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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

We here at LiverKick.com pride ourselves on our kickboxing coverage, but from time to time find it important to discuss the MMA world as well. There is a lot of crossover between the two worlds, and at times, they go hand in hand. Strikeforce has a storied past, as does its promoter, Scott Coker. Coker had worked the kickboxing market in the West coast for years before working for K-1 to bring their USA shows to fans. His baby, Strikeforce, was a kickboxing promotion before it was a MMA promotion. It was local talent like Cung Le and Frank Shamrock working with Coker to put on MMA shows that got the ball rolling and Strikeforce became the best regional promotion in the country. It didn't take much, just using big names on the main event slots with local big names to fill out the rest of the card and young, local up and comers on the undercard.

It worked, and soon Strikeforce was in a position to purchase EliteXC's poison assets. Or so we thought. We all assumed anything affiliated with EliteXC was awful and doomed, but Coker and Co. showed that with a better business plan and some patience, you can make anything work. Today something happened, something big. Ariel Helwani posted a video of Dana White discussing Zuffa's purchase of Strikeforce. I had to look twice at the date and make sure it wasn't April 1st, because sometimes time just moves quickly. It isn't, it is March 12, 2011. Remember that date.

People on Twitter immediately freaked out; co-promotion? Will Strikeforce immediately die? Does this mean Fedor, Barnett, Overeem, Diaz, Daley, etc. in the UFC? Watch the video and you get a feel for what is happening. Dana White claims over and over again, "business as usual." This means that as long as Strikeforce has their television deals; CBS and Showtime, it is its own entity. There will be no co-promotion, and fighters stay where they are, of course, unless they decide differently. Scott Coker and his crew are still in control of Strikeforce for the time being. If you are a Strikeforce fighter, you are one until Strikeforce is gone or your contract is up. Same goes for UFC.

If you know how Zuffa works and remember their history with acquisitions, you should understand where the concern comes from. I've heard many herald this move as a great move for the sport and one step closer to the holy grail in fighting; a fighters union. I appreciate and applaud the enthusiasm, but Zuffa is not acting like a sport league as much as it is a corporation, a business.

I worked in the PR world with some of the heavy hitters of modern industry for four years, with some of the biggest companies in the world; AT&T, Apple, Microsoft, Motorola and Boeing to name a few. Before someone calls my BS on this, there were people in each company I was on a first name basis with and spoke to daily for years. I'm simply painting a picture here for people to illustrate a point that I've worked with huge corporations in a public relations and investor relations setting and know how the big dogs do business.

Keep reading.

 

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If you were one of the lucky people who tuned in to It's Showtime last weekend, you saw relative newcomer to the international scene, Danyo Ilunga make an absolute fool of seasoned pro Wendell Roche in a title fight for the It's Showtime 95kg Championship. Many had seen this fight as a possible lopsided affair with Roche finishing off the much younger Ilunga with his heavy hands. Instead, we saw the young Remy Bonjasky protege move and strike much like his mentor.

Ilunga showed great footwork, head movement and his defense was Bonjasky-esque. This means that he spent a lot of time backing up, but picked and chose his shots and was making a ton of clean connections on a frustrated opponent who was connecting with next to nothing. It was a 5 round dissection and showed a lot of people that Ilunga is absolutely for real.

The interview that follows will absolutely endear you to Danyo Ilunga, as you see that he comes from humble beginnings. Not only does he discuss his top notch strategy that he followed to a tee, but how nervous he got entering into a big time promotion like It's Showtime, how he was overwhelmed by how professional everyone was, the production and being surrounded with such big names in the kickboxing world. Like it or not, he has to accept that he is among them now. If you haven't seen the fight yet, check it out here.

