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Thailand vs. Asia 2012 Results: Armin and Jom Kitti win in Malaysia

 

Thailand vs. Asia 2012, a continuation of the Thailand vs. Challengers series, went down last week in Malaysia. Featured on the card were some pretty good match-ups, including Pechumpholl vs. Ali Yaakob, Leo Monteiro vs. Jom Kitti, and Armin Pumpanmuang vs. Faizal Ramli.

In the night’s main event, Armin Pumpanmuang, considered one of the most promising Thai’s at 70 kg, dominated Faizal Ramli, a hometown favorite, in a lopsided decision victory. This was an interesting fight on paper as Armin was coming off a very poor performance against Raphaël Llodra in September. However, Ramli didn’t seem to have an answer for anything Armin threw at him and spent most of the match complaining about the ring.  

In the event’s lone superfight, Leo Monteiro dropped a decision to Jom Kitti. Leo, who was originally supposed to take on Tetsuya Yamato in September, couldn’t find a home for most of his punches or body kicks. Jom used his experience to outlast the taller Brazilian, staying against the ropes for the majority of the rounds, nullifying Monteiro’s attacks and dominating the clinch. 

Ali Yaakob contributed the lone win for Asia against Petchumpholl. Ali clearly had the better cardio of the two and outworked the Thai with quick leg-kicks en-route to a decision victory. Yaakob is considered one of the best at 55 kg in Asia, and I would like to see him take the step up to 60 kg. He might be someone to look out for in the future.

Full Event Results

Yaya def. Kudin by TKO in Round 2.

Changpuek def. Liu Xiang Ming by KO in Round 2.

Ali Yaakob  def. Pechumpholl by decision.

Madsua def. Mostafa Abdollahi by decision.

Jom Kitti def. Leo Monteiro by decision.

Armin Pumpanmuang def. Faizal Ramli by decision.

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K-1 World Grand Prix Final 16 Live Results

K-1

Yes, it is that time yet again for live results. This time feels a bit special as this is the first time in two years now that we will be seeing a K-1 Heavyweight tournament event originating live in Japan. It is airing on Ustream/Spike TV's website for free. Yes, for free. Follow us on Twitter as well (@LiverKickdotcom and @RianScalia).

Stay tuned to LiverKick for live results.

 

Super Fights:

Zhou Zhi Peng (R2 - TKO) Koutaro Mori - Zhou simply applied too much pressure and used his hands effectively against Mori, who was working his kicks.

James Wilson (R3 - Draw) Rick Roufus - Absolute garbage decision here. Roufus outclassed the larger fighter by controlling the ring and landing kicks. Originally announced an extension round, and then said no extra round, just a draw. Weird.

Benjamin Adegbuyi (R1 - TKO [Injury]) Jafar Ahmadi - Decent bit of a fight, then Ahmadi's hand came down onto Benny's leg and apparently broke his hand. He shook his hand in the corner and took a 10 count.

Pavel Zhuravlev (R3 - Dec.) Saulo Calavari - Good back-and-forth with Saulo showing flashes of brilliance, but was simply outclassed by Pavel. Oddly enough, they listed Pavel as being from Russia, not the Ukraine.

Changhyun Lee (R3 - Dec.) Genji Umeno - Amazing, amazing fight. Just go and watch this one, I don't feel like I can do it justice right now.

 

Final 16:

 

Ben Edwards (R2 - KO) Raul Catinas - Both men were looking to murder the other in round 1, but between rounds it became clear that Catinas was completely gassed out. Edwards slugged Catinas out and then pushed him over for the ref to count him down.

Jarrell Miller (R3 - Dec.) Arnold Oborotov - This was kicks vs. punches and Jarrell's punches put Oborotov down in R1. Round 2 saw Oborotov look a bit better, but round three was all Miller.

Zabit Samedov (R1 - KO) Xavier Vigney - This fight was brutal. Samedov is a seasoned veteran and Xavier Vigney is fresh out of high school with one professional fight under his belt. It felt irresponsible of K-1 to put Vigney in a position like this. After Vigney was hit once he fell apart and went down three times, his corner throwing in the towel right before the third.

