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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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The Bad Boy is Back?Because we've wanted to get to the bottom of this whole Gerges mess, we've reached out to a lot of really strong sources on the matter, you know, the reliable type that is always happy to talk about stuff. Well, no one is saying a word about the Hesdy Gerges situation right now, which to me is not exactly the greatest sign, but could also be good for Hesdy Gerges as I simply think that a lot of people aren't sure what is going on.

There is one man that is talking, and he is talking about the other thing we care about; FIGHTS. Daniel Ghita has sparked a new rumor by appearing on Romanian television to talk about his upcoming fight, which he has no opponent. Apparently there are two men in contention right now to fight Ghita and both of them are very worthy replacements. The first is Tyrone Spong. Spong is the muay thai standout that within the under 95kgs division was seen as the best fighter, bar none. Well, he wanted to compete on the K-1 level, so he bulked up, and the results were mixed at first, but there has definitely been a positive change.

A fight with Ghita could be great for his career and a giant win that he has been looking for. The other opponent? None other than the Bad Boy himself, Badr Hari. Badr Hari is ready to fight, as he has been training since his release from prison and has recently been preparing to fight in May. We might not have to wait that long, though, as with Gerges on the shelf, Badr Hari could very well be his replacement and kick off 2011 with style, clashing with Daniel Ghita.

So, who would you like to see Ghita fight in the main event of It's Showtime's event on March 6?

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HesdyThe recent arrest of K-1 and It's Showtime star Hesdy Gerges throws a monkey wrench into the whole kickboxing world right now. The first impact felt by the arrest is for the March 6th It's Showtime event, where the scheduled main event was Daniel Ghita vs. Hesdy Gerges. It was a fight that fans around the globe were looking forward to, as it was a meeting of two of the kickboxing world's up-and-coming stars.

The second is that it is a third black mark on It's Showtime within the span of a year. Within a year we saw their biggest star, Badr Hari, jailed for assault on a police officer. Of course with Badr Hari this was not his first time he was in trouble with the law, and with the company that he keeps it was not a surprise to many when it happened. Then later on in the year, Ashwin Balrak, who has fought for It's Showtime, was involved in a cocaine bust. Now comes the arrest of Gerges.

To compound matters, Mayor Van der Laan of Amsterdam has publicly accused kickboxing organizations of bringing with them a criminal element to their shows and has local officials cracking down on these events. To run an event in Amsterdam, according to Simon Rutz in a recent interview, means jumping through lots of hoops to prove they are "clean."

This arrest alone could not come at a worse time for the kickboxing world. Things could get worse if Hesdy is found guilty for being involved in the incident, but for now, it is unclear what, if any, was his involvement. He was questioned last year about the arrest of his half brother, but was not a person of interest. The conjecture and "facts" I've seen floating around the internet are false at best; Hesdy was not found with cocaine at the time of the arrest that we know of, he was not in Belgium when his half brother was arrested last May.

For now we have to wait and see as the situation unfolds.

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Hesdy Gerges Arrested on Drug ChargesThe kickboxing world suffered another huge blow today, as It's Showtime and K-1 fighter Hesdy Gerges was arrested for drug trafficking earlier today. The arrest of Gerges was in relation to a raid by Belgium officials in May, where Hesdy's half brother, Ashraf and his friend were caught with 128 kilos of cocaine in Antwerp, Belgium. Gerges, as well as four more suspects were arrested today at the behest of Belgium officials, who will demand extradition.

Hesdy was asked about this last year and vehemently denied having anything to do with his brother's drug smuggling operation. It is unclear what Hesdy's involvement is at this point, but according to at5.nl, during the raid computers, phones as well as weapons and ammunition were confiscated, but it was not clear what, if anything was taken from Gerges. This comes hot on the heel of Ashwin Balrak's arrest for drug possession in November, found with 82 kg of cocaine on him, as well as Badr Hari's sprawling legal problems involving assault on a bouncer last year.

To compound matters, Mayor Van der Laan of Amsterdam has been very vocal about kickboxing and martial arts events, and was looking to crack down on organized crime in Amsterdam. He believes that kickboxing events bring organized crime to the city and parade criminals around as VIPs. He is unhappy with the image the city has and is looking to clean it up. There was talk of outright banning events, but Van der Laan has recently went on record stating that is not his intention.

