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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's results: After his loss at Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Silva, what now for Ray Sefo?

55% - Focus on being a trainer, not a fighter

26% - Stop MMA and focus on kickboxing for one final run

11% - Keep doing what he's doing

8% - Stop kickboxing and focus full time on MMA

This week - a pretty straight forward question:

Who is K-1's Greatest of All Time?

Vote now!

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There aren't many fighters who aren't world beaters that fans can get behind. In these fickle days, especially recently where we saw the tides magically turn on MMA fighter Fedor Emelianenko for racking up the third loss in his storied career, the second in a row, and fans decided he could not be the Greatest of All Time, because right now he isn't the greatest competing. That sort of logic boggle the mind, as being an all-time great is not something that can magically be diminished at the twilight of one's career when they suffer a few losses that should push them into retirement. If Fedor goes on a 5-fight losing streak to lesser fighters, maybe we can have this discussion.

Anyway.This weekend in Japan there was a J-Network kickboxing show, and one of the names on the card was none other than Fire Harada. If you don't know who Fire Harada is, think back to the K-1 -63kgs Grand Prix. Harada was by far the underdog of the whole thing, he came in with a distinct lack of skill but a burning passion and a perennial underdog attitude. He discussed his love for professional wrestling, especially Super Delphin, formerly of Michinoku Pro, then Osaka Pro more recently. That was his hero. Well, going into this fight this weekend, Fire Harada had spoken with a few news outlets about possible retirement.

J-Network has a UStream account now, and the fight is on there. I urge you, to watch this, in awe, and understand how it is impossible to not become absolutely enamored with Fire Harada and wish he could fight forever. [source]

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(C) MMAWEEKLYJapan's kickboxing world marches on while everyone speculates about K-1's future. That is, in part, why it is so important to keep a positive attitude as a kickboxing fan, because no matter what, there will always be good fights surfacing. KRUSH will continue on this year, much like Shootboxing, and push forward with their March 19th event.

The big news is that MMA fighter Akihiro Gono will be making his return to the kickboxing ring, fighting at 70kgs against K-1 MAX fighter Yuya Yamamoto. Yamamoto's K-1 run was less-than-impressive and he has been working his way back up the ladder of late, while Gono has had some mixed success over the past few years, from UFC to DREAM to SRC. Gono will provide some stiff competition for Yuya, but it should be a war regardless.

NOB has a breakdown of the rest of the card. [source]

Krush First 55kg Champion Tournament Finals
Ryuya Kusakabe vs. Hiroaki Mizuhara
KENJI vs. Shota Takiya

Krush First 60kg Champion Tournament Finals
Hirotaka Urabe vs. Dynamite Yuta
Masaaki Noiri vs. “Crazy Fist” Yuji Takeuchi

Krush First 63kg Champion Tournament Finals
Koya Urabe vs. Takuya Shirahama
Ryuji Kajiwara vs. Kizaemon Saiga

Superfights
70kg: Yuya Yamamoto vs. Akihiro Gono
63kg: Yuki Yamamoto vs. Shunsuke Oishi
55kg: TAKUMI vs. Kazuki Tanaka

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(C) GBRShootboxing kicked off its 2011 season last night with "Act 1." The main event was a rematch between two Shootboxing legends in the way of Hiroki Shishido and Bovy Sor. Udomson. Bovy took a KO win over Shishido in 2009, so on the 19th Shishido was looking for some revenge. Shishido was coming off of two losses and a win here was a big deal for him, as he took all five rounds against Bovy to seal the victory and kick off 2011 the right way. After the bout, Bovy claimed that 2011 would be his last year competing, and that he wants to finish out his career in Shootboxing.

The semi-main event saw more MMA crossover for Shootboxing, as Kuniyoshi Hironaka tried his hand at Shootboxing against Satoru Suzuki. Suzuki made short work of Hironaka, knocking him out with a big right hook in the first round to end it. Hironaka fights for Cage Force and was able to at least score a takedown during the bout, but there is no ground work in Shootboxing, so when it was time to get back up to their feet it was curtains for the grappler against the former boxing champion. This win was important for the former boxer, whose kickboxing career was not exactly on the right track before.

