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Ray Sefo Out, Crafton Wallace In at RISE 88

RISE had recently announced that K-1 veteran Ray Sefo would be taking on promotional Heavyweight champ Makoto Uehara at RISE 88, but it looks like damage to the eye from Sefo’s most recent fight against Mirko Crocop will be keeping him out of action here. Replacing him will be 40 year old American MMA fighter Crafton “Blaze” Wallace. Wallace is 18-6-1 with 8 KO and 9 submissions in MMA and went 0-2 in the UFC back in 2006 with submission losses to Nate Marquardt and Martin Kampmann. He is currently on a 3 fight losing streak in MMA, with his most recent losses to Waachim Spiritwolf and Patrick Cote. According to the press release, Wallace began fighting in muay thai in 1999 and won an ISKA Muay Thai Middleweight tournament back in 2003. Wallace is a Middleweight in MMA, but size should not be a huge factor here. Although Uehara is a heavyweight, he and Wallace are the same height and Uehara is only about 90kgs, which is most likely around what Wallace weighs without cutting weight. That being said, Uehara should glide through this fight.

Also on the card is a clash of top RISE Heavyweights as #1 ranked Kengo Shimizu takes on #2 ranked Raoumaru in a 90kg fight in what could decide Uehara’s next challenger. Shimizu won his most recent fight at RISE 86 while Raoumaru is 2-2 in his last 4, starting with a loss to Makoto Uehara for the vacant RISE HW title, a win over Mighty Mo in the quarterfinals of the RISE HW Tournament, a loss in the semifinals to Singh Jaideep and a win over Brazilian Eduardo Sakomoto at RISE 87. This fight being at 90kg is a bit strange considering it is their two top ranked heavyweights, but I see two reasons why RISE could be doing this. The first is that Raoumaru is a bit of a flabby guy and will have trouble making it down to 90kg while Shimizu is comfortable at the weight. I think this is a possibility because Raoumaru is already 0-2 against Uehara, though they were two very entertaining fights. The other reason could be that they are trying to set up a 90kg division to appeal to Japan’s crop of smaller heavyweights and want this fight at 90kg to see who is best suited at 90kg to take on Uehara. If the winner of this bout does not get a Heavyweight title shot, then it is a very good possibility that Uehara could drop down as well to face the winner for a vacant 90kg title.{jcomments on}

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Raul Catinas Trained At Chakuriki Gym For Upcoming SuperKombat Tournament

Romanian kickboxer Raul Catinas returned to the sport this year after a substantial lay off of a year and three months. In his return, he defeated Yuksel Ayadin by unanimous decision at SuperKombat's first show of the year on February 25.

Catinas will be fighting again for SuperKombat this weekend on May 12 in Cluj Napoca, Romania. He'll participate in the second "World Grand Prix" tournament of the year for SuperKombat, joining Daniel Sam, Jairzinho Rozenstruik and Sammy Tevette. Catinas will be up against Jairzinho Rozenstruik in the semi-final. Rozenstruik surprisingly knocked out Benny Adegbuyi last year in SuperKombat.

For his last fight, Catinas made the trip to Mike's Gym to prepare. Now this time, he trained at the famed Chakuriki Gym under Thom Harinck with name such as Peter Aerts, Jerome Le Banner and Hesdy Gerges. He spent four weeks training there, with Thom Harinck even saying, "Soon he will become a real beast." Harinck will be in Catinas' corner on the 12th. [source]

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Bogdan Stoica vs. Ivan Stanic For Inaugural SuperKombat 91kg World Title, May 12

Romanian star of SuperKombat, Bogdan Stoica has been slated for the SuperKombat card on May 12 for quite some time now. Originally, he was supposed to be fighting for a SuperKombat 85kg World Title. Things have changed a bit, but he's still fighting for a world title.

Stoica takes on Ivan Stanic for the inaugural SuperKombat 91kg World Title. Stanic is a veteran of the weight class, even stepping up to heavyweight last year, losing to Vitali Akhramenko. I don't know why the weight was changed, but Bogdan can fight at both 85kg and 91kg so it doesn't really matter. SuperKombat decided instead to just create a 91kg World Title instead of one at 85kg.

