Switch to desktop Register Login Podcast - Week of Dec. 18

  • Published in LK Podcast

Rian Scalia (@rianscalia) and myself (@LiverKickdotcom / @LocustStar) go ahead and sit down to discuss what our hopes are for the year 2012 in the Kickboxing world. After a rather slow week we decided to slow things down and take a look at what we want, formatting-wise and for each division in FIKA's K-1 World Grand Prix season. With the three divisions being -63kg, -70kg and +100kg, we look at how certain countries are over-populated with elite talent while others will be lacking. We look at the format of the 32 best in the world and ask the question of will there really only be one fighter per country, or will they be making acceptions?

We wish you a happy holiday and will be back with another episode after the holidays.



Krush Results: Urabe, Sato Victorious

  • Published in Asia

Urabe LeeResults are in from this weekend's Krush First Champion Tournament Round 2 show, and while the favorites did win in the big fights, things didn't go as smoothly as some may have expected.

In the main event, Yoshihiro Sato squeaked by Shemsi Beqiri via split decision victory.  Scores were 30-28, 29-28, 28-29.  I have to consider that a moral victory for Beqiri, who was making his Japanese debut here.  Going to a split decision with the top 5 ranked Sato in front of a Japanese crowd should be a great boost for the 24 year old Beqiri, and will hopefully open the doors for him to return to Japan this year.  Beqiri had an excellent and very busy 2010, going a whopping 10-2 including a tournament win in Klash and a 2nd trip to a Klash tournament final.  He definitely has earned a shot at K-1 MAX - let's hope he gets it in 2011.

In the semi-main event, Koya Urabe (pictured) edged out Son Hyun Lee, though it took an extension round for Urabe to claim the unanimous decision win.  Urabe is on a great win streak and is clearly establishing himself as the man to beat in Japan at the 63kg ranks.  With this win he moves onto the tournament semi-finals, where he will be the heavy favorite.  Good performance from Lee as well, who was coming in off his K-1 MAX win over Kizaemon Saiga.  Expect to see him on K-1 shows coming out of Korea this year.

Speaking of Kizaemon Saiga, the brash youngster also advanced in the tournament, defeating Naoki Terazaki by unanimous decision.  In the other tournament fights, Takuya Shirahama defeated Yuki Yamamoto by unanimous decision after an extension round, and Ryuji Kajiwara scored a unanimous decision win over TaCa.  Saiga, Urabe, Shirahama, and Kajiwara will now meet in the semi-final and final rounds, both to be held on March 19, with the winner becoming the first ever Krush 63kg champion.

In non-tournament action, former K-1 MAX Final 4 competitor Yuya Yamamoto added another KO win to his belt.  This one came at the expense of Masahiro Watanabe, who Yamamoto KO'd in the 2nd.  While Yuya had some struggles in K-1 MAX through 2010, he still puts on very entertaining fights and remains a threat at 70kg.

Also in the 70kg division, Yuji Nashiro decisioned Daisuke Tsutsumi.  Both Yamamoto and Nashiro will likely be involved in the Krush 70kg tournament beginning April 30, and both could be early favorites depending on the field.

Filing out the results: Kenta KO'd Hidetora in the 2nd, Yu Hirono defeated Takuma Konishi via unanimous decision, Yoshi KO'd Asamisaurus in the 2nd, and Yuzo Suzuki took a unanimous decision win over Minato Kato.

Next show for Krush is the March 19 event featuring the 55kg, 60kg, and 63kg semi-finals and finals in what should be a superb night of action.


Krush Announces -63kg Under-22 "Supernova" Tournament

  • Published in Kickboxing

After successful tournaments at 55kg, 60kg, 63kg and 70kg, K-1 affiliate Krush has announced yet another tournament for the end of 2011 which could end up featuring some of the top fighters at 63kg. Similar to the K-1 Youth tournaments, Krush is presenting an under-22 "Supernova" tournament, as opposed to K-1's under-18 Koshien tournaments, a 16-man tournament with the round of 16 and quarterfinals taking place in October (possibly the 10th) and the semis and finals taking place some time thereafter(all articles say Friday September 12th, but that is obviously before the qualifying rounds, as well as September 12th not being a Friday. My best guess would be Saturday November 12th).

This tournament presents some interesting possible match-ups as there are quite a few of the top Japanese fighters at 63kg who are products of the Koshien system and are eligible for this tournament. From what I've seen, there is no indication if Krush will be looking for lesser-known fighters or if they will allow more established fighters into the tournament, so after the break, I'll look at some of the notable fighters who are eligible for the tournament.



