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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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Last night at UFC 126 we were all given the chance to see a great, legendary knockout by UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson "The Spider" Silva. Anderson was able to get some distance on Vitor Belfort after a flurry and scramble and absolutely finish Vitor off with a front kick that will go down in history as one of the most out of nowhere knockouts in MMA history. Joe Rogan went on to say that he has never seen a front kick KO in any sport, and I humbly tossed my hat into the ring immediately on Twitter pointing out that K-1 MAX 2005 Japan Champion, Taishin Kohiruimaki (also known as Takayuki Kohiruimaki) is the exception to that rule.

While I'm sure that Joe Rogan knows that, as Rogan is a diehard fan of K-1, and part of his job as a UFC commentator is to sell the brand and the action happening in the ring, watch one of the other incredible front kick KOs in the history of combat sports as Taishin Kohiruimaki faces Akeomi Nitta in the MAX Japan 2005 finals. Much like with last night's kick by Anderson, this kick comes out of nowhere, and usually the front high kick is not known as a murderous blow, but I remember watching this in 2005 and jumping out of my chair, so excited to see such an amazing KO.

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Souwer RoqueniIn a result I don’t think anyone saw coming, Abraham Roqueni scored a huge upset this weekend, defeating the #3 fighter in the world, Andy Souwer.  The fight was the main event for El Desafio in Spain; Roqueni took the decision win.

When this fight was announced, it seemed like such a routine win for Souwer that we didn’t even discuss it much here at LiverKick.com.  I don’t want to take anything away from Roqueni, who is a good fighter, but this is Andy Souwer we’re talking about, and the result was little in doubt.  Instead, Roqueni treated local fans to an amazing upset, knocking the heavily favored Souwer down early in the fight and holding on from there to get the win.

Check the full entry for video of the fight.

With this loss, Andy Souwer has now lost 2 of his last 3 fights, with both loses coming against fighters far outside the top 25.  In fact, this makes him 4-4 in his last 8, which doesn’t sound so bad, especially considering the level of opposition Souwer faces, but when you look at his overall record of roughly 150 fights and only 11 loses, you can see that something may be amiss here.  Souwer spent much of 2010 sidelined due to an eye injury – is it possible he has come back too fast?  Or are those 150 fights and 12 years as a pro catching up to Souwer?  There’s a temptation to say it’s just one loss, but as I said after the Imada fight, Andy Souwer is the kind of fighter who just doesn’t lose to anyone but the very best.  Since making his K-1 debut, Souwer has only lost 3 times to fighters outside of the top 5 – and two of those 3 loses have occurred in his last 3 fights.  It’s extremely premature to write Souwer off after this loss, but it’s also unwise to ignore the facts.  And the facts say that Souwer is not at the top of his game right now.  Will he shake that off and get back to the dominance he is capable of?  We’ll have to see.  Souwer’s next scheduled fight is a tough one – March 6 against L’houcine Ouzgni for It’s Showtime.  That will be a must win for Souwer against a very capable foe.

Elsewhere on the card Dennis Schneidmiller lost a decision to Fran Palenzuela, Youness el Mhassani defeated Oliver Tinda by decision, and Hafid el Boustati vs. Manuel Hinojo went to a draw.  Full results available here.

Also in action this weekend was Alexey Ignashov.  The Red Scorpion headlined a European event billed as Ring of Honor on Saturday, facing K-1 ColliZion 2009 tournament champion Roman Kleibl.  Ignashov took the decision victory, redeeming a 2009 loss.  Click here for fights from the entire event, including Ignashov vs. Kleibl.

 

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Anderson SilvaAnderson Silva squared off with most recent challenger, Vitor "The Phenom" Belfort. After his last defense against Chael Sonnen there were many questions as to where Anderson Silva really stands. His stand up has always been his strong point, but Chael Sonnen was able to score on him and even knock him down in their fight. To many, this was a glaring hole in his game, and against a boxer like Vitor Belfort, could mean bad things.

