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LiverKick 2016 Awards: Prospect of the Year - Tenshin Nasukawa

Part of kickboxing's struggles has been in introducing new talent in the face of the ongoing growth of MMA. MMA pays better, there are more opportunities in it and for a top-level striker the transition to MMA can often feel like an easy one (until they meet the limitations of their grappling abilities). That's why when a new star is born in kickboxing it feels special. That is what happened this past year with Tenshin Nasukawa. At the tail end of the year the 18-year-old dynamo who made a name for himself as an amateur in Japan and through his limited muay thai fights fought in the new Japanese promotion KNOCK OUT.

The show lived up to its name and Tenshin's fight was perhaps the best example of that. He made short work of Wanchalong and it become one of the most-talked-about knockouts of the year. Then he made his MMA debut in December for RIZIN with a dramatic submission escape only to finish off his opponent. He then took the house mic and demanded another fight in two days at the next event, to which the promotion was happy to oblige. In his second MMA fight he won via submission and, really, he's a muay thai fighter/kickboxer who won via submission in his second MMA fight.

There is a lot of Japanese talent right now in kickboxing, but none of them have broken through like Masato was able to, facilitating the creation of K-1 MAX. Is Tenshin that guy? Perhaps. It is also a lot of pressure to put on a young fighter, but there is a lot of potential there and he has the world's attention.

The 2016 LiverKick Awards

For more, listen to our year-end podcast.

 

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Check Out Steven Wright's 2016 Year in Kickfighting Highlight

There was a lot of really great action in the sports of muay thai and kickboxing over the span of 2016. Promotions sprouted up, powered forward and put forth their best fighters in exciting fights and MMA striking and kickboxing coach Steven Wright has once again put together his annual "Best of Kickfighting" video featuring some of the greatest moments from the past year.

Check it out.

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Andy Souwer Calls Out Giorgio Petrosyan For a Third Clash

When it comes to the world famous Giorgio Petrosyan, there are a number of fights that his fans want to see, but perhaps won't ever get to see those fights happen. Fights with Masato, Buakaw and Yodsanklai are perhaps never going to happen, as most likely we won't see the rematch with Ristie at this point either. Chances of a Sitthichai showdown seem slim considering Sitthichai is with GLORY and Petrosyan is with Bellator.

But what about one of the men that Petrosyan beat to cement his status as one of the all-time greats, Andy Souwer? 

That is the exact question that Andy Souwer posed via Facebook earlier today, when he replied to Petrosyan posting footage from their last clash in K-1 MAX. Andy Souwer would like a third chance to fight Giorgio Petrosyan and honestly, who wouldn't want to see that fight? Petrosyan's next scheduled bout is W5 Grand Prix KITEK XXXIX against Artem Pashporin on February 18th and he'll probably participate in the April Oktagon/Bellator event. Other than that? Things seem rather wide open for a potential rematch with another all-time great.

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Glory of Heroes 6: Genesis Card for January 13th

Glory of Heroes returns at 9am Eastern time streaming on YY.com with Glory of Heroes 6, featuring their 57.5kg tournament finals. The card, featuring recognizable names like Kem Sitsongpeenong, Zhou Zhipeng, Sergio Wielzen, Maykol Yurk and more promises to deliver on action. 

Card via Kiksie.

57.5kg Tournament Semifinals

Wang Junguang (China) vs. Youshida Akira (Japan)

Yun Qi (China) vs. Hamech Hakim

68kg

Tie Yinghua (China) vs. Maykol Yurk (Brazil)

63kg

Deng Zeqi (China) vs. Stavros Exakoustidis (Greece)

67kg

Yang Zhuo (China) vs. Charles Francois (France)

63kg

Wei Rui (China) vs. Petpanomrung Kiatmoo9 (Thailand)

66kg

Qiu Jianliang (China) vs. Kem Sitsongpeenong (Thailand)

73kg

Zhou Zhipeng (China) vs. Seyedisa Alamdarnezam (Iran)

60kg

Li Ning (China) vs. Sergio Wielzen (Netherlands)

57.5kg Tournament Final

TBA vs. TBA

 

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Wu Lin Feng Card including Kaew and Kubo

Wu Lin Feng (WLF) will be holding a show this weekend Jan 14 at the Henan TV Studio 8 in Zhengzhou, Henan, China. Thanks to our friends at kiksie.com we have the full card and still hoping for a link. This card has some huge names like the current K-1 65kgs champ Kaew Weerasakreck, Yi long, Fang Bian, Yuta Kubo, Saiyok plus a great 70kg 4-man tournament featuring Enriko Kehl and also an 8-man 63kgs tournament.

