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Shootboxing 2012 Act.4 Results: Shishido, Stevelmans, Bovy Qualify for S-Cup

Earlier today at Korakuen Hall in Tokyo, Shootboxing held its final event before this year's S-Cup, featuring 3 S-Cup qualifying bouts featuring Shootboxing standouts Hiroki Shishido, Satoru Suzuki and Bovy Sor. Udomson, as well as newcomers Warren Stevelmans, Hinata and Akihiro Gono.

In the night's main event, Hiroki Shishido secured his spot in his 5th straight S-Cup with a 1st round KO of Satoru Suzuki. Shishido (49-17-0, 21 KO) scored a spinning backfist that dropped Suzuki and kept him down, snapping a 4-fight losing streak for Shishido. He had been struggling as of late, losing 6 of his last 7 with uncharacteristic losses to MMA fighters Toby Imada and "Lion" Takeshi Inoue, but picks up a big win here and should give him some momentum for the S-Cup. In the 2010 S-Cup, he dropped a decision to eventual champion Buakaw Por. Pramuk. Suzuki (8-12-0, 5 KO) had a chance to avenge a loss from his first fight in Shootboxing, but fell in the first round once again. Despite becoming one of Shootboxing's most popular fighters, it looks like Suzuki will miss out on this year's S-Cup.

In the co-main event, Shootboxing newcomers and K-1 veterans Warren Stevelmans and Hinata fought for a spot in this year's S-Cup, with Stevelmans winning a unanimous decision on scores of 30-28, 28-27 and 29-28. Stevelmans (56-16-4, 16 KO) dropped Hinata in the second round and it was enough to get him into this year's S-Cup. This was his second fight in Shootboxing, previously defeating Hiroki Shishido in the main event of Shootboxing Act.1 earlier this year. Hinata (23-13-1, 8 KO) was also making his second appearance in Shootboxing after a 48 second loss to Andy Souwer in 2010. 

In the final S-Cup qualifier, Bovy Sor Udomson made quick work of former PRIDE and UFC star Akihiro Gono with a 1st round TKO at 2:15. Bovy (85-46-2, 53 KO) will make his 2nd S-Cup appearance with this win, losing to Andy Souwer in the quarterfinals of his first S-Cup in 2010. Bovy had most recently lost to Satoru Suzuki, but that is irrelevant as Bovy is in the S-Cup while Suzuki is not. Gono (5-4-0, 1 KO) initially weighed in over weight and had to re-weigh this morning before the event. After retiring from MMA earlier this year and returning to kickboxing in 2011, Gono had stated that he wanted to qualify for the S-Cup. A win in DEEP got him this fight, but he was unable to capitalize and this loss could possibly be the last fight in an entertaining career. If it is, hopefully the Magic Man can continue to find ways to entertain fans outside of fighting.

Assuming Shootboxing will be able to bring back their 4 semifinalists from 2010 (Buakaw Por. Pramuk, Toby Imada, Andy Souwer and Henri van Opstal), there is only 1 open spot remaining. It is possible that the spot could be given to one of today's losers, presumably Satoru Suzuki, or it could go to Shootboxing Super Lightweight champ Hiroaki Suzuki. With Shishido being the only Japanese fighter to qualify for the tournament, I expect either Suzuki to be a more viable option than a 7th foreigner.

In a 60kg bout, RISE 60kg champ Kosuke Komiyama continued his winning ways with a unanimous decision over Shootboxing Super Featherweight champ Akifumi Utagawa on scores of 30-28 and 30-29(x2). Komiyama (19-2-0, 11 KO) has looked extremely impressive since a questionable split decision loss to Keiji Ozaki in K-1 and is looking for divisional supremacy at 60kg, though that will be hard to claim until he fights against the best that Krush has to offer. To his credit, he has called out Hirotaka Urabe in the past, but nothing has come of it. Utagawa (32-13-1, 1 NC, 15 KO) had his 4-fight winning streak snapped here.

Quick results after the break

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SNKA Titans Neos 12 Results: Hiroki Ishii Defends Rajadamnern Stadium Title

Earlier today at Korakuen Hall, Rajadamnern Stadium Super Lightweight champion Hiroki Ishii defended his title for the second time with a 1st round knockout of Plynoi Por. Paoin at 1:54. Ishii (57-12-10, 27 KO) first won the Rajadamnern Stadium title last October with a decision over Aphisak KT Gym and defended it in March against Kenfang Por. Puangchon, also by decision. He is now riding an 8 fight winstreak and is 12-2 since 2009, fighting all Thai opposition in that time. 

