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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

JCVDIt was bound to happen sooner or later, and it did. We've been talking about this mythical fight Jean-Claude Van Damme has been preparing for now for just about two years, and it never felt any closer. There were talks of having Golden Boy promote the fight in Vegas, but after contacting the NSAC it was clear that they had never heard from anyone about a JCVD fight, ever, and that it would be a big risk for Oscar De la Hoya and his crew.

There were talks about China, Thailand, Japan, getting K-1 to promote the fight. There were dates, it was pushed back due to JCVD's schedule, trouble finding a suitable promoter. The list goes on and on and on and sadly, on. But it seems like JCVD has finally found suitable business partners and an arena to host such an event as a kickboxing fight against Somluck Kamsing.

Apparently the legendary Fairtex gym will be hosting JCVD's fight in November or December of this year in Thailand. Banjong Bussarakamwong of Fairtex will be promoting the fight and is currently looking for a suitable 30,000 seat arena, possibly the Impact Arena or the Hua Mak Indoor Stadium. There are talks about the fight being broadcast live across the world as well and Kamsing was given a 200,000 baht down payment (about $6,500).

We'll have to see how this shapes up, but for now this is the most concrete news we've heard on this fight, ever. [source]

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Our good friend from Team Takeover, Daniel Fletcher, caught up with Mike's Gym head trainer and lead man, Mike Passenier to discuss all matters that are awesome for us. He talks about Melvin Manhoef, Badr Hari and the rest of the Mike's Gym fighters. Hopefully we'll be seeing more stuff from Fletch coming up shortly. Oh, and there is also a Paul "Semtex" Daley interview about BAMMA in there as well.

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You go on vacation for just a few measly days, then some Delta pilot thinks he is pulling fancy moves, which delays you half an hour and makes you miss your connecting flight. He then jokes about it with you in the Salt Lake City airport before giving you a voucher for 6 dollars worth of food and a crappy hotel room, you forget that Andy Souwer vs. L'houchine "Aussie" Ouzgni is literally days away. Thankfully for me, and thankfully for you, AFAV, a pretty great video production team, brings you close to the action as both men prepare for their bout.

We've posted the first video in the series, which was Andy Souwer discussing the upcoming bout and then getting an inside look at his training. In the second episode, we catch up with Aussie.

We aren't done yet. In the third episode, they move back to Andy Souwer's camp, where he discusses cutting weight, his fallout with K-1 and a possible move to MMA. After the break the next two episodes.

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Results from last week's question: Who is K-1's greatest of all time?

42% - Peter Aerts

27% - Ernesto Hoost

11% - Semmy Schilt

9% - Andy Hug

7% - Remy Bonjasky

2% - Jerome Le Banner

2% - Ray Sefo

This week: Coming up this Saturday will be the first truly major card of 2011 as It's Showtime kicks off their year.  Headlining the event is a great top 10 battle with #8 Daniel Ghita vs. #9 Hesdy Gerges.  So, who wins?

Vote now!

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Paul SlowinskiResults are in from this weekend, and there were three kickboxing events of interest.

Top 10 Middlewweight Nieky Holzken (ranked #6) was in action this weekend, headlining a Golden Glory event in Eindhoven and challenging Thilo Schneider for the WFCA World Title.  The intense Holzken brought the fight to Schneider early, using a wide range of techniques to overwhelm his opponent and score the 2nd round TKO win.  A bit of an ugly moment in the 2nd round here after Holzken dropped Schneider with a punch.  As Schneider was down on one knee in the corner, the referee was slow to step in and Holzken blasted his clearly downed opponent with a brutal punch that rocked the completely exposed Schneider.  Poor reffing there for sure, but also not the most sportsmanlike move from Holzken.  After the fight Faldir Chahbari entered the ring and challenged Holzken.  Those two put on one of the best fights in 2009 with Holzken pulling off a close decision win, and I would have no problem seeing them square off again.

