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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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K-1 WGP 2015 70kgs Live Results and Stream

  • Published in Asia

K-1 World GP 70kgs 8-man tournament is taking place tonight in Japan. This card is stacked beyond belief, first of all the 8-man tournament has some really great young, upcoming fighters. Secondly all the top 65kgs are fighting each other in the super fights. These super fights are exactly why Japan has the top 65kgs fighters, they are constantly fighting each other to find out who is the very best, which is great for the fans like us because we always get to see the fights we want.

These fights are being streamed Live on NICO NICO AT THIS LINK but sadly it isn't a free one. Ill be tweeting at @JayJauncey if you want to join.

RESULTS

Preliminary Card

HeavyweightTsutomu Takahagi vs Hitoshi Sugimoto - DRAW

60kg - Fumiya Osawa vs Shingen Endo - DRAW

65kg - Ren Hiramoto def. Yohei Noguchi by Unanimous Dec

Main Card

Tournament Reserve Fight 70kg - Serhiy Adamchuk def. Kazuya Akimoto by Split Dec

Tournament Quarterfinal 70kgMarat Grigorian def. Yoichi Yamazaki by KO Rd 2 (left high kick)

Tournament Quarterfinal 70kg - Makihira Keita def. Dylan Salvador by Unanimous Dec

Tournament Quarterfinal 70kg - Sanny Dahlbeck def. Hiroki Nakajima by TKO 2nd Rd (2 knockdowns)

Tournament Quarterfinal 70kg - Jordann Pikeur def. Daiki Watabe by TKO Rd 2 (2 knockdowns)

SuperfightHirotaka Urabe def. Toshi by Unanimous Dec (Extra Rd)

SuperfightKimura "Phillip" Minoru def. Massaro Glunder by Unanimous Dec (Extra Rd)

Tournament Semifinal 1 - Marat Grigorian def. Makihira Keita by KO Rd 2 (left body hook)

Tournament Semifinal 2Jordann Pikeur def. Sanny Dahlbeck by TKO Rd 2 (2 knockdowns)

SuperfightTakeru def. Hakim Hamech by Unanimous Dec

SuperfightKoya Urabe def. Konstantin Trishin by Unanimous Dec

SuperfightKaew Fairtex def. Yasuomi Soda by Unanimous Dec

Tournament Final - Marat Grigorian def. Jordann Pikeur by KO Rd 1 (punches)

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Krush Announces -63kg Under-22 "Supernova" Tournament

  • Published in Kickboxing

After successful tournaments at 55kg, 60kg, 63kg and 70kg, K-1 affiliate Krush has announced yet another tournament for the end of 2011 which could end up featuring some of the top fighters at 63kg. Similar to the K-1 Youth tournaments, Krush is presenting an under-22 "Supernova" tournament, as opposed to K-1's under-18 Koshien tournaments, a 16-man tournament with the round of 16 and quarterfinals taking place in October (possibly the 10th) and the semis and finals taking place some time thereafter(all articles say Friday September 12th, but that is obviously before the qualifying rounds, as well as September 12th not being a Friday. My best guess would be Saturday November 12th).

This tournament presents some interesting possible match-ups as there are quite a few of the top Japanese fighters at 63kg who are products of the Koshien system and are eligible for this tournament. From what I've seen, there is no indication if Krush will be looking for lesser-known fighters or if they will allow more established fighters into the tournament, so after the break, I'll look at some of the notable fighters who are eligible for the tournament.

 

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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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Krush Supernova Tournament Results: Urabe, Noiri, Hiroya, Takahashi Advance to Semis

  • Published in Asia

Earlier today at Shinjuku FACE, Krush held the first two rounds of their Under-22 Supernova Tournament to determine the 4 semifinalists with blocks A and B competing in the afternoon and blocks C and B at night.

