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Japanese Scene Weekly Recap: April 22nd - 28th

  • Written by Dave Walsh


The biggest news this week came from RISE, who announced a big 61kg matchup between LiverKick #5 ranked Lightweight Yuki and RISE 60kg champ Kosuke Komiyama at RISE 93 on June 9th. Also announced were 4 matchups featuring 2012 RISING ROOKIES Cup winners, most notably Yuya Fujita vs Shohei Asahara. Full write-up here.

The Hoost Cup added a pair of fights to their next event on June 16th, though they still haven't announced opponents for big names Saenchai, Yoshihiro Sato and Yuichiro Nagashima. At 59.5kg, DEEP*KICK 60kg champion Yuto Tsujide takes on Fukashi. Neither man has scored a signature win in his career, though Fukashi is coming off of a draw against Hikaru Machida. In the other matchup, 2012 K-1 Koshien champ Sho Ogawa takes on HIROKI. Ogawa is 6-1 in his last 7 while HIROKI is 3-0-1 in his last 4.

This weekend's GLORY 8 Tokyo had a small change, as Ryoji was forced to pull out of his bout with Yu Hirono. Replacing him is HEAT 70kg champ Danilo Zanolini. Although Zanolini is a late replacement, I feel like this is a more competitive matchup. Zanolini has won three in a row, most notably picking up a win over Soichiro Miyakoshi. Hirono has quietly been one of the better 70kg fighters in Japan with a 6-1 record since 2011 including wins over Takuro Moriya, Asami Zaurus and most recently Ichiro Morimoto at Road to GLORY Japan in March. The loss was a competitive one to Yasuhiro Kido.

Krush announced some participants for Krush.29 on June 16th, which already has the 4-man ISKA Lightweight tournament. Recently crowned 63kg champion Hideaki Yamazaki will participate in a non-title fight while MA Kick and WBC Japan Super Bantamweight champion Keisuke Miyamoto will take his second fight  under the Krush banner. Brothers HIROYA and Taiga will also participate on the card, while 58kg tournament semifinalists Yuzo Suzuki and Shota Kobe will fight on the card, possibly against each other.

M-FIGHT added another WPMF Japan title fight to their already impressive Fist Kick X card, pitting Hikaru Machida against Takahito Fujimaki for the vacant WPMF Japan Super Featherweight title. Both men have struggled lately, with Machida winless in his last 5 at 0-3-2 and Fujimaki at 1-3-2 in his last 6. However, two of Machida's losses were by cut and the two draws came at a higher weight while Fujimaki split a pair of fights with MA Kick champ Yoshito Kajita and managed a draw against SHIGERU, though he lost in a rematch.

K-Spirit returns with K-Spirit 6 on June 9th, headlined by an RKA Super Bantamweight title match between Kunihiro and Tomo Arimatsu. Kunihiro opened a lot of eyes recently as he pushed MA Kick champion Keisuke Miyamoto to the edge in their title fight, but was only able to manage a draw. Arimatsu lost his most recent fight by 1st round knockout at RISE/M-1MC Infinity. These two fought once before in October of 2011, with Arimatsu winning a unanimous decision.


Muaylok 2013 1st: The main event saw WPMF Japan Super Flyweight champion Kiminori Matsuzaki defend his title with a 4th round cut stoppage against Nagata Haryi. Matsuzaki opened up a cut under Haryi's left eye and targeted it throughout the fight, causing the doctor to stop it. The win snaps a 3-fight losing streak for the 37 year old Matsuzaki and saves him from falling out of relevancy in one of Japan's most  talented divisions. The co-main event saw Yuji Uwasawa claim the vacant WPMF Japan Flyweight title with a close majority decision over Yasuto Furuta on scores of 49-49 and 49-48(x2). Uwasawa bounces back from a loss to Ryuji Kato and although he won, this was Furuta's 4th straight loss, so it says more about Uwasawa than it does Furuta.

NKB - 2013 Human Bullet 2: The main event saw Yuhei Sato knock Taiji Yamauchi down three times in the 2nd round to win the vacant NKB Featherweight title.


K-1 veteran Masaaki Satake hinted that he may be running for a seat in the House of Councillors as a member of the Liberal Democratic Party in this year's elections, which are expected to be held in July. The House of Councillors is the upper house of the bicameral Japanese legislature, commonly known as the National Diet, and consists of 242 seats. The Liberal Democratic Party was in control of the government from 1955 to 2009, aside from an 11 month period from 1993 to 1994. It regained control of the government in the 2012 elections, gaining 175 seats and pushing their coalition majority to 325 of the 480 seats in the lower House of Representatives. Should he win a seat, he will serve a 6 year term and be up for re-election in 2019. I don't believe there are term limits for the House of Councillors. Satake should be well known to K-1 fans around the globe and especially in Japan. He competed in the inaugural K-1 Grand Prix in 1993 and in each one until 1999, excluding 1996, making it to the finals in 1994, the semifinals in 1993 and 1995 and the quarterfinals in 1997 and 1998 before passing the torch to Musashi in 1999 with an opening round loss. He also won the first two Japan Qualifying GPs in 1997 and 1998 without so much as breaking a sweat, going 6-0 with 4 knockouts across the two tournaments. MMA fans will also remember him for his ill-advised MMA career, where he went 1-8-1 in PRIDE and the 2001 and 2002 Inoki Bom-Ba-Ye events, largely due to his lack of a ground game. Some of his losses came to PRIDE stars Mark Coleman, Igor Vovchanchyn, Hidehiko Yoshida, Semmy Schilt, Quinton "Rampage" Jackson and Guy Mezger. Since his retirement, Satake has been managing a human resources development company in Kyoto. Satake is not the only celebrity who has been rumored to be running, as former prosecutor Masaru Wakasa, actor Daisuke Shima, newscaster Jun Ogura and gold medal Olympic gymnast Mitsuo Tsukahara have all either openly announced their intention to run or have been speculated to run. 

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