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Krush.25 Results: Urabe and Ishikawa Draw for Second Time

Earlier today, Krush held Krush.25, the Team Dragon 10th anniversary card which featured all of Team Dragon's top talents and was headlined by a 60kg title fight between the only current Krush champion from Team Dragon, Hirotaka Urabe, and Naoki Ishikawa for the third time. Also on the card were Koya Urabe and Hideaki Yamazaki taking on French opponents Mickael Peynaud and Gagny Baradji, respectively.

In the night's main event, Hirotaka Urabe and Naoki Ishikawa proved that they are each other's equals, fighting to their second draw and once again leaving the title in Urabe's hands. This is their second draw in as many title fights, with the two drawing back in January at Krush.15, though this fight was a bit different as both fighters managed to score knockdowns. Urabe (19-5-3, 9 KO) improves his unbeaten streak to 13, with the only blemishes being the two draws to Ishikawa. Going forward, his 3 best options are a 4th fight with Ishikawa, a 2nd fight with Xavier Bastard or a fight with RISE champion Kosuke Komiyama. The loss has to be heartbreaking for Ishikawa (35-18-6, 18 KO) as he managed to win one card, but just couldn't get that elusive second card, falling just short once again. Nobody can question that he is #1a to Urabe's #1 in the division, but he lacks the all important title. Moving forward, he could take on the winner of one of the 60kg matchups set for Krush's January 14th card or Krush could give him an immediate rematch.

In the first Krush vs France fight, Savate World champion Gagny Baradji scored the upset of the night with a 2nd round KO of Krush 63kg WILDRUSH League winner Hideaki Yamazaki. I believe Baradji saw the mat himself in the first round, but came back strong in the 2nd and stopped Yamazaki with a right cross 58 seconds into the round. The win is huge for Baradji as little was known about him coming into this fight other than he was a Savate champion, while Yamazaki was set to take on Krush 63kg champion Thomas Adamandopoulos some time this year. Baradji likely earned himself another fight against a top-level guy in Krush and maybe even a future shot at Adamandopoulos. Big loss for Yamazaki who tastes defeat for only the second time in his career. He loses whatever momentum he would have taken into a fight with Adamandopoulos. He was already going to be a big underdog heading into that fight, but his chances now seem slim.

In the other Krush vs France fight, 2012 Youth GP champion Koya Urabe took a unanimous decision over Mickael Peynaud, with all 3 judges scoring the fight 30-27. Urabe (25-4-0, 4 KO) seems to have been a bit re-energized after a KO loss to Masaaki Noiri and a loss to Keijiro Miyakoshi back in February. This makes it 6 straight for him and puts him in a good position to possibly rematch Noiri, with the winner hopefully receiving a title shot. Peynaud was coming off of a loss to Javier Hernandez last month and although he's lost two straight, he doesn't have much to hang his head about, especially considering he was a late replacement for Karim Bennoui.

At 63kg, former Krush champion Ryuji Kajiwara defeated former NJKF champion Ikki by unanimous decision on scores of 30-29 and 30-28(x2). Kajiwara hadn't fought since being knocked out by Thomas Adamandopoulos back in August in a title defense. This is a solid bounce-back win over a solid fighter and keeps Kajiwara in the title picture. The only real place for him to go from here would be a fight with a foreign opponent or a rematch with Masaaki Noiri, a fight his teammmate Koya Urabe is also gunning for. Ikki had won two in a row by stoppage heading into this fight, most recently stopping Taito in the 1st round.

The card also featured a trio of Team Dragon 55kg standouts fighting, with Takumi decisioning Kazuki Tanaka, Takeru scoring a 1st round KO of Katsuki Sakaki and Namito Izawa winning a majority decision over Tatsuya Hibata. Takumi picks up a win in his first fight since losing to current champion Shota Takiya. Next for him is the 55kg WILDRUSH League, which I have him favored to win, with another chance at Takiya on the line. Takeru picks up his 3rd straight win and could have very well been in line for a title shot himself as Sakaki was the man Takumi beat to earn his shot. However, Takeru will be participating in the Krush 58kg tournament, likely to avoid fighting Izawa and Takumi. I have him as the second biggest favorite in that tournament behind Nobuchika Terado. Izawa takes his 3rd straight win as well after back to back losses to the aforementioned Terado and Yuya Suzuki. Izawa is sort of left in limbo as he is not in the WILDRUSH League nor is he really in a position to earn a title shot.

Krush returns on January 14th with Jawin Presents ~Krush 67kg Tournament First Round~ at Yoyogi National Stadium. The card features the opening round of the 67kg tournament which features names like Yuta Kubo, Yuji Nashiro, Houcine Bennoui and Yuya Yamamoto. First round matchups have not been announced yet, though there is a press conference scheduled for the 17th which will likely announce the quarterfinals as well as the remaining single fights for the card.

