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NJKF Kick to the Future 3 Results: Yamato Stops Takahashi in Strange Ending

New Japan Kickboxing Federation held the third installment of its Kick to the Future series, headlined by Tetsuya Yamato challenging for Seiji Takahashi's WBC Japan Super Lightweight title and a chance to face WBC International Super Lightweight champion Kevin Ross. Also on the card were former Krush 70kg champ Kenta and the continuation of the New Japan Wars 2012 series.
In the main event, Tetsuya Yamato stopped Seiji Takahashi at 1:29 in the 2nd round to win the WBC Japan Super Lightweight title and earn a shot at Kevin Ross, but not without some controversy. Yamato was controlling the fight and hurt Takahashi, sending him back into the corner where Yamato dropped him with elbows and punches, causing Takahashi to lean down against the ring post and before the referee was able to come in, Yamato landed a kick to his downed opponent, somewhat like Badr Hari's incident against Remy Bonjasky at the 2008 K-1 WGP Finals, but not as blatant. When the referee separated them, Takahashi was given time to recover, but was unable to do so and Yamato was handed the win on the grounds that his initial knockdown was legitimate. It's a bizarre ending, but Yamato (28-9-1, 22 KO) now moves on to face Kevin Ross for the WBC International Super Lightweight title on September 22nd in Tokyo. Yamato has put together a very solid 2012 with wins over Densiam Lookprabaht, Sergio Wielzen and now Takahashi, though he has been unable to finish out his past two years strong, with losses to Ryuji Kajiwara and Jomthong at the end of last year and a loss to Koya Urabe and a disappointing draw against MMA fighter "Wicky" Akiyo Nishiura in 2010. A win over Ross would keep Yamato's momentum strong and give some consistency to an inconsistent career. Takahashi (11-7-0, 6 KO) was game in the first round, but was unable to do much against the tough Yamato. Since he won the NJKF Super Lightweight title, I'd imagine his next fight would be whoever comes out on top of the New Japan Wars at Super Lightweight.
In the co-main event, former Krush 70kg champ Kenta returned to the win column with a 2nd round knockout of Shu Kiire at 1:48. Kenta controlled the entirety of the fight, causing Kiire's corner to throw in the towel in the 2nd round after a down. Kenta (24-10-3, 9 KO) came into the fight on a 3-fight losing streak, with a questionable loss to Yuya Yamamoto at last year's K-1 MAX Japan Tournament, an upset against TOMOYUKI at Kick to the Future 1 and then being KO'd by Yasuhiro Kido in the first defense of his Krush title. This is a much needed win for the exciting, talented fighter who was on fire last year. It does not seem like there was a moment in the fight he didn't control.
NJKF also held 5 fights in its New Japan Wars 2012 series, a tournament stretched across 2012 at each weight class to determine challengers for their current champions. In the first Super Featherweight semifinal, #1 ranked KEI took a majority decision over #4 ranked Nobuhiro Iwai who, after going 0-6-1 in his last 7, made it seem as though he was headed for retirement. In the other semifinal, #2 ranked Shoya Suzuki took a unanimous decision over #5 ranked Takeshi Tsuruya. In a Super Lightweight fight, #4 ranked Kazushige Sugama upset #1 ranked and former NJKF Lightweight champ Ikki by unanimous decision and denying Ikki a rematch against current champ Seiji Takahashi. In a Featherweight semifinal, #3 ranked Ayumu Sasara stopped #6 ranked Daiki in the 3rd round. And finally, in a 1st round Welterweight fight, #8 ranked Tae-yong stopped #9 ranked Masashi Aseishi in the 2nd round.
Quick results after the break

Krush-EX 2012 vol. 3 Results: Takumi Earns 55kg Title Shot with KO

Krush held the 3rd edition of its Krush-EX series this year, headlined by a 55kg #1 contender’s bout between Team Dragon’s Takumi and Katsuki Sasaki.

In the main event, Takumi and Katsuki Sasaki faced off in a rematch of a fight from 2010 with Takumi scoring a first round knockout at 2:31, earning a shot at current 55kg champion Shota Takiya and a chance to avenge his most recent loss on August 26th at Krush.22. Takumi (12-2-0, 5 KO) is on fire right now, winning 6 in a row and scoring 4 of his 5 career knockouts in the process. The 22 year old throws crisp combinations, is prolific with knees and is a decent counter puncher. However, for everything he’s gotten offensively out of Team Dragon, he’s also inherited their lack of defense and his open offensive style leaves him open to get hit, which will definitely be a problem against the heavy-handed Takiya. The last time the two fought was in the opening round of the Krush 55kg tournament and Takiya stopped Takumi with a front kick. I think Takumi has somewhat of a shot, as he has power, can put strikes together and isn’t slow by any means and Takiya isn’t the hardest person to hit, but it’s going to take everything falling in place for him to come out the new Krush champion. Sasaki (4-5-1, 4 KO) isn’t that great of a fighter at 55kg, but has the power to stop pretty much anyone at the weight and was put into this fight because of his 1st round KO of Ryuma Tobe. A fun fight for him would be against Nobuchika Terado, KO-ICHI or Namito Izawa.

Speaking of Terado, he took place in an exhibition bout against J-Network Super Flyweight champ Yuki after Yuki’s original opponent, SATOI, pulled out with an injury earlier in the week, leaving Krush no time to find a suitable replacement.

