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LiverKick.com Rankings

Heavyweight (Per 4/15)
1. Rico Verhoeven
2. Daniel Ghita
3. Gokhan Saki
4. Tyrone Spong
5. Peter Aerts
6. Errol Zimmerman up
7. Benjamin Adegbuyiup
8. Ismael Londt up
9. Hesdy Gerges up
10. Ben Edwards up

Light HW (per 4/15)
1. Gokhan Saki up
2. Tyrone Spong down
3. Danyo Ilunga
4. Nathan Corbett down
5. Saulo Cavalari

Middleweight (per 4/15)
1. Wayne Barrett
2. Joe Schilling
3. Artem Levin
4. Steven Wakeling
5. Franci Grajs

Welterweight (per 4/15)
1. Nieky Holzken 
2. Joseph Valtellini 
3. Simon Marcus
4. Marc de Bonte
5. Aussie Ouzgni


70kg (Per 4/15)
1. Davit Kiriaup
2. Andy Ristiedown
3. Robin van Roosmalendown
4. Giorgio Petrosyandown
5. Murthel Groenhart
6. Buakaw Banchamek
7. Dzhabar Askerov
8. Ky Hollenbeckup
9. Aikprachaup
10. Enriko Kehlup

65kg (per 1/20)
1. Masaaki Noiri
2. Mosab Amraniup
3. Yuta Kubo down
4. Sagetdao
5. Liam Harrison

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Tomorrow, Krush.14 is set to take place and aside from the semifinals and finals of the Krush Supernova Tournament, the main attraction is Krush -63kg champion Ryuji Kajiwara defending his title for the first time against 2010 K-1 -63kg Tournament champion Tetsuya Yamato. Kajiwara was originally set to face WBC Japan Muay Thai Lightweight champion Rashata, but he was forced to pull out of the fight.

How they match up:

Ryuji Kajiwara (c): 19-10-1 (6 KO) // 176 cm (5'9") // 34 years old

Tetsuya Yamato: 25-8-1 (20 KO) // 171 cm (5'7") // 23 years old

Originally starting out as a boxer, Kajiwara came to kickboxing in 2004, fighting primarily in J-Network before making his All Japan Kickboxing Federation debut in 2006 with a draw against top fighter Naoki Ishikawa. Over the next 3 years, he fought AJKF's best, though losing to most of them, ending with a loss to "Kyoken" Yuji Takeuchi in the first round of the 2009 Krush Lightweight GP. Kajiwara made a bit of a name for himself in AJKF despite his losses, mostly due to his wild brawl with Hisanori Maeda. Though he was known from his AJKF days, Kajiwara had his coming out party in 2011, entering the year on a 3-fight win-streak which saw him avenge a loss to Naoki Ishikawa. He extended his win-streak to 6, defeating TaCa, Kizaemon Saiga and Koya Urabe to capture Krush -63kg Tournament championship. Kajiwara went on to enter the 2011 K-1 -63kg Japan Tournament, losing to Masaaki Noiri in the quarterfinals. Conversely, Yamato is a product of New Japan Kickboxing Federation and has also competed under Muay Thai rules, mostly against Thai fighters, most notably Saenchai Sinbimuaythai and Jomthong Chuwattana, though he lost to both. Yamato was a relative unknown until he got his chance in K-1 in 2010 in the qualifying round of the -63kg tournament against pre-tournament favorite Masahiro Yamamoto. Yamato managed to stay even through 3 rounds with Yamamoto and forcing an extension round before scoring a knockdown in the extension round which scored him the win. Yamato then rattled off three straight KOs to claim the tournament championship. Since, Yamato is just 3-3-1 with a pair of losses to Koya Urabe, a loss to Jomthong and a draw against MMA fighter "Wicky" Akiyo Nishiura.

Kajiwara is one of the top counter-punchers in the division, likely as a result of his boxing experience. Ironically, his boxing defense is where he is most susceptible as he showed in his fights with Kizaemon Saiga and Koya Urabe in the Krush tournament. Though he was able to win those fights on the strength of knockdowns, he took a good amount of shots to the head. Fortunately for Kajiwara, Yamato does not possess the speed of Saiga or the technical prowess of Urabe. Unfortunately for Kajiwara, Yamato hits much harder than both Urabe and Saiga and is willing to take a few to give a few. Yamato's biggest weakness is his lack of speed and somewhat lacking technique. When his opponents bring speed or technical advantages to the table, Yamato is often flustered and cannot produce any significant offense. This can be seen in his recent fights against Koya Urabe, Hiroya and Saenchai, and though there is no video of his fight with Jomthong, seems to be the reason he lost that fight as well.

