|Heavyweight (Per 10/13)|
|1.||Semmy Schilt (?)|
|7.||Mirko Cro Cop|
|Light HW (per 10/13)|
|Middleweight (per 11/25)|
|Welterweight (per 10/13)|
|70kg (Per 11/25)|
|2.||Robin van Roosmalen|
|65kg (per 10/6)|
Earlier today at Korakuen Hall, Rajadamnern Stadium Super Lightweight champion Hiroki Ishii defended his title for the second time with a 1st round knockout of Plynoi Por. Paoin at 1:54. Ishii (57-12-10, 27 KO) first won the Rajadamnern Stadium title last October with a decision over Aphisak KT Gym and defended it in March against Kenfang Por. Puangchon, also by decision. He is now riding an 8 fight winstreak and is 12-2 since 2009, fighting all Thai opposition in that time.
In other action, prospect Mutsuki Ebata kept his hype train rolling with a 1st round TKO via cut of 8th ranked Rajadamnern Stadium Flyweight Jomphet Chuwattana. Ebata (17-1-1, 12 KO) was coming off of a win over Arashi Fujiwara, avenging his sole pro loss and has now won 7 in a row.
Quick results after the break
Aside from K-1's event yesterday in Los Angeles, there was some other notable kickboxing action in Merseburg, Germany at Merseburger Fight Night. Danyo Ilunga was among names featured in a one night, eight man heavyweight tournament and Gago Drago also returned to the ring to try and snap his eight fight losing streak.
Ilunga ended up winnin the heavyweight tournament but he only ended up having to fight twice. He defeated Wendell Roche in a rematch of their It's Showtime title fight back in December of 2010 by unanimous decision in the quarter finals. The other quarter final match-ups consisted of Slavo Polugic defeating Utley Meriana by unanimous decision, Senad Hadzic defeating Martin Jahn by corner stoppage in the second round and Uguz Ovgur took a decision over Vladimir Toktasynov.
In the first semi-final, Slavo Polugic pushed Senad Hadzic to the ground and soccer kicked him not once, but twice, resulting in a brawl in the ring between both camps. Both fighters were disqualified. Uguz Ovgur was injured so with Polugic and Hadzic disqualified, Ilunga ended up fighting Sergio Pique, who won his reserve bout over Jerry Otto via KO from a high kick, in the final. Ilunga ended up overwhelming Pique in the first round, winning by TKO.
Gago Drago faced Baker Barakat and after a competitive first three rounds, the fight went to an extra round. In the extra round, Drago pressured Barakat a bit more to secure the win and snap his eight fight losing streak.
Max Baumert of Golden Glory Berlin met the grizzled veteran, Marco Pique and took a unanimous decision in a close fight.
Sergio Pique def. Jerry Otto by KO (High Kick) in Round 2.
Steven Kitzing def. Romano Romasco by unanimous decision.
Tournament Quarter Finals
Danyo Ilunga def. Wendell Roche by unanimous decision.
Slavo Polugic def. Utley Meriana by unanimous decision.
Senad Hadzic def. Martin Jahn by TKO (Corner Stoppage) in Round 2.
Uguz Ovgur def. Vladimir Toktasynov by unanimous decision.
Slavo Polugic and Senad Hadzic are both disqualified.
Danyo Ilunga def. Sergio Pique by TKO in Round 1.
Gago Drago def. Baker Barakat by extra round decision.
Max Baumert def. Marco Pique by unanimous decision.
Alban Ahmeti def. Onur Karaoglan by unanimous decision.
Peter Chobanov def. Mikail Bajramov by TKO (Cut) in Round 1.
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Earlier today, Krush held a day-night event for their 2012 Youth GP, with the day portion featuring the semifinals of the 70kg Youth GP and the night portion featuring the quarterfinals and semifinals of the 63kg Youth GP, with a few superfights on each card.
