In preparation for their second trip to Japan, GLORY announced a pair of fights for GLORY 8 Tokyo this week. First at 70kg, K-1 and GLORY veteran Yoshihiro Sato is set to take on RISE 63kg champion Sun Hyun Lee. Sato last competed in GLORY at GLORY 3 as a late replacement for Albert Kraus in the 70kg World Tournament, but lost to Sanny Dahlbeck. He is 1-1 since then, with a loss to Kenta and a win over Henri van Opstal. Lee, who is LiverKick's #4 ranked Lightweight, will have to overcome a 6+ inch height advantage in this fight, but this is not his first time competing at 70kg. Back in February, he won a K-1 MAX 70kg tournament in Seoul, despite being much smaller than many of the other competitors. Regardless of the outcome, I'd like to see GLORY have him fight at 65kg next time. GLORY also announced RISE 55kg champion Dyki's opponent for the card, South Korean Jang Yong-ho. Jang fought in Japan once before, losing to Masaaki Kadota for the GLADIATOR Lightweight title. I don't know much about him other than that he trains out of CMA Korea, but if Sun Hyun and Chang Hyun Lee have taught us anything, it's not to underestimate Korean fighters.
Perhaps the biggest news this week came from the Hoost Cup, who announced a card for June 16th with an all-star lineup. Although there is only one matchup announced so far, a rematch between Ryuya Kusakabe and Sota Ichinohe for Kusakabe's WPMF Japan Super Bantamweight title, the list of participants includes Saenchai PK Saenchaimuaythaigym, Yoshihiro Sato, Yuichiro Nagashima, NJKF Super Featherweight champion Daichi Yamato and Jemyma Betrian.
RISE also laid out the plans for their next event, RISE 93, on June 9th. Scheduled to participate are 60kg champion Kosuke Komiyama, Yuto Watanabe, Raoumaru, Seiya Rokukawa, Motochika Hanada and Shohei Asahara, among others. J-Network Super Bantamweight champ Hiroaki Mizuhara is also expected to compete for the first time since last July, when he won the now defunct It's Showtime Japan's inaugural 55kg title.
After making their first trip to Nagoya last year, Krush announced that it would be making its first trip to Hiroshima on August 25th to host Krush.31. Already announced for the event are Hiroshima natives Yuya Yamamoto and Nobuchika Terado. On top of that, Krush announced a pair of fights for Krush Ignition vol.4 on June 2nd. At 70kg, Hiroki Nakajima takes on NJKF's KEN and at 67kg, Makihira Keita fights NJKF's Tae-yeon. Nakajima and KEN both recently lost to Yutaro Yamauchi.
REBELS made a pretty big announcement this week as well, scheduling two title fights for their June 9th card. At 67kg, WPMF Japan champion T-98 looks to bounce back from his upset loss to Tsukuru Midorikawa with a win over MA Kick champion Jun Nakazawa, who was upset by Yuma Matsui in his last outing. At Flyweight, divisional kingpin Ryuji Kato looks to prove that he can hang with both the old guard and the new guard as he will defend his title against the winner of the Eisaki Ogasawara vs Hiroyuki Yamano fight, both of whom have scored big upsets early in their careers. Also competing on the card is NJKF Welterweight champion Kenta, who will compete at 67kg, and MA Kick Super Welterweight champion Hiroshi Fire.
Finally, DEEP*KICK announced a pair of fights for their May 12th card. At 60kg, DEEP*KICK champion Yuto Tsujide takes on RISE's Tatsuaki in a non-title bout. At 65kg, Krush veteran Yuya looks to bounce back from his loss to 65kg champion Hiroto Yamaguchi with a win over 2012 RISING ROOKIES Lightweight runner-up Yasuhiro "TOKAREV" Shimizu.