The way I see it, there are two possible ways this fight plays out. The first scenario is one which Yamato attempts to pressure Kajiwara, but Kajiwara is able to deflect the pressure with a strong jab and counter-punching, likely leading to a Kajiwara decision win. The second, and far more entertaining scenario, is one which Yamato constantly comes forward and the two exchange. I find this scenario more likely because of Kajiwara's lack of a speed advantage and willingness to be drawn into a brawl. Yamato showed he can make a non-brawler get into a brawl in his dramatic win over Yuta Kubo and although it is far in the past, Kajiwara showed he is willing to get lured into a brawl should the circumstances be right. Should the second scenario play out, I believe it would favor Yamato. Though it is very likely both fighters could see the canvas in this fight, Yamato holds the edge in power and has a slightly better chin, as well as an incredible heart and resilience when he finds himself in deep waters. Remarkably, 11 of Yamato's 20 KOs have come in the 3rd round or later. His biggest wins to date over Masahiro Yamamoto and Yuta Kubo in K-1 were a result of an extension round knockdown and 3rd round knockout, respectively, so Yamato can be extremely clutch under the spotlight despite his somewhat embarrassing first loss to Urabe and draw with Nishiura.

One final side note, Kajiwara's 35th birthday is on the day of the fight, December 9th, and Yamato's 24th is the following day. I can guess what both fighters would like.

Recent fight videos of both fighters after the break


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Coming off an extremely successful 2011 which saw the emergence of stars Ai Takahashi, Erika Kamimura and Toby Imada as well as their big Shoot the Shooto co-promotion with Shooto, Shootboxing has announced its planned schedule for 2012 which consists of 8 events. Among the 8 events are two Young Caeser events, four "Road to S-Cup" events, the Girls' S-Cup and the Men's S-Cup. The Girls' S-Cup is set for August while the Men's is set for its usual date in November, though no day has been announced for either event.

Jan. 29 (Sunday) IMP Hall, Osaka / Young Caesar Cup OSAKA 2012 vol.1
February 05 (Sunday) Korakuen Hall, Tokyo / SHOOT BOXING 2012 act.1
February 12 (Sunday) Toyokawa gymnasium / Young Caesar Cup CENTRAL 2012 ♯ 1
April 13 (Friday) Korakuen Hall, Tokyo / SHOOT BOXING 2012 act.2
June 03 (Sunday) Korakuen Hall, Tokyo / SHOOT BOXING 2012 act.3
September 17 (Monday) Korakuen Hall, Tokyo / SHOOT BOXING2012 act.4

Possible participants for the Girls' S-Cup include Shootboxing Women's Mini-Flyweight champion Ai Takahashi, 2-time defending Girls' S-Cup champion Rena, 2011 Girls' S-Cup Preliminary Tournament winner Erika Kamimura, 2011 Girls' S-Cup Preliminary Tournament runner-up Seo Hee Ham, 2009 Girls' S-Cup finalist V.V Mei (Mei Yamaguchi/V Hajime), and possibly MMA fighter Jessica Penne who holds a win over Rena in Shootboxing.

For the Men's S-Cup, I would expect 3-time S-Cup champion and 2-time K-1 MAX champion Andy Souwer, 2010 S-Cup finalist Toby Imada, Shootboxing star Hiroki Shishido, Shootboxing regulars Takaaki Umeno and Bovy Sor Udomson, Team Souwer's Henri Van Opstal and possibly 2-time K-1 MAX and 2010 S-Cup champion Buakaw Por Pramuk, though that is to be seen.

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If you live in New York or the surrounding area, make sure to do yourself a favor this holiday season and mark down December 16th on your calendar and head over to see some awesome muay thai action. TaKe On Productions (TKO) has been doing some great things this year for the east coast muay thai scene, and they plan to end the year with a bang. Their next show is Friday, December 16th at the Flushing, NY 7 Train Theater. Why is it so cool? Oh yeah, 155lbs MAX tournament sounds about right. Check out their event page for more info.

