Robin van Roosmalen (James Law/GLORY)

Combat Press Kickboxing Rankings: December 2015

As kickboxing looks to establish itself from both boxing and MMA with 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.


  1. Rico Verhoeven (1)
  2. Daniel Ghita (2)
  3. Benjamin Adegbuyi (4)
  4. Errol Zimmerman (3)
  5. Jahfarr Wilnis (6)
  6. Hesdy Gerges (5)
  7. Andrey Gerasimchuk (7)
  8. Zabit Samedov (9)
  9. Jamal Ben Saddik (8)
  10. Anderson Silva (10)

The lone ranked heavyweight in the ring in November was Jamal Ben Saddik, who dropped a decision to Dutchman Brian Douwes at A1 World Combat Cup 20. The loss drops Ben Saddik to the No. 9 spot in our rankings. Despite the win over a ranked opponent, Douwes remains on the outside looking in.

Light Heavyweight
  1. Gokhan Saki (1)
  2. Saulo Cavalari (2)
  3. Artem Vakhitov (3)
  4. Danyo Ilunga (4)
  5. Mourad Bouzidi (5)
  6. Zack Mwekassa (6)
  7. Pavel Zhuravlev (8)
  8. Igor Jurković (9)
  9. Michael Duut (10)
  10. Andrei Stoica (7)

The biggest fight in the light heavyweight ranks came between third-ranked Artem Vakhitov and fourth-ranked Danyo Ilunga at GLORY 25 and the two did not disappoint. Vakhitov made his case for a rematch with current champion Saulo Cavalari with the decision win. Ilunga, meanwhile, continued his tough year in the ring, but proved he’s still capable of competing with the division’s elite. Elsewhere, Andrei Stoica suffered a one-sided beating courtesy of Spaniard Jorge Loren. Loren dropped the Romanian three times in the opening round, capturing the SUPERKOMBAT belt in the process. Loren now holds wins over both Stoica brothers, but his lack of consistency — he lost just three weeks before the fight with Andrei Stoica — keeps him out of the top 10.

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

Two ranked middleweights were in action this past month, including top-ranked Artem Levin. The Russian captured the Russian National Muay Thai Championship once again. New Zealand’s Israel Adesanya moved up to heavyweight and won the one-night, eight-man King in the Ring tournament.

  1. Nieky Holzken (1)
  2. Artur Kyshenko (3)
  3. Joseph Valtellini (2)
  4. Marc de Bonte (4)
  5. Raymond Daniels (5)
  6. Murthel Groenhart (-)
  7. Karapet Karapetyan (6)
  8. Karim Ghajji (7)
  9. Hicham El Gaoui (8)
  10. Paul Daley (9)

Dropped from the rankings: Bai Jinbin (10)

It was a busy November for the welterweight ranks. GLORY champion Nieky Holzken now knows his next challenger, as his bitter rival Murthel Groenhart captured the GLORY 25 contender tournament by besting eighth-ranked Karim Ghajji in the finals. Groenhart, who recently moved up from lightweight, enters the rankings at No. 6. Also in the ring, Artur Kyshenko continued his march through the division, edging Hicham El Gaoui on the scorecards at Enfusion 34 and moving into our second slot in the rankings.

  1. Robin van Roosmalen (1)
  2. Sittichai Sitsongpeenong (2)
  3. Andy Ristie (3)
  4. Giorgio Petrosyan (4)
  5. Yodsanklai Fairtex (5)
  6. Davit Kiria (6)
  7. Marat Grigorian (7)
  8. Buakaw Banchamek (8)
  9. Dzhabar Askerov (9)
  10. Josh Jauncey (10)

The lightweight division has some controversy. Holland’s Robin van Roosmalen still has the GLORY belt around his waist — and our No. 1 ranking — but Thailand’s Sittichai Sitsongpeenong is arguably the best fighter in the division. Van Roosmalen came out on top on the scorecards at GLORY 25, but many felt it was one of the worst robberies in recent memory. Most scorecards read 50-45 or 49-46 for Sittichai on social media, but the judges at ringside disagreed. Also on the card, Italy’s Giorgio Petrosyan returned to the GLORY ring for the first time since 2013 and put on a vintage performance against Canada’s Josh Jauncey. Petrosyan outclassed the younger fighter to maintain his No. 4 ranking, while Jauncey stays planted at No. 10. Finally, another Thai, Yodsanklai Fairtex, fared better than his countryman, topping ninth-ranked Dzhabar Askerov at Kunlun Fight 33.

  1. Kaew Fairtex (1)
  2. Masaaki Noiri (6)
  3. Minoru Kimura (3)
  4. Yasuomi Soda (4)
  5. Serhiy Adamchuk (-)
  6. Gabriel Varga (2)
  7. Yuta Kubo (8)
  8. Mosab Amrani (5)
  9. Massaro Glunder (9)
  10. Pakorn PKSaenchaimuaythaigym (7)

Dropped from the rankings: Sagetdao Petpayathai (10)

If there’s a division that could top the lightweights in both activity and changes, it’s the featherweights. Top-ranked Kaew Fairtex cemented himself atop the division with a devastating, first-round knockout of Minoru Kimura at the K-1 World Grand Prix 2015. He wasn’t the only one to make a statement at the event, however. Masaaki Noiri climbed to No. 2 in the rankings with a decision win over fourth-ranked Yasuomi Soda. Ninth-ranked Massaro Glunder also got back in the win column at the Japanese event. But not all the action was in Japan. There’s a new GLORY champion in the featherweight division as Serhiy Adamchuk claimed a controversial decision win over Canada’s Gabriel Varga, who slips to sixth. Former GLORY title challenger Mosab Amrani continued his slide down the rankings with a TKO loss to Qiu Jian Liang at Wulinfeng World Championship.

  1. Nieky Holzken (1)
  2. Artem Levin (5)
  3. Robin van Roosmalen (2)
  4. Sittichai Sitsongpeenong (4)
  5. Gokhan Saki (3)
  6. Giorgio Petrosyan (9)
  7. Kaew Fairtex (6)
  8. Rico Verhoeven (8)
  9. Andy Ristie (7)
  10. Takeru (10)

The flurry of activity in November also impacted the pound-for-pound ranks. Strong performances from Sittichai, Petrosyan and Fairtex wreaked havoc on the panel’s consensus.

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.