Shiro Matsumoto (RISE)

Combat Press Kickboxing Rankings: April 2023

As kickboxing continues to grow on a global scale with promotions like GLORY, K-1, ONE Championship, and more, fighters are constantly jockeying for position in the eyes (and rankings) of the media. Every month, Combat Press will compile kickboxing rankings for each weight class from heavyweight to strawweight, as well as the pound-for-pound rankings for both men and women.

Note: the numbers in parentheses represent the fighter’s ranking from the previous month.

Heavyweight (95+ kilograms)
  1. Rico Verhoeven (1)
  2. Antonio Plazibat (2)
  3. Roman Kryklia (3)
  4. Guto Inocente (6)
  5. Benjamin Adegbuyi (5)
  6. Rade Opačić (7)
  7. Levi Rigters (8)
  8. Iraj Azizpour (10)
  9. Nordine Mahieddine (-)
  10. Françesko Xhaja (-)

Dropped from the rankings: Jamal Ben Saddik (4), Cihad Kepenek (9)


Jamal Ben Saddik was suspended for the second time when he tested positive for a banned substance following his GLORY 81 victory over Benjamin Adegbuyi. On the very same card, Cihad Kepenek tested positive for a banned substance and was also suspended. Both fighters drop out of the top-10 rankings. Nordine Mahieddine re-enters the heavyweight division despite losing to Felipe Micheletti in a light heavyweight contest. If he fights at 95-kilograms again, he will be dropped from the rankings.

Light Heavyweight (95 kilograms)
  1. Artem Vakhitov (1)
  2. Donegi Abena (3)
  3. Sergej Maslobojev (4)
  4. Nikita Kozlov (6)
  5. Felipe Micheletti (8)
  6. Ibrahim El Bouni (7)
  7. Lukas Achterberg (10)
  8. Valery Bizyaev (-)
  9. Ștefan Lătescu (-)
  10. Pascal Touré (-)

Dropped from the rankings: Luis Tavares (2), Stéphane Susperregui (5), Danyo Ilunga (9)

Luis Tavares will was removed from the rankings following his positive test for a banned substance on August 10th, 2022. He is currently scheduled to compete in a one-night, four-man heavyweight tournament on April 29th. He will be eligible for the rankings once he competes again. Brazil’s Felipe Micheletti moved up two spots in the rankings following his first win since 2019. The perennial top-10 light heavyweight scored a unanimous decision victory over top-10 heavyweight Nordine Mahieddine at GLORY 84. Lukas Achterberg improved his impressive undefeated career to 14-0 following his decision victory over Perry Reichling at Golden Event 3 in Würselen, Germany. Valery Bizyaev scored a second-round knockout of formerly top-10 ranked light heavyweight Ariel Machado at Ural FC 2 to make his rankings debut. Stéphane Susperregui and Danyo Ilunga drop out of the top-10 following 18 months of inactivity. Ștefan Lătescu makes his debut in the rankings following his second-round knockout over Seiya Tanigawa at K’Festa.6. Pascal Touré makes his rankings debut at 10.

Middleweight (85 kilograms)
  1. Donovan Wisse (1)
  2. Islam Murtazaev (2)
  3. Sergey Ponomarev (3)
  4. César Almeida (4)
  5. Serkan Özçağlayan (7)
  6. Khalid El Bakouri (6)
  7. Sergej Braun (8)
  8. Michael Boapeah (-)
  9. Ulric Bokeme (9)
  10. Eduard Aleksanyan (-)

Dropped from the rankings: Sher Mamazulunov (5), Jonatan Oliveira (10)

Serkan Özçağlayan picked up a massive left hook knockout over fellow top-10 competitior Sergej Braun at GLORY 84. Formerly fifth-ranked Sher Mamazulunov switched to a boxing career, which sees him leaving the middleweight rankings following his lack of inactivity and victories in the past 18 months. Michael Boapeah earned the biggest victory of his career at GLORY 84. He defeated former top-10 middleweight Ertuğrul Bayrak by unanimous decision at GLORY 84. Jonatan Oliveira drops from the rankings due to inactivity. Therefore, Eduard Aleksanyan makes his rankings debut.

