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Japanese Kickboxing Scene: November Recap

Here at LiverKick, we try to bring you as much content and fight results as we can. Unfortunately, the Japanese scene has so many kickboxing outlets that sometimes some of the smaller shows don’t receive any attention and the results are simply skipped over. To help compensate for that, I am going to start doing a monthly recap of the smaller shows that feature relevant fighters and even bigger shows that I simply didn’t have time to do a results post for at the time. This month, we have shows from MA Kick, NJKF, SNKA, M-1MC, J-Network, DEEP*KICK and the return of the Hoost Cup.

11/4 – NJKF: Kick to the Future 8

The big draw here was former NJKF and WBC champion Kunitaka rematching Ekdat Mor Krongthepthonburee, with the winner earning a spot in the top 10 of the Rajadamnern Stadium Featherweight rankings. In another close fight, Kunitaka eked out a split decision on scores of 50-49(x2) and 49-50. The big news coming out of this just recently emerged and that is that Kunitaka will receive a shot at Rajadamnern Stadium Featherweight champion Kaimookdam Aikbangzai on February 17th at Korakuen Hall. Kunitaka will look to become the 5th Japanese Rajadamnern Stadium champion, following in the footsteps of Toshio Fujiwara, Kozo Takeda, Hitoshi Ogasawara and current Super Lightweight champion Hiroki Ishii.

MA Kick: Break 31 ~Absolute~

Top ranked Flyweight Sazanami Satsutama picked up a solid win over Tatsuya Rose in a strange 4 round bout, with scores of 40-38 and 40-39(x2)

11/11 – M-1 Sutt Yod MuayThai vol.4

The two-part card had a myriad of notable fighters in action on both the men’s and women’s side. In the main event, Kaew Fairtex scored a 2nd round KO of J-Network Super Lightweight champion Yusuke Sugawara. Kaew apparently came out dancing to “Gangnam Style” and carried that confidence into the fight. He followed this up with a 12 second KO at RISE/M-1 Infinity. Naoki Samukawa became the first WPMF Japan Light Heavyweight champion with a one-sided decision win over SHOHEI, scoring a knockdown in the 3rd round and cruising. At Super Lightweight, Buakaw WSR and Shunsuke Oishi fought to a majority draw, which is a bit surprising as Oishi had recently lost to Hidekazu Tanaka, who Buakaw stopped in 3 rounds. In the last major men’s bout, J-Network Flyweight champion Yuki moved up to Bantamweight to face #1 ranked J-Network Bantamweight Kenta. Yuki needed an extension round, but showed he could beat top fighters in two weight classes, winning all three judges’ scorecards in the extension round.

On the women’s side of things, WPMF World Featherweight champion Sawsing Sor. Sopis defended her title with a unanimous decision, defeating AZUMA, who she defeated back in March to win the title. In a fight for the WPMF World Pinweight title, champion Chiharu picked up her third win over Little Tiger to defend her title. Although Little Tiger has had more success outside of their rivalry, Chiharu just seems to have her number. This fight, like their other two, was very close, so a fourth fight seems like a possibility.

K-Spirit 4

The main draw for this card was the retirement match for former MA Kick Bantamweight and Featherweight champion RIOT, rematching the last man to defeat him, Hikaru Machida. Machida had looked good in his recent outings, but RIOT was able to channel the emotion of retirement into one last hurrah, stopping Machida via a nasty cut (the aftermath of which is pictured above) in the 4th round.

MA Kick/Yamanashi Kickboxing Association 11

In a Featherweight headliner, former MA Kick Featherweight champion Hiroki Fujisawa dropped a decision to #4 ranked RYOTA. Fujisawa held the title just a few short months ago, but a TKO loss to Hiroki Akimoto in a failed title defense and another loss here means Fujisawa has a ways to go if he wants to become champion again. With Akimoto setting his sights on the international scene, RYOTA may find himself fighting for the vacant title in the future, should Akimoto vacate it.

