MA Kick held an event titled Kick Guts 2012, a memorial event dedicated to Hisao Maki, founder of the Maki Dojo and a big name in Kyokushinkai, who passed away in January. The event featured an MA Kick title fight, a WPMF title fight, a WBC Japan #1 contender fight, a WPMF Japan #1 contender fight, an MA Kick #1 contender fight and a pair of MA Kick champions taking on well-known Thais in superfights.
In the night's main event, 2010 K-1 Koshien runner-up Hiroki Akimoto remained undefeated in his professional career with a 1st round stoppage due to a cut at 1:28 of Hiroki Fujisawa, netting him the MA Kick Featherweight title. Akimoto cut Fujisawa with an elbow and swarmed on him, leading to a standing 8 count which then led to a doctor stoppage due to the cut. Akimoto (16-0-0, 8 KO) made it to the quarterfinals of the 2009 K-1 Koshien tournament where he lost to finalist Shota Shimada and made it to the finals himself the following year, taking out the likes of Keigo Ishida and 2011 champ Sho Ogawa, before being stopped by Shohei Hareyama in the 3rd round of the final. Despite those losses, Akimoto is still undefeated in his pro career and since that loss to Hareyama, he has now won his last 7 fights by knockout, including KOs of Turbo and Pinsiam Sor. Amnuaysirichok. Though his record is impressive, Akimoto is rather untested and there are a lot of names at 57.5kg that could challenge him, including Yosuke Morii, Genji Umeno, Heihachi Nakajima and even Ryuya Kusakabe, should he move up. Nevertheless, Akimoto has a very bright future with his 20th birthday coming in just over a month and is another exciting product of the K-1 Koshien system.
In the co-main event, former WPMF Japan Welterweight champ Daiki Watabe scored a TKO due to a cut in the 4th round at 2:08 over #1 ranked MA kick Welterweight Yukimaru to earn a shot at Yuya Yamato's WBC Japan Welterweight title. Watabe dropped Yukimaru in the 2nd and 3rd rounds and was in control of the fight until the stoppage. Watabe (13-8-1, 9 KO) is a REBELS regular, though he is just 1-3 in his last 4 fights for the organization and 2-3 in his last 5 overall, dropping a pair of decisions to T-98 which lost him his WPMF Japan title and losing to Chi Bin Lim. This is a solid win for him, though I don't think he has much chance against Yamato. The fight is set for October 7th, which shouldn't be a problem for Yamato who has a tough test in Yuta Kubo on August 26th in Krush.
In a 51kg bout, WBC and WPMF Japan Flyweight champion Ryuji Kato was able to defend his WPMF title with a 4th round KO of Shuichi Wentz at 1:43 via knee. Kato (18-3-1, 9 KO) finished 2011 strong, winning a 4-man tournament with a pair of KOs to claim the first WPMF Japan Flyweight title and then defeating Naoki Otsuki for his WBC Japan Flyweight title. However, 2012 was not as good for Kato, who lost his MA Kick Flyweight title to Yuuji, then followed it up with a loss to Ngoprajan Chuwattana. This win snaps his 2-fight losing streak. After the fight, he called out WPMF Japan Super-Flyweight champ Kiminori Matsuzaki, who defeated his teammate Takuma Ito for the WPMF Japan title. Wentz (15-8-1, 6 KO) had most recently defeated the aforementioned Yuuji in M-1, snapping a 5-fight winless streak that dated back to 2010 which saw him lose twice to TO-MA, go 0-1-1 against Yuki and lose to Romie Adanza. This loss is another setback, though Wentz's only losses have come to top names and usually in title matches. He has a wealth of options, with possible rematches against TO-MA, Yuki and Yuuji, possibly for the MA Kick title, or fresh matchups against Taisuke Degai or Takahiro.
