After kicking off 2013 with their eight-man one-night 67kg tournament, Krush returned earlier today with Krush.26 featuring a 70kg title fight and the opening rounds of both the inaugural 58kg tournament and the 55kg WILDRUSH League, as well as a 70kg fight between top Japanese Middleweights Yoshihiro Sato and Kenta.
In the night's main event, Krush 70kg champion Yasuhiro Kido picked up his first title defense with a 2nd round knockout of Takuro Moriya. After a slow first round, Kido landed a flurry of punches that floored Moriya, who was unable to get up. There was a bit of trash talk from both fighters coming into this fight, with I believe Moriya trying to get Kido to bet that he'd retire if he lost, so it must've felt good for Kido to knock him out. This was Kido's first fight since being knocked out in the K-1 Word MAX Final in December, which snapped a 6 fight win streak, but Kido now improves to 2-0 with a pair of knockouts in Krush title fights. Next in line would probably be Kenta, but next for Kido is a fight in Big Bang in February. Moriya has a 4-fight win streak snapped including a pair of wins over Asami Zaurus, who he beat in a #1 contender bout to earn this fight. Next for him could possibly be a fight with Yoshihiro Sato and a win would definitely be a career best.
In the co-main event, former Krush 70kg champ Kenta pulled off an upset over Yoshihiro Sato, winning 29-28 on all 3 cards. Kenta seems to have used his high volume, presusre style while being able to get inside the taller Sato's reach. This is a huge win for Kenta who had a rough 2012 with losses to Yasuhiro Kido, TOMOYUKI and Soichiro Miyakosh and probably places him in line for a 3rd fight with Kido and the chance to get his title back. Big disappointment for Sato, who hadn't fought in Krush since February, as most people had him pegged as one of the top 2 Middleweights in Japan. He was coming in off of back to back losses in GLORY to Shemsi Beqiri and Sanny Dahlbeck.
In the opening round of the Krush 58kg tournament, Nobuchika Terado scored a 3rd round knockout of KO-ICHI, Takeru knocked out Kenta Yagami in the 1st round, Shota Kanbe won a unanimous decision over Koji and Yuzo Suzuki knocked out Tsuyoshi Nakajima. In the reserve bout, Yuta Otaki knocked out SATOI in the first round. Not a lot of surprises as tournament favorites Nobuchika Terado and Takeru moved through with stoppage wins while Suzuki proved that he had improved more than Nakajima since their first fight and Kanbe, the youngest fighter in the tournament, picked up a solid win. The semifinals take place at Krush.27 and will see Nobuchika Terado vs Shota Kanbe and Takeru vs Yuzo Suzuki. I fully expect Takeru and Terado to get by their opponents to set up a final between the two, though Suzuki has a lot of momentum going into this fight after two very strong performances in a row.
In the opening round of the 55kg WILDRUSH League, Takumi picked up a unanimous decision over Kazuki Okawa, Yuya Suzuki scored a 3rd round stoppage of Masanori Shimada and Yuki Masato and Kazyosi fought to a draw. Suzuki finds himself in first as the only person to score a knockout, earning 3 points, while Takumi gets 2 points for a decision win and Masato and Kazyosi each earn a point for a draw. The first round didn't teach us a whole lot, as Takumi won with ease and one of the other fights ended in a draw. However, 16 year old Masanori Shimada took a big hit in his stock as he was 2-1-1 as a pro and 36-2-2 as an amateur, and so did Kazyosi, who was 2-0-0 in his pro career coming in. Despite not getting 3 points for a stoppage, I'm still confident that Takumi will run through the tournament field, but he may need to score some stoppages to ensure that Suzuki doesn't outpoint him.
Full results after the break