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 for both men and women.

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. Mladen Brestovac (-)
  5. Jahfarr Wilnis (4)
  6. Zabit Samedov (6)
  7. Andrey Gerasimchuk (9)
  8. Roman Kryklia (10)
  9. Errol Zimmerman (5)
  10. Guto Inocente (7)

Dropped from the rankings: Hesdy Gerges (8)

If there was any doubt who the clear-cut, No. 2-ranked heavyweight in the world is, Romanian Benjamin Adegbuyi erased it at GLORY 35 in Nice, France. Adegbuyi captured yet another contender tournament, this time besting Mladen Brestovac and Hesdy Gerges. The impressive performance from Brestovac, who knocked out Jahfarr Wilnis with a nasty left head kick, allowed the Croatian to re-enter the rankings at No. 4. The knockout loss sent Wilnis falling to No. 5. Gerges, meanwhile, tumbles out of the rankings after his third straight loss. Finally, Ukrainian Roman Kryklia continued to move up the rankings after defeating Stéphane Susperregui at Nuit des Champions 2016 in France by majority decision.

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

Dropped from the rankings: Ariel Machado (7)

There’s no question who the top light heavyweight in the world is following GLORY 35. Russia’s Artem Vakhitov put on a dominant performance, stopping interim titleholder Zack Mwekassa in the second round to unify the title. Also in action at the event was Ukrainian Pavel Zhuravlev, who put on the performance that many expected from him in his GLORY debut. He put away Frenchman Zinedine Hameur-Lain in under two minutes and jumps all the way up to the No. 5 spot in our rankings. With the loss, Hameur-Lain tumbles to sixth. With Ariel Machado’s move to middleweight, he drops out of the rankings. That opened the door for the return of Holland’s Michael Duut, who returned to action at Enfusion Live 43: Groningen, where he earned a first-round TKO over Nicolaj Falin.

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

The middleweight division was largely quiet in November. Only one fighter in the top 10 was in the ring. That man was China’s Fang Bian, who continued his lengthy unbeaten streak by defeating Joe Ray at Topking World Series 2016: TK 11. The victory moves Bian up to No. 7 in the rankings.

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

Dropped from the rankings: Marc de Bonte (10)

It is with a heavy heart that former GLORY titleholder Marc de Bonte has been removed from the rankings. The Belgian fighter disappeared weeks ago and Dutch authorities recently discovered his body. De Bonte was 26 years old. May he rest in peace.

Elsewhere in the welterweight division, Alim Nabiev topped Yohan Lidon at Nuit des Champions 2016 in France by unanimous decision. Nabiev enters the rankings for the first time at No. 9, while Lidon slides to 10th.

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

November was a quiet month for the lightweight elite, but the month wasn’t without controversy. Seventh-ranked Buakaw Banchamek was in the ring at Wu Lin Feng: The Fight of the Century 2. He rematched China’s Yi Long and found himself involved in of one of the worst decisions in recent memory. Buakaw largely dominated the fight from beginning to end, but somehow lost when the scorecards were read. Due to the egregious judging, Buakaw remains at No. 7 in the rankings.

Featherweight
  1. Kaew Weerasakreck (Fairtex) (1)
  2. Masaaki Noiri (2)
  3. Qiu Jianliang (3)
  4. Ilias Bulaid (4)
  5. Robin van Roosmalen (5)
  6. Gabriel Varga (6)
  7. Hideaki Yamazaki (7)
  8. Yasuomi Soda (-)
  9. Minoru Kimura (8)
  10. Serhiy Adamchuk (9)

Dropped from the rankings: Gonnapar Weekrasakreck (10)

The featherweight division remains one of the world’s most competitive and most difficult to rank. Second-ranked Masaaki Noiri was in the ring at Nuit des Champions 2016 in France, earning a third-round knockout via knee to the body over Eddy Nait Slimani. Japan’s Yasuomi Soda has re-entered the rankings in the eighth spot after his decision win over Fawad Seddiqi at K-1 World GP in Japan Featherweight Championship Tournament. Soda’s inclusion has pushed Gonnapar Weekrasakreck outside the top 10 for the time being.

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 (6)
  7. Artur Kyshenko (7)
  8. Takeru (8)
  9. Artem Levin (9)
  10. Superbon Banchamek (10)

Although most of the top 10 took the month off in November, the lightest fighter in the rankings, Takeru, continued his winning ways at K-1 World GP in Japan Featherweight Championship Tournament. The Japanese star defeated Jamie Whelan, Yun Qi and Kaito Ozawa to capture the eight-man, one-night tournament and snag yet another title.

Women’s Pound-For-Pound
  1. Jorina Baars (1)
  2. Jemyma Betrian (2)
  3. Anissa Meksen (3)
  4. Wang Kehan (4)
  5. Denise Kielholtz (5)
  6. Iman Barlow (7)
  7. E. Meidie (6)
  8. Tiffany Van Soest (8)
  9. Antonina Shevchenko (9)
  10. Rena Kubota (10)

Three of the world’s most talented women were in the ring this past month. England’s Iman Barlow successfully defended her 54-kilogram title at Enfusion Live 43: Groningen, where she defeated Ilsury Hendrikse by decision. The win bumped Barlow into the No. 6 slot in our rankings. Also in action was Lion Fight lightweight champion Antonina Shevchenko, who cruised past Ilona Wijmans at Lion Fight 33 to retain her title. Shevchenko remains at No. 9 in the rankings. Finally, 10th-ranked Rena Kubota topped Brazil’s Kinberly Novaes under Shootboxing rules at S-Cup 2016.


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.

Related Posts