In Australia, the big event was Knees of Fury 32, headlined by Paul Slowinski vs. Thor Hoopman.  Slowinski (pictured) was able to get his revenge on Hoopman for a 2009 loss, as the long-time K-1 veteran scored a 1st round KO victory over his younger opponent.  The difference in the fight seemed to be Slowinski's power, which proved too much for the smaller Hoopman.  At one point, Slowinski was able to simply pick Hoopman up and slam him to the mat in a throw that was low on technique, but high on strength.  As the round progressed, Slowinski increased his pressure, landing multiple punch combos that dropped Hoopman before the referee stepped in and stopped the fight.  Great win for Slowinski, who was talking about retiring two years ago, but is now 8-2 in the last year and getting ready for a May showdown with Daniel Ghita in what will be Slowinski's biggest international fight since the 2008 K-1 GP Finals.  Hoopman remains a young talent to watch, but this is a definite setback for him, and he will need to figure out how to deal with bigger, stronger opponents if he hopes to remain at Heavyweight.  Elsewhere on the card Wes Capper stopped Kym Johnson in 1 round, Flip Street defeated Myles Simpson by TKO after round 2, Sarah O'Connell decisioned Tenille May, Charlie Chau KO'd Hiki Hanui in the 1st via leg kicks, and Cameron Murcott stopped Steve Behan, again in the 1st.

Finally, over in Japan was R.I.S.E. 74 with a pair of title fights as the main attraction.  In the main event, Kosuke Komiyama took a 5 round split decision win over Kan Itabashi to become the new R.I.S.E. 60 kg champion, while Koji Yoshimoto and Yusuke Sugawara battled to a Draw in a 63kg title fight.  Yoshimoto remains the champion after the draw decision.  The other notable fight was Dyki vs. Hiroki Maeda, where Dyki scored the decision win.  The event also included a retirement ceremony for K-1 MAX veteran Tatsuji.

Nieky Holzken (red) vs. Thilo Schneider (blue):

Paul Slowinski (blue) vs. Thor Hoopman (red)



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Mark Hunt at UFC 127There are some notable stories getting attention in the wake of last night's UFC 127: Penn vs. Fitch, but for K-1 fans, there's only one that matters: the return of KO artist Mark Hunt.  Hunt faced Chris Tuchscherer in a prelim fight designed to appeal to the live hometown crowd, and for the first time in a long time, Hunt truly delivered.  The K-1 veteran opened up a horrendous cut in round 1 before stopping Tuchscherer with a vicious uppercut KO in the 2nd - and then simply walking away from his opponent's sprawled out body looking like a total badass.  The stoppage earned him the award for Knockout of the Night.

The fight was a great redemption for Hunt.  The past few years have been very rocky for the New Zealand native.  Between MMA and K-1 Hunt came into the fight on a combined 7 fight losing streak that dated all the way back to mid-2006, nearly 5 years ago.  Tuchscherer brought in a 1-2 record in the UFC, but both loses came against tough opponents in Gabriel Gonzaga and Brendan Schaub, and many favored him to defeat the fading Hunt here.  Hunt managed to keep the fight standing for most of the first round, showing off the heavy hands and solid striking skills that once made him K-1 Grand Prix champion.  After a nasty left hook opened up a huge cut over Tuchscherer's eye, the doctors took a look and surprisingly allowed the fight to continue.  Tuchscherer came back from the break reenergized, managing to take Hunt down and attempt to secure a kimura.  The ground game has been Hunt's kryptonite for some time, with 5 of his last 6 MMA loses coming via some form of arm lock, but this time it was not to be, as Hunt rode out the round.  In round two they were back to striking before Hunt landed a tight uppercut perfectly on Tuchscherer's jaw.  As his opponent flopped to the mat, Hunt knew the fight was done, walking away casually with his fist raised in victory before the referee even stepped in.

It's hard to say where Hunt goes from here.  It was a good win for sure, but I don't think he really fits in the greater UFC HW picture.  Perhaps one more fight with his old K-1/PRIDE opponent Mirko CroCop?  The two men are 1-1 and a rubber match would be appropriate given each man's current career.  I could also see him paired with UFC's other ex-K-1 Heavyweight, Pat Barry.

