K-1 Japan has done it again. By that I mean ran another successful event that has the kickboxing world talking. They've been on a bit of a hot streak of late and look to continue that heading into their big 2018 event at the Saitama Super Arena. This event featured a Lightweight tournament at 62.5kg featuring some of the best talents from around the world. On top of that it saw HINATA return to the K-1 ring and the 60kg title on the line between Hirotaka Urabe and Taiga.
Hirotaka Urabe lost his championship to Taiga in a three round war on a night that Koya Urabe, arguably one of the favorites in the tournament, was defeated by Gonnapar Weerasakrek. The tournament had its own twists and turns with Ren Hiramoto living up to his billing from a few years ago as a top prospect with a win over Brice Delval, a knockout over Gonnapar and making it all the way to the finals against Wei Rui before dropping a close split decision to crown Wei Rei as the winner of the tournament.
K-1 Japan Lightweight Tournament
K-1 Japan 60kg Championship: Taiga (R3 - Decision) Urabe Hirotaka (C)
Hinata (R3 - Decision) Matsukura Shintaro
Noiri Masaaki (R3 - Decision) Younes Smaili
Ibrahim El Bouni (R2 - KO) Uehara Makoto
Lightweight Tournament (62.5kg)
Tournament Final: Wei Rui (R3 - Split Decision) Hiramoto Ren
Tournament Semi-Final: Wei Rui (R3 - Decision) Cristian Spetcu
Tournament Semi-Final: Hiramoto Ren (R1 - KO) Gonnapar Weerasakrek
Tournament Quarterfinal: Cristian Spetcu (R3 - Decision) Taniyama Toshiki
Tournament Quarterfinal: Wei Rui (R2 - TKO) Sasaki Daizo
Tournament Quarterfinal: Gonnapar Weerasakrek (R3 - Decision) Urabe Koya
Tournament Quarterfinal: Hiramoto Ren (R3 - Majority Decision) Brice Delval
Tournament Reserve: Rukiya (R2- KO) Mizumachi Hiroshi
Dave Walsh has been covering MMA and Kickboxing since 2007 before changing his focus solely to Kickboxing in 2009, launching what was the only English-language site dedicated to giving Kickboxing similar coverage to what MMA receives. He was the co-founder of HeadKickLegend and now LiverKick. He resides in Albuquerque, New Mexico where he works as a writer of all trades.
His second novel, Terminus Cycle, is available now via Kindle and Paperback.
Dave (a) LiverKick dot com | @dvewlshWebsite: www.dvewlsh.com