Roman Kryklia (Kunlun Fight)

Combat Press Kickboxing Rankings: March 2019

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. Roman Kryklia (5)
  3. Jamal Ben Saddik (2)
  4. Benjamin Adegbuyi (3)
  5. Mladen Brestovac (4)
  6. Zabit Samedov (6)
  7. Badr Hari (7)
  8. Guto Inocente (8)
  9. Luis Tavares (10)
  10. Murat Aygun (-)

Dropped from the rankings: Iraj Azizpour (9)

The Kunlun Fight super heavyweight tournament featured a number of thrilling moments, exciting fights, and one outstanding tournament performance from Roman Kryklia. Previously ranked No.5, the 27-year-old Ukrainian jumps up three spaces to the second spot after picking up three wins in one night at Kunlun Fight 80 on Feb. 24. Kryklia kicked off his tournament with a decision victory over Martin Pacas in the quarterfinals. He absolutely dominated Rade Opacic by scoring five knockdowns on way to a second-round TKO stoppage in the semifinals. In the final, he faced Iraj Azizpour, who lost his quarterfinal match to Haime Morais, but replaced him in the semifinals due to injury. Azizpour defeated China’s Asihati after an exciting bout to move into the finals. Azizpour previously defeated Kryklia in the finals of the 100+ kilogram tournament at Kunlun Fight 69 in 2018. Kryklia earned his redemption and the tournament title after a clear victory over his Iranian foe. Kryklia has now won eight straight fights, 22 of his past 25, and has avenged both of his losses in that stretch. Despite defeating Asihati, Azizpour drops out of the ratings with two losses in one night, but a victory or two could see him re-enter the rankings. In his place, World Fighting League Heavyweight tournament champion Murat Aygun debuts in the rankings for the first time.

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

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

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 (9)
  10. Ertuğrul Bayrak (10)

The only middleweight in action during the month of February was former GLORY middleweight champ Jason Wilnis, who picked up a third-round TKO victory over Jacob Rodriguez at GLORY 63 in Houston.

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. Nieky Holzken (7)
  7. Yohan Lidon (6)
  8. Regian Eersel (-)
  9. Raymond Daniels (8)
  10. Yoann Kongolo (9)

Dropped from the rankings: Alexander Stetsurenko (10)

Former GLORY welterweight champion Nieky Holzken earned a decision victory over former ISKA champion Mustapha Haida at ONE Championship: Call to Greatness. Holzken has put back-to-back wins together for the first time since defending his GLORY title for the third time against Murthel Groenhart in 2016. Talented Dutch kickboxer Regian Eersel makes his debut in the rankings following his 14th consecutive victory, a second-round knockout against UFC veteran Anthony Njokuani.

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. Tayfun Ozcan (8)
  8. Endy Semeleer (7)
  9. Jonay Risco (9)
  10. Buakaw Banchamek (10) / Mohamed Mezouari (10)

Second-ranked lightweight Giorgio Petrosyan knocked out Japan’s Atsushi Tamefusa to win the ISKA 70-kilogram title at Petrosyan Mania in Italy. Enfusion 72.5-kilogram titleholder Tayfun Ozcan swaps position in the rankings with fellow Enfusion champion Endy Semeleer following a decision victory to defend his title at Enfusion 79.

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 (6)
  7. Ilias Bulaid (7)
  8. Petchtanong Banchamek (8)
  9. Yang Zhuo (9)
  10. Rukiya Anpo (-)

Dropped from the rankings: Serhii Adamchuk (10)

GLORY featherweight champion Petchpanomrung Kiatmookao made the first defense of his title against former titleholder Serhii Adamchuk. Petchpanomrung cemented his third-ranked position following a clear five-round unanimous decision for his second victory over the Ukrainian. Due to the loss, Adamchuk drops out of the top-10. The change made way for Rukiya Anpo, who debuts at No. 10.

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 (8)
  9. Gonnapar Weerasakreck (9)
  10. Lin Qiangbang (10)

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

  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)

The only fighter in action during the month of February was Giorgio Petrosyan, who is certainly making a case to overtake the No. 1 spot in the rankings with his 14th straight victory.

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)

The only fighter in action during the month of February was Anissa Haddaoui, who keeps her spot in the rankings with a first-round TKO stoppage over Zhang Ye at Kunlun Fight 80.

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.