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Krush.24, Nov. 10: Yetkin Ozkul vs. Masaaki Noiri, Youth GP Finals

Krush has really been stepping it up in terms of quality, and quantity this year, with more and more events, and bringing in more foreign opposition. Krush.24 takes place on November 10 in Tokyo, Japan and along with the two Youth GP Finals at 63kg and 70kg respectively, they're also brought in one of the best foreigners to face one of their own top fighters.

LiverKick #1 ranked lightweight Masaaki Noiri headlines the card, taking on our #4 ranked lightweight Yetkin Ozkul at 63kg, in what is a huge match for the division. Noiri rebounded from a 64kg loss to Raz Sarkisjan in May with a win in August. Ozkul made his big splash in kickboxing when he dominated and stopped Thomas Adamandopoulos back in May.

Noiri is the bigger fighter and is much more accustomed to 63kg but if there's one flaw he has, it's defense to punches and Yetkin Ozkul specializes in that exact area, power punching. Despite being smaller, Ozkul hits like a truck. What Ozkul will have to watch out for are the knees of Noiri, who will have a significant height advantage. 

Also on the card are the two Krush Youth GP Finals. At 63kg, Koya Urabe fights Hisaki Higashimoto, who surprisingly ended up in the final after winning his two Youth GP fights on September 9, including a big stoppage win over HIROYA. Urabe is definitely the favorite and the more seasoned, experienced fighter but it would be huge if Higashimoto won, giving us a new major player at the weight. At 70kg, the final is Shintaro Matsukura against Taisei Kondo. Matsukura has had a ton of ups and downs, including his all out brawls with Yuya Yamamoto but a win here would help him get back on track. Kondo had a tough time getting here with a majority decision win over JungleKoki but definitely has a chance to win the fight due to Matsukura's defensive flaws.

Also expected on the card are Zaurus Asami, Yuta DYNAMITE and Yuzo Suzuki.


Krush Adds 58kg, 67kg Weight Classes

Krush has just announced that, as of Krush.24 on November 10th, they will be introducing two new weight classes at -58kg and -67kg. The -58kg class is a compromise between Featherweight (57.15kg) and Super Featherweight (59kg) while -67kg is essentially the same as the Welterweight limit (66.68kg). Hopefully, Krush will be looking to really showcase these new weight classes in this year's last 3 events and there is plenty of talent to be showcased.

While most Super Featherweights have already moved up to the Krush-standard 60kg limit, 58kg will likely bring in Japan's top Featherweights, which has become one of their more talented division. At the top of the division stands Genji Umeno who just lost a 61kg fight in K-1 to Chang-hyun Lee, but prior to that was ranked at Lumpinee Stadium and held the WPMF Japan title. It is hard to know if he will continue to fight with K-1 or if Krush will be able to put him on some of their future cards, which would certainly be a big plus for Krush. Just below him is undefeated Hiroki Akimoto who is fresh off of a win over the nearly equally talented Yosuke Morii. Other top fighters include NJKF champ Heihachi Nakajima, Daiki Nagashima, Yuji Umehara, Yasukai Koyama, Masato Sato and the RISE Featherweight Tournament finalists Ryo Pegasus and Ittao.

67kg doesn't quite have the depth of Krush's other weight classes, but it is the home of standouts Yuya Yamato, who holds the WBC Japan title and T-98, who holds the WPMF Japan title, as well as prospect Masato Otake and veteran Soichiro Miyakoshi. It also allows for fighters at 65kg to move up instead of drain themselves to drop to 63kg, opening the door for fighters like Yukihiro Komiya, RISE 65kg champ Koji Yoshimoto, Yusuke Sugawara and Yasuomi Soda. 

Hopefully with these new weight classes will also come 8 or even 16-man tournaments and maybe even a Featherweight class for the Youth Tournament. 


Batu Khasikov Returns On Saturday, Also Against Gago Drago In November

Batu Khasikov made a name for himself in 2011 when he defeated both Albert Kraus and Mike Zambidis. He's only fought once in 2012, where he won a very controversial decision over Warren Stevelmans.

Khasikov returns to the ring on this Saturday, October 14 in Khabarovsk, Russia. For this fight he'll have an easier opponent than his three previous fights, as he takes on Mohammed Reza Nazari from Iran, at 75kg. Nazari has fought in Russia four times, with two wins, a loss and a no contest in the country. This is more of a fight to prepare him for his fight just three weeks after in November.

On November 3, Khasikov will fight Gago Drago in Moscow, Russia at Battle of Moscow 8. That fight will be at 72.5kg. It's strange for Khasikov to be fighting so shortly after another fight, as over the past few years he's generally been very inactive, only fighting twice in all of 2011 and only once so far this year. He is said to be preparing for a big fight, as Fight Nights, his promotion, continually tries to negotiate a fight between himself and Buakaw.

Khasikov isn't just a fighter, as he also is extensively involved as a producer in the organizational and promotional aspects of the Fight Nights promotion.


SuperKombat Final Elimination On November 10: Details

SuperKombat has a busy schedule this fall with an event this month on October 20, next month on November 10 and on December 22. Today SuperKombat sent out details of their Final Elimination event, which will lead into their December show.

The Final Elimination will take place on November 10 in Craiova, Romania at the newly-opened Sports Hall that seats 5000 people. Eduard Irimia shared some of the names that we can expect to see on the event:

“For the moment I can share a few names. We will have the SUPERKOMBAT® WGP 2012 Qualification winners, Catalin Morosanu, Raul Catinas, Benjamin Adegbuyi and the winner from SUPERKOMBAT® WGP 2012 Fourth Qualification, scheduled for October 20th at Arad – Romania, but also Alexey Ignashov, Daniel Sam, Freddy Kemayo and Ismael Londt.”

Along with those regular SuperKombat names, there will also be some fighters from this weekend's K-1 Final 16:

“We will make a selection from there and some of them will be at Craiova on November 10th for SUPERKOMBAT® WGP 2012 Final Elimination. A press conference will be held at Tokyo after K-1 World GP 2012 Final 16, where we will announce the fight card and the plans for the next year.”, said SUPERKOMBAT® President – Eduard Irimia.

As for the event in December, there is no set location yet but possible ones are Istanbul or Abu Dhabi. For more information, read the full press release on SuperKombat's website.



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