After a bit of a hiatus, I'm back with a preview for June which features big events from Krush, RISE, the Hoost Cup and M-Fight.
June 2nd - Krush Ignition 2013 vol.4
Krush's 4th smaller event of the year is actually one of their better IGNITION cards, headlined by a 70kg bout between Hiroki Nakajima and NJKF's KEN. Both are in a bit of a slump right now and lost their most recent fight to Yutaro Yamauchi. Co-headlining are 67kg GP participant Makihira Keita and NJKF's Taeyeon. Keita lost his most recent bout in the GP to Shintaro Matsukura while Taeyeon was upset in his last bout, losing by 1st round KO to Shota Otsuki. Also on the card is the final bout of the 3rd leg of the 55kg WILDRUSH League as Kazyosi takes on Masanori Shimada.
Big Bang 13
The main event features top Japanese Middleweight Yasuhiro Kido taking on Iranian Minai Massoud. In the most intriguing bout of the night, Big Bang staple Shunta Ito takes on surging prospect Yasuyuki at Super Featherweight. Ito is just 2-2 in his last 4, but the losses came to Rajadamnern Stadium champ Kaimookaw Wacharachai and top Japanese Featherweight Hiroki Akimoto. This will be Yasuyuki's third straight matchup against a top fighter as he stopped Kanongsuk and took a decision off of Yuji Umehara in his past two fights. In a 64kg bout, slugger Mohan Dragon takes on the more technical Toshiki Taniyama. Taniyama has been susceptible to big punchers in the past, so we'll see if he's progressed at all lately.
June 9th - RISE 93
The main event features one of RISE's biggest fights of the year, pitting 60kg champ Kosuke Komiyama against former 63kg champ Yuki. Komiyama has won 11 in a row, most recently going 3-0 in Shootboxing and picking up wins over SB Feathweight champ Naguranchun Masa M16 and SB Super Featherweight champ Akifumi Utagawa. After a pair of losses to Sun Hyun Lee with a win over Javier Hernandez in between, Yuki fought in the Road to GLORY Japan 65kg Slam where he made it to the finals with wins over Mohan Dragon and Zen Fujita before being dominated by Masaaki Noiri in the finals. He'll be looking to make a statement after that loss, but Komiyama's style will make it very difficult for the powerful striker to pick up a win here. At 63kg, top contender Yuto Watanabe takes on Krush's Yukimitsu Takahashi. Watanabe has won two straight by knockout since an extension round loss to Sun Hyun Lee while Takahashi lost a split decision against Shunsuke Oishi in a bout for the vacant J-Network Super Lightweight title.
TNK1 feat. REBELS
The headlining bout pits NJKF Super Welterweight champion Kenta against Yuma Matsui in a 67kg bout. Kenta has won 2 in a row after losing 4 straight, most recently beating Yoshihiro Sato and taking his spot as the #2 Middleweight in Japan behind Yasuhiro Kido. After failing to find success at 63kg and 70kg, Matsui has come back to his best weight at 67kg where he knocked out MA Kick champion Jun Nakazawa in his most recent bout. Kenta is the better fighter, but Matsui has pulled out some magic in the past at this weight with wins over T-98 and Nakazawa who are two of the best at Welterweight. The co-main event pits #1 Flyweight Ryuji Kato against rising star Eisaki Ogasawara under a yet to be determined ruleset. After avenging a loss to Yuji Uwasawa, Kato has wins over almost every significant Flyweight in Japan, but has only started to test himself against the new crop of young Flyweights, beating Takashi Saenchaigym in his most recent bout. The 17 year old Ogasawara has burst onto the scene in the last 6 months with dominant wins over Kiminori Matsuzaki and Hiroyuki Yamano. A win for Ogasawara could mean the beginning of a long reign at the top of the Flyweight and Super Flyweight divisions.
The main event pits Kunihiro against Tomo Arimatsu for the vacant RKA Super Bantamweight title. This is a rematch of a fight that Arimatsu won. However, Kunihiro has seemed to improve greatly since then, pushing MA Kick champion Keisuke Miyamoto to the limit and forcing a draw in their title fight. Conversely, Arimatsu lost his last fight to Yuta Sashikubi.
Chakuriki Gold Rush Double Blade 2
In the main event, K-1 veteran Takehero Murahama looks to pick up just his 2nd win in 8 years in a rematch against Yamato. Their first fight ended in a draw.
