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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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SKAndrei Arlovski is a former UFC Heavyweight Champion, sure it was from an era that is not well known for UFC's Heavyweight division, but to question if Arlovski was "legit" or not is a bit, well, ridiculous. He reigned supreme over UFC's division while Fedor reigned over Japan. Sergei Kharitonov has some legitimate wins from PRIDE and has competed in K-1 over the past few years, so a battle between Kharitonov vs. Arlovski is a fight that we've been waiting to see for a while, and it's happening in Strikeforce.

Arlovski comes in staring down the barrel of a long, three-fight losing streak (Fedor, Rogers, Silva), while Kharitonov hasn't faced top competition at Heavyweight in the past few years and won. Both men have a lot to prove on the world level here tonight, and this could make or break a career. Arlovski starts off strong and uses his movement and hands, but Kharitonov was patient and waited for his moment and struck, hard, swarming on Arlovski and not stopping until Arlovski was on the ground, knocked out cold.

This is Arlovski's fourth KO loss in a row, and one has to believe that he'll be dejected by this and there will be a lot of questions about his career.

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ValentijnSugar Ray Sefo, a K-1 star unlike most entered into his third professional MMA bout tonight, against the big brother of Alistair Overeem, Valentijn Overeem. Valentijn has been removed from the world of elite fighters for a while, while Sefo has yet to move up to elite competition in MMA. Both men met in a reserve bout, to see in case of an injury or draw situation who could possibly fill in during the Strikeforce Heavyweight GP.

Ray Sefo came in looking to counterstrike against the bigger and younger Valentijn, but Overeem was able to get Sefo onto the ground within one minute and twenty seconds, and about ten seconds later ha a neck crank on Ray Sefo against the cage and Sefo had no choice but to tap out. Sometimes it is heart-breaking to be a fan of Sugar Ray, as a lot of his focus of late has been on training other fighters in the fairer sport that is kickboxing, and there were rumors that he did not train as much as he should have for this bout.

Next time, Sugar Ray, next time.

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MalaipetThe Strikeforce Heavyweight GP is tonight, featuring Fedor Emelianenko vs. Antonio Silva, Andrei Arlovski vs. Sergei Kharitonov and Sugar Ray Sefo in action against Alistair Overeem's big brother, Valentijn. But, just outside of Las Vegas in Primm, Nevada, Lion Fight Promotions puts on their first show of 2011. If you haven't heard of Lion Fights, they started up last year, the operation is run by Scott Kent and has given muay thai a bigger stage in the US than usually given. Tonight's card features top talents such as Malaipet and Kevin Ross and more.

The professional card breaks down as follows;

Michael Mananquil (San Francisco) vs. Malaipet (Los Angeles)

147 lbs / Welterweight title 5 rounds by 3 minutes / Full Muay Thai Rules

 

Chaz Mulkey (Las Vegas) vs. Douglas Edwards (San Francisco)

160 lbs / no title 5 rounds by 3 minutes / Full Muay Thai Rules

 

Kevin Ross (Las Vegas) vs. Sittisuk Por Sirichai (Thailand)

145 lbs / no title 5 rounds by 3 minutes / Full Muay Thai Rules

 

Remy Bonnel (Miami) vs. Singsir Por Sirichai (Thailand)

155 lbs / no title 5 rounds by 3 minutes / Full Muay Thai Rules

 

Amy Davis (Idaho Falls) vs. Emily Bearden (New York)

114 lbs / no title 5 rounds by 2 minutes / Full Muay Thai Rules

 

Scotty Leffler (Las Vegas) vs. Coke Chunhawat (San Francisco)

140 lbs / no title 5 rounds by 3 minutes

 

Shawn Yarborough (Las Vegas) vs. Brandon Banda (Concord)

175 lbs / no title 5 rounds by 3 minutes

There is also an amateur card on top of the pro card, stay tuned for the results. [source]