In other action, prospect Mutsuki Ebata kept his hype train rolling with a 1st round TKO via cut of 8th ranked Rajadamnern Stadium Flyweight Jomphet Chuwattana. Ebata (17-1-1, 12 KO) was coming off of a win over Arashi Fujiwara, avenging his sole pro loss and has now won 7 in a row.

Quick results after the break

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Krush 2012 Youth GP Results: Urabe, Higashimoto, Matsukura, Kondo Advance to Finals

Earlier today, Krush held a day-night event for their 2012 Youth GP, with the day portion featuring the semifinals of the 70kg Youth GP and the night portion featuring the quarterfinals and semifinals of the 63kg Youth GP, with a few superfights on each card.

In the 63kg GP quarterfinals, DEEP*KICK 65kg Hiroto Yamaguchi started things off with a 2nd round knockout of MA Kick #2 Super Lightweight Minoru Kimura at 2:01. In the second quarterfinal, tournament favorite and 2011 runner-up Koya Urabe cruised to a 2nd round KO of his own, a body shot KO of 2011 quarterfinalist Kengo Sonoda at 2:37. In the third quarterfinal, 2011 quarterfinalist Daizo Sasaki took a majority decision win over K-1 Koshien 2011 runner-up Yuya on scores of 30-29(x2) and 29-29. In the final quarterfinal, the night’s biggest upset took place, with the unheralded Hisaki Higashimoto knocking out Hiroya in his pro debut just 62 seconds into the first round.

In the first semifinal, Koya Urabe cruised to a unanimous decision over Hiroto Yamaguchi on scores of 30-28(x2) and 30-27. In the second semifinal, Hisaki Higashimoto remained unbeaten with an extension round split decision over Daizo Sasaki on scores of 10-9(x2) and 9-10.

The big story coming out of this tournament is of course Hisaki Higashimoto (2-0-0, 1 KO) making his pro kickboxing debut after a background in karate and knocking out Hiroya (11-6-0, 6 KO). I had thought Higashimoto would have trouble with Hiroya as Hiroya’s biggest liability is his boxing defense and coming from a karate background, Higashimoto would have trouble exposing that, but he was able to. Another big story is his semifinal opponent, Daizo Sasaki (7-8-1, 2 KO), who had lost 4 in a row coming into this tournament but was able to get past a good prospect in Yuya (6-2-0, 6 KO) and take Higashimoto to an extension round. This was the night Sasaki needed to help revive his career. Good showing from Koya Urabe (22-4-0, 3 KO) who went in and did what he needed to do to get to the finals again. Good to see him get a stoppage against Kengo Sonoda (3-4-1, 0 KO) as it showed he had some urgency to finish his first round opponent in order to be fresh for the semifinals, something that had been lacking before. Hiroto Yamaguchi (9-2-0, 5 KO) can walk away proud from this event, having knocked out Minoru Kimura (8-2-1, 6 KO) to bounce back from his first career loss, despite being shutout by Urabe. The Kimura hype train takes another hit with a second straight loss, but both have come to other promising prospects in Sho Ogawa and now Hiroto Yamaguchi. I favor Urabe in the finals as he is the proven fighter, but if Higashimoto is able to score another upset or even fights Urabe close, we will have another exciting prospect in the 63kg division.

In the 70kg semifinals, 2009 K-1 Koshien 70kg champ Shintaro Matsukura needed an extension round to get past RISE 2011 KAMINARIMON 70kg champ Kazuya Akimoto, but came up big in the extension round, scoring a knockout at 1:14 in the round. Matsukura will meet Taisei Kondo in the finals as he took a semifinal win over JungleKoki via majority decision on scores of 29-28(x2) and 28-28. Matsukura (6-6-0, 5 KO) has taken some tough losses recently, though they have come against top competition, dropping fights to Yasuhiro Kido and TOMOYUKI. He struggled a bit with Akimoto (2-1-0, 1 KO) but ultimately came out on top. Kondo (5-2-2, 2 KO) definitely has a chance at beating a vulnerable Matsukura who has some defensive liabilities and can be a slow, plodding fighter at times. He needed a late knockdown to beat JungleKoki (5-3-0, 2 KO) and could find the same magic against Matsukura in the finals, but I give Matsukura the edge. The 70kg final will take place on November 10th at Krush.24 and I assume the 63kg final will as well.

In a superfight, NJKF Super Lightweight Seiji Takahashi knocked out Atsushi Ogata in the 1st round. Takahashi was coming off of a knockout loss to Tetsuya Yamato while Ogata most recently upset Toshiki Taniyama.

Quick results after the break

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Singdam Upsets Saenchai + Full Results From Lumpinee

Yesterday at Lumpinee Stadium, a huge Muay Thai card took place with a ton of the top names in the sport.

