|Heavyweight (Per 4/15)|
|Light HW (per 4/15)|
|Middleweight (per 4/15)|
|Welterweight (per 4/15)|
|4.||Marc de Bonte|
|70kg (Per 4/15)|
|3.||Robin van Roosmalen|
|65kg (per 1/20)|
There are some peculiar things about Yuichiro Nagashima. OK, that is a ludicrous statement, there are many downright odd things about Yuichiro Nagashima, from his nickname of Jienotsu, which embodies the character he portrays, to the clothing he wears in public to play this character. Then of course is the fact that he is an obsessive anime fan and that his fanbase seems to consist entirely of "cosplaying" teens, many basically crossdressing. Nagashima talked with K-1's official site, and he knew that the odds were against him going into the fight.
|-- Honestly, did you think you would lose.|
|Jienotsu: I wanted to finish it in the first round and I didn't really imagine I would win in the second. I thought I would do my best, and when I won I was like, "That's what K-1 is all about!" I really felt like I'm the new face if K-1. I did what Masato couldn't do, right?|
|-- There were a lot of DREAM fans there so the whole arena reacted when you won.|
|Jienotsu: I heard it was the biggest rated moment of the night. I'm up against non-fightfans. That means they don't know much about K-1. And I'm sure that there are DREAM fans that don't care about K-1. I think I engaged all those people. I think I got them to feel that they might want to at least watch my fights.|
|-- Did you see the reaction on the Internet?|
|Jienotsu: I followed on 'Channel 2' (Japan's most popular BBS). Before the fight people were like, "I wonder which bone Jienotsu will get broken". I showed them. Things change so quickly on the net. People looked at the fight and some said, "I guess cosplay isn't that bad" which made me happy.|
Nagashima is always looking out for cosplayers' rights everywhere, I guess. Nagashima also has a new book out entitled JiDENotsu that tells his life story, up until the last few months, and if you have to wonder exactly what kind of things he overcame to become the fighter he is now, well, behold.
|-- What's in it?|
|Jienotsu: How I went from shut-in and bullied kid to martial artist to K-1 Japan champion. What inspired me to try hard. It's a book with a lot of "moe" (fan spirit).|
|-- What kind of person do you want to read it?|
|Jienotsu: I hope people who are lost and confused read it. People who are shut-ins.|
If you are a shut-in or gender confused with K-1 aspirations, take a page from Nagashima's book, you might end up a MAX Japan champion and have the scalp of one of the best MMA fighters in the world to show off to your peers. [source]Add a comment
Coming up on January 30 is the semi-final round of the United Glory World Series of Kickboxing and MMA - a pair of 8 man tournaments started last October and wrapping up this spring. The current favorite to win the kickboxing side of the tournament is the #6 ranked Gokhan Saki, however the latest rumors indicate Saki may end up dropping out of the January 30 event. Saki is still recovering from injuries suffered in his Grand Prix war with Daniel Ghita, and may not have time to get back in shape for this semi-final round. If he does indeed drop out, Saki will likely be replaced by his Golden Glory stablemate Errol Zimmerman. Zimmerman was originally scheduled to take part in the tournament, but had to drop out after being KO'd by Ghita at the K-1 Final 16.
The current semi-final matches have Saki vs. Wendel Roche and Brice Guidon vs. Mourad Bouzidi, with the winners meeting in the finals on April 21. Losing Saki would be unfortunate, but in all honesty would make the tournament more interesting. As it stands right now, Saki is the prohibitive favorite - Roche, Guidon, and Bouzidi are all talented fighters, but Saki stands head and shoulders above them. Zimmerman on the other hand is at a career low point, and more on a level with the other semi-finalists. He has already faced both Roche (with Zimmerman pulling off a close extra round decision win) and Bouzidi (in a fight that Bouzidi won via cut stoppage). Both opponents would make interesting rematches for The Bonecrusher, while the underrated Guidon would be a tough challenge for Zimmerman. Entering this tournament would help give us a clear view of just where Zimmerman stands right now, so while I wish Saki the best recovery, I won't complain about this switch if it happens.
