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Surprise! Fedor Really is Fighting Jaideep, Plus Masato vs. KID is Still On

New Year's Eve is rapidly approaching and now that Star Wars has been released there is nothing in between us and New Year's Eve. Okay, maybe a few holidays, but still, it's just a matter of days now and we are finally getting some clarification on what we can all expect to go down. Remember how initially it was reported that Fedor Emelianenko would be fighting Jaideep Singh, then RIZIN FF and Jerry Millen denied it? Well, I can't find Millen's tweet anymore, because he's that kind of guy, but that did, indeed happen. 

Now, today, RIZIN FF sent out a press release announcing Fedor vs. Jaideep. 

Go figure, right?

On another front, remember how we said before that it looked like KID Yamamoto vs. Masato was in peril because of KID Yamamoto's tattoos? Apparently that fight is still on and while it will still be an exhibition, it will no longer be just a single round, it will now be three rounds. 

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Full Card for Kunlun Fight 35

On December 19th, after most of us have seen Star Wars, Kunlun Fight will be putting on Kunlun Fight 35. There is a lot going on with this card, so I'm not even going to bother explaining most of it. Seriously, just look at it. Sure, Yodsanklai dropped out of the 70kg tournament, which is a hit, but there's just so much talent there that it's hard to complain. 

Card via Kiksie.

Kunlun Fight 35

December 19, 2015

Luoyang, Henan, China

Tournament Reserve Fight - 80kg

Artur Gorlovs (Latvia) vs. Deng Ningning (China)

Tournament Semifinal #1 - 80kg

Dmitry Valent (Belarus) vs. Arthit Hanchana (Thailand)

Tournament Semifinal #2 - 80kg

Artur Kyshenko (Ukraine) vs. Eyevan Danenberg (Netherlands)

Kickboxing - 64kg

Kim Dongsu (South Korea) vs. Wei Ninghui (China)

MMA - 61kg

Xie Junpeng (China) vs. Zhao Yafei (China)

Middleweight World Championship Tournament Quarterfinal #1 – 70kg

Kong Lingfeng (China) vs. Victor Nagbe (Australia)

MMA - 61kg

Kirill Medvedovski (Israel) vs. Wu Tieyin (China)

Middleweight World Championship Tournament Quarterfinal #2 – 70kg

Enriko Gogokhia (Ukraine) vs. Davit Kiria (Georgia)

Kickboxing - 90kg

Sebastian Ciobanu (Romania) vs. Wang Chongyang (China)

Middleweight World Championship Tournament Quarterfinal #3 – 70kg

Zhang Chunyu (China) vs. Superbon Banchamek (Thailand)

MMA - 61kg

Yan Xibo (China) vs. Daulet Userbay (Kazakhstan)

Middleweight World Championship Tournament Quarterfinal #4 – 70kg

Marat Grigorian (Armenia) vs. Sittichai Sitsongpeenong (Thailand)

Tournament Final - 80kg

Semifinal #1 Winner vs. Semifinal #2 Winner

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December 2015 LiverKick Rankings Update: Badr Hari Returns to the Rankings

Yes, it's that time again. That time is for the official LiverKick Rankings to be updated. The last major show for the year has happened in GLORY 26 and while we prepare for 2016 Jay Jauncey and myself took a look at the rankings and spent hours hashing out who goes where. The LiverKick rankings date back to 2010 when Fraser Coffeen and myself began ranking fighters across multiple divisions, with the only way to move up the rankings (or being added to them) being defeating a ranked opponent. Therefore, these rankings are based upon who beats who, not talent, potential or anything else. They are also current, meaning that past wins or losses are not taken into account when ranking a fighter. 

Heavyweight is, for a lack of a better term, a mess. Rico Verhoeven is firmly at the top, but everything after that feels like an amorphous blob of traded wins, confusing losses and strange additions. The first thing is, yes, for the first time since his incarceration, Badr Hari returns to the LiverKick rankings. His recent victory over Ismael Londt secured his spot for the time being. Adegbuyi, after two unsuccessful title challenges, moves up to #2 without much of a hope of moving up for a while. Jahfarr Wilnis, after a tournament victory in Kunlun and a second place finish in a GLORY tournament jumps up to #3. Everything from there is an existential nightmare. Jamal Ben Saddik lost to Brian Douwes, who enters the rankings for the very first time in the unthinkable spot of #4 and, well, not much else changed, although I get the distinct impression that Gerges might go inactive at some point.