Krush Fan Fest This Weekend

  • Published in Kickboxing

KrushJapan's Krush organization has been planning a big 2011, with the culmination of four separate tournaments to crown the company's first ever champions.  Like everyone based out of Japan, their plans were greatly delayed by the tragedy there, but now, one month later, Krush is getting ready for their return.

The next Krush show will be the April 30 event, featuring the 55, 60, and 63kg finals.  That show was originally scheduled for March, but pushed back for obvious reasons.  Now, they've announced a fan fest to be held this Saturday in anticipation of the show.  These kind of fan fests are pretty common in Japan, and typically not much to take not of, but this one stands out for a few reasons.

At the fan fest, Krush will announce the first 6 fighters to compete in the 70kg tournament, which will begin on May 29.  Originally I had pegged this to be the weakest of the 4 Krush tournaments, with Yuya Yamamoto likely being the lone big name.  But considering K-1 MAX's lack of shows, it's entirely possible we'll see more ranked names taking part here.  I anticipate Yamamoto and Nashiro are locks, and would love to see Jienotsu and Sato in there as well.

Also taking place at the event will be quite a weird exhibition fight - in some form of tag team competition, it will be Kyotaro and Keiji Ozaki vs. Fire Harada and an opponent who will be announced that day.  Will this be kickboxing?  MMA?  Pro-wrestling?  Who knows, but with Fire Harada in there, it should be fun.  Bizarre, but fun.  And, if you ask me, these are the kind of things you have to love about the Japan combat sports scene - you're just not going to get that sort of thing anywhere else.

Finally, one more exhibition fight was announced between Naoki Ishikawa and Kensaku Maeda.  While Maeda's name may be unfamiliar, anyone who has watched much Japanese kickboxing in the last year will surely recognize him.  Maeda is the head of Team Dragon, and is the man always in the corner of Kyotaro, the Urabes, and the rest of the Dragon fighters.  Maeda has been retired from competition since 2002, but was a decorated fighter back in his day.  The exhibition will be just one 3 minute round.  Cool to hear that Maeda is getting back in there, although I wouldn't bet on getting to see any footage of the fight.


The 2011 Awards

  • Published in K-1

2011 has yet to end, yet in the grand internet tradition, is bringing you our year-end awards. Due to the fact that 2011 is quickly winding down and that there are no big Kickboxing bouts scheduled for the rest of the year, it is safe to say that we have seen the best and the worst of 2011, and the time has come to choose the big winners as we all see fit. In a year without a lot going on from K-1 it meant that the smaller weight classes and promotions of the world were given a chance to step up to the big leagues and make an impression, and impress they did.

We saw a lot of great action from promotions like It's Showtime, SuperKombat, Ultimate Glory, KRUSH, Fight Code and many more, when usually in years past anything that happened inside of K-1 took precedence and stole the attention away from the smaller leagues. In 2012 we will be seeing more from FIKA, the "rebirth" of K-1, so it will be interesting to see how the dynamics of this year blend in with a World Cup of Kickboxing. We have narrowed everything down to two categories with five of the absolute best choices in each. Due to a lack of overlap on a global scale as we usually see, it is incredibly difficult to choose a "Fighter of the Year," so we have decided to go with Fight of the Year and KO of the Year. If you look to your left (on the site), you will see the two polls laid out for your discretion. Choose wisely (Note: Late-Dec. 2010 included in "2011"). 2011 Fight of the Year: 2011 KO of the Year:
Yodsaenklai vs. Artur Kyshenko (Rumble of the Kings)
Masaaki Noiri vs. Koya Urabe (KRUSH.14)
Karim Bennoui vs. Javier Hernandez (It's Showtime Madrid) Mark Miller vs. Nikolaj Falin (Glory WS Finals)
Yuya Yamamoto vs. Kenta (K-1 MAX Japan 70kg Finals) Errol Zimmerman vs. Roman Kleibl (SuperKombat Fight Club)
Hesdy Gerges vs. Daniel Ghita (It's Showtime Sporthallen Zuid) Anderson Braddock Silva vs. Freddy Kemayo (Fightclub: It's Showtime 2010)
Andy Souwer vs. Harut Grigorian (It's Showtime Fast & Furious)  . Robin Van Roosmalen vs. Kyshenko (It's Showtime: Fast & Furious)

Vote Now for 2010 Fight of the Year

  • Published in Video

Masato Souwer 2009Voting is now open for the 2010 Fight of the Year.  Cast your vote in the Weekly Poles section in the left hand column.  As a reminder, here are links to videos and write-ups on the 10 nominees:

Tyrone Spong v. Jerome Le Banner

Bovy Sor. Udomson v. Takaaki Umeno

Yuya Yamamoto v. Scott Shaffer

Tetsuya Yamato v. Yuta Kubo

Peter Aerts v. Ewerton Teixeira

Mike Zambidis v. Chahid Oulad El Hadj

Gokhan Saki v. Daniel Ghita

Peter Aerts v.  Semmy Schilt

Mosab Amrani v. Mohamed Khamal

Pornsaneh v. Pakon

Vote now!

