|Heavyweight (Per 1/20)|
|6.||Mirko Cro Cop
|Light HW (per 1/20)|
|Middleweight (per 1/20)|
|Welterweight (per 1/20)|
|4.||Marc de Bonte|
|70kg (Per 1/20)|
|2.||Robin van Roosmalen|
|65kg (per 1/20)|
Look, I know that only Americans call it Soccer and that everywhere else in the world it is Football. I get it. The...Read more
|11.||Jerome Le Banner
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.
Kickboxing continues on in the face of K-1's silence, but the Heavyweight division has definitely felt the blow. Only a handful of ranked fighters saw action since our last rankings, and the top 25 remains essentially the same.
The biggest mover this month was Brice Guidon, who jumped up two spots to #13 with a win over #18 Mourad Bouzidi. Guidon will next face #5 Gokhan Saki at the United Glory final round on May 28.
Also moving up were #24 Freddy Kemayo and #25 Dzevad Poturak - both men returned to the rankings after wins in Romania.
The rest of April doesn't hold too much more Heavyweight action. Next weekend, #12 Nathan Corbett faces Tomasz Nowack at Domination 6 in Australia, and... that's it for the top 25 for April. Like I said, there's definitely been a Heavyweight slowdown.
That will change in May, as a number of big fights are set to go down. And none are bigger than #4 Badr Hari making his return against Tony Gregory at It's Showtime Lyon. Also on that card is #10 Tyrone Spong vs. Igor Mihaljevic and #9 Daniel Ghita vs. #19 Anderson Silva. Then on May 21, It's Showtime returns with #7 Hesdy Gerges vs. Chris Knowles in Amsterdam.
Also in May is the United Glory finals previously mentioned, headlined by Saki vs. Guidon. A few other top 25 clashes are on that show including #14 Errol Zimmerman vs. #18 Mourad Bouzidi and #17 Pavel Zhuravlev vs. Igor Jurkovic.
One other scheduled fight to take note of: we've known for awhile that the next appearance of #1 Alistair Overeem will be in an MMA cage, likely against Fabricio Werdum in the opening round of the Strikeforce Grand Prix. That fight is now set for June 18 in Dallas, TX. Sad to see The Reem likely gone from kickboxing for awhile, but we'll be cheering the K-1 champ on in his quest to dominate the US MMA landscape.Add a comment
Results from the international kickboxing scene this weekend:
Mike Zambidis took home the title at the W5 Grand Prix event in Moscow, although it wasn’t an easy road. In the semi-finals, Enriko Gogokhia provided a tough challenge, taking the fight into the extension round before Zambo could score the decision win. In semi-final #2, Dzhabar Askerov took a decision against William Diender, setting up Zambidis vs. Askerov 2 for the final. The two men once again went to war, and once again it was Zambidis claiming the win via unanimous decision. With that win, Zambidis has won 7 of his last 8, with the only loss coming against Giorgio Petrosyan. Prior to this run, he was on a 2-4 streak, and looked like his days at the top could be finished; it’s been great to see the veteran fighter make this resurgence. Also at W5: Vladimir Mineev won over Vitaly Shemetov by doctor stopage at the end of round 1, Alexandr Stetsurenko def. Vasily Tershonok by decision in the extension round, and Roman Mailov def. Ramil Novruzov via decision.
Evolution 23 took place in Australia on Saturday. As always, the Australian Muay Thai show delivered, with a number of exciting fights. In the main event, one of the scene’s big names, Bruce “The Preacher” Macfie dropped a unanimous decision to Franki Giorgi. Giorgi had defeated Macfie by stoppage at the last card to set up this rematch, and while the Preacher went the distance this time, reports indicate the result was never in doubt.
Elsewhere in the card there was some controversy in a fight between Eli Madigan and Jason Scerri, which Madigan won. Post-show, Scerri’s corner has been very critical of Madigan and Evolution, claiming that when they agreed to the fight, they requested there be no elbows used, as Scerri no longer fights under full Muay Thai rules. According to Scerri’s camp at Jabout Gym, both Evolution and Madigan’s team agreed to this, however when the fight started, Madigan used numerous elbows to cut open his opponent. Scerri’s corner threw in the towel as they felt they were being cheated. Bit of an ugly situation there.
One final note from the show – much credit is due to Glen Purvis, who came in on very short notice to face the tough and experienced Dane Daddy Kool when Dane’s original opponent had to bow out. Taking a fight against a fighter at that level on just a few days notice is impressive. Even more impressive? Purvis is only 16 years old. Hats off to him for stepping in there.
Full results from Evolution 23 in the complete entry.
And finally, top Muay Thai fighter Saenchai Sinbi (the former Saenchai Sor Kingstar) was in action in England. Saenchai faced top ranked UK Muay Thai fighter Liam Harrison. Reports say this was an excellent fight with Harrisoin giving it his all, but in the end, Saenchai was too much and took the unanimous decision win. He’s now 2-0 against Harrison after a 2009 decision victory. If you’re unfamiliar with Saenchai, get to YouTube and check him out – truly one of the most gifted athletes in the world in any combat sports discipline.