In the main event, Saenchai took on Singdam for Singdam's Lumpinee Lightweight title. Prior to the fight, Saenchai looked as dominant as ever, with big wins over fighter of the year Penek Sitnumnoi and over Sagetdao Phetphayathai, who had given him a lot of trouble in the past. Despite having a three pound weight disadvantage at the weigh-ins, Saenchai was still the favorite to win. It was Singdam though, who defied the odds and beat Saenchai from range with powerful kicks. The way that Singdam won is the most surprising part, as usually no one can touch Saenchai from range but it was instead Saenchai being the aggressor in this fight. Singdam is now on a six fight win streak.

Aside from the main event, more top fighters in the same weight category as Saenchai and Singdam fought, as Sagetdao Phetphayathai took on Petboonchu F.A. Group. Everyone expected a clinch war and that's what the fight was. Petboonchu got the better of the action in the clinch and took a unanimous decision.

Another lightweight fight that took place was a rematch between F16 Rajanont and Diesellek Oodonmuang. Diesellek knocked out F16 with a high kick just last month. Diesellek got the better of the fight in the rounds that count most. F16 went for broke in the fifth and final round but Diesellek then countered with some vicious body kicks one after the other, stopping F16 and getting the TKO win.

In a rematch of their fight of the year candidate, Chokprecha Kor Sakooncher finally defeated Wanchalong Sitzornong on his fourth attempt. Chokprecha was more strategic and less wild then he usually fights. Rittidej Wor. Wanthavee defeated Palangtip Nor. Sripueng in what apparently was a snoozer.

Superlek Wor Sungprapai defeated Muangthai Sor Boonyiam by decision to win the Lumpinee 155 lb title. Fight of the night went to Sarawut Pithakpabhadiang and Wanchai Rambo-Esarn, with Sarawut with Sarawut picking up the decision in a war.

Damien Alamos is currently the only non-Thai champion of Lumpinee and he defended his title against Aranchai Pran26. Alamos dropped Aranchai early on in the fight and by the end of the fight, Aranchai's face was really busted up. Alamos got the decision win and becomes the first non-Thai to ever successfuly defend and retain a Lumpinee Stadium title.

Singdam Kiatmoo9 def. Saenchai by decision.

Petboonchu F.A. Group def. Sagetdao by decision.

Diesellek Oodonmuang def. F16 Rajanont by TKO (Body Kicks) in Round 5.

Superlek Wor Sungprapai def. Muangthai Sor Boonyiam by decision.

Chokprecha Kor Sakooncher def. Wanchalong Sitzornong by decision.

Petboonchu F.A. Group def. Sagetdao Phetphayathai by decision.

Rittidej Wor Wanthavee def. Palangtip Nor Sripueng by decision.

Sarawut Pithakpabhadiang def. Wanchai Rambo-Esarn by decision.

Damien Alamos def. Aranchai Pran26 by decision.

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Big Bang 10 Results: Kido, Hirotaka Urabe, Amada Pick Up Wins

The Taniyama Gym held its 10th installment of the Big Bang series at Differ Ariake in Tokyo earlier today, featuring top names like Yasuhiro Kido, Hirotaka Urabe, Shunta Ito and Hiromi Amada. 

In the night's main event, Yasuhiro Kido filled his usual headlining role at Big Bang events, this time taking a unanimous decision over Yu Hirono on scores of 30-29(x3). Kido debuted a "new technique" that he dubbed Rokakato, which is essentially a heel to the side of the thigh. Kido (29-13-1, 14 KO) has now won 5 in a row and will likely sit out until the MAX finals on December 8th in Athens. While I don't expect him to win or even make it to the finals, this is a much improved Kido from the one who struggled towards the old K-1's end and could make waves in the tournament if he has good matchups. Hirono (16-7-1, 4 KO) had won 5 in a row heading into this bout, most recently against ShokieJungle at Krush-EX vol.4 in July.

In the co-main event at 58kg, former MA Kick champion Shunta Ito bounced back from a loss at Big Bang 9 with a unanimous decision win over Atsushi Tateshima on scores of 50-45(x3). Ito recently vacated his MA Kick title and lost a unanimous decision to Kaimookaw Watcharachai at Big Bang 9, snapping a 3-fight win streak.

Krush 60kg champ Hirotaka Urabe also participated at the event, stopping J-Network Super Featherweight champ Takaaki Kimura with a high kick at 2:17 of the first round. Urabe (17-6-2, 9 KO) has been on a roll, going unbeaten in his last 9 and scoring 5 knockouts, with the sole blemish being a draw in a title defense against Naoki Ishikawa. Urabe could possibly find himself fighting Ishikawa for a third time, but it depends on the outcome of the three matchups that were recently announced for Krush.23 and could potentially put Urabe in rematches with Ishikawa, Yuji Takeuchi and Fumiya Osawa. Kimura (22-19-1, 3 KO) isn't that bad, holding wins over Yosuke Mizuochi, Takashi Nakajima and Ryo Pegasus, but isn't quite on the level of guys like Urabe, as he has been blown out of the water by Urabe and MA Kick champ Hikaru Machida in recent outings.

