RISE and M-1 Muaythai Challenge held their second joint event, Infinity.II, earlier today at Korakuen Hall in Tokyo. In the headlining bout, RISE 63kg champion Yuki rematched Sun Hyun Lee, this time with his title on the line, while Genji Umeno faced Korean fighter Sung Ryeol Kim and Yosuke Morii battled Thai star Pornsaneh Sitmonchai. Also on the card was a 4-man 55kg tournament featuring Seiya Rokukawa, Yuta Murakoshi, Hiroki Maeda and Kazayuki Fushimi with the winner set to face Dyki for the vacant RISE 55kg title.
In the night's main event, RISE Korea Welterweight champion Sun Hyun Lee earned his second win over RISE 63kg champion Yuki, this time stopping the champion with low kicks 1:58 into the 4th round and winning his RISE 63kg title. The fight seems to have gone very much like their first encounter, where Lee used his advantage in speed and combinations to score on Yuki, particularly with low kicks that damaged the more powerful striker. His strategy worked both times as he improves to 2-0 against Yuki and becomes RISE's first foreign champion. The win is a great start to the year for Lee, who went 4-0 last year with wins over Yuki, top contenders Yuto Watanabe and Shohei Asahara, and M-1 representative Buakaw WSR at the first Infinity event. What's next for him is unclear, though RISE can possibly set up a Yuki-Yuto Watanabe rematch with the winner getting another shot at Lee, but hopefully they figure out something soon as Lee is always a fun fighter to watch. Yuki had a lot of momentum coming into this fight as he had stopped former It's Showtime champion Javier Hernandez in his most recent bout, shooting him up to #4 on the LiverKick Lightweight rankings, a spot which Lee will likely take. From here, Yuki could either take a fight or two in Krush against some of their top Lightweights, or possibly rematch Yuto Watanabe in a #1 contender bout.
In the co-main event, Genji Umeno stopped Team Chi Bin member Sung Ryeol Kim at 1:04 in the 3rd round after 2+ rounds of domination from the Lumpinee ranker. Umeno sought revenge against a Korean fighter after losing an upset to Chang Hyun Lee in a fight of the year contender in K-1 last year. Umeno seems to have battered the South Korean with body kicks over the course of the fight as photos show Kim's body to be quite red. It's hard to know where Umeno goes here, whether he rematches Chang Hyun Lee, fights in K-1 again or goes back to pursuing a Lumpinee title.
In the night's biggest upset, former Rajadamnern Stadium champ Pornsaneh Sitmonchai and WPMF Japan Featherweight champ Yosuke Morii fought to a split draw on scores of 49-48, 48-49 and 48-48. Although Pornsaneh is not the top fighter he once was, he was still expected to beat Morii here, as Morii had been second fiddle at Featherweight in Japan to Genji Umeno and Hiroki Akimoto over the course of the last year. The fight seemed to be defined by Pornsaneh's low kicks and Morii's hands, as the two exchanged one for the other throughout the course of the fight, but neither was able to pull away. This was just Pornsaneh's 3rd fight outside of Thailand, though he was originally slated to fight at the first Infinity event. This makes it two upset draws in the two top biled Japan vs Thailand fights at Infinity, as the man Pornsaneh was supposed to face at the first event, Yusuke Shimizu, fought Rajadamnern Stadium champ Sirimongkon PK Muaythai to a draw in December. The win should shoot Morii's stock up significantly as Pornsaneh was ranked 10th at Featherweight in Lumpinee and Morii's last fight there saw him lose via 3rd round TKO to an unranked fighter.
In the 55kg tournament semifinals, #5 ranked Seiya Rokukawa needed an extension round to get past #6 ranked Yuta Murakoshi, winning a split decision and advancing to the finals. In the other semifinal, #4 ranked Hiroki Maeda took on Shootboxing's Kazuyuki Fushimi, winning by 2nd round KO at 1:43. In the finals, Rokukawa had an easier time as he dispatched of Maeda just over 2 and a half minutes into the 1st round with a left hook. Rokukawa has now won 3 in a row since losing his first pro fight to Takashi Ohno in July and goes on to face Dyki at RISE 92 on March 17th for the vacant 55kg title. Maeda had won 2 in a row coming into the tournament since dropping a pair of fights in NJKF.