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Let's face facts here, going into tonight's Strikeforce main event, there isn't much left to say about it. You have a clash between two of the MMA world's baddest ass welterweights imaginable. Nick Diaz is a true force to be reckoned with, a BJJ black belt, and no, when I say that I don't mean cookie-cutter. I mean Cesar Gracie gave him that belt and he earned it and knows how to use that belt, that is the kind of jiu-jitsu Nick Diaz knows. On top of that, his boxing is great; Nick has super fast hands, puts together some mean combinations, protects his head and always stays moving. On top of that, he owns a serious trademark on the "mean mug" and has one of the most prolific histories of mouthing off, causing riots and general bad boy behavior in the entire MMA world. In a world where it feels like there are no John Waynes left, Nick Diaz is a John Wayne.
His opponent is Paul "Semtex" Daley, one of the few guys to get cut from the UFC for being a badass (and a poor sport), right up there with one of my favorite fighters, Renato "Babalu" Sobral. Babalu held a choke too long to teach a lesson, and Daley, well, suckerpunched Josh Koscheck after the bell. Sure, Daley's sportsmanship is terrible and he hasn't made weight a total of 5 times in his professional career, but his skills are his skills. Other than mocking any sort of rules and standards of conduct, Daley sports some of the most destructive stand up in MMA. How much so? Daley has 27 wins and 20 of them are via a form of knockout. That is pretty serious power.
If it came down to which fighter I think is cooler, Nick Diaz wins against everybody in MMA, but when it comes down to who will win, I'm torn and have to go with the stand up guy in this. Our mild-mannered grappling friends who just seem to want to have a good time, roll on the mat and chill at DSTRYRsg decided to throw down the gauntlet and bet some serious BetDSI money that Nick Diaz will triumph over Paul Daley. They bet $200 on our favorite betting site, BetDSI, that Nick Diaz will win this fight. After BetDSI refilled the LiverKick.com coffers after we went all-in on Shogun Rua over Jon Jones (sigh, what were we thinking?!), we have decided to gamely bet $200 of our freshest BetDSI money on Paul Daley to defeat Nick Diaz.
The odds are in our favor if this happens, with the live odds on BetDSI (you can bet live during a fight, the odds update) being at +180. This means for our $200 bet, we would win $360. Sure, DSTRYRsg might have a fancy chart set up for this wager, but the truth is, Paul Daley seeks out other badasses and has trained with the legendary Mike's Gym in the Netherlands, home of Badr Hari, Melvin Manhoef and a bunch of other destroyers. That is where you go when you are serious about your stand up, and Daley is serious. Nick Diaz has good hands and scary jiu-jitsu, but he loves to stand and bang, and against a guy like Daley it could mean curtains for him, or at least a nasty cut that could finish the fight. Diaz's jiu-jitsu is what it is, but he has no takedowns to get the fight to the ground and I sincerely doubt Daley pulls a Cyborg and takes Diaz down foolishly.Add a comment
This week, ladies and gentlemen, I am pleased to say that I have entered a bold new world in my training. A world that is both terrifying and exhilarating. A world of pain and reward. A world where my wrong moves have very clear and immediate consequences.
Because today, for the first time, I started sparring.
Now, let me just say that this was very light sparring – minimal contact, no clinching, no elbows or knees. All of which was fine by me. But man, what a great experience this was. Not necessarily for the reasons you may think though.
First lesson learned – I suck. Really, I’m not very good. And while this may sound disheartening, it’s not. I’m very new to this game, and looked at this sparring as a chance to find my weaknesses – see where I am struggling so that I can focus on those spots for next time. We sparred in a round robin format, and the guys involved were at various levels. Having a chance to spar with someone who is both above you, and a very generous teacher, is extremely helpful. He caught me, a lot, but every time was able to give me a quick pointer on how to correct my problems. This is a huge help.
Second lesson learned – DEFENSE. I’m not surprised to discover that this is my weakest area. Always has been for me; whether I’m competing in an actual sport, playing chess, or playing a Nintendo game, I’m much more offensive than defensive minded. And of course that leads me to some troubles in sparring. My main defensive difficulty is checking kicks. In the heat of the moment, to my still training body, the natural instinct when a kick comes in is to deflect it with the hand. Which of course is a great way to get yourself punched right in the face. But the idea of quickly getting my leg up for the check is tough – partly because it’s still a motion I have to think about a bit instead of doing naturally, and partly because I’m still too heavy on my feet, so checking requires some weight re-distribution before I can check. That’s too long, and by then, the kick has landed. So then the next time my mind says to me “you’ll never get that leg up in time, just swat the kick away with your hand.” And I do. And I get punched in the face. Have to work on silencing that instinct.
Over the course of this session I did manage to develop the motion of keeping my lead leg very light on the ground and frequently bringing it up in a check motion. And, for now at least, it worked! Not only did this help me check kicks, it also made it easier to throw a teep off the lead leg, or a quick stepping right kick. I definitely didn’t master this, or suddenly start blocking everything and landing every kick – but I improved. And a day later, as I feel some minor aches and pains, I’m pleased to know that little improvement happened. And I absolutely can't wait to get back in there and try it again.
Up next – that tough boxer guy who keeps up the pressure with charging punches. How to keep him off me?
Training Diary is a weekly series documenting my journey starting Muay Thai training. For more on this series, read the first entry here. I train at Conviction Fitness & Martial Arts, 4430 N. Western Ave., Chicago, IL www.convictionfitness.com.Add a comment
A real clash of the titans.
An oft overused phrase in fightsports, but in this case it is undoubtedly true. As Liam himself puts it in this video interview, regarding the fight later today with Saenchai, it is a meeting between "the p4p best thai-boxer in England, against the p4p best in the world in the last 20yrs, from Thailand".
Stay tuned for a report on the fight itself.Add a comment