In a rematch between K-1 veterans, Hiromi Amada scored a 2nd round knockout of Alex Roberts at 1:07. The two first fought at NJKF Titans Neo X almost exactly a year ago, with the fight ending in a draw. Amada (34-20-3, 17 KO) snapped 2-fight losing streak, with losses to Singh Jaideep and Fabiano "Cyclone" Aoki, with a 2 fight win streak, most recently defeating Soichi Nishida at Big Bang 9. Amada was recently announced as a participant on the October 14th K-1 card which features the FINAL 16 portion of their heavyweight tournament, though Amada will probably not be fighting for a spot in the finals. Roberts (10-4-2, 8 KO) most recently lost to Tomasz Sarara at the Hoost Cup and is now winless in his last 4.

In other bouts, RISE #1 ranked Middleweight Yukihiro Komiya improved to 2-0 at 65kg with a unanimous decision win, RISE #3 ranked Heavyweight Raoumaru scored a 2nd round knockout and RISE #1 ranked Bantamweight Dyki picked up a majority decision win. 

Quick results after the break

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Krush.22 Results: Takiya Defends 55kg Title, Kubo KOs Yamato

Earlier today at the Nagoya Congress Center in Nagoya, Krush held Krush.22 ~ in Nagoya~, its first event in Nagoya, featuring a 55kg title fight and five Tokyo vs Nagoya fights featuring Yuta Kubo, Yuya Yamato, Masaaki Noiri and Keiji Ozaki, among others.

In the night’s main event, Krush 55kg champ Shota Takiya was given what turned out to be his toughest fight in some time against Takumi, but was able to win a unanimous decision on scores of 30-29(x3). Takiya (21-4-0, 13 KO) has now won 10 in a row and had won his last 5 by knockout heading into this fight. There’s no telling what’s next for Takiya, as Krush’s 55kg division isn’t that deep and unless they hold a 55kg tournament, they will have to go outside of the company to find legitimate opponents for Takiya. Takumi (12-3-0, 5 KO) did well in staying on his feet against the hard-hitting Takiya, but it wasn’t enough. His effort here should be noted as he was able to hang with a guy I felt was head and shoulders above the rest of the Krush 55kg division.

In the Krush vs Nagoya headlining fight, ISKA Light Welterweight champion Yuta Kubo moved up to 66kg and scored a 2nd round knockout of WBC Japan and NJKF Welterweight champion Yuya Yamato 51 seconds into the round. Kubo (34-4-1, 16 KO) pushes his win streak to 11 and has slowly been climbing his way up in weight, fighting at 64.5kg and 65kg in his last two fights and now at 66kg. While this was a good step up in weight against good competition, Yamato often fights between 63kg and 67kg, so he wasn’t the best test as far as bigger opponents go. Regardless, Kubo would be a welcome sight for Japan at 70kg as their division has looked pretty lackluster in the years since Masato’s retirement, with Yasuhiro Kido being the only big standout with the decline of Yoshihiro Sato and more notably Yuya Yamamoto. Yamato (13-7-0, 8 KO) had won two in a row coming into this fight, with a win over Kanongsuk in May and a KO of Pradesh Lookprabaht just a month ago. While his record may not look too great, he has fought a tough schedule since 2010, taking on Fabio Pinca twice, former NJKF Lightweight champ Kazuki twice, Seiji Takahashi, Soichiro Miyakoshi, Kanongsuk and now Kubo.

In the next Nagoya vs Tokyo fight, Nagoya’s Masaaki Noiri took an easy win over Tokyo’s Makihira Keita on scores of 30-27(x2) and 30-28. Noiri (13-3-0, 5 KO) picks up his first after his upset loss to Raz Sarkisjan back at the Hoost Cup in May which snapped a 6 fight win streak. As the reigning Youth Tournament champ, he awaits the winner of this year’s tournament for a fight that will likely take place early next year. Keita is now 1-1-1 on the year.

In the final three Nagoya vs Tokyo fights, Nagoya fighters went 2-1 with Taito upsetting Keiji Ozaki by majority decision, Yuya defeating Shota Hayashi and Masayuki Isabashi losing to Junpei Aotsu, giving Nagoya the overall victory with 3 wins (Noiri, Taito, Yuya) to Tokyo’s 2 (Kubo, Aotsu). The upset loss for Ozaki is huge as he’s been a borderline challenger despite not having any significant wins recently and Taito had lost his last 3 bouts heading into this fight. This loss should end Ozaki’s time as a legitimate title challenger.

