As kickboxing looks to establish itself from both boxing and MMA with GLORY, K-1 and Lion Fight, 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.

  1. Rico Verhoeven (1)
  2. Daniel Ghita (2)
  3. Errol Zimmerman (3)
  4. Benjamin Adegbuyi (4)
  5. Hesdy Gerges (5)
  6. Andrei Herasimchuk (6)
  7. Anderson Silva (8)
  8. Zabit Samedov (9)
  9. Ben Edwards (10)
  10. Freddy Kemayo (-)

Dropped out of the rankings: Peter Aerts (7)

It was a busy month in the heavyweight division, with half of the top 10 in action. GLORY heavyweight champion Rico Verhoeven retained his belt by defeating Errol Zimmerman by TKO at GLORY 19 in the pair’s rubber match. Verhoeven kept his spot at the top of the rankings, as did the third-ranked Zimmerman. Despite being released from his GLORY contract for legal issues, fifth-ranked Hesdy Gerges got back in the win column with a TKO win over Igor Bugaenko at Kunlan Fight 19. Also at the Chinese event, sixth-ranked Andrei Herasimchuk defeated Ashwin Balrak. Zabit Samedov moved up to the eighth spot by returning to the heavyweight division and beating Mert Akın in Turkey. Finally, 44-year-old legend Peter Aerts has been removed from the top 10. He’s been replaced by Frenchman Freddy Kemayo, who currently rides a seven-fight winning streak, including a win over Aerts.

Light Heavyweight
  1. Gokhan Saki (1)
  2. Tyrone Spong (2)
  3. Saulo Cavalari (3)
  4. Nathan Corbett (4)
  5. Artem Vakhitov (5)
  6. Danyo Ilunga (6)
  7. Igor Jurković (7)
  8. Mourad Bouzidi (8)
  9. Andrei Stoica (9)
  10. Zack Mwekassa (10)

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

  1. Artem Levin (1)
  2. Joe Schilling (2)
  3. Alex Pereira (3)
  4. Filip Verlinden (4)
  5. Simon Marcus (5)
  6. Jason Wilnis (6)
  7. Sahak Parparyan (7)
  8. Wayne Barrett (9)
  9. Fang Bian (10)
  10. Robert Thomas (-)

Dropped out of the rankings: Melvin Manhoef (8)

February saw second-ranked Joe Schilling return to action at GLORY 19, where he dominated 22-year-old Robert Thomas and claimed a one-sided decision. However, Thomas showcased a strong chin and proved he’s a strong prospect for the division. He ekes into the top 10, forcing Dutchman Melvin Manhoef out of the rankings.

  1. Nieky Holzken (1)
  2. Joseph Valtellini (2)
  3. Marc de Bonte (3)
  4. Karapet Karapetyan (4)
  5. Artur Kyshenko (5)
  6. Raymond Daniels (6)
  7. Karim Ghajji (7)
  8. Alexander Stetsurenko (8)
  9. Paul Daley (-)
  10. Jonatan Oliveira (10)

Dropped from the rankings: L’houcine Ouzgni (9)

The month’s most impressive performance came from top-ranked Dutchman Nieky Holzken, who captured the GLORY 19 one-night tournament with wins over No. 8-ranked Alexander Stetsurenko and No. 6-ranked Raymond Daniels. Holzken’s tournament win lines up a rematch with champion Joseph Valtellini. After more than 18 months without activity, L’houcine Ouzgni has been dropped from the rankings.

  1. Robin van Roosmalen (1)
  2. Davit Kiria (2)
  3. Andy Ristie (3)
  4. Giorgio Petrosyan (4)
  5. Sitthichai Sitsongpeenong (5)
  6. Marat Grigorian (6)
  7. Murthel Groenhart (7)
  8. Andy Souwer (8)
  9. Buakaw Banchamek (9)
  10. Yodsanklai Fairtex (10)

As always, there was plenty of action in the lightweight division. No. 3-ranked Andy Ristie maintained his spot in the rankings with his violent, first-round TKO over Steven Moxon at GLORY 19. The win sets up a rematch with champion Robin van Roosmalen in Dubai in April. Also continuing his winning ways was Thailand’s Sitthichai Sitsongpeenong, who bested Crice Boussoukou in France. Legend Andy Souwer bounced back from his loss to the aforementioned Sitthichai, crushing Hideya Tanaka via third-round head kick.

  1. Mosab Amrani (1)
  2. Masaaki Noiri (2)
  3. Kaew Fairtex (3)
  4. Yuta Kubo (4)
  5. Gabriel Varga (5)
  6. Sagetdao Petpayathai (6)
  7. Shane Oblonsky (7)
  8. Liam Harrison (8)
  9. Yodkhunpon Sitmonchai (9)
  10. Kevin Ross (10)

Only one fighter in the top 10 was active last month, as second-ranked Masaaki Noiri took out Ilias Bulaid at Krush 51.

  1. Artem Levin (1)
  2. Nieky Holzken (3)
  3. Gokhan Saki (2)
  4. Robin van Roosmalen (4)
  5. Davit Kiria (5)
  6. Andy Ristie (6)
  7. Giorgio Petrosyan (7)
  8. Rico Verhoeven (8)
  9. Joseph Valtellini (9)
  10. Daniel Ghita (10)

With his dominant display at GLORY 19, Nieky Holzken slides ahead of Gokhan Saki and into the No. 2 slot in our pound-for-pound rankings.

About The Author

Rob Tatum
Assistant Editor

Rob Tatum has been covering combat sports since 2009. He provides radio content for Between Rounds Radio and his past work has appeared on Bleacher Report, MMA DieHards, MMAinterviews and The MMA Corner. 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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