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Heavyweight (Per 4/15)
1. Rico Verhoeven
2. Daniel Ghita
3. Gokhan Saki
4. Tyrone Spong
5. Peter Aerts
6. Errol Zimmerman up
7. Benjamin Adegbuyiup
8. Ismael Londt up
9. Hesdy Gerges up
10. Ben Edwards up

Light HW (per 4/15)
1. Gokhan Saki up
2. Tyrone Spong down
3. Danyo Ilunga
4. Nathan Corbett down
5. Saulo Cavalari

Middleweight (per 4/15)
1. Wayne Barrett
2. Joe Schilling
3. Artem Levin
4. Steven Wakeling
5. Franci Grajs

Welterweight (per 4/15)
1. Nieky Holzken 
2. Joseph Valtellini 
3. Simon Marcus
4. Marc de Bonte
5. Aussie Ouzgni

 

70kg (Per 4/15)
1. Davit Kiriaup
2. Andy Ristiedown
3. Robin van Roosmalendown
4. Giorgio Petrosyandown
5. Murthel Groenhart
6. Buakaw Banchamek
7. Dzhabar Askerov
8. Ky Hollenbeckup
9. Aikprachaup
10. Enriko Kehlup

65kg (per 1/20)
1. Masaaki Noiri
2. Mosab Amraniup
3. Yuta Kubo down
4. Sagetdao
5. Liam Harrison

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Another installment of the A-1 World Combat Cup series took place in Lyon, France on December 7, and while it's a bit late, results have just gotten out recently. The original card was supposed to have top French fighters such as Albert Chey, Karim Bennoui, Fabio Pinca and Mickael Piscitello but none of them ended up fighting. Chey and Bennoui were moved to a later date, Pinca is fighting on December 18 in the Thai Fight Finals and Piscitello got KO'd by Buakaw not too long ago. Nevertheless, the card went on and still had some decent match-ups.

Two of France's top fighters, It's Showtime 73MAX World Champion, Yohan Lidon and Gregory Choplin faced off for Lidon's WBC World Muaythai Middleweight Title. The two had met before, with Choplin taking a decision back in June of 2008. This time, Lidon took the win, taking a doctor stoppage in the fourth round over Choplin. It sounds like Choplin got injured and couldn't continue. Lidon rebounds from his loss to Vladimir Moravcik last month and Choplin has now dropped two in a row, losing to Abdallah Mabel last month.

A few Thais also picked up wins over their French counterparts. Kaopon Lek, the former Lumpinee and Rajadamnern Stadium champ who has been living in Italy for quite some time now, knocked out Crice Boussoukou in the second round. He's been fighting mostly in France and Italy for a long time now, and still going strong at 34 years old. Sittichai Sitsongpeenong, who was originally scheduled to face Fabio Pinca, knocked out Fares Bechar in the fourth round.

Full results below:

Abderahmane Penda def. Aydin Tuncay by decision.

Songniyom def. Boubu Konta by KO in Round 3.

Zinedine Hameur Lain def. Patrick Liedert by decision.

Kaopon Lek def. Crice Boussoukou by KO in Round 2.

Ludovic Millet def. Frederic Berichon by decision.

Berneung def. Mohamed Houmer by TKO (Ref. Stoppage) in Round 2.

Sittichai Sitsongpeenong def. Fares Bechar by KO in Round 2.

Yohan Lidon def. Gregory Choplin by TKO (Doctor Stoppage) in Round 4.

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Krush.14 took place the other days and fight videos have just surfaced on youtube. The fights are the Supernova Tournament semifinals and finals of Masaaki Noiri vs Hiroya 2, Koya Urabe vs Yukimitsu Takahashi and Massaki Noiri vs Koya Urabe as well as the -63kg title fight between defending champ Ryuji Kajiwara and Tetsuya Yamato.