Quick results after the break

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Shootboxing Girls S-Cup Results: Rena Wins 2012 Girls S-Cup, Inoue and Mio Claim Tournament Titles

Earlier today, Shootboxing held its fourth Girls S-Cup and third main Girls S-Cup tournament, as well as the finals of the 53.5kg Girls S-Cup and the JKS48 High School tournament at Yamano Hall in Tokyo.

In the main tournament, the quarterfinals started off with 2-time defending S-Cup champion Rena Kubota scoring a unanimous decision over Australia's Kim Townsend on scores of 30-25, 30-26 and 30-27. Rena scored shoot points in the first and second rounds while working her superior boxing, moving her into the semifinals. In the next semifinal, 2011 Girls S-Cup runner-up Seo Hee Ham took out late replacement Lisa Ellis by unanimous decision on scores of 30-26(x2) and 30-27. Ellis tried using the clinch to work her grappling, but Ham was just too much for her, scoring a knockdown in the second round and advancing to face Rena in the semis. In the other half of the bracket, 2009 S-Cup runner-up and 2010 semifinalist V.V Mei Yamaguchi needed an extension round, but was able to defeat Thai representative Namtarn Por Muangpetch by unanimous decision, winning the extension round 10-9 on all three cards. Namtarn wasn't able to keep V.V Mei away from her and resulted in Yamaguchi getting a shoot point in the second round and ultimately winning the extension round, despite not getting a shoot point. In the final quarterfinal, Holland's Lorena Klijn scored the night's biggest upset with an extension round win over 2011 S-Cup Preliminary tournament champ Erika Kamimura. Kamimura had a slight edge in the stand-up, but Klijn surprisingly used the clinch to her advantage and was able to score a shoot point in the extension round which was the difference.

In the semifinals, Rena needed an extension round to defeat Seo Hee Ham and make it to her third straight S-Cup final. The two were even throughout the course of 3 rounds, but in the extension round, Rena was able to separate herself from Ham and won the round on all 3 judges' cards. In the other semifinal, V.V Mei also needed an extension round to advance to her second S-Cup final with a win over Lorena Klijn. Both fighters looked to use their clinch game to advance, but Yamaguchi proved to be superior in that department, scoring a shoot point in the second round and two shoot points in the extension round, as well as a yellow card to Klijn, which secured the lopsided extension round win.

In a rematch of the first Girls S-Cup final in 2009, Rena proved her dominance in Shootboxing once again with a unanimous decision over V.V Mei on scores of 30-29(x3). Yamaguchi was not able to capitalize with her grappling against the experienced Rena, who used her superior stand-up to win her third straight Girls S-Cup.

While she has lost single fights in Shootboxing, including a big upset to Jessica Penne, Rena excels in tournaments and showed great stamina, fighting 10 rounds on the night against tough competition. She has a rematch with Erika Kamimura to defend her RISE Queen title at a yet to be determined date and should she win, the only options seem to be either a third fight with Ai Takahashi or a fight with the girl who beat Takahashi twice, Mizuki Inoue. For V.V Mei, this is huge. In my opinion, she was more of an afterthought for the tournament, as she was originally scheduled for this event, but not in the tournament field and was upset in the 2011 S-Cup preliminary tournament by Mina in the first round. Huge showing from her and she likely cemented her place in future Girls S-Cups to come. If there ever were an "elite-level gatekeeper", it would have to be Seo Hee Ham. In MMA, she owns wins over the likes of Hisae Watanabe, Saori Ishioka and V.V Mei, while her only losses have come to WMMA legends Miku Matsumoto, Megumi Fujii and Yuka Tsuji, with a pair of losses against undefeated prodigy and student of Fujii, Ayaka Hamasaki. In kickboxing and Shootboxing, she has beaten everyone thrown her way except for Erika Kamimura and now Rena. Kamimura and Klijn are probably the biggest stories to come out of this event. Kamimura was an unstoppable force on her rise to the top, knocking out nearly everyone who got in her path, both domestically and internationally, and was favored to meet Rena in the tournament finals. However, a close loss to Rena and this loss here have shown a few holes in her game. She still has extremely good power, possibly the best in women's kickboxing, but if she can't land her hooks, while she is a very talented kickboxer, she has trouble winning rounds and in Shootboxing, her grappling base isn't very strong. Big congratulations to Klijn who shocked nearly everyone and will have to be invited to the next Girls S-Cup.

