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Takahashi, Kenta, Miyakoshi Brothers Headline NJKF: Kick to the Future 9

NJKF has announced the 9th installment of its Kick to the Future series for November 25th, featuring two of their promotional champions in super fights, a title fight and three NEW JAPAN WARS 2012 finals, one of which is for a vacant title, with the other two determining the next challenger to the title at their respective weights.

Headlining the card is NJKF Super Lightweight champion Seiji Takahashi taking on Naoki. Takahashi (12-7-0, 7 KO) lost his WBC Japan Super Lightweight title to Tetsuya Yamato earlier this year, but bounced back with a huge head kick KO of Atsushi Ogata in Krush. Naoki started the year with a big upset win over HIROYA, but has followed that up with a pair of losses to Hiroshi Mizumachi in RISE and MASAYA in Shootboxing. 

NJKF Lightweight champion Keijiro Miyakoshi also makes an appearance on the card, taking on former Rajadamnern Stadium ranker Mongkoldet Sithubon. Miyakoshi had a good 4-fight streak going with wins over Ikki and Akihiro Kuroda to claim the NJKF and WBC Japan Lightweight titles, respectively, then fought fellow prospect Hikaru Machida to a draw before scoring a career best win over Koya Urabe at Kick to the Future 2. His most recent fight snapped that streak, as he lost his WBC Japan title to Yosuke Mizuochi. 

NJKF Super Welterweight champion Kenta looks to get back on track with a defense of his NJKF title against NEW JAPAN WARS 2012 Super Welterweight winner Takenaka Shirakami. Kenta (24-11-3, 9 KO) is just 1-3 this year with a win over Shu Kiire and losses to TOMOYUKI, Yasuhiro Kido and Soichiro Miyakoshi, however Shirakami doesn't pose that big of a threat to him. That being said, Kenta doesn't seem to be the same fighter he was at this time last year and will need to put forth his best here. Shirakami beat Hiroki Yamamoto at Kick to the Future 6 in the Super Welterweight finals to get this fight.

The next NJKF title fight sees NEW JAPAN WARS Super Featherweight finalists KEI and Daichi Yamato square off for the vacant Super Featherweight title. KEI took out Nobuhiro Iwai at Kick to the Future 3 while Yamato defeated Shoya Suzuki at Kick to the Future 6.

In the NEW JAPAN WARS 2012 Welterweight finals, WBC Japan Super Welterweight champion Soichiro Miyakoshi takes on Tae-yong. Miyakoshi (19-9-1, 10 KO) was seeded into the finals by virtue of being ranked #1 and defending his WBC Japan title. He is 3-1 in his last 4 with wins over Yutaro Yamauchi, Kenta and Masato Otake. Tae-yong defeated Baku Senchaigym at Kick to the Future 6 to get this fight. The winner will go on to face current Welterweight champion Yuya Yamato.

In the final NEW JAPAN WARS 2012 final, Marimo battles Kazushige Sugama at Super Lightweight for the right to take on current champ Seiji Takahashi. Both fought and won at Kick to the Future 6 with Sugama defeating Noriyuki Miyajima by KO and Marimo taking a decision off of Akira.

Finally, in a NEW JAPAN WARS 2012 Flyweight semifinal, former WBC Japan champion Naoki Otsuki takes on undefeated prospect Nimo. Otsuki is winless in his last 3 fights, losing a split decision to Hiroyuki Yamano before losing his WBC Japan Flyweight title to Ryuji Kato last October. His only fight this year was a draw against Sazanami Satsuma. Nimo (5-0-2, 2 KO) has started his career undefeated, but didn't pick up a significant win until earlier this month when he upset Shuichi Wentz, who was fresh off of a big head kick KO of Romie Adanza in K-1. These two are the only fighters that regularly fight in the NJKF Flyweight division, so I assume someone like Ryuji Kato, Hiroyuki Yamano or Sazanami Satsuma will be brought in for the finals to crown a NJKF Flyweight champion.

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Tatneft Cup 2012 Final Results

Another year, another Tatneft Cup tournament has come to an end. Yesterday in Kazan, Russia, the Tatneft Cup 2012 Final took place, with three tournament champions being crowned, at 70kg, 80kg and heavyweight respectively. There were also three other fights on the card, featuring the likes of Alexey Ignashov and Enriko Kehl.

In the 70kg final, highly touted up and coming 70kg fighter Enriko Gogokhia was able to earn a decision win over Maxim Smirnov. Gogokhia was definitely the sharper of the two fighters, even beating Smirnov at his own game, boxing. Unlike most Gogokhia fights, there wasn't much body work from him but like most of his fights, he dealt out tons of damage with low kicks to Smirnov's back leg.

In the 80kg final, the LiverKick #2 light heavyweight Hicham el Gaoui and Alexander Stetsurenko had another close fight, just like the one they had last year at the Tatneft 2011 Final which saw Hicham take the win that time. This time, Stetsurenko ended up getting the decision victory. With Tatneft's rules, if there are no knockdowns in the first three rounds, then an extra round automatically happens. Hicham probably won after three rounds but had no knockdowns, so the fight went to an extra round where it was razor thin between them, with Stetsurenko getting the win.

The heavyweight final saw Tsotne Rogava take a decision over Vladimir Toktasynov as Rogava simply outworked his opponent for the entirety of the fight.

