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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

Daily News

Daniel GhitaThere's no rest for It's Showtime.  Just days removed from a successful event in Brussels, the fast growing company announced the line-up for their June 11 event in Warsaw, Poland.

In the main event, newly crowned IS 95kg World Champion Danyo Ilunga will make his first defense of the belt as he faces Nenad Pagonis.  Ilunga, a Remy Bonjasky protege, made a name for himself earlier this month when he defeated Wendell Roche for the vacant title - it's good to see he will be back and making a defense so soon.  Pagonis is a Muay Thai fighter and multiple time WAKO champion.  He competed at last year's It's Showtime Athens show, where he defeated the tough Rustemi Kreshnik via decision.

The fight that will likely draw the most attention pits top 10 Heavyweight Daniel Ghita against Ehren Deniz.  Ghita is coming in off two loses, so a win here will be a help for him.  Deniz is an experienced fighter with bouts against Sebastian Ciobanu, Mourad Bouzidi, and Catalin Morosanu, although he has not seen much success against this level of opposition.  He should provide a decent, but relatively easy opponent for Ghita.

Also on the card is Murthel Groenhart.  The Mike's Gym fighter looked to be heading towards a 77kg title shot last year when he was defeated by Khalid Bourdif in December.  He looks to get back on the title path against Errol Koning.

The complete line-up so far is as follows:

Danyo Ilunga vs. Nenad Pagonis (95kg World Title)

Daniel Ghita vs. Ehren Deniz (HW)

Murthel Groenhart vs. Errol Koning (77kg)

Sonny Dagraed vs. Piotr Woznicki (73kg)

Rafal Dudek vs. Nikos Papadimitriou (70kg)

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Jean-Claude Van Damme most likely has a fight coming up soon in Thailand against a Thai Olympic Boxer Somluck Kamsing, and on top of that the action star has somewhere in the vicinity of a million other projects that he is working on. Steven Seagal is currently riding tanks and pretending to be training high level MMA fighters how to do the most basic of strikes, which makes JCVD's ventures seem all the more legitimate and likable. One of his latest ventures is a reality television series titled, "Behind Closed Doors" where a British crew follow the action star around as he lives his life as only he can.

The rest after the break.

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BuakawYes, you read that headline right. Buakaw Por. Pramuk, two-time K-1 World MAX Champion and 2010 Shootboxing S-Cup Champion will indeed be fighting in the United States in August of this year. Stand Up Promotions based out of Northern California will be presenting yet another big muay thai card to the area featuring not only Buakaw Por. Pramuk but Saenchai Sinibi Gym, Koaklai Kennorising, Saiyok Pumpanmuang and Rungravee Sasiprapa.

This is a lot of world class muay thai talent for a relatively smaller promotion, but they are going all th way with this event, booking the Anaheim Convention Center. The Arena in the Convention Center can hold upwards of 9,100 people if they are indeed running in the Arena and not a convention hall. All of this goes down on August 13th. MuayThaiAuthority.com did the legwork.

In August Stand Up Promotions will host "World Class Championship Muay Thai" at the Anaheim Convention Center on August 13th in Anaheim, CA. The event will feature Buakaw Por. Pramuk, Saenchai Sinibi Gym, Kaoklai Kennorising, Saiyok Pumpanmuang, and Rungravee Sasiprapa. All five Thai fighters are world class, but most will likely be excited to see former K-1 Max, and WMC champion Buakaw make his United States debut.

No opponents have been confirmed for any of the fighters, but Stand Up Promotions has confirmed with Muay Thai Authority that all five fighters have agreed to fight on the August 13th event.
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Gokhan SakiOver at Dutch forum Mixfight.nl there is news of a new card featuring some high-end fights.  No name or organization known, but the show takes place June 18 in Rotterdam.  In the main event, it will be the #5 ranked Gokhan Saki vs. Sergei Lascenko.  Saki's last fight was his United Glory semi-final victory over Wendell Roche, and before the Lascenko fight, he'll also face Brice Guidon in the UG finals May 21.  Good to see The Rebel staying so active despite the overall lack of options for Heavyweight fighters at the moment.

This marks Lascenko's first high profile opponent since losing to Freddy Kemayo at last year's K-1 Europe GP.  One of the potential break-out K-1 Heavyweights of 2009, Lascenko has seen his career stall out somewhat over the past year.  Since the Kemayo loss, he's gone 1-2, and is coming off a win over Vasile Popovici.  One interesting aspect to this fight is that Lascenko has recently been in the news a bit as he has made the transition to Mike's Gym, where he has been working as the sparring partner to Badr Hari.  Hari vs. Saki is a fight that has come up more than once recently, and is one I wouldn't be surprised to see sooner than later.  Seeing his training partner face off against Saki will certainly be informative for Hari and the team at Mike's Gym.

