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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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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

We are rapidly approaching the next Fight Code show, and just in time, Fight Code went ahead and released a new trailer highlighting some of the best moments Fight Code has seen thus far. Be sure to look out for Fight Code on May 1st from Budapest.

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RENAThis weekend we finally get a break in the action a bit and Shootboxing in Japan will put on a rather big card for them. The main event is Andy Souwer facing off against Yoshihiro Sato. This is a big fight for both men and both could really use a win to keep their heads above water. Andy Souwer has discussed maybe moving over to MMA at some point and has found a good training partner by the way of UFC Featherweight Champion Jose Aldo. Aldo has once again asked Souwer to train him, this time in preparation for his next fight and Souwer has of course accepted.

Sato is coming off of a controversial loss to Armen Petrosyan at Fight Code's Oktagon Milan show in March. Armen used a lot of Muay Thai sweeps and really, for all intents and purposes fought a "dirty" fight. Sato looked good and landed more clean, powerful shots, but the cards were simply stacked against Sato that night. Sadly for Sato the cards are a bit stacked against him again for this fight, as it is Shootboxing rules, which means standing submissions and throws do indeed count. Against a Shootboxing veteran like Andy Souwer he needs to be careful.

Women's Shootboxing S-Cup Champion RENA makes her return to the ring, but not as expected. It looks like her opponent, Sun Young Kim has pulled out of the fight. This is bad news and good news, as it means we don't get to see RENA tested and actually in action, but we will still see her participate on the card. She will now face a high school student, Erika Kamimura in an exhibition bout which will only last 3 minutes.

After RENA's popularity spiked over the last few months you have to imagine Shootboxing will try to find any way to showcase her and bring some much-needed attention to the Shootboxing cause. We'll be bringing you results and further coverage of Shootoboxing 2011 Act 2 when available.

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Another day, another It's Showtime trailer. This one is for the show that comes just a week after their blockbuster show in Lyon featuring Badr Hari. This show is being headlined by Hesdy Gerges taking on Chris Knowles. It's Showtime 49 takes place at The Sand in Amsterdam.

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GlogowskiA bit of unfortunate news on top of some good news for this Wednesday evening. Nick Papadimitriou from Greece has sadly suffered from a broken jaw and was forced to pull out of his scheduled bout against Rafal Dudek at It's Showtime: Warsaw. There have been rumors over the past week that Papadimitriou might be injured and have to pull out, and It's Showtime confirmed those rumors today, but came with a very respectable fill-in for Nick in the way of Michal Glogowski.

Michal Glogowski made it into the Final 8 of the K-1 World MAX Championships, facing Yoshihiro Sato in the quarterfinal round, putting up a valiant effort and taking Sato all three rounds before losing a unanimous decision to him. Glogowski impressed none the less, so seeing the 26 year old fighter back in the spotlight will be a good thing. Glogowski is one of the young talents to look out for who could have a bright future.

Of course, he will face a stiff challenge from Rafal Dudek. Rafal Dudek is probably best known for his bout with Chahid Oulad el Hadj last December in It's Showtime. Dudek trains out of Mike's Gym in the Netherlands, which is known to be one of the top destinations for kickboxing training in the world. This will be a good battle between two younger Polish fighters, with the winner having a great springboard to the rest of 2011.

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