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Middleweight
1. Giorgio Petrosyan
2. Buakaw Por. Pramuk
3. Yoshihiro Sato
4. Andy Souwer
5. Albert Kraus
6. Nieky Holzken
7. Artur Kyshenko
8. Murat Dirkeci
9. Gago Drago
10. Pajonsuk
11. Mike Zambidis
12. Hinata
13. Saiyok Pumpanmuang
14. Sudsakorn Sor Klinmee
15. Yuichiro Nagashima
16. Chris Ngimbi
17. Mohamed Khamal
18. Yuya Yamamoto
19. Khem Sitsongpeenong
20. Hiroki Nakajima
21. John Wayne Parr
22. Chahid Oulad El Hadj
23. Leroy Kaestner
24. Marcus Oberg
25. Armen Petrosyan

Welcome back to the LiverKick.com rankings. These rankings are an attempt to break down the top 25 fighters in two different weight classes - Heavyweight, for fighters above the 77kg limit, and Middleweight, for fighters at the 70-72.5kg limit. Our rankings are based on in-ring accomplishments and recent wins and loses. We hope they reflect where these fighters currently stand, although we recognize that all rankings are inherently subjective.

February 2011

The Middleweight rankings are, in a word, a mess.

The one thing we know for certain is #1.  Giorgio Petrosyan is starting his 2nd year ruling over the division with an iron fist.  He's clearly the #1 Middleweight, the #1 pound for pound kickboxer out there, and is entering that territory of best fighter period.  The trouble is, when a division has such a dominant #1, it often means the rest of the rankings begin to falter a bit.  And that's what we're seeing now.

The race for #2 is a tough one between a lot of fighters who have real reasons not to be considered #2.  By virtue of his legendary career, S-Cup win, and six fight win streak, Buakaw Por. Pramuk retains the #2 spot, but it gets harder to keep him there.  He started showing signs of slipping back in 2008, and hasn't defeated a ranked opponent in over a year and a half.

Meanwhile, Andy Souwer, a constant factor at the very top of the ranks, just recorded his 2nd loss to an unranked opponent in the past few months, losing a decision to Abraham Roqueni.  He drops to #4, while Yoshihiro Sato moves up to #3 - more by virtue of Souwer's loss then his own victories, although he has put together a good string of wins since his very rough late 2008-early 2009 run.

Overall, the MW ranks seem to be waiting for some of their newer fighters to really stake their claim at the top.  And there are definitely some good names out there ready to move up: #10 Pajonsuk, #12 Hinata, #14 Sudsakorn, #15 Yuichiro Nagashima, #16 Chris Ngimbi, and #17 Mohamed Khamal have all made big moves lately and are poised to move even higher.  Of those names, the two that had particularly noteworthy months are Sudsakorn and Nagashima.  Sudsakorn's win over now #19 Khem Sitsongpeenong in Thailand was the biggest fight yet this year from a rankings standpoint, while Nagashima defended K-1's honor with his stunning New Year's Eve knockout of Dream champion Shinya Aoki.

As we saw in the Heavyweight division, this next month will remain somewhat of a holding pattern for the Middleweights, with nothing big scheduled in February.  But that changes in March with a host of major fights.

First up, the March 6 It's Showtime show, which features #4 Andy Souwer trying to get back in the win column against L'houcine Ouzgni; a great fight between #7 Artur Kyshenko and #9 Gago Drago; #22 Chahid Oulad El Hadj vs. Robin van Roosmalen; and #23 Leroy Kaestner vs. Ramzi Tamaditi.

Giorgio PetrosyanMarch 12 is the Oktagon show from Italy with #1 Giorgio Petrosyan defending his status against the excellent Cosmo Alexandre, plus #3 Yoshihiro Sato vs. #25 Armen Petrosyan.  If Giorgio loses there I don't know what will become of the top 25.