Pictured: 2009 Fight of the Year Masato v. Andy Souwer


You Need More Japanese Kickboxing in Your Life: No Kick No Life IV

  • Published in Kickboxing

Part of what makes being a fight fan so much fun is that there are a lot of talented fans out there who put together some great video montages, one of which is's friend Jill, who has made a ton of great videos and continues the trend with No Kick No Life IV, focusing on Japanese kickfighting. So check it out already.


Japan's Kickboxing Scene Reunites Under the K-1 World League Banner

  • Published in K-1

K-1 began in Japan, becoming the world standard for professional Kickboxing and the name, to this day, holds the most weight when it comes to Kickboxing. Of course, mismanagement and corruption led to the demise of FEG, who held the K-1 name at the time. Since then K-1 Global has taken over the K-1 name and have been working their way towards their own goals that exist outside of Japan. So consider the shock today when news comes out of Japan of a new promotion called K-1 World League using the K-1 logo and everything. 

There was a press conference in Japan today to announce the formation of K-1 World League, which will be managed by Good Loser, the company that produces KRUSH events in Japan, and produced by M-1 Sports Media. The first event is set to take place on July 21st at Shinjuku FACE and will be an amateur tournament akin to K-1 Koshien, the finals being held on November 3rd at Yoyogi National Stadium along with professional fights from some of Japan's top fighters. Announced names are Yuta Kubo, Yoshihiro Sato, Yasuhiro Kido, Hirotaka Urabe, Koya Urabe, HIROYA, Takeru and others. Takayuki Kohiruimaki is also listed as one of the K-1 Gym's official trainers, as this whole thing is in association with the K-1 Gym.

K-1 Global will continue to run events outside of Japan and K-1 World League will serve as K-1's re-entry point into the Japanese market beginning this year.


Krush Tournament Finals Postponed

  • Published in Kickboxing

Krush Mar 19A quick piece of news that should come as no surprise - the Krush show scheduled for this weekend has been postponed due to the tragedy in Japan.

This weekend's Krush show was going to feature the semi-finals and finals of the 55, 60, and 63kg tournaments.  Those fights will now be moved back to April 30.  No word yet on what this means for the 70kg tournament, which was originally slated to begin on that April 30 date - I imagine they will just bump that entire tournament back one show as well.  One other note regarding this - 55kg tournament participant Ryuya Kusakabe is currently scheduled to compete at the Shootboxing event on April 23, so we'll have to see how those two dates play together.  Kusakabe is the Shootboxing champion.

In similar news, last weekend's Shootboxing Young Cesar's Cup was cancelled.  It will be rescheduled, but no date has yet been mentioned.

While this Krush event is one I am really looking forward to, I'm very glad to see it delayed.  These fighters don't need to be worrying about entertaining us in the face of such a horrible tragedy at home, and even thinking about them fighting this weekend seems so small and petty.  It's been said before, but it can never be said enough - all our thoughts and best wishes to everyone in Japan during this extremely difficult time.


2010 Fight of the Year: Part 3

  • Published in Video

Fight #3 in our series keeps us focused on the smaller Japanese scene:

Yuya Yamamoto v. Scott Shaffer (Krush.6, April 29)

Once again, a very fun fight.  Here, 2009 K-1 MAX Final 4 fighter Yamamoto main events Krush against the largely unknown Shaffer.  But Shaffer gives it a real go, pushing Yuya into the kind of fight where the Japanese fighter thrives, resulting in one of the best finishes of 2010.




I like this one as a sort of more technical version of yesterday's Bovy v. Umeno fight.  At first it looks like Yuya might easily take this, but once Shaffer drops him in the first, then almost finishes him as time runs down, you know this is closer than it appeared.  From there, you get great swings in the momentum, with Yamamoto dropping Shaffer, only to have the American come back strong to end round 2.  At the start of the 3rd it's a very close fight, when Yamamoto just pours it on, absolutely wrecking Shaffer with a brutal finish.

Previously featured:

Tyrone Spong v. Jerome Le Banner

Bovy Sor. Udomson v. Takaaki Umeno

A note on this series - we'll be posting 1 or 2 of the top fights of the year on a daily basis over the coming week.  Fights will be featured in chronological order moving through the year.

Subscribe to this RSS feed

Copyright 2010 - 2014 All Rights Reserved.

Top Desktop version