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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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REBELS.13 Results: van Opstal Wins, Completes S-Cup Field


Earlier today, REBELS held a two-part event, REBELS.13 and the first installment of REBELS Muay Thai, in which all fights are full contact. The headliner was an S-Cup playoff to determine the last participant between Henri van Opstal and Yuichiro Nagashima, as well as a REBELS 65kg title fight.

In the night's main event, Henri van Opstal improved to 5-0 against Japanese opposition with a unanimous decision of Yuichiro "Jienotsu" Nagashima on scores of 29-28 and 30-29(x2). Nagashima was surprisingly close in this fight considering how bad he looked against Kenmun in K-1 last year. van Opstal (19-3-0) is on a 3-fight winning streak and with this win, puts himself in his 2nd straight S-Cup. With a relatively week field, van Opstal could easily find himself making it to the finals and possibly facing off against fellow teammate and mentor Andy Souwer. Nagashima (19-5-0, 13 KO) takes just his 2nd kickboxing fight in as many years, focusing on pro wrestling with K-1's recent sale. He looks to have been much improved from his fight last year, but still wasn't good enough to beat van Opstal. He is set to fight at Glory 4 Tokyo on December 2nd.

In a rematch from REBELS.12, Zen Fujita won a unanimous decision over MA Kick Super Lightweight champion Mohan Dragon on scores of 30-28 and 29-28(x2) to win the inaugural REBELS 65kg title. The two fought in July to a 5 round draw for what was then the It's Showtime Japan 65kg title, before Glory's acquisition of It's Showtime. I would have expected the 3 round fight to favor Mohan Dragon, who throws almost every strike with full power, but Fujita was able to take the decision in the shorter fight. Fujita improves to 2-1-1 on the year, while Mohan Dragon tastes defeat for the first time. I would definitely like to see both of these guys in Krush's planned 67kg tournament.

At 85kg, It's Showtime Japan 95kg champ Toshio Matsumoto won a majority decision over Hidekazu Kimura on scores of 29-29, 29-28 and 30-29. Matsumoto (38-9-6, 30 KO) has now won 9 in a row since dropping down from Heavyweight and is set to fight at Glory 4 Tokyo on December 2nd. Kimura falls to 1-2 on the year, losing to recently crowned RISE Heavyweight champ Kengo Shimizu at RISE 87.

At 70kg, Hinata took another easy win, this time a 2nd round KO of Norihisa Amimoto. Hinata (24-13-1, 8 KO) is 3-3 this year, with losses to Andy Ristie, Henri van Opstal and Warren Stevelmans and wins over an undersized Zen Fujita, Kang Jung-woo and now Amimoto. While Hinata has the talent to hang with top guys, he has not scored a quality win since his upset of Arthur Kyshenko over 2 years ago.

Also on the REBELS.13 portion of the card was Shootboxing vet Kazuyuki Fushimi possibly earning himself a shot at REBELS 55kg champ Hiroaki Mizuhara with a win over Taisuke Degai. Also, Sho Ogawa had his 4-fight win streak snapped by Tatsuya Inaishi.

The headliner for the REBELS Muay Thai 1 portion of the card saw WPMF Japan Welterweight champ T-98 and former Rajadamnern Stadium ranker Semsan Sor Sompung fight to a majority draw. T-98 had won 7 straight coming into this fight including winning his WPMF Japan title and winning a fight in Thailand. Along with Yuya Yamato, he is one of the top fighters in the 67kg division and although he fights almost entirely under full contact rules, he would be a great addition to the Krush 67kg tournament.

WPMF Japan Super Featherweight champion SHIGERU defended his title for the first time with a unanimous decision over Tomoaki Suehiro on scores of 49-47, 49-48 and 49-46. SHIGERU (8-0-1, 1 KO) remains undefeated, having won 3 in a row since the first blemish on his record, though he avenged that draw with a win over the man who gave it to him, Takahiro Fujimaki, and most recently handed DEEP*KICK 65kg champ Hiroto Yamaguchi his first pro loss. Should he want to fight under Krush rules, SHIGERU definitely deserves a shot in Krush at 58kg or 60kg. 

Quick results after the break

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RISE 90 Results: Yuki Stops Javier Hernandez in 2nd Round

RISE 90 took place earlier today, headlined by LiverKick #3 ranked Lightweight Javier Hernandez taking on RISE 63kg champ Yuki. Also on the card were a bout for the vacant RISE Heavyweight title, the finals of the RISE Featherweight tournament to determine the first RISE Featherweight champion, a 65kg #1 contender bout and RISE regulars Sun Hyun Lee, Shohei Asahari, Dyki and others competing.

