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Japanese Kickboxing Scene: April Preview

After a star-studded March, the Japanese kickboxing scene offers up events from nearly every major promotion with big cards from MA Kick, Shootboxing and NJKF featuring Japan's #1 Flyweight, Bantamweight and Featherweight. 

April 7th: SNKA - Super Kick

In an event that's flying under the radar, Hideki Soga defends his Oriental Super-Featherweight title against a Thai whose name I can't quite figure out. Also on the card is former SNKA Flyweight champion Hiroki Koshikawa taking on Daihachi Furuoka. Both men could desperately use a win as they have struggled as of late. NJKF #2 ranked Super Featherweight Shoya Suzuki looks to pick up a 3rd straight win against Thomas Nakamura.

Shootboxing - Young Caesar Cup Central #6

While this isn't the main Shootboxing card of the month, the main event features Kenji Kanai against Shinichiro Kuroki. It looks as though they're trying to get the struggling Kanai, who has lost 4 in a row and 6 of his last 7, a win against Kuroki, who is just 1-4 in his Shootboxing career.

April 14th: MA Kick - Dragon ~The One and Only~ JMC 10 Year Anniversary Card

The biggest weekend of the month is headlined by an MA Kick card that features my top ranked Featherweight and Bantamweight in Japan. The main event features top ranked Featherweight Hiroki Akimoto beginning his journey towards a Rajadamnern Stadium title against Rajadamnern Stadium 8th ranked Songkhom Sreesuriyanyothin. The co-main event pits top ranked Bantamweight Takashi Ohno against Jomphet Chuwattana, who makes his second trip to Japan after losing by cut against Mutsuki Ebata in his first trip. Also, former MA Kick Welterweight champ Kazuya Takeda fights Bettonkam Or Sithubon

REBELS.15

REBELS holds its second event of the year with 70kg standout Hinata fighting REBELS RAIDERS tournament winner Takuma Konishi for the vacant REBELS 70kg title. At 68kg, WPMF Japan champion T-98 takes on SNKA champion Tsukuru Midorikawa in a battle for Welterweight supremacy. A win for T-98 could set up an anticipated showdown with Yuya Yamato. Former NKB Lightweight champion Yasuyuki looks to stay hot against Yuji Umehara. Former MA Kick Super Featherweight champion Hikaru Machida looks to end a 3-fight skid against Fukashi. In a pair of Welterweight fights, Hideya Tanaka looks to work his way back to a rematch with T-98 against the unheralded Yusuke Fukuda while MA Kick champion Jun Nakazawa takes on Krush and J-Network veteran Yuma Matsui.

M-Fight The Battle of Muay Thai

The main event features WMC Mini Flyweight world champion Little Tiger taking on Italy's Soisci Porchetta. Also expected to participate but still without opponents are Zen Fujita and Kousuman.

RISE ZERO (13.4.13)

The main event of this event pits 2012 RISING ROOKIES Super Featherweight champ Masanobu Goshu against Fumiya Sasaki, who splits time between kickboxing and MMA.

April 20th: Shootboxing 2013 act.2

As of now, there are only three fights scheduled. The main event features Shootboxing star Hiroki Shishido against DREAM Featherweight champion Hiroyuki Takaya. Shishido hasn't fought since losing in the semifinals of last year's S-Cup against Andy Souwer. Since winning his DREAM Title, Takaya has been pretty inactive with a loss in Strikeforce and a pair of title defenses in 2011 and just a single fight on the DREAM.18 NYE card, losing to Georgi Karakhanyan. This will be Takaya's first Shootboxing fight, but he is not completely foreign to stand-up fighting as he has a pair of kickboxing fights back in 2004, both losses to Satoru Kobayashi and Yuya Yamamoto. Shootboxing Super Lightweight champion and 2012 S-Cup participant Hiroaki Suzuki faces MA kick Super Lightweight champion Mohan Dragon. Both fighters like to brawl, and I expect Suzuki's power to overwhelm Mohan Dragon, who disregards defense with wide, looping shots. Shootboxing Super Welterweight champ Satoru Suzuki will defend his title against Yuki Sakamoto. Also expected to compete on the card is 3-time Girls S-Cup champion RENA.

April 21st: Krush IGNITION vol.3

Krush has been lacking with their Ignition series this year, but the main event features 67kg GP participant Hitoshi Tsukagoshi against Kazuki Yamagiwa. The card also has an interesting 55kg matchup between Ryuma Tobe and Namito Izawa.

