Jochen Pfeiffer is back to his rightful place at the top of the Fight Night Combat Current Rankings, which is calculated from the past 52 weeks of tournament play. Since the start of the official rankings in January 2013, he's spent a total of 133 in the top spot.
Jochen lost his number one place in back in August of 2015 after losing in the round of 8 at the EJC in Bruneck. Combined with his loss to Luke Burrage in the final of the NJF Fight Night earlier that year, and Luke's run to the final of the EJC, Luke took the number one spot. Following that, Jochen becoming a father (congratulations!) meant a restricted conventioneering schedule... but now he's back! Jochen went undefeated in all four of his tournaments last year, including winning the EJC for the ninth time and the European Masters for the first time.
Luke has dropped down to number two in the rankings again, mostly due to dropping his 750 points from winning the BJC 2016 Fight Night. Luke spent 78 weeks at number one, despite losing to Jochen five times in that span, keeping his rankings total above Jochen by taking part in twice as many tournaments.
Julius Preu is at number three in the current rankings, which will help his seeding at the EJC this summer. Markus Utke is up three places to fourth on the back of his win at the Israel Juggling Convention.
Returning to the top 10 for the first time since November 2014 is Matty Schneider helped by his 750 points from the BJC 2016.
At the top of the 2017 Race Rankings, after 17 tournaments, is Cameron Ford. His run to the final of the BJC netted him 450 points, and that's on top of his win in Bath, second place in Leeds, and third place in York.
Julius Preu drops to second in the race, despite not losing a match so far this year, due to his tournament wins only being worth, on average, about 250 points. Matty Shneider enters at third in the 2017 race, and as long as he takes part in at least two other tournaments in 2017, is automatically qualified for the European Masters end-of-year finals in November.
Three tournaments are happening over the coming weekend. The first tournament in California is being organised by Kyle Johnson at the Manipulation 2017 Festival. In the UK, Leicester Fight Night is aiming to be a Prestige 300 event, depending on the size and strength of the field. And in Italy, Ian Deady is hoping to win his first Brianza Fight Night after being stopped in the past few by Luke Burrage and Remi De Vos.
JuggleLab, the juggling club at the National Institute of Circus Arts, hosted their first ever Fight Night, a Minor 175 level event. 16 jugglers took part in the group combat qualification rounds, with the eight winners making it to the knockout. Julius met two familiar opponents in his last two matches...
Byron Hutton won the Fight Night at the Melbourne Juggling Festival in 2014, but lost to Julius in his semi-final match this time. He had to settle for third, beating Domenyk La Terra in the third place match. Byron also lost to Julius in the final of the New Zealand 2017 Fight Night last month. So far, in five Fight Nights, Byron has yet to finish lower than third place.
In the final in Melbourne Julius beat Joe Fisher, the same result as their meeting in the final at the Newcastle Fight Night in January.
Julius has now won 12 knockout matches in a row, with four tournament victories worth 1125 rankings points in total, going back to Karlsruhe 2016. This is the fifth longest winning streak in the FNC records, with only Jochen Pfeiffer, Eóin Allan and Luke Burrage having gone more matches without a loss. As for current winning streaks, Julius's 12 in a row lags a long way behind Jochen's 21 wins since his loss in the round of 8 at the EJC in 2015.
Thanks to Liz Louden for organising the tournament in Melbourne, to Simon Wright for hosting, and to Kieran McNamara for the photography.
See all the results and details from the JuggleLab 2017 Fight Night here: http://fightnightcombat.com/tournament-JuggleLab-2017.html
Congratulations to Markus Utke for winning the Israel 2017 Fight Night last weekend. He was almost untouchable for the entire event, losing only two points in four qualification matches and three knockout matches.
Check out this 6 minutes 35 second video of every point of the tournament:
The video also features a showdown between Eivind Dragsjø and Onni Toivonen, Lauge Benjaminsen mostly defeated himself, messing up his signature shoulder-roll-turn manoeuvre three times to allow Yaron Davidovich through to the semi-finals, and Bar Mualem pulling off a come-from-behind victory against Alex Leymann.
21 jugglers took part in the qualifications, and 8 made it into the knockout. Onni Toivonen earned himself a wildcard by beating 8th seed Daniel Latorre for a place in the round of 8.
This National 425 tournament is Markus's biggest victory so far, and moves him up to fourth in the 52 Week Current Rankings.
Thanks to Ofek Rafaeli for organising the tournament, and to Sarah Richter for the photo and video footage. See all the tournament results and details here: http://fightnightcombat.com/tournament-Israel-2017.html
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