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Yoshihiro Sato Wins at Shootboxing 2013 Act. 1

The first Shootboxing event of the year kicked off last night in Tokyo, Japan at Korakuen Hall. The show featured a variety of good fights with a few of the normal Shootboxing faces, headlined by a match between Yoshihiro Sato and the 2012 S-Cup runner-up, Henri Van Opstal. 

In the main event event Sato emerged victorious, defeating Van Opstal by decision with scores of 30-29, 30-29, and 29-29. It was a desperately needed win for Sato, who had already dropped his last three fights to Shemsi Beqiri, Sanny Dahlbeck, and Kenta, respectively. A win over Van Opstal puts him back into the ranks of contender. However, as close as the scores were we may need to hold out until a video surfaces before we claim that the Infinity Sniper is back in full form.

In the other big fight on the card Warren Stevelmans beat Bovy Sor Udomson by decision with scores of 29-29, 29-28, and 30-28. This will be Stevelmans' third consecutive victory, coming off wins over Dzhabar Askerov and Hinata. Stevelmans is set to face Johann Fauveau at GLORY 5 London. 

Also on the card, Joachim "Hellboy" Hansen won his first Shootboxing match against Kenji Kanai, after being defeated in his debut by Hiroaki Suzuki. It's good to see Hansen taking Shootboxing seriously, and hopefully we'll see him in more events in the future. 

Full Results

Yoshihiro Sato def. Henri Van Opstal by Decision 

Warrens Stevelmans def. Bovy Sor Udomson by Decision

Akifumi Utigawa def. Kazuki Tamakawa by Decision

Imrock def. Masahiro Fujimoto by Decision 

Joachim Hansen def. Kenji Kanai by Decision 

Hinata def. Masatoshi Hyakutake by Decision 

Kizaemon Saiga def. Masato Sannai by Decision 

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Tatneft Cup 2013 Continues on Saturday

The Tatneft Cup continues this Saturday, February 13 with the final qualification fights, with the winners joining previous Tatneft Cup 2013 winners in the quarter finals. As usual, two fights will take place at each Tatneft weight category, 70kg, 80kg and heavyweight respectively.

At 70kg is Tatneft veteran Enriko Gogokhia, who won the Tatneft Cup tournament in 2012. Gogokhia fights Bruno Gazani, who qualified by winning three fights in one night at the Tatneft Cup Brazil. The other 70kg fight sees Maxim Smirnov, who lost to Gogokhia in the Tatneft finals last year, against Belgium's Rachid Boumalek.

At 80kg, last year's Tatneft Cup finalist Hicham El Gaoui is back against Brazil's Anderson Arcanjo, who also qualified by winning the Tatneft Cup Brazil tournament. The other 80kg fight sees Ukraine's Sergei Papusha fight Belarus' Peter Romankevich.

At heavyweight, the final Tatneft Cup Brazil qualifier Vitor Miranda will fight last year's Tatneft heavyweight winner, Tsotne Rogava. Closing out the card, the final heavyweight bout sees Jan Siersema fight Hakim Abdi.

70kg: Enriko Gogokhia vs. Bruno Gazani

70kg: Maxim SMirnov vs. Rachid Boumalek

80kg: Hicham El Gaoui vs. Anderson Arcanjo

80kg: Sergei Papusha vs. Peter Romankevich

HW: Vitor Miranda vs. Tsotne Rogava

HW: Jan Siersema vs. Hakim Abdi

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Karate Flashback #2: Gary O'Neill vs. Piotr Sawicki

There were a lot of famous K-1 and GLORY stars I could have featured in the second installment of this series. I considered Francisco Filho, Andy Hug, Semmy Schilt, and Ewerton Texeira, but eventually I decided on two names that most kickboxing fans probably won't recognize: Gary O'Neill and Piotr Sawicki. 

Before joining Kyokushin, Gary O'Neill was a skinny kid from Australia that went on to become one of the most famous Aussie karatekas of all time. He was reknowned for his spinning kicks, speed, and timing. In the last article, I introduced the Japanese Kyokushin icon, Hajime Kazumi. While most combat sports stars become famous for defeating big names, Gary O'Neill found his place in history for losing to one. Two years in a row O'Neill battled his way to the finals of the All Japan Championships, and both times he lost Kazumi. Despite failing to capture a major title, O'Neill's exciting's fights made him a sensation with fans worldwide. 

From Poland, Piotr Sawicki was just as thrilling as O'Neill. While not as technically gifted, Sawicki had an iron body and was able to withstand serious punishment. Sawicki is the only non-Japanese fighter to win the Tokyo World Cup (1997) and captured a slew of championships across Europe as well. 

The two met in the first round of the 1998 All Japan Championships and put on a fantastic technical performance. While neither O'Neill or Sawicki went on to have an extensive kickboxing career, they were both without a doubt two of the most dynamic strikers of the 90's. 

 

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Karate Flashback #1: Glaube Feitosa vs. Hajime Kazumi

When the word "karate" is mentioned in casual conversation, most fight fans have a tendency to roll their eyes. Traditional arts get a significant amount of disrespect in the contemporary combat sports community, and much of the scepticism is deserved. However, all too often these same individuals are so quick to praise the values of "K-1 Level Striking," unaware that K-1 itself was founded by the creator of Seidokaikan Karate, Kazuyoshi Ishii. 

Seidokaikan is one of the many disciplines of Knockdown Rules Karate that branches from Kyokushin. From under the Kyokushin umbrella emerged fighters like Andy Hug, Semmy Schilt, Sam Greco, Musashi, Masaaki Satake, Francisco Filho, and the fighter I'm featuring in this video- Glaube Feitosa.

Every week, I would like to take a closer look at Karatekas that helped influence the landscape of kickboxing. While all the above named athletes made a successful transition to K-1 in the 1990's, many great fighters remained in Kyokushin to compete under full contact rules for the entireity of their careers. Hajime Kazumi is such an individual.

Hajime Kazumi is one of the most famous Kyokushin practioners in Japan, and that's saying something. He is the 2nd World Tournament Heavyweight champion, and has captured six All Japan Championships. In this match, Kazumi takes on future K-1 star Glaube Feitosa. Feitosa is widely regarded as one of the best fighters in K-1 to never earn a championship, with wins over Ruslan Karaev, Musashi, and Alistair Overeem.

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