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Koya Urabe, Masaaki Noiri Announced for Krush Supernova Tournament

Krush has revealed the first 8 participants of the Krush -63kg Under-22 Supernova Tournament and while it may not have all of the big names that we expected, it does contain two of the best fighters that could participate in the tournament. K-1 -63kg 2011 Japan Tournament Runner-up Koya Urabe and K-1 Koshien 2009 Champion Masaaki Noiri were announced as participants and, among the 8 that have been announced, are by far the favorites in the field. Urabe has already made it to the finals of two tournaments this year, losing to Ryuji Kajiwara in the finals of the Krush tournament and to Yuta Kubo in the finals of the K-1 tournament. He just picked up a decision win over Marimo at Krush.11, as well. Noiri made it to the semifinals of his two tournaments, losing to "Kyoken" Yuji Takeuchi in the Krush tournament and Yuta Kubo in K-1.

Also announced for the tournament are:

J-Network Flyweight Champion and K-1 Koshien vet Tsukasa Fuji. An interesting choice considering he fights at 53kg, but he holds a win over Ryuya Kusakabe. Also interesting because it means Ryuya Kusakabe and Shota Takiya may compete as well.

K-1 Koshien vet and member of Team Dragon Daizo Sasaki. He went 1-3 in Koshien with losses to Ryuya Kusakabe and Ryuma Tobe.

K-1 Koshien 2010 Final 8 Sho Ogawa. Ogawa won a pair of decisions before losing to eventual finalist Hiroki Akimoto by extension round decision.

Tang Tang Fight Club's Fumiya Osawa.

RISE #6 Ranked Super Lightweight Shimpei Keita.

K-1 Koshien vet Kengo Sonoda. He went 0-2 in Koshien, losing to HIROYA and Katsuki Ishida.

The final 8 participants should be announced soon. {jcomments on}

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Tetsuya Yamato, Erika Kamimura Have October Fights Announced

A WBC Muay Thai Japan event has been announced for October 2nd at Korakuen Hall and will be headlined by a super fight between K-1 MAX -63kg 2010 Champion Tetsuya Yamato and WBC Muay Thai World Featherweight Champion and Rajadamnern Stadium Super Featherweight Champion Jomthong Chuwattana. Yamato is coming off of a TKO victory over Coke Chunhawat at the M-1 Grand Muay Thai Championship event in California a couple weeks ago. He also lost to Koya Urabe in the semifinals of the 2011 K-1 Japan tournament after beating HIROYA in the quarters. Jomthong is undefeated in 2011 and on a 8 fight win streak which includes a defense of his Rajadamnern Stadium title and a pair of wins over Nong-O Sit Or, as well as a TKO win in a boxing match.

In the co-main event, the "Strongest Female High School Student" Erika Kamimura will take on WBC Muay Thai International Mini-Flyweight Champion Denise Mellor. Kamimura was last seen storming through the Shootboxing Girls S-Cup Japan Preliminary Tournament, taking out Kanako Oka and Miyo Yosihda by TKO and Seo Hee Ham in the finals by decision. Mellor won the WBC International title in the UK over Annie Errikson in July. Hopefully Kamimura comes out of the fight with little to no injuries as she has a scheduled fight with RENA at the RISE event on 11/23.

Also announced for the card is an interesting matchup between WBC Japan and NJKF Super Featherweight Champion Rashata and former AJKF and J-Network Featherweight Champion Hiromasa Masuda. Rashata had a great 2010, surprising many with wins over former AJKF Featherweight Champions Hisanori Maeda, Genki Yamamoto and Masahiro Yamamoto, so that could be a bit of foreshadowing for this fight. More recently, he lost to Kanongsuk Weerasakreck by decision. Masuda also lost to Kanongsuk last June and is winless in his last 3 fights, taking a draw at the first It's Showtime Japan event. {jcomments on}

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Rise, It's Showtime Japan Announce September Matchups

In the main event of September 23rd's RISE 83, NJKF Super Flyweight Champion KENJI, brother of Yuta Kubo, will take on #3 ranked Ryuma Tobe in a fight that will have large implications for the RISE Bantamweight title that Nobuchiko Terado has vacated. KENJI made it to the semifinals of the Krush 55kg tournament, but lost to eventual champion Shota Takiya. In his last 10, KENJI has only lost to Takiya and the aforementioned Terado. Tobe is currently on a 2-fight winning streak. Also announced for RISE 83 is a bout between TURBO and Hirotaka Egawa(?).

On September 11th at It's Showtime Japan 3, former It's Showtime -61kg Champion Sergio Wielzen will take on Kanongsuk Weerasakreck in yet another bout that will likely have implications at the It's Showtime title. Wielzen defeated Frenchman Mikael Peynaud for the inaugural It's Showtime 61kg title and defeated Masahiro Yamamoto in his first defense, but lost the title to Karim Bennoui. Kanongsuk has been on a tear as of late, going 8-1 in his last 9 with wins over Hiromasa Masuda, Genki Yamamoto and Rashata while his only loss is to current IS 61kg #1 contender Kan Itabashi. Already announced for the card are matchups between WBC Japan Super Bantamweight Champion Genji Umeno will take on Techakarin Chuwattana(?) while WPMF Japan Featherweight Champion Yosuke Morii will take on kickboxing convert and former WBO Bantamweight Champion Ratanchai Sor Vorapin. {jcomments on}

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Hisanori Maeda to Retire at Fujiwara Festival on August 28th

August 28th will mark the second It's Showtime Japan event, this time a co-promotion with the Fujiwara Festival. However, its biggest impact on the kickboxing world will be Hisanori Maeda's retirement ceremony. Maeda was the 20th AJKF Featherweight Champion and has faced nearly every notable name at 60-63kg in Japan. During his time in AJKF, he faced Naoki Ishikawa, Masahiro Yamamoto, Genki Yamamoto, Hiromasa Masuda, Haruaki Otsuki, Kanongsuk and Ryuji Kajiwara. Though he was unsuccessful against many of them, he managed to go 2-1-1 against Naoki Ishikawa, with their final encounter being a draw for the AJKF Super Featherweight Championship at the last AJKF show.

After AJKF disbanded, he entered the 2009 Krush Lightweight tournament, defeating Fire Harada by knockout in the opening round of the tournament, but losing to Genki Yamamoto in the quarterfinals. He went on to defeat Daisuke Uematsu in a super fight at the finals of the Krush tournament. However, he finished out his career going 1-4 in 2010, losing to TURBĪ¦ and Rashata in that stretch.

Maeda is just one of the many AJKF fighters who has struggled to find success in the post-AJKF Japanese scene and his retirement signifies another step in this changing of the guard in the Japanese scene which has seen many K-1 Koshien fighters find success in both K-1 and Krush. AJKF fighters may have a resurgence in the near future, but Hisanori Maeda will not be one of them.

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