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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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It's Showtime continues to march on forward, and they do so in blinding speed so far in 2011. From having to cancel their Amsterdam ArenA show scheduled in May, to all of a sudden booking show after show in a vast array of countries, signing a TV deal with the Fight Network in Canada and booking some of the best fighters in the world it feels like It's Showtime is unstoppable. The latest bit of news was dropped by It's Showtime's head, Simon Rutz on his Facebook profile earlier today.

We are in the last stadium to sign a contract with a big tv station in the USA. Soon more information about this! Meaby our first event on May 14 th is already on tv in the USA!

So it looks like they are in the final talks of securing a US television deal. LiverKick.com has spoken at length with Rutz and It's Showtime employees over the past few months about possibly bringing It's Showtime to the United States and helping expand their fan base. We even ran a contest a few months ago where we gave away It's Showtime merchandise to fans to help spread the word.

The May 14th event featuring Badr Hari probably has the widest appeal for It's Showtime, as Badr Hari is an internationally established name, one of the biggest names in the world. Showcasing Hari in the United States would be a great move for them.

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Sergei KharitonovThe GLORY World Series event on May 28 in Moscow just keeps getting bigger and bigger, as yet another big name kickboxing bout was added to the event yesterday. The promotion announced that two K-1 veterans, Mighty Mo Siliga and Sergei Kharitonov will meet in the ring under K-1 rules. Mighty Mo had a bit of a career resurgence last year when Andrei Arlovski had to pull out of his scheduled appearance at the K-1 World Grand Prix Final 16 due to a broken nose and Mighty Mo happened to be in Seoul, South Korea to attend the show. The right place, right time worked out for Mighty Mo, who was able to defeat Raul Catinas via decision and move on to the Final 8.

Sergei Kharitonov was a late fill-in to start his K-1 career, when Chalid Arrab got injured and Kharitonov stepped in to fight Daniel Ghita at the tail end of 2009, only to be outclassed. Kharitonov didn't give up on K-1, making a return to the K-1 ring in 2010. Kharitonov scored a first round knockout over Takumi Sato at the Final 16, which secured him a spot in the Final 8 show in a reserve bout where Singh Jaideep utterly outclassed Kharitonov, knocking him out in the first round.

Kharitonov enters into his fourth professional kickboxing bout against Mighty Mo with the fight being a tossup. Mo is coming off of a loss to Peter Aerts in the Final 8, while Kharitonov is coming off of a win over Andrei Arlovski in the opening round of the Strikeforce Heavyweight GP. Kharitonov scored a first round knockout of Arlovski, backing Arlovski up and putting him down with a barrage of punches, proving that he has dynamite in his fists. Kharitonov is eagerly awaiting the next few bouts from the Strikeforce Heavyweight GP, where he'll find out who his next opponent is. It comes as no surprise that Kharitonov will appear on the Golden Glory card, as many of the members of the Golden Glory gym tend to fill up the bigger Ultimate Glory/Glory World series cards.

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Masato Delivers Flowers to Andy SouwerAfter a bit of a lull for high end kickboxing Shootboxing returns with a bang this weekend in an event featuing Andy Souwer, Yoshihiro Sato and female superstar RENA. Andy Souwer had a rematch with Yoshihiro Sato, but this time under Shootboxing rules where Souwer is much more comfortable than Sato. Sato was coming off a rather dirty loss to Armen Petrosyan but was still unable to overcome an environment where he could possibly be taken down.

A side note to the main event, retired K-1 MAX superstar Masato was in attendance and presented both Sato and Souwer with flowers before the bout (pictured, right). Whenever Masato makes his presence felt in the kickboxing world in Japan it should be noted, as there are persisting rumors that there are multiple forces trying to pull him back into active competition.

Hiroaki Suzuki was able to keep his winning streak alive in Shootboxing, besting the Korean Wu Hu Kim by decision. Japanese boxer-turned-kickoxer Satoru Suzuki continued to look strong with a first round knockout over Masahiro Shimada.

One of the most noteworthy moments of the show was an exhibition bout between Shootboxing's female ace RENA and a high school student, Erika Kamimura. Kamimura was a late replacement for Sun Young Kim, who didn't want to risk any type of exposure in Japan, but put on a quite impressive performance. They were given one three minute round to work in, and in that round Kamimura actually dropped the women's S-Cup Champion with a hook! By all reports Kamimura outclassed RENA, which leaves fans and pundits alike scratching their heads.