The other highlight of the card is an 8 man K-1 rules tournament.  Participants include the #20 ranked Anderson "Braddock" Silva, Wendell Roche, Utley Mariana, Dennis Stolzenbach, Tommy van Wijngaarden, Philip van der Linde, Nicolai Vallin, and one more fighter TBD.  I'd call Silva the favorite here, with Roche 2nd.

Rounding out the card are two MMA fights: Djamil Chan vs. Thomas Wichmann, and Tugrul Okay vs. Eric Paulo.

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Buakaw Por PramukOn May 14, Thai Fight Extreme will host a card in France.  Not many details on this card yet, but the two big featured names (and they are indeed big ones) will be Buakaw Por. Pramuk and Yodsaenklai Fairtex.  The way the promo video is set up, it seems to be implying that it will actually be Buakaw vs. Yodsaenklai, but as much as fans want that fight to happen, and as much as it honestly should happen, I highly doubt that's where the matchmaking will go.  Look for both men to be paired against other opponents, and hopefully we'll see Buakaw against a foe who poses at least a moderate threat.  Other names being tossed about for this show include Lumpinee champ Saiyok Pumpanmuang, Sudsakorn Sor Klinmee, and 2010 Thai Fight champion Fabio Pinca, which would make for a fantastic overall card.

In other Thai Fight news, the round robin tournament to determine Thailand's 2011 Thai Fight representative continues at Omnoi Stadium in Bangkok.  Things have become a bit muddy and confusing here, as Sudsakorn established himself as the tournament favorite, but was then kicked out of the tournament for taking a fight with Giorgio Petrosyan in January.  Now, Khem Sitsongpeenong is looking like the favorite again, despite having been defeated by Sudsakorn earlier in the tournament.  Up next for Khem is Prakaisaeng Sit O in the semi-final on April 16.  A win there puts him into the finals, likely against Nopparat Kiatkumthorn, who Khem defeated once already earlier in the tournament.

Promo video for May 14:

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Sergio Wielzen at Its Showtime BrusselsThis weekend is show #2 in It's Showtime's 2011 season.  Coming from Brussels, It's Showtime 47 takes place on Saturday.  As always with It's Showtime, you can watch online for 10 Euro at Showtimefights.com.  It's Showtime reports that all fighters have made weight and are set for the event.

This is a bit of a smaller show for It's Showtime, with less of the major international names they often feature, but it's still a good line-up, with a few fights in particular worth your time.

In the main event, It's Showtime 61kg champion Sergio Wielzen defends his title against Karim Bennoui. Wielzen won the belt last year, and closed the year with a successful defense against former Krush tournament champion Masahiro Yamamoto.  He also holds wins over Anuwat and Mo Khamal, among others.  Despite being an exciting fighter, he hasn't really grabbed the attention of It's Showtime fans yet - perhaps a big win here will help raise his profile.

Another notable fight features Marat Grigorian against Severiano Rijssel.  Grigorian is It's Showtime president Simon Rutz's pick for the fighter to watch in 2011, and is already on tap to fight for the inaugural IS 73kg title at their May show in France.  This is a good fight for him to gain some momentum, and a chance to introduce yourself to one of the names we may be talking about a lot as the year rolls on.

One last name to watch here is Evgeniy Kurovskoy.  The Russian fighter will be taking part in the It's Showtime 70kg tournament later this year, which is looking like it will be the biggest MW event of 2011.  Again, here's a good chance to get an early look at him in action.

The complete card is as follows:

Evgeniy Kurovskoy vs. Andre Grigorian (70kg)

Nick Beljaards vs. Andy Ristie (70kg)

Lefterio Perego vs. Sonny Dagraed (73kg)

Severiano Rijssel vs. Marat Grigorian (73kg)

Sahak Parparyan vs. Marco Vlieger (95kg)

Karim Bennoui vs. Sergio Wielzen (61kg World Title)

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We haven't heard much from Peter Aerts since the 2010 K-1 World Grand Prix but that's not to say he hasn't been busy.

In this interview with FightStar TV, Peter talks about helping Andy Souwer open his new gym, Peter's own gym that is set to open next month, and the tragedy in Japan.

