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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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Krush-EX 2012 vol.6 Results

Krush held the 6th installment of their 2012 Krush-EX series, headlined by the promotion’s inaugural 67kg fight as well as a fight between 63kg prospects Hiroto Yamaguchi and Atsushi Ogata.

In the main event, Makihira Keita earned a unanimous decision over RISE product Koetsu on scores of 30-28 and 30-29(x2) to win the first 67kg Krush fight. Keita is now 2-1-1 on the year, most recently losing to Masaaki Noiri. With the win, Keita will likely get placed into 67kg tournament that is set to start in January, however that’s not the best news for him as the tournament already boasts stars Yuta Kubo, Yuji Nashiro, Yuya Yamamoto and Shintaro Matsukura.

In the co-main event, DEEP*KICK 65kg champ and 2012 Youth GP semifinalist Hiroto Yamaguchi scored a 1st round KO of Atsushi Ogata, scoring 3 knockdowns and forcing a referee stoppage. Yamaguchi improves to 5-2 on the year with the losses coming to SHIGERU and Koya Urabe, while he has managed to pick up wins over fellow prospects Minoru Kimura, Taito and now Ogata. Since scoring an upset KO of Toshiki Taniyama back in July, Ogata has now lost two in a row by KO, most recently losing to Seiji Takahashi in September.

Also on this card was Hiroya’s younger brother Taiga making his pro debut and scoring a 3rd round KO of Ryota. The fight took place at 55kg, but Taiga is only 16, so expect him to continue to move up in weight as he grows. He will probably settle around 60-63kg in a couple years, so hopefully he has the same offensive talent as his brother and can be another addition to a stacked, young Lightweight division.

Krush returns on December 14th with the big Team Dragon 10th anniversary card featuring a 60kg title fight between Hirotaka Urabe and Naoki Ishikawa, Koya Urabe vs Karim Bennoui and Ryuji Kajiwara vs Ikki.

Quick results after the break

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Krush.24 Results: Noiri Tops Ozkul, Urabe and Matsukura Win Youth GPs

Krush.24 took place earlier today at Korakuen Hall in Tokyo featuring LiverKick #1 ranked Lightweight Masaaki Noiri taking on #5 Yetkin Ozkul. Also on the card were the 63kg and 70kg Youth GP finals and a 70kg #1 contender match.

In the main event, Masaaki Noiri solidified his #1 ranking with a unanimous decision win over Yetkin Ozkul on scores of 30-28 and 29-27(x2). After an even first 2 rounds, Noiri dropped Ozkul with a flying knee in the final round, securing a victory. Noiri (14-3-0, 5 KO) is now 8-1 in his last 9 and adds another top-tier Lightweight to his win column in Ozkul, who joins the Urabe brothers, Ryuji Kajiwara, Hiroya and Cedric Peynaud. This is a huge win for Noiri as it is his third fight against European competition and the first in which he was not knocked down, although the knockdown against Peynaud was unofficial, which is surprising as Ozkul is known as a power puncher. He is set to face this year's Youth GP winner Koya Urabe, a rematch of the Youth GP finals last year, and another win could easily put Noiri in line for a title shot against the winner of Thomas Adamandopoulos vs Hideaki Yamazaki. Ozkul was coming into this fight off of the momentum of his huge win over Krush 63kg champ Thomas Adamandopoulos in May, but has his momentum a bit derailed here. The loss is no shame, as both fighters excelled at each other's weaknesses and it was Ozkul whose defenses cracked first, leading to the knockdown. A good matchup for him would be a fight with the winner of Karim Bennoui vs Thomas Adamandopoulos at Nuit Des Champions later this month.

In the co-main event, Koya Urabe won the first tournament of his career with a 3rd round KO of Hisaki Higashimoto via flying knee to win the Krush 63kg Youth GP. Urabe dominated Higashimoto with his superior boxing, punishing his body before scoring a flying knee about 30 seconds into the final round that put Higashimoto out for good. Urabe (24-4-0, 4 KO) has struggled in the past to find the perfect balance between aggression and defense, but seemed to have found it quite well here, taking advantage of his opponent's inexperience. The win should be a big motivational boost for Urabe, who made it to the finals of three tournaments last year (Krush, K-1 and Krush Youth), but losing in each one. His next fight is a rematch of last year's Youth GP finals against last year's champion Masaaki Noiri, who added Urabe to his highlight reel with a flying knee KO. Urabe will need to sure up his defense to have a hope at winning. Higashimoto (2-1-0, 1 KO) surprised everyone by making it this far, upsetting Hiroya in the quarterfinals by KO and edging out Daizo Sasaki in the semis. As most would have figured, Higashimoto struggled with Urabe's boxing, as he comes from a kyokushin background and is not used to boxing at Urabe's level. With just 3 fights under his belt, Higashimoto shows a lot of promise and could benefit from fighting someone with the experience, but not the skill, of Urabe next, possibly someone like Kizaemon Saiga, Ikki or Keiji Ozaki.

In the 70kg Youth GP final, Shintaro Matsukura and Taisei Kondo proved to be even through 3 rounds, but Matsukura came on strong in the extension round, scoring big hooks and dropping Kondo 3 times, resulting in a stoppage. With the win Matsukura (7-5-0, 5 KO) becomes the first Krush 70kg Youth GP champion and joins Noiri in winning both the Krush and K-1 Youth tournaments at their respective weights. It's a very positive sign for Matsukura that he came on strong in the extension round as there were previously questions about his stamina, as he fights in an all-or-nothing style, but he seems to have saved that strategy for the later portions of fights he's losing. A good next fight for Matsukura would be a rematch with Yutaro Yamauchi, as the two put on an excellent fight in the Krush 70kg tournament semis. Kondo's only losses have come against Matsukura and at 19, he has a bright future ahead of him. 

Finally, in a fight to determine 70kg champ Yasuhiro Kido's next challenger, Takuro Moriya took an extension round split decision over Asami Zaurus, earning his second win over Asami this year. Moriya ended 2011 with a pair of losses to Su Hwan Lee and Yu Hirono, but is now 4-0 in 2012 with a pair of wins over Asami. Asami was placed into this bout after an upset of Yuya Yamamoto at Krush.20, but is an average fighter outside of that win. Moriya faces Kido at some time in the future, although with Kido's upcoming participation in K-1, it's hard to know when Kido will be ready for a fight in Krush with the possibility of injuries.

Krush returns later this month on the 23rd with Krush-EX 2012 vol.6 featuring the promotion's first 67kg fight between Makihira Keita and RISE regular Kotetsu, as well as a 63kg fight between 2012 Youth GP semifinalist Hiroto Yamaguchi and Atsushi Ogata. 

Quick results after the break

 

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