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Rashata Out, Tetsuya Yamato in Against Ryuji Kajiwara for Title; Krush Announces 63kg Round Robin

WBC Japan Lightweight champion Rashata was originally set to face Krush 63kg champion Ryuji Kajiwara for his Krush title at Krush.14 on December 9th, the same event holding the semi-finals and finals of the Krush Under-22 63kg Supernova Tournament. However, an injury has forced Rashata out of the fight and K-1 -63kg 2010 tournament champion Tetsuya Yamato has stepped in to replace him. Yamato has been up and down since winning the K-1 tournament last year. In his first fight after the GP, he was defeated soundly by Koya Urabe, then fought to a draw against MMA fighter "Wicky" Akiyo Nishiura at Dynamite!!! 2010. He picked up a win over Makoto Nishiyama in NJKF, then squeaked past HIROYA in the quarterfinals of the 2011 K-1 63kg Japan tournament before losing to Urabe again in the semifinals. He picked up a TKO win in August over Coke Chunhawat before losing a wide decision to Jomthong Chuwattana in his most recent outing. Though the opponent has changed, the challenge has not gotten easier for the champion Kajiwara. Rashata would likely have been the favorite, but Yamato is a tough style match-up for Kajiwara. Yamato possesses fight-ending power in his hands and, if he is given an opening, is able to land. His biggest weaknesses are his lack of speed and how he cracks under offensive pressure. Kajiwara does not possess the speed he needs to frustrate Yamato, however if he could keep Yamato on the end of his jab and kicks, he could be able to cruise to a decision win. However, this fight has the possibility of becoming a brawl reminiscent of Kajiwara's incredible fight with Hisanori Maeda back in AJKF as both men have the capability to give out and take a good amount of punishment.

Krush also revealed plans about their future in 2012, putting out a schedule of events as well as announcing an interesting Super Six-type round robin, titled the "Krush -63kg League 2012"(tentative name), to determine a challenger for the 63kg title at the end of next year. Though in some ways similar to Showtime's Super Six World Boxing Classic, the Krush "Super Six" takes six of the 63kg division's middling fighters and puts them in a round robin tournament, with each fighter facing one another over the course of 2012. Fights will be 3x3 and there will be no extension rounds, as the scoring system will be 3 points for a knockout, 2 points for a decision win, 1 point for a draw and 0 points for a loss. There will be no playoff system, as the person with the highest point total at the end of the round robin stage will be granted the title shot. Krush has announced five of the six participants for the tournament and they are Hideaki Yamazaki, Naoki Terasaki, TaCa, NOMAN and Hitoshi Tsukagoshi. One thing to be noted is that several of these fighters have faced each other in the past.

The first round of the tournament is set to take place at Krush.15 on January 9th, the first Krush event of 2012.Also tentatively scheduled for that event are the Krush 55kg and 60kg champions', Shota Takiya and Hirotaka Urabe, first scheduled defenses. Though no opponent has been named for either, candidates at 55kg for Shota Takiya are Ryuya Kusakabe, though Kusakabe has a fight just 2 and a half weeks before, or recently crowned ISKA champion Nobuchiko Terado. For Urabe, he could face RISE champion Kosuke Komiyama or Masaaki Noiri, should he be ready just a month after the Supernova tournament. Naoki Ishikawa is also an interesting opponent as he stated he wants to fight the winner of the Supernova tournament in his retirement fight, though Urabe holds a win over Ishikawa and he may see it fit to try and avenge that loss in his retirement fight.

After the break, Krush's 2012 schedule as well as a small breakdown of the five Krush -63kg League 2012 fighters.

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Giorgio Petrosyan vs. Abraham Roqueni Set For Yokkao Extreme 2012, January 21

The long awaited Yokka Extreme 2012 card featuring Buakaw Por. Pramuk vs. Dzhabar Askerov is a few months away and today received another big fight. Giorgio Petrosyan is set to take on Abraham Roqueni, a fighter who has garnered a lot of respect over the past year.

Roqueni has had a very successful 2011, notching wins over Andy Souwer, Gago Drago and Jose Barradas. The wins over Souwer and Drago opened some eyes to a lot of people who had never heard of him before and as a result, he's gotten some opportunities to shine, including this one. Roqueni is quite a good fighter, and should be a worthy opponent for Giorgio. This will be the second Spaniard that Giorgio has fought in a row, his last win coming over Zeben Diaz on Saturday.

Besides Buakaw vs. Askerov and Giorgio Petrosyan vs. Abraham Roqueni, Yokka Extreme 12 also features other top names such as Saenchai Sinbimuaythai, Sudsakorn Sor Klinmee, Armen Petrosyan and Pajonsuk Por Pramuk. The card seems to be getting even more stacked the closer it gets and right now it's looking great.

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The Alistair Overeem and Golden Glory Split is a Classic Example of a Perfect Storm

Bas and OvereemThere is a lot of he-said, she-said floating around right now in regards to the Alistair Overeem and Golden Glory split. Many fans and even media are taking sides or simply rushing to comment the next chapter in the saga and try to gain some insight into the situation. I really feel like the truth lies somewhere in the middle when it comes to who is "right" and who is "wrong" and that both sides have a lot to feel slighted about. According to Golden Glory, Alistair was looking to stiff his long-time friends in his trainers by no longer giving them a percent of his earnings, instead simply giving them a flat rate like you'd see in the United States. According to Alistair's camp, Golden Glory was looking to take too much from Alistair and has now launched a "smear campaign" to make him look greedy.

For Golden Glory, it has been a trying year. After Alistair Overeem won the K-1 World Grand Prix Championship last year there were hard times coming for Golden Glory, when their vision had been anything but difficult. Golden Glory was prepared to take over the world in 2011, with the key to their success being an approach on Mixed Martial Arts in the United States and Kickboxing across the world, with the key areas being in Asia and Europe. The Glory World Series was a big part of this, and Gokhan Saki was the big feature for them. Saki suffered a few injuries in December and there was no way for him to fight early on in the year, which meant they would push back the date of their first show of the year, this being the first of many setbacks.

K-1 and Strikeforce were both going through significant turmoil at the time, and both promotions were home to quite a few Golden Glory fighters, proving to be how Golden Glory got their name and brand out to the world. Bas Boon and investors began looking into the reality of purchasing Strikeforce, and it did not seem all-that far-fetched. In fact, there was a certain air of confidence that they would soon own Strikeforce and have a serious foothold inside of the United States and immediately be competition for the UFC. On top of that, they began looking into the reality of what it would take to own K-1. Golden Glory was primed to own two of the biggest combat sports brands in the world and have inconceivable power.

For a fighter like Alistair Overeem, these were his two home bases and he was currently on top in both of them. The reality of his management owning and operating both Strikeforce and K-1 would make him one of the biggest stars in the combat sports world as soon as the ink was dry. He would go from a troubled Light Heavyweight to one of the most decorated Heavyweights in the history of combat sports and be in a prime position to not only be a star, but a wealthy star.

In the blink of an eye MMAFighting.com’s Ariel Helwani was on a jet to Zuffa’s headquarters where Dana White would announce the acquisition of Strikeforce. This was the first huge setback for Golden Glory, a deal that felt done and was possibly promised to certain fighters, was now all of a sudden in the hands of the UFC. It isn’t clear what was promised or how close to a done deal it was, only those involved with the deal will know, but there have been strong rumors stating that Golden Glory was “sure” of the deal being done, and afterwards were furious with Scott Coker.

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