Quick results after the break


Muay Thai Warriors Macau: Saenchai beats Liam Harrison for third time

Today in Macau, Muay Thai Warriors held another event with some very interesting fights, including the third fight between Saenchai PKSaenchaimuaythaigym and Liam Harrison, along with Ireland's Stephen Meleady fighting Seeoui Sor Sunantachai for the Muay Thai Warriors Featherweight Title.

Last month, Saenchai defeated Pakorn Baanpiaoom and Damien Alamos within the span of two weeks in a highly impressive feat. Coming into the fight, myself and others gave Liam a good chance to win here. But Saenchai did as Saenchai always does, and won a clear cut unanimous decision over Liam Harrison.

Harrison fought well over the course of the fight, landing a number of hard low kicks that he's become known for. Saenchai was able to dictate the fight with his sublime skills. That makes it three wins in a month's time for Saenchai, and when you consider the competition that he did it against, it's quite amazing.

Stephen Meleady of Ireland has made a name for himself this year in Muay Thai with great fights against Rungravee Sasiprapa and Kongnapa Sirimongkol and faced another action fighter in Seeoui Sor Sunantachai. Meleady seemed to take control with his knees and clinch work in the fourth and fifth rounds but Seeoui was given the decision. I personally thought Meleady won. Here's a link to the fight where you can decide for yourself.

Harrison vs. Saenchai can be watched here.



Japanese Kickboxing Scene: November Recap

Here at LiverKick, we try to bring you as much content and fight results as we can. Unfortunately, the Japanese scene has so many kickboxing outlets that sometimes some of the smaller shows don’t receive any attention and the results are simply skipped over. To help compensate for that, I am going to start doing a monthly recap of the smaller shows that feature relevant fighters and even bigger shows that I simply didn’t have time to do a results post for at the time. This month, we have shows from MA Kick, NJKF, SNKA, M-1MC, J-Network, DEEP*KICK and the return of the Hoost Cup.

11/4 – NJKF: Kick to the Future 8

The big draw here was former NJKF and WBC champion Kunitaka rematching Ekdat Mor Krongthepthonburee, with the winner earning a spot in the top 10 of the Rajadamnern Stadium Featherweight rankings. In another close fight, Kunitaka eked out a split decision on scores of 50-49(x2) and 49-50. The big news coming out of this just recently emerged and that is that Kunitaka will receive a shot at Rajadamnern Stadium Featherweight champion Kaimookdam Aikbangzai on February 17th at Korakuen Hall. Kunitaka will look to become the 5th Japanese Rajadamnern Stadium champion, following in the footsteps of Toshio Fujiwara, Kozo Takeda, Hitoshi Ogasawara and current Super Lightweight champion Hiroki Ishii.

MA Kick: Break 31 ~Absolute~

Top ranked Flyweight Sazanami Satsutama picked up a solid win over Tatsuya Rose in a strange 4 round bout, with scores of 40-38 and 40-39(x2)

11/11 – M-1 Sutt Yod MuayThai vol.4

The two-part card had a myriad of notable fighters in action on both the men’s and women’s side. In the main event, Kaew Fairtex scored a 2nd round KO of J-Network Super Lightweight champion Yusuke Sugawara. Kaew apparently came out dancing to “Gangnam Style” and carried that confidence into the fight. He followed this up with a 12 second KO at RISE/M-1 Infinity. Naoki Samukawa became the first WPMF Japan Light Heavyweight champion with a one-sided decision win over SHOHEI, scoring a knockdown in the 3rd round and cruising. At Super Lightweight, Buakaw WSR and Shunsuke Oishi fought to a majority draw, which is a bit surprising as Oishi had recently lost to Hidekazu Tanaka, who Buakaw stopped in 3 rounds. In the last major men’s bout, J-Network Flyweight champion Yuki moved up to Bantamweight to face #1 ranked J-Network Bantamweight Kenta. Yuki needed an extension round, but showed he could beat top fighters in two weight classes, winning all three judges’ scorecards in the extension round.

On the women’s side of things, WPMF World Featherweight champion Sawsing Sor. Sopis defended her title with a unanimous decision, defeating AZUMA, who she defeated back in March to win the title. In a fight for the WPMF World Pinweight title, champion Chiharu picked up her third win over Little Tiger to defend her title. Although Little Tiger has had more success outside of their rivalry, Chiharu just seems to have her number. This fight, like their other two, was very close, so a fourth fight seems like a possibility.

K-Spirit 4

The main draw for this card was the retirement match for former MA Kick Bantamweight and Featherweight champion RIOT, rematching the last man to defeat him, Hikaru Machida. Machida had looked good in his recent outings, but RIOT was able to channel the emotion of retirement into one last hurrah, stopping Machida via a nasty cut (the aftermath of which is pictured above) in the 4th round.

MA Kick/Yamanashi Kickboxing Association 11

In a Featherweight headliner, former MA Kick Featherweight champion Hiroki Fujisawa dropped a decision to #4 ranked RYOTA. Fujisawa held the title just a few short months ago, but a TKO loss to Hiroki Akimoto in a failed title defense and another loss here means Fujisawa has a ways to go if he wants to become champion again. With Akimoto setting his sights on the international scene, RYOTA may find himself fighting for the vacant title in the future, should Akimoto vacate it.

