Alex Pereira (James Law/GLORY)

Combat Press Kickboxing Rankings: January 2020

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 strawweight, as well as the pound-for-pound rankings for both men and women. This month in particular, we are opening two new weight divisions. Instead of encompassing all of the fighters under 65-kilograms into one weight class, we have opened up the rankings in the lower weight classes.

The numbers in parentheses represent the fighter’s ranking from last month.


Heavyweight (95+ kilograms)
  1. Rico Verhoeven (1)
  2. Roman Kryklia (2)
  3. Jamal Ben Saddik (3)
  4. Benjamin Adegbuyi (4)
  5. Guto Inocente (5)
  6. Mladen Brestovac (6)
  7. Zabit Samedov (7)
  8. Roel Mannaart (8)
  9. D’Angelo Marshall (9)
  10. Ismael Londt (10)

Top-ranked heavyweight Rico Verhoeven was in action against kickboxing’s bad boy Badr Hari during the main event of one of the biggest kickboxing events of the year, GLORY Collision 2. Verhoeven had his hand raised following the three-round affair despite getting knocked down twice by Hari during the fight. Hari injured his ankle during the third round, which brought an anti-climatic end to a contest he was potentially on his way to winning. Hari is set to return following a brief layoff, and he could re-enter the rankings with a victory.

Light Heavyweight (85.1-95 kilograms)
  1. Artem Vakhitov (1)
  2. Pavel Zhuravlev (2)
  3. Luis Tavares (4)
  4. Alex Pereira (3)
  5. Donegi Abena (5)
  6. Sergej Maslobojev (6)
  7. Stéphane Susperregui (7)
  8. Felipe Micheletti (8)
  9. Ariel Machado (-)
  10. Zinedine Hameur-Lain (9)

Dropped from the rankings: Danyo Ilunga (10)

Luis Tavares moves up one spot in the rankings following a unanimous-decision victory over Stéphane Susperregui at GLORY Collision 2. Former GLORY title challenger Ariel Machado returns to the rankings following a dominant performance against fellow top-10 opponent Michael Duut in Arnhem, Netherlands.

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

Top pound-for-pound competitor and two-division GLORY champion Alex Pereira continued his dominant 2019 run with a first-round knockout against Ertugrul Bayrak at GLORY Collision 2. Donovan Wisse likely earned the next crack at Pereira when he topped Brazil’s CĂ©sar Almeida, who recently defeated top-10 opponent Igor Bugaenko. Wisse moves past former GLORY champion Simon Marcus in the rankings following wins over Jason Wilnis and Yousri Belgaroui in 2019. Ulrik Bokeme moves up one spot in the rankings after recording a unanimous decision over Kevin van Heeckeren.

Welterweight (72.6-80 kilograms)
  1. Artur Kyshenko (1)
  2. Cédric Doumbé (2)
  3. Harut Grigorian (3)
  4. Alim Nabiyev (4)
  5. Regian Eersel (5)
  6. Murthel Groenhart (6)
  7. Nieky Holzken (7)
  8. Dmitry Menshikov (8)
  9. Endy Semeleer (9)
  10. Mohamed “Hamicha” Mezouari (10)

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

Lightweight (70-72.5 kilograms)
  1. Marat Grigorian (1)
  2. Sitthichai Sitsongpeenong (2)
  3. Giorgio Petrosyan (3)
  4. Superbon Banchamek (4)
  5. Tayfun Ozcan (5)
  6. Chingiz Allazov (6)
  7. Samy Sana (7)
  8. Jonay Risco (8)
  9. Davit Kiria (9)
  10. Buakaw Banchamek (10)

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

Featherweight (65-69.9 kilograms)
  1. Qiu Jianliang (1)
  2. Petchpanomrung Kiatmookao (2)
  3. Jordann Pikeur (3)
  4. Masaaki Noiri (4)
  5. Petchtanong Banchamek (5)
  6. Ren Hiramoto (-)
  7. Rukiya Anpo (6)
  8. Kaew Weerasakreck (7)
  9. Jia Aoqi (8)
  10. Zakaria Zouggary (10)

Dropped from the rankings: Tie Yinghua (9)

The featherweights were the busiest division during the month of December. Top-ranked Qiu Jianliang kept his lengthy winning streak alive with a hard-fought decision nod over Italy’s Ivan Naccari at Glory of Heroes 44. Jianliang unfortunately injured a ligament in his knee during the first round, which will keep him out of action for some time. Former top featherweight Masaaki Noiri scored an excellent victory over top 67-kilogram fighter Hasan Toy following a back-and-forth battle at K-1 World GP 2019 Japan. Former top-five featherweight Ren Hiramoto re-enters the rankings following a first-round knockout of flamboyant MMA fighter Takahiro Ashida at Bellator 237. Hiramoto had been dropped from the rankings due to inactivity as he waited out his exclusive K-1 contract, but he returns now on the strength of his knockout victories over Kaew and Gonnapar Weerasakreck. Rukiya Anpo was once again awarded a controversial extra-round verdict against Kaew Weerasakreck to retain his super lightweight title. Zakaria Zouggary remains at No. 10 following a unanimous decision over rising prospect Asa Ten Pow at GLORY Collision 2.

