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Buakaw, Sudsakorn, Yodsanklai, Saiyok victorious at Thai Fight, Cannes. Yamamoto with upset!

  • Published in Europe

Thai Fight Extreme was broadcast last night in Thailand on Channel 3 from 11:30 pm to 1:30 am.

Fights were three rounds under Muay Thai rules.

Results in brief:

Saiyok Pumpanmuang def. Ibrahim Njie Jarra, 1st round TKO, cut from left elbow

Sudsakorn Sor Klinmee def. Abdallah Mabel, DEC

Yodsanklai Fairtex def. Jose Barradas, DEC

Buakaw Por Pramuk def. Djime Coulibaly, DEC

Yuya Yamato def. Fabio Pinca, 2nd round TKO, cut from right elbow

Petasaween Seatanferry def. Sofiane Derdega, DEC

Allthebestfights.com has partial footage of Buakaw vs Coulibaly.

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The fights were a bit one-sided.

Saiyok needed all of 10 or so seconds to back Jarra up and cut him.

Sudsakorn's fight was one of the closer ones, but he didn't look to be in trouble anywhere during the fight and Abdallah Mabel was easily the most experienced of the French fighters, barring Pinca. Sudsakorn played in his usual way and hurt Mabel with lowkicks. Mabel came out with elbows to try and win by cut, but Sudsakorn ended up cutting him and they traded some uncommon techniques like spinning elbows. Mabel even threw a Saenchai cartwheel in the third.

Barradas came out gunning in the first round, but Yodsanklai ground him down with power shots and was hurting him against the ropes throughout the second. Yodsanklai cruised through the third and took the decision.

Buakaw dominated his fight with teeps, middle kicks, and dumps, as per usual. Coulibaly gave him a bit of trouble with right crosses in the third, but he got dumped from a low clinch three or four times for his troubles.

I admit I stopped watching Pinca vs Yamato after the first round. Fabio was handling Yuya easily. There was a very evident gap in technique that Yuya couldn't seem to bridge. The pressure game he applied in his upset vs Drago was nowhere to be seen since Pinca had him outmatched in boxing, power, and overall technique. Yuya did partially connect with a right headkick in the first, but it was all Pinca.

Yuya has massive balls, though, and he overcame the gap in experience and technique by rushing in with elbows and cutting Pinca. I didn't see this, and it probably wasn't pretty, but Yuya reminds us that fighters come to fight.

Petasaween was a 130 lb. stadium champion in Thailand, and he took the fight comfortable against Derdega, as he was favored to do. I didn't watch it, but from what I hear, it was about as one-sided as the other Thai vs French bouts.

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The fights were a good showcase of Muay Thai for a different kind of audience but, excepting Pinca vs Yamamoto, the fights weren't very competitive, and even that fight featured a massive difference in skill that Yamamoto overcame by luck and balls. If the Isuzu Tournament, which concludes this May 21st with Kem Sitsongpeenong vs Nopparat Keatkhamtorn, is any sort of gauge, though, the Thai Fight Tournament itself should feature some very competitive bouts, as it did last year.

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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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2010 Fight of the Year: Part 3

  • Published in Video

Fight #3 in our series keeps us focused on the smaller Japanese scene:

Yuya Yamamoto v. Scott Shaffer (Krush.6, April 29)

Once again, a very fun fight.  Here, 2009 K-1 MAX Final 4 fighter Yamamoto main events Krush against the largely unknown Shaffer.  But Shaffer gives it a real go, pushing Yuya into the kind of fight where the Japanese fighter thrives, resulting in one of the best finishes of 2010.

 

 

 

I like this one as a sort of more technical version of yesterday's Bovy v. Umeno fight.  At first it looks like Yuya might easily take this, but once Shaffer drops him in the first, then almost finishes him as time runs down, you know this is closer than it appeared.  From there, you get great swings in the momentum, with Yamamoto dropping Shaffer, only to have the American come back strong to end round 2.  At the start of the 3rd it's a very close fight, when Yamamoto just pours it on, absolutely wrecking Shaffer with a brutal finish.

Previously featured:

Tyrone Spong v. Jerome Le Banner

Bovy Sor. Udomson v. Takaaki Umeno

A note on this series - we'll be posting 1 or 2 of the top fights of the year on a daily basis over the coming week.  Fights will be featured in chronological order moving through the year.

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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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K-1 Japan 65kgs Tournament Results

  • Published in K-1

Last night the K-1 Japan 65kgs tournament took place including names like Yuta Kubo, Hiroya, and Michael "Tomahawk" Thompson. Overall I really enjoyed the fights, they all seemed well matched, with every fighter bringing their own unique style to the ring making the fights exciting.

We saw a wicked spinning back fist KO at the hands of Takeru in a fight that I thought he was losing. The return of Hiroya was great but once again he always seems to come up a bit short. There were two fighters that really stood out for me though, of course the tournament winner, southpaw from Thailand Kaew Fairtex, with his lightning fast head kicks, his huge upset over Kubo, and his ability to avoid punches even with the ref harassing him about clinching. Also we found out his father had passed away a week ago, he dedicated his win to him. It seemed to me that Fairtex hurt his left shin in his first fight, since he threw it a lot less in the 2nd and 3rd plus it all bandaged up, didn't seem to effect his performance too much though. Secondly a British fighter named Kerrith Bhella, I personally hadn't seen him fight before, and I half expected K-1 to give Yuya someone he could beat up in Japan. I was very wrong, Bhella's technique was some of the best I have seen, tight hands, fast powerful jab and combos followed by leg kicks, and an almost flawless defense. I really hope we get to see more of him after his defeat of Yamamoto last night.

Results

Tournament Reserve: Ilias Bulaid Defeats Taito (KO rd 3)

Tournament Quarter Final #1 - Hiroya Defeats Michael "Tomahawk" Thompson.

Tournament Quarter Final #2 - Soda Yasuomi defeats Kimura Minoru (KO rd 2)

Tournament Quarter Final #3 - Kaew Fairtex Defeats Yamazaki Hideaki (decision)

Tournament Quarter Final #4 - Yuta Kubo defeats Raz Sarkisjan (decision)

Superfight 70kgs - Matsukura Shintaro defeats Zhao Fukai (decision)

K-1 Koshien 2014 final - Hiramoto Ren defeats Sano Tenma (decision)

Tournament Semi-Finals #1 - Soda Yasuomi defeats Hiroya (decision)

Tournament Semi-Finals #2 - Kaew Fairtex defeats Yuta Kubo (KO Rd 2)

Superfight 55kgs - Takeru defeats Taiga(KO rd 2 wicked spinning backfist)

Superfight 70kgs - Kerrith Bhella defeats Yuya Yamamoto (decision)

 Tournament Finals - Kaew Fairtex defeats Soda Yasuomi (decision)

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