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M-1 Muay Thai/It's Showtime Japan 5 Results: Umeno, Tsukahara, TOMA Claim Titles, Saenchi Wins

Earlier today at Differ Ariake in Tokyo, M-1 held its second co-promotion with It's Showtime Japan headlined by two WPMF World Title fights, a WPMF Japan title fight, a WPMF Japan #1 contender's bout and a fight with Saenchai Sinbimuaythai.

In the night's main event, rising star Genji Umeno captured his 8th straight win with a 1st round KO via elbow at 2:39 into the round over Dekkamon HimaraiGym to net him the WPMF World Super Featherweight title. This moves the 22 year old's record to 18-1(9 KO) and may move him up further in the Lumpinee Stadium rankings, where he currently sits ninth. Up next for Umeno is an exciting showdown with WPMF Japan Featherweight champion Yosuke Morii on December 22nd. Should he get past Morii, I would assume he would begin to focus on capturing a Lumpinee Stadium title, which he may be able to do being in a relatively weak division.

In the co-main event, WPMF Japan Lightweight champion Arita Tsukahara upset WPMF World Lightweight champion Kanongsuk Weerasakreck with a 4th round TKO at 2:26 into the round to capture the WPMF World Lightweight title. This is a surprising result as Kanongsuk had been on an absolute tear lately, going 8-1 in his last 9 with wins over Rashata, Genki Yamamoto, Hiromasa Masuda and Satoshi Endo with his only loss to Kan Itabashi. Tsukahara was coming off of a loss to Masahiro Yamamoto back in August. Both fighters' futures are unknown at the moment, but both could find themselves fighting at the December 22nd Fujiwara Festival event.

In the night's last title bout, WPMF Japan Super Flyweight champion TO-MA picked up the vacant WPMF Japan Bantamweight title with a unanimous decision win over the previously undefeated Takuma Ito on scores of 50-47(x2) and 50-46. The title belonged to Ichinohe Sota, though I'm not sure why he vacated it as his only fight since winning it back in April was a draw against Takuma Ito. Regardless, TO-MA has a few options going forward, as he could face Sota, Arashi Fujiwara in a rematch or recently crowned WBC Japan champions Ryuji Kato or Ryuya Kusakabe. For Ito it's back to the drawing board as he has 21 year old has recorded his only two blemishes on his record in the past 6 months. A matchup with recent WBC Japan title challengers Kojiro or Shuichi Uentsu would be a good test for Ito.

In the main non-title fight, renowned Thai fighter Saenchai Sinbimuaythai took longer than most would have expected to dispose of J-Network Super Lightweight champion Shunsuke Oishi, with Saenchai finishing him off at 1:35 into the 4th round. I do not know how the fight went, but the result isn't too bad for Oishi who could have a future in K-1. For Saenchai it's a 5th straight win and puts him at 17-2 since the start of 2010.

Finally, in a #1 contender's bout for the WPMF Japan Featherweight title, 5th ranked Yuji Umehara upset 2nd ranked Hiroki Nagashima with a 1st round TKO as a result of a cut. Umehara is now set to face current champion Yosuke Morii, however with Morii set to face Umeno on December 22nd and the way this fight ended, there could be a rematch between the two. {jcomments on}

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Krush.13 Results: Krush Sweeps Europe 3-0

Earlier today at Korakuen Hall in Tokyo, Krush held Krush.13, an event headlined by three Krush vs Europe fights.

In the night's main event, K-1 -63kg 2011 Japan Tournament champion Yuta Kubo defeated France's Tristan Benard by knockout, 52 seconds into the 3rd round. Kubo seems to have controlled the fight completely, on his way to a decision victory before putting the Frenchman away. The win is a 7th straight for Kubo and his 12th win in his past 13 fights, with his sole loss coming in the finals of the K-1 -63kg 2010 Tournament to Tetsuya Yamato. Kubo was guaranteed a spot in a possible -63kg World Tournament, but with K-1's sale and transition into the current FIKA, Kubo's future is unknown. It is likely that he will be seeded into the round of 32, though as one of the hottest fighters in the division at the moment, he may not have much trouble fighting his way through another qualifying tournament.