Gokhan Saki's stranglehold on the Light Heavyweight division continues with the announcement of his return to GLORY. The one fight he had this year kept him from being expunged due to inactivity and hopefully we'll have some order at the top of that division soon as the #1 and #2 are set to meet in early 2016. Artem Vakhitov and Mourad Bouzidi picked up wins over Danyo Ilunga, seeing both of them bump up and Jorge Loren's win over Andrei Stoica earned him a spot on the rankings.

Middleweight has seen very little movement of late, with Dustin Jacoby earning the #7 spot after a win over Wayne Barrett and Barrett dropping down to #10 with his future looking doubtful at the moment.

Welterweight sees Holzken hold onto the division via a controversial decision while Groenhart gets the coveted #2 spot. Yoann Kongolo made a splash on the division while Karapet faced a tough loss that sent him down.

Nothing changed at Lightweight. Seriously.

Featherweight saw the usual reshuffling that we tend to see, with Glunder rising in the face of a loss in muay thai and a few strange wins at way higher weight classes, but still doing well at his home weight of 65kg. Noiri moves up, Soda moves down and Serhiy Adamchuk earns that #7 spot by defeating Gabriel Varga for the GLORY Featherweight title, continuing the trend of the GLORY FW champion not being near the top of the division due to the depth of talent in Japan and the lack of depth in GLORY's division. Zouggari holds onto his spot on the rankings amidst all of the shifting by finally booting Suzuki out of the rankings and all is right with the world.

Heavyweight (Per 12/15)

1 Rico Verhoeven
2 Benjamin Adegbuyi
3 Jahfarr Wilnis
4 Brian Douwes
5 Jamal Ben Saddik
6 Anderson Silva
7 Hesdy Gerges
8 Andrei Gerasmichuk
9 Zabit Samedov
10 Badr Hari

Light

Heavyweight (Per 12/15)

1 Gokhan Saki
2 Saulo Cavalari
3 Artem Vakhitov
4 Mourad Bouzidi
5 Danyo Ilunga
6 Michael Duut
7 Jorge Loren
8 Andrei Stoica
9 Zack Mwekassa
10 Reduon Cairo
Middleweight (Per 12/15)

1 Artem Levin
2 Simon Marcus
3 Joe Schilling
4 Filip Verlinden
5 Jason Wilnis
6 Alex Pereira
7 Dustin Jacoby
8 Israel Adesanya
9 Fang Bian
10 Wayne Barrett
Welterweight (Per 12/15)

1 Nieky Holzken
2 Murthel Groenhart
3 Artur Kyshenko
4 Hicham El Gaoui
5 Raymond Daniels
6 Yoann Kongolo
7 Karim Ghajji
8 Karapet Karapetyan
9 Paul Daley
10 Bai Jinbin
Lightweight (Per 12/15)

1 Robin van Roosmalen
2 Sitthichai
3 Davit Kiria
4 Andy Ristie
5 Giorgio Petrosyan
6 Yodsanklai Fairtex
7 Marat Grigorian
8 Dzhabar Askerov
9 Enriko Kehl
10 Josh Jauncey
Featherweight (Per 12/15)

1 Kaew Fairtex
2 Minoru Kimura
3 Massaro Glunder
4 Masaaki Noiri
5 Yasuomi Soda
6 Yuta Kubo
7 Serhiy Adamchuk
8 Gabriel Varga
9 Mosab Amrani
10 Zakaria Zouggari
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Rizin FF Announces Jerome Le Banner Fighting MMA on NYE

Remember when Jerome Le Banner retired? Yeah, about that. Combat sports retirements only last as long as there isn't money on the table and Japan's new RIZIN FF promotion has laid out whatever amount of money that it took to get Jerome Le Banner back into the ring for New Year's Eve. The crazy, three-day long event will culminate with a huge NYE event on December 31st that'll air on Spike TV in the United States. 

Jerome Le Banner will be a part of that, fighting his first MMA fight in over five years against former sumo wrestling star Kaido Hoovelson. Le Banner was a huge star in Japan thanks to K-1 and still holds a near god-like status with fans in Japan. This booking is little surprise considering that, even if the fight is a bit, well, strange. It's Japan, it's New Year's Eve, this is the kind of stuff that we've come to expect, know and love.

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