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RISE/M-1 ~Infinity~ Full Fight Card and Preview

About a month ago, RISE and M-1 announced a co-promoted event featuring stars Masahiro Yamamoto, Koji Yoshimoto, Erika Kamimura, Sun Hyun Lee and others. The fight announcements trickled out one by one over the course of the past few weeks and I was waiting for the matchups to finally be set before putting together a post and now, less than a week away, the fight card is set and it looks very good.

Headlining the event is RISE 65kg champion Koji Yoshimoto taking on rising Dutch-Armenian star Raz Sarkisjan. Yoshimoto is currently riding a 4-fight win streak, most recently defending his title against Yasuomi Soda. Sarkisjan first made a name for himself with a decision win over Masaaki Noiri at the Hoost Cup back in May, a fight which saw both fighters on the canvas. Unfortunately, he followed that up with a loss at It's Showtime Brazil to Marcus Vinicius earlier this month. Should Sarkisjan bring the power he brought to Japan last time, he could definitely put Yoshimoto's lights out, though I think Yoshimoto could just as easily outpoint Sarkisjan over three rounds.

In the co-main event, It's Showtime 61kg champ Masahiro Yamamoto will be taking on Mansour Yaqubi. Yamamoto comes into this fight on a 5 fight win streak, but has not fought since winning the It's Showtime title from Javier Hernandez in July. Yaqubi trains out of the same gym as Raz Sarkisjan and will be looking to throw a wrench in the Lightweight picture. Yamamoto has to be the favorite here, but of course, there is a chance Yaqubi could shock everyone.

At 55kg, Shooto Flyweight champion Mikihito Yamagami returns to RISE to take on top ranked Dyki. Yamagami first debuted in RISE in 2009, where he picked up his only win in the 55kg RISING Rookies Cup. Since, he fought to a draw, was knocked out by prospect Seiya Rokukawa and, most recently, dropped a decision to former 55kg champion KENJI, but not without giving him a tough fight. In MMA, he has won 4 in a row, including a 41 second KO of Junji Ikoma to win the Shooto Flyweight title and a 2nd round submission of Junji Ito to defend it. Since KENJI's departure from the sport, Dyki has forcefully claimed his top spot in RISE, scoring three straight wins over Hiroaki Mizuhara, Ariaki Okada and most recently knocking out MA Kick Bantamweight champion Takashi Ohno. Had KENJI stayed in kickboxing, Dyki would have earned a rematch by now. Should he come out on top here, he should either be slotted for a vacant title match or placed in another 4-man tournament, which he would likely be favored to win considering RISE's talent pool at 55kg.

At 63.5kg, top Korean fighter Sun Hyun Lee takes on Buakaw Weerasakreck in the only RISE vs M-1 fight of the card. After losing a superfight to 65kg champion Koji Yoshimoto at RISE 85, Lee has won three straight fights in RISE, defeating 63kg champion Yuki and top contenders Yuto Watanabe and Shohei Asahara. Lee was supposed to face Hiroshi Mizumachi instead of Asahara for a title shot, but I assume he will still get that shot sometime next year and look to increase his stock greatly after Yuki's big win over Javier Hernandez. After starting 2012 with three straight wins, two by TKO, Buakaw moved up to 67kg to face WPMF Japan Welterweight champion T-98, but lost by 3rd round TKO. Since, he has fought once, drawing Shunsuke Oishi earlier this month.

At 61kg, WPMF and WBC Japan Lightweight champion Yosuke Mizuochi takes on Nong'an Sasiprapa. This fight is either for the WPMF World Lightweight title or the right to face Sagetdao Petpayathai, who won the title back in July. Mizuochi has won 7 of his last 8, including winning the WPMF Japan title in a 4-man tournament earlier this year and most recently defeating Keijiro Miyakoshi for the WBC Japan Lightweight title. 

In a bout for the vacant WPMF Women's World Mini-Flyweight title, Erika Kamimura faces Thailand's Loma Lookboonmee. After a 23-1 start to her pro career, Kamimura has lost twice in the last year, dropping decisions to RENA in RISE and Lorena Klijn in the opening round of this year's Girls S-Cup. While she has lost some momentum, she is still an excellent kickboxer with the power to stop the fight at any time. She won this same title in September of 2010, but never defended it and was recently held by Little Tiger, who vacated the title as well. I couldn't find much information on Loma, though I believe she is 16, has won 98 of her 120 fights and is a Rangsit Stadium and Pattaya Stadium champion. 