What I really found interesting is Mr. K-1's willingness to fight elsewhere in the world if K-1 won't be conducting their own shows. He is still clearly wanting to fight and has the passion to continue. As we saw in the semifinals of the WGP, Peter still has what it takes to compete at a high level.

Aerts also expresses his interest in fighting in Holland as it's been awhile since he's done so. According to WikiKick, Aerts last fought in Holland with a winning effort against Bob Sapp at the K-1 2007 Amsterdam WGP.

Can we say Peter Aerts fighting in Holland for It's Showtime in 2011? I'd love to see it!

Enjoy the video. It's always good to hear the booming voice of the Dutch Lumberjack, a true legend.


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Back to training, and the key word for today: kicks. Right kick to the body, left kick to the body. Two right kicks, fast on top of each other. Two right kicks, switch, two left kicks. Working various manner of right/left combinations leads me to a few observations.

First, the ability to quickly switch stances and to control how you bring your leg down after a kick is huge. I admire that ability to look effortless in your switch to a south paw stance and immediately throw the left kick. I’m definitely not there yet, as I can execute the switch and kick, but it’s so deliberate and telegraphed that an opponent would see it coming a mile away and I would never get the kick off. But that’s what drills are for. The other aspect of this footwork that eludes me is bringing your foot back down in a different position then when you threw the kick. Example: throwing a left kick from the back leg, then bringing your left leg down in the lead position in order to immediately throw a right kick. This sounds obvious and simple, but there’s something about the weight distribution that I find very challenging. Perhaps I need to get all boxing style on it and work jump rope and things to get lighter on my feet. As with all of this training, it really makes you appreciate when you see someone like Giorgio Petrosyan who is an absolute master of footwork.

The other big question for me this week was finding the right balance between keeping your guard up and using your hands to help give you power when kicking. This is a tough line to find, and it’s one I recall The Voice discussing on more than one occasion during fights. Particularly for Muay Thai, there is a tendency to chop with your hand as you throw a kick in order to add some extra power and torque to the kick. And this is naturally what your body wants to do – try throwing a kick while covering your head and your hands will naturally drop to help push that kick through. But the downside is obvious – dropping that hand exposes the head, and against an opponent with good timing, this is an easy way to get yourself KO’d. So how do you find that balance? For me, the big thing I am working on in this area is simply getting the hand back up to guard as fast as possible, and maybe that’s the answer. But I’d be curious to hear from those more experienced if this is an area they think about at all.

Last kicking note – on a personal level, one thing I need to work on is my range. I’m pretty tall (6’4”) and want to use that height to my advantage, but I still haven’t figured out quite the right range for my kicks. As a result, I don’t always catch the pads just right, which throws me off balance, and frankly, just looks embarrassing. Got to keep at it and find that range.

Speaking of embarrassing – I suffered my first (very minor) injury today. Nothing bad, just a bruised or sprained or some word that is slightly less than broken, but still discolored and painful toe. And how did I get this injury? From improper technique on a kick? Better yet, from using so much power on the kick that my toe simply could not stand the force? Nope, I snagged it on the edge of the mat when dropping down for a push up. This is not exactly the kind of training injury I envisioned, and is unlikely to wow you with my dedication, but hey, I’m here to tell you what happened – even if it is a bit on the humiliating side. Now off to get some tape before next time.

Training Diary is a weekly series documenting my journey starting Muay Thai training. For more on this series, read the first entry here. I train at Conviction Fitness & Martial Arts, 4430 N. Western Ave., Chicago, IL www.convictionfitness.com.

 

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(C) SusumuThere are very few MMA fighters that I consider an all-time favorite of mine, as I tend to prefer the exciting, intelligent striker who can handle himself on the ground. There are a lot of good strikers who have made the move to MMA, but a lot tend to play it safe or have no real ground game to speak of, but then there is Wanderlei Silva. Wanderlei did not make a huge impression on me at first in his UFC fights, he was pretty good at the time, but the Tito Ortiz fight was enough to make me forget about him for a while.

So you can only imagine how I felt in 2001, yeah over a year later, when I saw him again in PRIDE and saw the absolutely path of carnage and destruction that lay in his path; I was hooked. The wrist roll, the stare of a madman, the crazy, brawling Chute Boxe Muay Thai and the ability to defend himself on the ground and work his way back to his feet to continue to symphony of violence. From 2000 until 2005 Wanderlei Silva was an absolute machine. If there ever was a fighter that I could get behind it was Wanderlei Silva.

