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Krush Announces 67kg Tournament Quarterfinal Matchups

Krush kicks off 2013 on January 14th with one of the best tournaments in the promotion's history, a 67kg tournament featuring Yuta Kubo, Yuji Nashiro, Houcine Bennoui, Abdallah Ezbiri, Yuya Yamamoto, Shintaro Matsukura, Makihira Keita and Hitoshi Tsukagoshi. While the participants were announced over the course of the past few weeks, the quarterfinal matchups were just announced at a press conference earlier today. In the top half of the bracket, 2011 K-1 MAX Japan tournament winner Yuji Nashiro faces Abdallah Ezbiri while 2009 K-1 MAX World Tournament Semi-Finalist Yuya Yamamoto faces -63kg WILDRUSH League runner-up Hitoshi Tsukagoshi. In the lower half of the bracket, ISKA Light Welterweight champion Yuta Kubo takes on Houcine Bennoui while 2012 Krush 70kg Youth GP champion Shintaro Matsukura faces Makihira Keita. The biggest note from this is that Krush seemed to match the foreigners with their top two fighters in Kubo and Nashiro, producing the tournament's best two quarterfinal matchups. The winners of those fights will be favored to win their semi-final fights as well and move on to the finals, though both Matsukura and Yamamoto have the power to cause problems should they make it to the semis. Unfortunately for fans, Matsukura vs Yamamoto 3 looks a bit unlikely as the fight would have to happen in the finals and even if it were to happen, neither fighter is renowned for his gas tank. Other interesting rematch possibilities are a Kubo vs Ezbiri final and a Nashiro vs Yamamoto semifinal. Check back to LiverKick in the days leading up to the tournament for my full tournament breakdown and a ranking of each fighter's chances.

The other news Krush brought was that, once again, Andy Howson would have to be replaced due to an injury. Howson was set to face Krush 55kg champion Shota Takiya, but will be replaced by Mike Alamos. If the name looks familiar, it's because Mike is the younger brother of Lumpinee Stadium Super Lightweight champion Damien Alamos. Alamos is 18 years old and has complied a 14-0-0 (7 KO) record. The hard-hitting Takiya will be a very tough test for him.

The injury bug also bit former RISE champion Kan Itabashi, who was set to face Junpei Aotsu. He will be replaced by Naoki Ishikawa, who is fresh off of his 2nd straight draw against 60kg champ Hirotaka Urabe on the 14th. A win could easily vault Ishikawa into a 4th fight with Urabe.

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Muay Thai Combat TV Ep 1: Andy Souwer

Muay Thai Combat TV is a new web series brought to you by the folks behind Yokkao and are looking to make a big impact. As Yokkao Extreme 2013 rapidly approaches you can expect more content from them previewing the event and you won't see us complaining. In this first episode Stefania Picelli of Muay Thai Combat and promoter of Yokkao Extreme flies to Holland to catch up with Andy Souwer as he prepares for his upcoming fights.

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FIght Nights - Battle at Moscow 9: Mineev, Stetsurenko, Ramazanov

Fight Nights has become one of the biggest and most successful promotions in Russia, drawing big crowds for events featuring kickboxing and MMA. Their main stars in kickboxing are Batu Khasikov, who actually helps run the promotion as a producer, and Vladimir Mineev, a 22 year old Russian with a ton of potential that right now could already hang with the top 95kg fighters in kickboxing. The promotion is back in Moscow on this Sunday, December 16 with a nice fight card on the kickboxing end.

Khasikov won't be on the card, but Mineev will and he'll face his toughest test to date in Ali Cenik. Cenik fights for GLORY and recently fought the It's Showtime 95kg champion Danyo Ilunga, dropping a decision but landing a ton of punches in the process. Cenik has a high work rate at times and this should be an interesting fight to see how Mineev deals with a volume fighter who will try to establish his own pace.

Also on the card is Alexander Stetsurenko, one of the top light heavyweights in kickboxing, who comes off winning the 2012 Tatneft Cup tournament with a decision victory over fellow top light heavyweight Hicham El Gaoui. Stetsurenko will face Karapet Karapetyan, who sufferred some losses earlier this year to Nieky Holzken and Joe Schilling, but rebounded and looked much improved in August with a KO win in Greece over Alexandros Chatzichronoglou.

Ramazan Ramazanov has found himself featured on Fight Nights as well, splitting fights with Mamadou Keta this year. Ramazanov will fight Fabian Gondorf from the Netherlands. Gondorf will be facing the highest level of competition he's ever faced here.

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SuperKombat WGP Final 2012 Fight Card, Ustream PPV Available

K-1 Global presents SuperKombat WGP Final 2012 takes place on December 22 in Bucharest, Romania and today the full fight card was released. The event features a four man, one night tournament with all the winners having qualified from previous fights. Also, there are four super fights.

As previously announced, the four man tournament features Ismael Londt, Sebastian Ciobanu, Benjamin Adegbuyi and Pavel Zhuravlev. Londt fights Ciobanu in one semi final and in the other, Adegbuyi fights Zhuravlev with the winners meeting in the final.

Among the super fights announced include the lone non-heavyweight fight on the event, where Andrei Stoica fights Arnold Oborotov for the new SuperKombat -95kg world title. Other super fights include Ibrahim Aarab vs. Daniel Sam, Carter Williams vs. Hesdy Gerges and Mighty Mo vs. Raul Catinas, which is a rematch from the 2010 K-1 WGP Final 16. In the tournament reserve fight, Freddy Kemayo faces Sergi Lascenko.

Among other things, the event will be available to watch via Ustream PPV for $5 USD, along with being on Eurosport at 21:00 CET. Here are some quotes from Eduard Irimia and K-1 owner Mr. Kim about the event:

Kim: "As we announced 3 months ago K-1 has a good co-operation with Superkombat and also they proved to promote very good k-1 rules events and discovering new heroes worldwide , that way I will be also present at this event in Bucharest, Romania, where I found out that K-1 is as famous as football and we will focus to countries where our product has impact as before in Japan and other countries."

Irimia: "This collaboration between our brands is very important for the fighters and keep them active and also the awarness and impact is stronger as we work together  for the same purpose trying to make this sport atracting general public  as we did already in some countries."

1. Super Fight (+96 kg)
Ibrahim Aarab (Morocco) vs Daniel Sam (Great Britain)

2. Tournament – Semi Final 1 (+96 kg)
Pavel Zhuravlev (Ukraine) vs Benjamin Adegbuyi (Romania/Nigeria)

3. Tournament – Semi Final 2 (+96 kg)
Ismael Londt (Suriname) vs Sebastian Ciobanu (Romania)

4. Tournament – Reserve fight (+96 kg)
Freddy Kemayo (France) vs Sergey Lascenko (Ucraina)

5. Super Fight (+96 kg)
Carter Williams (USA) vs Hesdy Gerges (Egypt)

6. SuperKombat World Title (-95 kg)
Arnold Oborotov (Lithuania) vs Andrei Stoica (Romania)

7. Super Fight (+96 kg)
Mighty Mo (Samoa) vs Raul Catinas (Romania)

8. SuperKombat final 2012 (+96 kg)
Winner of Semi Final 1 vs Winner of Semi Final 2

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