory World Series Finals features Gokhan Saki vs. Brice Guidon, a big fight by any standards. On top of that, Sergei Kharitonov faces off with Mighty Mo, Nieky Holzken takes on Artur Kyshenko, Mourad Bouzidi challenges the powerhouse Errol Zimmerman and Mark "Fightshark" Miller will make his grand return against Nikolaj Failn.

The event will air on YouTube.com/FightGameTV this Saturday.

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Shunsuke has made an absolutely amazing tribute and recap of the legendary Masato's kickboxing career. It's 3 hours long and in 17 parts on Youtube but this is an absolute must see for any fans of kickboxing or people that don't know much about kickboxing. Everything about this video is simply amazing. Here's Part 1 and you can see the rest from here. Enjoy.

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As I alluded to earlier, It's Showtime and REBELS are set to work together on July 18th in an event promoted by Stand Up Japan! The main event is set to be Giorgio Petrosyan vs. HINATA, which is one of the biggest non-K-1 MAX or Shootboxing fights Japan has seen in quite a while. There was talk of It's Showtime and the European Fighting Network establishing "It's Showtime Japan" in Japan, along with REBELS and a few other big names in Japan, but I didn't want to talk about it until I was sure (my Japanese only goes so far).

Nightmare of Battle did the honors of translating it, and it looks like It's Showtime Japan is a venture between It's Showtime's partners (It's Showtime and European Fighting Network), Japanese Martial Arts Directors (JMD) and REBELS. Together they have incorporated It's Showtime Japan, which will run it's first show next Spring. It will be a public company with Japanese kickboxer Toshio Fujiwara as the representative director.

It's Showtime Japan will establish eight weight classes, which will all have their set of rankings and help broaden the talent pool for It's Showtime's World Championships. Those weight classes are 61kg, 65kg, 70kg, 73kg, 77kg, 85kg, 95kg and Heavyweight.

The July show, main-evented by Petrosyan and HINATA will be "It's Showtime Japan Countdown-1" -- promoted by Stand Up Japan! and It's Showtime Japan, it will not be an It's Showtime event proper, instead part of a charity event and the first in a series of "countdown" shows leading into the debut of It's Showtime in Japan. Needless to say, It's Showtime has declared war on K-1 by moving into their home turf and working with one of the only kickboxing organizations that they aren't actively involved with, we'll see how this plays out.

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