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It's Showtime Japan countdown-2/REBELS.12 Results: van Opstal, Hinata Win

With It's Showtime prepared to make their first full venture into Japan in little over a month and a half, It's Showtime Japan countdown-2 and REBELS.12 took place earlier today at Differ Ariake in Tokyo.

In the main event, Team Souwer's Henri van Opstal improved to 5-0 against Japanese competition with a majority decision over It's Showtime Japan 70kg champ Hiroki Nakajima on scores of 30-29(x3), 29-29 and 30-28. Nakajima scored early to the body, but his lack of defense allowed van Opstal to find openings throughout the fight and pick apart his opponent. van Opstal (18-3-0) has now won two in a row after a loss at It's Showtime 55, most recently stopping Hinata in the 3rd round at RISE 88. He could find himself fighting on the main It's Showtime Japan card, but with a Shootboxing event the same day, it is hard to know if he will compete on either card. Nakajima (15-6-0, 10 KO) recently ended a 1-5 run with a win over Danilo Zanolini to win the It's Showtime Japan 70kg title, but it's the same story for him; until he develops some sort of defense, he is extremely limited. While he has power and a dynamic offense, he just gets hit too much and guys at van Opstal's level will be able to expose him with ease. He is set to fight on the It's Showtime Japan card in September, but let's hope he's put in a rematch with Yuichiro Nagashima and not in a fight with Andy Ristie or Robin van Roosmalen.

In the co-main event, Hinata bounced back with a quick 1st round knockout of Korean Kang Jung-woo at 1:24 with a high kick. Hinata (23-12-1, 8 KO) is just 3-3 in his last 6 bouts, with two of those three wins against mediocre competition and the third against a guy fighting 10 pounds above his natural weight. While his losses did come to Giorgio Petrosyan, Andy Ristie and van Opstal, his only quality wins since 2010 are over Yuya Yamamoto, who looks worse with every outing, and Artur Kyshenko. If he wants to be considered a competitor at 70kg, he needs to start fighting top competition more regularly and get some wins, rather than lose to a top fighter and bounce back with an easy win. 

In a fight to determine the first It's Showtime Japan 65kg champion, MA Kick Super Lightweight champ Mohan Dragon and Zen Fujita fought to a majority draw after 5 rounds on scores of 48-47 and 48-48(x4). In what seems to have been an exciting fight, as most of Mohan Dragon's fights are, Mohan Dragon started very strong, hurting Fujita in the first and carrying that momentum into the second round before tiring in the bout's closing stages and allowing Fujita to come back and secure a draw. Fujita is now 1-1-1 in 2012, with a loss at 70kg to Hinata back in April and a win over Junichi Maruyama back in June at 65kg. Mohan Dragon is now 2-0-1 on the year, defending his MA Kick title with a knockout of Hidekazu Tanaka and edging out J-Network champ Yusuke Sugawara at RISE 87. This fight likely could have been to determine Lim Chi-bin's opponent in the It's Showtime 65kg World title fight, but the draw likely cost both men that opportunity.

In a fight to decide the inaugural It's Showtime Japan 55kg champion, J-Network Super Bantamweight champ Hiroaki Mizuhara took a unanimous decision over Taisuke Degai on scores of 49-48(x3), 48-47 and 49-47. Mizuhara is now 2-1-1 on the year and could potentially rematch Yuki Noro, the man he defeated to get this fight, in his first title defense as Noro recently upset TO-MA in a bout billed under the It's Showtime banner. This loss snaps a 4 fight win streak for Degai.

Finally at 61kg, Kizaemon Saiga scored a unanimous decision over Tatsuya Inaishi on scores of 30-29, 30-28(x2), 30-27 and 29-28. Saiga (10-5-1, 2 KO) is now 3-1 on the year with a close win over Katsuya Goto, a close loss to Koya Urabe and most recently a KO of Arita Tsukahara back in May. Saiga was expected to fight for the It's Showtime Japan 61kg title at this event, but with Masahiro Yamamoto winning the It's Showtime 61kg World title and a 61kg title fight scheduled for the September event, I wouldn't be surprised to see Saiga slotted in against Yamamoto for the first all-Japanese It's Showtime title fight.

It's Showtime's main branch makes its first official venture into Japan on September 17th at Pacifico Yokohama in Yokohama. Only one fight is announced for the card, with It's Showtime 85kg champ Sahak Parparyan taking on It's Showtime Japan 95kg champ Toshio Matsumoto, but a 61kg title showdown between current champ Masahiro Yamamoto and Kizaemon Saiga is possible with both men slated for the event and Lim Chi Bin will be participating in an It's Showtime 65kg World title fight against a yet to be named opponent. Also expected to compete are Daniel Ghita, Robin van Roosmalen, Andy Ristie, Hiroki Nakajima and Yuichiro Nagashima.