But the big action to watch for is the July 3 It's Showtime show in Russia with #7 Artur Kyshenko vs. L'houcine Ouzgni, plus an 8 man tournament that could be the premiere Middleweight tournament of the year including #1 Giorgio Petrosyan, #4 Andy Souwer, #3 Yoshihiro Sato, #8 Murat Direkci, #9 Gago Drago, and #16 Chris Ngimbi.

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Fedor and Silva (C) M-1Tomorrow night marks the kickoff of one of the biggest tournaments in MMA history. That sounds like grandstanding, doesn't it? It sounds over-the-top and like a simple tournament is being made to sound bigger than it actually is. The only problem with that logic is that the Strikeforce Heavyweight GP is one of the biggest tournaments to happen on American soil in MMA, and is the biggest tournament to happen since PRIDE ran its last Grand Prix. Stay with me, because I've received a few complaints from LiverKick.com's faithful readers in regards to the Strikeforce coverage. No, Strikeforce is indeed not kickboxing or muay thai, but it is being covered for a very distinct reason; we care about the global fight scene, a lot.

Zuffa did something incredible when they took over the UFC and helped to rehabilitate the image of Mixed Martial Arts and worked to bring it into prominence in the United States. Along the way, something happened, though. UFC was expanding and growing, but it had nothing to do with Mixed Martial Arts and everything to do with UFC. UFC grew, the sport of Mixed Martial Arts became the afterthought. Every promotion that has popped up since the UFC's initial boom has been left in the dust, purchased by Zuffa or driven out of business. UFC grew, MMA died on the vine. The only promoter who was able to make a real impact and not drive his company into the dirt was Scott Coker with Stikeforce. Strikeforce began as a kickboxing promotion, with Scott serving as the head of K-1 USA beforehand. Scott knew what he was doing with kickboxing and still has strong ties to the industry.

Do you see where I'm headed yet? The global fight industry is what it is, we are seeing a once super power in Japan begin to wither and die, which no one really wants to see happen, outside of the UFC. The UFC is looking to take over the world, and picking over the scraps of the Japanese fight scene makes life a lot easier. The fight scene in the United States is sparse at best, boxing is holding strong for the big names, but for the smaller names the market is showing some serious cracks. Kickboxing and Muay Thai have some strong markets, but they are very much local and can't really compete on the global level.

The Strikeforce Heavyweight GP that begins this weekend has a big fight feel to it, something that even huge UFC events haven't had that past few years. UFC has put on big events, but not since UFC 100 have I personally felt the sort of buzz surrounding a show like this. A non-UFC show getting this kind of attention, praise ad hype is rare and quite honestly, it is up to Strikeforce to take advantage of this and the not only deliver but follow up on this initial show with more strong shows.

Strikeforce's success helps the global fight industry more than most people can imagine, how? UFC is in the business of promoting UFC, the brand. The fighters are almost inconsequential. UFC 100 was not a huge deal for the fighters, sure, Brock Lesnar was on the card and that helped immensely, but it was the allure of UFC's 100th numbered event. Strikeforce is selling shows around the fighters and the fights, which helps raise awareness of the sport itself, not just the promotion.

The over-arching point of this is that someone needs to break UFC's stranglehold on the market, it wasn't EliteXC, K-1 crashed and burned, so for right now the hope is that Strikeforce can at least try. For sports like kickboxing and muay thai to be taken more seriously, it also helps to have Sergei Kharitonov and Alistair Overeem involved in this tournament, with talk of their K-1 participation. Promotions like Strikeforce make viewers more aware of the fight world at large, as they do not have a self-contained empire to protect. Strikeforce will talk about UFC, PRIDE, K-1, It's Showtime, wherever their fighters came from and had success. The Strikeforce Heavyweight GP feels like a global affair. UFC events feature fighters from all over the world, but all of the action is contained within the UFC's own branded world that they built.

So tune in tomorrow night to watch Fedor Emelianenko square off with Antonio Silva, Andrei Arlovski go to war with Sergei Kharitonov. On top of that, there are three reserve bouts for the tournament, including Valentijn Overeem, Alistair's big brother, squaring off with K-1 legend Ray Sefo while prospects Shane Del Rosario and Lavar Johnson compete to see who is a reserve fighter.