Supernova Tournament Final - Masaaki Noiri vs Koya Urabe

   

-63kg Title Fight - Ryuji Kajiwara vs Tetsuya Yamato

Supernova Tournament Semifinal - Masaaki Noiri vs Hiroya

Supernova Tournament Semifinal - Koya Urabe vs Yukimitsu Takahashi

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The Lumpini fight of the year was recently voted on and the winning fight was chosen to be The-Lek Wor. Sangprapai vs. Khunsuek P.N Gym from August. The-Lek is just 15 and Khunsuek is a veteran well into his 20's. 

 

 

The Rajadamnern fight of the year was also chosen and the winning fight was Kaimukkaw Chuwattana vs. Saeksan Or. Kwanmuang. This is probably the best fight I've seen this year in all of Muay Thai. 

 

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Right after Mirko Cro Cop announcing he'd fight on March 10 in Croatia, I did a bit of digging and found some information on the event. The show will be called "K-1 Final Fight" and it'll be in the Zagreb Arena, a state of the art facility that can hold up to 24 000 people. The name is similar to the "K-1 Final Fight Star Wars" event that was held in Zagreb in 2003. The event will be organized by "Fight Channel," a channel dedicated to combat sports in Croatia and surrounding countries.

It seems as if the event is a K-1 associated event much like the K-1 KOK, ColliZion and other regional K-1 events that are organized by local promotions. These associated events have been used in the past for qualifying tournaments and I wouldn't be surprised if this card had a national tournament for the FIKA format.

There have been a lot of rumors swirling around pertaining to fights on the card, but nothing in confirmed. Mirko Cro Cop is confirmed by himself to be on the card and Dzevad Poturak also said he'll be on the card. Poturak went on record saying that he would be fighting Jerome Le Banner and that Cro Cop would be fighting Errol Zimmerman, but Cro Cop's manager, Orsata Zovka, denied these rumors (translated, from Croatian site index.hr):

"I do not even know how to comment. This is yet another unverified assumptions. These are big names in the K-1 scene and away from the fact that they are not welcome at the K-1 Final Fight. But with them, nothing is agreed and the name Cro Copovog final opponent is still unknown. The same thing is Poturkom, its possible performance and his potential opponent. As soon as we have concrete information, we will convene a press conference and all of the public present. So it works in this business, "says Zovko.

Other rumored match-ups include Daniel Ghita vs. Rico Verhoeven, Erhan Deniz vs. Adnan Redzovic and Mourad Bouzidi vs. Ruslan Karaev. Again, these are just rumors, nothing is official.

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Many fans today know Mirko Cro Cop from his storied MMA career, where he was one of the best strikers in the sport for a long time. Mirko has declined since winning the Pride Open Weight Grand Prix in 2006, and a number of reasons could be cited as to why. He is now out of the UFC for the second time, after dropping three in a row, getting stopped with strikes in all three.

In a recent video interview, Mirko said that he is returning to kickboxing, specifically saying that he'd be fighting on March 10 in Zagreb, Croatia. No opponent is set yet, but a name that's been floating around is Dzevad Poturak. It's tough to imagine Mirko winning in kickboxing after getting knocked out three times in a row in MMA, but he said, "It's much easier to prepare for a K-1 bout...You don't have much grappling and fighting on the mat. It's much easier."

Cro Cop also details the injury to his right arm and how he is rushing back against his doctor's advice. He said that he is essentially right now with one arm and two legs. I don't think it's a good idea for Cro Cop to be rushing back from an injury, especially at this stage in his career. Nevertheless, everytime we think Cro Cop is done, he comes back and fights again, whether he should or shouldn't.

What's also significant about this is that Cro Cop says he will be fighting for K-1. With K-1's FIKA format supposedly staging national tournaments until April, this fits the mold as it's in Croatia. I still wouldn't get 100% behind this as official though. Cro Cop is also talking of K-1 as a sport, and that's common in Europe so he could just be fighting in a kickboxing show using K-1 rules. We don't know yet and we'll just have to wait until K-1/FIKA make their announcement soon.

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Earlier today at Korakuen Hall in Tokyo, Krush held its final event of the year, Krush.14, which was headlined by the semifinals and finals of their first youth tournament, the Under-22 ~Supernova~ Tournament, as well as 63kg champion Ryuji Kajiwara defending his title for the first time against Tetsuya Yamato.

