Cédric Doumbé (James Law/GLORY)

Combat Press Kickboxing Rankings: July 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. Jahfarr Wilnis (5)
  6. Jamal Ben Saddik (6)
  7. Zabit Samedov (7)
  8. Andrey Gerasimchuk (8)
  9. Roman Kryklia (9)
  10. Guto Inocente (10)

Only one of the sport’s best heavyweights was in action during June. Roman Kryklia defeated Frenchman Fabrice Aurieng at Monte Carlo Fighting Masters in Monaco. The win keeps the Ukrainian planted at No. 9 in the rankings.

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

No fighters in the top 10 were in action during June, so the rankings remain unchanged.

  1. Simon Marcus (1)
  2. Jason Wilnis (2)
  3. Artem Levin (3)
  4. Yousri Belgaroui (4)
  5. Alex Pereira (5)
  6. Israel Adesanya (6)
  7. Joe Schilling (7)
  8. Fang Bian (8)
  9. Dustin Jacoby (9)
  10. Alexander Stetsurenko (10)

No fighters in the top 10 were in action during June, so the rankings remain unchanged.

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

The month of June was largely a spotlight on the welterweight division, as nearly the entire top 10 was in the ring, including all of the fighters in the top five. Frenchman Cédric Doumbé further cemented his place atop the rankings by defeating former champion Nieky Holzken at GLORY 42 in Paris. Holzken’s back-to-back losses cause him to fall to No. 3 in the rankings. Also at GLORY 42, fourth-ranked Murthel Groenhart scored a vicious, second-round knockout of Harut Grigorian, but was attacked by fans who charged the ring afterwards. Despite the chaos, Groenhart is in the driver’s seat for the next shot at Doumbé. Former GLORY title challenger Yoann Kongolo gave Yohan Lidon a rude welcome to the GLORY ring, scoring a clear-cut decision win over the Frenchman. Kongolo stays at No. 5 with the victory, while Lidon hangs onto the No. 8 ranking. In China, Artur Kyshenko took out Gabriele Casella by decision at Kunlun Fight 62. The win, coupled with Holzken’s loss, earned Kyshenko the No. 2 spot in the rankings. Seventh-ranked Alim Nabiev topped China’s Yang Zhang by decision at Kunlun Fight 63.

  1. Sitthichai Sitsongpeenong (1)
  2. Superbon Banchamek (2)
  3. Giorgio Petrosyan (3)
  4. Marat Grigorian (5)
  5. Buakaw Banchamek (6)
  6. Chingiz Allazov (-)
  7. Davit Kiria (8)
  8. Mohamed Khamal (9)
  9. Mohamed Mezouari (10)
  10. Jomthong Chuwattana (-)

Dropped from the rankings: Yodsanklai Fairtex (4), Dylan Salvador (7)

Much like the welterweight division, June was extremely busy for the lightweight ranks as well. One of the sport’s most accomplished fighters, Yodsanklai Fairtex, hung up his gloves after battling injuries for the last few years. The Thai legend’s retirement, along with Frenchman Dylan Salvador’s move to the featherweight division, created two openings in the top 10. In the ring, second-ranked Superbon Banchamek was in action at Kunlun Fight 62, where he defeated Artem Pashporin by decision. He was joined by teammate and legend Buakaw Banchamek, who bested Kong Lingfeng, also by decision. Buakaw benefits from Yodsanklai’s retirement and climbs into fifth in the rankings. Kunlun Fight 62 also featured Jomthong Chuwattana, who defeated Gabriel Mazzetti to climb back into the rankings at No. 10. Former GLORY title challenger Marat Grigorian took care of business at GLORY 42, knocking out Antonio Gomez with a knee to the body. Grigorian inches into the No. 4 spot in the rankings. The month’s biggest move came from Belarusian Chingiz Allazov, who captured the K-1 World GP 2017 Super Welterweight Championship Tournament with knockouts of Hiroki Nakajima and Jordan Pikeur, and a decision nod over Yasuhiro Kido in the final of the eight-man tournament. Allazov rockets into the No. 6 spot in the rankings with the impressive performance. Finally, former GLORY champion Davit Kiria had a rough night at Kunlun Fight 63, where he fell to Marouan Toutouh by decision. However, Kiria’s body of work keeps him inside the top 10.

  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 Ninghui (7)
  8. Petchpanomrung Kiatmookao (8)
  9. Yasuomi Soda (9)
  10. Gabriel Varga (10)

The featherweight weight class continues to be one of the most fluid in the sport. Top-ranked Kaew Weerasakreck faced off with second-ranked Masaaki Noiri at the K-1 World GP 2017 Super Welterweight Championship Tournament. Kaew largely controlled the fight and threw with much more volume, but he was repeatedly warned for clinching. The fight went to an extension round, which surprisingly went the way of Noiri via a split verdict. Based on the fact the pair have split their two meetings and the questionable nature of the decision, Kaew remains the No. 1-ranked fighter and Noiri stays at No. 2. Third-ranked Qiu Jianliang was also in the ring in June, crushing Subsakorn with a wheel kick at Glory of Heroes: Shangyu in China. Finally, much like the situation with Kaew and Noiri, seventh-ranked Wei Ninghui dropped a majority decision to Kompetch Fairtex at Kunlun Fight 62, after defeating the Thai earlier this year. Ninghui keeps the No. 7 ranking for the time being, but the lower half of the top 10 is very much in flux.

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

With more than half of the pound-for-pound top 10 in action in June, there was plenty of shuffling in the rankings. Doumbé’s title defense at GLORY 42 not only cemented him as the sport’s best welterweight, but also one of the sport’s elite. He climbs all the way into the No. 2 spot in the rankings. Also jumping significantly in the rankings is Superbon, who now sits at No. 3. Kaew’s controversial loss did not dethrone him from the featherweight rankings, but it caused him to slip to fourth in the pound-for-pound poll. Kyshenko’s victory in China, coupled with Holzken’s defeat to Doumbé, moved the Ukrainian to eighth, while Holzken falls to 10th. Finally, Japan’s Takeru continued his winning ways by stopping Buvaisar Paskhaev with a nasty body shot at the K-1 World GP 2017 Super Welterweight Championship Tournament.

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

There’s a new woman atop the pound-for-pound rankings. France’s Anissa Meksen continued her lengthy winning streak at The Way of Champions 3rd Edition in Luxembourg, where she defeated Fadma Basrir by decision with the AFSO K-1 rules 53.5-kilogram world title on the line.

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.