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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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Krush.22 Results: Takiya Defends 55kg Title, Kubo KOs Yamato

Earlier today at the Nagoya Congress Center in Nagoya, Krush held Krush.22 ~ in Nagoya~, its first event in Nagoya, featuring a 55kg title fight and five Tokyo vs Nagoya fights featuring Yuta Kubo, Yuya Yamato, Masaaki Noiri and Keiji Ozaki, among others.

In the night’s main event, Krush 55kg champ Shota Takiya was given what turned out to be his toughest fight in some time against Takumi, but was able to win a unanimous decision on scores of 30-29(x3). Takiya (21-4-0, 13 KO) has now won 10 in a row and had won his last 5 by knockout heading into this fight. There’s no telling what’s next for Takiya, as Krush’s 55kg division isn’t that deep and unless they hold a 55kg tournament, they will have to go outside of the company to find legitimate opponents for Takiya. Takumi (12-3-0, 5 KO) did well in staying on his feet against the hard-hitting Takiya, but it wasn’t enough. His effort here should be noted as he was able to hang with a guy I felt was head and shoulders above the rest of the Krush 55kg division.

In the Krush vs Nagoya headlining fight, ISKA Light Welterweight champion Yuta Kubo moved up to 66kg and scored a 2nd round knockout of WBC Japan and NJKF Welterweight champion Yuya Yamato 51 seconds into the round. Kubo (34-4-1, 16 KO) pushes his win streak to 11 and has slowly been climbing his way up in weight, fighting at 64.5kg and 65kg in his last two fights and now at 66kg. While this was a good step up in weight against good competition, Yamato often fights between 63kg and 67kg, so he wasn’t the best test as far as bigger opponents go. Regardless, Kubo would be a welcome sight for Japan at 70kg as their division has looked pretty lackluster in the years since Masato’s retirement, with Yasuhiro Kido being the only big standout with the decline of Yoshihiro Sato and more notably Yuya Yamamoto. Yamato (13-7-0, 8 KO) had won two in a row coming into this fight, with a win over Kanongsuk in May and a KO of Pradesh Lookprabaht just a month ago. While his record may not look too great, he has fought a tough schedule since 2010, taking on Fabio Pinca twice, former NJKF Lightweight champ Kazuki twice, Seiji Takahashi, Soichiro Miyakoshi, Kanongsuk and now Kubo.

In the next Nagoya vs Tokyo fight, Nagoya’s Masaaki Noiri took an easy win over Tokyo’s Makihira Keita on scores of 30-27(x2) and 30-28. Noiri (13-3-0, 5 KO) picks up his first after his upset loss to Raz Sarkisjan back at the Hoost Cup in May which snapped a 6 fight win streak. As the reigning Youth Tournament champ, he awaits the winner of this year’s tournament for a fight that will likely take place early next year. Keita is now 1-1-1 on the year.

In the final three Nagoya vs Tokyo fights, Nagoya fighters went 2-1 with Taito upsetting Keiji Ozaki by majority decision, Yuya defeating Shota Hayashi and Masayuki Isabashi losing to Junpei Aotsu, giving Nagoya the overall victory with 3 wins (Noiri, Taito, Yuya) to Tokyo’s 2 (Kubo, Aotsu). The upset loss for Ozaki is huge as he’s been a borderline challenger despite not having any significant wins recently and Taito had lost his last 3 bouts heading into this fight. This loss should end Ozaki’s time as a legitimate title challenger.

Quick results after the break

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