On the MMA side, the semi-finals are currently listed as Siyar Bahadurzada vs. John Alessio and Roan Carneiro vs. Tommy Depret, however there is some shuffling over here also, as Alessio posted on twitter that he has been forced to drop out due to an injury suffered in training. No word yet on a possible replacement. Again, winners here will meet in the finals on April 21.
The rest of the January 30 card includes a number of kickboxing and MMA super fights. Two fights of note for kickboxing fans: Robin van Roosmalen will be in action, though his opponent is not yet determined; and Frederic Sinistra faces Filip Verlinden.
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Sudsakorn 13 Coins Gym (pictured, vs. Chahid) beat Kem Sitsongpeenong by decision in the groups round of the Isuzu Tournament this January 15th in Bangkok, Thailand. Sudsakorn dropped Kem in the fourth with an elbow en route to the decision victory.
This was a rematch and also a minor upset, since both are strong in the tournament field, but Kem was favored to win the entire tournament. Kem won the first fight by third round knockout.
Sudsakorn and Kem are in group A of the 67 kg Isuzu Tournament and have logged one win apiece, Sudsakorn over Kongjak Sor Thuantong and Kem over Nopparat Keatkhamtorn.
I'll post video once it gets up. This is a major fight so expect to see it within a day or two.
edit: Video is up.
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We've been talking about RENA a bit the past few days, the 2009 and 2010 SHOOTBOXING Girls S-Cup Champion, but for a lot of people out there, they might not be as familiar with SHOOTBOXING, never mind Girls SHOOTBOXING. Leave it to one of our favorite readers, Jill, to toss together an awesome highlight video where you can see RENA's awesome use of push kicks, mid kicks and great judo throws that put her on top of the SHOOTBOXING mountain. [source]
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We all love honesty when it comes in our favorite fighters; a straight-forward attitude, humility and admittance that they are indeed mortal just like you and me. They get scared. Well, most fighters do, not everybody is Alistair Overeem, who knows when he is walking to the ring that it will just be a matter of time before someone lays in a pool of their own blood before him. Going into his Mixed Rules bout at Dynamite!! against Shinya Aoki, Yuichiro Nagashima knew what he had to do; he had to get out there and knock Aoki out in the first round. Aoki used his brain to avoid contact with Nagashima all throughout the K-1 rules round, which lead into the MMA rules portion of the bout, where Nagashima was in deep, deep water against one of the best MMA grapplers in the world. After the boisterous, over-the-top entrance from Nagashima, to lose would be a shame, but when you saw the look on his face and the concern of his trainers going into the second round, you saw a defeated man.
The flying knee that connected not only shocked Aoki, but it shocked Nagashima as well. Watch this video of Nagashima as he heads to the back after the bout and watch him coming down from his adrenaline rush and just how lucky he knows he was for scoring that knockout. He even vows to never, ever do MMA again and that he was "so scared!"
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Few things are more exciting than a fighter that throws caution to the wind. One that's willing to lay it all on the line to entertain the fans and make sure everyone in attendance sees a good show. As fight fans, we cheer most intensely for those that have one goal in mind: to show no quarter and destroy or be destroyed. It's a recipe for success in gaining fans and there are those that have parlayed that style into a legendary career. But what about those that don't walk that thin line between success and failure? The fighters that place winning above entertainment.
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More news today from Japan’s Shootboxing organization. The normally quiet company has been making a lot of noise in the past few weeks as they get things in place for their upcoming 2011 season. We already heard the news that their 5 main shows were scheduled (for Feb. 19, Apr. 23, Jun. 5, Sep. 10, and Nov. 11), that we could expect to see both 2010 S-Cup finalists Buakaw Por. Pramuk and Toby Imada return this year, and that the Feb. 19 show would feature an exciting rematch between one of the top Shootboxing Japanese stars Hiroki Shishido and the fun Thai brawler Bovy Sor. Udomson. Now we have confirmation on some of their other 2011 plans.
