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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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Peter AertsAs I was typing in that headline, I initially had put "in the United States" for the simple fact alone that I live there, as do virtually all of the contributors on LiverKick.com, outside of EKP who is in the Toronto area, Fletch in the UK and Traveler who is heading to Thailand and China shortly to cleanse his person and kick things.

Yesterday it was announced that Zuffa had purchased UFC's top competitor, Strikeforce. This caused many, many reactions sweeping across the world for MMA fans and pundits. It has become a polarizing topic and has effectively split a community that was merely on the way to being fractured over the course of a few hours. In between anti-Zuffa war cries, pro-Zuffa, anti-free market rants, comparisons to major league sports teams that don't seem to stick and some wait-and-see attitudes, it is clear that something very big happened yesterday. What I really find funny is that somewhere in between all of that, we saw a show happen in Italy that featured four top 25 70kg Middleweights and the rest that are well on their way to being on that list in the world of kickboxing.

On top of that, the #5 and #11 fighters, respectively, were competing in different parts of the world as well. It feels like a foolish distraction to get caught up in MMA while kickboxing makes such a great showing, internationally. Admittedly, I saw Royce Gracie in UFC before I saw Peter Aerts throw the head kick that turned me into a lifelong kickboxing fan. The issue with MMA will sort itself out, that I'm sure of, there needs to be a focus on Kickboxing and Muay Thai right now.

As of me writing this, in the United States there is no one Kickboxing or Muay Thai promotion that promotes on a national basis. To me, that is almost mind-boggling, as there are promotions that run regionally, in areas like New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Las Vegas that all draw incredible crowds for what they do, but there is next to no overlap outside of a few top prospects like Kevin Ross who actually leave their region to fight in other ones as well as other countries.

This is unacceptable by any stretch of the imagination. It isn't like there aren't gyms and there aren't people training kickboxing and muay thai every day in the United States, and not just for self defense, either. There are people training for combat. Then there is talk about why there is no major Muay Thai or Kickboxing promotion, the lack of star power. I've seen local shows and seen the top talents, if they were promoted correctly on a national level, who says that they wouldn't catch on like MMA fighters have? People purchase shows headlined by fighters like Frank Edgar, who by all means does not live up to the tough guy stereotype image of what a fighter should be, nor does he give the most rousing, interesting interviews.

Someone needs to step up to the plate already and take the fractured scene and make something of it. Everyone can keep complaining or being condescending that there is "no market for kickboxing" as long as no one is out there trying and proving the doubters right. K-1 isn't going to do it, they are a Japan-centric promotion, always have been and always will be. Their monopoly on the sport has been both good and bad for it; good as in it created a yearly tournament that shows who is the best in the world, without a doubt, the bad is that no matter where they promote, the end game is to make good television for Japanese audiences, not local audiences. When K-1 promoted in the United States they never bothered localizing the product beyond using a select group of American fighters. The local promoters and men in charge like Scott Coker and Mike Kogan are the whim of what the Japanese promoters and producers want, leaving a scene that I've heard from a few fighters was disarray and confusion for K-1's USA shows.

Keep reading.

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zamboSaturday was a pretty odd day for the world of fighting. The threat of nuclear meltdown hangs over the collective heads of those in Northeastern Japan, leaving the fight industry there just an afterthought. In between concern over their lives and the lives of their friends and loved ones, you could see fighters on Twitter expressing confusion over what was going on in America, but it passed, as actual pressing matters took over.

In the states, debate, concern, gloating and groaning took place as it was announced that Zuffa, parent company of the UFC purchased top competitor Strikeforce. We are still yet to see exactly how it unfolds, but watching the United States MMA scene over the next two years will be very, very interesting to say the least.

We also got to see Fight Code put on Oktagon, a show featuring Giorgio Petrosyan vs. Cosmo Alexandre, as well as a fantastic top-to-bottom card to support said fight. But there were some other fights of interest in the kickboxing world. In Greece, hometown hero "Iron" Mike Zambidis, better known to some fans simply as ZAMBO outclassed Ali Gunyar on the Iron Challenge event.