11/17 – NKB: KU Differ Ariake

In an upset, NKB Lightweight champion Yasuyuki scored a 3rd round KO of former WPMF World Lightweight champion Kanongsuk WSR. Kanongsuk has had a disastrous fall from grace over the course of the past year. After consecutive victories over Genki Yamamoto, Rashata and Seiji Takahashi, Kanongsuk was knocked out in a defense of his WPMF title in a comeback effort by Arita Tsukahara, then dropped a pair of fights to Sualek Rukukamai, with a loss to Yuya Yamato coming in between. After a draw with Hikaru Machida and a win over Yoshito Kajita, Kanongsuk drops another fight here. Yasuyuki now has two big wins on his record, with a win over Sualek from last year and is definitely someone to look out for in the future.

Results from the second half of the month after the break



Big Bang 11 Results: Akimoto Stays Undefeated

Although most of the focus was on RISE/M-1's Infinity card, the Taniyama Gym put together a good card for Big Bang 11, headlined by a Featherweight showdown between WBC Japan and MA Kick Featherweight champion Hiroki Akimoto and former MA Kick Featherweight champion Shunta Ito. Also on the card were Hiromi Amada, HIROYA, Yuji Takeuchi and Toshiki Taniyama.

In the main event, Hiroki Akimoto remained unbeaten in his pro career, winning a unanimous decision over Shunta Ito, with all 3 judges scoring the bout 49-48. Akimoto (18-0-0, 8 KO) was coming into this fight off of the biggest win of his young career, defeating Yosuke Morii, and solidifies his place as the top Featherweight in Japan with another big win here. After the win, Akimoto declared that, after defeating the two men he felt were the best Featherweights in Japan, he would like to face an international opponent or even make a run at a Rajadamnern or Lumpini Stadium title. Ito (25-11-4, 8 KO) takes his first loss to a Japanese fighter since 2006, with his only losses in that stretch coming to Thais. Ito has fought on all but 2 Big Bang cards, so expect him to be back in action at Big Bang 12.

In other action, WPMF Japan Super Featherweight champion SHIGERU announced himself to the Lightweight world with a unanimous decision over "Kyoken" Yuji Takeuchi on scores of 30-28 and 30-29(x2). SHIGERU (9-0-1) started his career 5-0-0 and earning a shot at the vacant WPMF Japan Super Featherweight title, where he drew Takahito Fujimaki. A rematch victory over Fujimaki followed by wins over Hiroto Yamaguchi and a title defense against Tomoaki Suehiro now have SHIGERU on a 4 fight win streak and scoring the biggest win of his young career. A good next fight for him would be either recently crowned WPMF World Lightweight champion Yosuke Mizuochi or a top-ranked RISE 60kg fighter like Chang Hyun Lee or Motochika Hanada at RISE/M-1 Infinity.II in January, if M-1 chooses to put him on the card. Takeuchi (22-8-2, 13 KO) had won 2 in a row since a 10-month layoff and looked like he was on his way to possibly earning a shot at the Krush 60kg title, but this fight is a bit of a setback for the hard-hitting crowd pleaser. He is scheduled to fight in Krush on January 14th, likely against Kan Itabashi.

At 65kg, former K-1 Koshien champ HIROYA moved up in weight, dispatching of Chonden Chuwattana 30 seconds into the 2nd round with low kicks. The win for HIROYA here is big as he was on a 1-4 skid that saw him drop fights to Masaaki Noiri, Ryuji Kajiwara, Naoki and most recently, Hisaki Higashimoto in the Krush Youth GP. I'm not sure if the move to 65kg is permanent, but it might be a good opportunity for a fresh start. Chonden was coming off of a split decision win over Yosuke Mizuochi in August.

In other action, Hiromi Amada scored an 18 second KO against Tomohiko Hashimoto while Toshiki Taniyama picked up a unanimous decision win. 

Quick results after the break


RISE/M-1 Infinity Results: Yamamoto, Yoshimoto Victorious; Kamimura, Mizuochi Win WPMF Titles

Earlier today, RISE and M-1 Muay Thai Challenge held their first joint show titled Infinity, with top Japanese fighters Masahiro Yamamoto and Koji Yoshimoto taking on Beverwijk Top Team prospects Mansour Yaqubi and Raz Sarkisjan. Also on the show were RISE mainstays Sun Hyun Lee and Dyki, as well as two WPMF World title fights featuring Yosuke Mizuochi and Erika Kamimura.