During the day in Block A, 2010 K-1 Koshien quarterfinalist Sho Ogawa was able to edge out an extension round decision over Tang Tang Fight Club's Fumiya Osawa, winning the extension round 10-9 on all 3 cards. In the other half of Block A, 2008 K-1 Koshien champion and one of the tournament favorites HIROYA ran through his opponent, Hiroshi Hoshikawa, scoring a knockout just 1:35 into the first round. In the Block A final, HIROYA dominated Sho Ogawa, winning a unanimous decision on scores of 30-27(x2) and 29-26 to advance to the semifinals.

In the other half of the matinee portion of the event, Block B favorite and 2009 K-1 Koshien champion Masaaki Noiri scored a knockout at 1:25 into the 3rd round over Violence. In the other half of Block B, Team Dragon's Daizo Sasaki also scored a 3rd round knockout at 1:24 in the round over Silver Wolf's Shota Fukuda. In the Block B semifinal, Masaaki Noiri scored another knockout, this time 1:42 into the 2nd round to secure his spot in the semifinals against HIROYA.

This fight is a rematch from the 2009 K-1 Koshien semifinals where Masaaki Noiri shocked nearly everyone and made a name for himself with a dominating, entertaining win over HIROYA. The win would be huge for either fighter.

In the night portion of the event, RISE #6 ranked Super Lightweight Shimpei Keita cruised past J-NETWORK's Hiroshi Matsui to take a unanimous decision on scores of 30-28(x2) and 30-27. In the other half of the bracket, tournament favorite Koya Urabe also cruised past Yuta Otaki, taking a unanimous decision on scores of 30-27(x2) and 30-28. In the Block C final, Koya Urabe faced more resistance than one would have thought from Keita, but was still able to defeat Keita on scores of 30-29(x2) and 30-28.

In Block D, Yukimitsu Takahashi edged out Kazuma in an extension round, winning 10-9 on all 3 cards. In what could be considered a bit of an upset, former K-1 Koshien fighter Kengo Sonoda edged out J-NETWORK Flyweight champion Tsukasa Fuji on scores of 30-29, 30-30 and 30-28. Size was likely a factor as Fuji fights about 10kg under the 63kg weight limit for this tournament. In the Block D final, Takahashi caught Sonoda with a hard head kick 25 seconds into the 3rd round and Sonoda was unable to recover, giving Takahashi the KO win.

This sets up a semfinal between Koya Urabe and Yukimitsu Takahashi. Urabe, already the tournament favorite before the brackets were announced, should have his status as tournament favorite bumped even higher. Takahashi showed he is no slouch and Urabe struggled a little with Keita, but Urabe should be able to cruise into the finals while the winner of Noiri-Hiroya will likely be dinged up from the semifinals. However, if the pattern of the Krush tournaments of favorites losing in the later rounds hold, Takahashi could see himself with a big upset win, though I find it more unlikely as Krush tournament champions Shota Takiya, Hirotaka Urabe, Ryuji Kajiwara and Kenta were more overlooked talents while the focus was on fighters like Ryuya Kusakabe, Masaaki Noiri, Koya Urabe and Hiroki Nakajima.

The tournament's conclusion will take place on December 9th and if Naoki Ishikawa gets his way, he will fight the winner of this tournament at some time after that.

Quick Results after the break

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Koya Urabe vs Karim Bennoui Added to Krush.25; Yamamoto, Matsukura Join 67kg Tournament Field

  • Published in Kickboxing

In the absence of FEG's K-1, Krush has really taken the reigns as the top Japanese promotion, especially with the steady flow of European talent they have been bringing in over the past year. Today, they held a press conference to announce yet another big international fight, pitting one of their top stars against a top European fighter, as well as announcing two more big names for their 67kg tournament.