Welterweight (79 kilograms)
  1. Regian Eersel (1)
  2. Endy Semeleer (2)
  3. Alim Nabiev (3)
  4. Dmitry Menshikov (4)
  5. Mohamed Touchassie (6)
  6. Jay Overmeer (10)
  7. Constantin Rusu (8)
  8. Chico Kwasi (-)
  9. Jamie Bates (-)
  10. Harut Grigorian (9)

Dropped from the rankings: Mohamed “Hamicha” Mezouari (5), Nieky Holzken (7)

Top-ranked welterweight Regian Eersel defeated Sinsamut Klinmee to defend his ONE Championship Muay Thai lightweight title. Eersel scored a beautiful fourth-round knockout to take home his 21st straight victory at ONE: Friday Fights 9. Mohamed Touchassie continues his assent of the welterweight rankings with his 14th straight victory. The 21-year-old Dutch-Morrocan fighter knocked out Soufian-Aoulad Abdelkhalek in the second round at Enfusion’s 8TKO 80kg Last 16 event this month. Jay Overmeer takes a giant leap in the rankings following back-to-back wins over previously top-10 ranked welterweights. He scored a huge victory over the returning Jamie Bates at GLORY 84, who previously defeated former GLORY champ Harut Grigorian. Chico Kwasi makes his rankings debut after an impressive stoppage victory over Romania’s Ștefan Orza at GLORY 84. Jamie Bates returns to the welterweight ranks following the exits of Nieky Holzken and Mohamed Mezouari due to inactivity.

Lightweight (71 kilograms)
  1. Chingiz Allazov (1)
  2. Superbon Singha Mawynn (2)
  3. Marat Grigorian (3)
  4. Sitthichai Sitsongpeenong (4)
  5. Tyjani Beztati (5)
  6. Giorgio Petrosyan (6)
  7. Tayfun Özcan (7)
  8. Mamuka Usubyan (8)
  9. Mohammed Boutasaa (9)
  10. Kaito Ono (10)

GLORY lightweight kingpin Tyjani Beztati bested Petchpanomrung Kiatmookao in a battle of champions at GLORY 84. Kaito Ono captured the RISE middleweight belt after defeating South Korea’s Lee Sung-hyun for his 17th straight victory.

Super Featherweight (68 kilograms)
  1. Jia Aoqi (2)
  2. Rukiya Anpo (4)
  3. Ayinta Ali (7)
  4. Ryota Nakano (8)
  5. Han Wenbao (10)
  6. Zhou Jiaqiang (-)
  7. Meng Gaofeng (-)
  8. Wang Pengfei (3)
  9. Kona Kato (9)
  10. Riki Matsuoka (-)

Dropped from the rankings: Masaaki Noiri (1), Liu Xiangming (5), Tie Yinghua (6)

Top-ranked Masaaki Noiri drops out of the super featherweight rankings after back-to-back bouts above the 68-kilogram weight limit. The talented Japanese fighter ran through grizzled veteran Dzhabar Askerov at K’Festa.6 in a catchweight bout. Ayinta Ali earned his third straight victory with his decision victory over Takumi Sanekata at the same event. Han Wenbao earned a decision victory over Younes Smaili at Wu Lin Feng 535. Meng Gaofeng and Zhou Jiaqiang enter the rankings following the exits of Noiri, Liu Xiangming and Tie Yinghua. Riki Matsuoka enters the rankings at 10 following his victory over Kaito at Krush 147.