For now though, those of us who have watched Mark Hunt win the 2001 K-1 Grand Prix, duke it out with Ray Sefo, and go to war with Jerome Le Banner, can add another exciting moment to our memories.  Cheers to you champ.

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On March 6th, Daniel Ghita will take on Hersdy Gerges in the main event of It's Showtime Sporthallen Zuid. This is the first in a two-part series where I will lay out the keys to victory for each fighter. Today, we'll look at Daniel Ghita.

Strengths:

Kicks - Daniel has won many of his fights with his devastating leg kicks. He basically ran through the whole 2009 K-1 Tokyo Qualifying Grand Prix in record time using them. Watching his fights, you'll often see the effects of his low kicks start to show on his opponents after just a few of them landing. Against Gokhan Saki in the 2010 K-1 WGP Final, we also saw how brutal those kicks can be when Daniel attacks the body. Even though Gokhan earned the tough victory, his body was so abused that he had nothing to give against Alistair Overeem in the semifinal's and had to concede defeat early in the first round.

Hands - On the flip side of that, there have been times where Ghita would rely solely on his kicks and not use his hands enough. That has changed recently as we saw Daniel knock out Errol Zimmerman at the 2010 K-1 WGP Final 16 with a nasty straight right that proved to everyone Ghita's hands had arrived.

Chin - With only one knockout loss on his record, Ghita has a tough chin and can take as much punishment as he gives out. This durability combined with his knockout power, makes Daniel a threat from bell to bell.

Size - At 6'5" and 240, Ghita has the height and mass to contend with any fighter he takes on.

Weaknesses:

Complacency - In the past, there were times when Ghita appeared to put it on cruise when his offense wasn't paying dividends. Almost seeming to ride out a decision. Thankfully, I haven't seen this from Daniel in quite awhile and I don't anticipate it happening against Hesdy, either. I think we'll see a very hungry Daniel Ghita.

Conditioning - The great equalizer, especially among heavyweights. We saw Ghita run out of steam towards the end of the Saki fight which may have cost him the decision. To Daniel's defense, it was widely speculated that he was sick going into that fight which would surely hinder his conditioning.

Keys to Victory:

For Daniel Ghita to take home a win against the It's Showtime Heavyweight Champion, he'll need to use his crushing leg kicks to slow the athletic and aggressive Gerges. Once Hesdy starts to feel his legs start to slow down, Daniel will be able to move in and put his hands to work alongside those mighty kicks. Although Gerges is the taller fighter, he is not built as big as Daniel. Ghita can attack the body of Gerges with kicks and punches to tear him down; much like Ghita did against Gokhan Saki.

If Daniel is able to stick to this gameplan, I believe he will be victorious on March 6th.

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Here is a fight from last weekend that slipped under the radar: It's Showtime 77kg champion Artem Levin vs. WBC Muay Thai World Light Heavyweight champion Kaoklai Kaennorsing.  The fight was 5 rounds, full Muay Thai rules for Kaoklai's WBC title and took place at an event in Russia.

Levin came in off a career best year in 2010 that saw him quickly rise up the ranks.  In the last year, Levin claimed both the It's Showtime title and the Gold medal at the SportAccord Combat Games. Along the way he defeated two men who could each make a solid claim for being #1 at 77kg: Yodsaenklai Fairtex and L'houcine Ouzgni.  He's on a 12 fight win streak, and has to be considered the top man at 77kg at this point.

Kaoklai is a Muay Thai legend who K-1 fans may best know for his surprising 2004/2005 K-1 Grand Prix runs.  He's in the twilight of his superb career, although he did put together a 5-0 record in 2010 and is not yet completely finished.

Analysis after the jump.

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Remy BonjaskyFor over a year now we've been hearing news of the possible retirement of Remy Bonjasky.  The 3 time K-1 Grand Prix champion started talking retirement in early 2010, citing a recurring eye injury that has required multiple surgeries and threatens his long-term vision.  He's been on the sidelines for well over a year now, having not fought since the 2009 GP, instead taking jobs as a host for It's Showtime events, a celebrity ice skater, and running his gym.