In the main event, RISE 63kg champion Yuki scored what could be the biggest win of his career with a 2nd round KO via low kicks of former It’s Showtime 61kg champion Javier Hernandez. Yuki used his best strikes, his hard low kicks, to punish Hernandez’s legs and drop him twice in the 2nd round, leading the referee to stop the fight. Yuki (32-14-1, 24 KO) shakes up an already chaotic 60-63kg division as he stops the man ranked #3 on the LiverKick rankings and many people had favored going into this fight, especially as Yuki  needed a huge comeback to defend his title against Yuto Watanabe and was coming off of a loss to Sun Hyun Lee. After the win, he stated that he wanted to rematch current It’s Showtime 61kg champ Masahiro Yamamoto at the RISE/M-1 Infinity event in December. Yamamoto won their first fight via decision in K-1 in 2009. Hernandez (25-6-0, 11 KO) takes a huge step down here, going from arguably the top fighter in the division to possibly falling out of the top 10 with back to back losses. This was his first fight outside of Europe and I believe only his second outside of Spain, so that may have played in a little bit, but a loss is a loss. He is set to face Michael Peynaud at Heroes IV in Cordoba, Spain on November 17th, though if he went down from low kicks in this fight, he may not be so eager to take a fight so soon.

In the co-main event, #1 ranked Heavyweight Kengo Shimizu and #2 ranked Raoumaru rematched for the vacant RISE Heavyweight title with Shimizu scoring his 2nd knockout of Raoumaru, this time via high kick in the 3rd round. Shimizu dominated the fight, much like their first fight, but took nearly 2 rounds longer to finish Raoumaru this time, stopping him in the 1st with a body kick previously. Shimizu (14-2-0, 11 KO) has now won 7 in a row, but doesn’t have much competition available to him other than maybe Singh “Heart” Jaideep, who lost in K-1 earlier this month. Raoumaru has only lost to Shimizu this year, but isn’t really a top tier Heavyweight, though his fights tend to be either exciting or quick knockouts.

In the RISE Featherweight finals, Itto completed his string of upsets, winning a unanimous decision against Ryo Pegasus on scores of 48-47, 47-46 and 48-46 to win the RISE Featherweight Tournament and become the first RISE Featherweight champion. The virtually unknown Itto won the tournament with upsets of J-Network champ Masato Sato, Masayuki Ishabashi and tournament favorite Ryo Pegasus and now positions himself very well in a stacked Featherweight division. Ryo made it to the finals with wins over Koya Shimada and Yuta Sashikubi.

In a 65kg #1 contender bout, Yasuomi Soda earned a second title shot with a win over Yukihiro Komiya by unanimous decision on scores of 28-26 and 28-27(x2). Soda (13-1-0, 4 KO) started his career 11-0-0, earning a title shot against current champ Koji Yoshimoto at RISE 86, but losing a close decision. This earns him a second shot and I’m sure this time he’ll come back better and may be able to take the win. Yoshimoto is currently scheduled to fight at the RISE/M-1 event on December 2nd, so I don’t know if Soda would want the fight then or at a later event. Komiya (29-11-0, 6 KO) had gone 3-0 since dropping to 65kg after a long career at 70kg, but comes up short in his bid to become the 2nd man to win RISE titles in two different weight classes.

In a 64kg fight, Sun Hyun Lee dealt with late replacement Shohei Asahara with a unanimous decision win on scores of 29-28(x2) and 29-27. Lee was set to face Hiroshi Mizumachi in a #1 contender bout for a shot at 63kg champ Yuki, but Mizumachi pulled out a couple weeks ago with an injury and was replaced by Asahara. Lee will still likely get the title shot as Asahara is ranked #4 at 63kg. He is now 3-1 in RISE, with wins over Yuki, Yuto Watanabe and Asahara with his sole loss being a majority decision against Koji Yoshimoto. Asahara is now on a 4-fight losing streak.

