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Gesias Cavalcante Completes 2012 S-Cup Field

With Shootboxing's 2012 S-Cup less than a month away, the final participant has been announced, leaving only 1 fight-in spot left later tonight at REBELS.13 as Henri van Opstal fights Yuichiro Nagashima. However, the announcement that came from Shootboxing was that 2-time Hero's Middleweight Grand Prix winner Gesias "JZ" Cavalcante will be the last competitor in the 2012 S-Cup. He joins Andy Souwer, Warren Stevelmans, Hiroki Shishido, Hiroaki Suzuki, Bovy Sor Udomson, the winner of van Opstal/Nagashima and the man to hand him his first MMA defeat, Joachim Hansen

Cavalcante debuted in MMA in 2004, winning his first two fights before taking a big step up and fighting former Shooto 154lb champin Joachim Hansen in just his third pro fight. Cavalcante lost that fight, but went on a 12-0-1 run following that fight, finishing all but two of his opponents and winning the 2006 and 2007 K-1 Hero's Middleweight (154lb) Grand Prix with wins over Caol Uno, Vitor Ribeiro, Hiroyuki Takaya and Rani Yahya, among others. With PRIDE's collapse and subsequent purchase by the UFC, FEG discontinued K-1 Hero's for DREAM, with a Lightweight Tournament headlining and more specifically, an opening round matchup between Cavalcante and DREAM posterboy Shinya Aoki. Their first fight ended in a no contest due to illegal blows to the back of the head, but a rematch saw Aoki come out on top, though Cavalcante was competitive. Another competitive loss to Tatsuya Kawajiri put Cavalcante up against rising star Katsunori Kikuno, who Cavalcante was able to out-grapple to a split decision win. Cavalcante then moved on to Strikeforce, where he went 1-2 with a no contest, losing very close fights to Josh Thomson and Isaac Vallie-Flagg, with the win a split decision over Bobby Green. His most recent fight was a knockout loss to Luis Palomino, putting Cavalcante at 2-5-0, 2 NC since his 12-0-1 run. It's clear that Cavalcante is not the same top fighter he was when he won back to back K-1 Hero's Grand Prix, with a torn knee ligament in 2007 likely being a major contributor to his recent lack of success, but Cavalcante is still an entertaining fighter with his MMA roots planted in Japan and much like fellow competitor Joachim Hansen, will draw eyes to the event because of his success in K-1 Hero's. There is no doubt that Cavalcante's key to success in this S-Cup will have to follow the path of Toby Imada 2 years ago, scoring throws and standing submissions to earn points and Cavalcante showed in 2007 when he faced Masato under K-1 rules that he can stand with an elite striker and not get finished. Yes, that was the 2007 version of Cavalcante, but considering how well Toby Imada did in 2010 after being a journeyman for most of his MMA career, I don't think Cavalcante is by any means a bad choice and I think he can win a fight or two in this tournament if he gets a good matchup.


Urabe vs Ishikawa III Headlines Krush.25: Team Dragon 10th Anniversary

Krush has announced the first bout for Krush.25 on December 14th at Korakuen Hall and it is a 60kg Title fight between current champ Hirotaka Urabe and Naoki Ishikawa. Krush.25 is also commemorating the 10th anniversary of the gym Krush has the closest ties to, Team Dragon, which is the home of the Urabe brothers, former Krush 63kg champ Ryuji Kajiwara, WILDRUSH League winner Hideaki Yamazaki and 55kg title challenger Takumi.

The main event is the third fight between Krush 60kg champion Hirotaka Urabe and Naoki Ishikawa. Urabe currently leads the series 1-0-1, with a win in their first fight in the quarterfinals of the Krush 60kg tournament, then fighting to a draw in Urabe’s first title defense. Urabe (20-6-2, 10 KO) has gone unbeaten in his last 12 fights, with Ishikawa being the only blemish in those 12 fights, most recently scoring a TKO via cut of French fighter Xavier Bastard in the extension round of their fight at Krush.23. Since his draw against Urabe, Ishikawa (35-18-5, 18 KO) has won two in a row, with a pair of decisions over Kan Itabashi and Shota Senchaigym. Ishikawa came close to beating Urabe last time and the two seem to be just about even in terms of skill, with Urabe having the advantage of speed and youth. When they fight, it really is a tossup, but if I had to put money on it I’d favor Urabe to keep the series in his favor and win for a second time.

Also expected to compete on the card from Team Dragon are Ryuji Kajiwara, Koya Urabe, Hideaki Yamazaki, Takumi, Namito Izawa, Takeru, Daizo Sasaki, Hideaki Yoshikawa, Tsutomu Tsakahagi, Keisuke Ishida and Hiroshi Hiratsuka. Former Krush 63kg champion Ryuji Kajiwara hasn’t fought since losing his title by KO to Thomas Adamandopoulos at Krush.21. Koya Urabe is currently set to fight in the Youth GP finals against Hisaki Higashimoto at Krush.24 on November 11th and will fight on this card if he doesn’t get injured. Yamazaki won the 63kg Krush WILDRUSH League at Krush.23, going 5-0 (1 KO) and earned the right to face Thomas Adamandopoulos next year for the Krush 63kg title. Takumi’s last fight was at Krush.22 where he fought Krush 55kg champ Shota Takiya for his title, but lost a decision in what was one of Takiya’s closest fights in a long time. Izawa and Takeru both picked up stoppage wins at Krush-EX 2012 vol.5 last weekend, with Takeru positioning himself well in the 55kg division with two straight wins, the most recent of which was over Yuya Suzuki, who was fresh off of a win over Izawa.