In the main event, RISE 65kg champion Koji Yoshimoto handed Raz Sarkisjan a second straight loss with a unanimous decision, with all 3 judges scoring it 29-28. Sarkisjan looked to use his power and seems to have landed on Yoshimoto pretty well, but Yoshimoto seems to have turned in on in the 3rd round, securing a victory. Yoshimoto pushes his win streak to five and could see himself rematching Yasuomi Soda in another title defense. Though he is past his physical prime, Yoshimoto, much like Ryuji Kajiwara, seems to have settled into himself quite well and finds ways to win fights. Sarkisjan drops two straight after a big upset win over Masaaki Noiri in May. While he certainly has good power, Sarkisjan will have to work on other aspects of his game if he wants to make an impact in GLORY, though I believe he is only 20 years old, meaning he has plenty of time to improve.

In the co-main event, It’s Showtime 61kg champion Masahiro Yamamoto scored a 3rd round TKO of Mansour Yaqubi, scoring 3 knockdowns in the final round. Yamamoto rode the momentum of his win against Javier Hernandez, coming out aggressive, but I believe he was dropped at the beginning of the 3rd round. Despite that, Yamamoto stormed back with 3 knockdowns of his own to stop the fight. Yamamoto has now won 6 straight. His international future is sort of in limbo right now with Glory’s purchase of It’s Showtime, but with Glory setting up a Tokyo office, I would imagine Yamamoto will be a huge part in attempting to market kickboxing to a Japanese audience again.

At 55kg, Shooto Flyweight champion Mikihito Yamagami came up short in RISE once again, dropping a majority decision to #1 ranked Dyki on scores of 27-26(x2) and 27-27. Dyki has now won 4 in a row and could see himself in a fight for the vacant RISE 55kg title in the future, possibly rematching Ryuma Tobe. Yamagami gives another top Super Bantamweight a tough test, but ends up on the losing side once again. If he were to focus his efforts entirely on kickboxing, he could be a force in the 55kg division, but for now he looks like he has a long reign as Shooto champion in his future, already holding his title for a year and defending it once.

In the night’s lone RISE vs M-1 fight, Sun Hyun Lee scored a 1st round KO of Buakaw WSR at 2:58. Lee improves to 4-1 in RISE and 5-2 in Japan and has a rematch with RISE 63kg champion and LiverKick #4 ranked Lightweight Yuki at RISE/M-1 Infinity.II on January 6th for the title. Lee defeated Yuki in their first meeting, a non-title affair, but with Yuki’s big win over Javier Hernandez at RISE 90, a win for Lee could vault him into the top 10 of the LiverKick rankings. Buakaw takes his first loss at this weight in Japan and is winless in his last 3, though he has faced good competition, even moving up in weight to face T-98.

In a fight for the vacant WPMF World Lightweight title, WPMF Japan and WBC Japan champion Yosuke Mizouchi defeated Nong’an Sasiprapa by 2nd round KO to claim the title. Since an up and down start to his career, Mizuochi has emerged as one of the top Lightweights in Japan over the last 2 years, going 10-1 with wins over Yoshinori Nakasuka, Keiji Ozaki, Ikki, Keijiro Miyakoshi and now Nong’an, claiming the WPMF Japan, WBC Japan and now WPMF World Lightweight titles. This fight could set up a title defense against another top ranked Thai, but the last two fighters to hold this belt had it taken from them before being able to defend it, so who knows if Mizuochi will be able to do anything with it.

In the night’s other WPMF World title fight, Erika Kamimura reclaimed the WPMF Women’s World Mini Flyweight title with a 3rd round KO of Loma Lookboonmee. Kamimura reclaims the belt that she gave up without defending and showed the power she is famous for in doing so. A rematch with RENA set for some time in the future will be crucial for her, as a loss would mean dropping to 0-2 against her rival and possibly fighting in the shadow of RENA until she got another chance at redemption.

Analysis and results of Shimizu vs Sirimongkon, Kaew Fairtex vs Taniguchi, Chang Hyun Lee vs Nagashima and Takahashi vs Itsuka, as well as quick results after the break


NJKF Kick to the Future 9 Results: Kenta Defends, Daichi Yamato Claims Vacant Super FW Title

Earlier today, NJKF held the 9th installment of its Kick to the Future series and it was, on paper, one of their best cards to date, featuring two title fights, three NEW JAPAN WARS 2012 finals and two of the promotion's champions in non-title action against Thai opponents.

In the main event, NJKF Super Welterweight champion Kenta defended his title for the first time against NEW JAPAN WARS Super Welterweight winner Takenaka Shirakami via unanimous decision on scores of 50-47 and 49-48(x2). Kenta picks up a much-needed win after 3 losses this year to Yasuhiro Kido, TOMOYUKI and Soichiro Miyakoshi. Going forward, we can probably expect to see Kenta back in Krush, possibly attempting to earn his way back to the title. Another possible option would be claiming the final position in the 67kg tournament as he isn't the biggest 70kg fighter. Shirakami had a 2-fight winning streak coming into this fight, but has that snapped.