Featherweight (66 kilograms)
  1. Petchpanomrung Kiatmookao (1)
  2. Petchtanong Petchfergus (2)
  3. Hiroki Akimoto (3)
  4. Tetsuya Yamato (4)
  5. Wei Rui (5)
  6. Kento Haraguchi (6)
  7. Chihiro Suzuki (-)
  8. Taiju Shiratori (-)
  9. Daizo Sasaki (7)
  10. Hideaki Yamazaki (8)

Dropped from the rankings: Capitan Petchyindee (9), Kosei Yamada (10)

GLORY featherweight king Petchpanomrung Kiatmookao failed in his attempt to capture lightweight gold when he dropped his championship bout against Tyjani Beztati at GLORY 84. The bout will not affect his standing in the featherweight division. Kento Haraguchi knocked out Jérémy Monteiro to capture the ISKA world title at RISE El Dorado 2023. Tetsuya Yamato defended his K-1 65-kilogram title with a victory over former K-1 champ Kenta Hayashi. Taiju Shiratori makes his featherweight rankings debut, becoming the first fighter in Combat Press rankings history to be ranked in three different weight divisions. Shiratori defeated Krush champion Daizo Sasaki at RISE El Dorado 2023. Chihiro Suzuki catapults himself into the featherweight rankings following his impressive first-round knockout over GLORY veteran Marcos Rios in his return to kickboxing. Due to the changes, Capitan Petchyindee (inactive) and Kosei Yamada (retired) drop from the top-10 rankings.

Super Bantamweight (64 kilograms)

  1. Yuki Yoza (2)
  2. Kongnapa Weerasakreck (1)
  3. Taio Asahisa (3)
  4. Zhu Shuai (5)
  5. Jin Ying (4)
  6. Chadd Collins (10)
  7. Fumiya Osawa (8)
  8. Chan Hyung Lee (9)
  9. Hiroki Kasahara (-)
  10. Kan Nakamura (-)

Dropped from the rankings: Koya Urabe (6), Zheng Jungfeng (7)

Yuki Yoza overtakes first position in the super bantamweight rankings following his second victory over former champion Taio Asahisa. Yoza won a unanimous decision to capture K-1 62.5-kilogram title at K’Festa.6. Chadd Collins was victorious in his bid to win the WMC muay thai world title with a second-round knockout over Fah Likit. The result doesn’t affect the super bantamweight rankings. Koya Urabe and Zheng Jungfeng drop out of the rankings due to inactivity. Kan Nakamura re-enters the rankings while Hiroki Kasahara makes his debut.

Bantamweight (61.2 kilograms)
  1. Leona Pettas (1)
  2. Hirotaka Asahisa (2)
  3. Ilias Ennahachi (3)
  4. Chan Hyung Lee (4)
  5. Hyuma Hitachi (5)
  6. Yuta Murakoshi (6)
  7. Yuki Kasahara (7)
  8. Chihiro Nakajima (8)
  9. Tomoya Yokoyama (9)
  10. Huang Shuailu (10)

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

Super Flyweight (58 kilograms)
  1. Taito Gunji (1)
  2. Haruto Yasumoto (-)
  3. Toma Tanabe (2)
  4. Shoki Kaneda (3)
  5. Tatsuya Tsubakihara (4)
  6. Wang Junguang (6)
  7. Keisuke Monguchi (7)
  8. Riku Morisaka (-)
  9. Shuhei Kumura (5)
  10. Ryusei Kumagai (9)

Dropped from the rankings: Takahito Niimi (8), Kaito Sakaguchi (10)

Top-ranked super flyweight Taito Gunji defended his K-1 featherweight title by majority decisiona against former Channel 7 stadium champion View Petchkoson at K’Festa.6. Haruto Yasumoto makes his rankings debut after toppling previously second-ranked Toma Tanabe by unanimous decision. Riku Morisaka pulled off the upset victory against Shuhei Kumura to capture the Krush 58-kilogram title at Krush 147. RISE champ Keisuke Monguchi moved up one spot in the rankings following his smooth victory over former Krush titleholder Takahito Niimi, who exits the rankings. Ryusei Kumagai needed an extra round to defeat Thailand’s Petchsansaeb Sor.Jor Tongprachin at KNOCK OUT 2023 Super Bout Blaze.

