As kickboxing continues to grow on a global scale with promotions like GLORY, K-1, Kunlun Fight, 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 bantamweight, 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 (95+ kilograms)
  1. Rico Verhoeven (1)
  2. Jamal Ben Saddik (2)
  3. Benjamin Adegbuyi (3)
  4. Mladen Brestovac (4)
  5. Roman Kryklia (5)
  6. Zabit Samedov (6)
  7. Badr Hari (7)
  8. Guto Inocente (8)
  9. Iraj Azizpour (9)
  10. Luis Tavares (10)

There were no fighters in action during the month of January, so the rankings remain unchanged.

Light Heavyweight (85.1-95 kilograms)
  1. Artem Vakhitov (1)
  2. Pavel Zhuravlev (2)
  3. Igor Bugaenko (4)
  4. Ariel Machado (5)
  5. Donegi Abena (6)
  6. Felipe Micheletti (7)
  7. Zinedine Hameur-Lain (8)
  8. Sergej Maslobojev (9)
  9. Danyo Ilunga (10)
  10. Michael Duut (-)

Dropped from the rankings: Saulo Cavalari (3)

There were no fighters in action during the month of January. However, due to inactivity, former GLORY world champion Saulo Cavalari has been dropped from the rankings. In his place, Michael Duut returns to the rankings on the back of his win over former top-five light heavyweight Mourad Bouzidi in September.

Middleweight (80.1-85 kilograms)
  1. Alex Pereira (1)
  2. Simon Marcus (2)
  3. Yousri Belgaroui (3)
  4. Jason Wilnis (4)
  5. Artem Levin (5)
  6. Loren Javier Jorge (6)
  7. Hicham El Gaoui (7)
  8. Ulrik Bokeme (8)
  9. Ibrahim El Boustati (-)
  10. Ertugrual Bayrak (-)

Dropped from the rankings: Joe Schilling (9), Dustin Jacoby (10)

The month of January wasn’t very active in the middleweight division. However, there was some change at the bottom of the division, as Joe Schilling and Dustin Jacoby will focus on MMA in the future. With the two open spots, Enfusion 85-kilogram champion Ibrahim El Boustati and GLORY middleweight Ertugrual Bayrak move into the ninth and tenth spots, respectively.

Welterweight (72.6-80 kilograms)
  1. Artur Kyshenko (1)
  2. Harut Grigorian (2)
  3. Murthel Groenhart (3)
  4. Alim Nabiyev (4)
  5. Cédric Doumbé (5)
  6. Yohan Lidon (6)
  7. Nieky Holzken (7)
  8. Raymond Daniels (8)
  9. Yoann Kongolo (9)
  10. Alexander Stetsurenko (10)

There were no fighters in action during the month of January, so the rankings remain unchanged.

Lightweight (70-72.5 kilograms)
  1. Sitthichai Sitsongpeenong (1)
  2. Giorgio Petrosyan (2)
  3. Marat Grigorian (3)
  4. Superbon Banchamek (4)
  5. Yodsanklai Fairtex (5)
  6. Chingiz Allazov (6)
  7. Endy Semeleer (7)
  8. Tayfun Ozcan (8)
  9. Jonay Risco (9)
  10. Buakaw Banchamek (10) / Mohamed Mezouari (10)

The only fighter in action during the month of January was No.10-ranked Buakaw Banchamek, who took home a dominant stoppage victory over Niclas Larsen under Muay Thai rules at All Star Fight 7.

Featherweight (65-69.9 kilograms)
  1. Qiu Jianliang (1)
  2. Masaaki Noiri (2)
  3. Petchpanomrung Kiatmookao (3)
  4. Ren Hiramoto (4)
  5. Kaew Weerasakreck (5)
  6. Abdellah Ezbiri (7)
  7. Ilias Bulaid (9)
  8. Petchtanong Banchamek (-)
  9. Yang Zhuo (8)
  10. Serhiy Adamchuk (10)

Dropped from the rankings: Robin van Roosmalen (6)

One fighter makes his debut in the featherweight rankings after January’s action. Petchtanong Banchamek took home the Wu Lin Feng 67-kilogram World Cup with a semifinal victory over formerly eighth-ranked Yang Zhuo and final win over former top-10 lightweight Jomthong Chuwattana. Elsewhere in the rankings, Robin van Roosmalen drops out of the rankings due to his move to MMA.

Bantamweight (less than 65 kilograms)
  1. Takeru (1)
  2. Koya Urabe (2)
  3. Wei Rui (3)
  4. Yoshiki Takei (4)
  5. Tenshin Nasukawa (5)
  6. Wang Wenfeng (6)
  7. Kenta Hayashi (7)
  8. Yuto Shinohara (-)
  9. Gonnapar Weerasakreck (8)
  10. Lin Qiangbang (10)

Dropped from the rankings: Taiga (9)



Ninth-ranked Taiga drops outs of the top-10 following a decision loss to China’s Zhu Xu at EM Legend 36 in Shenzhen, China on Jan. 12. The defeat was enough to push Taiga out of the rankings due to his winless record in his past four contests. Yuto Shinohara slots in at No. 8 after his 25-second knockout victory over Gonnapar Weerasakreck in December.

Pound-For-Pound
  1. Sitthichai Sitsongpeenong (1)
  2. Giorgio Petrosyan (2)
  3. Artur Kyshenko (3)
  4. Marat Grigorian (4)
  5. Takeru (5)
  6. Rico Verhoeven (6)
  7. Artem Vakhitov (7)
  8. Qiu Jianliang (8)
  9. Superbon Banchamek (9)
  10. Alex Pereira (10)

There were no fighters in action during the month of January, so the rankings remain unchanged.

Women’s Pound-For-Pound
  1. Anissa Meksen (1)
  2. Jorina Baars (2)
  3. Denise Kielholtz (3)
  4. Tiffany van Soest (4)
  5. Iman Barlow (5)
  6. Wang Kehan (6)
  7. Gong Yanli (7)
  8. Wang Cong (8)
  9. Anissa Haddaoui (9)
  10. KANA (10)

There were no fighters in action during the month of January, so the rankings remain unchanged.


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

Zach Aittama
Senior Staff Writer

Zach Aittama became a fan of martial arts at an early age. Hooked on the sport after one experience, Zach started training Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Muay Thai as a teenager. Watching the sport only increased his interest, building a fascination for combat sports around the globe. Years of training and amateur bouts later, Zach continues to train while working and attending school full-time. Zach started writing for Fight Sport Asia in 2014 and joined the Combat Press staff in July of 2015.

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