In the co-main event, Daichi Yamato defeated KEI by 5th round KO to win the NEW JAPAN WARS Super Featherweight tournament and claim the vacant NJKF Super Featherweight title. Yamato has now won 5 in a row and 11 of his last 12, establishing himself as the top Super Featherweight in NJKF and possibly opening up some chances for himself in RISE or Krush at 60kg, should he want to fight under that ruleset. If not, he could make a run at the WPMF or WBC Japan titles currently held by SHIGERU and Yoshinori Nakasuka, respectively. KEI was just 1-1 on the year, defeating Nobuhiro Iwai at Kick to the Future 3, but losing his most recent fight.

In the NEW JAPAN WARS Welterweight finals, WBC Japan Super Welterweight champ Soichiro Miyakoshi defeated Tae-yeon by majority decision to earn a rematch with current NJKF Welterweight champion Yuya Yamato. Since losing their first fight and his WBC Japan Welterweight title to Yamato, Miyakoshi is 4-1 earning the WBC Japan Super Welterweight title and defending it once, handing Masato Otake his first loss and now earning a rematch with Yamato. Miyakoshi seems to be fighting much better since their first fight while Yamato has since had his world rocked by Yuta Kubo. The fight will be a tossup. Tae-yeon made it to the finals with a win over Baku Saenchaigym, but came up short here.

In the last NEW JAPAN WARS final at Super Lightweight, Kazushige Sugama scored a 1st round KO of Marimo to earn a shot at current champ Seiji Takahashi. This fight was a rematch of a 2011 fight which ended with Marimo scoring a TKO of his own. Sugama picks up his second straight win via KO and has some momentum heading into his title fight with Takahashi, which he will certainly need. 

NJKF Super Lightweight champ Seiji Takahashi and Lightweight champ Keijiro Miyakoshi both took on Thai opposition, with different outcomes. Takahashi was scheduled to fight Naoki, but he pulled out and was replaced by Dejpanom Senchaigym, who Takahashi stopped via cut in the 3rd round. Takahashi improves to 3-1 on the year and has a date with Sugama set for the future. In the other Japan vs Thailand fight, Keijiro Miyakoshi took another hit to his bubble as he dropped a split decision to Mongkoldet Sithubon on scores of 30-29, 29-28 and 29-30. After winning the NJKF and WBC Japan Lightweight titles to end 2011, Miyakoshi fought fellow prospect Hikaru Machida to a draw before scoring the biggest win of his career, a majority decision over Koya Urabe. Now he has lost 2 in a row, losing his WBC Japan title to Yosuke Mizuochi and dropping the split decision here. He'll need some big wins in the future to climb back into the picture at 60-63kg. 

Finally, in a NEW JAPAN WARS Flyweight semifinal, prospect Nemo picked up another big win with a unanimous decision win over former WBC Japan Flyweight champion Naoki Otsuki. Nemo is now 6-0-2 (2 KO) in his young career, but has two big wins at 51kg over Shuichi Wentz and Otsuki. While both of those fighters had been struggling of late at Flyweight and had fallen from the top of the division, they are still two good, experienced fighters and being able to put together back to back wins against them is very impressive at this stage in his career. It's impossible to know who he will fight for the vacant NJKF Flyweight title as these were the only two fighters ranked by NJKF at Flyweight, but matchups with top Flyweights Ryuji Kato, Kiminori Matsuzaki, Hiroyuki Yamano and Sazanami Satsutama are all possible and should do well in determining if Nemo is a fringe contender or the real deal.

Quick results after the break


Krush-EX 2012 vol.6 Results

Krush held the 6th installment of their 2012 Krush-EX series, headlined by the promotion’s inaugural 67kg fight as well as a fight between 63kg prospects Hiroto Yamaguchi and Atsushi Ogata.

In the main event, Makihira Keita earned a unanimous decision over RISE product Koetsu on scores of 30-28 and 30-29(x2) to win the first 67kg Krush fight. Keita is now 2-1-1 on the year, most recently losing to Masaaki Noiri. With the win, Keita will likely get placed into 67kg tournament that is set to start in January, however that’s not the best news for him as the tournament already boasts stars Yuta Kubo, Yuji Nashiro, Yuya Yamamoto and Shintaro Matsukura.

In the co-main event, DEEP*KICK 65kg champ and 2012 Youth GP semifinalist Hiroto Yamaguchi scored a 1st round KO of Atsushi Ogata, scoring 3 knockdowns and forcing a referee stoppage. Yamaguchi improves to 5-2 on the year with the losses coming to SHIGERU and Koya Urabe, while he has managed to pick up wins over fellow prospects Minoru Kimura, Taito and now Ogata. Since scoring an upset KO of Toshiki Taniyama back in July, Ogata has now lost two in a row by KO, most recently losing to Seiji Takahashi in September.

Also on this card was Hiroya’s younger brother Taiga making his pro debut and scoring a 3rd round KO of Ryota. The fight took place at 55kg, but Taiga is only 16, so expect him to continue to move up in weight as he grows. He will probably settle around 60-63kg in a couple years, so hopefully he has the same offensive talent as his brother and can be another addition to a stacked, young Lightweight division.