Starting with Krush.25 on December 14th, Krush has announced that former It's Showtime 61kg champion and LiverKick #4 ranked Lightweight Karim Bennoui will be facing recently crowned 2012 Youth GP champion Koya Urabe at 61kg. Urabe (24-4-0, 4 KO) is coming off of the first tournament win of his career, after losing in the finals of the 4 previous tournaments he entered and being snubbed in K-1 in 2010, winning this year's Krush Youth GP with wins over Hisaki Higashimoto, Hiroto Yamaguchi and Kengo Sonoda. He is 6-1 on the year, but will be looking for the biggest win of his career here. Bennoui (37-7-3, 13 KO) burst onto the scene in 2011, defeating Sergio Wielzen for the It's Showtime 61kg title, but promptly lost it 3 months later when he attempted to make his first defense against Javier Hernandez. Since, he has fought just twice, winning a disputed split decision over Krush 63kg champ Thomas Adamandopoulos and drawing Pajonsuk Por Pramuk in January this year. He is scheduled to fight Adamandopoulos again at La Nuit Des Champions on the 24th, so hopefully he comes out of that fight without any injuries, as this is a big fight for the division with Urabe sitting just outside of the top 10. 

Also announced for the card is a 63.5kg fight between former Krush champ Ryuji Kajiwara and former NJKF champ Ikki. This is Kajiwara's first fight since losing his Krush title to Thomas Adamandopoulos in August while Ikki has won two in a row, most recently over Taito at Krush.24. Krush 63kg WILDRUSH League winner and current #1 contender Hideaki Yamazaki will also be facing a foreign opponent, as he squares off against 2011 Savate champion Gagny Baradji. Yamazaki went 5-0 (1 KO) in the league to earn a shot at Adamandopoulos. The card will also have a pair of interesting 55kg matchups as Takumi faces Ikki Tanaka and Katsuki Sasaki fights Takeru. Takumi fought Shota Takiya for his Krush 55kg title, but lost via decision while Tanaka has won 2 straight. The two faced each other once before last April, with Takumi winning by 3rd round KO. In the other matchup, Takeru has won 2 in a row, most recently scoring a KO of Yuya Suzuki while Sasaki hasn't fought since losing his #1 contender bout against Takumi back in June.

The other big announcement by Krush was that they would be adding to their already impressive 67kg tournament field with Yuya Yamamoto and Shintaro Matsukura. Once a K-1 MAX Semifinalist, Yuya Yamamoto has fallen on hard times recently, losing 3 in a row with knockout losses to Yuji Nashiro and Xu Yan while being upset by Asami Zaurus at Krush.20 in July. While Yamamoto made his name at 70kg, he started his career at 67kg in AJKF and this move back down should be a good move for him as he will retain his power. Since his upset of Yamamoto in the Krush 70kg tournament, Matsukura has struggled to find success against other top 70kg fighters, losing to Yutaro Yamauchi, Yasuhiro Kido, TOMOYUKI and his rematch against Yamamoto, although they were all very close decisions with the exception of a knockout loss to Kido. He most recently won the Krush 70kg Youth GP with wins over Kazuya Akimoto and Taisei Kondo, stopping Kondo in the extension round of their finals matchup. These two join Yuta Kubo and Yuji Nashiro with 4 other fighters still to be chosen and with the 4 names already selected, Krush could have something big up their sleeve, possibly top foreign names. It is also interesting to note that although Yamamoto's success is tied to his time in K-1, he is the only one of these 4 without a K-1 tournament win.

One final note about the January 14th card that will host the opening round of the 67kg tournament is that Krush event producer Mitsuru Miyata stated that he wants to find a top Japanese fighter to face Masaaki Noiri at the event. With Koya Urabe fighting at Krush.25, I doubt he will rematch Noiri, but possible options include Masahiro Yamamoto who fights on December 2nd, Keijiro Miyakoshi who fights on November 25th and Kosuke Komiyama who fights on November 17th.

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Urabe vs Ishikawa III Headlines Krush.25: Team Dragon 10th Anniversary

  • Published in Kickboxing

Krush has announced the first bout for Krush.25 on December 14th at Korakuen Hall and it is a 60kg Title fight between current champ Hirotaka Urabe and Naoki Ishikawa. Krush.25 is also commemorating the 10th anniversary of the gym Krush has the closest ties to, Team Dragon, which is the home of the Urabe brothers, former Krush 63kg champ Ryuji Kajiwara, WILDRUSH League winner Hideaki Yamazaki and 55kg title challenger Takumi.

