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Krush Results: Urabe, Sato Victorious

  • Published in Asia

Urabe LeeResults are in from this weekend's Krush First Champion Tournament Round 2 show, and while the favorites did win in the big fights, things didn't go as smoothly as some may have expected.

In the main event, Yoshihiro Sato squeaked by Shemsi Beqiri via split decision victory.  Scores were 30-28, 29-28, 28-29.  I have to consider that a moral victory for Beqiri, who was making his Japanese debut here.  Going to a split decision with the top 5 ranked Sato in front of a Japanese crowd should be a great boost for the 24 year old Beqiri, and will hopefully open the doors for him to return to Japan this year.  Beqiri had an excellent and very busy 2010, going a whopping 10-2 including a tournament win in Klash and a 2nd trip to a Klash tournament final.  He definitely has earned a shot at K-1 MAX - let's hope he gets it in 2011.

In the semi-main event, Koya Urabe (pictured) edged out Son Hyun Lee, though it took an extension round for Urabe to claim the unanimous decision win.  Urabe is on a great win streak and is clearly establishing himself as the man to beat in Japan at the 63kg ranks.  With this win he moves onto the tournament semi-finals, where he will be the heavy favorite.  Good performance from Lee as well, who was coming in off his K-1 MAX win over Kizaemon Saiga.  Expect to see him on K-1 shows coming out of Korea this year.

Speaking of Kizaemon Saiga, the brash youngster also advanced in the tournament, defeating Naoki Terazaki by unanimous decision.  In the other tournament fights, Takuya Shirahama defeated Yuki Yamamoto by unanimous decision after an extension round, and Ryuji Kajiwara scored a unanimous decision win over TaCa.  Saiga, Urabe, Shirahama, and Kajiwara will now meet in the semi-final and final rounds, both to be held on March 19, with the winner becoming the first ever Krush 63kg champion.

In non-tournament action, former K-1 MAX Final 4 competitor Yuya Yamamoto added another KO win to his belt.  This one came at the expense of Masahiro Watanabe, who Yamamoto KO'd in the 2nd.  While Yuya had some struggles in K-1 MAX through 2010, he still puts on very entertaining fights and remains a threat at 70kg.

Also in the 70kg division, Yuji Nashiro decisioned Daisuke Tsutsumi.  Both Yamamoto and Nashiro will likely be involved in the Krush 70kg tournament beginning April 30, and both could be early favorites depending on the field.

Filing out the results: Kenta KO'd Hidetora in the 2nd, Yu Hirono defeated Takuma Konishi via unanimous decision, Yoshi KO'd Asamisaurus in the 2nd, and Yuzo Suzuki took a unanimous decision win over Minato Kato.

Next show for Krush is the March 19 event featuring the 55kg, 60kg, and 63kg semi-finals and finals in what should be a superb night of action.

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Krush Year Begins This Weekend

  • Published in Kickboxing

Krush TournamentThere's still plenty to discuss about the end of 2010. From the poor Dynamite!! ratings, to the K-1 v. MMA debate, to the Fight of the Year, we definitely remain in year end wrap up mode.  But now that it's 2011, and now that we've officially joined the awesome new MiddleEasy.com network (click the link!), let's stop looking back for a moment and look ahead.  Because even though K-1 may not be producing any fights for a few months, there's plenty of action upcoming.  In fact, we're just a few short days away from the first major event of 2011.

On January 9, Krush presents the Krush First Generation King Tournaments Round 2.  Which is a fancy way of saying this show will feature the first round in Krush's tournament to crown an inaugural 63kg champion.  The four tournament fights include:

-Koya Urabe, whose last fight was a win over K-1 63kg champion Tetsuya Yamato v. Korea's Sung Hyun Lee, last seen scoring a decision win over Kizaemon Saiga at the K-1 MAX Final 16

-Team Dragon member Ryuji Kajiwara, who defeated Naoki Ishikawa at Krush.9 last year v. TaCa

-Yuki Yamamoto, a WBC Muay Thai Japan champion v. Krush Rookies Cup winner Takuya Shirahama

-Kizaemon Saiga, one of the breakout fighters of 2010 v. Naoki Terasaki

Winners move on to the March 19 finals.

Urabe is the clear favorite to win the tournament, as he has looked more and more impressive with every outing.  I would love to see him meet both Saiga and Kajiwara before the tournament is done.

The main event this weekend is a big one for Krush, as the #5 ranked Yoshihiro Sato faces Shemsi Beqiri.  Sato is the definite favorite here, but don't rule Beqiri out.  He had a great 2010, including a win over Alviar Lima, and is just outside the top 25.  He has his work cut out for him, but is an exciting fighter, and this is a good match-up.

Two other MAX veterans are on the card - #17 ranked Yuya Yamamoto faces Masakazu Watanabe, and K-1 MAX Japan 2010 tournament participant Yuji Nashiro looks to continue his strong 2010 as he faces Daisuke Tsutumi.

This is the first of 4 shows Krush already has scheduled for 2011.  Up next is the March 19 event featuring the 55, 60, and 63kg tournament finals.  After that will be the 70kg quarter finals on April 30 with the finals on July 16.  With these tournaments, Krush has great potential to capitalize on the strong year they had in 2010.  Thanks in part to K-1 emphasizing the smaller fighters with their new 63kg division, Krush stars have begun to gain greater prominence in the larger kickboxing world.  But Krush has always been boosted by a relationship with K-1, and while that helped them in 2010, it may cause them trouble in 2011.  If K-1 de-emphasizes MAX and the 63kg division, it will definitely have an impact on Krush.  In the short term, it may help them to book more big name fighters who now find themselves with less Japanese fights.  But in the long term, if MAX fades, Japanese interest in the smaller weight classes may also fade, which would be a great trouble for Krush.  This is definitely a pivotal year for the company as they look to further establish their own identity apart from simply a K-1 feeder.

But that's all down the road.  For now, the next 6 months of Krush are bright and full of good fights - and those fights begin this weekend.

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Kizaemon Saiga vs MASAYA Added to Shootboxing S-Cup

  • Published in Kickboxing
Shootboxing has announced the first fight for its S-Cup card on November 17th and it is a 63kg matchup between the flashy Kizaemon Saiga and 19 year old prospect MASAYA. Saiga (10-5-1, 2 KO) is 5-1 in his last 6 fights, losing only to Koya Urabe in a close fight while picking up wins over Krush 60kg tournament finalists Fumiya Osawa and Katsuya Goto, as well as stopping then WPMF World Lightweight champion Arita Tsukahara back in May. He most recently took a decision against Tatsuya Inaishi at REBELS.12. MASAYA currently holds the #1 ranking in Shootboxing at Super Lightweight, going 7-1 in the promotion and currently riding an 8 fight win streak in all kickfighting competition. Among those 8 wins are Hiroshi Mizumachi, Yu Sugawara, MMA fighters Tenkei Oda and Kensaku Nakamura and most recently, Naoki. A win over Saiga would be the highest profile win for the young prospect and would without a doubt earn him a shot at current SB Super Lightweight champ Hiroaki Suzuki.
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