Heroes IV: Javier Hernandez vs. Michael Peynaud

Javier Hernandez got his name out to the world of kickboxing last year when he defeated Karim Bennoui and won the It's Showtime 61kg World Title. Since then, he lost his title to Masahiro Yamamoto in July but his international appearances on It's Showtime have gotten him a chance at more international fights, including his fight with Yuki at RISE 90, which takes place in just two days, on October 25 in Tokyo, Japan. Shortly after that fight, Hernandez has another fight with a good name in his hometown.

On November 17, the annual Heroes event in Cordoba, Spain takes place, as Heroes IV is headlined by Javier Hernandez vs. Michael Peynaud, from France. Peynaud has also fought for It's Showtime in the past, when he lost on a cut to Sergio Wielzen. He's beaten Karim Bennoui twice and comes off a stoppage win over Vatsana Sedone in June at Best of Siam in Paris, France. The bout takes place at 61kg. Either fighter getting a win in this fight would be big for them, as it would add a good name to their resumes.

There are some other fights on the card with up and coming fighters to watch out for from RR Team, which is Hernandez's gym. Juan Carlos Crespo from RR Team fights Jean Pierre Habinama of Belgium, Miguel Repiso Ruiz fights Nikos Taramas from the Vos Gym in the Netherlands and Jesus "Pony" Branco Gallardo fights Armenian-Spanish fighter Vardan Mnatsakanyan.


Takahashi, Kenta, Miyakoshi Brothers Headline NJKF: Kick to the Future 9

NJKF has announced the 9th installment of its Kick to the Future series for November 25th, featuring two of their promotional champions in super fights, a title fight and three NEW JAPAN WARS 2012 finals, one of which is for a vacant title, with the other two determining the next challenger to the title at their respective weights.

Headlining the card is NJKF Super Lightweight champion Seiji Takahashi taking on Naoki. Takahashi (12-7-0, 7 KO) lost his WBC Japan Super Lightweight title to Tetsuya Yamato earlier this year, but bounced back with a huge head kick KO of Atsushi Ogata in Krush. Naoki started the year with a big upset win over HIROYA, but has followed that up with a pair of losses to Hiroshi Mizumachi in RISE and MASAYA in Shootboxing. 

NJKF Lightweight champion Keijiro Miyakoshi also makes an appearance on the card, taking on former Rajadamnern Stadium ranker Mongkoldet Sithubon. Miyakoshi had a good 4-fight streak going with wins over Ikki and Akihiro Kuroda to claim the NJKF and WBC Japan Lightweight titles, respectively, then fought fellow prospect Hikaru Machida to a draw before scoring a career best win over Koya Urabe at Kick to the Future 2. His most recent fight snapped that streak, as he lost his WBC Japan title to Yosuke Mizuochi. 

NJKF Super Welterweight champion Kenta looks to get back on track with a defense of his NJKF title against NEW JAPAN WARS 2012 Super Welterweight winner Takenaka Shirakami. Kenta (24-11-3, 9 KO) is just 1-3 this year with a win over Shu Kiire and losses to TOMOYUKI, Yasuhiro Kido and Soichiro Miyakoshi, however Shirakami doesn't pose that big of a threat to him. That being said, Kenta doesn't seem to be the same fighter he was at this time last year and will need to put forth his best here. Shirakami beat Hiroki Yamamoto at Kick to the Future 6 in the Super Welterweight finals to get this fight.

The next NJKF title fight sees NEW JAPAN WARS Super Featherweight finalists KEI and Daichi Yamato square off for the vacant Super Featherweight title. KEI took out Nobuhiro Iwai at Kick to the Future 3 while Yamato defeated Shoya Suzuki at Kick to the Future 6.

In the NEW JAPAN WARS 2012 Welterweight finals, WBC Japan Super Welterweight champion Soichiro Miyakoshi takes on Tae-yong. Miyakoshi (19-9-1, 10 KO) was seeded into the finals by virtue of being ranked #1 and defending his WBC Japan title. He is 3-1 in his last 4 with wins over Yutaro Yamauchi, Kenta and Masato Otake. Tae-yong defeated Baku Senchaigym at Kick to the Future 6 to get this fight. The winner will go on to face current Welterweight champion Yuya Yamato.

In the final NEW JAPAN WARS 2012 final, Marimo battles Kazushige Sugama at Super Lightweight for the right to take on current champ Seiji Takahashi. Both fought and won at Kick to the Future 6 with Sugama defeating Noriyuki Miyajima by KO and Marimo taking a decision off of Akira.

Finally, in a NEW JAPAN WARS 2012 Flyweight semifinal, former WBC Japan champion Naoki Otsuki takes on undefeated prospect Nimo. Otsuki is winless in his last 3 fights, losing a split decision to Hiroyuki Yamano before losing his WBC Japan Flyweight title to Ryuji Kato last October. His only fight this year was a draw against Sazanami Satsuma. Nimo (5-0-2, 2 KO) has started his career undefeated, but didn't pick up a significant win until earlier this month when he upset Shuichi Wentz, who was fresh off of a big head kick KO of Romie Adanza in K-1. These two are the only fighters that regularly fight in the NJKF Flyweight division, so I assume someone like Ryuji Kato, Hiroyuki Yamano or Sazanami Satsuma will be brought in for the finals to crown a NJKF Flyweight champion.


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