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Rise, It's Showtime Japan Announce September Matchups

In the main event of September 23rd's RISE 83, NJKF Super Flyweight Champion KENJI, brother of Yuta Kubo, will take on #3 ranked Ryuma Tobe in a fight that will have large implications for the RISE Bantamweight title that Nobuchiko Terado has vacated. KENJI made it to the semifinals of the Krush 55kg tournament, but lost to eventual champion Shota Takiya. In his last 10, KENJI has only lost to Takiya and the aforementioned Terado. Tobe is currently on a 2-fight winning streak. Also announced for RISE 83 is a bout between TURBO and Hirotaka Egawa(?).

On September 11th at It's Showtime Japan 3, former It's Showtime -61kg Champion Sergio Wielzen will take on Kanongsuk Weerasakreck in yet another bout that will likely have implications at the It's Showtime title. Wielzen defeated Frenchman Mikael Peynaud for the inaugural It's Showtime 61kg title and defeated Masahiro Yamamoto in his first defense, but lost the title to Karim Bennoui. Kanongsuk has been on a tear as of late, going 8-1 in his last 9 with wins over Hiromasa Masuda, Genki Yamamoto and Rashata while his only loss is to current IS 61kg #1 contender Kan Itabashi. Already announced for the card are matchups between WBC Japan Super Bantamweight Champion Genji Umeno will take on Techakarin Chuwattana(?) while WPMF Japan Featherweight Champion Yosuke Morii will take on kickboxing convert and former WBO Bantamweight Champion Ratanchai Sor Vorapin. {jcomments on}

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Hisanori Maeda to Retire at Fujiwara Festival on August 28th

August 28th will mark the second It's Showtime Japan event, this time a co-promotion with the Fujiwara Festival. However, its biggest impact on the kickboxing world will be Hisanori Maeda's retirement ceremony. Maeda was the 20th AJKF Featherweight Champion and has faced nearly every notable name at 60-63kg in Japan. During his time in AJKF, he faced Naoki Ishikawa, Masahiro Yamamoto, Genki Yamamoto, Hiromasa Masuda, Haruaki Otsuki, Kanongsuk and Ryuji Kajiwara. Though he was unsuccessful against many of them, he managed to go 2-1-1 against Naoki Ishikawa, with their final encounter being a draw for the AJKF Super Featherweight Championship at the last AJKF show.

After AJKF disbanded, he entered the 2009 Krush Lightweight tournament, defeating Fire Harada by knockout in the opening round of the tournament, but losing to Genki Yamamoto in the quarterfinals. He went on to defeat Daisuke Uematsu in a super fight at the finals of the Krush tournament. However, he finished out his career going 1-4 in 2010, losing to TURBΦ and Rashata in that stretch.

Maeda is just one of the many AJKF fighters who has struggled to find success in the post-AJKF Japanese scene and his retirement signifies another step in this changing of the guard in the Japanese scene which has seen many K-1 Koshien fighters find success in both K-1 and Krush. AJKF fighters may have a resurgence in the near future, but Hisanori Maeda will not be one of them.

{jcomments on}

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Ai Takahashi Injured, Erika Kamimura Enters Girls S-Cup Japan Tournament

Ai Takahashi was supposed to meet Erika Kamimura in a super fight at next week's Shootboxing Girls S-Cup Japan Preliminary Tournament. Unfortunately, Takahashi suffered a fractured left orbital bone in training and won't be able to participate. However, Kamimura has not withdrawn from the event and instead has chosen to participate in the tournament. Shootboxing chairman Ceasar Takeshi said that he would like to reschedule the match under RISE rules on November 23rd's RISE event, but nothing official is in the works as of now. He also announced the other participants for the tournament, as well as the tournament draw. In the first round, Erika Kamimura will face off against Kanaka Oka, MMA fighters "WINDY" Tomomi Sunaba and Miyo Yoshida will face each other, 2009 Girls S-Cup Finalist and Valkyrie Featherweight Champion V.V Mei will face J-Girls 3rd ranked MINA and MMA fighters Seo Hee Ham and Emi Fujino round out the tournament.

The most likely outcome of the tournament would be a Kamimura vs Ham finals, however V.V Mei could pull off an upset, as she has done in the past, though I see it rather unlikely against Ham, who absolutely dominated V.V Mei in an MMA fight back at Jewels 15. Rena is still set to participate at the event, but has no opponent as of now.{jcomments on}

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Weekly Poll Results

Last week's question: How much do you watch current MMA?

52% - I watch everything I can get my hands on

25% - All the big shows

14% - Sometimes, if a shows interests me

8% - Very rarel

1% - Absolutely never

This week - we're starting to hear rumblings of K-1 coming back.  Of course, we've heard these rumblings before in 2011, and so far nothing has come of it.  What's your take on the situation?

Will there be a 2011 K-1 Heavyweight Grand Prix?

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