The main event is the third fight between Krush 60kg champion Hirotaka Urabe and Naoki Ishikawa. Urabe currently leads the series 1-0-1, with a win in their first fight in the quarterfinals of the Krush 60kg tournament, then fighting to a draw in Urabe’s first title defense. Urabe (20-6-2, 10 KO) has gone unbeaten in his last 12 fights, with Ishikawa being the only blemish in those 12 fights, most recently scoring a TKO via cut of French fighter Xavier Bastard in the extension round of their fight at Krush.23. Since his draw against Urabe, Ishikawa (35-18-5, 18 KO) has won two in a row, with a pair of decisions over Kan Itabashi and Shota Senchaigym. Ishikawa came close to beating Urabe last time and the two seem to be just about even in terms of skill, with Urabe having the advantage of speed and youth. When they fight, it really is a tossup, but if I had to put money on it I’d favor Urabe to keep the series in his favor and win for a second time.

Also expected to compete on the card from Team Dragon are Ryuji Kajiwara, Koya Urabe, Hideaki Yamazaki, Takumi, Namito Izawa, Takeru, Daizo Sasaki, Hideaki Yoshikawa, Tsutomu Tsakahagi, Keisuke Ishida and Hiroshi Hiratsuka. Former Krush 63kg champion Ryuji Kajiwara hasn’t fought since losing his title by KO to Thomas Adamandopoulos at Krush.21. Koya Urabe is currently set to fight in the Youth GP finals against Hisaki Higashimoto at Krush.24 on November 11th and will fight on this card if he doesn’t get injured. Yamazaki won the 63kg Krush WILDRUSH League at Krush.23, going 5-0 (1 KO) and earned the right to face Thomas Adamandopoulos next year for the Krush 63kg title. Takumi’s last fight was at Krush.22 where he fought Krush 55kg champ Shota Takiya for his title, but lost a decision in what was one of Takiya’s closest fights in a long time. Izawa and Takeru both picked up stoppage wins at Krush-EX 2012 vol.5 last weekend, with Takeru positioning himself well in the 55kg division with two straight wins, the most recent of which was over Yuya Suzuki, who was fresh off of a win over Izawa.

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K-1 WGP 2015 The Championship Fight Card

  • Published in K-1

K-1 WGP 2015 "The Championship" is taking place on November 21, 2015 at the Yoyogi National Gymnasium in Tokyo, Japan. We are hoping this will at the very least be streamed through NicoNico because this is an amazing card.

Once again K-1 is giving us an absolutely ridiculous card with all 4 of their champions (Takeru 55kgs, Koya Urabe 60kgs, Kaew Fairtex 65kgs, and Marat Grigorian 70kgs) defending their belts plus super fights including Masaaki Noiri, Yasuomi Soda and Massaro Glunder, we cannot wait!

FULL CARD

65kg(Thailand) Kaew Fairtex (c) vs. (Brazil) Minoru Kimura (-65kg Championship)

70kg(Armenia) Marat Grigorian (c) vs. (Sweden) Sanny Dahlbeck (-70kg Championship)

60kg(Japan) Koya Urabe (c) vs. (Japan) Hirotaka Urabe (-60kg Championship)

55kg(Japan) Takeru (c) vs. (France) Charles Bongiovanni (-55kg Championship)