REBELS.12 results and quick results after the break


Krush.20 Results: Urabe Stops Osawa in Title Defense, Yuya Yamamoto Upset by Zaurus Asami

Krush.20 took place yesterday at Korakuen Hall in Tokyo, headlined by a 60kg title fight.

In the night's main event, Krush 60kg champ Hirotaka Urabe defended his title against 60kg tournament winner Fumiya Osawa by 1st round KO at 2:48. Urabe scored with a spinning back kick to Osawa's body that dropped the challenger and left him unable to get up. Urabe (15-5-2, 9 KO) is now undefeated in his last 8 and has won 3 straight since fighting Naoki Ishikawa to a draw in his first title defense. He could see himself facing Ishikawa for a third time in a future title defense. Osawa (7-8-1, 2 KO) rebounded from a 4-fight winless streak by winning the Krush 60kg tournament with wins over Makoto Morishige, Yuya and Katsuya Goto. A good fight for him would be against Kan Itabashi to see where he stands in the division.

In the co-main event, Yuya Yamamoto was shut out by Zaurus Asami, losing a unanimous decision on scores of 30-28(x3). Yamamoto (33-23-1, 11 KO) has been horribly inconsistent throughout his career and has now lost three straight, being knocked out by Yuji Nashiro and Xu Yan in his last 2 outings. This is a huge loss and another setback for him. Asami (9-8-1) gets the biggest win of his career and some momentum after going 1-4 in his 5 fights heading into this.

In first bout of the 4th leg of the Krush Wildrush League, current league leader Hideaki Yamazaki knocked out Naoki Terasaki just 24 seconds into the fight with a left hook. The knockout gives Yamazaki 9 points with just one fight left and puts him in a very good position to win the tournament. The second and third placed fighters Hitoshi Tsukagoshi and Yukimitsu Takahashi have 5 and 4 points, respectively, and face off at Krush.21 on August 12th and the winner is the only person left with a realistic shot at taking the lead from Yamazaki. Should it be Takahashi, he and Yamazaki face off in the final leg of the league.

At 63kg, Hiroya was able to stop fellow Krush Youth Tournament participant Daizo Sasaki with low kicks at 2:43 of the 3rd round. Both fighters had lost 3 in a row heading into this bout with Hiroya (11-5-0, 6 KO) losing to Masaaki Noiri, Naoki and most recently Krush 63kg champ Ryuji Kajiwara, and Sasaki losing to Noiri, Kengo Sonoda and Atsushi Ogata. This is a bounce back win for Hiroya and a good next fight for him might be a rematch with Sho Ogawa, depending on when the Krush Youth tournament begins this year. 

Finally, at 70kg, TOMOYUKI picked up an extension round decision win over Shintaro Matsukura, winning on all 3 cards after judges ruled a draw on scores of 29-28, 29-29 and 30-30. Tomoyuki first made a name for himself earlier this year, upsetting then Krush 70kg champion Kenta in his first fight of 2012 and has gone 2-1 since then, with the loss to MA Kick champ Kazuya Takeda. Matsukura (5-6-0, 4 KO) had just ended a 3-fight losing streak with a win back in June. After his upset of Yuya Yamamoto, Matsukura has been rather pedestrian, going 1-4, though losing a split, majority and now extension round decision along the way.

Quick results after the break


MA Kick - Kick Guts 2012 Results: Akimoto Remains Undefeated With 1st Round TKO

MA Kick held an event titled Kick Guts 2012, a memorial event dedicated to Hisao Maki, founder of the Maki Dojo and a big name in Kyokushinkai, who passed away in January. The event featured an MA Kick title fight, a WPMF title fight, a WBC Japan #1 contender fight, a WPMF Japan #1 contender fight, an MA Kick #1 contender fight and a pair of MA Kick champions taking on well-known Thais in superfights.

In the night's main event, 2010 K-1 Koshien runner-up Hiroki Akimoto remained undefeated in his professional career with a 1st round stoppage due to a cut at 1:28 of Hiroki Fujisawa, netting him the MA Kick Featherweight title. Akimoto cut Fujisawa with an elbow and swarmed on him, leading to a standing 8 count which then led to a doctor stoppage due to the cut. Akimoto (16-0-0, 8 KO) made it to the quarterfinals of the 2009 K-1 Koshien tournament where he lost to finalist Shota Shimada and made it to the finals himself the following year, taking out the likes of Keigo Ishida and 2011 champ Sho Ogawa, before being stopped by Shohei Hareyama in the 3rd round of the final. Despite those losses, Akimoto is still undefeated in his pro career and since that loss to Hareyama, he has now won his last 7 fights by knockout, including KOs of Turbo and Pinsiam Sor. Amnuaysirichok. Though his record is impressive, Akimoto is rather untested and there are a lot of names at 57.5kg that could challenge him, including Yosuke Morii, Genji Umeno, Heihachi Nakajima and even Ryuya Kusakabe, should he move up. Nevertheless, Akimoto has a very bright future with his 20th birthday coming in just over a month and is another exciting product of the K-1 Koshien system.

