With the excitement surrounding Krush's 67kg Tournament, it is easy to forget that about two weeks later, on January 26th, Krush will also be hosting the first round of their 58kg tournament. While it is not a one-night tournament like the 67kg one, it does feature top fighters in Nobuchika Terado and Takeru, and Krush recently announced the quarterfinal matchups for their second tournament of 2013. In the upper half of the bracket, tournament favorite and ISKA Bantamweight champion Nobuchika Terado faces KO-ICHI while prospects Koji and Shota Kanbe square off. In the lower half, Takeru faces J-Network's Kenta Yagami while Tsuyoshi Nakajima and Yuzo Suzuki face each other in the opening round of a tournament for the 2nd time. Terado shouldn't have too much trouble with KO-ICHI, who was knocked out in his last two outings, though it was to champion Shota Takiya and recent title challenger Takumi. Unfortunately for him, Terado is also a recent title challenger that packs a good amount of power. A win by KO-ICHI would definitely be the upset of the tournament. In the second matchup I favor Kanbe, but a win for either man means a huge step up in competition, assuming Terado takes care of business. I favor Takeru over Yagami, though with Yagami being a bit of an unknown, anything could happen. Regardless, I'll take the winner of this matchup as the lower-bracket favorite. The final matchup is a rematch of a quarterfinal from last year's 60kg tournament, which Nakajima won by close majority decision. Nakajima is 0-2 since, while Suzuki is 2-1, most recently destroying Andrew "KEN" Brewster at Krush.24. Due to that performance, I give a slight edge to Suzuki in the rematch.
The 55kg WILDRUSH League is still set to open on this card, though Krush has not announced the final participant or matchups. Yoshihiro Sato also returns to Krush on this card against former 70kg champ Kenta, with the winner likely getting a title shot.
The other announcement coming from Krush is in regards to their 67kg Tournament event on January 14th, adding four additional fights. Among these four were a trio of 63kg fights, with Minoru Kimura vs NOMAN, Yukimitsu Takahashi vs Atsushi Ogata and Hisaki Higashimoto vs Taito. Kimura was a former K-1 Koshien participant and competed in this year's 63kg Youth GP, though he lost to Hiroto Yamaguchi in the opening round. NOMAN competed in the 63kg WILDRUSH League, finishing 3rd, putting together a 2-2-1 record with his losses coming to Hideaki Yamazaki and Hitoshi Tsukagoshi, the two men who placed above him. Takahasi also competed in the WILDRUSH League, finishing 5th with a 1-2-2 record, but putting on two of the tournament's most exciting fights in his two draws. Ogata scored an upset of Toshiki Taniyama back in July, but has lost 2 straight by knockout since to Seiji Takahashi and Hiroto Yamaguchi. Higashimoto competed in this year's 63kg Youth GP, surprisingly making it to the finals with an upset KO of Hiroya in his first pro fight and a semifinal win over Daizo Sasaki. He lost to Koya Urabe in the finals, but that was just his 3rd pro fight. Taito scored an upset himself earlier this year with a win over Keiji Ozaki, but most recently was knocked out by Ikki. The final fight announced was a 60kg matchup between Katsuya Goto and Leona Pettas. Goto made it to the finals of last year's 60kg tournament, but lost to Fumiya Osawa. In his only fight since, he was stopped by Kan Itabashi. Pettas went 3-0 in Krush this year, though he was facing less than stellar competition. Goto will be his first step up.
With the addition of these 4 fights as opening fights, this fight card is better than anything that Krush put on in 2012, and that's not to say that Krush was putting together bad cards. Yes, this is a special event as it is hosting a one-night tournament and is taking place at the Yoyogi National Gymnasium, but if this is the standard for big Krush in 2013, it should be a very fruitful year.