11/17 – NKB: KU Differ Ariake

In an upset, NKB Lightweight champion Yasuyuki scored a 3rd round KO of former WPMF World Lightweight champion Kanongsuk WSR. Kanongsuk has had a disastrous fall from grace over the course of the past year. After consecutive victories over Genki Yamamoto, Rashata and Seiji Takahashi, Kanongsuk was knocked out in a defense of his WPMF title in a comeback effort by Arita Tsukahara, then dropped a pair of fights to Sualek Rukukamai, with a loss to Yuya Yamato coming in between. After a draw with Hikaru Machida and a win over Yoshito Kajita, Kanongsuk drops another fight here. Yasuyuki now has two big wins on his record, with a win over Sualek from last year and is definitely someone to look out for in the future.

Results from the second half of the month after the break

 

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Big Bang 11 Results: Akimoto Stays Undefeated

Although most of the focus was on RISE/M-1's Infinity card, the Taniyama Gym put together a good card for Big Bang 11, headlined by a Featherweight showdown between WBC Japan and MA Kick Featherweight champion Hiroki Akimoto and former MA Kick Featherweight champion Shunta Ito. Also on the card were Hiromi Amada, HIROYA, Yuji Takeuchi and Toshiki Taniyama.

In the main event, Hiroki Akimoto remained unbeaten in his pro career, winning a unanimous decision over Shunta Ito, with all 3 judges scoring the bout 49-48. Akimoto (18-0-0, 8 KO) was coming into this fight off of the biggest win of his young career, defeating Yosuke Morii, and solidifies his place as the top Featherweight in Japan with another big win here. After the win, Akimoto declared that, after defeating the two men he felt were the best Featherweights in Japan, he would like to face an international opponent or even make a run at a Rajadamnern or Lumpini Stadium title. Ito (25-11-4, 8 KO) takes his first loss to a Japanese fighter since 2006, with his only losses in that stretch coming to Thais. Ito has fought on all but 2 Big Bang cards, so expect him to be back in action at Big Bang 12.

In other action, WPMF Japan Super Featherweight champion SHIGERU announced himself to the Lightweight world with a unanimous decision over "Kyoken" Yuji Takeuchi on scores of 30-28 and 30-29(x2). SHIGERU (9-0-1) started his career 5-0-0 and earning a shot at the vacant WPMF Japan Super Featherweight title, where he drew Takahito Fujimaki. A rematch victory over Fujimaki followed by wins over Hiroto Yamaguchi and a title defense against Tomoaki Suehiro now have SHIGERU on a 4 fight win streak and scoring the biggest win of his young career. A good next fight for him would be either recently crowned WPMF World Lightweight champion Yosuke Mizuochi or a top-ranked RISE 60kg fighter like Chang Hyun Lee or Motochika Hanada at RISE/M-1 Infinity.II in January, if M-1 chooses to put him on the card. Takeuchi (22-8-2, 13 KO) had won 2 in a row since a 10-month layoff and looked like he was on his way to possibly earning a shot at the Krush 60kg title, but this fight is a bit of a setback for the hard-hitting crowd pleaser. He is scheduled to fight in Krush on January 14th, likely against Kan Itabashi.

At 65kg, former K-1 Koshien champ HIROYA moved up in weight, dispatching of Chonden Chuwattana 30 seconds into the 2nd round with low kicks. The win for HIROYA here is big as he was on a 1-4 skid that saw him drop fights to Masaaki Noiri, Ryuji Kajiwara, Naoki and most recently, Hisaki Higashimoto in the Krush Youth GP. I'm not sure if the move to 65kg is permanent, but it might be a good opportunity for a fresh start. Chonden was coming off of a split decision win over Yosuke Mizuochi in August.

In other action, Hiromi Amada scored an 18 second KO against Tomohiko Hashimoto while Toshiki Taniyama picked up a unanimous decision win. 

Quick results after the break

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RISE/M-1 Infinity Results: Yamamoto, Yoshimoto Victorious; Kamimura, Mizuochi Win WPMF Titles

Earlier today, RISE and M-1 Muay Thai Challenge held their first joint show titled Infinity, with top Japanese fighters Masahiro Yamamoto and Koji Yoshimoto taking on Beverwijk Top Team prospects Mansour Yaqubi and Raz Sarkisjan. Also on the show were RISE mainstays Sun Hyun Lee and Dyki, as well as two WPMF World title fights featuring Yosuke Mizuochi and Erika Kamimura.