With It's Showtime's next event on March 6th, it appears that Hesdy Gerges will not be able to fight in the main event against Daniel Ghita, as a case like this will take a while to be sorted out, especially because it involves an extradition process. [source]

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Alistair OvereemYou know, with all of the hype going into the Strikeforce Heavyweight GP, you'd think an interview with Strikeforce Heavyweight Champion from ESPN wouldn't slip through the cracks, but it did. To me, that speaks volumes for just how tired of hearing about K-1's financial problems people are, as well as how few people pay attention to ESPN's MMA Live. No offense intended for MMA Live, but the close affiliation to UFC and the complete lack of coverage of the rest of the world of MMA (it serves as an afterthought, usually) has made the show less-than a must-see for most fans.

Well, regardless of how worthwhile it is to watch MMA Live, over the weekend they spoke with Alistair Overeem, and most MMA websites picked up the interview for purposes of predictions and to gaze into Overeem's dreamy eyebrows, but what struck me was that Alistair Overeem claims that K-1 has yet to pay him and that he would actually prefer not to fight in Japan this year, he would rather just fight in America.

This just serves as a gentle reminder of how business matters in Japan have effected the sport of kickboxing as a whole. If everything is in order for K-1, it looks like Alistair Overeem has no plans on fighting for them this year and will continue to fight in the United States for Strikeforce instead. Watch the below video at about the 4:30 mark as Anik asks if K-1 has paid him and Overeem jovially says they didn't. Ouch.

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Hesdy GergesFighting Stars Presents It's Showtime on March 6th, and as you already know, the card is lining up to be the first big kickboxing card of the year, being headlined by Hesdy Gerges facing Daniel Ghita. Both men had strong showings in 2010, with Ghita moving on to the K-1 World Grand Prix semi-finals where he had a fight of the year contender against Gokhan Saki. Saki was the one that moved on to the next round, but the damage done by Ghita was so immense that Saki was unable to finish out a round against Alistair Overeem, the DREAM and Strikeforce Heavyweight Champion who went on the win the K-1 World Grand Prix.

Hesdy Gerges had a breakout year as he took on Badr Hari in May at It's Showtime's ArenA show and held his own against the Golden Boy until Badr had yet another meltdown and punted Gerges in the face while he was down. Gerges took the W in that fight and went on to finish the year at an impressive 5-2 record for a fighter who moved up in competition full-time. He now finds himself in a showdown with Heavyweight kickboxing's other top prospect, so how is he preparing? Watch for yourself as he trains with renowned strength and conditioning coach Rayen Bindraban.

What a lot of people forget is while all of the fighters prepare for war on March 6th, they aren't the only ones preparing. In the U.S. we simply have ring card girls, they sit at ringside wearing a robe, take it off in between rounds and walk the perimeter of the ring holding up a card with the round number on it. It's Showtime does things a bit differently, they have dancing girls, and they need to prepare as well. Video after the jump.

 

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Simon RutzIf you remember back to our interview with It's Showtime head Simon Rutz, you'll remember that he said a lot of things about why the Amsterdam ArenA show was canceled, and had pointed a critical finger at K-1 for pulling their support as well as their financial woes. Rutz went on to list fighters under his management that have yet to be paid by K-1 and that they should come to him for financial advice. Well, this interview made headlines in Japan, and became big enough to where FEG's Tanikawa felt the need to respond to it on Twitter, where he declared that Simon Rutz helped to "kill" K-1.

So needless to say, there is some tension between the parties at this point.

In a recent interview with Dutch Metro News, they asked Simon Rutz about the cancellation of the ArenA show and what led to it. Rutz explained the issues with K-1, who were supposed to be handling the matchmaking and instead stopped returning his phone calls. Rutz also discussed the political atmosphere in Amsterdam and how disappointing it is that Amsterdam is It's Showtime's home and he isn't certain he can promote shows there anymore. The rest of the world welcomes him with open arms, but his home town is not.

The interview discusses that under current leadership, he isn't even sure if the ArenA show could happen if K-1 came through. All of the legal fees and hurdles Rutz would have to go through to prove to city officials that It's Showtime is "clean" and unaffiliated with organized crime would cost him and the promotion too much money at this point. He of course wants to promote in Amsterdam again, eying a possible October return, but until city officials are more willing to work with It's Showtime it might not be a reality. [source]

As for the K-1 declaring bankruptcy part, that should not be a shock to anyone. Zach Arnold touches upon it briefly, and I agree with him; bankruptcy isn't the end. In Japan this happens all the time, and this has been a prediction of mine for a while; FEG declares bankruptcy and then moves their assets over to a new shell company, things still march on.

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