Hesdy Gerges (R3 - Dec.) Sergei Lascenko - This fight was exactly what you'd expect of it. Hesdy is the easy favorite for the whole tournament now.

Ismael Londt (R3 - Dec.) Singh Jaideep - This fight was also exactly what you'd expect of it. Londt gassed out, Jaideep hit like he was trying not to break an egg.

Makoto Uehara (R3 - Dec.) Hiromi Amada - Yeah.

Catalin Morosanu (R3 - Dec.) Paul Slowinski - Slowinski looked good early on, but Morosanu kept throwing bombs until they did him favors in round 3. Two knockdowns in R3 told the story.

Mirko Cro Cop (R3 - Dec.) Randy Blake - Randy Blake simply had no answer for Cro Cop and was connecting here and there, but proved to not have the power to make a difference. Late in the third Randy suckerpunched Cro Cop, which sadly for him, did little damage. Cro Cop walks away with the win.

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Krush.23 Results: Urabe, Kido Defeat French Opposition, Yamazaki Wins WILDRUSH League

Krush.23 took place earlier today featuring two of the promotion's champions taking on French opponents, as well as a trio of important 60kg fights and the final leg of the -63kg WILDRUSH League.

In the night's main event, Krush 60kg champion Hirotaka Urabe needed an extension round, but was able to force a doctor stoppage of France's Xavier Bastard. Urabe and Bastard were both able to land on each other, but it seems as though Urabe was landing slightly more often and hurting Bastard's body throughout the fight. The fight was stopped due to a large amount of blood coming out of Bastard's left ear, which I believe was largely a result of the pictured spinning heel kick. Urabe (20-6-2, 10 KO) pushes his unbeaten streak to 12, going 11-0-1 over that stretch, and defending his Krush title twice. I expect Urabe to be back in Krush early next year to defend his title, possibly against Naoki Ishikawa. Good showing from Bastard, who was the closest to beating Urabe since Ishikawa fought him to a draw. It's a shame the fight didn't go to the scorecards.

In the co-main event, Krush 70kg champion Yasuhiro Kido had little trouble with Frenchman Ludovic Millet, winning a unanimous decision on scores of 30-26(x3). Kido was able to drop Millet twice, but wasn't able to put him away. Kido (30-13-1, 14 KO) has won six in a row, most recently defeating Yu Hirono in Big Bang. He is due for a title defense before the end of the year, but with the K-1 World MAX Finals on December 8th, I think Kido will be given an exemption by Krush and be able to defend his title next year. 

In a 60kg fight, Naoki Ishikawa edged out Shota Senchaigym with a unanimous decision on scores of 28-27(x3). Although the fight was close on the scorecards, Ishikawa largely controlled the fight outside of a knockdown in the first round. However, immediately on the restart, Ishikawa threw a flying knee that scored him a knockdown of his own and managed to control the rest of the fight with his unorthodox style. Ishikawa (35-18-5, 18 KO) is now on a two-fight win streak after a win over Kan Itabashi in June and could find himself fighting Hirotaka Urabe for the title next, though I'll talk about that situation in a little bit. Shota is now 1-1-1 in Krush, drawing Makahira Keita at Krush.18 and most recently beating Takeshi Watanabe at Krush.21. Good showing from him considering he was able to drop Ishikawa, but outside of that he had little answer for Ishikawa.

In another 60kg fight, "Kyoken" Yuji Takeuchi returned to Krush for the first time in over a year and scored a dramatic 3rd round KO Krush 60kg Tournament winner Fumiya Osawa. Osawa dropped Takeuchi once in the first round and twice in the second, but Takeuchi roared back with a knockdown of his own in the 2nd before the deciding third round saw Takeuchi drop Osawa twice en route to a stoppage when Osawa stumbled around the ring after the second knockdown. Takeuchi (22-8-2, 13 KO) didn't fail to entertain the fans in his return to Krush and has now won 2 in a row after returning with a win in MA Kick earlier in the year. Osawa (7-9-1, 2 KO) put forth a great effort, dropping Takeuchi 3 times, but was unable to close it out. After winning the Krush 60kg tournament, he has dropped two in a row, losing his title shot to Hirotaka Urabe and now losing to Takeuchi. I'd like to see him take on Shota Senchaigym next.

