|2.||Buakaw Por. Pramuk
|3.||Robin Van Roosmalen|
|7.||Sudsakorn Sor Klinmee
Welcome back to the LiverKick.com rankings. These rankings are an attempt to break down the top 10 fighters in three different weight classes - Heavyweight, for fighters above the 85kg limit, Middleweight, for fighters at the 70-72.5kg limit, and Light Heavyweight, for fighters at the 77-84kg 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. Rankings are compiled by Rian Scalia and Dave Walsh.
After what felt like endless months of inactivity for top level competition between each other, September delivered in an incredibly big way all in one weekend. Over the course of the last weekend we saw It's Showtime promote their "Fast and Furious 70kg MAX" tournament which saw Andy Souwer fall victim to an injury and Artur Kyshenko and the unlikely hero of Robin Van Roosmalen emerge as the victor. It's Showtime's 70kg champion Chris Ngimbi suffered from a very poor showing and awaits a fate of squaring off against Giorgio Petrosyan in a few months for that very title, something that many see as Ngimbi's curtain call at the top.
On the other side of the world in Japan K-1 promoted their MAX Japan tournament the very next day with Albert Kraus seen as the favorite in the tournament. What happened instead was Yuji Nashiro took Kraus out in the first round before marching forward to the round where he defeated Takafumi Morita and then in the finals beat past MAX Japan victor Yuya Yamamoto. It was not expected in the least, but was the second tournament with an unexpected winner and a very entertaining show.
There has been a lot of motion within the division due to these two tournaments, including a few fighters departing the top 10 and others being added. As always, #1 is Giorgio Petrosyan who has yet to even be challenged. It was difficult to choose the #2 spot, but on a very solid win-streak with no end in sight is Buakaw Por. Pramuk who is fighting for Thai Fight Extreme right now. The #3 slot was a bit easier to choose in It's Showtime Fast and Furious winner Robin Van Roosmalen. Van Roosmalen's stock has been steadily on the rise over the past two years, and this tournament win elevates him into the elite and in a hurry.
After a solid showing at the It's Showtime tournament, the #4 spot can be firmly given to Artur Kyshenko.Kyshenko who at our last ranking was #5 moves up a full spot, and a tough spot to move up in at that with two big wins in one night to help propel that. The biggest slip within the top ten is #5 Andy Souwer. Souwer has had a rough year and his leg injury against Kyshenko cost him what could have been a tournament win over the weekend. There is no doubt that Souwer is not only still relevant, but that he can easily jump up a few spots again in a hurry once he is healthy. A new addition to the rankings comes in at #6 as Mohammed Khamal makes his debut in the top 10. His last big win was over van Roosmalen in May and actually holds two wins over him, as well as wins over Kyshenko and Mosab Amrani.
Sudsakorn Sor Klimnee holds strong in the rankings at #7 with only one loss this year to Giorgio Petrosyan and a string of wins over lesser opponents in Thai Fight Extreme. The #8 spot goes to another newcomer, Yuji Nashiro whose run in the K-1 MAX Japan tournament helped propel him into the international scene in a big way. Wins over Albert Kraus and Yuya Yamamoto help secure his spot. Rounding out the #9 and #10 spots respectively are Armen Petrosyan and HINATA, both who have had strong wins within the past year and losses, but only to top names.