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K-1 Veteran Ewerton Teixeira Wins MMA Debut

Ewerton Teixeira has been very quiet for what seems like a really long time now. He hasn't fought in kickboxing since the K-1 World Grand Prix 2010 Final, where he defeated Errol Zimmerman by unanimous decision. Teixeira's been waiting around for someone to contact him about fighting kickboxing, and it hasn't happened, so he's switched his attention to MMA.

Teixeira fought on Saturday, August 4 and defeated his opponent, Raul Bazanes, by KO from a knee in the third round From all accounts, his opponent was very tough to last as he as he did.

Teixeira has been training with UFC Heavyweight Champion Junior Dos Santos' team since March. Originally, he just went to spar with Dos Santos, but as he has not been contacted with any kickboxing offers, he decided to go forward with MMA. He has not ruled out kickboxing but for the time being, it seems like he's going to keep going forward with MMA unless he gets an offer in kickboxing from a major player like Glory or K-1.

If anything, this should be a wake up call for major organizations to start pursuing Ewerton Teixeira, who's been waiting a very long time for that to happen.

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Krush Announces 2012 Youth GP at 63kg and 70kg Featuring K. Urabe, Hiroya, Matsukura

After a successful youth tournament in 2011, Krush has expanded their 2012 youth tournament to two weight classes, 63kg and 70kg, and have announced the participants for both tournaments. The tournament will begin on September 9th with a day-night setup like last year's opening round, with the day portion featuring the 70kg tournament and the night portion featuring the 63kg tournament. The 70kg tournament only features four fighters, so it is likely that both the semifinals and finals will take place on the 9th, and with just an 8-man field at 63kg, as opposed to 16 last year, it is possible that the 63kg tournament could take place in one night as well, as opposed to a two-event tournament like last year. Either way, here are the fields for the two weight classes

63kg:

Koya Urabe: 2011 Runner-up (20-4-0, 2 KO) // 22 years old

Hiroya: 2011 Semifinalist (11-5-0, 6 KO) // 20 years old

Daizo Sasaki: 2011 Quarterfinalist (6-7-1, 2 KO) // 21 years old

Kengo Sonoda: 2011 Quarterfinalist (3-3-1, 0 KO) // 20 years old

Hiroto Yamaguchi: DEEP*KICK 65kg Champion (8-1-0, 4 KO) // 20 years old

Minoru Kimura: MA Kick #2 Super Lightweight (8-1-1, 6 KO) // 18 years old

Yuya: 2011 K-1 Koshien Runner-up (6-1-0, 6 KO) // 18 years old

Hisaki Higashimoto: 2-time Shin Karate Champion (Pro debut) // 20 years old

For those wondering why Masaaki Noiri is not in the tournament, as the reigning champion, he will face the winner of the tournament to defend that title, unlike the K-1 style of a fresh tournament with a new champion each year. A notable fighter left out is 2011 quarterfinalist and 2011 K-1 Koshien champ Sho Ogawa, who holds a pro win over Minoru Kimura, a win in the finals of the Koshien tournament over Yuya and gave Hiroya all he could handle in the quarterfinals last year. Urabe and Hiroya have to be the favorites to earn a rematch with Noiri, but don't count out Yamaguchi and Kimura. Both just recently suffered their first pro losses and will be hungrier than ever coming into this tournament, while Urabe and Hiroya have been upset-prone as of late. If this is a one-night tournament, I would slightly favor Hiroya over Urabe. While both have major defensive deficiencies, Urabe tends to take more damage, especially from leg kicks, which could slow him down towards the finals.

70kg:

Shintaro Matsukura: 2009 K-1 Koshien 70kg Champion (5-6-0, 4 KO) // 20 years old

JungleKoki: 2009 K-1 Koshien 70kg Runner-up (5-2-0, 2KO) // 20 years old

Taisei Kondo: DEEP*KICK 70kg Tournament Semifinalist (4-2-2, 2 KO) // 20 years old

Kazuya Akimoto: RISE 2011 KAMINARIMON 70kg Champion (2-0-0, 1 KO) // 22 years old

Matsukura has to be the heavy favorite here as he is the only person to face top competition on more than one occasion and holds a win over Yuya Yamamoto. Each man has recently fought in Krush at Krush-EX vol.4 or Krush.20, with Matsukura losing a close extension round decision to TOMOYUKI, Akimoto taking a decision win, JungleKoki losing by cut stoppage to Yu Hirono and Kondo scoring a KO of Fred Matos. 

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Tetsuya Yamato, S. Miyakoshi vs Kenta Headline Big NJKF/WBC Japan Card on 9/22

New Japan Kickboxing Federation has a big card planned for September 22nd at Korakuen Hall.

The headliner for the card is WBC Japan Super Lightweight champ Tetsuya Yamato against a yet to be determined opponent in a fight for the WBC International Super Lightweight Title. Yamato (28-9-1, 22 KO) most recently knocked out Seiji Takahashi to take the WBC Japan title and was, at the time, set to face Liam Harrison, but the release sent out currently has Yamato against an undetermined opponent. Harrison is still the WBC International champ, so unless WBC stripped him, I'd imagine he is still Yamato's opponent.