Krush returns on December 14th with the big Team Dragon 10th anniversary card featuring a 60kg title fight between Hirotaka Urabe and Naoki Ishikawa, Koya Urabe vs Karim Bennoui and Ryuji Kajiwara vs Ikki.

Quick results after the break


Krush.24 Results: Noiri Tops Ozkul, Urabe and Matsukura Win Youth GPs

Krush.24 took place earlier today at Korakuen Hall in Tokyo featuring LiverKick #1 ranked Lightweight Masaaki Noiri taking on #5 Yetkin Ozkul. Also on the card were the 63kg and 70kg Youth GP finals and a 70kg #1 contender match.

In the main event, Masaaki Noiri solidified his #1 ranking with a unanimous decision win over Yetkin Ozkul on scores of 30-28 and 29-27(x2). After an even first 2 rounds, Noiri dropped Ozkul with a flying knee in the final round, securing a victory. Noiri (14-3-0, 5 KO) is now 8-1 in his last 9 and adds another top-tier Lightweight to his win column in Ozkul, who joins the Urabe brothers, Ryuji Kajiwara, Hiroya and Cedric Peynaud. This is a huge win for Noiri as it is his third fight against European competition and the first in which he was not knocked down, although the knockdown against Peynaud was unofficial, which is surprising as Ozkul is known as a power puncher. He is set to face this year's Youth GP winner Koya Urabe, a rematch of the Youth GP finals last year, and another win could easily put Noiri in line for a title shot against the winner of Thomas Adamandopoulos vs Hideaki Yamazaki. Ozkul was coming into this fight off of the momentum of his huge win over Krush 63kg champ Thomas Adamandopoulos in May, but has his momentum a bit derailed here. The loss is no shame, as both fighters excelled at each other's weaknesses and it was Ozkul whose defenses cracked first, leading to the knockdown. A good matchup for him would be a fight with the winner of Karim Bennoui vs Thomas Adamandopoulos at Nuit Des Champions later this month.

In the co-main event, Koya Urabe won the first tournament of his career with a 3rd round KO of Hisaki Higashimoto via flying knee to win the Krush 63kg Youth GP. Urabe dominated Higashimoto with his superior boxing, punishing his body before scoring a flying knee about 30 seconds into the final round that put Higashimoto out for good. Urabe (24-4-0, 4 KO) has struggled in the past to find the perfect balance between aggression and defense, but seemed to have found it quite well here, taking advantage of his opponent's inexperience. The win should be a big motivational boost for Urabe, who made it to the finals of three tournaments last year (Krush, K-1 and Krush Youth), but losing in each one. His next fight is a rematch of last year's Youth GP finals against last year's champion Masaaki Noiri, who added Urabe to his highlight reel with a flying knee KO. Urabe will need to sure up his defense to have a hope at winning. Higashimoto (2-1-0, 1 KO) surprised everyone by making it this far, upsetting Hiroya in the quarterfinals by KO and edging out Daizo Sasaki in the semis. As most would have figured, Higashimoto struggled with Urabe's boxing, as he comes from a kyokushin background and is not used to boxing at Urabe's level. With just 3 fights under his belt, Higashimoto shows a lot of promise and could benefit from fighting someone with the experience, but not the skill, of Urabe next, possibly someone like Kizaemon Saiga, Ikki or Keiji Ozaki.

In the 70kg Youth GP final, Shintaro Matsukura and Taisei Kondo proved to be even through 3 rounds, but Matsukura came on strong in the extension round, scoring big hooks and dropping Kondo 3 times, resulting in a stoppage. With the win Matsukura (7-5-0, 5 KO) becomes the first Krush 70kg Youth GP champion and joins Noiri in winning both the Krush and K-1 Youth tournaments at their respective weights. It's a very positive sign for Matsukura that he came on strong in the extension round as there were previously questions about his stamina, as he fights in an all-or-nothing style, but he seems to have saved that strategy for the later portions of fights he's losing. A good next fight for Matsukura would be a rematch with Yutaro Yamauchi, as the two put on an excellent fight in the Krush 70kg tournament semis. Kondo's only losses have come against Matsukura and at 19, he has a bright future ahead of him. 

Finally, in a fight to determine 70kg champ Yasuhiro Kido's next challenger, Takuro Moriya took an extension round split decision over Asami Zaurus, earning his second win over Asami this year. Moriya ended 2011 with a pair of losses to Su Hwan Lee and Yu Hirono, but is now 4-0 in 2012 with a pair of wins over Asami. Asami was placed into this bout after an upset of Yuya Yamamoto at Krush.20, but is an average fighter outside of that win. Moriya faces Kido at some time in the future, although with Kido's upcoming participation in K-1, it's hard to know when Kido will be ready for a fight in Krush with the possibility of injuries.