Full Card

70kg Tournament Reserve Fight - Song Shaoqiu (China) vs. Hassan Toy (Netherlands)

16-man 70kg Tournament Semifinals

Semifinal 1 - Farkhad Akhmejanau (Belarus) vs. Enriko Kehl (Germany)

Semifinal 2 - Jiao Fukai (China) vs. Shamil Gasanbekov (Russia)

 

8-man 63kg Tournament Quarterfinals

Quarter Final 1 - Wang Zhiwei (China) vs. Adrian Maxim (Romania)

Quarter Final 2 - Jin Ying (China) vs. Joan Canaveral (Colombia)

Quarter Final 3 - Zhao Fuxiang (China) vs. Joey Baylon (New Zealand)

Quarter Final 4 - Liu Wei (China) vs. Tamerlan Bashirov (Russia)

 

73.5kg - Sun Weiqiang (China) vs. Saiyok Pumpanmuang (Thailand)

67.5kg - Xie Lei (China) vs. Yuta Kubo (Japan)

65kg - Wang Pengfei (China) vs. Kaew Weerasakreck (Thailand)

75kg - Yi Long (China) vs. Marco Piqué (Suriname)

 

63kg Tournament Semifinals

Winner Quarter Final 1 vs. Winner Quarter Final 2

Winner Quarter Final 3 vs. Winner Quarter Final 4

 

70kg Tournament Final - Winner Semifinal 1 vs. Winner Semifinal 2

 

80kg - Fang Bian (China) vs. Berat Aliu (Germany)

93kg - Hao Guanghua (China) vs. Oleg Primachev (Ukraine)

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First Details on February 18th Enfusion Live Card

Enfusion Live returns on February 18th with their next event, Enfusion Live #46, featuring Daniel Sam vs. Fikri Ameziane, Yassin Baitar vs. Crice Boussoukou and the rematch that everyone has been waiting for in Nordin Ben Moh against Mohammed Jaraya. The first fight between the two was perhaps the fight of the year in 2016 and expectations are extremely high for this bout.

Enfusion World Title: Ilias Bulaid vs. Zakaria Zouggary

Ismael Lazaar vs. Martin Pacas

Ibrahim El Boustati vs. Ulrik Bokeme

Enfusion League: Tafun Ozcan vs. Jonay Risco

Enfusion League: Nordin Ben-Moh vs. Mohammed Jaraya

Enfusion League: Yassin Baitar vs. Crice Boussoukou

Samantha Van Doorn vs. Georgina Van Der linden

Fikri Ameziane vs. Daniel Sam

Aziz Kallah vs. Endy Semeleer

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Card for SuperStar Fight VII on Jan. 13th featuring Cosmo, Nattawut and More

On January 13th Chinese promotion SuperStar Fight will run their seventh event. The promotion, a subsidiary of Chinese congolomerate Huahua Media, looks to meld together entertainment with sport by featuring not only fighting stars of multiple disciplines per show (kickboxing muay thai, MMA), but also featuring film, television and cosplay stars during their events. 

Here's a look at their upcoming card.

Shiqiang Song(CHN) VS Li Yang(CHN)---62Kg of Kickboxing 3R/3M

Wu Zhang(CHN) VS Xuchao Gao(CHN)---66Kg of Kickboxing 3R/3M

Xianchao Zhao(CHN) VS Zhijie Deng(CHN)---65Kg of MMA 3R/5M

Alexin Donnie(USA) VS Riguleng Baoshe(CHN)---75Kg Tournament,Semi-final 3R/3M

Carlos Hicks(NZL) VS Shiyuan Li(CHN)---75Kg Tournament,Semi-final 3R/3M

Jo Nattawut(TH) VS Yan Zhao(CHN)---70Kg of Kickboxing 3R/3M

Cosmo Alexandre(BRA) VS Xiaofeng Tan(CHN)---77Kg of Muay Thai 3R/3M

KANG JIN HEE(KOR) VS Dandan Hu(CHN)---63Kg of MMA (Fighting Goddess)  3R/5M

Naoya Fukuoka(JPN) VS Dongqiang Lu(CHN)---65Kg of Kickboxing 3R/3M

Beno Adamia(GEO) VS Buren Wuliji(CHN)---63Kg of MMA  3R/5M

Mohammadhos Sein Doroudian(IR) VS Zhenyou Huang(CHN)---75Kg of Kickboxing  3R/3M

Nuralizoda Fozil(TJK) VS Rong Fan(CHN)---85Kg of MMA  3R/5M

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VIDEO: Masato's Fight With Takanori Gomi From New Year's Eve

While the legendary Masato may be retired, that doesn't mean that he doesn't like to entertain audiences from time-to-time. For the second year in a row, Masato participated in an exhibition bout for the New Year's Eve variety show Kyokugen in Japan. Last year was a bout with rival KID Yamamoto, while this year was a kickboxing exhibition bout with PRIDE lightweight legend Takanori Gomi.