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By Daniel Fletcher

It took six years, but the World Kickboxing Network finally awarded the winner of a ranked heavyweight fight their world super-heavyweight (96+kg) title, and the rank of champion.

The WKN press releases were sent round, and today their website showed a new champion for the first time since 2005. It was in March of that year that they crowned two very notable fighters from K-1 and It's Showtime their world and European champions respectively; Leko beating Florian Ogunade to win the world belt, and Daniel Ghita claiming the WKN European Heavyweight Muay Thai title with a win over Mourad Bouzidi. Both fights took place on the Local Kombate 14 card in Romania.

It goes without saying that the delicious irony of the situation is that Leko is much smaller than Ghita, both in height and weight, yet his title that night was in a higher weight class to that of Ghita's... as well as the fact that since that night the fortunes of both men have gone in opposite directions.

Over the years, Leko was rumoured to make several defences of the belt, most notably in a grudge rematch with Catalin Morasanu that was cancelled, and against other suggested contenders, but each time the fight fell through. As for the Muay Thai side of WKN, Ghita has never defended his own title, though he remains champion officially. While the press releases say "Heavyweight champion", the website has replaced Leko with yesterday's heavyweight winner Susperregui in the Super-Heavyweight category. The full list of champions can be seen here: 

http://www.worldkickboxingnetwork.com/rating/

The new WKN World Super-Heavyweight kickboxing champ is Stephane Susperregui, of France. He won by second round KO over the Spaniard Damien Garcia. The card took place in Troyes, France, and featured a variety of kickboxing, full contact rules and amateur bouts.

 

New WKN champ Stephane Susperregui

 

While the absence of a defending super-heavyweight champion for several years does not appear major league per se, the WKN put on very regular events throughout Europe, and have had extremely high profile kickboxers competing on their cards.

Fletch

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This isn't purely kickboxing, but more a general look at the world of MMA in Japan. Sure, FEG has rounded up some of their benefactors to help them with their latest venture, which means that we have at least one DREAM show planned and rumors of something going on with K-1. Outside of that, things in Japan are bleak at best. The sad truth is, for something to be popular in Japan there is a need for a figurehead, a public figure to help generate interest. If you look at someone like Antonio Inoki, he is still able to put on shows using his name alone to get TV contracts, advertising deals, sponsorships, top fighters and professional wrestlers to work with him.

In the same vein as Inoki is Akira Maeda. Akira Maeda was a huge professional wrestling star in the 80's and 90's, and one of the first to really push for martial arts to thrive on its own, outside of wrestling. Names like Akira Maeda, Nobuhiko Takada, Antonio Inoki, Satoru Sayama and Masa Funaki should roll off of the tongue for anyone who fancies themselves a MMA historian, and the irony in that is that each man made a name for themselves in the pre-scripted world of professional wrestling. Each man can be traced to a certain branch of the MMA lineage; Pancrase for Funaki, SHOOTO for Sayama, RINGS for Maeda and PRIDE for Takada. Inoki is in his own world, as he was the one that inspired everyone else and has had his nose stuck into every MMA and kickboxing venture to make it big in Japan.

Takada was the figurehead for PRIDE, and many will remember Takada as the guy with his ass hanging out, banging on the big drum to open up events. Takada can also be remembered from his early "fights" in PRIDE where ridiculous things happened under the guise of being a fight while it was a professional wrestling bout made to look realistic. Maeda worked closely with Takada for Maeda's UWF vision in the late 80's and early 90's before Takada went off to form UWF-i, when Maeda branched off to form RINGS. RINGS was the more serious endeavor than what Takada did, as it quickly branched off into real fights and left a lot of the Japanese pageantry out. Takada made a public challenge to the Gracies by way of sending Yoji Anjoh to the Gracie dojo to get publicly made a fool of, which sparked the first PRIDE card and one of Takada's many career losses. Regardless, PRIDE was huge and only got bigger.