At 55kg, Dyki scored a big win with a 3rd round KO of MA Kick Bantamweight champion Takashi Ohno via low kicks. Dyki made it to the finals of the RISE Bantamweight tournament but lost by 1st round KO to KENJI, who has since moved on to boxing. He followed that up with a majority decision loss to Ryuma Tobe, but has now won 3 in a row over solid opponents, defeating Hiroaki Mizuhara, Ariaki Okada and now Ohno. He could possibly rematch Ryuma Tobe for the vacant RISE title. Ohno was one of the hottest Bantamweights coming into this fight, having won 7 in a row, including handing prospects Takuma Ito and Seiya Rokukawa their 2nd and 1st pro losses, respectively. He may find himself rematching Ito soon in a defense of his MA Kick title.

Finally at 63kg, #3 ranked Yuto Watanabe stopped #1 ranked Shootboxing Lightweight Yu Sugawara at 1:44 of the 2nd round. Watanabe snaps a 2-fight losing streak after losing to Yuki and Sun Hyun Lee. Sugawara challenged Hiroaki Suzuki for the vacant Shootboxing Lightweight title at the beginning of the year, but lost that fight and is now 2-2 in 2012.

Quick results after the break

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Thai Fight 2012 Live Results

Thai Fight 2012 is taking place today, and as always Liverkick has got you covered with live results.

The card features the quarterfinals of the 67 kg and 70 kg tournament, with Singmanee and Buakaw as the tournament favorites, respectively. 

Thai Fight as usual will be shown live on Channel 3 in Thailand, which can be found here. The approximate start time is 2:20 AM ET/11:20 PM PT in North America and 1:20 PM local time in Thailand.

Follow me @SandersonSensei on twitter for live updates. 

67 kg:

Singmanee Kaewsamrit def. Vatnikaj Valdeim by decision.

A late replacement for Rachid Boumalek, Vatnikaj Valdeim was the heavy underdog against 67 kg tournament favorite, Singmanee. Valdeim opened strong in the first round, connecting with a sweep and some clean punches. In the second things become one way traffic for the Thai. Singmanee landed two rounds of brutal unanswered body and leg kicks to take home the comfortable decision win. I don't see anyone in the current field stopping him based on last night. 

Mehdi Zatout def. Shan Cangelosi by TKO (Cut) in Round 1.

This fight was on un-aired on Channel 3 due to time constraints. Minutes into the match, Zatout landed a elbow that caused a deep cut above Cangelosi's eye  Doctors stopped the bout shortly afterwards. 

Andrei Kulebin def. Crice Boussoukou by decision.

Although Kulebin was the favorite to win, Crice impressed me tonight. The two had a fairly back and forth fight until Kulebin barely nudged it out in the third round. This is even more impressive considering Andrei has over 100 wins, and Crice has only 25 total fights. Watch for him in the future. 

Adaylton Pareira De Freitas def. Houcine Bennoui by decision.

In the biggest upset of the night, Houcine Bennoui was clearly outranged and outscored by Adaylton Freitas. Bennoui came into the tournament riding a win over Singmanee, so most expected a rematch of their previous encounter. Freitas spoiled that though, using superior distancing skills to keep Bennoui off-balance the whole night,and cut him open with an elbow in the second round. 

70 kg:

Buakaw Por Pramuk def. Mauro Serra by TKO (Knee) in Round 3.

This went basically how everyone expected. Although Mauro Serras was game to trade, Buakaw dominated each encounter, knocking down Serras in the first with an elbow (Although he receieved no count) and then two more times in the third round with punches and a knee to finish. It's always good to see Buakaw in action, but this tournament is essentially a highlight reeel waiting to happen.

Nishikawa Tomoyuki def. Choi Woo Yeong by decision.

This was the first match of the night, and an exciting one at that. Tomoyuki landed the better punches and low-kicks throughout, although Woo Yeong stayed right with him until the end.

Antero Hynynen def. Shannon King by decision.

It's difficult to judge how Antero Hynynen will do against the rest of the 70 kg field because his opponent didn't come to thaibox. King came out swinging for the fences in round one, using very few kicks, knees, or elbows. He fought like he was in a kickboxing or boxing tournament, and was completely outworked by Hynynen's low kicks until the final bell.

Vitaly Gurkov def. Fares Bechar by decision.

Gurkov shocked the world earlier this year when he beat Kem Sitsongpeenong at the IFMA 2012 tournament. He looked in good shape against Bechar, dominating with his rough, grinding style and winning the final two rounds by a large margin. I expect Gurkov will be Buakaw's biggest challenge, although I still don't see him winning by any stretch. 

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