At 58kg, Rajadamnern Stadium Featherweight champion Sirimongkon P.K. MuayThai takes on Yusuke Shimizu. Shimizu was originally set to face Pornsaneh Sitmonchai, but he was pulled from the card. Shimizu has only fought 4 times over the past year, going 3-1 with the loss coming to Ryuya Kusakabe.

At 67kg, Kaew Fairtex faces Satoshi Taniguchi. Kaew is 2-0 in Japan this year under the M-1 banner, scoring knockouts of Kousuman and Yusuke Sugawara. Taniguchi is more or less an unknown, though he competed in the DEEP*KICK 70kg tournament, where he lost to Ren Takeno.

At 59.5kg, Chang Hyun Lee returns to competition against WPMF Japan #1 ranked Featherweight Daiki Nagashima. Like his teammate Sun Hyun, Chang Hyun Lee got his big break against a rising Japanese star in K-1, defeating Genji Umeno in October in one of the best fights of the year. Nagashima is 3-1 on the year, avenging a 2011 loss to Yuji Umehara, but failing to avenge his other 2011 loss with a grueling decision loss to Yosuke Morii. 

Finally, former Shootboxing Women's Flyweight champion Ai Takahashi takes on Itsuka. Since defeating Rena last June, Takahashi is just 1-2 with a pair of losses to Mizuki Inoue, who has overtaken her at this weight. She needs a win here to stay relevant. Itsuka has lost 3 in a row since a win over Tomoko SP last year.

Not all of the fights on the card were previewed, so click "Read more" to check out the full fight card for this event.

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Enfusion 3: "Trial of the Gladiators" Fight Card for Sunday, December 2

Enfusion recently combined with the UK's Xplosion Fight Series to form Enfusion LIVE, and will launch a series of events next year. This weekend on December 2, the third season of the Enfusion kickboxing reality show comes to an end with the finals, featuring a one night, four man tournament with the 85kg finalists.

The format of the reality show is that fighters qualify for the finals by winning two fights. The four finalists are definitely some of the best fighters at 85kg, being Andrew Tate, Sahak Parparyan, Ritchie Hocking and Franci Grajs. Two semi finals will be fought and the winners of those fights will fight each other in the final.

It's Showtime 85kg champion Sahak Parparyan fights Slovenia's Franci Grajs, while Andrew Tate, who fought Sahak this year, faces Scotland's Ritchie Hocking. This is a pretty interesting tournament, as Grajs and Hocking are definitely less known than Sahak and Tate but they're no doubt good fighters and will provide tough tests and have the ability to cause upsets.

As well as a tournament with the male finalists, there's also a four man women's tournament featuring the show's coaches, in the same format as the men's tournament. Denise Kielholtz faces Lindsay Scheer in one semi final, and on the other side of the tournament, Chajmaa Bellakhal faces Lucy Payne, with the tournament being at 60kg.

The rest of the card features some Slovenian fighters, including Jasmin Becirovic taking on the tough veteran Wendell Roche. All tournament fights are K-1 rules.

75kg MT 3x3: Grega Smole vs. Miljan Vidovic

86kg MT 3x3: Tadej Toplak vs. Ivan Stanic

71kg MT 3x3: Mirko Vorkapic vs. Luke Whelan

Women's 60kg semi final: Chajmaa Bellakhal vs. Lucy Payne

Women's 60kg semi final: Denise Kielholtz vs. Lindsay Scheer

85kg semi final: Andrew Tate vs. Ritchie Hocking

85kg semi final: Sahak Parparyan vs. Franci Grajs

95kg MT 3x3: Jasmin Becirovic vs. Wendell Roche

Women's 60kg Final

Men's 85kg Final

 

 

 

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Krush Adds Bennoui, Ezbiri to 67kg Tournament

Krush held a fan event in Tokyo yesterday, hosting promotional stars Yuta Kubo, Masaaki Noiri, Shota Takiya and Yasuhiro Kido, among others. However, the focus wasn't entirely on the fighters at the event, as Krush made a series of important announcements for their first two cards in 2013.