The full fight card is also set now, with a few changes:

Opening Fight: Răzvan Benche (Romania) vs. Vladimir Toktasynov (Germany)

Reserve Fight: Benjamin Adegbuy (Romania) vs. Sander Duyvis (Netherlands) 

Semifinals: Daniel Sam (England) vs. Sam Tevette (Netherlands) 

Semifinals: Raul Cătinaş (Romania) vs. Jairzinho Rozenstruik (Suriname) 

Super Fight: Andrei Stoica (Romania) vs. Rodney Glunder (Netherlands) 

Super Fight: Sebastian Ciobanu (Romania) vs. Redouan Cairo (Suriname) 

Super Fight: Alexandru Lungu (Romania) vs. Wiesław Kwaśniewski (Poland) 

SuperKombat World Title -91kg: Bogdan Stoica (Romania) vs. Ivan Stanić (Croatia)

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Yuki vs Sun Hyun Lee, Hinata vs Vahid Roshani Added to RISE 88

RISE 88 keeps getting better and better as it adds two major fights to its already packed card.

In a 64kg fight, RISE Lightweight champion Yuki will be taking on RISE Korea Welterweight champ Son Hyun Lee. Yuki just defended his RISE title for the first time against Yuto Watanabe in a surprisingly close fight. He has very powerful leg kicks, but struggling against Watanabe is somewhat concerning. Lee is one of the hottest prospects in the region, as he upset Kizaemon Saiga in South Korea, then pushed Koya Urabe to the limit in the opening round of the Krush 63kg tournament, losing a close extension round decision. His most recent fight was a close decision loss to Koji Yoshimoto at RISE 85, though had Lee not weighed in over the weight limit, he would have gotten a majority draw. I favor Lee in this fight as he has the tools to outpoint Yuki and not get caught or overwhelmed by his leg kicks.

Another big fight announced is Hinata taking on Iranian Vahd Roshani. Hinata lost to Andy Ristie by TKO at It’s Showtime 55 in January, but picked up a win over Zen Fujita at REBELS.11. He is a top fighter at 70kg in Japan so he should do well against Roshani, who is most known for defeating Yasuhiro Kido in K-1.


Also added to the card is a 55kg fight between RISE 55kg tournament finalist Dyki and J-Network Super Bantamweight champ Hiroaki Mizuhara. Dyki is riding a 2-fight losing streak with a loss to KENJI in the RISE 55kg tournament final and to Ryuma Tobe at RISE 86. In 2011, Mizuhara made it to the semifinals of the Krush 55kg tournament, but lost to Ryuya Kusakabe, then unified his J-Network Super Bantamweight title with a win over interim title holder Hidemaru. In 2012, he’s 1-0-1 with a draw against Youkou Okada at Big Bang 8 and a win over Yuki Noro which I believe sets him up against Taisuke Degai for the inaugural It’s Showtime Japan 55kg title.

The RISE 88 card as it stands is

60kg Title Fight – Kosuke Komiyama (c) vs Motochika Hanada

Heavyweight Fight – Ray Sefo vs Makoto Uehara

64kg Fight – Yuki vs Son Hyun Lee

70kg Fight – Hinata vs Vahid Roshani

48kg #1 Contender’s Fight – Erika Kamimura vs Seo Hee Ham

65kg Fight – Yukihiro Komiya vs Yusuke Sugawara

63kg Fight – Hiroshi Mizumachi vs Naoki

57.5kg Tournament Semifinal – Ryo Pegasus vs Yuta Sashikubi

57.5kg Tournament Semifinal – Masayuki Ishibashi vs Ittao

55kg Fight – Dyki vs Hiroaki Mizuhara

As well as 3 opening fights and participation from RISE 55kg champ KENJI and #1 and #2 ranked Heavyweights Kengo Shimizu and Raoumaru.{jcomments on}

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