The thing is, while all of that was happening in PRIDE, RINGS was doing something very real and a lot more serious. A lot of the fighters who fought in RINGS went on to be the absolute, undisputed best fighters in the world. If you are wondering who, here is a partial list of RINGS fighters who went on to bigger, better things; Renato "Babalu" Sobral, Ricardo Arona, Gilbert Yvel, Valentijn Overeem, Alistair Overeem, Elvis Sinosic, Fedor Emelianenko, Renzo Gracie, Antonio Rodrigo Nogeuira, Dan Henderson, Matt Hughes and Randy Couture.

So, reading this bit of news earlier today was mind-blowing. Akira Maeda was involved in FEG's "HERO*s" events as the figurehead before that fell apart due to FEG's seemingly constant stream of financial woes, then decided to create "The Outlaw" which serves as an amateur MMA breeding ground, kind of like SHOOTO. The Outsider shows tend to be a bit more gritty than your standard SHOOTO show and the fighters are a very different style from the international SHOOTO style. The thing is, Maeda is not wrong, someone needs to step up in Japan. Don Quijote, the company that was funding and then decided to pull out of Sengoku shows, leaving more uncertainty for fighters in Japan. No one is quite certain what will come of FEG and all of the affiliated promotions and SHOOTO is currently in disaster mode.

Akira Maeda has made a lot of solid, smart moves and is still surviving to this day, if not thriving. If there is anyone that I would trust to help nudge the fighting world in Japan back on the right path, it is Akira Maeda. Maybe he'll even pass on the Capture Suplex to someone other than Josh Barnett.

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Oh. I forgot this little tidbit from the end of my April 12th entry:

Okay. Back from brunchfeast. Had some excellent green curry and possibly the best mango I've ever eaten. It was sliced up and – do you know when you have really good sashimi and it just melts in your mouth? – well, the mango was just like that. Maybe they grow better in the Thai climate.

Yerp. That was pretty good mango.

Note: I just had that mango again. Still delicious.

 

Bang Si Lee for Songkran, and Don't Go Shopping in Bangkok on a Sunday

4/15

On the 15th we went to a festival with muay Thai in Bang Si Lee. Bangsilee's a seaside town, like Pattaya, and after the competitors who wanted to compete (or were coerced to by their parents and trainers) had lined up and weighed in, the people from the gym spent some time lolling on the beach under palm trees. Some whiskey was imbibed and people ate fish and soup while we waited for the bouts to start.

I explored the beach a bit and found parts of it fairly empty of people, enough so that a fisherman was able to do quite well steadily catching small fish despite there being motorboats 20 meters from him.

The fights were under way by 1. There were two false starts due to competitors disappearing during the break, but the first match soon proceeded. Most of the competitors were small boys with few fights. The grown Thai men who'd stepped up were looking to brawl a bit and maybe win some cash. Unfortunately for them, a trainer had brought his gym members, who were in Thailand specifically for fight training, to get a bit of experience at the festival. Three foreigners competed and all won by stoppage in rather uncompetitive matches.

As we were leaving, I saw one fight that seemed to be what the average competitor had in mind Two men around 65 or 70 kilos threw wild punches at each other and the audience roared each time they landed. With their furious pace, a little more technique on either side would have produced a knockout. One of them needed to string together 3 or 4 punches to produce a knockout, but that wasn't happening. By the time we left, it was the third round and both were gassing out fast.

Three kids from the gym competed. The first saw a girl from Sor Klinmee matched against a boy. They both had good technique, with the slight edge going to our fighter. She was slicker than him at range, though he edged out the knees in the clinch. The decision at the end was a draw. Our next fight saw our fighter, a southpaw, in the red corner, against a much less technical opponent in the blue. Our boy's opponent rushed out and clinched him around the waist while throwing looping knees. Our fighter launched long left kicks when he had space and neutralized damage in the clinch to take the decision.

Our last fight was quite dramatic. It was the debut fight for our fighter, who is 8 or 9, I believe. His opponent, in the blue corner, didn't do a ram muay, while our fighter looked like he was going to shit himself during his, stumbling and looking like he was going to cry as he went to the four sides of the ring. He came out furiously, slinging long punches from the waist as well as constant right kicks to push the blue corner back. The referee waved it off in the second or third round when the other boy stopped putting up a fight. Our contingent from the gym had a good laugh during that bout. Add a comment

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