As I'm sure you can imagine, since he moved over to a much more local fight scene in the United States, it has been a lot more difficult to be a Wanderlei Silva fan. Since his return to the UFC Wanderlei has a 2 - 3 record with only one knockout under his belt and doesn't seem to be moving as fast or hitting as hard. Lot's of people will say that Wanderlei was simply not that great, as he is a mere 34 years old right now, but to that I argue the man started his fighting career training at age 13 and was fighting within the next year of his life and has not slowed down since. He peaked before moving to the UFC and you have to be comfortable with that.

Enter the Voice Versus Wanderlei Silva. The latest in HDnet's interview series with Michael Schiavello. Unlike Fighting Words with Mike Straka, which tends to err on the side of serious journalism, the Voice Versus is a more friendly sit-down interview style that feels like a conversation between old friends. It doesn't matter if Schiavello has only met each fighter in passing or is good friends with him, his demeanor, tone and candor makes it so fighters can feel at home with him, as does his knowledge of each fighter's history and of tall tales. There is nothing different when it comes to the Wanderlei Silva episode as he discusses coming up in Brazil, the origins of his name, that Jiu-Jitsu photo of him being lovingly embraced by Shogun Rua and Wanderlei customizing Schiavello's head with a Team WS tattoo.

What really comes through loud and clear is how nice of a guy Wanderlei is, he talks about how he has to build up a rage inside of him when he fights and how the adrenaline changes him, but the man himself is gentle, quiet and very funny. Seeing "the Axe Murderer" in a setting like this is refreshing, as you get to see just how much he enjoys laughing and telling stories about the legendary Chute Boxe gym and how he considers most of the fighters he has faced and knocked out our been knocked out by as good friends now. Did you know that Kazushi Sakuraba calls Wanderlei up at 2am to discuss fights? Because he does. We also see that Wand has no desire to do kickboxing post-UFC, as he understands they are entirely different sports and he is not prepared to fight high level strikers.

So do yourself a favor and tune in on Friday Night at 8pm Eastern for the Voice Versus Wanderlei Silva on HDnet.

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Alistair Overeem could very well be done with the world of K-1 for now. A lot of people have been sleeping on this factor, but this could be the fallout from Zuffa purchasing Strikeforce and the fact that many fighters will be offered Zuffa contracts from Joe Silva and Co. almost immediately to lock them in. To say that a fighter like Alistair Overeem wouldn't be on that list would be to not know who he is. Overeem is the current Strikeforce Heavyweight Champion, and with his desire to fight in the United States and Zuffa currently owning the US MMA scene and FEG not paying him, it would be difficult to assume that he'd turn down a Zuffa contract.

Fight Game, Golden Glory's Clothing and All-Encompassing brand put up a new interview with the Champ where he discusses a few reader-asked topics. We also note that Fight Game has a US-based store now, so if you want one of those bad ass Overeem or Golden Glory shirts you see on all of those K-1, Ultimate Glory, It's Showtime and Strikeforce shows, you now can. Oh, and there is a US-based distribution center, so the shipping is dirt cheap. So head on over there and grab some stuff after you listen to Overeem.

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W5 Grand PrixWe're just coming off a busy kickboxing weekend in the midst of a jam packed March, and already April is looking stacked.  We've previously covered 8 April cards featuring top international names - here's a 9th to add to the list.

On April 9 in Moscow, KO Fight Club will host the W5 Grand Prix - a one night, 4 man, 71kg tournament.  They've already announced the field, and it's pretty nice.  In semi-final #1, the resurgent #7 ranked Mike Zambidis will face Enriko Gogokhia.  The other semi-final sees #23 Dzhabar Askerov vs. William Diender.

Really good stuff here, with a very solid line-up.  As I mentioned, Zambidis has seemingly come out of nowhere to reclaim his spot as one of the division's most dangerous strikers, while Askerov looked simply phenomenal in his 1 round destruction at the Oktagon event a few weeks ago.  A Zambo vs. Askerov final would be something to see.  As for the other two - Diender also puts up a good fight, but will be a big underdog to Askerov.  Gogokhia was a semi-finalist in last year's K-1 MAX East Europe GP, losing to eventual champ Vitaly Hurkou, but he looked good at that show, and I'm interested to see him once again.

Also on the card are superfights featuring Alexander Stetsurenko, Basil Tereshonok, Ramil Novruzov, Roman Mailov, Vladimir Mineev, and Vitaly Shemetov, plus a reserve fight of Vladimir Shuliak vs. Peter Woznicki.

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