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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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Phil CollenThere is always a sort of stigma that follows around fight fans, that they can be critical but refuse to learn about the sports they love to criticize. That is often-times untrue, as there are tons of fans who end up jumping into the deep end and training with some of the best trainers available in their area due to their love of fighting. For those of you that might have an inkling of participating, but for some reason don't, here is a bit of a motivational tool for you.

Phil Collen (no, not Phil Collins), the guitar player from 80's hair metal band Def Leppard from about 1982 on in a recent interview with the LA Times talked about his love for martial arts. Collen is a black belt in Kempo Karate and has for years now practiced Muay Thai to keep himself in shape. To understand how weird this is, the dude is 53 years old and maintains a rather rigorous training schedule as well as a touring schedule with the band. He talks a lot about his fitness now, more than he does about his guitar playing (well, I can't blame people there) or the band (ditto).

About 12 weeks before a tour I'll start training, and the last eight weeks I'll work out two to three times a day doing weights, jumping rope, hopping on the spin bike. The rest of the time I work out three to four times a week and try to eat OK. Jean (Carrillo) does come with me on tour, and we work out -- there are so many different ways to do it, and switching it out makes it fun.
We've been in places where there's just a bar or a beam to hang from, but you can do push-ups or pull-ups or do bits on a chair. You can have the most fantastic workout if you use your imagination.

Collen talks about how after sobering up he was looking for ways to get himself into shape, he used to jog until he realized how much he hated it, then started kickboxing and has for the past 23 years loved the sport. While I don't see him stepping into the ring with Badr Hari or Ubereem any time soon, he shows that literally anyone can kickbox. [source]

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Just a few days ago Golden Glory announced that the United Glory Tournament's second round show, which was set to take place on January 30th was postponed, mainly due to Gokhan Saki's hand injury. Saki was one of the top-billed fighters on the card and had to bow out due to the injuries he sustained during the K-1 World Grand Prix. The second round of the tournament was set for the 30th in Charleroi, Belgium, but has now seemingly been pushed back to March 19th.

This hopefully gives time for Saki as well as John Alessio, who was also injured heading into the January 30th event, time to fully recover and appear on the March 19th show.

The MMA Welterweight tournament brackets are as follows:

John Alessio vs. Siyar Bahudurzada
Tommy Depret vs. Roan Carneiro

The Kickboxing Heavyweight tournament is as follows:

Gokhan Saki vs. Wendel Roche
Brice Guidon vs. Mourad Bouzidi

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There has been a lot written about Nick Diaz over the past few years, and his hilarious performance at the recent Strikeforce conference call has helped lead him into the limelight once again. This weekend he defends his Welterweight Championship against Brazilian striker Evangelista "Cyborg" Santos. Cyborg has fought just about everywhere, from Brazil to the US and Japan and fights with that crazy, brawling Chute Boxe style that we all know, love and miss in modern MMA. Robbie Lawler is also coming off the destruction of Manhoef last year to take on Jacare. Even if you are just a stand up fan, you are bound to see some awesomeness this weekend.

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Shigeki OsawaShootboxing has made a handful of fight announcements in the past few days as their 2011 act.1 show on February 19 begins to take shape. Already announced was a main event rematch between Shootboxing’s top Japanese star HIROKI SHISHIDO and BOVY SOR. UDOMSON that promises to be a fun fight. Over the past week, 3 new fights have been added to the show:

SHIGEKI OSAWA vs. HIROAKI SUZUKI

Osawa (pictured, in white) is an interesting addition to Shootboxing’s roster. An MMA fighter with a strong wrestling background, Osawa’s professional career has largely been in SRC, where he’s had a number of wins under MMA rules. He’s also an accomplished wrestler and is looking to represent Japan at the 2012 Olympics in London. He’s a potentially great signing for Shootboxing, as Japanese fans love a national sports star, and could really take some interest in Osawa. Normally an MMA fighter with a wrestling background doesn’t have much of a chance in a stand-up organization, but this is Shootboxing, and Osawa’s wrestling skills could help him earn a Toby Imada style victory via takedowns. Shootboxing is pushing the idea that there is a “new style” in the organization with an emphasis on throws and takedowns, and there’s no doubt Osawa is there to help encourage that style. He’s got a very tough debut opponent though, as Hiroaki Suzuki is one of the best young stars in Shootboxing and is the marquee fighter of their 65kg division. He’s coming in off an S-Cup win over Mitsuhiro Ishida – another debuting MMA fighter with a wrestling background. Suzuki shut him down and knocked him out, and will look to do the same here.