In the finals of the 53.5kg Girls S-Cup, Mizuki Inoue proved her first win over Ai Takahashi wasn't a fluke, defeating Takahashi for the second time, this time over the course of 6 rounds, winning the extension round on all three judges' cards. Inoue used superior speed and movement to land against Takahashi and take her second big win over the former Shootboxing champion, winning the 53.5kg tournament title as well. Inoue is one of the brightest prospects in both MMA and kickboxing and should find herself in another marquee matchup, possibly against Rena, some time in the near future. Takahashi wasn't able to exploit her length as well as she did against smaller opponents in the S-Cup, but was able to keep up with Inoue. Now 0-2 against Inoue, she'll have to work her way back up if she wants a second chance at redemption.

In the JKS48 High School tournament, Rena's younger sister Mio Kubota matched her sister's efforts and won the tournament with a unanimous decision over Yusa Tachi in the semis and a TKO of Akari Nakamura in the finals. It's hard to say what is in Mio's near future, but Shootboxing has a good number of former S-Cup participants with experience that could give her a good challenge and see if she has the same promise as her sister, who was fighting Miku Matsumoto and Su Jeong Lim when she was just 17. 

Finally, in a 53.5kg single fight, 53.5kg Girls S-Cup participant Rio Kamikaze scored an upset over prospect Seira Aragaki by majority decision on scores of 30-28, 29-28 and 28-28. Rio scored 2 shoot points in the third round with a hip toss that won her the fight. A rematch with Ai Takahashi could be a good next fight for her.

Quick results after the break

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Krush.21 Results: Adamandopoulos Wins 63kg Title, Terato Defends ISKA Title

Yesterday, Krush held Krush.21 at Korakuen Hall in Tokyo, headlined by a Krush 63kg title fight and an ISKA 55kg World title fight, with both featuring European challengers, as well as the last 2 fights of the 4th leg of the 63kg WILDRUSH League.

In the main event, Krush 63kg champ Ryuji Kajiwara was knocked out by former ISKA 62.5kg champ Thomas Adamandopoulos by headkick at 1:42 in the 2nd round. Adamandopoulos dominated the fight leading up to the stoppage and scored with a left high kick that knocked Kajiwara out cold. Adamandopoulos (41-8-1, 24 KO) is now 2-0 in Krush and the first foreign Krush champion. This was a big win for him as he had lost 2 in a row, a close split decision to Karim Bennoui and a 4th round TKO to Yetkin Ozkul, and is set to fight in Krush again in the future, presumably facing the winner of the Krush WILDRUSH League, or even someone like Masaaki Noiri or Tetsuya Yamato should the winner of the WILDRUSH League be injured. Kajiwara (22-11-1, 6 KO) finally had his age catch up to him a bit after going 7-1 in his last 8, mostly against much younger competition. A good next fight for him would be a rematch with Noiri to set up a title challenger after the WILDRUSH League winner gets his shot.

In the co-main event, Nobuchika Terado defended his ISKA World Bantamweight title against former ISKA World titleholder Andy Howson in an exciting fight with a 2nd round TKO at 2:07. Howson had Terado in a lot of trouble in the 2nd round, dropping the champion twice, but as Howson tried to find the finish, Terato managed to land a big left hook that dropped Howson before dropping two more times with a pair of right hooks to end the fight. Terado (29-8-1, 13 KO) is no stranger to slugfests, putting on one of the best fights that nobody saw back in 2010 against Ryuya Kusakabe, another fight where both men were hurt and suffered a knockdown. This is the first defense of his ISKA title that he won at Krush.11 over Kirean McAskill and moves him 4-1 in his last 5, most recently beating Namito Izawa at Krush-EX 2012 vol.1. A good next fight for him would be a rematch with Kusakabe to set up a third fight for either man with current champ Shota Takiya. Howson (53-10-1, 29 KO) recently lost his ISKA Bantamweight Muay Thai title to Dean James in May and lost a chance to win Terado’s Oriental Rules title here. The two were initially supposed to meet at Krush.5 in January of 2010, but Howson was forced out of the bout with an injury.

In a WILDRUSH League 4th leg bout, 2nd placed Hitoshi Tsukagoshi kept his hopes of winning the league alive with a majority decision over 3rd placed Yukimitsu Takahashi on scores of 30-28, 30-29 and 29-29, ending Takahashi’s chances of winning. Tsukagoshi now has 7 points and is 2 points shy of league leader Hideaki Yamazaki heading into the final leg. Tsukagoshi’s final fight is against the hard-hitting TaCa while he will need some help from Takahashi, who faces Yamazaki in the final leg. Tsukagoshi will need Takahashi to win against Yamazaki, as a draw would mean Tsukagoshi would need a knockout just to tie and I believe that since Yamazaki beat Tsukagoshi, he would hold the tiebreak. Takahashi remains with 4 points despite putting on some of the most entertaining performances throughout his fights in the league. He still has something to prove against Yamazaki in the final and although he can’t win the league, expect him to put on a good performance and solidify himself as an entertaining draw in Krush.

