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M-1 Muay Thai/It's Showtime Japan 5 Results: Umeno, Tsukahara, TOMA Claim Titles, Saenchi Wins

  • Written by Dave Walsh

Earlier today at Differ Ariake in Tokyo, M-1 held its second co-promotion with It's Showtime Japan headlined by two WPMF World Title fights, a WPMF Japan title fight, a WPMF Japan #1 contender's bout and a fight with Saenchai Sinbimuaythai.

In the night's main event, rising star Genji Umeno captured his 8th straight win with a 1st round KO via elbow at 2:39 into the round over Dekkamon HimaraiGym to net him the WPMF World Super Featherweight title. This moves the 22 year old's record to 18-1(9 KO) and may move him up further in the Lumpinee Stadium rankings, where he currently sits ninth. Up next for Umeno is an exciting showdown with WPMF Japan Featherweight champion Yosuke Morii on December 22nd. Should he get past Morii, I would assume he would begin to focus on capturing a Lumpinee Stadium title, which he may be able to do being in a relatively weak division.

In the co-main event, WPMF Japan Lightweight champion Arita Tsukahara upset WPMF World Lightweight champion Kanongsuk Weerasakreck with a 4th round TKO at 2:26 into the round to capture the WPMF World Lightweight title. This is a surprising result as Kanongsuk had been on an absolute tear lately, going 8-1 in his last 9 with wins over Rashata, Genki Yamamoto, Hiromasa Masuda and Satoshi Endo with his only loss to Kan Itabashi. Tsukahara was coming off of a loss to Masahiro Yamamoto back in August. Both fighters' futures are unknown at the moment, but both could find themselves fighting at the December 22nd Fujiwara Festival event.

In the night's last title bout, WPMF Japan Super Flyweight champion TO-MA picked up the vacant WPMF Japan Bantamweight title with a unanimous decision win over the previously undefeated Takuma Ito on scores of 50-47(x2) and 50-46. The title belonged to Ichinohe Sota, though I'm not sure why he vacated it as his only fight since winning it back in April was a draw against Takuma Ito. Regardless, TO-MA has a few options going forward, as he could face Sota, Arashi Fujiwara in a rematch or recently crowned WBC Japan champions Ryuji Kato or Ryuya Kusakabe. For Ito it's back to the drawing board as he has 21 year old has recorded his only two blemishes on his record in the past 6 months. A matchup with recent WBC Japan title challengers Kojiro or Shuichi Uentsu would be a good test for Ito.

In the main non-title fight, renowned Thai fighter Saenchai Sinbimuaythai took longer than most would have expected to dispose of J-Network Super Lightweight champion Shunsuke Oishi, with Saenchai finishing him off at 1:35 into the 4th round. I do not know how the fight went, but the result isn't too bad for Oishi who could have a future in K-1. For Saenchai it's a 5th straight win and puts him at 17-2 since the start of 2010.

Finally, in a #1 contender's bout for the WPMF Japan Featherweight title, 5th ranked Yuji Umehara upset 2nd ranked Hiroki Nagashima with a 1st round TKO as a result of a cut. Umehara is now set to face current champion Yosuke Morii, however with Morii set to face Umeno on December 22nd and the way this fight ended, there could be a rematch between the two. {jcomments on}

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