Japan's Krush organization has been planning a big 2011, with the culmination of four separate tournaments to crown the company's first ever champions. Like everyone based out of Japan, their plans were greatly delayed by the tragedy there, but now, one month later, Krush is getting ready for their return.
The next Krush show will be the April 30 event, featuring the 55, 60, and 63kg finals. That show was originally scheduled for March, but pushed back for obvious reasons. Now, they've announced a fan fest to be held this Saturday in anticipation of the show. These kind of fan fests are pretty common in Japan, and typically not much to take not of, but this one stands out for a few reasons.
At the fan fest, Krush will announce the first 6 fighters to compete in the 70kg tournament, which will begin on May 29. Originally I had pegged this to be the weakest of the 4 Krush tournaments, with Yuya Yamamoto likely being the lone big name. But considering K-1 MAX's lack of shows, it's entirely possible we'll see more ranked names taking part here. I anticipate Yamamoto and Nashiro are locks, and would love to see Jienotsu and Sato in there as well.
Also taking place at the event will be quite a weird exhibition fight - in some form of tag team competition, it will be Kyotaro and Keiji Ozaki vs. Fire Harada and an opponent who will be announced that day. Will this be kickboxing? MMA? Pro-wrestling? Who knows, but with Fire Harada in there, it should be fun. Bizarre, but fun. And, if you ask me, these are the kind of things you have to love about the Japan combat sports scene - you're just not going to get that sort of thing anywhere else.
Finally, one more exhibition fight was announced between Naoki Ishikawa and Kensaku Maeda. While Maeda's name may be unfamiliar, anyone who has watched much Japanese kickboxing in the last year will surely recognize him. Maeda is the head of Team Dragon, and is the man always in the corner of Kyotaro, the Urabes, and the rest of the Dragon fighters. Maeda has been retired from competition since 2002, but was a decorated fighter back in his day. The exhibition will be just one 3 minute round. Cool to hear that Maeda is getting back in there, although I wouldn't bet on getting to see any footage of the fight.