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Yuki vs Lee 2, Morii vs Pornsaneh Headline RISE/M-1 ~Infinity.II~

  • Published in Kickboxing

After a successful first event, RISE and M-1 Muay Thai Challenge announced that they would be repeating their efforts from earlier this month and bringing us RISE/M-1MC ~Infinity.II~ on January 6th. The event already has some great fights announced and is sure to start the year off with a bang.

In a bout that will likely headline the event, RISE 63kg champion Yuki puts his title on the line in a rematch against South Korean standout Sun Hyun Lee. The two first fought at RISE 88 with Lee taking a majority decision, though the fight could have easily been scored more one-sidedly in favor of Lee. Since, Yuki has fought just once, but scored the biggest win of his career in doing so, stopping former It's Showtime champion Javier Hernandez via low kicks. Lee is 3-0 with wins over top RISE contenders Yuto Watanabe and Shohei Asahara and most recently obliterating Buakaw WSR at the first Infinity event. The two bring similar strengths, as both excel with low kicks and have pretty good boxing, but the biggest difference between the two is speed and power. Lee brings a speedy, high volume attack while Yuki is known for his power, both in his hands and his signature low kicks. Lee will likely have the edge in conditioning, favoring him in this 5 round fight, but Yuki has the power to slow him down and even end the fight at any time. That said, I favor Lee by a wide margin here and see him taking a decision and the RISE title.

In the second biggest announcement, former Lumpinee Stadium champion Pornsaneh Sitmonchai takes on top ranked Featherweight Yosuke Morii at 59kg. Pornsaneh was originally slated for the first Infinity event, but was unable to compete due to the Lumpinee birthday show, but there's no reason for him not to compete here other than injury. Morii has been at the top of the Japanese Featherweight division for the past 2 years, losing only to Genji Umeno and Hiroki Akimoto in that time. Morii did take a fight in Thailand earlier this year with unfavorable results, but a win over Pornsaneh would be huge for him and could even spark a run at a Stadium title.

Speaking of Genji Umeno, he will also fight at this event against another Korean, Seung Ryul Kim, at 60kg. After dominating the Japanese scene, Umeno looked poised to possibly become the first Japanese champion of Lumpinee Stadium, but an offer to fight in K-1 put that quest on the backburner. Umeno faced Chang Hyun Lee, a fighter who fans knew little about other than that he was a teammate of Sun Hyun Lee. That changed after the two put on one of the best fights of 2012, a 3 round battle that saw Chang Hyun come out on top. Umeno seeks revenge against a Korean opponent and a win here could set up an anticipated rematch between Umeno and Lee. Standing in his way is Kim who, like Lee, there is little information about other than that he fights out of Team Bin, the home of K-1 veteran Chi Bin Lim. A win here gives Kim a name and gives us another Korean fighter to look out for. 

The card also boasts three more Japan vs Thailand matchups with Arashi Fujiwara vs Pepunoy Parisha at 53kg, Sota Ichinohe vs Lucktawarun Esugym at 57.5kg and Chemical Shunta vs Kongnapa WSR at 59.5kg. I believe Kongnapa WSR is Kongnapa Sirimongkol who fought Genji Umeno twice, going 1-1.

Still slated to compete at the event but without opponents are Yuto Watanabe, Seiya Rokukawa and Hiroki Maeda, among others.

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RISE/M-1 Announce Event Featuring M. Yamamoto, Kamimura, Umeno, Komiyama

  • Published in Kickboxing

RISE and M-1 Muay Thai Challenge have announced a co-promoted event that is set to take place on December 2nd called "Infinity" and it has one of the most star-studded lineups of the year.

While no matchups have been announced, let's take a look at who has been announced to participate at the event.

Masahiro Yamamoto: Along with being ranked #2 on the LiverKick Lightweight rankings, Yamamoto holds the It's Showtime -61kg title which he won earlier this year over Javier Hernandez.

Kosuke Komiyama: #10 LiverKick Lightweight, current RISE Super Featherweight champion and riding an 8-fight winstreak, most recently winning at Shootboxing Act.4.

Genji Umeno: Umeno holds the WPMF World Super Featherweight title, was recently ranked at Lumpini Stadium and was the #1 Featherweight in Japan after a win over Yosuke Morii last December. Umeno has moved up to Super Featherweight now, but most recently lost to Chang-Hyun Lee in K-1 at 61kg.

Erika Kamimura: At this time last year, the WMC and WPMF Women's Mini-Flyweight champion was an unstoppable force and thought to be the top female kickboxer. A close loss to RENA late last year and a close loss in the quarterfinals of this year's Girls S-Cup have slowed her hype train, but she is still an elite fighter. She won a rematch with Seo Hee Ham to earn a rematch with RENA for her RISE title, so I wouldn't be surprised if that fight happened at this event.

Koji Yoshimoto: Yoshimoto is the current RISE Super Lightweight champion and has won 3 in a row, most recently defending his title against Yasuomi Soda. I could see him defending his title here against Yukihiro Komiya.

Sun-Hyun Lee: The RISE Korea Welterweight champion is already scheduled to fight at RISE 90 against Shohei Asahara with a win likely getting him a title shot. However, Lee is teammates with Chang-Hyun Lee, with Chang-Hyun's nickname even being "Little Sun-Hyun Lee", who just defeated Genji Umeno in K-1, so I wouldn't be surprised if the two were to fight.

Yosuke Morii: Morii is coming off of a loss to Hiroki Akimoto at the beginning of this month, but is still the #3 Featherweight in Japan and the WPMF Japan champion at the weight. With Umeno's weight gain, I doubt the two will rematch, especially considering how one-sided the first fight was.

Yusuke Shimizu: The 21 year old former WPMF Japan Super Bantamweight champion looks to bounce back from his second pro loss this weekend. I'd like to see him take on the winner of Dyki vs. Takashi Ohno at RISE 90.

I assume that RISE and M-1 will be looking to match their fighters up against one another and should that be the case, the best option would obviously be Masahiro Yamamoto vs Kosuke Komiyama, as it pits #2 on the LiverKick rankings against #10, but other options like Sun-Hyun Lee vs Genji Umeno and Yosuke Morii vs the winner of the RISE Featherweight tournament are also possible and equally as enticing.

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KNOCK OUT vol. 1 Fight Card

  • Published in Muay Thai

KNOCK OUT is back this weekend with another great card they are calling Vol. 1. It will be taking place at the Ota Ward Gymnasium in Tokyo, Japan on Sunday Feb 12th at 5pm (JST)/ 12am(PST)/3am(EST). The show will be live on Sportsnavi. The main event has Genji Umeno up against Juan Mario Kaewsamrit, KNOCK OUT's last card every fight ended in KO except Umeno's so you know hes going to be looking for it this time. Co-main event has rising superstar Tenshin Nasukawa against 17-1 professional boxer Amnat Ruenroeng where we will see if Tenshin can stop Ruenroeng's hands with his kicks.

Full Card

Genji Umeno vs. Juan Mario Kaewsamrit

Tenshin Nasukawa vs. Amnat Ruenroeng

Hikari Machida vs. Daiki “DJ Taiki” Hata

Tosuke Morii vs. Hirotoshi Murata

Kenta vs. Shinya Indo

Eisaku Ogasawara vs. Hiroya Haga

Fukashi vs. HIroto Yamaguchi

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