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its showtime

It's Showtime's 2012 year is starting to come together. The promotion announced today a partial schedule of 2012. Among events scheduled include four new destinations: Japan, Australia, Switzerland and Brazil. It is expected that there will be at least 10 shows in 2012. Here's the partial schedule:

January 28 in Leeuwarden, The Netherlands
June 2 in Brussels, Belgium
June 30 in The Netherlands
End of July in Tokyo, Japan
August 11 in Sidney, Australia
October 13 in Zurich, Switzerland
November 10 in São Paulo, Brazil

There is a noticable gap between January and June on this partial list but according to It's Showtime, they're negotiating to hold an event in March/April. Among other events is one that is rumored for Spain in May, although it wasn't listed by It's Showtime. It would not surprise me to see even another event in that gap, as It's Showtime is expanding rapidly.

With the June 30 event being described as "very spectacular and historical," I would speculate that it might be at the Amsterdam ArenA, a place It's Showtime hasn't been to since May of 2010. Location and fight card for this event will be announced during It's Showtime's January 28th event.

With It's Showtime moving to new markets, we can most likely expect to see new fighters on the cards from the localities. It should be particularly interesting to see what fighters It's Showtime can get from new areas.  I'd love to see Swiss-based fighter Yoann Kongolo get a shot when It's Showtime heads to Zurich, for instance. You can read the full press release from It's Showtime's website here.

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Its been a few months since the last big show in Thailand because of all the flooding, but now its birthday month, and that means the big shows are back. December 8th will mark the 55th year that Lumpini stadium has been open. However shows are not promoted on Thursday's so the annual mega show will have to wait an extra day. 

The card has 5 titles up for grabs and the first will be for the vacant welterweight championship when Aikpracha Meenayothin takes on Prakysiang Kaiyanghadaogym. The two met just over a month ago in the semi's of a Toyota promoted marathon tournament where Prakysiang took the win and went on to beat Yodsanklai Fairtex in the finals. That tournament was at 158 pounds, a weight neither fighter should really be at. At 147 pounds I think Aikpracha is the better fighter. A 4th round TKO or close decision win should be coming his way. 

The next fight will be for the vacant super flyweight championship. Wanchalong Sitzornong was champion, and I really have no idea why he vacated seeing as he's not particularly big for 115. Moving up to 118 seems kind of odd, But again, I don't know the whole story behind this, or what his plans are. Anyways, the title match will be Petmorakot Wor. Sangprapai vs. Mongolchai Kwaytonggym. Petmorakot began the year fighting at around 105 pounds and has nicely moved his way to 115. He's a strong clincher with a decent kick when he decides to use it. Mongkolchai is very similar, but has been fighting at this weight for a longer period of time. Petmorakot is on a long winning streak but has never faced anyone as tall as him or as big as him before. This should be a very good clinch fight, but Mongkolchai takes the points win. 

Next up knockout artist Chokprecha Kor. Sakooncher will look to add another belt to his collection when he fights bantamweight champion Kaotam Lukprabart. Im not too high on Kaotam, he's good, but really shouldn't be champion. He's gotten a few favorable draws and is coming off a loss in a non title bout. He is however quite a bit bigger than Chokprecha and can sometimes make for a really fun fight. Chokprecha is always in a fun fight, and I think his style will force Kaotam to do things he normally wouldn't. In classic Chokprecha fashion I like him by come from behind KO in 3 or 4 in the fight of the night. 

In a battle between oldies Thong Puideenaidee will take on everyone's favorite brawler Ponsaneh Sitmonchai. The fight will be contested at 124 pounds which I think is better for Ponsaneh. He's fought at 124+ many times while Thong's best weight is probably right around 121 or 122. Its been a mixed year for both men, but I like Ponsaneh to end the year strong and score a 2nd round knockout. 

Ritidej Wor. Wanthavee is next in line to try and dethrone 122 pound kingpin Sam-A Kaiyanghadaogym. I don't see him winning, but he will likely force Sam-A to work harder than he normally has to. Ritidej is tall, aggressive, and the type of fighter Sam-A can pick apart with his left hand and left elbow. A cut stoppage wouldn't surprise me here, but Sam-A by decision is the most likely outcome. 