In the main event, RISE 65kg champion Koji Yoshimoto handed Raz Sarkisjan a second straight loss with a unanimous decision, with all 3 judges scoring it 29-28. Sarkisjan looked to use his power and seems to have landed on Yoshimoto pretty well, but Yoshimoto seems to have turned in on in the 3rd round, securing a victory. Yoshimoto pushes his win streak to five and could see himself rematching Yasuomi Soda in another title defense. Though he is past his physical prime, Yoshimoto, much like Ryuji Kajiwara, seems to have settled into himself quite well and finds ways to win fights. Sarkisjan drops two straight after a big upset win over Masaaki Noiri in May. While he certainly has good power, Sarkisjan will have to work on other aspects of his game if he wants to make an impact in GLORY, though I believe he is only 20 years old, meaning he has plenty of time to improve.

In the co-main event, It’s Showtime 61kg champion Masahiro Yamamoto scored a 3rd round TKO of Mansour Yaqubi, scoring 3 knockdowns in the final round. Yamamoto rode the momentum of his win against Javier Hernandez, coming out aggressive, but I believe he was dropped at the beginning of the 3rd round. Despite that, Yamamoto stormed back with 3 knockdowns of his own to stop the fight. Yamamoto has now won 6 straight. His international future is sort of in limbo right now with Glory’s purchase of It’s Showtime, but with Glory setting up a Tokyo office, I would imagine Yamamoto will be a huge part in attempting to market kickboxing to a Japanese audience again.

At 55kg, Shooto Flyweight champion Mikihito Yamagami came up short in RISE once again, dropping a majority decision to #1 ranked Dyki on scores of 27-26(x2) and 27-27. Dyki has now won 4 in a row and could see himself in a fight for the vacant RISE 55kg title in the future, possibly rematching Ryuma Tobe. Yamagami gives another top Super Bantamweight a tough test, but ends up on the losing side once again. If he were to focus his efforts entirely on kickboxing, he could be a force in the 55kg division, but for now he looks like he has a long reign as Shooto champion in his future, already holding his title for a year and defending it once.

In the night’s lone RISE vs M-1 fight, Sun Hyun Lee scored a 1st round KO of Buakaw WSR at 2:58. Lee improves to 4-1 in RISE and 5-2 in Japan and has a rematch with RISE 63kg champion and LiverKick #4 ranked Lightweight Yuki at RISE/M-1 Infinity.II on January 6th for the title. Lee defeated Yuki in their first meeting, a non-title affair, but with Yuki’s big win over Javier Hernandez at RISE 90, a win for Lee could vault him into the top 10 of the LiverKick rankings. Buakaw takes his first loss at this weight in Japan and is winless in his last 3, though he has faced good competition, even moving up in weight to face T-98.

In a fight for the vacant WPMF World Lightweight title, WPMF Japan and WBC Japan champion Yosuke Mizouchi defeated Nong’an Sasiprapa by 2nd round KO to claim the title. Since an up and down start to his career, Mizuochi has emerged as one of the top Lightweights in Japan over the last 2 years, going 10-1 with wins over Yoshinori Nakasuka, Keiji Ozaki, Ikki, Keijiro Miyakoshi and now Nong’an, claiming the WPMF Japan, WBC Japan and now WPMF World Lightweight titles. This fight could set up a title defense against another top ranked Thai, but the last two fighters to hold this belt had it taken from them before being able to defend it, so who knows if Mizuochi will be able to do anything with it.

In the night’s other WPMF World title fight, Erika Kamimura reclaimed the WPMF Women’s World Mini Flyweight title with a 3rd round KO of Loma Lookboonmee. Kamimura reclaims the belt that she gave up without defending and showed the power she is famous for in doing so. A rematch with RENA set for some time in the future will be crucial for her, as a loss would mean dropping to 0-2 against her rival and possibly fighting in the shadow of RENA until she got another chance at redemption.

Analysis and results of Shimizu vs Sirimongkon, Kaew Fairtex vs Taniguchi, Chang Hyun Lee vs Nagashima and Takahashi vs Itsuka, as well as quick results after the break

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NJKF Kick to the Future 9 Results: Kenta Defends, Daichi Yamato Claims Vacant Super FW Title

Earlier today, NJKF held the 9th installment of its Kick to the Future series and it was, on paper, one of their best cards to date, featuring two title fights, three NEW JAPAN WARS 2012 finals and two of the promotion's champions in non-title action against Thai opponents.