In the 63kg GP quarterfinals, DEEP*KICK 65kg Hiroto Yamaguchi started things off with a 2nd round knockout of MA Kick #2 Super Lightweight Minoru Kimura at 2:01. In the second quarterfinal, tournament favorite and 2011 runner-up Koya Urabe cruised to a 2nd round KO of his own, a body shot KO of 2011 quarterfinalist Kengo Sonoda at 2:37. In the third quarterfinal, 2011 quarterfinalist Daizo Sasaki took a majority decision win over K-1 Koshien 2011 runner-up Yuya on scores of 30-29(x2) and 29-29. In the final quarterfinal, the night’s biggest upset took place, with the unheralded Hisaki Higashimoto knocking out Hiroya in his pro debut just 62 seconds into the first round.
In the first semifinal, Koya Urabe cruised to a unanimous decision over Hiroto Yamaguchi on scores of 30-28(x2) and 30-27. In the second semifinal, Hisaki Higashimoto remained unbeaten with an extension round split decision over Daizo Sasaki on scores of 10-9(x2) and 9-10.
The big story coming out of this tournament is of course Hisaki Higashimoto (2-0-0, 1 KO) making his pro kickboxing debut after a background in karate and knocking out Hiroya (11-6-0, 6 KO). I had thought Higashimoto would have trouble with Hiroya as Hiroya’s biggest liability is his boxing defense and coming from a karate background, Higashimoto would have trouble exposing that, but he was able to. Another big story is his semifinal opponent, Daizo Sasaki (7-8-1, 2 KO), who had lost 4 in a row coming into this tournament but was able to get past a good prospect in Yuya (6-2-0, 6 KO) and take Higashimoto to an extension round. This was the night Sasaki needed to help revive his career. Good showing from Koya Urabe (22-4-0, 3 KO) who went in and did what he needed to do to get to the finals again. Good to see him get a stoppage against Kengo Sonoda (3-4-1, 0 KO) as it showed he had some urgency to finish his first round opponent in order to be fresh for the semifinals, something that had been lacking before. Hiroto Yamaguchi (9-2-0, 5 KO) can walk away proud from this event, having knocked out Minoru Kimura (8-2-1, 6 KO) to bounce back from his first career loss, despite being shutout by Urabe. The Kimura hype train takes another hit with a second straight loss, but both have come to other promising prospects in Sho Ogawa and now Hiroto Yamaguchi. I favor Urabe in the finals as he is the proven fighter, but if Higashimoto is able to score another upset or even fights Urabe close, we will have another exciting prospect in the 63kg division.
In the 70kg semifinals, 2009 K-1 Koshien 70kg champ Shintaro Matsukura needed an extension round to get past RISE 2011 KAMINARIMON 70kg champ Kazuya Akimoto, but came up big in the extension round, scoring a knockout at 1:14 in the round. Matsukura will meet Taisei Kondo in the finals as he took a semifinal win over JungleKoki via majority decision on scores of 29-28(x2) and 28-28. Matsukura (6-6-0, 5 KO) has taken some tough losses recently, though they have come against top competition, dropping fights to Yasuhiro Kido and TOMOYUKI. He struggled a bit with Akimoto (2-1-0, 1 KO) but ultimately came out on top. Kondo (5-2-2, 2 KO) definitely has a chance at beating a vulnerable Matsukura who has some defensive liabilities and can be a slow, plodding fighter at times. He needed a late knockdown to beat JungleKoki (5-3-0, 2 KO) and could find the same magic against Matsukura in the finals, but I give Matsukura the edge. The 70kg final will take place on November 10th at Krush.24 and I assume the 63kg final will as well.
In a superfight, NJKF Super Lightweight Seiji Takahashi knocked out Atsushi Ogata in the 1st round. Takahashi was coming off of a knockout loss to Tetsuya Yamato while Ogata most recently upset Toshiki Taniyama.
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We'll be providing live results of today's K-1 US Grand Prix from the LA Sports Arena in Los Angeles, California, USA. It's K-1's first card in the US in a long, long time and the fight card is filled with American fighters looking to make a name for themselves.
The four Heavyweight Grand Prix fights are to qualify for the Final 16 on October 14 in Tokyo, Japan. There are also four MAX fights, along with four super fights and three undercard fights.