In the second Krush vs Europe fight and what may have been the closest, Krush 60kg champion Hirotaka Urabe was taken the distance by Mike's Gym product Maik Redan, but Urabe came out on top on scores of 30-28(x2) and 30-27. Urabe was able to win a clear decision, but not without resistance from the young fighter. At just 17, Redan looks to have a bright future training out of Mike's Gym, but the challenge of the Krush champion was too much for him this early in his career. For Urabe, it's a 6th straight win and it is likely that he will defend his title soon. Good options for defenses are RISE champion Kosuke Komiyama, whose challenge was dismissed by Urabe, or the winner of the Krush Supernova tournament semifinal match between Masaaki Noiri and HIROYA.

In the final Krush vs Europe fight, Krush 55kg champion Shota Takiya overwhelmed the UK's Damien Trainor en route to a 3rd round stoppage, 53 seconds into the round as a result of a flying knee. It's a 7th straight for Takiya who is a real force at 55kg. A third fight with Ryuya Kusakabe for the Krush title would be a great rubber match and would be a great addition to any Krush card.

Also on the card, Team Dragon prospect Hideaki Yamazaki picked up his 4th straight win with a first round knockout of Hayato Hatakeyama, while Krush regular NOMAN picked up a 2nd round KO and MMA fighter Daisuke Endo continued his kickboxing career with a draw. {jcomments on}

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Shoot the Shooto/Shooto the Shoot Results: Souwer Gets Revenge, "Lion" and Bovy Score Upsets

Over the last 2 days, Shooto and Shootboxing held their two co-promotional events, with a rematch between Andy Souwer and Toby Imada, as well as Shootboxing vs MMA fights between Hiroki Shishido and "Lion" Takeshi Inoue, as well as Hiroaki Suzuki and "Wicky" Akiyo Nishiura headlining the Shootboxing card, with a Flyweight title fight between reigning champion Junji Ikoma and Mikihito Yamagami headlining the MMA card.

In the main event of today's Shootboxing card, 2-time K-1 MAX champion and 3-time S-Cup champion Andy Souwer avenged a massive upset loss to MMA fighter Toby Imada from last year's S-Cup semifinals by unanimous decision on scores of 30-24 and 30-25(x2). I believe Souwer was able to score downs in rounds 1 and 2 while Imada was unable to score any throws on Souwer, which was the key to Imada's victory last November. The win is nice for Souwer who recently fell in the semifinals of the It's Showtime Fast and Furious tournament to Artur Kyshenko. Souwer doesn't currently have any fights set, though he could be an option for Dream's New Year's Eve event. For Imada, a rematch with Hiroki Shishido or an MMA fight in Bellator are options.

In the co-main event, former Shooto Lightweight champ "Lion" Takeshi Inoue scored an upset over Shootboxing star Hiroki Shishido by close majority decision on scores of 30-29(x2) and 29-29. Inoue scored a shoot point in the third round which ended up being the deciding factor. The win is Inoue's 4th straight as he was on a 3-fight win streak in MMA with consecutive TKO wins over Taiki Tsuchiya, Koichiro Matsumoto and Caol Uno. Up next for Inoue could be a fight with Tatsuya Kawajiri should Kawajiri not get an immediate shot at Hiroyuki Takaya or a possible rematch with Kazayuki Miyata. The loss is Shishido's second straight as he lost to Toby Imada back in June. Shishido has been a bit shaky as of late, going 4-5 in his last 9 fights and with back to back losses to MMA fighters, Shishido could see his relevancy, in terms of competition, be diminished, although as one of Shootboxing's biggest draws, he could continue to face top-level fighters.

The other major MMA vs Shootboxing fight that took place on the card was #1 ranked Shootboxing Super Featherweight Hiroaki Suzuki defeating Shooto and Dream veteran "Wicky" Akiyo Nishiura by unanimous decision on scores of 30-27(x3). Nishiura's unorthodox striking was not enough to overcome Suzuki, who is now on a 3-fight win streak and now has wins over 4 MMA fighters in his Shootboxing career. Suzuki's next fight could be a rubber match with Tomohiro Oikawa for the Shootboxing Super Featherweight title. The loss moves Nishiura to winless in his last 4 fights with losses to Caol Uno and Mitsuhiro Ishida in MMA and a draw to Tetsuya Yamato in K-1.