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OktagonWhen it rains it pours, and in this case, it is a good rain, the kind that comes after a drought. After being denied top level kickboxing for what feels like an eternity, with flashes of hope here and there, March has proven to be an incredible month for fans. We kicked things off with It's Showtime's Sporthallen Zuid Amsterdam show, which featured a top-to-bottom card of fantastic fights and march into this weekend where legitimate pound-for-pound in combat sports contender Giorgio Petrosyan will go to war with former It's Showtime 77MAX Champion Cosmo Alexandre. Cosmo was stripped of his It's Showtime title last year after booking another fight too close to his It's Showtime title defense, angering It's Showtime management into stripping him of his title for not adhering to his contract.

The irony, of course, is that this weekend he will be fighting Giorgio Petrosyan, who is an It's Showtime/Black Label fighter. It is a tall order for Alexandre, as he goes into the fight staring down the barrel of a shotgun almost; facing off against the two-time K-1 World MAX Champion. To say that at this point in time facing Giorgio Petrosyan is a tall order is to underestimate Petrosyan. Petrosyan comes into the fight this weekend with a staggering record of 67 wins, one loss and two draws. Oh, and he is only 25. He comes into this fight with a win over Sudsakorn Sor. Klinmee, a very real challenge at the time for Petrosyan, and was handled quite easily.

Speaking of Susakorn, he is also in action tomorrow as he'll square off with the Chinese kickboxer Xu Yan. Xu Yan is probably best known for his knockout of Yuichiro "Jienotsu" Nagashima in 2009, as well as his bout with Buakaw Por. Pramuk from last year. Needless to say, Xu Yan is a worthy competitor and the fight with Sudsakorn should be a great one.

On top of that, Giorgio Petrosyan's brother, Aremen Petrosyan will be in action against Japanese kickboxer Yoshihiro Sato. Sato is one of the few Japanese kickboxers that has ventured outside of Japan on a semi-regular basis looking to hone his skills. I truly commend Sato for this, as it is a step in the right direction. From the looks of Yoshihiro Sato's twitter account, he is safe in Italy and ready to fight, although I'm sure the pounding Japan took from yesterday's Earthquake and Tsunamis will be on his mind.

So what is the best part of all of this? Oh, how about that it will be streamed live on the internet for free. You can head on over to here, tomorrow at 3:45 pm Eastern time and catch the event as it unfolds.

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There are some people that for some reason, really dislike Bloodstain Lane, find him abrasive, crass, over-the-top and antagonizing. The truth is, he embodies all of those things with a pure, raw passion for MMA and kickboxing that I find refreshing. I feel like I'm on the same page as him a lot of the time, I just tend to choose my wording a bit differently when expressing my disdain. It works for Lane, though, as he has mentioned a few times in more candid moments, it is a character that takes parts of himself and just amplifies them. As a person who has performed on stage, I can respect and understand that, as well as understand that not everyone gets it.

The point I'm getting at here is, BSL has done a lot to promote some of the world's best fighting, and Ultimate Glory's next show is rapidly approaching. There is a very good chance that you'll be able to watch that event from the comfort of your computer or TV. So watch as BSL hooked up with Team Golden Glory's Martijn de Jong at the last Strikeforce show and gave a message about the show. Make sure to catch the show, March 19th.

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Yes, it is that time again, as our favorite announcer in combat sports continues his series of interviews on HDnet with The Voice Versus Wanderlei Silva. For many, this is a huge episode, as it should be. Wanderlei Silva is known to be one of the absolute all-time greats when it comes to the 205lbs weight class in MMA. He absolutely dominated PRIDE for years, with his era being right up there with Fedor Emelianenko's. Sadly by the time that he made it to the UFC, his career seemed to be winding down a bit. We, the fans, finally got the dream fight with Chuck Liddell, but it was at the point in both men's careers where the explosiveness and raw power that we came to know and love just wasn't there.