In a fight for the WBC Japan Super Welterweight title, reigning champion Soichiro Miyakoshi looks to pick up another big win against NJKF champ Kenta. Since losing his WBC Japan title at Welterweight to Yuya Yamato, Miyakoshi (18-9-1, 9 KO) is 2-1, winning the Super Welterweight title over Yutaro Yamauchi and winning the J-Network Welterweight title over then-undefeated champ Masato Otake. Most recently, he lost to Danilo Zanolini at the Hoost Cup in May. Kenta (24-10-3, 9 KO) is currently at a rough spot in his career after his best year in 2011 which saw him win the Krush 70kg tournament and take out Yasuhiro Kido in the opening round of the last K-1 MAX Japan tournament before falling in an extremely close and entertaining fight with Yuya Yamamoto in the semifinals. He followed that up with an upset loss to TOMOYUKI and then lost his Krush title to Yasuhiro Kido. He bounced back in June with an easy win over Shu Kiire, but a win here would be huge for him. Despite his setbacks, I would favor Kenta here as Miyakoshi, despite beating Yamauchi and Otake, hasn't been as successful in consistently beating top competition.

In a fight for the WBC Japan Super Featherweight title, champion Yoshinori Nakasuka will defend against MA Kick Super Featherweight champion Hikaru Machida. Nakasuka has yet to fight this year, but went 1-2 in 2011, defending his title against Naoki Ishikawa, but losing to Yosuke Mizuochi and most recently Australia's Joseph Concha. Machida is 1-0-2 on the year, with draws against Keijiro Miyakoshi and Kanongsuk Weerasakreck while his sole win was a one-sided beatdown of J-Network champ Kentaro Kimura. I would favor Machida as he seemed to be very impressive in his win and his two draws were against two of the better fighters around 60kg.

In another MA Kick vs WBC Japan fight, WBC Japan and WPMF Japan Super Bantamweight champ Ryuya Kusakabe will make his first defense against MA Kick Super Bantamweight champ Keisuke Miyamoto. Since losing to Shota Takiya in the finals of the Krush 55kg tournament, Kusakabe (13-1-0, 5 KO) has won three straight, winning the WBC Japan title over Arato and then running through Sota Ichinohe and Yusuke Shimizu to win the WPMF Japan title. Miyamoto (13-1-1, 6 KO) also holds a recent win over Arato and most recently fought former Lumpinee champion Pinsiam Maki to a draw. I favor Kusakabe in this fight as I feel that he, Takiya and Kenji are the clear top 3 guys at 55kg, however a win by Miyamoto would certainly shake things up.

In the final fight with WBC Japan implications, Keijiro Miyakoshi will square off against WPMF Japan Lightweight champ Yosuke Mizuochi in a fight that I believe is to determine Rashata's next challenger, though he could possibly have vacated the title and this could be for the vacant title. Miyakoshi is 4-0-1 since the start of 2011, winning the NJKF Lightweight title and a WBC Japan eliminator to round out 2011, then beginning 2012 with a draw against Hikaru Machida and most recently scoring a huge upset over Koya Urabe back in April. Mizuochi is riding a 6 fight win streak which saw him take the WPMF Japan Lightweight title and most recently squeak out a split decision over Yoyutto Senchaigym in June. I would favor Miyakoshi in this matchup, though the possibility for a letdown after a career-best win over Urabe is possible.

This card also features two finals and four semifinals in the New Japan Wars 2012 series. In the Super Welterweight final, Hiroki Yamamoto will take on Takenaka Shirakami for the right to challenge current champ Kenta. In the Super Bantamweight final, Hiroshi Senchaigym will rematch Hiroya Haga after Haga defeated Hiroshi back in June which likely earned him this second fight as opposed to Hiroshi immediately being given a rematch with current champ Arato, who he fought to a close split decision loss. In one Super Lightweight semifinal, Marimo takes on AKIRA while in the other, Kazushige Sugama takes on Noriyuki Miyajima. In a welterweight semifinal, Baku Senchaigym takes on Tae-yong with the winner set to fight Soichiro Miyakoshi in the finals. Finally, in a Super Featherweight semifinal, Daichi Yamato takes on Shoya Suzuki. 

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Are You Ready for the Voice Versus to Return?

Even when it isn't featuring a prominent Kickboxing star, Michael Schiavello's show on AXS TV, The Voice Versus is always a can't miss for fans of combat sports. Schiavello sits down with a star from the fighting world and asks them a series of questions from his unique bag of tricks, and will usually throw in a few joke questions as well for fun. What is clear is that he always does his homework and is always willing to ask interesting questions of these personalities. The first episode of the new season will air on August 31st, and for now, here is Schiavello dropping hints as to the star of it.

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