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. Guto Inocente (-)
  8. Hesdy Gerges (7)
  9. Andrey Gerasimchuk (8)
  10. Badr Hari (10)

Dropped from the rankings: Jamal Ben Saddik (9)

The heavyweight division was very active in September. Reigning GLORY champion Rico Verhoeven maintained the top spot after stopping Brazilian Anderson “Braddock” Silva in the GLORY 33 main event. The win ensures that the Dutchman will collide with No. 10-ranked Badr Hari in December. Second-ranked Benjamin Adegbuyi needed just 24 seconds to put away Steve Reezigt at ACB 7 with a right uppercut. There’s a new face in the top 10 this month. Former UFC combatant Guto Inocente claims the No. 7 spot after his decision win over Hesdy Gerges in a fight that took place at GLORY 33. Andrey Gerasimchuk captured the Kunlun Fight 100-kilogram tournament by topping Rogava Tsotne at Kunlun Fight 52. The win keeps the Belarusian firmly inside the top 10. With Inocente entry into the rankings, Jamal Ben Saddik lands outside of the rankings.

Light Heavyweight
  1. Gokhan Saki (1)
  2. Artem Vakhitov (2)
  3. Saulo Cavalari (3)
  4. Zack Mwekassa (4)
  5. Mourad Bouzidi (5)
  6. Zinedine Hameur-Lain (6)
  7. Ariel Machado (7)
  8. Pavel Zhuravlev (8)
  9. Danyo Ilunga (9)
  10. Michael Duut (10)

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

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

Dropped from the rankings: Bogdan Stoica (10)

There’s a new man atop the middleweight division. Veteran Jason Wilnis takes over the No. 1-ranking after capturing the GLORY middleweight title with a third-round TKO of Simon Marcus at GLORY 33. The loss causes Marcus to slide down a spot in the rankings. New Zealand’s Israel Adesanya took home wins at WLF: Rise of Heroes 1 and WLF: Glory of Heroes 5 to climb into the No. 4 position. The bottom half of the division was shaken up by the entrance of former ranked welterweight Hicham El Gaoui. El Gaoui stopped Mehdi Bouanane by TKO at Enfusion Live 41 to earn his place in the middleweight ranks. The addition of El Gaoui coupled with a loss to Adesanya has forced Romania’s Bogdan Stoica outside the top 10.

Welterweight
  1. Nieky Holzken (1)
  2. Artur Kyshenko (2)
  3. Murthel Groenhart (3)
  4. Cedric Doumbe (4)
  5. Zoltán Laszák (-)
  6. Karim Ghajji (5)
  7. Raymond Daniels (6)
  8. Yoann Kongolo (7)
  9. Yohan Lidon (8)
  10. Marc de Bonte (-)

Dropped from the rankings: Hicham El Gaoui (9), Paul Daley (10)

Perhaps the biggest surprise of the month came at Bellator Kickboxing: Budapest. Hungary’s Zoltán Laszák upset champion Karim Ghajji to not only capture the promotion’s title, but also climb into the division’s top five. The loss for Ghajji drops him to the sixth spot in the rankings. Also in action at the event, Raymond Daniels continued his winning ways with a decision victory over Zsolt Benedek. Finally, a familiar face has returned to the top 10. Former GLORY titleholder Marc de Bonte has returned to the kickboxing ring. The Belgian fighter earned a third-round stoppage win over Artur Gorlov at Kunlun Fight 51 in the opening round of the promotion’s 80-kilogram tournament. With Hicham El Gaoui moving up in weight and the inclusion of Laszák and de Bonte, England’s Paul Daley has fallen out of the top 10.

Lightweight
  1. Sittichai Sitsongpeenong (1)
  2. Robin van Roosmalen (2)
  3. Giorgio Petrosyan (3)
  4. Superbon Banchamek (-)
  5. Yodsanklai Fairtex (5)
  6. Marat Grigorian (6)
  7. Buakaw Banchamek (7)
  8. Anatoly Moiseev (8)
  9. Josh Jauncey (10)
  10. Davit Kiria (-)

Dropped from the rankings: Andy Ristie (4), Enriko Gogokhia (9)

Chaotic might be the appropriate word to describe the lightweight division. Top-ranked Sittichai Sitsongpeenong suffered his first loss of 2016 at Kunlun Fight 53 against Superbon Banchamek. The pair met in the semifinals of last year’s 70-kilogram tournament, but this time, Superbon came out on top. The win skyrockets Superbon into the No. 4 spot in the rankings, while Sittichai maintains the top spot based on body of work. Superbon’s teammate and legend of the sport, Buakaw, was also in the ring at the event, besting Frenchman Dylan Salvador on the scorecards to keep hold of the No. 7 spot. Eighth-ranked Anatoly Moiseev continued his winning ways, topping Tamaz Izoria at Kunlun Fight 52. Also at the event, former GLORY titleholder Davit Kiria worked his way back into the top 10 after besting Dzianis Zuev to advance in the 70-kilogram tournament. Two fighters were removed this month, but for different reasons. Fourth-ranked Andy Ristie has not competed in the last 18 months, while ninth-ranked Enriko Gogokhia has opted to focus on his boxing career.

Featherweight
  1. Kaew Weerasakreck (Fairtex) (1)
  2. Masaaki Noiri (4)
  3. Qiu Jianliang (10)
  4. Ilias Bulaid (2)
  5. Gabriel Varga (5)
  6. Hideaki Yamazaki (3)
  7. Minoru Kimura (6)
  8. Serhiy Adamchuk (7)
  9. Gonnapar Weekrasakreck (-)
  10. Matt Embree (-)

Dropped from the rankings: Mosab Amrani (8), Yasuomi Soda (9)

The featherweight division also had its fair share of upheaval over the last month. Top-ranked Kaew Weerasakreck was slated to meet Hideaki Yamazaki at K-1 World GP 2016 in Japan, but he was replaced at the last minute by his teammate, Gonnapar. Despite the short notice, Gonnapar would go on to defeat Yamazaki on the scorecards. The upset caused Yamazaki to tumble three spots to sixth, while Gonnapar enters the rankings for the first time at No. 9. Also in action was China’s Qiu Jianliang, who topped Melvin Wassing at WLF: Rise of Heroes 1 and second-ranked Ilias Bulaid at WLF: Glory of Heroes 5. Jianliang moved to third in our rankings, while Bulaid slides to fourth. The most impressive performance this month came from Canadian Matt Embree, who enters our rankings for the first time. Embree scored knockout wins over Giga Chikadze and Chi Bin Lim to capture the GLORY 33 contender tournament. The additions of Gonnapar and Embree pushed former GLORY title challegner Mosab Amrani and Japanese veteran Yasuomi Soda out of the top 10.

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

Dropped from the rankings: Simon Marcus (6)

All of the activity in September had an impact on the pound-for-pound rankings as well. Despite his loss at Kunlun Fight 53, Thailand’s Sittichai Sitsongpeenong hangs onto his No. 1 spot based on his dominant run over the last few years. Heavyweight king Rico Verhoeven jumped to the sixth spot with yet another title defense. The GLORY middleweight title changing hands created a ripple effect in the bottom half of the top 10. Former champion Simon Marcus tumbled from the rankings, while his former rival Artem Levin slid to ninth. Superbon Banchamek’s big win over Sittichai earns him entry into the top 10 for the first time.


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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