65kg(Japan) Yasuomi Soda vs. (Japan) Masaaki Noiri

70kg(Japan) Hiroki Nakajima vs. (Russia) Dmitrii Grafov

60kg(Japan) Taiga vs. (Japan) Leona Pettas

60kg(Japan) Kotaro Shimano vs. (Japan) Fumiya Osawa

65kg(Netherlands) Massaro Glunder vs. (Japan) Ren Hiramoto

65kg(Japan) Yuta Shinohara vs. (Japan) Kensei Kondo

55kg(Japan) Haruma Saikyo vs. (Japan) Tatsuya Tsubakihara

PRELIMS

60kg(Japan) Taishi Hiratsuka vs. (Japan) Yuki Miwa

70kg(Japan) Daisuke Fujimura vs. (Japan) Jin Hirayama

65kg(Japan) Kazuhiro vs. (Japan) Daiki Matsushita

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K-1 The Championship: Title Fights Breakdown

  • Published in K-1

Since this next K-1 Card is so exciting we've decided to breakdown the 4 title fights and get everyone as pumped up as we are. The full card is listed AT THIS LINK.

This card will be played on NICO NICO TV, we posted instructions on the easiest way to order from this site earlier in the year for the S-cup, you can order these the same way just instead of looking for the name S-cup u should look for the name K-1 WGP 2015 The championship. Here is the link on how to order through NICO NICO.

Kaew Fairtex(c) vs Kimura "Phillip" Minoru

We will start with the 65kg fight between Kaew Fairtex and Kimura Minoru. This fight is a rematch from January of this year where Minoru won a very controversial decision. First of all here is the video of the fight.

Now lets talk about the elephant in ring... that referee! I believe that by being so involved in the fight and constantly touching, pushing, and breaking up the fighters he actually ruined the outcome of the fight. In the 2nd round Fairtex had Minoru badly hurt yet the ref kept interfering because of the clinch and then spending extra time talking and pushing the fighters around for no reason which gave Minoru plenty of time to recover. Also it seemed that Kaew won the first two rounds quite decisively but then he got an 8 count in the 3rd, I was sure there was going to be an extra round but was proven wrong by the bad judging.

Since their last meeting which was almost a year ago both fighters have been very active and made great improvements. Fairtex is getting much more confidant with his boxing which is showing us the power he has in hands but for this fight its best if he sticks with his left body and head kick. The only time he was ever in any danger the first fight was when he decided to come in and punch, which eventually got him an 8 count and cost him the fight. He can use that kick all fight to keep himself out of range of the dangerous hands of Minoru.

There is no doubt that Kimura has huge power and speed in his hands for this weight class, it seems no matter who he touches on the chin, they fall down. He will really need to work on keeping his left foot on the outside of Kaews right foot and using his explosiveness to get past the kick and land punch combinations. I'm really expecting fireworks with this fight, now lets just hope they have a better referee this time.

Marat Grigorian(c) vs Sanny Dahlbeck

Grigorian vs Dahlbeck is once again the typical orthodox boxer vs southpaw kicker which seems to be happening a lot lately but always makes for an interesting fight.

Armenian fighter Marat Grigorian is the current K-1 70kgs champion and is now training at Hemmers gym in Holland. He is predominantly a boxer who throws in low kicks and knees every so often. His strongest attributes are the constant pressure he can put on fighters and his great combinations. He will really have to use this against Dahlbeck, the last time Grigorian fought a good southpaw it was against a much smaller fighter in Serhiy Adamchuk the newly crowned Glory 65kgs champion. To be fair Adamchuk took the fight on 24 hours notice, which of course is a disadvantage for Adamchuk but everyone forgets that Grigorian had been training for an Orthodox fighter for 4-6 weeks and now he gets sprung with a tricky southpaw last minute. This led to Marat having a really bad performance and losing to Adamchuk who was really making Grigorian look sloppy. For this fight Grigorian cannot just plod forward, get into range and throw punches like he usually does, he must use more explosiveness and push Dahlbeck to the ropes then unleash his combinations. If Marat can keep close to Dahlbeck and keep him on the ropes I feel Sanny will get tired and eventually get stopped in the later rounds.