Osawa had this to say about the fight and his lofty goals, courtesy of Nightmare of Battle:

“I thought striking was the core of SB but at the S-cup, applying takedowns cleverly while also exchanging strikes, MMA fighter Imada left a deep impression on me. But if it’s me I’m confident that I can do even more awesome takedowns and fire up the arena, and since I’m doing this I want to aim for the Shoot Boxing belt as well. My goal is to have reached the top of both SB and MMA when I win the gold medal in London.”

KUNIYOSHI HIRONAKA vs. TBA

Hironaka is another MMA fighter, although he has competed in Shootboxing before, KO-ing Shinichiro Kuroki at Ishin 1 last February. Hironaka is the Cage Force Lightweight champion, and has fought in both Dream and the UFC. He holds a 2002 win over Strikeforce champion Nick Diaz. No word yet on his opponent.

AI TAKAHASHI vs. ZAZA SOR AREE

Shootboxing’s #2 in the women’s division, Ai Takahashi returns to action here. Last year, Takahashi made it to the finals at the Girls’ S-Cup where she was finally defeated by RENA after two extension rounds in an excellent fight. She’s one of the women out there who can give RENA a real challenge, and it seems likely those two will clash again this year. Zaza Sor Aree is a Muay Thai fighter, who also competed at last year’s S-Cup where she was choked out by American Kate Martinez in the quarter-finals. I’ll be interested to see her back, but I don’t see her defeating Takahashi here.

Those four fights likely make up the top portion of the card, and make a great night of fights so far.

One final Shootboxing note – this weekend is the first event in the 2011 Young Ceaser’s Cup. Hopefully we will have results from that show up on Monday.

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Giorgio PetrosyanIt's Showtime has been on fire of late, and with their big Amsterdam ArenA show not happening, all signs point to their May 14th show in Lyon, France to be taking the place of the ArenA for a giant show. We've been talking with Simon Rutz lately, and while there has been a lot of focus on the return of Badr Hari for May 14th and his possible opponent, there have been other fights rumored, as well as individual fighters.

Simon Rutz and It's Showtime are working with famous fighter Kader Marouf to put together this card, and so far it is somewhat official that we can expect Daniel Ghita as well as Badr Hari competing on the show against unknown opponents as of this moment.

One of the big rumored bouts for the evening is Giorgio Petrosyan taking on Abdallah Mabel for the fourth time. Mabel holds a losing record of 0-3 against Petrosyan, but the Lyon native makes for a perfect showcase for one of It's Showtime's international jewels in Petrosyan. Winner of the Isuzu Thai Fight -67kgs tournament, Fabio Pinca is set to take on It's Showtime's recent showcase fighter Mosab Amrani. Mosab just had a blistering battle at It's Showtime: The Sands and has the kickboxing world keeping a close eye on him. Yohan Lidon with take on Mirat Grigorian as well, with both men looking to make a big impression on the big stage.

There is also a rumor kicking around that French superstar and one of K-1's all time greats, Jerome Le Banner will be fighting on this card. More as it unfolds.

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Simon RutzAmidst all the bad K-1 news, Europe’s top fighting organization, It’s Showtime, has been a hot topic of conversation lately. As plans for 2011 come together, we’re seeing more and more events announced by the company, who find themselves constantly expanding their product throughout the world. But in the middle of all the positive news came an unfortunate announcement last week – due to a planned co-promotion with K-1 falling through, It’s Showtime would not run their big annual show at the Amsterdam Arena in 2011.

Between this latest news, all the rumors swirling around K-1, Badr Hari’s return, and various other stories, now seemed like a good time to speak to the always forthcoming It’s Showtime president Simon Rutz. As always, Mr. Rutz offered plenty of insight into their dealings with K-1 and so much more.

