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Yuta Kubo, Yuji Nashiro to Compete in Krush 67kg GP

A few weeks ago, Krush announced the expansion of their weight classes, adding 67kg and 58kg. With that announcement came the announcement of an 8-man 67kg tournament set to start on Krush's January 14th event, which is set to be titled Jawin Presents Krush Grand Prix 2013 ~67kg First Class Tournament~. Krush just announced the first two participants in that tournament and although there are 6 more fighters to be announced, the tournament may already have its two biggest favorites in Yuta Kubo and Yuji Nashiro.

Former 63kg kingpin Yuta Kubo has slowly been moving up in weight over the past year, most recently fighting Yuya Yamato at 67kg at Krush.22. He was scheduled to make his 70kg debut at Glory 4 Tokyo on December 2nd, but with rumors about that card's postponement flying around, Kubo's 70kg debut may be postponed. Arguably the #1 fighter in Japan right now, Kubo (34-4-1, 16 KO) has won 11 straight fights. During that stretch, he won the 2011 K-1 -63kg Japan tournament, taking out Koshien products Kizaemon Saiga, Masaaki Noiri and Koya Urabe, then won 5 straight fights against European opposition, earning the ISKA Light Welterweight title in the process. His most recent bout was a head kick KO of top 67kg fighter Yuya Yamato. Kubo definitely has to be the favorite in this tournament, regardless of who is announced.

Nashiro has had an interesting career, to say the least. After a 39 second KO loss to Yuichiro Nagashima in the 2010 K-1 MAX Japan Tournament, Nashiro scored back to back wins over eventual Krush 70kg tournament finalists Yutaro Yamauchi and Kenta before losing to Yoshihiro Sato. A rematch with Yamauchi in the opening round of the Krush tournament saw Nashiro lose an extension round decision and seemingly fall off the map, as fighters like Yamauchi, Kenta, Shintaro Matsukura and others began to flood a chaotic 70kg division in Japan. Despite this, Nashiro was chosen as a participant in the 2011 K-1 MAX Japan Tournament, but drew Albert Kraus in the quarterfinals. With most expecting him to roll over, Nashiro brought the fight to Kraus, hurting him in the first and dropping him in the 3rd. He then went on to hand Takafumi Morita his first loss and knock out Yuya Yamamoto to win the tournament, effectively earning him a spot in the new K-1's Final 16 this May. However, that didn't go so well for him as he dropped a decision to Reece McCallister, failing to advance. The drop to 67kg is a great move for Nashiro, who stands at just over 5'6" and will still probably be a bit undersized at 67kg. 

Also announced to compete on the card are Krush 55kg champ Shota Takiya, 2011 Youth GP champion Masaaki Noiri, Yuji Takeuchi and Kan Itabashi. Takiya could be defending his title for the 3rd time. Noiri will likely face the winner of this year's -63kg Youth GP, which will be decided at Krush.24 this weekend when Koya Urabe faces Hisaki Higashimoto, as he won last year's Youth GP. With Naoki Ishikawa getting another title shot against Hirotaka Urabe, common logic says that Takeuchi and Itabashi, who are both coming off of wins at Krush.23 over 60kg tournament finalists Fumiya Osawa and Katsuya Goto, respectively, will face each other.


Catalin Morosanu: Slowinski Win Biggest of His Career


Catalin Morosanu's recent win in the K-1 World Grand Prix Final 16 was a huge deal for him as well as Romanian fans who see one of their national Kickboxing heroes move on in one of the most prestigious tournaments. He'll also be in action this weekend as well and our friends at caught up with him to ask him a few questions. If you can't read Polish, you are in luck as Pawel Sawicki sent us over an English translation!


Notice: Giving the LiverKick Forums a Test Run

LKThis is something we've been considering for a while and have decided to move forward, at least on a trial run with, and that is a LiverKick forum. We've gotten enough requests from people who wanted it and believe that we could build a rather unique community here of fans of Kickboxing and Muay Thai from the world over. It is integrated with the rest of the site, so if you already have an account you can use that for the forum.

Any suggestions or comments can of course go on the forum. Basically, be good to each other, alright? LiverKick is one of the largest Kickboxing websites in the world and we want to continue bringing you the best of everything.

So go ahead and click the "Forum" link on the top menu and give it a whirl.


Fights To Watch In November: Part 2

Continuing on from Part 1 of "Fights To Watch In November," Part 2 includes ten more fights. Some of the fights included in this post are actually ones that are from the same event as fights highlighted in Part 1. Once again, the purpose of these posts is to highlight fights that go under the radar or ones that people might not know about, and to introduce other fighters to fans.

November 10: Pedro Felipe vs. Ruben Almeida - Urban KO III - Barakaldo, Spain

LiverKick's #8 ranked lightweight, Ruben Almeida, is pretty much there because of a win over Javier Hernandez in April that came in controversial fashion. Almeida will look to prove that he actually belongs on the rankings as he goes into enemy territory to fight Pedro Felipe. A loss for Almeida definitely drops him off the rankings and diminishes his stock. For Felipe, this fight will also be somewhat of a measuring stick and if he wins, you could throw his name in the mix. Almeida is still pretty young at 22 while Felipe is 31.