Bantamweight (60.1-64.9 kilograms)
  1. Kenta Hayashi (1)
  2. Taiju Shiratori (2)
  3. Wei Rui (3)
  4. Ilias Ennahachi (4)
  5. Koya Urabe (5)
  6. Wang Wenfeng (6)
  7. Saeksan Or. Kwanmuang (7)
  8. Yuto Shinohara (8)
  9. Gonnapar Weerasakreck (9)
  10. Zhu Shuai (10)

Second-ranked Taiju Shiratori earned his second victory over former K-1 champion Taiga following a second-round cut stoppage at Rizin 20. Wei Rui, another former K-1 champ, scored a highlight-reel knockout of Ali Farahzad at Glory of Heroes 44 to further cement his position in the rankings.

Flyweight (57.6-60 kilograms)
  1. Takeru (1)
  2. Tenshin Nasukawa (2)
  3. Leona Pettas (3)
  4. Kosuke Komiyama (4)
  5. Kouzi (5)
  6. Asahisa Hirotaka (6)
  7. Yuma Saikyo (7)
  8. Zhao Chongyang (8)
  9. Suarek Rukkukamui (9)
  10. Kotaro Shimano (10)

Three-division K-1 champion Takeru fought K-1 57.5-kilogram champ Yuuki Egawa in a one-round exhibition bout that seemed more like a real fight than a sparring session. Second-ranked Tenshin Nasukawa faced what was his toughest opponent to date in his Rizin career, the KING of KNOCKOUT Rui Ebata. Tenshin proved to be one of the best in the world with an absolutely dominant performance at Rizin 20 to move his record to 36-0 with 28 knockouts. Third-ranked Leona Pettas defended his K-1 60-kilogram title with a second-round knockout of Naoki Yamamoto at Krush.109 to move his winning streak to seven, including four knockout victories. Tenth-ranked Kotaro Shimano retains his position in the rankings following a unanimous decision over SATORU at the same event in Tokyo.

Strawweight (57.5 kilograms and below)
  1. Yoshiki Takei (1)
  2. Yuuki Egawa (2)
  3. Akihiro Kaneko (3)
  4. Yuta Murakoshi (4)
  5. Masashi Kumura (5)
  6. Astemir Borsov (6)
  7. Sam-A Gaiyanghadao (7)
  8. Wang Junguang (8)
  9. Masahiko Suzuki (9)
  10. Haruma Saikyo (10)

Top-ranked strawweight and K-1 55-kilogram champion Yoshiki Takei once again proved his dominance against Thai fighter Suriyanlek OBT.Kamphee en route to a dominant decision at the K-1 World GP 2019 Japan in Nagoya, Japan. Takei’s fifth victory of 2019 moves his winning streak to 21.

  1. Takeru (1)
  2. Marat Grigorian (2)
  3. Sitthichai Sitsongpeenong (3)
  4. Giorgio Petrosyan (4)
  5. Tenshin Nasukawa (5)
  6. Alex Pereira (6)
  7. Yoshiki Takei (10 – tie)
  8. Qiu Jianliang (10 – tie)
  9. Artur Kyshenko (7)
  10. Cédric Doumbé (8)/Rico Verhoeven (9)

The men’s pound-for-pound rankings feature a re-shuffling following the events of December. Tenshin Nasukawa put forth one of the most dominant performances of his career against a true talent. However, he remains at fifth. Alex Pereira continued his dominant run in GLORY to secure his sixth-place position. Yoshiki Takei is the biggest mover in the rankings, sliding to seventh following his long reign of dominance in his division. Artur Kyshenko falls due to his lack of activity at the top level in the sport of kickboxing. Qiu Jianliang climbs to eighth after continuing his long unbeaten streak. Despite winning his last bout, Rico Verhoeven’s performance causes him to drop one spot into a tie for 10th with CĂ©dric DoumbĂ©.

Women’s Pound-For-Pound
  1. Anissa Meksen (1)
  2. Tiffany van Soest (2)
  3. Iman Barlow (3)
  4. Jorina Baars (4)
  5. Wang Kehan (5)
  6. Gong Yanli (6)
  7. Wang Cong (7)
  8. Sarel de Jong (8)
  9. Anissa Haddaoui (9)
  10. Sofia Olofsson (10)/Christina Breuer (10)

No fighters in the top 10 were in action during the last month, 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.