Most of the first round featured both men tentative and afraid to strike until Vitor Belfort landed a one-two combo. Silva gets frustrated and throws a high kick that Vitor catches and takes him down with. Silva is easily able to hop up and get his back, then Vitor spins around and eats a clinched knee from Silva. Silva then channeled our favorite retired K-1 MAX fighter not named Masato and lands a Kohi front kick to KO Vitor, followed by a few follow-up shots for good measure. Anderson wins by first round KO.

Anderson Silva quietly sits upon his MMA striking throne, but we still have questions about where he stands against professional boxers, kickboxers and muay thai practioners.

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Jon JonesTonight at UFC 126, Jon "Bones" Jones took the fight to Ryan Bader. Both men were seen as huge prospects for UFC's 205lbs division, and after a slick guillotine choke from the top, Ryan Bader moves down the ladder a bit and Jon Jones moves up. Jones demonstrated some superb ground work against Bader and was able to use his reach advantage to keep Bader at bay.

Jones' stand up still leaves a lot to be desired, with his stance, movement and lack of set-ups. All of the big strikes he threw had a lot of power behind them and looked right on target, but not as many connected as could have if he actually set the strikes up. This includes a left high kick, a few big hooks and a Remy Bonjasky-style flying kick.

So what is the point of all of this? In what was a WWE or even Oprah moment for UFC, Joe Rogan came into the cage to tell Jon Jones that Rashad Evans was injured and at UFC 128 the UFC would like Jon Jones to step in for him and challenge Mauricio "Shogun" Rua for the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship. It is a huge step up in competition for Jon Jones, and honestly the fight of his life. Shogun's striking, while a bit on the brawling side due to the Chute Boxing style of Muay Thai, is still technically sound and does lots of damage.

Jones has a reach advantage over Rua, but that wouldn't be the first time he has given up reach, and it also isn't the first time he has gone into the fight without a giant hype train behind him. When he challenged Lyoto Machida, Machida had endless momentum and it turns out wasn't prepared for Muay Thai, and now Jon Jones is in the same position. Jones is most definitely a great prospect, but there are serious holes in his stand up that Ryan Bader was able to exploit tonight and not enough time to fix them before the fight.

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Vitor Belfort and Anderson SilvaYesterday we took a look at Anderson Silva as part 1 of our LiverKick.com take on Saturday’s big UFC 126 showdown between Silva and Vitor Belfort.  If you missed it, be sure to read that article here for a look at Silva’s Muay Thai and Pro Boxing careers.  Today, part 2 as we examine the boxing career of Saturday’s challenger: “The Phenom” Vitor Belfort.

Belfort’s career as a boxer has many similarities to Silva’s.  Belfort has just one pro boxing bout to his name, and like Silva, Belfort’s opponent was another one and done fighter.  But while Silva tried his hand at boxing just before hitting his MMA peak, Vitor’s boxing debut came at a very different point on his career trajectory.

Belfort made his boxing debut in April 2006, and while it was a small show in Brazil, there were many eyes on the fight.  Because Vitor Belfort was only a year removed from his 2nd UFC run and the classic series of fights with Chuck Liddell, Marvin Eastman, Randy Couture, and Tito Ortiz.  In the time since leaving the UFC, he had taken two fights (including his first encounter with Alistair Overeem); he had also spoken openly about his plans to compete as a boxer.

The idea of Vitor Belfort as a boxer makes a lot of sense.  Despite talk of his Brazilian Jiu Jitsu pedigree, Vitor is and always has been a largely one dimensional MMA fighter, using his hand speed and power throughout his career (Belfort did try out a new wrestling based style in Pride, which was successful, though incredibly boring).  And so fans were interested in what kind of skills Belfort the boxer would bring to the table when he met Josemario Neves.

As it turns out, Vitor Belfort the boxer is not much different from Vitor Belfort the MMA fighter, which in all honesty is not a bad thing.  Belfort’s strength has always been his boxing, so for him to focus on those skills and really keep his game tuned to this strength is a smart move.  And here we do see some nice examples of Belfort tightening up his technique.  One quick exchange I like comes when Neves tries to trap Belfort against the ropes.  Once he has Vitor pushed back, Neves goes for a punch, but Belfort ducks the punch and steps out to the side, escaping the punch and the bad positioning in one fluid motion.