November 10: Raz Sarkisjan vs. Marcus Vinicius - It's Showtime Brazil - Sao Paulo, Brazil

Raz Sarkisjan made a name for himself this year when he went to Japan and beat Masaaki Noiri. He was a relative unknown before that fight and has since notched another win just a few weeks ago in Holland. The great thing about this fight is we get to see more of Sarkisjan. Vinicius has a style that should make for a very entertaining fight if he doesn't get stopped, and looks like the bigger fighter. He won three fights in a tournament to qualify for this fight last month. It's hard to gauge how he'll do against Raz, but this is his big opportunity to make a name for himself, so we'll just have to wait and see.

November 10: Koya Urabe vs. Hisaki Higashimoto - Krush.24 - Tokyo, Japan

This is the finals of Krush's Youth GP, with Higashimoto being a surprising opponent for Urabe. Higashimoto's two fights that he won on September 9 to qualify for this fight were the first two professional fights of his career, including a first round stoppage of HIROYA. Urabe is of course the favorite. A win for Urabe will probably set up another match-up against one of the better Japanese fighters of the division again. Higashimoto has nothing to lose. If he loses, it's only his third pro fight and to Koya Urabe. If he wins, it's a big upset and would move him up the ranks in Krush and Japan.

November 10: Benjamin Adegbuyi vs. Alexey Ignashov - SuperKombat Final Elimination - Craiova, Romania

Alexey Ignashov is trying to revive his career, with two wins in a week last month. Benny Adegbuyi is on the come up, coming off his short and anticlimatic win over Jafar Ahmadi at the K-1 Final 16 last month. While Ignashov definitely isn't in his prime, he can still trouble a lot of heavyweights and with a win here would get into the SuperKombat WGP Final in December. Despite Ignashov not being a top guy, he's still a big name in kickboxing, no matter how far down his career has dropped off since his prime. A win over Ignashov would be a nice feather in Benny Adegbuyi's cap.

November 18: Steve Moxon vs. Giannis Mixalopoulos - Brute Force 21 - Melbourne, Australia

Steve Moxon signed with GLORY this year and will make his debut for the promotion in 2013. For now, he's staying very active in Australia and his opponent is coming all the way from Greece. This is a fight where Moxon can showcase all his abilities. Mixalopoulos has a style that should provide for a fun fight, welcoming exchanges, and he can also counter punch but I would definitely expect Moxon to win here. Moxon is a fighter that I think would be a fan favorite if more fans worldwide knew him.

November 22: Bobo Sacko vs. Petasawin Seatransferry - Best of Siam 2 - Paris, France

Bobo Sacko is one of the many upcoming talents in France and recently suffered the first loss of his career last month to Aziz Hlali. Coming off his first loss, Petasawin isn't an easy fight at all, considering how much experience the Thai has. Though Petasawin is now probably past his prime, Sacko hasn't faced an opponent like him before and could have trouble. The background makes for an interesting fight, with Sacko looking to prove himself.

November 23: Michael Badato vs. Maseh Nuristani - Rumble in the Jungle 24 - Melton, Australia

Michael Badato and Maseh Nuristani are both Australian fighters that have had success fighting around the light heavyweight division, with Badato recently shining on JWP's Caged Muay Thai. Nuristani lost to Steve Moxon earlier this year but from all accounts gave him a good fight. Both guys have big power and go for the knockout so don't be surprised if there's a big KO from either side.

November 24: Emmanuel Payet vs. Stephane Susperregui - Nuit des Champions - Marseilles, France

This is a battle of tow men who have fought Nathan "Carnage Corbett. Both of them lost, but both of them also gave Corbett a lot of trouble. Payet hurt him with a high kick in the first round of their bout back in 2009. Susperregui fought Corbett in April and gave him a very tough fight over five rounds. Susperregui is a very awkward and unpredictable fighter but effective at the same time and is one of the better fighters at 95kg.

November 24: Karim Ghajji vs. Dmitry Valent - Nuit des Champions - Marseilles, France

Nuit des Champion on November 24 is just a really good card, and so is this match-up. Valent is a very unheralded but good fighter who's flown under the radar for a long time. He gave John Wayne Parr a very tough fight in 2009. Ghajji has been around for a while and while it seems that Valent has as well, he's only 24. The fight takes place at 76kg, a normal weight for these two fighters, and is also five rounds.

November 24: Enriko Gogokhia vs. Berneung Topkingboxing - Thai Boxe Mania - Torino, Italy

Enriko Gogokhia is another up and coming talent at 70kg, who I thought should've gotten a decision over Mike Zambidis last year. Berneung is a tough test and can still beat and trouble a lot of fighters. Gogokhia's main flaws have been defense and cardio, and Berneung can wear fighters down, so Gogokhia will need to be in top condition to make this fight competitive.


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