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Japanese Kickboxing Scene: October Preview

  • Written by Dave Walsh

With both K-1 and GLORY holding events this month, October is looking to be one of the best months for kickfighting fans this year. The outlook for the Japanese scene is quite similar as Krush, RISE and MA Kick are all showcasing some of their top fighters in competitive fights, with Krush and RISE continuing to bring in foreign competition. This article will take a look at the coming month in Japan and highlight the marquee matchups set to take place.

October 5th – J-Network: Next J-Generation 5

Headliner: Akihiro Kuroda vs Shingen Endo for Kuroda’s J-Network Lightweight Title

Akihiro Kuroda is possibly the most visible “unknown” fighter in Japan for those who don’t follow the Japanese scene very closely. He has fought Ryuji Kajiwara, Haruaki Otsuki, Hiroki Ishii, Koji Yoshimoto, Hiroya, Yusuke Sugawara, Yoshinori Nakasuka, Seiji Takahashi and Fire Harada and has held his J-Network title since 2008, defending it three times. Endo is the most recent man to beat him, although the fight was under WPMF rules with elbows. This card also features Shuichi Wentz, fresh off of his highlight reel KO of Romie Adanza in K-1, taking on Nimo, and student of Ryuji Kajiwara, Masa, taking on Ikurou Hatekayama.

October 7th – MA Kick: Break-30

Headliner: Yosuke Morii vs Hiroki Akimoto for Morii’s WBC Japan Featherweight Title

This headliner, along with Yuki vs Javier Hernandez and Henri van Opstal vs Yuichiro Nagashima, is the biggest fight of the month. The 24 year old champ Morii and the 20 year old Akimoto battle for divisional supremacy (with Genji Umeno primarily fighting in K-1 and Thailand). While only 24, Morii is the tested veteran defending his spot at the top against the surging prospect. Also on this card are 3 more WBC Japan title fights, with Flyweight champ Ryuji Kato battling Hiroyuki Yamano, Welterweight champ Yuya Yamato taking on Daiki Watabe, as well as Takuma Ito and Kentaro Kimura fighting for the vacant Bantamweight title.


Headliner: Danilo Zanolini vs Ren Takeno for Zanolini’s HEAT Middleweight Title

Zanolini won the HEAT title back in 2010 and has defended it twice, most recently against K-1 veteran Su Hwan Lee. Zanolini is 1-1 this year with the loss to Hiroki Nakajima and the win over Soichiro Miyakoshi. Takeno won the DEEP*KICK 70kg tournament. Also on this card is a heavyweight clash between longtime K-1 fighter Peter Graham and one-time K-1 fighter Prince Ali.

October 8th – Krush.23

Headliner: Hirotaka Urabe vs Xavier Bastard/Yasuhiro Kido vs Ludovic Millet

Krush brings in the foreign competition once again, this time with a pair of Frenchmen. Urabe was originally set to face Hamza Soessi, but he was replaced by Moustafa Rousso, who himself was replaced just yesterday by Bastard. The event is only a week away, so hopefully Urabe’s opponent doesn’t change again. This card will also feature the final leg of the -63kg Krush WILDRUSH League as well as a triplet of 60kg fights that could help determine Hirotaka Urabe’s next challenger, pitting Naoki Ishikawa against Sho Senchaigym, the returning Yuji Takeuchi against Fumiya Osawa and Kan Itabashi against Katsuya Goto.

October 14th – NJKF: Kick to the Future 7

Headliner: Heihachi Nakajima vs Ayumu Sasara for Nakajima’s NJKF Featherweight Title

Nakajima is coming off of a pair of losses, though those losses came to Rajadamnern Stadium champ Kaimookdam Aikbangzai and WBC Japan champ Yosuke Morii. Sasara has won 3 in a row, including his most recent fight against Takuma in the NEW JAPAN WARS 2012 Featherweight final.

SNKA: Magnum 30

Headliner: Tsukuru Midorikawa vs Hayato Otsuka for Midorikawa’s SNKA Welterweight Title

Midorikawa has lost two in a row coming into this fight while Otsuka just had a 6-fight winstreak snapped. However, the focus of this card is prospect Rui Ebata who looks to stay undefeated in his pro career after a draw in his latest SNKA title defense.

October 21st – Krush-EX 2012 vol.5

Headliner: Yutaro Yamauchi vs KEN

This event is the Krush return of 70kg tournament finalist Yutaro Yamauchi who has only fought once since losing to Kenta in the tourney finals, losing his WBC Japan Super Welterweight title to Soichiro Miyakoshi. Also featured on this card are Keiji Ozaki and Namito Izawa.

October 25th – RISE 90

Headliner: Yuki vs Javier Hernandez

Rivaling MA Kick’s BREAK-30 as the biggest Japanese event of the month, RISE 90 features 2 title fights and 2 #1 contender fights, as well as the headlining bout of Yuki vs Javier Hernandez. In a heavyweight title fight, Kengo Shimizu rematches Raoumaru. In the finals of the Featherweight tournament, Ryo Pegasus takes on Ittao. In a 63kg #1 contender fight, Son Hyun Lee takes on Hiroshi Mizumachi. Finally, in a 65kg #1 contender fight, Yasuomi Soda takes on Yukihiro Komiya. RISE regulars Yuto Watanabe and Dyki take on outside opposition, facing Yuji Sugawara and Takashi Ohno respectively.

October 28th – REBELS.13

Headliner: Henri van Opstal vs Yuichiro Nagashima

The event that closes the month for the Japanese scene will take place in two parts, as most recent REBELS events have due to It’s Showtime Japan, with a new series, REBELS Muay Thai 1, being held first and REBELS.13 afterwards. The Muay Thai portion of the card features 3 WPMF Japan title fights. First, Welterweight champion T-98 looks for his first defense against Hideya Tanaka. Super Featherweight champ SHIGERU attempts to retain his title against Tomoaki Suehiro. And at Middleweight, Super Welterweight champ Takayuki Weerasakreck and #1 ranked Kenichi Iritsuki battle for the vacant title. The latter portion of the event is headlined by a 70kg fight between Henri van Opstal and Yuichiro Nagashima, while MA Kick champion Mohan Dragon faces Zen Fujita at 65kg and Toshio Matsumoto takes on Hidekazu Kimura at 85kg.

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