The first semifinal was a rematch from the semifinals of the 2009 K-1 Koshien Tournament between the man who won that tournament, Masaaki Noiri, and the 2008 K-1 Koshien champion Hiroya. Like their first encounter, Noiri came out the aggressor and it paid off for him, as he scored a down in the opening round. Noiri held his lead and cruised through the rest of the bout, where he seems to have used his reach to nullify most of Hiroya's offense. Noiri earned a unanimous decision on scores of 30-28(x2) and 30-27.

In the second semifinal, Krush -63kg Tournament and 2011 K-1 -63kg Japan Tournament runner-up Koya Urabe defeated Yukimitsu Takahashi by a close, but clear decision, winning on scores of 30-28, 30-29 and 29-28. Urabe seems to have used his boxing, as usual, to grab a lead on the scorecards, but was not completely free of Takahashi's assault, as it appears he attacked Urabe's legs quite a bit.

In the finals of the tournament, Masaaki Noiri was able to nullify Urabe's superior boxing and ultimately landed with a flying knee that ended Urabe's night 2:58 into the 1st round. The tournament win is huge for Noiri and makes it his second youth tournament victory along with the 2009 K-1 Koshien tournament. Noiri had been in two other tournaments this year, losing in the semifinals of both. The win over Urabe is the biggest of Noiri's career and though there's no video yet, it appears that he fixed some of his defensive issues. Next for Noiri could be a shot at the winner of the Hirotaka Urabe-Naoki Ishikawa 60kg title fight at Krush.15 in January. For Urabe, it's his 3rd loss in a tournament final this year. In the Krush -63kg Tournament he was likely on his way to a win with the strength of his boxing but fell victim to a down that cost him the fight and in the K-1 -63kg Japan Tournament he got careless in the quarterfinals, failing to check leg kicks, which ultimately caused him to lose to Yuta Kubo in the finals and it seems he could've fallen victim to the same mistake this time. Despite his immense talent, Urabe may find himself without a tournament win for even longer if he fails to fix his defensive flaws. For Hiroya, it is another disappointing result for the former Koshien golden boy who was bounced in the quarterfinals of the K-1 -63kg Japan Tournament, albeit in a fight he arguably won, and now in the semifinals of this tournament.

In the night's other main event, Krush -63kg champion Ryuji Kajiwara successfully defended his title for the first time against 2010 K-1 -63kg Tournament champion Tetsuya Yamato by unanimous decision on scores of 30-27 and 30-28(x2). The first two rounds appear to have been back and forth with both fighters landing on each other, though Kajiwara seems to have gotten the better of it. Kajiwara took over in the 3rd round and was likely on his way to winning the round and the fight before scoring a knockdown with a flying knee in the final minute of the round, securing his victory. The win is a great birthday present for Kajiwara who turned 35 today and was a good challenge for the aging fighter. I don't see him holding onto the Krush title much longer though as Rashata could still be considered the top contender and I feel he would do much better against Kajiwara than Yamato did. The loss for Yamato is a second straight as he lost to Jomthong Chuwattana back in October and further solidifies his position below the elite fighters of the division.

In the tournament reserve bouts, the losers of the quarterfinal bouts faced off and Sho Ogawa defeated Shimpei Keita on scores of 30-29(x2) and 30-28 while Kengo Sonoda defeated Daizo Sasaki on scores of 30-28(x2) and 29-28. Ogawa should find himself on future Krush cards because even though he lost in the quarterfinals, he put up a good fight against Hiroya and was getting the better of him in some exchanges.

In non-tournament action, WPMF Japan #2 ranked Lightweight Yosuke Mizuochi scored a decision win over former NJKF Lightweight champion Ikki on scores of 30-28(x3). I believe this puts Mizuochi at 5-0 on the year and should give him more leverage towards a shot at current WPMF Japan Lightweight champion Arita Tsukahara, who is coming off a huge win over Kanongsuk Weerasakreck.

Quick Results after the break

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