This past weekend, Kombat.ro caught up with Bonjasky at an event and asked him about his future plans.  For fans of The Flying Dutchman, the news was not good:

"It's a small chance I will return to the ring... maybe, you never know.  If the money's right, I'll be there."

Earlier this year, It's Showtime's Simon Rutz told us that he tried to set up a retirement fight for Bonjasky last year, but the money Remy asked for was too high. Since It's Showtime isn't willing to pay, and given K-1's financial troubles, I think we've likely seen the end of the line for Bonjasky.  It's a shame that he may go out without one final fight, as his last was an unimpressive, largely forgotten showing against Semmy Schilt.  Bonjasky has a lot of detractors, but he's one of K-1's all time greats, and deserves a bigger farewell.

Also of note - Bonjasky ends the interview with one more dig at his rival Badr Hari.  The interviewer asks Remy about Bogdan Stoica, who defeated Bonjasky's student at the event, saying Ray Sefo and Mighty Mo called Stoica the next Badr Hari.  Remy's response: "I hope not... he doesn't respect the rules, and I hope this guy will respect the rules."

Watch the full interview here.

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It's Showtime officially announced that Hesdy Gerges will be released tomorrow and will indeed be fighting Daniel Ghita on March 6th in Amsterdam.

Gerges was arrested because of possible involvement in a drug trafficking ring that included his half brother Ashraf.

Throughout this ordeal, Simon Rutz of It's Showtime has maintained he believes that Hesdy is innocent. His persistence appears to be well founded.

This is an intriguing fight and one I'm very excited to see. Both men are in the prime of their careers and fighting on a high level. Ghita comes in off of an absolute war against Gokhan Saki at the K-1 WGP Final, where he fell just short of victory. Gerges' last fight, also at the K-1 WGP Final, showcased him laying an absolute beating on Yusuke Fujimoto and ending the fight by TKO in the first round.

While K-1's future is mired in uncertainty, It's Showtime is poised for a big year and already have marquee fights lined for the future including stars such as Badr Hari, Giorgio Petrosyan, Daniel Ghita, and others. I suggest you keep an eye on their website, follow them on twitter, and friend them on Facebook. Simon Rutz and company are doing big things this year.

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(C) SusumuDon Quijote is a clothing company based out of Japan, that through the support of such DQ board members like former professional wrestler and MMA fighter Tadao Yasuda, has supported kakutogi (martial arts) in Japan in various forms. The most obvious form was their support for MMA promoters WVR, who hosted SRC/Sengoku events. Don Quijote was one of the premier supporters for such a promotion, and over the past few weeks the top foreign fighters from SRC have been in mass-exodus mode. Usually, that is not a good thing.

NOB had a translation up from a Japanese publication, and apparently DQ had made up it's mind; it will continue to support martial arts in Japan. The bad news? They might pull support for live events, such as Sengoku events, which if you'll remember correctly, the Sengoku NYE martial arts festival featured a lot of kickboxing bouts on top of MMA fights. This was just a few weeks ago and now at this point, it appears that DQ has officially pulled their support and Sengoku is freaking out, claiming that they are as good as dead.

Apparently, Don Quijote's support of Sengoku was wholly, everything from Sengoku's offices, fighter contracts and event bookings were at the good graces of Don Quijote, thanks to Tadao Yasuda. For Japan, this means that Sengoku, easily the #2 MMA promotion to come out of the ashes of PRIDE is appearing to be going under. On top of that, there is a whole slew of uncertainty behind the future of their top rival, DREAM, which just compounds how crummy of a situation this is (of course, at the time of this article I'm watching the news showing the aftermath of the Japanese Earthquake, rated at 8.8, as well as a possible tsunami) for the Japanese fight industry.

To pull this all together, consider how this also hurts the kickboxing world. At first glance, losing the #2 MMA promotion shouldn't hurt the kickboxing world, but after Sengoku's New Year's Eve event, it was clear that Sengoku was looking to support kakutogi as a whole, including muay thai and kickboxing. Sengoku's martial arts festival was a lot more than MMA and showed promise for a positive impact in the world of fighting.

This was another bigger promotion willing to promote kickboxing who has fallen by the wayside, this isn't a good day for Japan.

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