To start, this year will feature the 3rd annual Girls S-Cup, scheduled for some time in August. No other details yet, but you can bet two time S-Cup champion RENA will be back to defend her crown. RENA is one of the hottest stars in the Japanese fight game right now, and her recent appearance on TV drew huge ratings. She’s a great asset for Shootboxing, and it’s a smart move for them to continue putting the spotlight on her at the Girls S-Cup. Hopefully this year we will also see more development of other women in this division, such as Japanese fighter Hisae Watanabe, V Hajime, and Ai Takahashi. I’m also hoping to see American Kate Martinez back, as she had a strong performance at last year’s event.
Also announced is the return of the Young Caesar’s Cup. The Cup is Shootboxing’s version of K-1 Koshien, giving young fighters a chance to gain valuable experience and make their way into the main Shootboxing ranks. And just like Koshien, last year saw the Young Caesar’s Cup pay great dividends. 2010 Cup champion Ryuya Kusakabe is one of Japan’s top young prospects at 55kg. Since winning the Cup, he has claimed the Shootboxing 55kg title, and is the front runner to win Krush’s 55kg championship tournament. With kickboxing in Japan looking for the next wave of talent, events like K-1 Koshien and the Young Caesar’s Cup are vital to ensure the sport’s future. Young Caesar’s Cup events will take place on January 30, March 13, and a July date TBD.
One event that will not take place this year is their big S-Cup tournament. That show happens every other year, so will be back in 2012.
Finally, Shootboxing is involved with an event called the MACS Amateur Championship taking place in February, and will be staging a small event in May.
This is all great news for fans of the unique action only Shootboxing can bring. I’m thrilled we have so much to say about this promotion, and look forward to their 2011.Add a comment
I'm not sure if what I'm posing at this point is a rhetorical at this point or if it actually has value. Recently SHOOTBOXING Girls S-Cup 2009 and 2010 champ Rena Kubota (simply called RENA) made a television appearance on the Female Athletes TV show on TBS, and the ratings she scored for her segment were quite positive. The overall rating for the show was 11.8%, with RENA's segment where she embarrassed three male comedians in the ring received a staggering 16.8%.
RENA, to say the least, has proven that she has the attention of Japan's fickle audiences, and once again on a show featuring female athletes from different sports, was able to prove that combat sports can be seen as "cool." This is immensely important for combat sports. Recently, @DanHerbertson, @Kuri_Kinton and myself (@LiverKickdotcom) had a discussion about the future of combat sports in Japan. Stuart Tonkin (Kuri Kinton), of course, for the uninitiated has been in Japan for ages and does work for K-1, while Herbertson is MMAFighting.com's Japan reporter.
The talk came on the heels of Herbertson and myself discussing TBS and FEG's future, which at this point is a big unknown. TBS had a two year deal with FEG that expired at Dynamite!!, which means as of right now the future of K-1 MAX and DREAM are uncertain on television. This of course could all be idle talk and TBS picks FEG programming back up and simply alters the contract a bit, but if they opt out it is incredibly uncertain for the future. K-1 MAX was the brainchild of FEG and TBS, used mainly to capitalize on the popularity of Japanese Middleweight kickboxer Masato. Masato scaled back his participation and soon retired, leaving MAX in a bad spot.
Then there is DREAM. DREAM is essentially a venture between FEG and what we all knew as DSE. If you don't remember DSE, think back to PRIDE. K-1 currently resides on Fuji TV, who killed off PRIDE's programming after the yakuza scandal DSE had and refuse to associate with that again. This means even if Fuji TV, who have a great relationship with Kazuyoshi Ishii, pick up K-1 MAX, DREAM might be without a home.
Are you following where RENA comes into play yet? Satoshi Ishii's popularity is in the balance right now, and if he disappears again for a prolonged period of time or says something ridiculously stupid in interviews, well, that is it for Ishii. Ishii really needs better handlers, but then again, that won't change anything now. With proper management from the beginning we wouldn't have these issues with Ishii. K-1 has used RENA before, in 2009 she participated in their Korean MAX show where she had a tough extra round decision loss to Su Jeong Lim after being promoted as one of the show's headliners.