RISE also made a big announcement regarding their next card, RISE 92 on March 17th. First, It's Showtime 61kg champ Masahiro Yamamoto is set to face former It's Showtime champ Karim Bennoui. Bennoui was set to face Koya Urabe at Krush.25, but had to pull out due to an injury. Although It's Showtime is now defunct, this fight possibly could have been the next title fight, as former champ Bennoui lost his title to Javier Hernandez, the man Yamamoto beat for the belt. The other fight announcement was a 65kg title fight between current champion Koji Yoshimoto and Yasuomi Soda. The two first fought at RISE 86, with Yoshimoto handing Soda his first pro loss in a very close fight that was only decided by 1 point on each card. Since, Soda has gone 2-0 with wins over Kim Dong-Soo and Yukihiro Komiya, while Yoshimoto has fought just once, a win over Raz Sarkisjan.
Recap of Yukihiro Komiya vs Daiki Watabe, Yuto Watanabe vs Genki Kanazawa and the 3 other Japan vs Thailand fights and quick results after the break
In a 66.5kg RISE vs M-1 fight, Daiki Watabe defeated Yukihiro Komiya by majority decision on scores of 27-26, 27-27 and 26-25 in what seems to have been an exciting affair. Watabe dropped Komiya in the 1st round, though there may have been another down as well, the report isn't very clear. Still, Watabe picks up a solid win under a ruleset he does not usually fight under and solidifies himself as a top Welterweight. He ended both 2011 and 2012 with failed attempts at capturing the WPMF Japan and WBC Japan titles against T-98 and Yuya Yamato, respectively, but those are his only two losses over the past 2 years, including a loss to Chi Bin Lim, and he has established himself as one of Japan's top Welterweights. Komiya had dropped down to 65kg last June after a loss to Yuji Nashiro and started 2-0, but has now lost 2 in a row, most recently losing to Yasuomi Soda in a #1 contender bout.
In a 63kg RISE vs M-1 fight, RISE #2 ranked Lightweight Yuto Watanabe scored a 1st round KO of WPMF Japan #2 ranked Lightweight Genki Kanazawa just under a minute into the fight. Watanabe lost 2 straight last year, blowing an early lead in a title fight against Yuki and then being stopped in an extension round against Sun Hyun Lee. He closed out the year with a knockout of Yusuke Sugawara and picks up a quick knockout here as he looks to get right back in the title picture. He could see himself in a rematch against Yuki, though this time in just a 3 round fight which will probably favor the fast starter. Kanazawa had lost 3 in a row coming into this fight.
Finally, in a trio of Japan vs Thailand fights, Arashi Fujiwara scored a 1st round knockout of Peppunoy Parisha, Sota Ichinohe took a split decision against Lucktawarun Esugym and Kongnapa WSR took a unanimous decision over Chemical Shunta.
RISE 63kg Title Fight: Sun Hyun Lee def. Yuki (c) by 4th round KO (3 knockdowns; low kicks) at 1:58
60kg Fight: Genji Umeno def. Sung Ryeol Kim by 3rd round KO (body kick) at 1:04
59kg Fight: Pornsaneh Sitmonchai and Yosuke Morii fought to a 5th round Split Draw (49-48, 48-49, 48-48)
53kg Fight: Arashi Fujiwara def. Pepunoy Parisha by 1st round KO (3 knockdowns) at 2:22
55kg Tournament Final: Seiya Rokukawa def. Hiroki Maeda by 1st round KO (left hook) at 2:34
66.5kg Fight: Daiki Watabe def. Yukihiro Komiya by 3rd round Majority Decision (27-26, 27-27, 26-25)
57.5kg Fight: Sota Ichinohe def. Lucktawarun Esugym by 5th round Spit Decision (49-48, 49-48, 48-49)
59.5kg Fight: Kongnapa WSR def. Chemical Shunta by 3rd round Unanimous Decision (30-28, 30-28, 30-27)
63kg Fight: Yuto Watanabe def. Genki Kanazawa by 1st round KO (left cross) at 0:57
55kg Tournament Semifinal #2: Seiya Rokukawa def. Yuta Murakoshi by ext. round Split Decision (10-9, 10-9, 9-10) after a 3rd round Majority Draw (28-28, 28-28, 27-28)
55kg Tournament Semifinal #1: Hiroki Maeda def. Kazuyuki Fushimi by 2nd round KO (left cross) at 1:43
Heavyweight Fight: Kazuki Nojiri def. Yoichi Uchida by 2nd round KO (left hook) at 0:19
57.5kg Fight: Yu Jincheng def. Ryuji Yamagishi by 1st round KO (left hook) at 1:07
60kg Fight: Kaidou Miyoshi def. TAKAHIRO by 2nd round KO (body kick) at 2:32
55kg Fight: KOUMA def. Go Rachasakreck by 3rd round Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)