Regardless, any time Wanderlei Silva fights it is a big deal. He has had mixed success in the UFC, but his legend precedes him. So enter Michael Schiavello's interview with Wanderlei Silva. Wanderlei has been living the life of a legend for the past few years, training and living the life in Vegas. On March 25th at 8PM Eastern on HDnet, the latest in the Voice Versus Series makes its debut, and we have two questions between the Voice and Wanderlei, and as always, Schiavello is on point with his MMA internet memes.

Sheer brilliance, as always. MMA needs more of a sense of humor to go with the serious approach, and Schiavello always provides.

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Our thoughts go out to all those in Japan who are affect by the Earthquake/Tsunami

As previously reported here at LiverKick, Japanese discount chain Don Quijote ended their sponsorship of Sengoku. This could very well mark the end of Japan's second largest MMA promotion. They may still run scaled-down shows but the future doesn't look good. However, Don Quijote will continue to support Pancrase (as they are a controlling partner) and Shooto.

Former Pride Fighting Championship Execs Nobuyuki Sakakibara and Hiroyuki Kato's Japan Cup Bantamweight Grand Prix is rumored to begin April 18th. The winner will reportedly move on to compete in DREAM’s world bantamweight tournament.

Popular Japanese MMA and Pro-Wrestling magazine Kamipro will cease operations.

DEEP announced a bunch of additions to their 4/22 DEEP IMPACT 53 show. The big name added is Eiji Mitsuoka (16-7-2), who'll make his return to DEEP for the first time since July of 2003. Yoshido Dojo fighter Tatsumitsu Wada (4-6-1) will face Mach Dojo's Yoshiki Harada (4-0). Former DEEP Welterweight champ Hidehiko Hasegawa (18-14-6), Yasuaki Kishimoto (13-2-3), Seichi Ikemoto (19-17-5), Yasushi Kitazaki (11-7-1), and undefeated DEEP Future King Yutaka Ueda (6-0) will all participate.

Tony Loiseleur from Sherdog published a fascinating article on Shooto. A very interesting read. Inside Shooto’s Scandal, Legacy and Future.

Valkyrie Featherweight Champion Mei "V.V" Yamaguchi (6-2-1) vs. WINDY Tomomi (16-12-1) has been added to the Pancrase 4/3 show.

Of course, the Jewels, Pancrase and Shooto shows scheduled for this weekend have all been postponed due to the situation in Japan.

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Who said that this month was over yet? It is just beginning. First, on the 19th we have the Ultimate Glory tournament second round, featuring Gokhan Saki vs. Wendell Roche, then on the 26th It's Showtime puts on not only their second show of the year, but their second show of the month. You can't joke about something like that.

This show doesn't feature as big of names as last week's show did, but the March 26th show is solid by any definition, featuring a lot of up and coming fighters that we'll all be talking about in a few years time in the same breath as the greats if everything pans out. As always, this show will be available on http://www.showtimefights.com for 10 Euro.

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As 2011 started, I embarked on a new personal mission - to train Muay Thai.  It's been a personal goal of mine for some time now, and with the site taking off and more of my time committed to writing about the world of kickboxing and Muay Thai, I figured there was no time like the present.  And so I've found my gym, signed up for classes, and I am on my way.  But I'm still a writer, so, as I train, I'll present some thoughts on my experiences here.  I don't mean this to be a definitive tale of Muay Thai training - far from it.  I know there are many regulars here who have far (FAR) more experience than me.  But I'm sure there are also some who have not yet taken that plunge.  So perhaps this little online diary will provide a glimpse into learning more about Muay Thai and kickboxing the best way you can - by getting out there and doing it.  And if you're on the fence about taking classes yourself, maybe I can help nudge you into that local gym.

As I prepared for classes the first step was obvious - I needed a gym.  On the plus side for me, I live in Chicago, and as a major metropolitan area, there's no shortage of gyms around.  After hunting around a bit online and in the city, I opted for Conviction Fitness - a newer gym with an ever expanding martial arts program and a friendly, locally owned kind of vibe.  It's the kind of place where, if you are trying to buy a drink but realize you're short a dollar (and I was) the owner just waves a hand and says "Get us back next time."  It's the little touches.

