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Krush.25 Results: Urabe and Ishikawa Draw for Second Time

Earlier today, Krush held Krush.25, the Team Dragon 10th anniversary card which featured all of Team Dragon's top talents and was headlined by a 60kg title fight between the only current Krush champion from Team Dragon, Hirotaka Urabe, and Naoki Ishikawa for the third time. Also on the card were Koya Urabe and Hideaki Yamazaki taking on French opponents Mickael Peynaud and Gagny Baradji, respectively.

In the night's main event, Hirotaka Urabe and Naoki Ishikawa proved that they are each other's equals, fighting to their second draw and once again leaving the title in Urabe's hands. This is their second draw in as many title fights, with the two drawing back in January at Krush.15, though this fight was a bit different as both fighters managed to score knockdowns. Urabe (19-5-3, 9 KO) improves his unbeaten streak to 13, with the only blemishes being the two draws to Ishikawa. Going forward, his 3 best options are a 4th fight with Ishikawa, a 2nd fight with Xavier Bastard or a fight with RISE champion Kosuke Komiyama. The loss has to be heartbreaking for Ishikawa (35-18-6, 18 KO) as he managed to win one card, but just couldn't get that elusive second card, falling just short once again. Nobody can question that he is #1a to Urabe's #1 in the division, but he lacks the all important title. Moving forward, he could take on the winner of one of the 60kg matchups set for Krush's January 14th card or Krush could give him an immediate rematch.

In the first Krush vs France fight, Savate World champion Gagny Baradji scored the upset of the night with a 2nd round KO of Krush 63kg WILDRUSH League winner Hideaki Yamazaki. I believe Baradji saw the mat himself in the first round, but came back strong in the 2nd and stopped Yamazaki with a right cross 58 seconds into the round. The win is huge for Baradji as little was known about him coming into this fight other than he was a Savate champion, while Yamazaki was set to take on Krush 63kg champion Thomas Adamandopoulos some time this year. Baradji likely earned himself another fight against a top-level guy in Krush and maybe even a future shot at Adamandopoulos. Big loss for Yamazaki who tastes defeat for only the second time in his career. He loses whatever momentum he would have taken into a fight with Adamandopoulos. He was already going to be a big underdog heading into that fight, but his chances now seem slim.

In the other Krush vs France fight, 2012 Youth GP champion Koya Urabe took a unanimous decision over Mickael Peynaud, with all 3 judges scoring the fight 30-27. Urabe (25-4-0, 4 KO) seems to have been a bit re-energized after a KO loss to Masaaki Noiri and a loss to Keijiro Miyakoshi back in February. This makes it 6 straight for him and puts him in a good position to possibly rematch Noiri, with the winner hopefully receiving a title shot. Peynaud was coming off of a loss to Javier Hernandez last month and although he's lost two straight, he doesn't have much to hang his head about, especially considering he was a late replacement for Karim Bennoui.

At 63kg, former Krush champion Ryuji Kajiwara defeated former NJKF champion Ikki by unanimous decision on scores of 30-29 and 30-28(x2). Kajiwara hadn't fought since being knocked out by Thomas Adamandopoulos back in August in a title defense. This is a solid bounce-back win over a solid fighter and keeps Kajiwara in the title picture. The only real place for him to go from here would be a fight with a foreign opponent or a rematch with Masaaki Noiri, a fight his teammmate Koya Urabe is also gunning for. Ikki had won two in a row by stoppage heading into this fight, most recently stopping Taito in the 1st round.

The card also featured a trio of Team Dragon 55kg standouts fighting, with Takumi decisioning Kazuki Tanaka, Takeru scoring a 1st round KO of Katsuki Sakaki and Namito Izawa winning a majority decision over Tatsuya Hibata. Takumi picks up a win in his first fight since losing to current champion Shota Takiya. Next for him is the 55kg WILDRUSH League, which I have him favored to win, with another chance at Takiya on the line. Takeru picks up his 3rd straight win and could have very well been in line for a title shot himself as Sakaki was the man Takumi beat to earn his shot. However, Takeru will be participating in the Krush 58kg tournament, likely to avoid fighting Izawa and Takumi. I have him as the second biggest favorite in that tournament behind Nobuchika Terado. Izawa takes his 3rd straight win as well after back to back losses to the aforementioned Terado and Yuya Suzuki. Izawa is sort of left in limbo as he is not in the WILDRUSH League nor is he really in a position to earn a title shot.

Krush returns on January 14th with Jawin Presents ~Krush 67kg Tournament First Round~ at Yoyogi National Stadium. The card features the opening round of the 67kg tournament which features names like Yuta Kubo, Yuji Nashiro, Houcine Bennoui and Yuya Yamamoto. First round matchups have not been announced yet, though there is a press conference scheduled for the 17th which will likely announce the quarterfinals as well as the remaining single fights for the card.