In the final 60kg fight, former RISE champion Kan Itabashi scored a first round KO of Katsuya Goto. Itabashi (20-6-2, 4 KO) picks up his first win since last July after dropping two straight to It's Showtime champ Masahiro Yamamoto and Naoki Ishikawa. This win keeps him in the upper echelon of the 60kg division in Krush. Goto is now on a 2-fight losing streak after losing in the Krush 60kg tournament finals to Fumiya Osawa. A third fight between them would be a good fight.

Now to look at the 60kg division after tonight's fights. In my eyes, the logical move would be to set up Urabe vs Ishikawa 3 for the title and Takeuchi vs Itabashi with the winner being next in line, considering that Ishikawa has recent wins over both Takeuchi and Itabashi and fought Urabe to a draw in his title shot. However, Ishikawa vs Takeuchi 3 is another very real possibility that is hard to say no to as they have produced fireworks in their two previous bouts, with their first fight in the AJKF Lightweight Tournament Semifinals in 2009 becoming an instant classic and their last fight also seeing them both hit the canvas.

Finally, in the conclusion of the WILDRUSH League, 4th placed NOMAN scored a 1st round knockout of last placed Naoki Terasaki which propelled him to a third place finish in the league. In the first deciding fight of the WILDRUSH League, second placed Hitoshi Tsukagoshi needed a knockout and a Hideaki Yamazaki loss to win the League and the title shot, but was dropped 3 times by 5th placed TaCa en route to a one-sided unanimous decision win, winning the WILDRUSH League for Yamazaki. However in his own fight, Yamazaki went out and closed out the League with a unanimous decision of Yukimitsu Takahashi, finishing the WILDRUSH League with a perfect 5-0-0 (1 KO) record and earning himself a title shot against current 63kg champion Thomas Adamandopoulos. I'm not entirely sold on Yamazaki as an elite contender in the 63kg division, but he beat everyone they put in front of him in the WILDRUSH League, including avenging his sole loss to TaCa. I don't like his chances against Adamandopoulos, but he has two teammates at Team Dragon who recently fought him, so he could develop a gameplan to shock everyone.

Also at the event, Krush announced their first two shows of 2013, first a show taking place on January 14th (presumably Krush-EX 2013 vol.1) at the Yoyogi National Gymnasium, though I believe it will be held at the smaller venue there as opposed to the 14,000+ seat arena. The other show announced was Krush.26 on January 26th.

Quick results after the break

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MA Kick - BREAK-30 Results: Hiroki Akimoto Captures Featherweight Throne

MA Kick and WBC Japan held a big card earlier today headlined by the huge featherweight showdown between current WBC Japan champ Yosuke Morii and MA Kick champion and undefeated Hiroki Akimoto, as well as three other WBC Japan title fights and a superfight for MA Kick Flyweight champ Yuuji Uwasawa. 

In the night's main event, Hiroki Akimoto remained undefeated in his pro career with a unanimous decision over Yosuke Morii on scores of 49-48, 49-47 and 50-47 to capture Morii's WBC Japan Featherweight title. Akimoto got the better of Morii throughout the first three rounds, landing more often, harder and cleaner than his opponent. However, in the 4th, Morii had Akimoto in trouble with a big left hook, but in the final round Akimoto came back strong and sealed his victory. Akimoto (16-0-0, 8 KO) has his consecutive (T)KO win streak snapped, but I'm sure he doesn't mind as he now has a claim as the #1 Featherweight in Japan with Genji Umeno effectively gone, fighting in Thailand and K-1. As a former K-1 Koshien finalist and now with this win over Morii, Akimoto could find himself a player in K-1 next year with the planned division expansion, but until then I'd like to see him fight Heihachi Nakajima or somebody of a similar caliber. Morii (20-4-2, 9 KO) once again fails in his quest for divisional supremacy, losing a one-sided decision to Genji Umeno in their fight last year. However, Morii is still a clear #2 behind Akimoto, holding wins this year over Heihachi Nakajima and Hiroki Nagashima. I expect Morii to continue to run through the division until a rematch with Akimoto or Umeno presents itself.