Red hot F16 Rajanont was originally supposed to fight Saenchai on this card, but instead the promoters decided to have him fight Singdam Kiatmuu9 in a non title fight. Singdam was in a slump until his last fight when he took a decision over Petchboonchu F.A Group. In that fight he received a weight advantage, against F16 he will not. Without that I don't see him winning, especially when F16 starts up his power clinch game in the 3rd or 4th round. I see a clear cut decision for F16 here. 

In the main event Saenchai Sinbimuaythai will look to not only become lightweight champion but he'll also look to avenge his only loss of the year. He and Sagetdao Petpaiyathai have met a handful of times before with both winning 2 times. History suggests Saenchai wins when the weight is equal, and Sagetdao wins when he gets a couple pounds. This time around the agreed weight is Saenchai 131, and Sagetdao 133. For that reason I like Sagetdao to win another close one, and beat Saenchai for the 2nd time this year. 

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Friday marks the last Krush event of the year and the main attraction is the semifinals and finals of the Krush Under-22 ~Supernova~ Tournament. The first two rounds took place in October and saw Masaaki Noiri, Hiroya, Yukimitsu Takahashi and Koya Urabe advance. Semifinal matchups are a rematch between Noiri and Hiroya, and a matchup between Koya Urabe and Takahashi.

Semifinal A: Masaaki Noiri vs HIROYA

How they match up:

Masaaki Noiri: 8-2 (4 KO)// 174 cm(5'8")// 18 years old

HIROYA: 10-3 (5 KO)// 167 cm(5'6")// 19 years old

When the two first met, it was back in 2009 in the semifinals of the K-1 Koshien tournament at Dynamite!!! 2009. Hiroya was the returning champion and Koshien's golden boy while Masaaki was an unknown. Noiri battered Hiroya over the course of three rounds, though Hiroya put up a good fight back and Noiri went on to win the fight and the Koshien tournament. Following that tournament win, Noiri began his professional career, rattling off 5 straight wins before getting reckless in a fight he was winning against "Kyoken" Yuji Takeuchi in the semifinals of the Krush 60kg tournament, losing by KO. He then proceeded to make it to the semifinals of the K-1 -63kg 2011 Japan tournament before falling to the streaking Yuta Kubo. Here, he finds himself in yet another semifinal. Hiroya holds victories over nearly every significant fighter to emerge from the Koshien system aside from Noiri. Since his defeat to Noiri, Hiroya has gone 4-2 with his losses coming to Yuta Kubo in a superfight and a questionable decision loss to Tetsuya Yamato in the K-1 -63kg 2011 Japan tournament.

Looking back at their most recent fights in the opening rounds of this tournament, both fighters seemed to show their glaring weaknesses and enormous strengths. Although Noiri scored knockouts on the strength of his technique and body work, he was dropped in his first fight against the unknown Rambo. Rambo showed sloppy striking, but Noiri became a little careless and was dropped for it. Noiri also got careless in the semifinals of the Krush tournament, being lured into a brawl with the hard-hitting Yuji Takeuchi in the final round, ultimately resulting in Noiri being KO'd. Noiri tends to get too comfortable fighting his opponent's fight, a problem that Yuta Kubo also had earlier in his career. Noiri is still just 18, though, so should he make a change like Kubo did, he has an incredibly bright future. Hiroya absolutely dominated Hiroshi Hoshikawa in his round of 16 bout, but against Sho Ogawa in the quarterfinals, he got a little bit too comfortable and was eating shots from Ogawa throughout the entire fight. Though Hiroya's offensive output ended up being more significant, his defense against his opponent's hands is lacking. He often gets too open with his striking, leaving himself open to counters. This was the case in his losses to Tetsuya Yamato and Noiri. In the Yamato fight, he controlled the entire fight outside of a 2 second period at the end of the 2nd round which resulted in him being dropped and ultimately lost him the fight.

Though there is no significant edge in technical striking, I would lean more towards Noiri because of his length and his consistently good body work. Though Hiroya's conditioning is very good, I could definitely see Noiri wearing him down over the course of three rounds, as Hiroya has shown he doesn't respond greatly to offensive pressure. That being said, I believe Hiroya has an advantage in the power department with his hands and should Noiri get careless with his offense, he could be dropped. I'm picking Noiri to take this rematch with offensive pressure being the key to a decision victory.

After the break, Urabe vs Takahashi breakdown and fight videos of the participants

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