June 16th - Hoost Cup Kings
The biggest weekend of the month features possibly the best striker on the planet in Saenchai PK Saenchaimuaythaigym facing off against Yosuke Mizuochi. Saenchai is coming off of a loss to 17 year old wunderkind Yodwicha, but gets a rematch with him just 9 days before this fight. While it is unlikely, it could leave him open to be upset by Yosuke Mizuochi who is one of Japan's top Lightweights and holds wins over Yoshinori Nakasuka, Keijiro Miyakoshi, Yoshito Kajita and Nong'an Sasiprapa. Mizuochi was also upset in his most recent bout, having his impressive streak snapped by Shota Saenchaigym. The main event is a 70kg matchup between Yoshihiro Sato and Yuichiro Nagashima. Sato was recently upset by Kenta in Krush, but bounced back with a win over the much smaller Sun Hyun Lee in GLORY. Nagashima hasn't been the same fighter since taking time off to be a pro wrestler and has lost two in a row to Henri van Opstal and Robin van Roosmalen. At 55kg, Ryuya Kusakabe defends his WPMF Japan title against Ichinohe Sota in a rematch and at 59kg NJKF Super Featherweight champ Daichi Yamato takes on Pinsiam Maki.
The headliner here is the 4-man tournament for the vacant ISKA Lightweight title with Gagny Baradji facing Naoki Ishikawa in one semifinal and Koya Urabe facing Fumiya Osawa in the other. Krush 63kg champ Hideaki Yamazaki fights for the first time since winning his title against Ikki. At 55kg MA Kick champ Keisuke Miyamoto looks to pick up another high profile win over the hard hitting Ryuma Tobe. At 70kg TOMOYUKI faces Asami Zaurus and at 65kg HIROYA takes on NOMAN.
M-Fight Suk Weerasakreck 2
This 2-part event has a double headliner, most notably featuring Genji Umeno's return to full contact rules against Rudopet Por Warasin. At Welterweight, Hideya Tanaka looks to stop Kaew Fairtex's 4-fight run in Japan that has seen him go 4-0 with 3 KOs. At Super Flyweight, WPMF Japan champion Kiminori Matsuzaki takes on Thailand's Tinli Revival. The first part of the event features five WPMF Women's World title fights. At Mini-Flyweight, Erika Kamimura defends her title against Churi Gotawingym. At Pinweight, Chiharu defends her title against Pizza Sor. Thipjaroen. At Lightweight, Yui Takada defends her title against Petsinin Sitjepong. At Flyweight Graycer Aki and Petsyohjin Sitajurnspon fight for the vacant title. And finally at Mini Flyweight, Yordying SithMuaySiam defends her interim title against Little Tiger.
June 23rd - Shootboxing 2013 act.4
As of now there are no announced fights, but 4-time S-Cup winner Andy Souwer, Hiroki Shishido and Hiroaki Suzuki are all expected to participate.
J-Network and J-GIRLS 2013 2nd
The main event is the finals of the Super Featherweight tournament between Eishou Nakamuki and Takuro. This event also hosts the finals of the Welterweight tournament between Hideaki Yoshikawa and Ryota Kojima. In the headlining women's bout, Yuichiro Nagashima student Chihiro Kiratsu takes on Miyako "SMILE" Mihori in the semi-finals of the women's Atomweight tournament.
June 30th - NJKF Muay Thai Open 24
The main event is a battle of top Flyweights as NJKF champion Takashi Saenchaigym takes on WPMF Japan Flyweight champion Yuji Uwasawa. Both men are coming off of close losses to top Flyweight Ryuji Kato. At Lightweight, Gansuwan Sasiprapa, who owns wins over Tetsuya Yamato and Yuya Yamato, looks to bounce back from a loss to Keijiro Miyakoshi against former J-Network Lightweight champion Takenori Hosono.
MA Kick DRAGON ROAD ~One and Only Take 2~
The main event pits Yuji Takeuchi against Kanongsuk Weerasakreck at 62kg. Takeuchi is 1-1 this year with a KO of Shota Hayashi in Krush and a split decision loss to Tatsuya Inaishi at GLORY 8. Kanongsuk is 2-0 this year with a pair of wins over Hidekazu Tanaka.