The first three undercard bouts are free on Spike.com or K-1's Ustream channel. After the three undercard fights, however, the card goes on to PPV for $9.99 USD at the same locations and can only be paid for with credit card.
The undercard bouts kick off at 8PM ET/5PM PT and the main card on PPV starts at 9PM ET/6PM PT. Full fight card here. Myself, @rianscalia and @Liverkickdotcom will be providing live play by play on Twitter.
Mike Lemaire def. Glen Spencer by unanimous decision.
Damian Earley def. Jermaine Soto by KO (Right Cross) in Round 3.
James Wilson def. DOug Sauer by KO (Left Hook) in Round 1.
Justin Greskiewicz def. Bryce Krause by TKO (Ref Stoppage) in Round 3.
Joey Pagliuso def. Ben Yelle by KO in Round 3.
Michael Mananquil def. Scott Leffler by unanimous decision.
Chaz Mulkey def. Kit Cope by TKO in Round 2.
Shuichi Wentz def. Romie Adanza by KO (High Kick) in Round 1.
En Kang def. Travis Garlits by unanimous decision.
Gabriel Varga def. Lerdsila Chumpairtour by unanimous decision.
Jeremiah Metcalf def. Markhaile Wedderburn by KO (Knee to the Body) in Round 1.
Xavier Vigney def. Seth Petruzelli by TKO in Round 2.
Rick Roufus def. Mighty Mo by split decision.
Jarrell Miller def. Jack May by KO (Uppercut) in Round 1.
Randy Blake def. Dewey Cooper by unanimous decision.
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Yesterday at Lumpinee Stadium, a huge Muay Thai card took place with a ton of the top names in the sport.
In the main event, Saenchai took on Singdam for Singdam's Lumpinee Lightweight title. Prior to the fight, Saenchai looked as dominant as ever, with big wins over fighter of the year Penek Sitnumnoi and over Sagetdao Phetphayathai, who had given him a lot of trouble in the past. Despite having a three pound weight disadvantage at the weigh-ins, Saenchai was still the favorite to win. It was Singdam though, who defied the odds and beat Saenchai from range with powerful kicks. The way that Singdam won is the most surprising part, as usually no one can touch Saenchai from range but it was instead Saenchai being the aggressor in this fight. Singdam is now on a six fight win streak.
Aside from the main event, more top fighters in the same weight category as Saenchai and Singdam fought, as Sagetdao Phetphayathai took on Petboonchu F.A. Group. Everyone expected a clinch war and that's what the fight was. Petboonchu got the better of the action in the clinch and took a unanimous decision.
Another lightweight fight that took place was a rematch between F16 Rajanont and Diesellek Oodonmuang. Diesellek knocked out F16 with a high kick just last month. Diesellek got the better of the fight in the rounds that count most. F16 went for broke in the fifth and final round but Diesellek then countered with some vicious body kicks one after the other, stopping F16 and getting the TKO win.
In a rematch of their fight of the year candidate, Chokprecha Kor Sakooncher finally defeated Wanchalong Sitzornong on his fourth attempt. Chokprecha was more strategic and less wild then he usually fights. Rittidej Wor. Wanthavee defeated Palangtip Nor. Sripueng in what apparently was a snoozer.
Superlek Wor Sungprapai defeated Muangthai Sor Boonyiam by decision to win the Lumpinee 155 lb title. Fight of the night went to Sarawut Pithakpabhadiang and Wanchai Rambo-Esarn, with Sarawut with Sarawut picking up the decision in a war.
Damien Alamos is currently the only non-Thai champion of Lumpinee and he defended his title against Aranchai Pran26. Alamos dropped Aranchai early on in the fight and by the end of the fight, Aranchai's face was really busted up. Alamos got the decision win and becomes the first non-Thai to ever successfuly defend and retain a Lumpinee Stadium title.
Singdam Kiatmoo9 def. Saenchai by decision.
Petboonchu F.A. Group def. Sagetdao by decision.
Diesellek Oodonmuang def. F16 Rajanont by TKO (Body Kicks) in Round 5.
Superlek Wor Sungprapai def. Muangthai Sor Boonyiam by decision.