Of course, I'm not here for the drinks or the vibe - I'm here for the training.  And so far, that training is working.  One month in, and to date I've worked on kicks, punches and knees.  No elbows.  Yet.  A few random observations so far:

-Our instructor, Andre Madiz, is vigilant about keeping your hands tight to your chin and your elbows tucked to protect your ribs.  This is a constant point for him. As a result, I've noticed that, quite frankly, a lot of professional fighters suck at this.  It's amazing how often fighters fail to get their guard up, and how often they pay for it.  You see this more in K-1 style kickboxing than in Muay Thai, but there is a trend to give up on your defensive posture when you start throwing more punches - a move that often costs you the fight.

-The front kick is a criminally underutilized technique.  Particularly in MMA, I can't think of more than a handful of fighters who consistently use this strike effectively (Josh Thomson comes to mind as an excellent front kick practitioner).  MMA enthusiasts - any thoughts on why this is?

-While checking out the front kick online I came across this gem on Wikipedia: "The modern incarnation of the front kick was perfected by Steven Seagal, who was taught a primitive version circa 1970 in Japan. The exact date is unknown. He secretly developed the technique over several decades before teaching it to UFC Middleweight champion Anderson 'The Spider' Silva".  Wow.

-My conditioning is not bad (which is a surprise to me) but my technique so far is... lacking.  If I could have a fight with nothing but right front kicks and superman punches, I'd be fine.  But until I can get someone to agree to these rules, I'm in trouble.

-Things to work on: left kicks, inside kicks, throwing multiple knees.

Next time, the hunt is on for some quality, but affordable gear.  Until then, I'd love to hear any experiences you have in training.  Let's share and get the discussion going.

 

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A casual sports fan is asked who the greatest basketball player of all time is. Without thinking too long the fan replies and says Michael Jordan. When asked who the greatest football player is, the fan says Jim Brown. The fan continues to answer the same question from various sports. Gretzky, Pele, Mays, Robinson etc... The answers the fan gives are generally accepted by most sport pundits.

A casual fight fan is asked who the greatest Muay Thai fighter of all time is. The fan responds with Buakaw Por. Pramuk, and Ramon Dekkers. Which, unfortunately is what most fight fans would say. 

According to various highlight reels, and from his fans, Ramon Dekkers was the first foreign fighter to win fighter of the year in Thailand. This is not true at all. They claim he won the award in 1992, but the actual winner was Jaroensap Kiatbanchong. It is possible he won best foreign fighter, but he never won fighter of the year, yet many still believe he did. Kind of hard to be fighter of the year when you never held a title in any of the major stadiums (Lumpinee Stadium, and Rajadamnern Stadium) isn't it? His fans claim he beat the best fighters from Thailand, and on occasions he did. He violently took out Coban Lookchaomaesaitong, and also holds wins over Nampon NongkeePahuyuth, and Sangtienoi Sor. Rungrot. Granted Sangtienoi had seen better days, and Nampon had a fun night on the town the day before, but still, he got the W's. But more times than not he was outclassed by the Thai's. The same 3 names above also have wins over Dekkers, as does former fighter of the year Orono Por. Muang Ubon. The ever popular Sakmongkol Sitnchuchoke was only 17 when he beat Dekkers. Den Muangsurin outclassed him over 5 rounds, and a prime Sangtienoi clowned him. Being an 8 time world champion is great, but the true world champ has to get it in Lumpinee, or Raja. 

At the end of the day Ramon Dekkers was an awesome fighter, and a top 10 foreign Muay Thai fighter, but not the best Muay Thai fighter ever, or even top 50 or 100 for that matter. Joe "OHHH" Rogan and his comments about Dekkers, and Kaman being the greatest are incongruous and flat out not true. 