Krush returns later this month on the 23rd with Krush-EX 2012 vol.6 featuring the promotion's first 67kg fight between Makihira Keita and RISE regular Kotetsu, as well as a 63kg fight between 2012 Youth GP semifinalist Hiroto Yamaguchi and Atsushi Ogata. 

Quick results after the break



REBELS.13 Results: van Opstal Wins, Completes S-Cup Field

Earlier today, REBELS held a two-part event, REBELS.13 and the first installment of REBELS Muay Thai, in which all fights are full contact. The headliner was an S-Cup playoff to determine the last participant between Henri van Opstal and Yuichiro Nagashima, as well as a REBELS 65kg title fight.

In the night's main event, Henri van Opstal improved to 5-0 against Japanese opposition with a unanimous decision of Yuichiro "Jienotsu" Nagashima on scores of 29-28 and 30-29(x2). Nagashima was surprisingly close in this fight considering how bad he looked against Kenmun in K-1 last year. van Opstal (19-3-0) is on a 3-fight winning streak and with this win, puts himself in his 2nd straight S-Cup. With a relatively week field, van Opstal could easily find himself making it to the finals and possibly facing off against fellow teammate and mentor Andy Souwer. Nagashima (19-5-0, 13 KO) takes just his 2nd kickboxing fight in as many years, focusing on pro wrestling with K-1's recent sale. He looks to have been much improved from his fight last year, but still wasn't good enough to beat van Opstal. He is set to fight at Glory 4 Tokyo on December 2nd.

In a rematch from REBELS.12, Zen Fujita won a unanimous decision over MA Kick Super Lightweight champion Mohan Dragon on scores of 30-28 and 29-28(x2) to win the inaugural REBELS 65kg title. The two fought in July to a 5 round draw for what was then the It's Showtime Japan 65kg title, before Glory's acquisition of It's Showtime. I would have expected the 3 round fight to favor Mohan Dragon, who throws almost every strike with full power, but Fujita was able to take the decision in the shorter fight. Fujita improves to 2-1-1 on the year, while Mohan Dragon tastes defeat for the first time. I would definitely like to see both of these guys in Krush's planned 67kg tournament.

At 85kg, It's Showtime Japan 95kg champ Toshio Matsumoto won a majority decision over Hidekazu Kimura on scores of 29-29, 29-28 and 30-29. Matsumoto (38-9-6, 30 KO) has now won 9 in a row since dropping down from Heavyweight and is set to fight at Glory 4 Tokyo on December 2nd. Kimura falls to 1-2 on the year, losing to recently crowned RISE Heavyweight champ Kengo Shimizu at RISE 87.

At 70kg, Hinata took another easy win, this time a 2nd round KO of Norihisa Amimoto. Hinata (24-13-1, 8 KO) is 3-3 this year, with losses to Andy Ristie, Henri van Opstal and Warren Stevelmans and wins over an undersized Zen Fujita, Kang Jung-woo and now Amimoto. While Hinata has the talent to hang with top guys, he has not scored a quality win since his upset of Arthur Kyshenko over 2 years ago.

Also on the REBELS.13 portion of the card was Shootboxing vet Kazuyuki Fushimi possibly earning himself a shot at REBELS 55kg champ Hiroaki Mizuhara with a win over Taisuke Degai. Also, Sho Ogawa had his 4-fight win streak snapped by Tatsuya Inaishi.

The headliner for the REBELS Muay Thai 1 portion of the card saw WPMF Japan Welterweight champ T-98 and former Rajadamnern Stadium ranker Semsan Sor Sompung fight to a majority draw. T-98 had won 7 straight coming into this fight including winning his WPMF Japan title and winning a fight in Thailand. Along with Yuya Yamato, he is one of the top fighters in the 67kg division and although he fights almost entirely under full contact rules, he would be a great addition to the Krush 67kg tournament.

WPMF Japan Super Featherweight champion SHIGERU defended his title for the first time with a unanimous decision over Tomoaki Suehiro on scores of 49-47, 49-48 and 49-46. SHIGERU (8-0-1, 1 KO) remains undefeated, having won 3 in a row since the first blemish on his record, though he avenged that draw with a win over the man who gave it to him, Takahiro Fujimaki, and most recently handed DEEP*KICK 65kg champ Hiroto Yamaguchi his first pro loss. Should he want to fight under Krush rules, SHIGERU definitely deserves a shot in Krush at 58kg or 60kg. 

Quick results after the break


RISE 90 Results: Yuki Stops Javier Hernandez in 2nd Round

RISE 90 took place earlier today, headlined by LiverKick #3 ranked Lightweight Javier Hernandez taking on RISE 63kg champ Yuki. Also on the card were a bout for the vacant RISE Heavyweight title, the finals of the RISE Featherweight tournament to determine the first RISE Featherweight champion, a 65kg #1 contender bout and RISE regulars Sun Hyun Lee, Shohei Asahari, Dyki and others competing.

