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Ray Sefo vs Makoto Uehara, Erika Kamimura vs Seo Hee Ham 2 Among Fights Added to RISE 88

With a lot of top names in Japan returning to action in the coming months, RISE is looking to steal the spotlight by putting on what appears to be a super-card in RISE 88 on June 2nd, almost to the scale of RISE 85 this past November. So far, there is one title fight, one #1 contender fight, Ray Sefo vs promotional Heavyweight champ Makoto Uehara, a number of top contenders in various weight classes and two more champions expected to participate.

The first big fight announcement is that former K-1 star Ray Sefo (56-21-1, 38 KO) will be looking to bounce back from a loss to Mirko Crocop in Crocop’s return to kickboxing. Sefo’s task will not be an easy one, as he takes on RISE Heavyweight champ Makoto Uehara (11-4-0, 7 KO) in a non-title fight. Uehara had previously been known as a powerful fighter with a small gas tank, but a decision win over Stefan Leko in the quarterfinals of last year’s RISE Heavyweight Tournament and an extension round decision over Jan Soukup in the semifinals suggests that Uehara has a much improved gas tank and doesn’t blow himself out quite as fast. I’d have to give Uehara the edge in this fight. At 27, he seems to be hitting his prime and he’s found himself as a kickboxer more while at 41, Sefo could be vulnerable to a guy who has good, but not elite power.

The next major fight announced is a #1 contender’s bout for a shot at RISE 48kg champ RENA. The fight is a rematch from last year’s Shootboxing Girls’ S-Cup Preliminary Tournament final between South Korean MMA fighter/kickboxer Seo Hee Ham (6-1-0, 1 KO) and 19 year old phenom Erika Kamimura (24-2-0, 13 KO). The two put on an extremely entertaining first fight, with Kamimura taking a close decision. It will be interesting to see how this fight goes under RISE rules, as Kamimura got the better of the striking in their first bout. Personally, I’ve wanted to see Ham vs Rena for a while, but Kamimura should be the favorite here. However, Ham has shown superb standup in MMA and kickboxing, so she won’t be the punching bag that Kamimura has made many of her opponents look like.

The only current title fight set for the event is 60kg champ Kosuke Komiyama (17-2-0, 10 KO) taking on #1 contender Motochika Hanada. Komiyama has won 6 straight, most recently a quick KO of a Chinese fighter at RISE 87. Hanada’s riding a 3-fight winstreak, with his most recent win being a KO of Yutonaka Egawa at RISE 87. Komiyama should be the big favorite here as he’s been on fire and Hanada hasn’t really faced any top competition.

In a 65kg tilt, #1 ranked Middleweight Yukihiro Komiya (27-10-0, 6 KO) will be moving down from 70kg to take on #1 ranked Super Lightweight Yusuke Sugawara (22-14-2, 7 KO). Komiya has fought his entire career at 70kg, but moved down to 65kg once back in 2008 to fight Saenchai. He hasn’t been very active lately, with just 2 fights since the start of 2011 and both of those were losses, though they were to Takafumi Morita and Yuji Nashiro, two of the hottest fighters in the division. Sugawara has been up and down lately as he split a pair of J-Network title matches with Shunsuke Oishi in 2011, then dropped two straight with losses to WBC Japan Super Lightweight champ Seiji Takahashi and MMA fighter Shigeki Osawa, though that was in Shootboxing. A win at Shootboxing 2012 act.1 against Tappuron ForceGym was washed out by a loss at RISE 87 to MA Kick Super Lightweight champ Mohan Dragon in a close fight, which was his most recent bout. The winner may very well be next in line for Super Lightweight champ Koji Yoshimoto.

Rounding out the card as it currently stands is a 63kg bout between #1 ranked Hiroshi Mizumachi and Naoki. Mizumachi is ranked #1, but hasn’t won a fight since 2008, though he managed to do well against 65kg champ Koji Yoshimoto in a superfight. Naoki was a mid-level fighter until earlier this year when he scored an upset over HIROYA at Big Bang 8. Mizumachi was set to face Yuki before an injury and with Naoki’s recently elevated status, this may well be a #1 contender’s bout.

Also expected on the card are Lightweight champ Yuki, Super Bantamweight champ KENJI, #1 ranked Heavyweight Kengo Shimizu, #2 ranked Heavyweight Raoumaru, #2 ranked Super Bantamweight Dyki and the semifinals of the RISE Featherweight tournament. Yuki just defended his title at RISE 87 so I expect him to be in a superfight, but KENJI has yet to defend his title since winning it at RISE 85 in November, so he could be defending. The two candidates for a title shot are Ryuma Tobe, who he beat in the semifinals of the RISE Super Bantamweight tournament and Hiroki Maeda.{jcomments on}

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Sergeii Laschenko's Manager Fires Back at SuperKombat

Sergii LaschenkoThere has been a bit of a game of cat and mouse between Sergeii Laschenko's management and SuperKombat within the past few days, with Donatas Simanaitis launching a public campaign against Eduard Irimia and SuperKombat for what they consider non-payment for the SuperKombat World GP. Yesterday we heard from Eduard Irimia and a few members of SuperKombat's press team, and their side of the story is that they've never received the proper documentation (ie: power of attorney) in an official fashion, only by email. It has also been quite a while, as the email sent from Passenier was marked as March 15th, so it seems like this whole process is taking a very long time to both parties.

Today we heard from Donatas Simanaitis about the issue. The following statement is the opinion of Donatas Simanaitis and not of LiverKick, who remains impartial in all matters unless otherwise expressed. We have chosen not to print the copies of the email exchange between Mr. Simanaitis and Irimia, which contains how much Laschenko was to be paid out of respect for the fighter in this situation. We can confirm that in the email we were sent, there is language that suggests that the winner could choose the car or the money, but it is never elaborated upon.