In a 55kg bout, Team Dragon prospect Namito Izawa was handed his second pro loss by Shibuya Scramble’s Yuya Suzuki, with Suzuki winning a unanimous decision on scores of 30-28 (x3). Suzuki dropped Izawa in the 2nd round with a right cross, which ended up being the deciding factor in the fight. This win throws his name in the hat at 55kg and could see him taking on Nobuchika Terado, Katsuki Sasaki, SATOI or Ryuma Tobe. Izawa has now dropped two in a row, the first two losses of his career, after losing to Nobuchika Terado in the main event of Krush-EX vol.1 earlier this year.

Finally, exciting 60kg fighter Yuji “Kyoken” Takeuchi announced that he would be returning to fight soon after being sidelined since his exciting rematch against Naoki Ishikawa back in September at Krush.12.

Quick Results after the break


Battle for the Belts: Pinca, Kem, Sagetdao, Schilling Among Winners

Battle for the Belts took place in Bangkok yesterday. Although the card was nowhere near what it looked like on paper originally, there were still some good fights that went down with some of the best in the world.

Just two weeks after his loss to Giorgio Petrosyan, Fabio Pinca fought Big Ben Chor Praram for the WBC title at 67kg and walked away with a decision win. Pinca seemed to stun Big Ben in the second round and almost scored a knockdown with low kicks in the third, with Big Ben's leg visibly being hurt. Big Ben, however, controlled the fourth and fifth rounds while Pinca was still competitive.

For the lightweight WBC title, Jomthong Chuwattana took a comfortable decision over Yetkin Ozkul, dominating the fight. Ozkul was game but he got dominated by Jomthong, who used his height and technical skills to keep Ozkul at bay the whole fight. For the super lightweight WBC title, Sagetdao Phetphayathai disposed of Sofiane Derdaga via cut stoppage in the third round.

For the super welterweight WBC title at 70kg, Kem Sitsongpeenong scored a nasty elbow KO over Alejandro Asuma Osu. Kem, predictably, looked a lot more comfortable fighting Muay Thai than he did fighting kickboxing at Glory recently.

Since Artem Levin, Simon Marcus and Artem Vakhitov all pulled out of the fight at one time or another, Joe Schilling ended up facing a Golden Glory kickboxer, Karapet Karapetyan. Schilling won most of the fight, except the third round and turned it up in rounds four and five to get a decision victory, for the interim WBC light heavyweight world title.

At super cruiserweight, 95kg, Steve McKinnon stopped Frank Munoz very quickly into the first round with a right hand that sent Munoz down and unable to beat the count. Fabiano Aoki defeated Christian Bosch for the WBC's heavyweight world title via jumping knee KO.

Fabio Pinca def. Big Ben Chor Praram by decision.

Jomthong Chuwattana def. Yetkin Ozkul by decision.

Sagetdao Phetphayathai def. Sofiane Derdaga by TKO (Cut) in Round 3.

Kem Sitsongpeenong def. Alejandro Asumu Osa by KO (Elbow) in Round 2.

Joe Schilling def. Karapet Karapetyan by decision.

Steve McKinnon def. Frank Munoz by KO (Overhand Right) in Round 1.

Fabiano Aoki def. Christian Bosch by KO (Jumping Knee) in Round 2.



Saenchai Outclasses Peneak in Vintage Performance at Lumpini Stadium

Saenchai put in a vintage performance to outclass the newly crowned fighter of the year Peneak in the main event of the biggest show of the year so far at Lumpini Stadium. He was fighting at 127.5 lbs, something which he has supposedly told promoters he will never do again, and the question was whether the weight cut would leave him drained and give the younger, taller Peneak an advantage.

The answer was an emphatic no. Saenchai controlled the action from start to finish, repeatedly making Peneak miss and seemingly sweeping him and throwing him to the ground at will. In his last outing Peneak was able to drop Sam A with an elbow but this time he was unable to mount any serious offense with Saenchai at his imperious best.

It is rare to see a Muay Thai fighter continuing to compete at an elite level in Thailand past the age of 30 but not only is Saenchai still a match for the very best, on his day he is still capable of outclassing just about anyone. After back to back losses to Saketdaw and, somewhat controversially, Fabio Pinca he has bounced back in spectacular style by putting on masterclasses against two of Thailand's best in Saketdaw and Penek.

In a star studded card the fight of the night was between Wanchai and Sarawut. Sarawut controlled the early action and swept Wanchai on multiple ocassions at the start of the fourth round to move ahead but Wanchai just kept coming and coming, walking his opponent down to take the decision on two of the three judges scorecards.

In the co main event experience prevailed over youth as Singdam's famous right body kick was the story of the fight against up and coming teenager Wanchalerm Udonmuang.  Old adversaries Nong O and Petbonchu locked horns again, this time Nong O was unable to score a stoppage as he has done repatedly in previous meetings although he did get the nod from the judges at the end of a close, competitive fight.

In another battle between a teenager and a veteran Petpanomrung was just too good for Ting Tong. Wanchalong beat Choknamchai, Petmorakot defeated Nattachai and Superlek's size advantage proved too great for Palongpon to overcome


Superlek Wor Sangprapai defeated Palongpon Watcharachai 

Wanchai Sor Kittichai defeated Sarawut Pikadpadang

Choknamchai Sitjaagung defeated Wanchalong Sitsonong to win Lumpinee Super Flyweight Title

Petmorakot Teedet99 defeated Nattachai Pran26  to win Lumpinee Bantamweight Title

Petpanomrung Wor Sangprapai defeated Tingtong Chor Koiyuhaisuzu

Nong-O Gaiyanghaadao gym defeated Petbonchu FA Group

Singdam Kiatmoo9 defeated Wanchalerm Udonmuang (Lumpinee Lightweight Title)

Saenchai PKMuaythaigym defeated Penek Sitnumnoi

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