In the main event, RISE 63kg champion Yuki scored what could be the biggest win of his career with a 2nd round KO via low kicks of former It’s Showtime 61kg champion Javier Hernandez. Yuki used his best strikes, his hard low kicks, to punish Hernandez’s legs and drop him twice in the 2nd round, leading the referee to stop the fight. Yuki (32-14-1, 24 KO) shakes up an already chaotic 60-63kg division as he stops the man ranked #3 on the LiverKick rankings and many people had favored going into this fight, especially as Yuki  needed a huge comeback to defend his title against Yuto Watanabe and was coming off of a loss to Sun Hyun Lee. After the win, he stated that he wanted to rematch current It’s Showtime 61kg champ Masahiro Yamamoto at the RISE/M-1 Infinity event in December. Yamamoto won their first fight via decision in K-1 in 2009. Hernandez (25-6-0, 11 KO) takes a huge step down here, going from arguably the top fighter in the division to possibly falling out of the top 10 with back to back losses. This was his first fight outside of Europe and I believe only his second outside of Spain, so that may have played in a little bit, but a loss is a loss. He is set to face Michael Peynaud at Heroes IV in Cordoba, Spain on November 17th, though if he went down from low kicks in this fight, he may not be so eager to take a fight so soon.

In the co-main event, #1 ranked Heavyweight Kengo Shimizu and #2 ranked Raoumaru rematched for the vacant RISE Heavyweight title with Shimizu scoring his 2nd knockout of Raoumaru, this time via high kick in the 3rd round. Shimizu dominated the fight, much like their first fight, but took nearly 2 rounds longer to finish Raoumaru this time, stopping him in the 1st with a body kick previously. Shimizu (14-2-0, 11 KO) has now won 7 in a row, but doesn’t have much competition available to him other than maybe Singh “Heart” Jaideep, who lost in K-1 earlier this month. Raoumaru has only lost to Shimizu this year, but isn’t really a top tier Heavyweight, though his fights tend to be either exciting or quick knockouts.

In the RISE Featherweight finals, Itto completed his string of upsets, winning a unanimous decision against Ryo Pegasus on scores of 48-47, 47-46 and 48-46 to win the RISE Featherweight Tournament and become the first RISE Featherweight champion. The virtually unknown Itto won the tournament with upsets of J-Network champ Masato Sato, Masayuki Ishabashi and tournament favorite Ryo Pegasus and now positions himself very well in a stacked Featherweight division. Ryo made it to the finals with wins over Koya Shimada and Yuta Sashikubi.

In a 65kg #1 contender bout, Yasuomi Soda earned a second title shot with a win over Yukihiro Komiya by unanimous decision on scores of 28-26 and 28-27(x2). Soda (13-1-0, 4 KO) started his career 11-0-0, earning a title shot against current champ Koji Yoshimoto at RISE 86, but losing a close decision. This earns him a second shot and I’m sure this time he’ll come back better and may be able to take the win. Yoshimoto is currently scheduled to fight at the RISE/M-1 event on December 2nd, so I don’t know if Soda would want the fight then or at a later event. Komiya (29-11-0, 6 KO) had gone 3-0 since dropping to 65kg after a long career at 70kg, but comes up short in his bid to become the 2nd man to win RISE titles in two different weight classes.

In a 64kg fight, Sun Hyun Lee dealt with late replacement Shohei Asahara with a unanimous decision win on scores of 29-28(x2) and 29-27. Lee was set to face Hiroshi Mizumachi in a #1 contender bout for a shot at 63kg champ Yuki, but Mizumachi pulled out a couple weeks ago with an injury and was replaced by Asahara. Lee will still likely get the title shot as Asahara is ranked #4 at 63kg. He is now 3-1 in RISE, with wins over Yuki, Yuto Watanabe and Asahara with his sole loss being a majority decision against Koji Yoshimoto. Asahara is now on a 4-fight losing streak.

At 55kg, Dyki scored a big win with a 3rd round KO of MA Kick Bantamweight champion Takashi Ohno via low kicks. Dyki made it to the finals of the RISE Bantamweight tournament but lost by 1st round KO to KENJI, who has since moved on to boxing. He followed that up with a majority decision loss to Ryuma Tobe, but has now won 3 in a row over solid opponents, defeating Hiroaki Mizuhara, Ariaki Okada and now Ohno. He could possibly rematch Ryuma Tobe for the vacant RISE title. Ohno was one of the hottest Bantamweights coming into this fight, having won 7 in a row, including handing prospects Takuma Ito and Seiya Rokukawa their 2nd and 1st pro losses, respectively. He may find himself rematching Ito soon in a defense of his MA Kick title.

Finally at 63kg, #3 ranked Yuto Watanabe stopped #1 ranked Shootboxing Lightweight Yu Sugawara at 1:44 of the 2nd round. Watanabe snaps a 2-fight losing streak after losing to Yuki and Sun Hyun Lee. Sugawara challenged Hiroaki Suzuki for the vacant Shootboxing Lightweight title at the beginning of the year, but lost that fight and is now 2-2 in 2012.

Quick results after the break

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