In the co-main event, WBC and WPMF Japan Flyweight champion Ryuji Kato made the first defense of his WBC Japan title with a majority decision over WPMF Japan Super Flyweight champion Kiminori Matsuzaki on scores of 49-49 and 49-48(x2). Kato was originally set to face Hiroyuki Yamano, though for a reason unknown to me, he was replaced by Matsuzaki, who Kato had recently called out because of Matsuzaki's recent win over Kato's teammate, Takuma Ito. Kato (19-3-1, 9 KO) has won two in a row after losing two in a row for the first time in his career, most recently defeating K-1 competitor Shuichi Wentz for the WPMF Japan Flyweight title. With wins over Yuki, Naoki Otsuki, Wentz, Sazanami Satsuma and now Matsuzaki, Kato has arguably the best resume at Flyweight and if it weren't for a majority decision loss to Yuuji Uwasawa, Kato would hands down be the top guy at the weight. A rematch with Uwasawa would be a great next fight for Kato, however after the fight Kato stated he wanted to fight internationally, naming Romie Adanza specifically. Matsuzaki came into this fight 14 years older than his opponent and with a 4-1 record in his last 5 fights, including wins over Hiroyuki Yamano and Takuma Ito, but has now lost two in a row. At 37, Matsuzaki didn't really show any signs of slowing down and has actually seemed to hit the best stride in his career despite back to back losses, both of which were close majority decisions. A fight with J-Network champion Kentaro Kimura could be in his near future.

At Welterweight, WBC Japan champ Yuya Yamato dominated Daiki Watabe en route to a 5th round TKO via cut to defend his WBC Japan title for the first time. Yamato (15-7-0, 10 KO) had a bit of speculation around his performance coming into this fight as he was obliterated by a Yuta Kubo headkick in his last fight, but he had little trouble with Watabe here, dropping him in the second round and offensively smothering him. With his natural fighting weight around 66kg, Yamato is somewhat stuck between two divisions and, because of this, doesn't have a lot of top tier competition to fight at his weight. That being said, WPMF Japan Welterweight champion T-98, should he successfully defend his title at the end of the month, would be a great, competitive matchup for Yamato at a weight he is comfortable fighting at. Watabe (13-9-1, 9 KO) came into this fight on a 2 fight winstreak, but just wasn't on the same level as Yamato. 

In the final WBC Japan title fight, Takuma Ito was just too much for J-Network champ Kentaro Kimura and scored a 4th round TKO via corner stoppage to win the vacant WBC Japan Bantamweight title. Ito (14-3-1, 7 KO) had been struggling greatly as of late, losing three in a row to Kiminori Matsuzaki, TO-MA and Takashi Ohno, all of which were title fights, after starting his career 12-0-1. However, he bounced back with a win in June and now scores a big win here. I'd like to see him rematch Takashi Ohno for the MA Kick title in his next fight. Kimura was riding a 5-fight win streak into this fight which included winning the J-Network Bantamweight tournament, but came up short here. As previously stated, I'd like to see him defend his J-Network title against Kiminori Matsuzaki should Matsuzaki want to move up to Bantamweight.

Finally, MA Kick Flyweight champ Yuji Uwasawa took an easy win over Nagata Haryi on scores of 30-26 and 30-28(x2). Uwasawa would have liked to have been fighting Ryuji Kato on this card, but a loss to Hiroyuki Yamano in a #1 contender's bout earlier this year denied him of that chance. This win snaps a 2-fight losing streak for Uwasawa which included that loss to Yamano and a loss to Shuichi Wentz. 

Quick results after the break

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NJKF Kick to the Future 6 Results: Yamato Claims WBC International Title

The other day, NJKF held the sixth installment of its Kick to the Future series at Korakuen Hall in Tokyo headlined by Tetsuya Yamato in a fight for the WBC International Super Lightweight Title, as well as 4 other WBC Japan titles on the line.