Flyweight (56.7 kilograms)
  1. Shiro Matsumoto (1)
  2. Masashi Kumura (5)
  3. Masahiko Suzuki (2)
  4. Akihiro Kaneko (3)
  5. Kompetch Sitsarawatsuer (4)
  6. Koki Osaki (6)
  7. Rui Ebata (7)
  8. Junki Sasaki (8)
  9. Mutsuki Ebata (9)
  10. Jonathan Di Bella (10)

Number one flylweight Shiro Matsumoto won the inaugural RISE bantamweight belt by knocking out Diesellek Wor.Wanchai at RISE El Dorado 2023. Masashi Kumura bested former RISE champion Masahiko Suzuki following a heated three round contest at K’Festa.6. Akihiro Kaneko bested Kompetch Sitsarawatsuer by majority decision to retain the K-1 super bantamweight title.

Strawweight (54 kilograms and below)
  1. Kazuki Osaki (1)
  2. Toki Tamaru (-)
  3. Kazane Nagai (2)
  4. Toma Kuroda (3)
  5. Ryu Hanaoka (4)
  6. Jin Mandokoro (5)
  7. Issei Ishii (6)
  8. Koji Ikeda (8)
  9. Kazuki Miburo (9)
  10. Ryuki Matsuda (-)

Dropped from the rankings: Auto Muangpaphum (7), Koudai Hirayama (10)

Top-ranked strawweight Kazuki Osaki rolled over Spain’s Javier Cecilio in the first round at RISE El Dorado 2023. Former RISE 53-kilogram titleholder Toki Tamaru bested second-ranked Kazane Nagai over three rounds, which pushes him near the top of the rankings following his return. Issei Ishii originally dropped his bout against Yodsila Chor.Hapayak at K’Festa.6. However, due to a review following the contest, the fight was scored a draw. Ryuki Matsuda knocked Koudai Hirayama out of the rankings for the first time since the division was added in 2020. Due to Koudai falling out of the top-10 rankings, Auto Muangpaphum leaves as well due to Ryuki Matsuda having a better kickboxing resume.

  1. Chingiz Allazov (1)
  2. Superbon Singha Mawynn (2)
  3. Marat Grigorian (3)
  4. Kazuki Osaki (4)
  5. Sitthichai Sitsongpeenong (5)
  6. Artem Vakhitov (6)
  7. Wei Rui (7)
  8. Rico Verhoeven (8)
  9. Petchpanomrung Kiatmookao (9)
  10. Taito Gunji (10)

Kazuki Osaki cemented his place near the top of the pound-for-pound rankings with an all too easy showing at RISE El Dorado 2023. Petchpanomrung Kiatmookao was defeated by fifth-ranked lightweight Tyjani Beztati at GLORY 84. However, he remains ranked above him in the pound-for-pound rankings due to their overall resume. Taito Gunji eeked out a decision victory, but could drop from the rankings with another poor performance in the future. Yuki Yoza and Tyjani Beztati sit just outside the top-10 following impressive victories.

Women’s Pound-For-Pound
  1. Tiffany van Soest (1)
  2. Kana Morimoto (3)
  3. Jorina Baars (5)
  4. Sarel de Jong (4)
  5. Miyuu Sugawara (-)
  6. Li Mingrui (-)
  7. Phayahong Ayothaya Gym (7)
  8. Koyuki Miyazaki (8)
  9. Sarah Moussadak (9)
  10. Martine Michieletto (10)

Dropped from the rankings: Anissa Meksen (2), Kotomi (6)

One of the best female fighters in the past decade, Anissa Meksen, sees her time atop the pound-for-pound rankings end due to 18 months of inactivity under kickboxing rules. Her storied reign atop the rankings comes to an end as her, her management, and ONE Championship continue to disagree on the direction of her career. As unfortunate as it is, Meksen leaves the rankings for the first time since its inception in November 2016. Kana Morimoto scored another big knockout victory for her fourth consecutive victory. She stopped GLORY veteran Funda Alkayış with low kicks in the second round. Jorina Baars defended her Enfusion women’s featherweight title against Sweden’s Emma Abrahamsson at Enfusion 120. Previously sixth-ranked Kotomi drops from the rankings due to inactivity. Li Mingrui makes her rankings debut following her unanimous decision victory over Ella Van Grapperhaus at Wu Lin Feng 535. She hasn’t lost a bout since 2017. Koyuki Miyazaki defeated South Korean Byun Bo-Kyeong at RISE El Dorado 2023.

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.