Both men were a huge part of the boom years of Japan's obsession with kakutougi and this fight did take a back seat to RIZIN due to its nature, but it's still worth a watch and has some really crazy moments for two guys fighting for essentially nothing but fun.

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Updated Card for KNOCK OUT vol.1 on Feb. 12th

KNOCK OUT has provided an updated look at their second event, KNOCK OUT vol.1, which takes place on February 12th from the Ota-city General Gym in Japan. The card features now two-time MMA veteran Tenshin Nasukawa who made his MMA debut at RIZIN in the final days of December, scoring a TKO victory only to come back two days later and score a submission victory, making an even bigger name for himself in Japan. He's still without an opponent, but the main event promises to be a big one with Genji Umeno taking on Juan Mario Kaewsamrit.

UPDATE: 1/11

They've added a few more fights to the mix, including Tenshin Nasukawa getting an opponent in Amnat Ruenroeng. It's another former Thai champion for the young Tenshin.

2017.2.12 "KNOCK OUT vol.1" Ota-city General Gymnasium

3×5R 61.5kg 135lb

Genji Umeno(37W,7L,3D) vs juan mario kaewsamrit (88W,40L,4D)

3×5R 67kg 147lb

Kenta(44W,16L,4D) vs Indo Shinya(14W,5L,1D)

3×5R 64kg 141lb

Fukashi(28W,8L,2D) vs Yamaguti Hiroto(20W,9L)

Tenshin Nasukawa(17W) vs Amnat Ruenroeng(67勝34敗15D)

Hikaru Machida(30W,12L,3D) vs DJ.taiki(4W2L)

Hirotoshi Murata(21W8L2D) vs Yosuke Morii(36W7L3D)

Hiroya Haga(16W5L3D) vs Eisaku Ogasawara(23W3L)

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Tenshin Nasukawa Makes RIZIN MMA Debut And Cements Superstar Status

Eighteen-year-old Japanese kickboxing sensation Tenshin Nasukawa made his MMA debut tonight at RIZIN MMA in Japan, proving himself not only to be a force to be reckoned with in muay thai and kickboxing, but in MMA as well. HEading into the fight there were the usual fears that the kickboxing community has when a star kickboxer decides to try their hand at MMA. You'd need to look no further than the bout that preceded Tenshin's, where Andy Souwer was submitted via armbar in the first round to Kazuyuki Miyata. To say that Japanese matchmakers are ruthless in looking for entertainment is an understatement; they thrive on pairing grapplers against strikers in hopes of a highlight reel knockout or submission.

And Tenshin was almost submitted by Nakita Sapun.

All of that happened because Tenshin was unafraid to go to the ground with an actual MMA fighter. Sapun is not much of a grappler, but does have more experience in the MMA ring than Tenshin does, obviously.

Yet, still, Tenshin felt comfortable taking the fight to the ground while everyone expected it to be a stand-up battle. After surviving that sick armbar, most kickboxers would back off, wait for their opponent to get up and fight their own fight. Tenshin didn't do that. Oh no. Instead, he waited and pounced when he saw his opening, winning via TKO.

Then, in something that is very much uniquely Japanese (and why is it?), he grabbed the microphone and appealed for another fight in two nights at RIZIN's next event, claiming that he'd want to fill in for the injured Krazy Horse against Minoru Kimura. Imagine that, a KNOCK OUT and K-1 showdown in MMA rules. My god. The kid who almost had his arm busted wanted more. There wasn't some sap in a suit jamming a mic in his face asking him what he wanted, or to walk him through the finish, he just expressed himself and was aloud to make himself a bigger star. Nobuhiko Takada claimed if the doctors would clear him he could fight.

His debut knockout victory already made him a viral star, but now at one of the biggest Japanese fighting events of the year he proved himself gutsy, talented and fearless with an incredibly bright future ahead of him. We've been searching high-and-low for the next big Japanese kickboxing star to help spark a resurgence of the sport in Japan and it feels like Tenshin could be that fighter. 

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