This is a big weekend for kickboxing with the Thai Fight Extreme Event in Hong Kong as well as the REBELSxIt's Showtime Japan event taking place tonight. However, there were two less promoted cards that took place in Japan this weekend, with Krush wrapping up its 2011 Tournament Series with the semifinals and finals of their 70kg Tournament as well as a New Japan Kickboxing Federation event which saw two WBC Muay Thai Japan titles and two NJKF titles on the line.
Keeping in line with how this year's Krush tournaments have gone, favorite Hiroki Nakajima was upset in the semifinals by NJKF Super Welterweight Champion Kenta by majority decision on scores of 30-28, 30-29 and 30-30. This is yet another setback for the fighter who was handpicked by Masato to win the 2010 Japan MAX Tournament only to fall to Yuichiro Nagashima in the finals and later get dominated by Albert Kraus and Buakaw Por. Pramuk.
In the night's other semifinal, WBC Muay Thai Japan Super Welterweight Champion Yutaro Yamauchi bested Shintaro Matsukura over 4 rounds, taking a split decision in the extension round after scores of 29-29 and 30-30(x2) through 3. Matsukura was thought to be the other tournament favorite after an upset over Yuya Yamamoto in a thrilling quarterfinal affair which saw Matsukura drop Yamamoto in the 3rd round and ultimately secure his place in the semifinals.
In the night's tournament finals, Kenta was able to complete his run in the tournament, taking a close majority decision over Yamauchi on scores of 30-28, 29-29 and 30-29. This wraps up Krush's first round of tournaments which were seemingly a large success despite the failure of all the tournament favorites. The results of the 70kg tournament will have an interesting result on the upcoming K-1 Japan MAX Tournament, as neither Yamauchi nor Kenta were selected to participate while Nakajima and Matsukura were. However, there were only six initial fighters announced for the event and after they were announced K-1 President Sadaharu Tanikawa said that the fighters he selected were temporary and the results of the Krush tournament would play a part in selecting who would compete in the tournament. One would assume that Kenta would be selected and that Yamauchi could be selected for the tournament. Yamauchi recently fought to a draw with current tournament selection Go Yokoyama on the Sengoku: Soul of Fight card.
In non-tournament action Krush's 60kg Tournament Champion Hirotaka Urabe secured a 3rd round stoppage victory while four other Team Dragon members were able to pick up wins.
At Korakuen Hall on the 17th, New Japan Kickboxing Federation held installment 7 of its New Japan Blood series which featured two WBC Muay Thai Japan titles and two NJKF titles up for grabs. In the main event, Naoki "Naokick" Ishikawa opened up Super Feathweight Champion Yoshinori Nakasuka's eye with a right elbow in the 5th round only to be dropped with a left hook with only 16 seconds left to go in the fight, securing a unanimous decision for the champion on scores of 50-46(x3). This fight may finally put the nail in the coffin of Ishikawa's run at the top of the sport. After finding success in AJKF as the promotion's Super Featherweight Champion, but at the beginning of 2010 he was knocked out by John Dennis at Krush 5. Ishikawa picked up a win over Yuto Watanabe in the qualifying round of the 2010 K-1 -63kg GP, but was upset in the quarterfinals by the flashy Kizaemon Saiga. Since that fight, Ishikawa has gone 1-3 with losses to Hirotaka Urabe, Ryuji Kajiwara and now Nakasuka.
In the co-feature, WBC Muay Thai Japan Welterweight Champion Soichiro Miyakoshi set out to defend his title against Yuya Yamato, but failed to do so over the course of 5 rounds, losing on scores of 50-48(x2) and 49-48. This puts the 20 year old on a two fight win streak after his upset over Fabio Pinca at Thai Fight Extreme France.
Soichiro Miyakoshi's brother Keijiro Miyakoshi dominated NJKF Lightweight Champion Ikki over five rounds to take a unanimous decision and the NJKF Lightweight crown on scores of 50-45(x2) and 50-43. With his brother losing his WBC title and Ikki formerly being ranked #2 at Welterweight by WBC Muay Thai Japan, a match between Keijiro and Yamato could be in the works for the future, which would be a sensational fight between two young, promising fighters as Keijiro is only 21 years of age.
In the final title bout of the night, #1 ranked Yung Hawk defeated #2 ranked KEI in a battle for the vacant NJKF Super Featherweight title, winning a unanimous decision after five rounds on scores of 50-49 and 49-48(x2).
In a non-title fight WBC Muay Thai Japan Flyweight Champion and #1 ranked NJKF Flyweight Naoki Otsuki was upset by #7 ranked J-Network Super Flyweight Hiroyuki Yamano of Team Dragon. The fight ended with a close split decision in favor of Yamano on scores of 30-29(x2) and 29-30.
In a women's bout, NJKF Women's Featherweight Champion AZUMA beat WBC Muay Thai Japan Women's Featherweight Champion beat Ayano Oishi in a rematch of their WBC title fight in January which Oishi won. Scores were 30-27 and 30-28(x2).
The event also saw the semifinals of a 4-man tournament for the vacant NJKF Super Bantamweight Championship in which #1 NJKF and WBC Muay Thai Japan ranked Hiroki Maeda fell to #3 ranked Hiroshi Senchaigym while #2 ranked Rookie defeated #4 ranked Shinya Haga(Hiroya Haga?) to set up the finals and championship fight between Hiroshi and Rookie.
Results via boutreview: NJKF and Krush