Where to begin with Buakaw Por. Pramuk? First off being a champion in K-1 does not make you the greatest Muay Thai fighter ever. Second, like Dekkers, Buakaw never held any major stadium titles. He was ranked high at one point and may have became a champion had he stayed in Thailand, but he chose the money, the myth, and the fame. Even in his homeland most people view him more as an attraction or celebrity, and not a fighter. Would the greatest Muay Thai fighter of all time and his handlers refuse to fight the best? Buakaw and his camp do. They've been running from the best Thai's for years, hence why he's viewed as a celebrity and not a fighter. It is rumored he accepted a fight with Yodsanklai Fairtex to take place sometime in the upcoming months. Will it happen? I highly doubt it. If it does happen? Myth takes a beating. 

Great ambassador for Muay Thai? I suppose. Greatest Muay Thai fighter ever? Not even in the discussion. He is to Muay Thai as Royce Gracie is to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. 

Ramon Dekkers, and Buakaw Por. Pramuk both have there place in fighting history. One as a ballsy "turbine from hell" who would fight the best and always put on a fun fight regardless of whether he won or not. The other, a good Muay Thai fighter who took his skills and abilities to kickboxing and became great in that sport. But please people, don't confuse Muay Thai with kickboxing. 

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It's ShowtimeTo become a global kickboxing promotion, you have to promote all over the world. That includes going to some of the true hotbeds of the sport, which includes Western European countries and countries in the Pacific. For It's Showtime, they have most of Europe covered, with relationships spanning most of the major European countries, from their home in the Netherlands to Italy, the UK, Belgium, France and Poland. Hell, they are even running a show in Russia. Japan is currently in a state of turmoil, and is probably not safe for any outsider to be doing business in, especially with It's Showtime's relationship with K-1, which leaves a Muay Thai and Dutch kickboxing haven of Australia.

Well, say no more, as today on It's Showtime's Simon Rutz's Facebook page, Rutz indicated that within the next month they should have details ironed out for an Australian show. Rutz indicated that he had his sights set on Canberra or Sydney to run a show, but has no promotional partner of late. If you've wondered about It's Showtime's international shows, you'll notice that another person or entity will "present" It's Showtime shows. The last show was presented by promotional company Fighting Stars and their big France show is hosted by famous international kickboxer Kader Marouf.

It's Showtime's expansion plans are smart; they work with local names and form strong alliances with them to make doing business in foreign countries easier. You'll notice that the name Fighting Stars pops up often when it comes to It's Showtime, as they have strong bonds. That is what they look for in promoting kickboxing (American kickboxing promoters, are you listening to this? If you want to work with Rutz contact us and we'll hook you up).

A show in Australia would be a very good idea, as Australia is known for having some great kickboxing and muay thai talent due to its location, being in close proximity to Thailand and having strong European influences throughout the nation. There are a few high profile names from Australia that still compete today; Ben Edwards, Peter Graham, Nathan Corbett, Paul Slowinski and John-Wayne Parr. For a nation not Thailand, Japan or the Netherlands, that is a high concentration of strong names and there are plenty more within the Australian scene.

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gonokickAkihiro Gono held a public practice today as he trains at the Saenchai Muay-Thai Gym in preparation for his upcoming March 19th Krush match against K-1's Yuya Yamamoto.

Don't think that the longtime staple of Japanese MMA is totally out of his element when it comes to kickboxing, he is a former All-Japan Kickboxing Heavyweight champion.

Last year in MMA, Gono defeated Sweden's Diego Gonzalez at Sengoku 12 and and then dropped down to Lightweight for Sengoku 14 only to lose to former K-1 veteran and SRC training player Jadamba Narantungalag.

It'll be fun to see Gono return to kickboxing, the question is can he hang in with the much more experienced Yamamoto? Either way this is great exposure for the Krush promotion as they continue to roll out quality events.

 

Here's the video of Akihiro Gono's AJKF Heavyweight title fight against Kazushi Nishida.

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