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.

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

Dropped from the rankings: Freddy Kemayo (10)

Things went largely as expected at GLORY 22 in Lille, France, as top-ranked heavyweight Rico Verhoeven survived the early offense of Benjamin Adegbuyi and then cruised to a clear-cut, lopsided decision win to retain his title. Across the globe, however, there were some surprises in the Kunlun Fight tournament. Jahfarr Wilnis came out on top after beating Hesdy Gerges in the finals, after Gerges took out the last man to beat Verhoeven, Andrei Herasimchuk, in the semis. Wilnis enters the rankings at No. 9. The older of the Wilnis brothers has found success while competing in China. His entrance into the top 10 bumped France’s Freddy Kemayo outside once again after Kemayo fell ill the day of GLORY 22 and could not compete.

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

While the upper portion of the light heavyweight division was inactive in June, there was plenty of activity in the lower half of the top 10. Seventh-ranked Mourad Bouzidi earned his third straight win in the GLORY ring with a decision nod over Filip Verlinden. Andrei Stoica continued to find success under the SUPERKOMBAT banner, edging Abdarhmane Coulibaly on the scorecards. Knockout artist Zack Mwekassa returned to the win column with another violent finish of Carlos Brooks in France.

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

After a month in which nearly every fighter in the top 10 was in the ring, the entire top 10 was out of action in June. Yes, Verlinden fought, but he moved up a weight class to take on Bouzidi. As such, the rankings remain unchanged.

Welterweight
  1. Nieky Holzken (1)
  2. Joseph Valtellini (2)
  3. Marc de Bonte (3)
  4. Artur Kyshenko (4)
  5. Raymond Daniels (5)
  6. Karapet Karapetyan (6)
  7. Karim Ghajji (7)
  8. Alexander Stetsurenko (8)
  9. Paul Daley (9)
  10. Hicham El Gaoui (10)

Like the middleweight division, the welterweight ranks were quiet in June. However, the division wasn’t without news, as GLORY champion Joseph Valtellini relinquished his belt citing concussion concerns. As a result, GLORY has revealed that Nieky Holzken will rematch Raymond Daniels in August for the vacant title.

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

As should be expected, the lightweights were as busy as ever. GLORY champion Robin van Roosmalen picked up a win over Australia’s Steve Moxon at a Happy Hearts Fund collaboration event, while Thailand’s Sittichai Sitsongpeenong was establishing himself as the No. 1 contender for van Roosmalen’s title. Sittichai earned wins over former champion Davit Kiria and top prospect Josh Jauncey to vault into the No. 2 slot in the rankings. Another Thai shot up the rankings this month, as Yodsanklai Fairtex topped Dzianis Zuev at Kunlun Fight 26. Joining the aforementioned Kiria in a tumble in the rankings was Marat Grigorian, who also tasted defeat at GLORY 22 in a tightly contested contest with Serhiy Adamchuk.

Featherweight
  1. Gabriel Varga (1)
  2. Mosab Amrani (2)
  3. Kaew Fairtex (3)
  4. Minoru Kimura (4)
  5. Yasuomi Soda (5)
  6. Masaaki Noiri (6)
  7. Yuta Kubo (7)
  8. Tetsuya Yamato (8)
  9. Pakorn PKSaenchaimuaythaigym (9)
  10. Sagetdao Petpayathai (10)

It was largely a quiet month for the lightest weight class. Only third-ranked Kaew Fairtex was in the ring, picking up a decision win over Chunuy Zhang at Kunlun Fight 26.

Pound-For-Pound
  1. Nieky Holzken (1)
  2. Gokhan Saki (2)
  3. Robin van Roosmalen (3)
  4. Artem Levin (4)
  5. Rico Verhoeven (8)
  6. Sittichai Sitsongpeenong (-)
  7. Andy Ristie (6)
  8. Giorgio Petrosyan (7)
  9. Gabriel Varga (10)
  10. Simon Marcus (-)

Dropped from the rankings: Davit Kiria (5), Joseph Valtellini (9)

Two fighters found their way into the pound-for-pound rankings this month, but for very different reasons. Thailand’s Sittichai did it with his actions in the ring, sending former champion Davit Kiria out of the top 10. Although he didn’t compete in June, Canada’s Simon Marcus replaces countryman Joseph Valtellini in the rankings after Valtellini gave up his title. The month also saw heavyweight kingpin Rico Verhoeven put on his best performance in recent memory to allow him to climb into the top five.

About The Author

Rob Tatum
Assistant Editor

Rob Tatum has been covering combat sports since 2009. His work has appeared on InvictaFC.com, The MMA Corner, Bleacher Report MMA, MMA DieHards and MMAinterviews. 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.

Related Posts