In the night's biggest upset, Shootboxing convert Bovy Sor Udomson took a clear cut decision win over It's Showtime and K-1 fighter Gago Drago on scores of 29-28 and 30-28(x2). Udomson is now on a 2-fight win streak after losing 4 straight, although he did not look very good in his last fight with Toby Imada. For Drago, it's a sixth straight loss in a career that has been characterized by extreme inconsistency. He has a fight with Hinata on January 28th at the big It's Showtime event.

Swiss-born Japanese transplant Christophe Pruvost managed to pick up a decision win over former boxer turned kickboxer Satoru Suzuki, Team Souwer's Henri Van Opstal picked up a win over Pride and UFC vet Akihiro Gono, MINA picked up a win over Emi Fujino and Rena's younger sister MIO picked up another win in Shootboxing.

In the Shooto portion of the event on Saturday, Shooto legend Rumina Sato was knocked out in the first round by Team Souwer's Nico Verresen. For Sato, it's a bit of a disappointment as this was only Verresen's second MMA fight.

In Shootboxing action, Kazuyuki Fushimi defeated Shooto fighter Junji Ito by decision and Shootboxing Japan Featherweight champion Naguranchun Masa M16 defeated Shooto fighter Fumihiro Kitahara by 1st round KO.{jcomments on}

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It's Showtime Japan/REBELS.9 Results: Masahiro Yamamoto Earns It's Showtime 61kg Title Shot

Earlier today at Differ Ariake, It's Showtime Japan and REBELS copromoted their second event together, It's Showtime Japan 4 and REBELS.9, headlined by an It's Showtime 61kg MAX #1 contender's bout.

In the main event, former AJKF Featherweight champion and 2009 Krush Lightweight GP winner Masahiro Yamamoto defeated former RISE 60kg champion Kan Itabashi for a second time on the strength of a 3rd round flying knee knockdown by unanimous decision on scores of 30-27(x3), 30-28 and 29-28. The win puts Yamamoto back on a 2-fight win streak and makes him the #1 contender for the It's Showtime 61kg championship, currently held by Javier Hernandez. The last time the two met Yamamoto was on a 5 fight win streak, including his Krush tournament win, winning 10 of his last 11 fights while Itabashi was riding an 8 fight win streak including back to back title defenses of his RISE belt over TURBĪ¦ and Keiji Ozaki. Yamamoto won that fight by unanimous decision, but went on a 4-fight winless streak immediately after before defeating Arita Tsukahara to earn the right to face Itabashi. Itabashi won his place in this fight by defeating Genki Yamamoto at the first It's Showtime Japan event in what turned out to be Genki's last fight. This win restores a lot of momentum for the 28 year old Masahiro Yamamoto that had been lost over the past year and a half. His matchup with Hernandez should be an extremely entertaining fight. Hernandez is set to take on former 61kg champion Sergio Wielzen, who defeated Yamamoto, in a non-title fight in Spain at It's Showtime 53 on November 12th.

In the co-main event, Hinata was able to defeat South Korean fighter Baek Min-Cheol via a body kick KO at 1:01 into the first round. For Hinata, it is a bounce back from his one-sided loss to 70kg kingpin Giorgio Petrosyan as well as a tune up for his fight at the big It's Showtime January 28th show against Gago Drago.

WPMF Japan Welteweight champion Daiki Watabe picked up a much needed win with a unanimous decision over former J-Network Super Lightweight champion Tomo Kiire on scores of 29-27(x2), 29-28 and 29-26(x2). Watabe was riding a two fight losing streak with a loss to Chi Bin Lim in RISE as well as a loss to T-98 at the first It's Showtime Japan event. Up next for Watabe could be a defense of his WPMF title against newly crowned J-Network Welterweight champ Masato Otake who is looking to be one of the hottest prospects in Japan at the moment.

In REBELS action, WPMF Japan Featherweight champion Yosuke Morii picked up a 3rd round KO win over a Lumpinee ranker. If Morii continues winning and Genji Umeno wins his next fight for the WPMF World title, the two could meet each other with the WPMF Japan and World titles on the line as well as a spot in the Lumpinee Stadium feathweight rankings. {jcomments on}

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