Robin van Roosmalen (R) (James Law/GLORY)

Combat Press Kickboxing Rankings: October 2017

As kickboxing continues to grow on a global scale with promotions like GLORY, K-1, Kunlun Fighting Championship and more, 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.


  1. Rico Verhoeven (1)
  2. Benjamin Adegbuyi (2)
  3. Mladen Brestovac (3)
  4. Ismael Londt (4)
  5. Jamal Ben Saddik (6)
  6. Guto Inocente (7)
  7. Zabit Samedov (8)
  8. Andrey Gerasimchuk (9)
  9. Roman Kryklia (10)
  10. Jahfarr Wilnis (5)

Two members of the heavyweight top 10 were in the ring during the month, but their performances were very different. Third-ranked Mladen Brestovac scored yet another devastating head-kick knockout at GLORY 45, putting Hesdy Gerges to sleep in just 37 seconds. The Croatian retains the third spot in the rankings with the victory. Meanwhile, at Enfusion 53, Jahfarr Wilnis took on the promotion’s light heavyweight champion Luis Tavares. Tavares edged Wilnis on the scorecards, causing the Dutchman to tumble to 10th in the rankings.

Light Heavyweight
  1. Artem Vakhitov (1)
  2. Pavel Zhuravlev (2)
  3. Saulo Cavalari (3)
  4. Zack Mwekassa (4)
  5. Mourad Bouzidi (5)
  6. Igor Bugaenko (6)
  7. Ibrahim El Bouni (7)
  8. Fabio Kwasi (8)
  9. Luis Tavares (9)
  10. Ariel Machado (10)

The lone fighter in the top 10 to compete in September was ninth-ranked Luis Tavares, but the bout came at heavyweight. As such, there are no changes to the rankings.

  1. Simon Marcus (1)
  2. Yousri Belgaroui (4)
  3. Jason Wilnis (2)
  4. Artem Levin (3)
  5. Alex Pereira (5)
  6. Israel Adesanya (6)
  7. Joe Schilling (7)
  8. Fang Bian (8)
  9. Dustin Jacoby (9)
  10. Cyril Benzaquen (10)/Ibrahim El Boustati(-)

The middleweight division was plenty busy during the past month. GLORY 45 in Amsterdam featured fourth-ranked Yousri Belgaroui clashing with former champion Jason Wilnis. Belgaroui was aggressive from the opening bell, delivering a barrage of knee strikes to a passive Wilnis. One of the knees opened a massive cut over the left eye of Wilnis and the doctor stopped the fight. Belgaroui climbs to No. 2 with the win. At Bellator Kickboxing 7 in San Jose, Calif., seventh-ranked Joe Schilling defeated Najib Idali by TKO after the second round. Ibrahim El Boustati has climbed into a tie for 10th in the rankings after knocking out Mauricio Costa Cardoso at Enfusion 52.

  1. Artur Kyshenko (1)
  2. Murthel Groenhart (2)
  3. Cédric Doumbé (3)
  4. Nieky Holzken (4)
  5. Yoann Kongolo (5)
  6. Alim Nabiev (7)
  7. Yohan Lidon (8)
  8. Raymond Daniels (10)
  9. Karim Ghajji (6)
  10. Harut Grigorian (9)

Dropped from the rankings: Alexander Stetsurenko (10)

Although only two members of the top 10 fought during September, the result had a significant impact on the rankings. At Bellator Kickboxing 7, sixth-ranked Karim Ghajji put his title on the line against No. 10 Raymond Daniels. Daniels stopped Ghajji by TKO to capture the title and vault to No. 8 in the rankings. Ghajji’s loss results in him dropping to ninth and Alexander Stetsurenko falling from the top 10 altogether.

  1. Sitthichai Sitsongpeenong (1)
  2. Superbon Banchamek (2)
  3. Giorgio Petrosyan (3)
  4. Marat Grigorian (4)
  5. Buakaw Banchamek (5)
  6. Chingiz Allazov (6)
  7. Davit Kiria (7)
  8. Mohamed Mezouari (8)
  9. Christian Baya (10)
  10. Dzianis Zuev (10)/Mohamed Khamal (9)

It was a busy month for the top portion of the lightweight top 10. Top-ranked Sitthichai Sitsongpeenong continued his march toward a collision with popular Chinese fighter Yi Long. Sitthichai defeated Enriko Kehl by decision under the Wu Lin Feng banner. Also in the ring at Enfusion 53 was No. 2 Superbon Banchamek, who topped ninth-ranked Mohamed Khamal by decision. The loss results in Khamal falling into a tie for 10th in the rankings. The legendary Buakaw Banchamek holds onto his fifth spot in the rankings after defeating Sergei Kuliaba by decision at All Star Fight 2.

  1. Kaew Weerasakreck (Fairtex) (1)
  2. Masaaki Noiri (2)
  3. Qiu Jianliang (3)
  4. Robin van Roosmalen (4)
  5. Ilias Bulaid (5)
  6. Hideaki Yamazaki (6)
  7. Wei Rui (9)
  8. Wei Ninghui (7)
  9. Fabio Pinca (8)
  10. Gabriel Varga (10)/Petchpanomrung Kiatmookao (10)

Featherweight continues to be one of the sport’s most active divisions. In September, top-ranked Kaew Weerasakreck defeating Liu Wei by second-round TKO at Hero Legends in China. GLORY champion Robin van Roosmalen retained his title at GLORY 45, where he bested former champ Serhiy Adamchuk by unanimous decision. Also in China, Wei Rui moves into the No. 7 spot in the rankings by defeating Thanonchai Tor. Sangtiennoi by decision at Glory of Heroes.

  1. Sitthichai Sitsongpeenong (1)
  2. Superbon Banchamek (2)
  3. Giorgio Petrosyan (3)/Kaew Weerasakreck (Fairtex) (3)
  4. Robin van Roosmalen (4)
  5. Artem Vakhitov (5)
  6. Artur Kyshenko (7)
  7. Takeru (8)
  8. Murthel Groenhart (9)
  9. Masaaki Noiri (6)/Rico Verhoeven (9)
  10. Cédric Doumbé (10)

In addition to four fighters inside the top five competing, Japan’s Takeru was in the ring at the K-1 World GP 2017 Welterweight Championship Tournament. He edged Wang Juanguang on the scorecards. The victory, combined with the other results, ends with Takeru moving into the No. 7 spot.

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

On the women’s side of the sport, featherweight Jorina Baars continued her push to reclaim the No. 1 spot overall. She defeated Anke Van Gestel by unanimous decision at Bellator Kickboxing 7. Also fighting in September was seventh-ranked Anissa Haddaoui, but it came under MMA rules, where she fell to Antonina Shevchenko.

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.