Sanny Dahlbeck is a Swedish fighter who spends lots of his time in Thailand training at Sitmonchai. He is an extremely explosive southpaw with a very hard and fast left hand. Southpaws always have a small advantage over orthodox fighters because for the most part they always fight and train with right handed fighters, where as orthodox fighters only meet left handed fighters once in a while and to find a good southpaw for training is quite difficult. Dahlbeck will need to use this as much as possible, he will need to use his left kick and straight left as much as possible and make sure he angles off after throwing. If Sanny can keep Marat off balance with his body kick, angle to maintain the center of the ring and clinch up to avoid damage he can make this an easy night just like Adamchuk did. Dahlbeck is taller than Adamchuk, this is a good thing because he can land his straight left from further away and get the angle without too much danger but it could also mean that Marat is able to keep him off balance more due to his higher center of gravity in which case Sanny will end up on the ropes and be in big trouble.

I really do feel that conditioning is going to play a huge part in this fight, with Grigorians pressure if Dahlbeck gets tired in the last round he will not make it to the decision but if Dahlbeck has trained hard and made sure he is ready to move the whole fight he should be fine.

Koya Urabe(c) vs Hirotaka Urabe 

In case you didn't notice yes, these guys have the same last name and yes they are brothers. Koya is Hirotaka's younger brother, they have already fought once before in the final of the 60kgs tournament in January of this year.

Now keep in mind after watching that fight that they had both already won two fights, Hirotaka got one first round KO but in the semi-finals he ended up winning an extra round decision and Koya got two first round knockouts. You can tell that Hirotaka already had a damaged leg going into the final and Koya took advantage of it like a good little brother would do.

Koya is a southpaw and maybe a little bit slicker and more skilled but Hirotaka is tougher, grittier and will never give up especially now that his younger brother already beat him once. Both fighters love to use their hands so the southpaw to orthodox thing plays less of a role plus I'm sure they know each other very well since they have probably been training together their whole lives before this fight. I personally feel the fight is going to play out quite similar to the previous one but it will be very interesting to see what Hirotaka can do without a damaged back leg. Hirotaka has to find a way to surprise his younger brother, it seemed in the first fight that Koya was always one step ahead.

Whatever happens with this fight these two are always non-stop action from bell to bell and Hirotaka seems very motivated to take that belt from his younger brother as he feels that he deserves it.

Takeru(c) vs Charles Bongiovanni

I had not heard much about the Frenchman Charles Bongiovanni until his last fight on the K-1 Survival wars card where he took on Danial Williams. Williams is usually the hard puncher for this 55kg weight class but Bongiovanni proved he was right up there as well by landing a perfect counter right hook to drop Charles and then showed great finishing skills to drop him twice more. Its quite unusual to get first round knockouts in the 55kg division but Charles has proven he has the power to do it. Once again there is a pattern with all the fights here and Bongiovanni is a Southpaw and looks like he will be the taller of the two fighters so we will see how well he is able to work that on the current champion Takeru.

Takeru is not a big power puncher like Williams or Bongiovanni but he can score knockdowns with well placed punches due to his great technique. He will definitely be the more technical fighter of the two and he has great eyes to see what openings he can capitalize on as you can see in his fight above with Alexandre Prilip. Takeru lands one overhand right, and then its just a matter of time before he lands another to put Prilip down for an 8 count to end the first round. I really feel that both of these fighters are not the type to move backwards and they will meet in the middle and stand toe to toe until one fighter falls down. I'd be quite surprised if this one gets to the judges scorecards.

 

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Watch Koya Urabe Prepare for the K-1 -63kg MAX Tournament Finals

  • Published in K-1

There really hasn't been much hype around the upcoming K-1 show, which features the -63kg MAX Japan tournament Finals for this year. The rest of the tournament played out in KRUSH earlier this year, with a lot of solid talent involved in the tournament. Sadly, K-1 is in a dark place right now and many have simply stopped treating K-1 in the same regards. But regardless of this, at the end of this month K-1 puts on a show involving Japan's best at 63kg and one of them is Koya Urabe. Watch Urabe's open workout video for the upcoming show here.

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