In the main event, Tetsuya Yamato took a unanimous decision over late replacement Paul Karpowicz on scores of 50-48 and 49-48(x2) to win the vacant WBC International Super Lightweight title. Yamato was originally set to face Leo Monteiro, who was replaced a few weeks back by Karpowicz. Yamato (29-9-1, 22 KO) seemed to have a little bit of trouble with Karpowicz, needing a knockdown in the final round to secure the win. He improves to 4-0 in 2012, with wins over Densiam Lookprabaht, Seiji Takahashi, Sergio Wielzen and now Karpowicz. Next for him could be another foreigner, perhaps even Liam Harrison, or he could toss his hat back in the ring at 63kg in Japan, but he seems pretty focused on international muay thai competition.

In the co-main event, WBC Japan Super Welterweight champ Soichiro Miyakoshi made the first defense of his title with a 3rd round TKO via cut of former Krush 70kg champ Kenta at 2:22. Miyakoshi (19-9-1, 10 KO) has had a pretty good year since dropping back to back fights to Yuya Yamato and Takafumi Morita last year, going 3-1 since with wins over then-undefeated J-Network champ Masato Otake, WBC Super Welterweight champ Yutaro Yamauchi to win this title and now Kenta to defend it, with the loss coming to Danilo Zanolini at the Hoost Cup. Despite the loss, these are three big wins for Miyakoshi and have helped in changing his role of gatekeeper to one of the top 70kg fighters in Japan. After a strong 2011, Kenta (24-11-3, 9 KO) seemed to be a strong candidate to rule the 70kg division in Japan in a post-Masato world, but a 1-3 record in 2012 has him on the outside looking in. He was upset by TOMOYUKI at Kick to the Future 1 in his first fight of the year, then lost his Krush title to Yasuhiro Kido at the hands of a spectacular knockout. A win in June over Shu Kiire helped him get his bearings back, but this loss makes it 1-4 in his last 5 and he is in need of a big win to turn his career around. With Yutaro Yamauchi making his return to Krush next month, Kenta could be a good opponent for a rematch should Yamauchi win his fight.

In the next WBC Japan title fight, Super Featherweight champ Yoshinori Nakasuka made his second defense with a unanimous decision over MA Kick Super Featherweight champ Hikaru Machida on scores of 50-46, 49-46 and 48-46. Nakasuka had yet to fight this year, most recently losing to Australian Joe Concha last November. This is a huge win for Nakasuka as Machida had been one of the hotter prospects of late. Machida takes his first loss of the year after he had a pair of draws against Kanongsuk and Keijiro Miyakoshi and a win over Takaaki Kimura.

In a fight for the WBC Japan Super Bantamweight title, MA Kick champion Keisuke Miyamoto beat reigning champion Ryuya Kusakabe on scores of 48-47 and 49-48(x2) to become the new WBC Japan Super Bantamweight champion. Miyamoto (14-1-1, 6 KO) is now undefeated in his last 6 and with recent wins over NJKF champ Arato and now Kusakabe, as well as Kenji's departure from kickboxing, is now arguably the #2 guy at 55kg behind Krush champ Shota Takiya. As big of a fan of Kusakabe as I am, this is exactly what the division needed as the top three guys had been fighting everyone but each other since the end of the Krush tournament and it seemed as though they were near untouchable. This win shakes up the division and presents a new, legitimate challenge to Takiya's throne. Kusakabe (13-2-0, 5 KO) is handed just his second pro loss, the first coming to Takiya in the Krush 55kg tourney finals, and has a three-fight winning streak snapped. I would like to see him fight a few guys in Krush to build a third fight with Shota Takiya, but who knows what he wants to do next. Either way, both of these fighters were born in 1992 and Takiya in 1989, so the three of them have plenty of years left to entertain fans and fight each other.

In the final WBC Japan title fight, WPMF Lightweight champ Yosuke Mizuochi was all over reigning champ Keijiro Miyakoshi en route to a unanimous decision win on scores of 50-45, 50-47 and 49-48. Mizuochi recently had his 6 fight winstreak snapped by Chonden Chuwattana in August, but bounces back with arguably a career best win here. Miyakoshi tastes defeat for the first time in 2 years, as he had gone 4-0-1 since 2011, winning the NJKF and WBC Japan Lightweight titles and most recently scoring a career best win over Koya Urabe. After a huge rise in stock, Miyakoshi takes a hit and will need some big wins to break into the upper echelon of the division. 

Quick results after the break

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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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