There was more MMA crossover for the show, as SRC fighter Shigeki Osawa made his way to the Shootboxing ring to take on Hiroaki Suzuki. You might remember Suzuki from his previous Shootboxing bout against Mitsuhiro Ishida, and this fight saw more of the same as Osawa is a wrestler and was able to score some points with his grappling, but the hands and feet of Suzuki were too much for him to compete with. Osawa proved he was tough, though, and held on for the full five rounds to drop the decision.

So now we look forward to April 23, where Shootboxing has announced that the next card will be a big one. There are three fighters announced for the card, including Shootboxing Japan Super Bantamweight Champion Ryuya Kusakabe, Girl's S-Cup Champion RENA and 3-time S-Cup Champion Andy Souwer will all be in action. The inclusion of Souwer and RENA on one card is huge, showing that Shootboxing doesn't plan on winding down any time soon. [source]

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Van der LaanWhen navigating Dutch websites to see if there was any update on the Hesdy Gerges situation I saw something that I really didn't want to see as a kickboxing fan. I saw an interview with Mayor Van der Laan of Amsterdam, pulling the whole "you see, I was right" act in regards to It's Showtime's Hesdy Gerges being arrested for possible cocaine trafficking.

Mayor Van der Laan had been talking the past year or so about cracking down on martial arts events in the city due to the unwanted criminal elements that would show up there. He was upset that while he and his administration are trying to clean up the city, these events would have prominent members of organized crime treated as VIPs and paraded around in front of people. Seeing as though Amsterdam is the center of the kickboxing scene in Holland, this is bothersome to many.

For It's Showtime it means not being able to run in their home city, in the Amsterdam ArenA as they have almost yearly now, drawing around 20,000 fans per event, if not more. Well, Van der Laan spoke on his Thursday AT5 show, "Conversation with the Mayor" about the Gerges situation. When prompted on the issue, "You see!"

This validated the point Van der Laan had been making about criminal activity in kickboxing events. "It was not a nice thought to have, but I thought to myself, I have him now."

It wasn't like Van der Laan needed a lot of proof, as last year Badr Hari went to prison for assaulting a doorman, and Ashwin Balrak was arrested for possessing and possibly trafficking 80kilos of cocaine. So this year, Hesdy Gerges, a fighter being pushed as one of the new stars being suspected of being involved in an international drug trafficking incident is another nail in the coffin.

To understand why It's Showtime is in a hard situation, think about this. There is an Act in the Netherlands, known as BIBOB. BIBOB is intended to keep criminals out of Government contracts and keeping things "clean." It is up to local municipality's in the end to approve or disapprove a company under the BIBOB Act. In this case, Van der Laan has made it clear that he will not approve of anyone involved with organized crime. What the process for BIBOB is, in a nutshell, is to get licensed in your municipality to serve the public, you need to fill out paperwork and submit the form to the government, they then vet your company for possible criminal ties and decide if you can do business or not.

You are guilty until proven innocent in most cases. You have the legal right to defend yourself and your company, but in the case of It's Showtime, that is three fighters, two of which are under direct management of the company, involved in serious, very public crimes. That helps explain what Simon Rutz was talking about recently in spending money to clear the company's name. [source]

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It has been a slow time of the year for news regarding K-1, at least in the way of positive K-1 news. Amidst all of the turmoil, it is still uncertain if we'll see a K-1 World Grand Prix this year. With that sort of uncertainty, I feel like it is time to take a look back at what made K-1 just so great and loved by many fans. The K-1 World Grand Prix began in 1993 and has stretched on, yearly, until 2010, and in those years we saw stars built and saw them live out the remainder of their careers in that tournament.

Well, K-1's official YouTube channel has every World Grand Prix event from 1993 until 1999, from Branko Cikatic to Ernesto Hoost. So watch some of the best fights in kickboxing history in their entirety. Watch the fight that made me fall in love with K-1 below. [source]

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