As kickboxing looks to establish itself from both boxing and MMA with GLORY, K-1, Lion Fight and Kunlun Fighting Championship, 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. Benjamin Adegbuyi (2)
  3. Jahfarr Wilnis (3)
  4. Errol Zimmerman (4)
  5. Hesdy Gerges (5)
  6. Zabit Samedov (6)
  7. Andrey Gerasimchuk (7)
  8. Jamal Ben Saddik (8)
  9. Anderson Silva (9)
  10. Badr Hari (10)

If there’s one fighter who is likely sick of scorecards, it’s third-ranked Jahfarr Wilnis. After dropping a hard-fought decision to Benjamin Adegbuyi at GLORY 24 last fall, his first fight of 2016 didn’t go any better. Wilnis fell by decision to Roman Kryklia at Kunlun Fight 37 in a fight that was reminiscent of their previous meeting at Kunlun Fight 21. However, this time, Wilnis found himself on the losing end. Wilnis maintains his spot in the rankings based on body of work, but a rubber match with Kryklia could be in order in the near future.

Light Heavyweight
  1. Gokhan Saki (1)
  2. Saulo Cavalari (2)
  3. Artem Vakhitov (3)
  4. Mourad Bouzidi (4)
  5. Danyo Ilunga (5)
  6. Zack Mwekassa (6)
  7. Pavel Zhuravlev (7)
  8. Igor Jurković (8)
  9. Michael Duut (9)
  10. Andrei Stoica (10)

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

  1. Artem Levin (1)
  2. Simon Marcus (2)
  3. Joe Schilling (3)
  4. Jason Wilnis (4)
  5. Alex Pereira (5)
  6. Sahak Parparyan (6)
  7. Israel Adesanya (8)
  8. Bogdan Stoica (9)
  9. Fang Bian (7)
  10. Dustin Jacoby (10)

Two fighters in the top 10 were in action over the last month. Fourth-ranked Jason Wilnis got back in the win column at Kunlun Fight 37 with a decision nod over Wang Chongyang. Also in the ring was China’s Fang Bian, who took on Frenchman Cedric Doumbe at WLF World Championship 2016. After three rounds, it appeared that Doumbe had won, but the fight went to an extension round. It appeared that Doumbe had claimed that round as well, but surprisingly, Bian was awarded the decision. The lackluster and controversial win drops Bian from seventh to ninth in our rankings.

  1. Nieky Holzken (1)
  2. Artur Kyshenko (2)
  3. Murthel Groenhart (3)
  4. Raymond Daniels (4)
  5. Karim Ghajji (5)
  6. Yoann Kongolo (6)
  7. Hicham El Gaoui (7)
  8. Paul Daley (8)
  9. Bai Jinbin (9)
  10. Karapet Karapetyan (10)

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

  1. Robin van Roosmalen (1)
  2. Sittichai Sitsongpeenong (2)
  3. Andy Ristie (3)
  4. Giorgio Petrosyan (4)
  5. Yodsanklai Fairtex (5)
  6. Davit Kiria (6)
  7. Marat Grigorian (7)
  8. Buakaw Banchamek (8)
  9. Dzhabar Askerov (9)
  10. Josh Jauncey (10)

The lightweights were as busy as ever in January. Sittichai Sitsongpeenong picked up right where he left off in 2015, winning the Kunlun Fight 70-kilogram tournament at Kunlun Fight 37 with wins over Superbon and Enriko Gogokhia. Fourth-ranked Giorgio Petrosyan was also in action in China, where he stopped Jiao Fukai at WLF World Championship 2016. Buakaw Banchamek cruised past Liu Hainan in the main event of Kunlun Fight 36 to maintain his No. 8 ranking. Finally, ninth-ranked Dzhabar Askerov scored a violent finish of Aikpracha Meenayothin in the Kunlun Fight 37 reserve bout.

  1. Kaew Fairtex (1)
  2. Masaaki Noiri (2)
  3. Minoru Kimura (3)
  4. Yasuomi Soda (4)
  5. Serhiy Adamchuk (5)
  6. Gabriel Varga (6)
  7. Mosab Amrani (7)
  8. Yuta Kubo (8)
  9. Massaro Glunder (9)
  10. Ilias Bulaid (10)

Sixth-ranked Gabriel Varga may have lost his GLORY title in 2015, but he opened 2016 by adding the Hero Legends belt to his trophy case. Varga dominated Wei Liu throughout their match-up, nearly stopping the fight twice.

  1. Nieky Holzken (1)
  2. Artem Levin (2)
  3. Robin van Roosmalen (3)
  4. Sittichai Sitsongpeenong (4)
  5. Giorgio Petrosyan (6)
  6. Gokhan Saki (5)
  7. Rico Verhoeven (7)
  8. Kaew Fairtex (8)
  9. Takeru (9)
  10. Andy Ristie (10)

Both Sittichai Sitsongpeenong and Giorgio Petrosyan put on impressive performances this past month to solidify their places in the top five, with Petroysan edging ahead of Gohkan Saki.

Editor’s Note: Fighters are eligible to be ranked if they have competed in the last 18 months. Any fighter that chooses to switch weight classes will be ranked in their previous weight class until they have competed twice in their new division.

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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