If you missed part 1 yesterday, click here for the story on exactly what happened with the canceled Amsterdam Arena event and the state of affairs for K-1 and It’s Showtime.

LiverKick.com Exclusive Interview with Simon Rutz Part 2

LiverKick.com: It’s very exciting to hear Badr Hari will return in May in Lyon. Is that fight confirmed?

Simon Rutz: It is not confirmed yet because the contract is not signed, but I think we will have the contract signed in 2 weeks.

LK: Any news on his return opponent?

SR: At this moment we are talking with possible opponents.

LK: Where do his legal troubles stand?

SR: Nobody knows what will happen in the future with this case! This case was big in the news in The Netherlands, but from what I understand, the police still don’t have any witnesses.

LK: So do you have concerns about Hari’s reputation considering the trouble kickboxing recently had with the government in Amsterdam?

SR: Of course it doesn’t help! But these are two totally different cases. Amsterdam wants to have big sports events in their city, but with one of the biggest events (It’s Showtime), they make it difficult. When we don’t run show in the future in Amsterdam, it will be a shame for the city, but not for It’s Showtime. We will survive with or without Amsterdam.

LK: Remy Bonjasky is working with It’s Showtime now. Have you discussed him having a retirement fight with you?

SR: Yes, I discussed a retirement fight for him, but the money he asked for I don’t want to pay! Of course he can ask, but believe me, nobody will pay him that much money!

LK: How did you feel about K-1’s response to the protest regarding the Hesdy Gerges vs. Semmy Schilt fight?

SR: What they said and did was bullshit. They say that the corner for Schilt was wrong, and they punished the judges? I understand why K-1 did this, because last year they didn’t get Badr Hari and Remy Bonjasky, so they needed the 4 time K-1 winner Semmy Schilt in the final. I think if Hesdy Gerges was in the final, it would have been a totally different final.

LK: You had an unfortunate falling out with Cosmo Alexandre last year. Why couldn’t that situation be worked out?

SR: Because it was the second time he did something wrong. But for me there’s no problem. He is a nice guy and a good fighter, but I don’t use him anymore.

LK: I understand your clause regarding fighters taking fights before It’s Showtime shows – is that written in to their contracts?

SR: It’s always written in their contract, but with Cosmo, we didn’t write the contract because, stupid as I am sometime, a word from me is more important than a contract. But don’t misunderstand me, in 99% of the cases we have a contract!

LK: Tyrone Spong is no longer the 95kg champ. Any idea when there will be a fight for that title, and who might fight for it?

SR: Yes, I am working on that and I think that 2 fighters are fighting for this title on March 6 in Amsterdam. Soon I will let everybody know.

LK: Melvin Manhoef said on twitter that he likely won’t fight for It’s Showtime this year. Might he be stripped of the 85kg belt?

SR: If he doesn’t fight for his title, yes I will strip him of the belt because those are the rules! But Melvin is Melvin, one day he says that and the other day he thinks differently. Also, if he doesn’t fight this year for It’s Showtime and K-1 is broke, who else can pay him? Last time Melvin was disappointed because K-1 didn’t treat him well and that’s the case.

LK: What are your personal favorite fights in It’s Showtime history?

SR: Badr Hari vs. Sem Schilt, Mootje Khamal vs. Chahid, Ivan Hipolyte vs. Rayen Simson, Rob Kaman vs. Alexei Ignashov, and almost all the fights from Gago Drago.

LK: Last year when I spoke to you and asked who we should watch for in 2010, you brought up Aussi Ouzgni, who then had a great year. So, who should we watch out for in 2011?

SR: Marat Grigorian is one of the biggest talents in the world. Watch him.

LK: Anything else our readers should know?

SR: A lot of people think that It’s Showtime is happy that K-1 is broke, but believe me we hope that K-1 survives. That’s really better for the sport. Also personally I like the people from FEG like Mr. Tanikawa, but in my opinion they do a lot of strange things. For many years I have said to them that they must do things differently but every time they do the opposite. I think that they were afraid of It’s Showtime, but that is totally not necessary. The world is big enough for two good and big kickboxing organizations. Also, I want to say that life is beautiful! Carpe Diem!

 

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