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Mirko Cro Cop wants to fight Gokhan Saki in 2013

Mirko Cro Cop's career in combat sports keeps trucking on, with an MMA fight against Shinichi Suzukawa at Inoki Bom-Ba-Ye 2012 on December 31 in Japan. Cro Cop will also fight kickboxing on March 15 in Zagreb, Croatia at another Final Fight event, like the one that took place in March this year. He took to his Facebook page once again where he gave some details about what's happening with his schedule and career.

While Cro Cop says he doesn't have an opponent yet, he stated that he wants to fight Gokhan Saki, saying that Saki is the best kickboxer today. He referenced Andy Hug fighting in Switzerland in the 1990s, fighting top quality fighters and drawing big crowds, something that he would like to do:

"The legendary Andy Hug had an annual event in his native Switzerland and brought only top quality fighters as opponents. Before the home crowd he fought against Bernardo, Aerts, Leko, my small world... So it works. It is my desire for Gokhan Saki to be an opponent because he is the best kickboxer today, but not sure that he will be available in March. I believe that by the end of this year, however, it will be achieved and it will be an excellent match."

Mirko Cro Cop has a potentially busy schedule for the first half of 2013, with the March 15 fight in Croatia, a May MMA fight against Pedro Rizzo at Royal FC in Brazil, and potentially even an MMA fight against Denis Stojnic in Bosnia on February 15, though negotiations are still ongoing. Of course, there's also the K-1 World Grand Prix Final which Cro Cop qualified for, but the last statement from Cro Cop and his manager on that matter was that they don't know what's happening with it or when it will be.


Dzhabar Askerov Gets Disputed Decision Over Enriko Kehl

Dzhabar Askerov returned to the ring today in Dagestan, Russia at NewFC, where he was featured in the lone kickboxing fight on the event, against 20 year old German up and comer Enriko Kehl.

Kehl had been riding some momentum to end out the year, with wins over Mohammed Medhar, Magomed Magomedov and Nonsai in the past few months. For him, that momentum came to an end as Dzhabar Askerov was declared the winner by decision.

I personally watched the fight live and thought Kehl won the fight pretty clearly. Askerov came forward but didn't have a very high workrate, while Kehl kept his distance and peppered him with strikes from the outside. Askerov landed a bit more in the third round but Kehl seemed to be the clear winner to me.

For Kehl, it's not really a setback as he's only 20 and still coming up on the scene and because Askerov is a relatively big name by kickboxing standards. Askerov moves on with a win and is scheduled to fight Andy Souwer in the main event at Yokkao Extreme 2013 on January 26.


Krush Announces 58kg Tournament Quarterfinal Matchups + Additional Matchups for 1/14

With the excitement surrounding Krush's 67kg Tournament, it is easy to forget that about two weeks later, on January 26th, Krush will also be hosting the first round of their 58kg tournament. While it is not a one-night tournament like the 67kg one, it does feature top fighters in Nobuchika Terado and Takeru, and Krush recently announced the quarterfinal matchups for their second tournament of 2013. In the upper half of the bracket, tournament favorite and ISKA Bantamweight champion Nobuchika Terado faces KO-ICHI while prospects Koji and Shota Kanbe square off. In the lower half, Takeru faces J-Network's Kenta Yagami while Tsuyoshi Nakajima and Yuzo Suzuki face each other in the opening round of a tournament for the 2nd time. Terado shouldn't have too much trouble with KO-ICHI, who was knocked out in his last two outings, though it was to champion Shota Takiya and recent title challenger Takumi. Unfortunately for him, Terado is also a recent title challenger that packs a good amount of power. A win by KO-ICHI would definitely be the upset of the tournament. In the second matchup I favor Kanbe, but a win for either man means a huge step up in competition, assuming Terado takes care of business. I favor Takeru over Yagami, though with Yagami being a bit of an unknown, anything could happen. Regardless, I'll take the winner of this matchup as the lower-bracket favorite. The final matchup is a rematch of a quarterfinal from last year's 60kg tournament, which Nakajima won by close majority decision. Nakajima is 0-2 since, while Suzuki is 2-1, most recently destroying Andrew "KEN" Brewster at Krush.24. Due to that performance, I give a slight edge to Suzuki in the rematch.

The 55kg WILDRUSH League is still set to open on this card, though Krush has not announced the final participant or matchups. Yoshihiro Sato also returns to Krush on this card against former 70kg champ Kenta, with the winner likely getting a title shot.

The other announcement coming from Krush is in regards to their 67kg Tournament event on January 14th, adding four additional fights. Among these four were a trio of 63kg fights, with Minoru Kimura vs NOMAN, Yukimitsu Takahashi vs Atsushi Ogata and Hisaki Higashimoto vs Taito. Kimura was a former K-1 Koshien participant and competed in this year's 63kg Youth GP, though he lost to Hiroto Yamaguchi in the opening round. NOMAN competed in the 63kg WILDRUSH League, finishing 3rd, putting together a 2-2-1 record with his losses coming to Hideaki Yamazaki and Hitoshi Tsukagoshi, the two men who placed above him. Takahasi also competed in the WILDRUSH League, finishing 5th with a 1-2-2 record, but putting on two of the tournament's most exciting fights in his two draws. Ogata scored an upset of Toshiki Taniyama back in July, but has lost 2 straight by knockout since to Seiji Takahashi and Hiroto Yamaguchi. Higashimoto competed in this year's 63kg Youth GP, surprisingly making it to the finals with an upset KO of Hiroya in his first pro fight and a semifinal win over Daizo Sasaki. He lost to Koya Urabe in the finals, but that was just his 3rd pro fight. Taito scored an upset himself earlier this year with a win over Keiji Ozaki, but most recently was knocked out by Ikki. The final fight announced was a 60kg matchup between Katsuya Goto and Leona Pettas. Goto made it to the finals of last year's 60kg tournament, but lost to Fumiya Osawa. In his only fight since, he was stopped by Kan Itabashi. Pettas went 3-0 in Krush this year, though he was facing less than stellar competition. Goto will be his first step up. 

With the addition of these 4 fights as opening fights, this fight card is better than anything that Krush put on in 2012, and that's not to say that Krush was putting together bad cards. Yes, this is a special event as it is hosting a one-night tournament and is taking place at the Yoyogi National Gymnasium, but if this is the standard for big Krush in 2013, it should be a very fruitful year. 


Pavel Zhuravlov Possibly Out, Bet on SK Fights


With just one day to go until the SuperKombat World Grand Prix Finals fans across the globe are getting excited, as they should. It is SuperKombat's biggest show of the year and features the culmination of a year's worth of work for the promotion, building up their own brand of World Grand Prix. Of course, they have the K-1 brand backing them for this show as well and have put together a great card of fights.

If you are one of the man who is big on betting on fights and was bummed that you couldn't find anywhere to play the odds, you are in luck as a Romanian site,, is running some odds on the fights and invite you to bet on them there exclusively. C'mon, you know you want to bet the house on Benny, right?

In other SuperKombat news, it looks like Pavel Zhuravlov might not make it to the event due to missing not one but two flights. If he is unable to make it to the event in time Freddy Kemayo will be the official Reserve fighter to step in as Sergei Laschenko was brutally knocked out by Benny Adegbuyi last time around.


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