In the final 4th leg WILDRUSH League bout, 4th placed TaCa was upset by last placed NOMAN, who won a majority decision on scores of 30-28, 30-29 and 29-29. This is a bit of an upset as NOMAN was winless in the league before this while TaCa had knocked out Naoki Terasaki, while dropping decisions to Yukimitsu Takahashi and Hideaki Yamazaki. TaCa remains with 3 points while NOMAN has 3 points as well and moves up to 4th with TaCa.

The current WILDRUSH League standings after 4 legs is

1. Hideaki Yamazaki, 9 points (4-0-0, 1 KO)

2. Hitoshi Tsukagoshi, 7 points (3-1-0, 1 KO)

3. Yukimitsu Takahashi, 4 points (1-1-2, 0 KO)

4. NOMAN, 3 points (1-2-1, 0 KO)

5. TaCa, 3 points (1-3-0, 1 KO)

6. Naoki Terasaki, 1 point, (0-3-1, 0 KO)

The WILDRUSH League concludes on October 8th at Krush.23, an event which is set to feature Yasuhiro Kido, Naoki Ishikawa, “Kyoken” Yuji Takeuchi and Kan Itabashi.

Quick results after the break

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It's Showtime Japan countdown-2/REBELS.12 Results: van Opstal, Hinata Win

With It's Showtime prepared to make their first full venture into Japan in little over a month and a half, It's Showtime Japan countdown-2 and REBELS.12 took place earlier today at Differ Ariake in Tokyo.

In the main event, Team Souwer's Henri van Opstal improved to 5-0 against Japanese competition with a majority decision over It's Showtime Japan 70kg champ Hiroki Nakajima on scores of 30-29(x3), 29-29 and 30-28. Nakajima scored early to the body, but his lack of defense allowed van Opstal to find openings throughout the fight and pick apart his opponent. van Opstal (18-3-0) has now won two in a row after a loss at It's Showtime 55, most recently stopping Hinata in the 3rd round at RISE 88. He could find himself fighting on the main It's Showtime Japan card, but with a Shootboxing event the same day, it is hard to know if he will compete on either card. Nakajima (15-6-0, 10 KO) recently ended a 1-5 run with a win over Danilo Zanolini to win the It's Showtime Japan 70kg title, but it's the same story for him; until he develops some sort of defense, he is extremely limited. While he has power and a dynamic offense, he just gets hit too much and guys at van Opstal's level will be able to expose him with ease. He is set to fight on the It's Showtime Japan card in September, but let's hope he's put in a rematch with Yuichiro Nagashima and not in a fight with Andy Ristie or Robin van Roosmalen.

In the co-main event, Hinata bounced back with a quick 1st round knockout of Korean Kang Jung-woo at 1:24 with a high kick. Hinata (23-12-1, 8 KO) is just 3-3 in his last 6 bouts, with two of those three wins against mediocre competition and the third against a guy fighting 10 pounds above his natural weight. While his losses did come to Giorgio Petrosyan, Andy Ristie and van Opstal, his only quality wins since 2010 are over Yuya Yamamoto, who looks worse with every outing, and Artur Kyshenko. If he wants to be considered a competitor at 70kg, he needs to start fighting top competition more regularly and get some wins, rather than lose to a top fighter and bounce back with an easy win. 

In a fight to determine the first It's Showtime Japan 65kg champion, MA Kick Super Lightweight champ Mohan Dragon and Zen Fujita fought to a majority draw after 5 rounds on scores of 48-47 and 48-48(x4). In what seems to have been an exciting fight, as most of Mohan Dragon's fights are, Mohan Dragon started very strong, hurting Fujita in the first and carrying that momentum into the second round before tiring in the bout's closing stages and allowing Fujita to come back and secure a draw. Fujita is now 1-1-1 in 2012, with a loss at 70kg to Hinata back in April and a win over Junichi Maruyama back in June at 65kg. Mohan Dragon is now 2-0-1 on the year, defending his MA Kick title with a knockout of Hidekazu Tanaka and edging out J-Network champ Yusuke Sugawara at RISE 87. This fight likely could have been to determine Lim Chi-bin's opponent in the It's Showtime 65kg World title fight, but the draw likely cost both men that opportunity.

In a fight to decide the inaugural It's Showtime Japan 55kg champion, J-Network Super Bantamweight champ Hiroaki Mizuhara took a unanimous decision over Taisuke Degai on scores of 49-48(x3), 48-47 and 49-47. Mizuhara is now 2-1-1 on the year and could potentially rematch Yuki Noro, the man he defeated to get this fight, in his first title defense as Noro recently upset TO-MA in a bout billed under the It's Showtime banner. This loss snaps a 4 fight win streak for Degai.