The highlight of the other fights was at 70kg with Enriko Kehl continuing the roll he's been on with a dominant decision over Magomed Magomedov. Kehl hurt Magomedov to the body late and after that it was one way traffic. Kehl comes off a dominant stoppage of Mohammed Medhar and a late stoppage of Nonsai, both taking place last month in Germany.

Alexey Ignashov took a decision over Zinedine Hameur-Lain in typical Ignashov-for-the-past-8-years fashion, still not showing any flashes of the "prime" Ignashov that so many people hope will one day come back. At 80kg, Urunbeck Esenkulov won a decision over Errol Koning, though I thought Koning had definately done more to deserve the win.

70kg Final: Enriko Gogokhia def. Maxim Smirnov by decision.

80kg Final: Alexander Stetsurenko def. Hicham el Gaoui by decision.

HW Final: Tsotne Rogava def. Vladimir Toktasynov by decision.

70kg: Enriko Kehl def. Magomed Magomedov by decision.

80kg: Urunbeck Esenkulov def. Errol Koning by decision.

HW: Alexey Ignashov def. Zinedine Hameur-Lain by decision.

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Krush-EX 2012 vol.5 to Air Live Tonight on Nicovideo

Krush announced that their next event, Krush-EX 2012 vol.5, will be streaming live on popular Japanese streaming sitehttp://live.nicovideo.jp/ on Sunday October 21st at 12:00 pm Japan Standart Time, translating to tonight, October 20th at 11:00 pm EST/8:00 pm PST and October 21st at 03:00 GMT. You will have to register and make an account, which may seem hard to do if you don't know any Japanese, but can be done through Google Translate. The site has some premium membership, too, but I don't believe you will need that to watch the event.

The card features the Krush return of 70kg Tournament Finalist Yutaro Yamauchi whose last appearance in Krush was last July when he beat Shintaro Matsukura in the semi-finals, but then lost to Kenta in the 70kg Tournament finals. His most recent fight was a failed defense of his WBC Japan Super Welterweight title against Soichiro Miyakoshi. His opponent is NJKF #5 ranked Super Welterweight KEN. Also on the card are Team Dragon products Keiji Ozaki, Namito Izawa and Takeru taking on Masanobu Goto, Yo-Hei and Yuya Suzuki, respectively. Ozaki used to be near the top at 63kg, but he is on the decline, being upset by Taito at Krush.22. 

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RISE/M-1 Announce Event Featuring M. Yamamoto, Kamimura, Umeno, Komiyama

RISE and M-1 Muay Thai Challenge have announced a co-promoted event that is set to take place on December 2nd called "Infinity" and it has one of the most star-studded lineups of the year.

While no matchups have been announced, let's take a look at who has been announced to participate at the event.

Masahiro Yamamoto: Along with being ranked #2 on the LiverKick Lightweight rankings, Yamamoto holds the It's Showtime -61kg title which he won earlier this year over Javier Hernandez.

Kosuke Komiyama: #10 LiverKick Lightweight, current RISE Super Featherweight champion and riding an 8-fight winstreak, most recently winning at Shootboxing Act.4.

Genji Umeno: Umeno holds the WPMF World Super Featherweight title, was recently ranked at Lumpini Stadium and was the #1 Featherweight in Japan after a win over Yosuke Morii last December. Umeno has moved up to Super Featherweight now, but most recently lost to Chang-Hyun Lee in K-1 at 61kg.

Erika Kamimura: At this time last year, the WMC and WPMF Women's Mini-Flyweight champion was an unstoppable force and thought to be the top female kickboxer. A close loss to RENA late last year and a close loss in the quarterfinals of this year's Girls S-Cup have slowed her hype train, but she is still an elite fighter. She won a rematch with Seo Hee Ham to earn a rematch with RENA for her RISE title, so I wouldn't be surprised if that fight happened at this event.

Koji Yoshimoto: Yoshimoto is the current RISE Super Lightweight champion and has won 3 in a row, most recently defending his title against Yasuomi Soda. I could see him defending his title here against Yukihiro Komiya.

Sun-Hyun Lee: The RISE Korea Welterweight champion is already scheduled to fight at RISE 90 against Shohei Asahara with a win likely getting him a title shot. However, Lee is teammates with Chang-Hyun Lee, with Chang-Hyun's nickname even being "Little Sun-Hyun Lee", who just defeated Genji Umeno in K-1, so I wouldn't be surprised if the two were to fight.

Yosuke Morii: Morii is coming off of a loss to Hiroki Akimoto at the beginning of this month, but is still the #3 Featherweight in Japan and the WPMF Japan champion at the weight. With Umeno's weight gain, I doubt the two will rematch, especially considering how one-sided the first fight was.

Yusuke Shimizu: The 21 year old former WPMF Japan Super Bantamweight champion looks to bounce back from his second pro loss this weekend. I'd like to see him take on the winner of Dyki vs. Takashi Ohno at RISE 90.

I assume that RISE and M-1 will be looking to match their fighters up against one another and should that be the case, the best option would obviously be Masahiro Yamamoto vs Kosuke Komiyama, as it pits #2 on the LiverKick rankings against #10, but other options like Sun-Hyun Lee vs Genji Umeno and Yosuke Morii vs the winner of the RISE Featherweight tournament are also possible and equally as enticing.

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