Quick results after the break

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Muay Thai Warriors Macau: Saenchai beats Liam Harrison for third time

Today in Macau, Muay Thai Warriors held another event with some very interesting fights, including the third fight between Saenchai PKSaenchaimuaythaigym and Liam Harrison, along with Ireland's Stephen Meleady fighting Seeoui Sor Sunantachai for the Muay Thai Warriors Featherweight Title.

Last month, Saenchai defeated Pakorn Baanpiaoom and Damien Alamos within the span of two weeks in a highly impressive feat. Coming into the fight, myself and others gave Liam a good chance to win here. But Saenchai did as Saenchai always does, and won a clear cut unanimous decision over Liam Harrison.

Harrison fought well over the course of the fight, landing a number of hard low kicks that he's become known for. Saenchai was able to dictate the fight with his sublime skills. That makes it three wins in a month's time for Saenchai, and when you consider the competition that he did it against, it's quite amazing.

Stephen Meleady of Ireland has made a name for himself this year in Muay Thai with great fights against Rungravee Sasiprapa and Kongnapa Sirimongkol and faced another action fighter in Seeoui Sor Sunantachai. Meleady seemed to take control with his knees and clinch work in the fourth and fifth rounds but Seeoui was given the decision. I personally thought Meleady won. Here's a link to the fight where you can decide for yourself.

Harrison vs. Saenchai can be watched here.

 

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Japanese Kickboxing Scene: November Recap

Here at LiverKick, we try to bring you as much content and fight results as we can. Unfortunately, the Japanese scene has so many kickboxing outlets that sometimes some of the smaller shows don’t receive any attention and the results are simply skipped over. To help compensate for that, I am going to start doing a monthly recap of the smaller shows that feature relevant fighters and even bigger shows that I simply didn’t have time to do a results post for at the time. This month, we have shows from MA Kick, NJKF, SNKA, M-1MC, J-Network, DEEP*KICK and the return of the Hoost Cup.

11/4 – NJKF: Kick to the Future 8

The big draw here was former NJKF and WBC champion Kunitaka rematching Ekdat Mor Krongthepthonburee, with the winner earning a spot in the top 10 of the Rajadamnern Stadium Featherweight rankings. In another close fight, Kunitaka eked out a split decision on scores of 50-49(x2) and 49-50. The big news coming out of this just recently emerged and that is that Kunitaka will receive a shot at Rajadamnern Stadium Featherweight champion Kaimookdam Aikbangzai on February 17th at Korakuen Hall. Kunitaka will look to become the 5th Japanese Rajadamnern Stadium champion, following in the footsteps of Toshio Fujiwara, Kozo Takeda, Hitoshi Ogasawara and current Super Lightweight champion Hiroki Ishii.

MA Kick: Break 31 ~Absolute~

Top ranked Flyweight Sazanami Satsutama picked up a solid win over Tatsuya Rose in a strange 4 round bout, with scores of 40-38 and 40-39(x2)

11/11 – M-1 Sutt Yod MuayThai vol.4

The two-part card had a myriad of notable fighters in action on both the men’s and women’s side. In the main event, Kaew Fairtex scored a 2nd round KO of J-Network Super Lightweight champion Yusuke Sugawara. Kaew apparently came out dancing to “Gangnam Style” and carried that confidence into the fight. He followed this up with a 12 second KO at RISE/M-1 Infinity. Naoki Samukawa became the first WPMF Japan Light Heavyweight champion with a one-sided decision win over SHOHEI, scoring a knockdown in the 3rd round and cruising. At Super Lightweight, Buakaw WSR and Shunsuke Oishi fought to a majority draw, which is a bit surprising as Oishi had recently lost to Hidekazu Tanaka, who Buakaw stopped in 3 rounds. In the last major men’s bout, J-Network Flyweight champion Yuki moved up to Bantamweight to face #1 ranked J-Network Bantamweight Kenta. Yuki needed an extension round, but showed he could beat top fighters in two weight classes, winning all three judges’ scorecards in the extension round.

On the women’s side of things, WPMF World Featherweight champion Sawsing Sor. Sopis defended her title with a unanimous decision, defeating AZUMA, who she defeated back in March to win the title. In a fight for the WPMF World Pinweight title, champion Chiharu picked up her third win over Little Tiger to defend her title. Although Little Tiger has had more success outside of their rivalry, Chiharu just seems to have her number. This fight, like their other two, was very close, so a fourth fight seems like a possibility.