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Heavyweight

1. Alistair Overeem
2. Peter Aerts
3. Semmy Schilt
4. Badr Hari
5. Gokhan Saki
6. Ewerton Teixeira
7. Kyotaro
8. Daniel Ghita
9. Hesdy Gerges
10. Tyrone Spong
11. Jerome Le Banner
12. Nathan Corbett
13. Errol Zimmerman
14. Ashwin Balrak
15. Ruslan Karaev
16. Zabit Samedov
17. Brice Guidon
18. Melvin Manhoef
19. Pavel Zhuravlev
20. Mourad Bouzidi
21. Anderson Silva
22. Rico Verhoeven
23. Mighty Mo
24. Raul Catinas
25. Alexey Ignashov

Welcome back to the LiverKick.com rankings. These rankings are an attempt to break down the top 25 fighters in two different weight classes - Heavyweight, for fighters above the 77kg limit, and Middleweight, for fighters at the 70-72.5kg limit. Our rankings are based on in-ring accomplishments and recent wins and loses. We hope they reflect where these fighters currently stand, although we recognize that all rankings are inherently subjective.

February 2011

Since the January rankings, there has been very little movement in the heavyweight division.  The biggest HW fights were set to take place at the January 30 Ultimate Glory show, but once that was moved back to March, the HW division was essentially put on deep freeze for the time being.

There were, however, three points worth mentioning:

First, our last rankings were just before New Year's Eve, and so did not include Kyotaro's upset loss at the hands of Gegard Mousasi.  With that loss, Kyotaro drops one spot, being passed by Ewerton Teixeira (who holds a 2008 win over Kyotaro).

Second, Alexey Ignashov was in action, defeating Roman Kleibl, another fighter just outside the top 25.  While his performance wasn't great, recent wins over Kleibl and Freddy Kemayo are enough to sneak Ignashov in to the rankings at #25.  Ignashov will have his next big opportunity on July 23 when he challenges #9 Hesdy Gerges for the It's Showtime Heavyeight title.

Finally, the biggest news actually concerns out of the ring events.  While it pains me to do it, I've removed the formerly #4 ranked Remy Bonjasky from the rankings.  It's been well over a year since he last fought, and in that time we've heard that he's retiring soon, then silence.  There's still a chance we'll see him again, but it will likely just be a farewell fight, if it even happens at all.  I know Remy has his detractors, but he's in a rare air of K-1 greats, and it's a shame to see his career fade away in such a lackluster way.

As far as upcoming fights are concerned, we'll have to wait until March for much to happen - that's when we'll get both the Ultimate Glory semi-finals (#5 Gokhan Saki vs. Wendell Roche and #17 Brice Guidon vs. #20 Mourad Bouzidi), and the superb It's Showtime fight between #8 Daniel Ghita and #9 Hesdy Gerges.  Given K-1's troubles, it may be awhile before be get a HW fight to rival Gerges vs. Ghita.  That fight is set for It's Showtime Amsterdam on March 6, which will also feature #22 Rico Verhoeven vs. Jamal Benz on the undercard.

One other fight to note - on February 26 in Australia it will be Thor Hoopman vs. Paul Slowinski.  Although neither man is currently ranked, both are just outside the top 25, and a big win here could propel one of them into the rankings.

The #1 Ranked Alistair OvereemAnd finally, don't forget to keep your eyes on MMA promotion Strikeforce in the coming months.  That's where #1 Alistair Overeem will be found, as he faces Fabricio Werdum in the opening round of their Grand Prix tournament.  This weekend for Strikeforce, K-1 veteran Ray Sefo continues his MMA career against The Reem's big brother Valentijn Overeem, plus K-1 newcomer and MMA veteran Sergei Kharitonov meets Andrei Arlovski in the HW Grand Prix.

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