Firstly, Krush announced two more participants for their 67kg tournament, adding European fighters Abdallah Ezbiri and Houcine Bennoui. Ezbiri made his Krush debut at Krush.19 back in June, giving Yuta Kubo one of his harder fights in recent times and being the only one of Kubo's last 5 opponents to hear the final bell. Bennoui, whose brother makes his promotional debut at Krush.25 in December, is another in the long list of French fighters who have invaded Krush over the last year. He holds notable wins over Singmanee Kaewsamrit, Lumpinee Stadium champion Damien Alamos, Mosab Amrani and former Kubo opponent Charles Francois. With the inclusion of these two and the assumed inclusion of Makihira Keita, only one spot remains open. Should Krush choose to fill that spot with a Japanese fighter, Yuya Yamato would be a great final piece to a tournament that is already packed with young talent.

Krush also announced two big fights for their January 14th card, pitting 2011 Youth GP champion Masaaki Noiri against M-1 Super Lightweight champion Makoto Nishiyama. Nishiyama has made his way around the Lightweight circuit in Japan, but at 35 he still lacks a signature win, dropping fights to Hiroki Ishii, Ryuji Kajiwara, Tetsuya Yamato and Kanongsuk Weerasakreck. A win over Noiri would definitely be a career best, but at this stage in his career and on a 2-fight losing streak that dates back to over 2 years ago, Nishiyama will be a massive underdog. Also announced for the card is Krush 55kg champion Shota Takiya taking on Andy Howson. Takiya has held his place atop the 55kg division since April 2011 when he won the Krush tournament and has been an unstoppable force since. Howson made his Krush debut back in August at Krush.21 where he faced Nobuchika Terado for the ISKA Bantamweight title. Howson looked like he was on his way to winning that fight after dropping Terado twice, but Terado stormed back and dropped Howson 3 times to force a stoppage. This fight, on paper, is absolute fireworks, with Takiya being just as prone to brawling as Terado. However, Howson will have to make some adjustments as Takiya is faster and hits harder than Terado. 

Moving on to the January 26th card which hosts the beginning of the 58kg tournament, the aforementioned Nobuchika Terado, as well as Yoshihiro Sato, were at the event to announce their participation for that card. Terado hinted at moving up to 58kg to compete in the tournament, though nothing is confirmed. Should Sato take (and win) a string of fights in Krush, a rematch with Yasuhiro Kido would be very possible and likely entertaining. The only announced fight for that card is a 70kg title match between champion Yasuhiro Kido and Takuro Moriya, assuming Kido doesn't suffer any lasting injuries in K-1 next month.

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Thai Boxe Mania Results: Bessmertny, Gogokhia pick up wins

Thai Boxe Mania took place yesterday in Torino, Italy and featured some interesting match-ups with the likes of Yury Bessmertny, Enriko Gogokhia and Crice Boussoukou. All three are up and comers with promising futures.

Yury Bessmertny was in the main event and faced Roberto Cocco, the Italian veteran who main evented Thai Boxe Mania back in February against Artur Kyshenko. The fight took place at 75kg, a weight Bessmertny has been fighting at more commonly as of late. Unfortunately the fight came to an abrupt halt when a headbutt caused a cut, but for some reason the win was given to Bessmertny instead of being a no contest.

At 72.5kg, a particularly interesting fight in Enriko Gogokhia vs. Berneung Topkingboxing took place at 72.5kg. Gogokhia has been on the come up for quite a while, arguably beating Mike Zambidis last year. Gogokhia ended up winning a decision.

Just four days after winning in Lyon by TKO against Rachid Magmadi, Crice Boussoukou stepped up and took a fight with Kaoponlek on short notice at this event at 67kg. Boussoukou had been knocked out by Kaoponlek last year in Lyon. This fight went much differently, although Kaoponlek won a decision. Reports are that the decision was pretty controversial and Boussoukou himself thinks that he won the fight.

75kg: Yury Bessmertny def. Roberto Cocco by TKO (Cut).

72.5kg: Enriko Gogokhia def. Berneung Topkingboxing by decision.

67kg: Kaoponlek def. Crice Boussoukou by unanimous decision.

92kg: Davide Longoni def. Milan Dasic by KO.

72.5kg: Paolo Fiorio def. Lefterio Perego by TKO.

70kg: Christian Zahe def. Alkid Farruku by TKO.

57.5kg: Patrick Carta def. Flavio Scrimali by KO.

65kg: Alessandro Alias def. Allan Godzicki by KO.

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