"Before Sergii fight we agreed that Mr.Edy Irimia for the winner of GP pays 20000eur, or Mitsubishi car. Below you will find his e-mail with his proposal.

From the beginning we informed Mr.Edy that Sergii choosed the money, intead of the car.

After Sergii become the champion, Mr.Edy organized the official press conference during which he officialy presented winners prize - the car, and because we had a deal to take the money, he promised to pay to Sergii 20000eur till the end of DEC, 2011.

As you understand, Sergii received nothing.

Meanwhile Mr.Edy Irimia stops answering to our phone calls, no answers to the e-mails.

Later, Mr.Edy starts to talk that he needs to sell the car, in order to pay the prize money to Sergii.

Because, we already understood that Mr.Irimia is not going to pay to Sergii his prize money, we agreed him to sell Mitsubishi, but now Mr. Irimia is not sending us any car's documents or the address to which we could send the power of attorney for him to sell it.

Finally we wrote him that Sergii is ready to take this car by himselve.

But, telling you the truth, we dont believe that this car is still with Edy. Its logical - if Mr. Irimia would have this car, he would send us at least scanned documents of it, or he would give us the contacts of the Mitsibishi office from which we could take it.

We are really tired of all this situation. By this letter we want to warn all managers and the fighters, that if they ever will have any business with this "promoter", they should ask advance payment.

As regarding us - we will not work with Mr. Edy Irimia no more and will not recomend him to anybody else.

By the way Sergii is not the only one fighter which did not received fight money from Mr. Edy, Pavel Zuravliov did not received his payment too.

Best regards,

Donatas Simanaitis"

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Sergei Kharitonov Back To MMA, Faces Tony Lopez May 26 At GLORY

Sergei Kharitonov was originally supposed to fight Semmy Schilt on the May 26 GLORY card in Stockholm, Sweden. There was a last minute change, and Errol Zimmerman ended up getting the fight, which is for the GLORY Heavyweight title. Sergei remained on the card though, and now has an opponent.

Kharitonov will be fighting Tony Lopez, but it will be an MMA fight. It's an interesting turn of events, as it looked like Kharitonov would be sticking to K-1 rules with GLORY centering their promotion around kickboxing. GLORY also has a heavyweight kickboxing tournament coming up this year which he'll be in. He recently knocked out Mark Miller in the first round at GLORY's March 23 event.

GLORY's event on May 26 in Stockholm, Sweden features the "First 16" of the 70kg tournament where a $300 000 prize is waiting for the winner. Featured are Giorgio Petrosyan, Robin van Roosmalen and Yoshihiro Sato to name a few and in super fights, Gokhan Saki will also be fighting. Click here for the full fight card.

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SuperKombat Explains Sergei Laschenko Situation

SKI'm sure at this point you've seen our story on Sergeii Laschenko claiming that he was slighted out of money and his car by SuperKombat. We reached out to Laschenko as well as his management and have not heard back from them yet, sadly. We've also reached out to SuperKombat and spoken with a few officials now, and it is clear, that at least from their perspective, they've done what they could for Sergeii and this seems like a misunderstanding. Sergeii simply did not want the car and wished to sell it, leaving the car in the showroom although it was signed to him. His management also appeared to demand Irimia and co. sell the car for them. Attached is a press release from Eduard Irimia.

"Dear SuperKombat and martial arts fans,

After the last rumours regarding the prize from last year's Superkombat tournament that was not paid, I have the next comments and a very clear position.

We announced the finalists that the winner will get a Mitsubishi Lancer RAlliart special edition and at the end of the tournament I asked Lascenko's manager what he decided to do with the car as Laschenko is from UKraine and he told me that would prefer the "net" cash money from the car price, without taxes. I agreed to help them to sell the car in Romania as I understood is difficult for him to manage with documents and registration but I asked a power of attorney necessary for selling the car in the name of Lascenko.

Since this discussion, I was waiting those documents and they sent me only letter by hand or email asking me to sell the car as official documents! And that way the time was running, and even the clients we found to sell the car were very skeptical to buy the car as we could not provide official documents in the name of Lascenko.

At one moment I received a message from one of Lascenko's managers, Donatas Simanaitis of Lithuania, who tried to blackmail me with big negative campaign on the internet, against me and the SuperKombat. I attached also this conversation to prove it.

As a conclusion because we always respected the fighters, we are waiting Lascenko to get his car and we close the eyes on the situation he created as our partner who provided the car is not happy with this negative campaign, as well as our international broadcasters.

I am so sorry that I tried to involve more that I suppose to and in life we pay for our action but I am sure that people who check the evidence will understand. Until than keep the eyes on SuperKombat live 12th May and by the way this year we have as prize a Mitsubishi Pajero 4x4!!!! I am hoping that this year the winner will respect more the prize he will get."

Eduard Irimia, SuperKombat

Attachments:

- from Donatas Simanaitis, Lithuanian manager, blackmailing Mr Irimia: http://i47.tinypic.com/24y2zoj.jpg
- from Mike Passenier: http://i48.tinypic.com/mn1735.jpg

UPDATE: We've received further word from SuperKombat that Eduard Irimia would like to announce that he will no longer work with any fighters under the management of Mr. Simanaitis until Simanaitis issues a public apology, as Irimia was even trying to help Laschenko. They've also provided us with copies of Laschenko's letter giving Irimia power to sell the car and his documentation to do so.

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