The other big fight of note was Albert Kraus fought in Russia against a hometown fighter, Batu Khasikov. This was set to be a tune-up fight for Kraus, but much like Andy Souwer's tune-up fight in Spain, Kraus found himself on the bottom half of a decision and a disappointing end to his Russian excursion.

Oh, and we have videos after the break. Thanks to our pal Brent Ducharme for scouting these.

 

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Giorgio Petrosyan fighting is a big deal, fighting top competition like Cosmo Alexandre is a bigger deal. Petrosyan's defenses are as tight as ever within the opening seconds, as you'd imagine. Cosmo is using a lot of muay thai sweeps because, well, he can't hit Giorgio. Petrosyan connects with a hook and he goes down, but it isn't ruled a knockdown due to how quickly Cosmo gets up. Petrosyan using his hands to set up his kicks brilliantly throughout the round and is controlling where the fight takes place, all Cosmo is really doing is tripping him. Petrosyan had the cleanest shots in that round.

The ref looks like Olaf Alfonso and breaks them up early, as Cosmo's corner forgot to return his mouthpiece. Giorgio is checking just about every kick and moving his head out of the way of strikes while setting up his own combinations. Cosmo asks him to bring it, but that doesn't mask the fact he is getting worked. The only connections that Cosmo has seen so far are rushing knees to the midsection, but he pays for each and every one. Cosmo's hands did connect a few times, but not enough to give him the round.

Cosmo comes into the third round down two rounds, he doesn't look bad, but he is losing. Cosmo is able to back Giorgio up early on, but Petrosyan skillfully backs up and takes control of the ring and the round again. Watching him duck a hook while slipping one of his own is just incredible. Cosmo is frustrated and tries a desperation flying knee but connects with nothing. This was all Petrosyan.

Petrosyan easily takes the decision win and really, Giorgio Petrosyan is nearly unstoppable at this point. Cosmo Alexandre is incredibly tough and a very real opponent.

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In the lone Full Muay Thai rules fight of the night, it's decorated veteran Andrei Kulebin vs. the significantly less experienced, late replacement Angelo Campoli.  Five rounds here, and right off the bat, they're doing it right with live Thai music and Wai Khrus.  Very cool.

And from there, sadly, there's not a ton going on.  Kulebin is clearly the better fighter, but Campoli is staying close.  With every round, Kulebin takes a bit more of a lead, using superior clinch work to gain the advantage throughout rounds 1-3.

In the 4th, Kulebin scores with a nice slicing elbow, catching Campoli above the right ear coming out of a clinch.  There's definitely blood, but it's nowhere near the eyes, but the ringside doctor waves it off anyway.  Kulebin takes the 4th round TKO win in, while not a bad fight, nothing particularly memorable.

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ArmenYoshihiro Sato even fighting right now just shows the spirit that he has. This right here is Japanese spirit, this is budo. Japan is in a state of disaster and Yoshihiro Sato comes to fight against Armen Petrosyan. Armen has a lot to prove as he is in the shadow of little brother Giorgio. Sato comes in immediately with very tight combination work, but Armen picks and chooses his spots. Sato is fighting on guts and emotion, but as always, he is an intelligent fighter. The only problem is Armen can give it right back. Incredible round for both men.

The second round sees both men try to outsmart each other agai, but Armen uses a lot of thai sweeps early on to frustrate Sato. Reminds me of what Overeem did in his earlier K-1 fights. Both men are working their teep to keep the other at bay and clinching when they get in close. Sato does have a reach advantage ans is only really using it to avoid getting hit. Not the same fire as the first round.

We head into Round 3 most likely even on rounds and Sato looks ready to steal the show but Armen is looking to take him down, apparently. Aremen is all about working the clinch, but Sato is actually landing some solid knees. Very ugly round once again, should probably be a draw but I could see it going to Armen.

Armen takes the ugly decision.

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DzabarDzabar starts off with his high guard and goes to town on CVV immediately. His technique looks incredibly tight.When Askerov gets in close Chris is able to land a few shots, but Askerov's guard is very good. Askerov counters a shot and lands a few amazing hooks that downs Chris and he can't get up. All over.

Amazing technique from Askerov and a series of left hands murders Chris Van Venrooij and proves that he is a fighter to look out for in the years to come.

Absolutely incredible knockout, we'll have a video of it when we can, it is something to behold.

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