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Weekend Results: Batu Khasikov Gets Another Win


Batu Khasikov was back in action in just his second fight of the year on Sunday in the far eastern city of Khabarovsk, Russia. The fight was more of a tune up to get ready for his big fight against Gago Drago on November 3.

Khasikov faced Mohamed Reza Nazari of Iran at 75kg, and he definitely didn't look out of place at that weight. Khasikov was leading the fight up until a knee in the third round that broke Nazari's jaw and rendered the Iranian unable to continue. However, Khasikov still doesn't look like the same fighter that beat Albert Kraus and Mike Zambidis. He still looked more like the one that should've lost to Warren Stevelmans back in May.

I don't know what it is, but Khasikov just hasn't looked the same since beating Mike Zambidis, even though that fight was really short, he still showed a lot more than he has in his past two fights. Although Gago Drago has fallen off dramatically over the past few years, with the way Khasikov has looked in his last two fights now, I wouldn't be surprised if Drago is able to make it a very close fight or even beat him barring a hometown decision of course, like the one Khasikov got against Warren Stevelmans.


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.


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