Fight For Japan: Genki Desu Ka Omisoka 2011 took place today in Tokyo, Japan and featured a few notable kickboxers on the card. Yuta Kubo and Masaaki Noiri, arguably the top two fighters that K-1 has at 63kg, fought in separate bouts. Long time K-1 legends Peter Aerts and Jerome Le Banner both took part in pro wrestling matches.
Yuta Kubo fought Nils Widlund, a Swedish San Shou stylist. The first round saw Widlund treating the fight like a San Shou match, consistently catching Kubo's kicks and sending him to the ground. Kubo was landing all the notable shots though and began to really take over in the second round. By the third round, Widlund was there to be finished and Kubo turned up the pace, going for the finish. A right high kick followed by a knee to the body dropped Widlund and the Swede didn't get up. Kubo won all six of his fights in 2011.
Masaaki Noiri took on Kengo Sonoda and took a unanimous decision. Sonoda was able to land a bit, but Noiri's arms and gloves absorbed most of the shots. Noiri's offense was just much more dynamic than Sonoda's and ultimately lead to the win. This win is Noiri's second of December, coming three weeks after his spectacular KO of Koya Urabe at Krush.14.
Peter Aerts faced long time MMA veteran Kazuyuki Fujita. Aerts hit Fujita with a lot of punches and at one point even hit him with a high kick that seemed to actually hurt Fujita. Fujita got Aerts in a Boston crab and Aerts tapped out. It looked like Aerts may have legitimately hurt his back. Jerome Le Banner was up against former UFC heavyweight champ Tim Sylvia. Sylvia took down Le Banner a few times before Jerome figured just to actually hurt Tim. Le Banner hit Sylvia with a liver kick, just like the one he hit Andrei Kirsanov with yesterday and Tim went down. A few knockdowns later and some ground and pound and Jerome Le Banner was declared the winner.
Overall, obviously some more kickboxing would've been nice, but we got what we could in terms of fights. Let's hope good things are in store for kickboxing in 2012.