As kickboxing looks to establish itself from both boxing and MMA with promotions like 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.

Heavyweight
  1. Rico Verhoeven (1)
  2. Benjamin Adegbuyi (2)
  3. Ismael Londt (3)
  4. Jahfarr Wilnis (4)
  5. Errol Zimmerman (5)
  6. Zabit Samedov (6)
  7. Hesdy Gerges (7)
  8. Andrey Gerasimchuk (8)
  9. Jamal Ben Saddik (9)
  10. Badr Hari (10)

The only ranked heavyweight in the ring during May was ninth-ranked Jamal Ben Saddik. The Belgian-Moroccan fighter needed less than a round to knock out Andre Schmeling at A1 World Combat Cup 21 with a vicious uppercut.

Light Heavyweight
  1. Gokhan Saki (1)
  2. Artem Vakhitov (2)
  3. Saulo Cavalari (3)
  4. Mourad Bouzidi (4)
  5. Danyo Ilunga (5)
  6. Zack Mwekassa (6)
  7. Pavel Zhuravlev (7)
  8. Michael Duut (8)
  9. Mladen Kujundžić (-)
  10. Luis Tavares (-)

Dropped from the rankings: Igor Jurković (9), Jorge Loren (10)

May was a quiet month for the light heavyweight ranks, but the inactivity led to changes. Previously ranked Igor Jurković has not competed in the last 18 months and has been removed from the rankings. The shuffle also led to Jorge Loren falling from the No. 10 spot after dropping three of his last four. This opened the door for Mladen Kujundžić and Luis Tavares to climb into the top 10.

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

It was a busy month for the middleweight division, but when the dust settled, there weren’t many changes. Top-ranked Simon Marcus retained his title with a decision win over Dustin Jacoby at GLORY 30. Despite the loss, Jacoby maintains his No. 6 ranking. Also at GLORY 30, Jason Wilnis and Joe Schilling had a rematch of their GLORY 24 match-up that ended prematurely due to an injury suffered by Wilnis. The back-and-forth affair went to the scorecards and Wilnis was awarded the win. As such, he and Schilling flip-flopped the third and fourth spots in our rankings. Fifth-ranked Alex Pereira was also in action, earning a fourth-round knockout of Junior Alpha at WGF 30. Israel Adesanya fought in May, but it was in an MMA bout at Wu Lin Feng Glory of Heroes 2. Finally, Bogdan Stoica maintained his No. 8 ranking with a second-round finish of James Phillips at Showdown Fight Night in Germany.

Welterweight
  1. Nieky Holzken (1)
  2. Artur Kyshenko (2)
  3. Murthel Groenhart (3)
  4. Cedric Doumbe (8)
  5. Karim Ghajji (4)
  6. Raymond Daniels (5)
  7. Yoann Kongolo (6)
  8. Hicham El Gaoui (7)
  9. Yohan Lidon (-)
  10. Paul Daley (9)

Dropped from the rankings: Bai Jinbin (10)

The welterweight division had some shuffling in May. Cedric Doumbe continued his ascension of the rankings with a decision win over Brad Riddell at Wu Lin Feng Glory of Heroes 2. Doumbe now sits at No. 4 in our rankings. Yohan Lidon becomes the newest member of the top 10 after a fourth-round knockout of Karapet Karapetyan at Capital Fights in France. His entrance into the top 10 bumps Bai Jinbin from the rankings.

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

The top half of the lightweight top 10 was inactive in May, but the bottom half is starting to get interesting. Sixth-ranked Marat Grigorian rebounded from a loss to top-ranked Sittichai Sitsongpeenong with a violent, first-round head kick finish of Djime Coulibaly at GLORY 30 in Los Angeles. Meanwhile, Kunlun Fight’s massive 70-kilogram tournament is wreaking havoc on the fringe of the top 10. Dzhabar Askerov was bested by Yassin Baitar, who in turn was edged by Romanian Claudiu Badoi in the group 12 pairings at Kunlun Fight 44. Add in strong performances from Anatoly Moiseev and Cedric Manhoef at the same event and things become as clear as mud. Ultimately, Askerov’s body of work, which includes wins over Enriko Gogokhia, Enriko Kehl and legend Andy Souwer, keeps him inside the top 10 for now. However, as the Kunlun tournament continues to progress, it’s likely that someone like Badoi or Manhoef could take his place with another victory.

Featherweight
  1. Kaew Weerasakreck (Fairtex) (1)
  2. Hideaki Yamazaki (2)
  3. Masaaki Noiri (3)
  4. Serhiy Adamchuk (4)
  5. Minoru Kimura (5)
  6. Gabriel Varga (6)
  7. Mosab Amrani (7)
  8. Yasuomi Soda (8)
  9. Yuta Kubo (9)
  10. Qiu Jianliang (10)

Much like lightweight, the upper echelon of the featherweight ranks were absent from the ring in May. But again, the fighters competing for inclusion in the top 10 are making strong cases. Previously ranked Massaro Glunder picked up a pair of wins over the last month, edging China’s Yang Zhuo at Wu Lin Feng Glory of Heroes 2 and outlasting Foad Sadeghi at It’s W5 Time XXXIII in Austria. Despite the wins, Glunder still finds himself on the outside looking in, as No. 10-ranked Qiu Jianliang defeated Jaidee Noppakit to maintain his spot in the rankings.

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

The lone fighter inside the top 10 that fought in May was GLORY middleweight champion Simon Marcus, who stays inside the top five with his decision win.


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. 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.

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