This fight really displays Vitor’s greatest strength – the killer instinct and knowledge of when to finish a fight.  Belfort is one of the best at this in the history of MMA – once he tags you, he simply unloads until you are done.  If you watch Vitor’s left hand here you can see when he decides to switch gears and end the fight.  For the majority of the fight, he keeps that left hand high and close to his chin in a very strong defensive position, ready to block any incoming punches.  Once he hurts Neves just before the first knockdown, he gives up that defense in favor of landing as many heavy shots as he can as quickly as he can.  In some ways it’s a gamble – leaving yourself open to go for the kill can get you hit – but Belfort knows when to time it so that he stays safe.  It’s telling that Belfort has used that flurry to KO numerous opponents, but never once has an opponent landed a counter strike to drop Belfort during these rapid fire attacks.

One other interesting aspect from this fight is that, because this is boxing and not MMA, Vitor needs to do more than just overwhelm his opponent once suddenly – he needs to hurt him enough to keep him down or continue the assault after his opponent has time to recover.  Here, Vitor’s power is not enough to keep Neves down for a 10 count, but it is enough that after the first knockdown, the fight is essentially over.  The moment they begin to exchange again after that initial knockdown, it’s clear that Neves has nothing left to offer.  Vitor swarms him again, then once more for the 3 knockdown victory.

When he faces Anderson Silva tomorrow night, all it will take is one opening for Vitor to launch that rapid fire attack, overwhelm Silva once, and again become UFC champion (though hopefully this time it will be a bit more legitimate).  What’s tricky for Belfort is that, while no man has yet countered that quick attack, if there’s any man to do it, it’s Silva.  Will Silva give Belfort the opening he needs?  And if he does, will the sublime striking we know Silva is capable of be able to save him?  We’ll know soon enough.

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It's ShowtimeWe at LiverKick.com have been working with the top Dutch kickboxing promotion, It's Showtime to find a way to hook up their American fans who read LiverKick.com religiously, and after receiving the massive package from It's Showtime today, I can tell you that you will not be disappointed with what we have to offer you.

In a world of uncertainty with K-1, It's Showtime has gone above and beyond to pick up the slack and has a ton of shows scheduled for 2011, with more to come! The first show is on March 6th and is shaping up to be incredible. How good is it? The main event is Hesdy Gerges vs. Daniel Ghita, with Andy Souwer vs. L'houcine Ouzgni, Artur Kyshenko vs. Gago Drago and a lot more.

If you somehow aren't familiar with It's Showtime, read around our site or visit ItsShowtime.nl, and you'll see what all the hype is about. It's Showtime actually manages some of the greatest fighters in the game today, from Badr Hari, Hesdy Gerges, Giorgio Petrosyan, Gago Drago, Anderson "Braddock" Silva, Tyrone Spong to Mosab Amrani and more. All of these fighters, plus the likes of Melvin Manhoef, Sem Schilt, Peter Aerts, Yoshihiro Sato and more have competed for them and will continue to compete for them. To say It's Showtime is the real deal isn't even being fair, they are the future of kickboxing.

So we decided to work with It's Showtime to help celebrate the opening of their new webshop, http://itsshowtimeshop.com/en/. Yes, it is in English and yes, they'll probably ship to you without a second thought (as long as you pay them). So if somehow you don't walk away from this contest with some sweet It's Showtime stuff, it'll be alright, you can always help support their new web store and purchase some awesome stuff.

Now, I'm sure you are wondering how the hell you can win some of this awesome It's Showtime gear, right? Well, it is simple. Sign up for an account at LiverKick.com (top left corner, "create account") and confirm your email address when we send you an automated email. Then in the comments section of this post, tell us why you deserve some free It's Showtime gear from LiverKick.com and It's Showtime! Go crazy, be creative, tell us exactly why we should pick you. Tell us your favorite It's Showtime memory, your favorite event, what fight you are looking forward to, draw us a picture of Badr Hari's back hair patch, take a photograph of your child spinkicking your dog. Anything! Just make a good argument for yourself and we'll hook you up.

You have until Monday, February 7th to post a comment and tell us why we should pick you. So now, what exactly are the prizes? I'm glad you asked. Read after the break.

 

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