Event results from this week as well as a couple other miscellaneous announcements after the break
Shootboxing 2013 act.2: This week's headlining card was Shootboxing's 2nd major event of the year, Shootboxing 2013 act.2. In the main event, Hiroki Shishido knocked DREAM Featherweight champion Hiroyuki Takaya down twice in the opening round, earning himself a unanimous decision. In a matchup of brawlers, Hiroaki Suzuki struck first, knocking down Mohan Dragon, but it was Mohan who had the last laugh as he floored Suzuki with a right hook that ended his night in the 1st round. Fan favorite Satoru Suzuki put his Shootboxing Super Welterweight title on the line, but lost it in a decision to Yuki Sakamoto. K-1 and Krush veteran Kizaemon Saiga improved to 3-0 in Shootboxing and earned himself a shot at Shootboxing Super Featherweight champion Akifumi Utagawa with an extension round decision win over Shootboxing Featherweight champion Naguranchun Masa M16. RENA picked up a win in her first fight since last year's Girls S-Cup by choking out Taiwan's Peiling Du. RISE 60kg champion Kosuke Komiyama picked up a win over Korean Seong-jae Kim. MASAYA rebounded from a loss to Saiga with a 2nd round TKO of Toru Harai. And finally, Lorena Klijn returned to Shootboxing, picking up a win over the tough Miyo Yoshida.
Krush Ignition 2013 vol.3: Krush's third smaller event of the year was headlined by a 67kg fight that saw Hitoshi Tsukagoshi score an extension round knockout against Kazuki Yamagiwa. The fight seems to have been pretty wild with Tsukagoshi scoring a knockdown in the 1st before getting dropped twice in the 2nd, escaping the round largely due to the bell. Despite being knocked down twice, he came out strong to win the 3rd and in the extension round he connected on a big shot that put Yamagiwa away. The co-main event saw NOMAN pick up a 3rd round knockout of Kazuhito Hara. In the night's most significant bout, Ryuma Tobe showed that he was back in form after a long layoff with a win over Namito Izawa.
SNKA TITANS NEOS 13: In the main event, Featherweight champion Masayuki Uchida defended his title for the second time with a win over Tadashi Kaneko on scores of 50-46 from all 3 judges. In the co-main event, Rui Ebata took on Thai Densiam Sor. Sowisuto, winning by 1st round knockout. In a 72.6kg bout, SNKA Middleweight Makoto Kitamura champion took a win over MA Kick's Masahito Arthur while at 62kg, Lightweight champ Tatsuya Ishii dominated King of Strikers Featherweight champ KING Kohei. Finally, 2010 K-1 Koshien champ Shohei Hareyama fought Raiden Hiroaki to a draw.
Despite it being April, MA Kick recently announced their awards for 2012. In an expected outcome, Hiroki Akimoto was named 2012 MVP while also receiving the award for fight of the year for his bout with Shunta Ito in Big Bang. Super Lightweight champ Mohan Dragon and Bantamweight champ Takashi Ohno were given the Fighting Spirit Award while the top prospect award was given to Welterweight Nobuaki Toyofuku, who has proven in 2013 that he deserved the award with wins over #1 ranked Yasuyuki Murata and #4 ranked Super Welterweight Jun Kobayashi. RIOT, who retired with a win over Hikaru Machida, was given the Achievement Award, while Yasuhiro Kido, Shunta Ito, Yuji Takeuchi and Kazuya Takeda were given a special award, likely for their popularity and success. Lastly, Yasuyuki Murata and Baba Hitoshi were given the effort award.
REBELS announced a fan event for April 27th in Tokyo featuring Hinata, Hikaru Machida and Haruaki Otsuki, who has curiously absent from the kickboxing scene since losing to Yoshimichi Matsumoto in K-1. Also announced for the event was a sparring session between the up and coming Eisaki Ogasawara and Arashi Fujiwara. It'll be nice to see the clash of styles between a young fighter like Ogasawara and someone who has been around for as long as Fujiwara, even if it is just a sparring session.