It’s been a while since a non-monthly event or yearly top 10 has been posted but they are being brought back with the top 10 kickboxers.
Please note that these rankings are done based on kickboxing careers.
10) Joe Schilling
One of the more recent fighters on this list, Joe Schilling won multiple championships in Muay Thai before crossing over into the now top kickboxing organization Glory, in which he won the 2013 Glory Middleweight Championship.
He has crossed into Bellator MMA in both their MMA and kickboxing divisions, with more success in kickboxing.
9) Mike Bernardo
Late South African kickboxer Mike Bernardo like the aforementioned Schilling, has had success in Muay Thai and also in boxing before dipping into kickboxing. A K-1 legend, having fought fighters like Ernesto Hoost, Andy Hug, and Musashi to name a few.
Bernardo placed in the K-1 World Grand Prix three times and won several regional tournaments. His sole MMA match was a draw against Nobuhiko Takada at the Inoki Bom-Ba-Ye 2001 show.
8) Ray Sefo
Ray Sefo won several regional and world kickboxing titles before transitioning into K-1 during the heyday and placing in the K-1 World Grand Prix along with qualifying for it multiple times.
In MMA he ultimately went even at 2-2 but is most prominently the current president of the Professional Fighters League.
7) Jérôme Le Banner
As with several other fighters on this list, Jérôme Le Banner won multiple Muay Thai and kickboxing title before crossing over into the elite K-1 organization and placing in the K-1 World Grand Prix multiple times.
Le Banner has fought in MMA seven times, the latest earlier this year.
6) Tyrone Spong
Tyrone Spong is another fighter who has had success in both boxing and kickboxing on several levels. However, Spong is one of several fighters who left the weakening K-1 organization for the at the time rising Glory organization where he won the 2013 tournament.
Spong’s MMA experience consisted of two World Series of Fighting matches which he both won.
5) Mark Hunt
At the time that Mark Hunt began his kickboxing career, he had less experience in kickboxing but still launched into K-1 for a successful career. He won multiple regional K-1 tournaments and pulled a successful upset by winning the 2001 K-1 World Grand Prix.
He would go onto have a career in promotions such as Pride, Dream and the UFC where he actually challenged for the UFC interim title.
4) Alistair Overeem
Alistair Overeem was very unique in that he had success in both MMA and kickboxing at the championship level. In kickboxing he won the 2010 K-1 World Grand Prix, though at the time when the competitive level in K-1 had decreased.
Meanwhile in MMA, Overeem won both the Dream and Strikeforce Heavyweight Championships around the same time.
3) Mirko Filipović
This is a rare example of a fighter who had kickboxing success after MMA. Legendary kickboxer Mirko Filipović got close to winning the K-1 World Grand Prix but didn’t make it before he went into MMA full time.
However in 2012, Filipović returned to K-1 and finally achieved his long awaited goal of the K-1 World Grand Prix Champion. Since then he’s sadly retired due to a stroke.
2) Peter Aerts
Several legends on this list, Peter Aerts won several kickboxing and Muay Thai championships before crossing into K-1 during the golden era. He went onto become one of the most successful K-1 champions in history by winning the K-1 World Grand Prix three times.
His MMA career was nowhere near as prestigious as he won one out of three matches.
1) Semmy Schiltz
Semmy Schiltz is considered one of the all time greats in not just K-1 but kickboxing in general. Schiltz won four K-1 World Grand Prix tournaments as well as a Glory tournament.
However, he not only fought in promotions such as the UFC, Pride and Pancrase, but also won the Pancrase openweight title.