In the co-main event, former WPMF Japan Welterweight champ Daiki Watabe scored a TKO due to a cut in the 4th round at 2:08 over #1 ranked MA kick Welterweight Yukimaru to earn a shot at Yuya Yamato's WBC Japan Welterweight title. Watabe dropped Yukimaru in the 2nd and 3rd rounds and was in control of the fight until the stoppage. Watabe (13-8-1, 9 KO) is a REBELS regular, though he is just 1-3 in his last 4 fights for the organization and 2-3 in his last 5 overall, dropping a pair of decisions to T-98 which lost him his WPMF Japan title and losing to Chi Bin Lim. This is a solid win for him, though I don't think he has much chance against Yamato. The fight is set for October 7th, which shouldn't be a problem for Yamato who has a tough test in Yuta Kubo on August 26th in Krush.

In a 51kg bout, WBC and WPMF Japan Flyweight champion Ryuji Kato was able to defend his WPMF title with a 4th round KO of Shuichi Wentz at 1:43 via knee. Kato (18-3-1, 9 KO) finished 2011 strong, winning a 4-man tournament with a pair of KOs to claim the first WPMF Japan Flyweight title and then defeating Naoki Otsuki for his WBC Japan Flyweight title. However, 2012 was not as good for Kato, who lost his MA Kick Flyweight title to Yuuji, then followed it up with a loss to Ngoprajan Chuwattana. This win snaps his 2-fight losing streak. After the fight, he called out WPMF Japan Super-Flyweight champ Kiminori Matsuzaki, who defeated his teammate Takuma Ito for the WPMF Japan title. Wentz (15-8-1, 6 KO) had most recently defeated the aforementioned Yuuji in M-1, snapping a 5-fight winless streak that dated back to 2010 which saw him lose twice to TO-MA, go 0-1-1 against Yuki and lose to Romie Adanza. This loss is another setback, though Wentz's only losses have come to top names and usually in title matches. He has a wealth of options, with possible rematches against TO-MA, Yuki and Yuuji, possibly for the MA Kick title, or fresh matchups against Taisuke Degai or Takahiro.

Analysis of Machida-Kanongsuk, Miyamoto-Pinsiam and Sho Ogawa's bout and quick results after the break


Krush-EX 2012 vol.4 Results: Urabe Cruises, Ogata Upsets Taniyama

With Krush.20 just a week away, Krush held the 4th installment of its 2012 Krush-EX series, headlined by Koya Urabe and also featuring Krush regulars Toshiki Taniyama and Yu Hirono, among others.

In the night's main event, Koya Urabe took a commanding unanimous decision over the heavy-handed Ryukei on scores of 30-25(x3). Urabe dominated the entirety of the fight, scoring downs in the 1st and 3rd rounds on a head kick and spinning back fist, respectively. The win is the second straight for Urabe (20-4-0, 2 KO) after dropping a decision to Keijiro Miyakoshi in NJKF back in April. His most recent win came at Big Bang 9 where he dominated the fight and remained aggressive throughout the entire fight and it seems to be a repeated effort here. I believe Urabe is still eligible for this year's Krush Youth tournament, and if he is I'd imagine he wants to participate and avenge his loss to Masaaki Noiri if he can. If not, I'd expect him to be first in line should Thomas Adamandopoulos take the Krush 63kg belt from Ryuji Kajiwara in August. Ryukei (7-3-0, 7 KO) only had a puncher's chance, which seemed pretty good considering Urabe's lack of defense, but wasn't able to come through. Aside from this loss to Urabe, he has a pair of losses to DEEP*KICK 60kg champ Hiroto Yamaguchi. He isn't a bad fighter by any means, but he won't be making any waves at 60-63kg. Still, it'd be nice for Krush to keep him around as he can always provide a good knockout.

In the co-main event, Atsushi Ogata pulled off an upset, knocking out Toshiki Taniyama in the 2nd round at 3:00. Ogata came out aggressively and was able to use pressure to fold Taniyama with a left hook in the closing seconds of the 2nd round. This was Ogata's third fight in Krush, going 1-1 with a knockout loss to Ryukei and most recently a decision win over Daizo Sasaki back at Krush.19. From here he could possibly rematch Ryukei, though he could also leverage himself for a shot at Urabe as Krush was likely trying to set up a fight between Urabe and Taniyama. Taniyama (13-2-0, 5 KO) takes a big step back here as he was on a probable collision course with Koya Urabe and a possible title shot. This loss snaps a 5-fight winning streak which included 3 straight knockouts, most recently at Big Bang 9. A rematch with Keiji Ozaki would be fun, but I'd like to see him against Ryukei to see if he folds from the pressure of a heavy-handed striker.

Quick results after the break


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