Finally at 61kg, Kizaemon Saiga scored a unanimous decision over Tatsuya Inaishi on scores of 30-29, 30-28(x2), 30-27 and 29-28. Saiga (10-5-1, 2 KO) is now 3-1 on the year with a close win over Katsuya Goto, a close loss to Koya Urabe and most recently a KO of Arita Tsukahara back in May. Saiga was expected to fight for the It's Showtime Japan 61kg title at this event, but with Masahiro Yamamoto winning the It's Showtime 61kg World title and a 61kg title fight scheduled for the September event, I wouldn't be surprised to see Saiga slotted in against Yamamoto for the first all-Japanese It's Showtime title fight.

It's Showtime's main branch makes its first official venture into Japan on September 17th at Pacifico Yokohama in Yokohama. Only one fight is announced for the card, with It's Showtime 85kg champ Sahak Parparyan taking on It's Showtime Japan 95kg champ Toshio Matsumoto, but a 61kg title showdown between current champ Masahiro Yamamoto and Kizaemon Saiga is possible with both men slated for the event and Lim Chi Bin will be participating in an It's Showtime 65kg World title fight against a yet to be named opponent. Also expected to compete are Daniel Ghita, Robin van Roosmalen, Andy Ristie, Hiroki Nakajima and Yuichiro Nagashima.

REBELS.12 results and quick results after the break

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Krush.20 Results: Urabe Stops Osawa in Title Defense, Yuya Yamamoto Upset by Zaurus Asami

Krush.20 took place yesterday at Korakuen Hall in Tokyo, headlined by a 60kg title fight.

In the night's main event, Krush 60kg champ Hirotaka Urabe defended his title against 60kg tournament winner Fumiya Osawa by 1st round KO at 2:48. Urabe scored with a spinning back kick to Osawa's body that dropped the challenger and left him unable to get up. Urabe (15-5-2, 9 KO) is now undefeated in his last 8 and has won 3 straight since fighting Naoki Ishikawa to a draw in his first title defense. He could see himself facing Ishikawa for a third time in a future title defense. Osawa (7-8-1, 2 KO) rebounded from a 4-fight winless streak by winning the Krush 60kg tournament with wins over Makoto Morishige, Yuya and Katsuya Goto. A good fight for him would be against Kan Itabashi to see where he stands in the division.

In the co-main event, Yuya Yamamoto was shut out by Zaurus Asami, losing a unanimous decision on scores of 30-28(x3). Yamamoto (33-23-1, 11 KO) has been horribly inconsistent throughout his career and has now lost three straight, being knocked out by Yuji Nashiro and Xu Yan in his last 2 outings. This is a huge loss and another setback for him. Asami (9-8-1) gets the biggest win of his career and some momentum after going 1-4 in his 5 fights heading into this.

In first bout of the 4th leg of the Krush Wildrush League, current league leader Hideaki Yamazaki knocked out Naoki Terasaki just 24 seconds into the fight with a left hook. The knockout gives Yamazaki 9 points with just one fight left and puts him in a very good position to win the tournament. The second and third placed fighters Hitoshi Tsukagoshi and Yukimitsu Takahashi have 5 and 4 points, respectively, and face off at Krush.21 on August 12th and the winner is the only person left with a realistic shot at taking the lead from Yamazaki. Should it be Takahashi, he and Yamazaki face off in the final leg of the league.

At 63kg, Hiroya was able to stop fellow Krush Youth Tournament participant Daizo Sasaki with low kicks at 2:43 of the 3rd round. Both fighters had lost 3 in a row heading into this bout with Hiroya (11-5-0, 6 KO) losing to Masaaki Noiri, Naoki and most recently Krush 63kg champ Ryuji Kajiwara, and Sasaki losing to Noiri, Kengo Sonoda and Atsushi Ogata. This is a bounce back win for Hiroya and a good next fight for him might be a rematch with Sho Ogawa, depending on when the Krush Youth tournament begins this year. 

Finally, at 70kg, TOMOYUKI picked up an extension round decision win over Shintaro Matsukura, winning on all 3 cards after judges ruled a draw on scores of 29-28, 29-29 and 30-30. Tomoyuki first made a name for himself earlier this year, upsetting then Krush 70kg champion Kenta in his first fight of 2012 and has gone 2-1 since then, with the loss to MA Kick champ Kazuya Takeda. Matsukura (5-6-0, 4 KO) had just ended a 3-fight losing streak with a win back in June. After his upset of Yuya Yamamoto, Matsukura has been rather pedestrian, going 1-4, though losing a split, majority and now extension round decision along the way.

Quick results after the break

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