April 27th: SNKA TITANS NEOS 13

The main event is a Featherweight title match between current champ Masayuki Uchida and Tadashi Kaneko. SNKA Bantamweight champion Rui Ebata faces Thai fighter Denisaw Sowisuto.  SNKA Middleweight champion Makoto Kitamura takes on MA Kick #3 ranked Super Welterweight Masahito Arthur. And at Lightweight, SNKA champ Tatsuya Ishii battles King of Strikers Featherweight champion King Kohei.

April 28th: Muaylok 2013 -1st-

Muaylok's first event of 2013 is headlined by a pair of WPMF Japan title fights. At Super Flyweight, champion Kiminori Matsuzaki looks to end a 3-fight losing streak against up and coming Nagata Haryi. Matsuzaki was soundly beaten by another prospect, Eisaki Ogasawara, in his last outing while Haryi scored an upset over Sazanami Satsutama in his most recent bout. At Flyweight, former MA Kick champion Yuji Uwasawa faces Yasuto Furuta for the vacant WPMF Japan Flyweight title. The title was vacated by Uwasawa's rival, Ryuji Kato, and for some reason Furuta was slotted into this fight despite riding a 3-fight losing streak.

April 29th: NJKF 2013 3rd

New Japan Kickboxing Federation closes out the month with the best card of the month pitting some of their champions and top fighters against the champions and top fighters from other organizations. The main event is a showdown between Japan's top Taekwondo stylists as NJKF Super Lightweight champion Seiji Takahashi takes on the always entertaining Keiji Ozaki. At 62.5kg, Yosuke Mizuochi looks to keep his impressive streak going against Shota Saenchaigym. At 61.5kg, NJKF Lightweight champion Keijiro Miyakoshi takes on recently crowned MA Kick Super Featherweight champion Tadahiro Hashio. At 51.5kg, top ranked Flyweight, WBC Japan and MA Kick champion Ryuji Kato faces rising prospect and recently crowned NJKF Flyweight champion Takashi Saenchaigym, who just derailed fellow prospect Nemo to win his title.  NJKF Super Featherweight champ Daichi Yamato faces J-Network Super Featherweight champ Hiroshi Fire. At 54kg, WBC Japan Bantamweight champion Takuma Ito faces former NJKF Bantamweight champ Hiroki Maeda. NJKF Bantamweight champion Kojiro battles #2 ranked J-Network Bantamweight Kenta. NJKF #1 ranked Super Welterweight Takenaka Shirakami fights MA Kick #2 Super Welterweight Masatoshi Abe. NJKF #2 Super Lightweight Marimo faces MA Kick #5 Lightweight Satoru Hashimoto. Finally, former NJKF Super Bantamweight champion Arato moves up to Featherweight to fight #1 Featherweight Ayumu Sasara with a shot at champion Heihachi Nakajima possibly on the line. 

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SuperKombat WGP This Saturday, April 6

SK

Kickboxing season has officially become busy as this coming weekend we have the Glory World Series in Istanbul event as well as SuperKombat's World Grand Prix season opener. SuperKombat is running their third season of WGP events, with them being some of the better events of last year, by far. This year promises to provide more of the same action and you'll be able to purchase the live PPV through us (details forthcoming) on Saturday. The event starts at 9PM CET/3PM EST.

For the full card, check it out here.

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Krush Announces 4-Man Tournament for ISKA Lightweight Title

Earlier today, Krush held a press conference to announce some upcoming fights for Krush.28 on May 12th and Krush.29 on June 16th and they did not fail to deliver some big fights.

