As kickboxing looks to establish itself from both boxing and MMA with GLORY, K-1 and Lion Fight, fighters are constantly jockeying for position in the eyes (and rankings) of the media.

Every month, Combat Press will rank each weight class from heavyweight to featherweight, as well as the pound-for-pound rankings.

The numbers in parentheses represent the fighter’s ranking from last month.

  1. Rico Verhoeven (1)
  2. Daniel Ghita (2)
  3. Errol Zimmerman (3)
  4. Benjamin Adegbuyi (4)
  5. Hesdy Gerges (5)
  6. Andrei Herasimchuk (-)
  7. Peter Aerts (6)
  8. Anderson Silva (7)
  9. Zabit Samedov (8)
  10. Ben Edwards (10)

Dropped out of the rankings: Mirko Filipović (9)

January was an interesting month for the heavyweight division, as GLORY champion and No. 1-ranked Rico Verhoeven dropped a decision to Belarusian Andrei Herasimchuk at Kunlun 15 in China. The loss broke a six-fight winning streak for Verhoeven and marked his first loss in two years. The win vaulted Herasimchuk into the No. 6 slot in our rankings. Verhoeven will have a chance to right the ship against No. 3 ranked Errol Zimmerman in February.

Also of note, Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipović has re-signed with the UFC and has been removed from the rankings.

Light Heavyweight
  1. Gokhan Saki (1)
  2. Tyrone Spong (2)
  3. Saulo Cavalari (3)
  4. Nathan Corbett (4)
  5. Artem Vakhitov (5)
  6. Danyo Ilunga (6)
  7. Igor Jurković (7)
  8. Mourad Bouzidi (8)
  9. Andrei Stoica (9)
  10. Zack Mwekassa (10)

No fighters in the top 10 were in action this month, so the rankings remain unchanged.

  1. Artem Levin (1)
  2. Joe Schilling (2)
  3. Alex Pereira (4)
  4. Filip Verlinden (5)
  5. Simon Marcus (3)
  6. Jason Wilnis (6)
  7. Sahak Parparyan (7)
  8. Melvin Manhoef (8)
  9. Wayne Barrett (9)
  10. Fang Bian (-)

Dropped out of the rankings: Israel Adesanya (10)

Another top-ranked fighter fell hard in China this month. Canadian Simon Marcus suffered just the second loss of his career, falling by TKO to sanshou stylist Fang Bian at Wu Lin Feng World Championship 2015. Marcus slips to the No. 5 ranking, while Bian cracks the top 10 for the first time.

  1. Nieky Holzken (1)
  2. Joseph Valtellini (2)
  3. Marc de Bonte (3)
  4. Karapet Karapetyan (4)
  5. Artur Kyshenko (5)
  6. Raymond Daniels (6)
  7. Karim Ghajji (7)
  8. Alexander Stetsurenko (8)
  9. L’houcine Ouzgni (9)
  10. Jonatan Oliveira (10)

The lone top-10 fighter in action this month was No. 5-ranked Artur Kyshenko, who earned a first-round knockout of Bai Jinbin at Kunlun Fight 19 in China.

  1. Robin van Roosmalen (1)
  2. Davit Kiria (2)
  3. Andy Ristie (3)
  4. Giorgio Petrosyan (4)
  5. Sitthichai Sitsongpeenong (-)
  6. Marat Grigorian (-)
  7. Murthel Groenhart (5)
  8. Andy Souwer (6)
  9. Buakaw Banchamek (7)
  10. Yodsanklai Fairtex (9)

Dropped out of the rankings: Dzhabar Askerov (8), Ky Hollenbeck (10)

As always, the lightweight division was the month’s busiest. One of the greatest technical strikers in the sport’s history, Italy’s Giorgio Petrosyan, returned to the ring for the first time in over a year and earned a decision win over Erkan Varol to hold on to his No. 4 ranking. He’ll look to get revenge on No. 3-ranked Andy Ristie in 2015. No. 2-ranked Davit Kiria bounced back from his loss to Robin van Roosmalen, scoring a first-round knockout over Zheng Zhaoyu at Kunlun Fight 19 in China. The biggest splash this month came from Thailand’s Sitthichai Sitsongpeenong, who bested both Murthel Groenhart and Andy Souwer in the same night at Kunlun Fight 15. Another fighter making a splash was Marat Grigorian. He claimed the Kunlun Fight 19 tournament with wins over Aikpracha Meenayothin and Fernando Calzetta.

  1. Mosab Amrani (1)
  2. Masaaki Noiri (2)
  3. Kaew Fairtex (3)
  4. Yuta Kubo (4)
  5. Gabriel Varga (5)
  6. Sagetdao Petpayathai (6)
  7. Shane Oblonsky (7)
  8. Liam Harrison (8)
  9. Yodkhunpon Sitmonchai (9)
  10. Kevin Ross (10)

No. 3-ranked Kaew Fairtex competed at 132 pounds but dropped a decision to Brazil’s Minoru Kimura in the K-1 World GP 2015 60 kg Championship Tournament. Since it was a weight class lower than the one in which he usually competes, he maintained his slot in the featherweight rankings.

  1. Artem Levin (1)
  2. Gokhan Saki (2)
  3. Nieky Holzken (4)
  4. Robin van Roosmalen (5)
  5. Davit Kiria (6)
  6. Andy Ristie (7)
  7. Giorgio Petrosyan (8)
  8. Rico Verhoeven (3)
  9. Joseph Valtellini (9)
  10. Daniel Ghita (10)

Verhoeven’s loss may not have cost him his ranking in the heavyweight ranks, but with Kiria and Petrosyan earning wins this month, Verhoeven plummets to the No. 8 spot in the pound-for-pound rankings.

About The Author

Rob Tatum
Assistant Editor

Rob Tatum has been covering combat sports since 2009. He provides radio content for Between Rounds Radio and his past work has appeared on Bleacher Report, MMA DieHards, MMAinterviews and The MMA Corner. Prior to covering combat sports, Rob ran his own music website from 2002-2009. Beyond his writing, Rob has trained in both Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Muay Thai. He is a Colorado native that works as a mechanical engineer during the day. In his free time, Rob enjoys watching sports, playing music and working on cars.

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