RENA has rebound, though, having an incredible 10-fight win streak after that loss and taking two SHOOTBOXING tournaments, which is nothing short of spectacular. For TBS to feel comfortable with further FEG programming, they need some sort of star to push, a Japanese star, and there have not been any outside of Ishii that have presented themselves. If you think back, since the fall of PRIDE there have been no stars created, everything has been left over from PRIDE and earlier K-1 success. Using a female fighter like RENA might not attract the crowd that Japanese broadcasters and sponsors are looking for, but it will bring in viewers. At least until they finally find that "next Masato" they are grasping at straws for. There is a very, very good chance that K-1's KOSHIEN division, which we all laughed at years ago, can provide that next big star for them. There have already been a few fighters not named HIROYA who have come from the KOSHIEN program who have gone on to have success and could be huge stars. [source]
Video of RENA's appearance after the break.
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There are a few writers out there who have gotten a bad rap over the past few years, Tomas Rios is one of them, after the whole "Joe Rogan got Rios fired" thread from the Underground Forum happened a few months ago that also involved some poor word choices. The truth is, Rios knows what he is doing, and his new blog is a breath of fresh air when he posts something new.
Rios takes a look at Alistair Overeem's absolutely astounding December where he ripped through top competition in K-1 to become the K-1 World Grand Prix Champion as well as his hilarious dismantling of Todd Duffee, a fighter who was on the "UFC-level" before his bad attitude got him fired. Rios takes a slow-motion, blow-by-blow look at the turning points in each fight and comes to a conclusion that you haven't seen a lot of people wanting to admit; Alistair Overeem is really, really good.
In his last four fights the same storyline has played out -- a single, careless mistake is made and the response is a fundamentally flawless display of pure violence. The X-factor here isn't Overeem's size, strength or anything else that is won in the genetic lottery or gained in weight rooms.
What makes Overeem so singular in combat sports is that he is a 6'5", 260 lb. heavyweight who has the striking technique to dismantle all comers and the kind of cutthroat finishing instincts that can't be explained, they can only be admired. By the way, take another look at the GIFs [included] and something else should catch your eye -- Overeem was doing work from both the orthodox and southpaw stance.
Go and read the full article for a breakdown of each fight and to see just how incredible Ubereem really is.Add a comment
There were a few minor announcements on today's Strikeforce conference call, like only the final of the tournament will be a five round fight. Wait a minute, doesn't that fly in the face of the interviews Scott Coker had been giving about every fight being five rounds and every fight with the title being a title fight? Absolutely.
As it turns out, the title is not on the line at all, the winner of the tournament walks away the Strikeforce 2010 Heavyweight Grand Prix Champion, but not the Strikeforce Heavyweight Champion. That means none of Alistair Overeem's fights will be for the Strikeforce Heavyweight Championship. Honestly, this does not bother me. When it comes down to it, one of my main criticisms of the tournament was the inclusion of the Heavyweight Champion and only his fights being five-round affairs. Many would note some of the "special rules" used in the earlier PRIDE GPs, and I'll be the first to point out that while we got Royce vs. Sakuraba, otherwise the special rules were a waste of time and things probably should have been uniform.
There was some other strange stuff that went down on this conference call (if you've never been on a Strikeforce conference call count yourself as lucky, they are a mess). Some of the other announcements were that there would be a "fourth judge" in case of a draw. This judge? Strikeforce-appointed. I can almost hear the squishing sound of your eyes rolling back into your head, but we'll give it a pass as the chance of a draw is very rare, outside of UFC title fights, apparently. The other announcement was that there will be a five-person committee to decide which reserve fighter to use in the case of a draw. I'm not quite sure why you just wouldn't have two reserve bouts, one for each side of the bracket, and if you reach the finals and neither side has been used, have the winning fighters face off for a 'finals reserve' or something similar.
Can't win them all, folks. The tournament will still be incredible. We still get a tournament featuring Fedor Emelianenko, Alistair Overeem, Josh Barnett, Andrei Arlovski, Fabricio Werdum, Brett Rogers, Sergei Kharitonov and Antonio Silva.Add a comment