The biggest announcement was that Krush.29 would be hosting a one night, 4-man tournament to crown the next ISKA World Lightweight Champion. One semifinal sees the rubber match between Koya Urabe and Fumiya Osawa while the other pits top 60kg fighter Naoki Ishikawa against France's Gagny Baradji. Urabe and Osawa fought at Krush.27 with Osawa winning by disqualification. After dropping Urabe as he came in for a flying knee, a clearly dazed Urabe dropped Osawa with a left hook after a clinch, resulting in Osawa being unable to continue and winning via disqualification. Their first fight ended with Urabe winning via flying knee. Despite what transpired in the opening minutes of their most recent encounter, Urabe has to be a big favorite. Osawa has proven that he's better than his record, but his defense isn't the sharpest and someone with the offensive arsenal of Urabe should have no trouble putting him away, provided he doesn't leave himself open to a big shot like he did previously. The second semifinal is extremely hard to pick due to Baradji's lack of fights against top competition. Ishikawa has been on a tear lately, with a 4-0-2 record dating back to 2011, with the two draws coming in Krush title fights against Hirotaka Urabe. He did struggle in his most recent outing, needing an extension round to beat Junpei Aotsu, but there is little doubt that he is one of the best 60kg fighters in Japan. Baradji's lone Krush appearance saw him knock out recently crowned 63kg champion Hideaki Yamazaki, despite being knocked down in the first round himself. Both have shown defensive vulnerability, but I think it will be Baradji's power that wins out. I'd say Urabe is a safe pick to win it all, but each man has a good shot to win this tournament and I expect all three fights to produce fireworks regardless of who wins.

The other fight announcements were all fights for Krush.28, which will be headlined by the 58kg Tournament finals between Nobuchika Terado and Takeru. Former 63kg champion Ryuji Kajiwara had an intense staredown with previously announced opponent and rising star Minoru Kimura. Kajiwara is just 1-2 in his last 3 fights, losing his title to Thomas Adamandopoulos and dropping his opening round fight to Yukihiro Komiya in the Road to GLORY Japan 65kg Slam. Kimura has won three in a row after being handed his first two professional losses in back to back fights. Kimura definitely has the power to hang with Kajiwara, but he's hit the canvas pretty frequently as of late, both in victory and defeat, and I think Kajiwara's counter punching will be Kimura's downfall.

Krush 60kg champ Hirotaka Urabe will make an apperance at the event, taking on his 5th foreign opponent since the beginning of his title reign in Antonio Campagna. Urabe is on as an impressive a streak as anyone, with a 12-0-2 run dating back to 2010. He has struggled in his last 3 bouts, taking a slightly controversial stoppage win over Xavier Bastard, drawing Naoki Ishikawa for a second time in a fight of the year contender and needing another extension round cut stoppage to beat rising star SHIGERU. Campagna is the older brother of GLORY 70kg fighter Alessandro Campagna and is currently the WAKO Italy champion. I don't know much about him, but I would be surprised if he was the person to put an end to Urabe's streak.

At 67kg, 2013 Grand Prix participants Yuya Yamamoto and TaCa are set to square off in what is sure to be a brawl. Yamamoto impressed many by making it to the semifinals of the 67kg GP and giving Abdellah Ezbiri one hell of a fight after his career had basically bottomed out with three straight losses. TaCa was stopped by tournament favorite Yuta Kubo in the quarterfinals, bout bounced back with a knockout of Kazuki Hamasaki in the reserve fight of the Road to GLORY Japan 65kg tournament. The last fight announced was a 70kg matchup between Shintaro Matsukura and Yoichi Yamazaki. Matsukura has had mixed success throughout his pro career, but the young fighter has shown he can hang with some of the top Middleweights in Japan, with a win over Yuya Yamamoto and close losses to Yutaro Yamauchi and TOMOYUKI. While he won his opening fight in the 67kg tournament, he was outclassed in the semifinals by Yuta Kubo. Yamazaki has quietly been riding a 7-fight unbeaten streak with wins over Masakazu Watanabe, Shingo Garyu and Hareruya. A win over Matsukura is just what he needs to gain some recognition. 

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Enfusion Live London: Live Results

Enfusion Live holds their third show of the year today in London, England and we'll have you covered with live results as they happen. The main event features Michael Wakeling taking on Pajonsuk Super Pro Samui. As well, Andrew Tate fights Marino Schouten and the Enfusion women's 54kg title is on the line between Iman Barlow and Alexis Rufus.

Live updates of the event will be provided on Twitter at @rianscalia. The event starts at 4PM ET/1PM PT in North America and will be live on The Fight Network in Canada. Full fight card here.

Thanks to Knockoutpics for the photo. Check out the full photo album of the weigh-ins on Facebook.

Kaeng Super Pro Samui def. James Snelling by majority decision.

Amanda Kelly def. Fatima Adib by unanimous decision.

Andrew Tate def. Marino Schouten by unanimous decision.

Mirkko Moisar def. Jason Woodham by KO (Liver Shot) in Round 2.

Iman Barlow def. Alexis Rufus by unanimous decision.

Michael Wakeling def. Pajonsuk Super Pro Samui by unanimous decision in an extra round.

 

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