In the main event, NJKF Super Welterweight champion Kenta defended his title for the first time against NEW JAPAN WARS Super Welterweight winner Takenaka Shirakami via unanimous decision on scores of 50-47 and 49-48(x2). Kenta picks up a much-needed win after 3 losses this year to Yasuhiro Kido, TOMOYUKI and Soichiro Miyakoshi. Going forward, we can probably expect to see Kenta back in Krush, possibly attempting to earn his way back to the title. Another possible option would be claiming the final position in the 67kg tournament as he isn't the biggest 70kg fighter. Shirakami had a 2-fight winning streak coming into this fight, but has that snapped.

In the co-main event, Daichi Yamato defeated KEI by 5th round KO to win the NEW JAPAN WARS Super Featherweight tournament and claim the vacant NJKF Super Featherweight title. Yamato has now won 5 in a row and 11 of his last 12, establishing himself as the top Super Featherweight in NJKF and possibly opening up some chances for himself in RISE or Krush at 60kg, should he want to fight under that ruleset. If not, he could make a run at the WPMF or WBC Japan titles currently held by SHIGERU and Yoshinori Nakasuka, respectively. KEI was just 1-1 on the year, defeating Nobuhiro Iwai at Kick to the Future 3, but losing his most recent fight.

In the NEW JAPAN WARS Welterweight finals, WBC Japan Super Welterweight champ Soichiro Miyakoshi defeated Tae-yeon by majority decision to earn a rematch with current NJKF Welterweight champion Yuya Yamato. Since losing their first fight and his WBC Japan Welterweight title to Yamato, Miyakoshi is 4-1 earning the WBC Japan Super Welterweight title and defending it once, handing Masato Otake his first loss and now earning a rematch with Yamato. Miyakoshi seems to be fighting much better since their first fight while Yamato has since had his world rocked by Yuta Kubo. The fight will be a tossup. Tae-yeon made it to the finals with a win over Baku Saenchaigym, but came up short here.

In the last NEW JAPAN WARS final at Super Lightweight, Kazushige Sugama scored a 1st round KO of Marimo to earn a shot at current champ Seiji Takahashi. This fight was a rematch of a 2011 fight which ended with Marimo scoring a TKO of his own. Sugama picks up his second straight win via KO and has some momentum heading into his title fight with Takahashi, which he will certainly need. 

NJKF Super Lightweight champ Seiji Takahashi and Lightweight champ Keijiro Miyakoshi both took on Thai opposition, with different outcomes. Takahashi was scheduled to fight Naoki, but he pulled out and was replaced by Dejpanom Senchaigym, who Takahashi stopped via cut in the 3rd round. Takahashi improves to 3-1 on the year and has a date with Sugama set for the future. In the other Japan vs Thailand fight, Keijiro Miyakoshi took another hit to his bubble as he dropped a split decision to Mongkoldet Sithubon on scores of 30-29, 29-28 and 29-30. After winning the NJKF and WBC Japan Lightweight titles to end 2011, Miyakoshi fought fellow prospect Hikaru Machida to a draw before scoring the biggest win of his career, a majority decision over Koya Urabe. Now he has lost 2 in a row, losing his WBC Japan title to Yosuke Mizuochi and dropping the split decision here. He'll need some big wins in the future to climb back into the picture at 60-63kg. 

Finally, in a NEW JAPAN WARS Flyweight semifinal, prospect Nemo picked up another big win with a unanimous decision win over former WBC Japan Flyweight champion Naoki Otsuki. Nemo is now 6-0-2 (2 KO) in his young career, but has two big wins at 51kg over Shuichi Wentz and Otsuki. While both of those fighters had been struggling of late at Flyweight and had fallen from the top of the division, they are still two good, experienced fighters and being able to put together back to back wins against them is very impressive at this stage in his career. It's impossible to know who he will fight for the vacant NJKF Flyweight title as these were the only two fighters ranked by NJKF at Flyweight, but matchups with top Flyweights Ryuji Kato, Kiminori Matsuzaki, Hiroyuki Yamano and Sazanami Satsutama are all possible and should do well in determining if Nemo is a fringe contender or the real deal.

Quick results after the break

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