Analysis of Machida-Kanongsuk, Miyamoto-Pinsiam and Sho Ogawa's bout and quick results after the break
At 62kg, MA Kick Super Featherweight champ Hikaru Machida and Kanongsuk Weerasakreck fought to a split draw on scores of 30-28, 29-30 and 29-29. Kanongsuk was leading on 2 of the scorecards heading into the final round, but Machida was able to hurt him with combinations to even it up on one scorecard and hold his lead on the other. This is now the second draw of the year for Machida (15-4-2, 5 KO) who drew Keijiro Miyaksohi earlier this year and most recently outclassed J-Network Super Featherweight champ Kentaro Kimura en route to a stoppage. He has a lot of promise, but I see this as a bit of a disappointment for him as Kanongsuk is on a bit of a downslide, though he is still one hell of a fighter. After a big win over Rashata at the beginning of 2011, Kanongsuk (64-19-2, 22 KO) is now on a 5-fight winless streak which includes losing his WPMF World Lightweight title to Arita Tsukahara, a pair of losses to Sualek Rukukamui to lose his M-1 Lightweight title and a loss to Yuya Yamato at the Hoost Cup. This draw is much better than a loss, but Kanongsuk still has a ways to go before regaining his status at 60-63kg.
At 56kg, MA Kick Super Bantamweight champion Keisuke Miyamoto and former Lumpinee Stadium Bantamweight and Super Bantamweight champion Pinsiam Maki (aka Pinsiam Sangmorakot/Sor Amnuaysirichok) fought to a majority draw on scores of 29-29(x2) and 29-30. Pinsiam has been fighting in Japan for a few years, though he's not the same fighter as he was when he won Lumpinee's Fighter of the Year in 2004, as evidenced by a KO loss to Hiroki Akimoto. Miyamoto (13-1-1, 6 KO) is yet another K-1 Koshien product, making it to the quarterfinals in 2009 where he lost to eventual champion Masaaki Noiri. The 19 year old started his pro career with 9 straight wins, but was handed his first loss by Takayuki Umehara last September. This draw snaps a 4 fight winning streak which most recently saw him take a decision over NJKF Super Bantamweight champ Arato. Next for Miyamoto is a defense of his title against Kunihiro, who scored a KO on this card for the right to challenge for Miyamoto's title.
Finally, 2011 K-1 Koshien champ Sho Ogawa pushed his win streak to 4 straight with a unanimous decision over #2 ranked MA Kick Super Lightweight Minoru Kimura on scores of 30-29(x2) and 30-28. Ogawa made it to the finals of a K-1 Koshien regional qualifier in 2009 only to be halted by this event's main draw, Hiroki Akimoto. After a pair of wins, he went 0-1-1, losing to RISE title challenger Motochika Hanada and drawing 2010 Koshien champ Shohei Hareyama in Krush. From there, he entered the Krush Youth tournament, taking an extension round decision over Krush 60kg tournament winner Fumiya Osawa before losing to Hiroya, but not without tagging the fellow Koshien champ. He won a reserve fight for the Krush Youth tournament, then won the 2011 K-1 Koshien tournament. Most recently, he took a win over Yuta Nogami at the Hoost Cup.
Vacant MA Kick Featherweight Title Fight: Hiroki Akimoto def. Hiroki Fujisawa by 1st round TKO (cut) at 1:28 to win the vacant MA Kick Featherweight Title
WBC Japan Welterweight #1 Contender Fight: Daiki Watabe def. Yukimaru by 4th round TKO (cut) at 2:08
WPMF Japan Flyweight Title Fight: Ryuji Kato (c) def. Shuichi Wentz by 4th round KO (knee) at 1:43
62kg Fight: Hikaru Machida and Kanongsuk Weerasakreck fought to a 3rd round Split Draw (30-28, 29-29, 29-30)
56kg Fight: Keisuke Miyamoto and Pinsiam Maki fought to a 3rd round Majority Draw (29-29, 29-29, 29-30)
WPMF Japan Welterweight #1 Contender Fight: Jun Nakazawa def. Kou Suman by 5th round Unanimous Decision (49-48, 49-48, 48-47)
MA Kick Super Bantamweight #1 Contender Fight: Kunihiro def. MASATO by 2nd round KO (right cross) at 2:52
63.5kg Fight: Sho Ogawa def. Minoru Kimura by 3rd round Unanimous Decision (30-29, 30-29, 30-28)