K-Spirit 4

The main draw for this card was the retirement match for former MA Kick Bantamweight and Featherweight champion RIOT, rematching the last man to defeat him, Hikaru Machida. Machida had looked good in his recent outings, but RIOT was able to channel the emotion of retirement into one last hurrah, stopping Machida via a nasty cut (the aftermath of which is pictured above) in the 4th round.

MA Kick/Yamanashi Kickboxing Association 11

In a Featherweight headliner, former MA Kick Featherweight champion Hiroki Fujisawa dropped a decision to #4 ranked RYOTA. Fujisawa held the title just a few short months ago, but a TKO loss to Hiroki Akimoto in a failed title defense and another loss here means Fujisawa has a ways to go if he wants to become champion again. With Akimoto setting his sights on the international scene, RYOTA may find himself fighting for the vacant title in the future, should Akimoto vacate it.

11/17 – NKB: KU Differ Ariake

In an upset, NKB Lightweight champion Yasuyuki scored a 3rd round KO of former WPMF World Lightweight champion Kanongsuk WSR. Kanongsuk has had a disastrous fall from grace over the course of the past year. After consecutive victories over Genki Yamamoto, Rashata and Seiji Takahashi, Kanongsuk was knocked out in a defense of his WPMF title in a comeback effort by Arita Tsukahara, then dropped a pair of fights to Sualek Rukukamai, with a loss to Yuya Yamato coming in between. After a draw with Hikaru Machida and a win over Yoshito Kajita, Kanongsuk drops another fight here. Yasuyuki now has two big wins on his record, with a win over Sualek from last year and is definitely someone to look out for in the future.

Results from the second half of the month after the break

 

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Big Bang 11 Results: Akimoto Stays Undefeated

Although most of the focus was on RISE/M-1's Infinity card, the Taniyama Gym put together a good card for Big Bang 11, headlined by a Featherweight showdown between WBC Japan and MA Kick Featherweight champion Hiroki Akimoto and former MA Kick Featherweight champion Shunta Ito. Also on the card were Hiromi Amada, HIROYA, Yuji Takeuchi and Toshiki Taniyama.

In the main event, Hiroki Akimoto remained unbeaten in his pro career, winning a unanimous decision over Shunta Ito, with all 3 judges scoring the bout 49-48. Akimoto (18-0-0, 8 KO) was coming into this fight off of the biggest win of his young career, defeating Yosuke Morii, and solidifies his place as the top Featherweight in Japan with another big win here. After the win, Akimoto declared that, after defeating the two men he felt were the best Featherweights in Japan, he would like to face an international opponent or even make a run at a Rajadamnern or Lumpini Stadium title. Ito (25-11-4, 8 KO) takes his first loss to a Japanese fighter since 2006, with his only losses in that stretch coming to Thais. Ito has fought on all but 2 Big Bang cards, so expect him to be back in action at Big Bang 12.

In other action, WPMF Japan Super Featherweight champion SHIGERU announced himself to the Lightweight world with a unanimous decision over "Kyoken" Yuji Takeuchi on scores of 30-28 and 30-29(x2). SHIGERU (9-0-1) started his career 5-0-0 and earning a shot at the vacant WPMF Japan Super Featherweight title, where he drew Takahito Fujimaki. A rematch victory over Fujimaki followed by wins over Hiroto Yamaguchi and a title defense against Tomoaki Suehiro now have SHIGERU on a 4 fight win streak and scoring the biggest win of his young career. A good next fight for him would be either recently crowned WPMF World Lightweight champion Yosuke Mizuochi or a top-ranked RISE 60kg fighter like Chang Hyun Lee or Motochika Hanada at RISE/M-1 Infinity.II in January, if M-1 chooses to put him on the card. Takeuchi (22-8-2, 13 KO) had won 2 in a row since a 10-month layoff and looked like he was on his way to possibly earning a shot at the Krush 60kg title, but this fight is a bit of a setback for the hard-hitting crowd pleaser. He is scheduled to fight in Krush on January 14th, likely against Kan Itabashi.

At 65kg, former K-1 Koshien champ HIROYA moved up in weight, dispatching of Chonden Chuwattana 30 seconds into the 2nd round with low kicks. The win for HIROYA here is big as he was on a 1-4 skid that saw him drop fights to Masaaki Noiri, Ryuji Kajiwara, Naoki and most recently, Hisaki Higashimoto in the Krush Youth GP. I'm not sure if the move to 65kg is permanent, but it might be a good opportunity for a fresh start. Chonden was coming off of a split decision win over Yosuke Mizuochi in August.

In other action, Hiromi Amada scored an 18 second KO against Tomohiko Hashimoto while Toshiki Taniyama picked up a unanimous decision win. 

Quick results after the break

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