Chokprecha Kor Sakooncher def. Wanchalong Sitzornong by decision.
Petboonchu F.A. Group def. Sagetdao Phetphayathai by decision.
Rittidej Wor Wanthavee def. Palangtip Nor Sripueng by decision.
Sarawut Pithakpabhadiang def. Wanchai Rambo-Esarn by decision.
Damien Alamos def. Aranchai Pran26 by decision.Add a comment
Muay Thai Mania V went down yesterday in The Hague, Netherlands and the card was headlined by a rematch that was a long time in the making between L'houcine "Aussie" Ouzgni and Nieky Holzken.
In their first fight, Aussie quickly won in the first round with a flying knee back in 2010 at It's Showtime. Holzken had wanted this rematch for a long time, saying that he wasn't his best for the first fight. Well yesterday, Aussie won again, but this time by decision. It wasn't just a regular decision though, as the fight had to go to an extra round.
There were some other intriguing match-ups on the card, including the man who recently upset Robin van Roosmalen, Hafid el Boustati, who took on Shemsi Beqiri's brother, Hysni Beqiri. In another fight that had to go to an extra round, Hafid el Boustati won a decision.
Albert Kraus made his pro boxing debut and it was a success. His opponent from Romania, Valentin Cimpoero, could not continue after the third round so Kraus won by TKO. K-1 and SuperLeague veteran Aalviar Lima showed he still has some gas left in the tank as he stopped the Remy Bonjasky-trained Darryl Sichtman with a body shot. In other action, Fred Sikking defeated Hakan Aksoy by decision and Jason Wilnis defeated Louis Tavares, although the decision seems to have been hotly disputed. Thanks to FightStarTV for results.
|25||A-Class||Abdullaev (Team Super Pro) WOP||vs||Vahap Ozdemir (Dragon Gym)|
|26||A-Class||Remon Bonte (Team Pasztjerik)||vs||Ismael Lazaar (Budokai Tilburg) WOP|
|27||A-Class||Juan Baragan (Sportcentrum 010)||vs||Jacky Dings (Golden Glory Helmond) WOP|
|28||A-Class||Hicham Achalhy (TB Den Haag) WOP||vs||Eddy Almeida (Team Pasztjerik)|
|29||A-Class||Albert Kraus (Team Super Pro) WTKO||vs||Vali Cimponu (Roemenie)|
|30||A-Class||Luis Tavares (Team Pasztjerik)||vs||Jason Wilnis (The Colosseum) WOP|
|31||A-Class||Fred Sikking (The Coloseum) WOP||vs||Hakan Aksoy (Siam Gym)|
|32||A-Class||Hafid el Boustati (Mousid Gym) WOP||vs||Hysni Beqiri (Team Super Pro)|
|33||A-Class||Darryl Sichtman (Bonjasky Academy)||vs||Mandela Antone (Team Furious) WMI|
|34||A-Class||Abdullaev (Team Super Pro) WOP||vs||Vahap Ozdemir (Dragon Gym)|
|35||A-Class||Nieky Holzken (Golden Glory Helmond)||vs||L’houcine Aussie (Topteam Beverwijk) WOP|
The Taniyama Gym held its 10th installment of the Big Bang series at Differ Ariake in Tokyo earlier today, featuring top names like Yasuhiro Kido, Hirotaka Urabe, Shunta Ito and Hiromi Amada.
In the night's main event, Yasuhiro Kido filled his usual headlining role at Big Bang events, this time taking a unanimous decision over Yu Hirono on scores of 30-29(x3). Kido debuted a "new technique" that he dubbed Rokakato, which is essentially a heel to the side of the thigh. Kido (29-13-1, 14 KO) has now won 5 in a row and will likely sit out until the MAX finals on December 8th in Athens. While I don't expect him to win or even make it to the finals, this is a much improved Kido from the one who struggled towards the old K-1's end and could make waves in the tournament if he has good matchups. Hirono (16-7-1, 4 KO) had won 5 in a row heading into this bout, most recently against ShokieJungle at Krush-EX vol.4 in July.
In the co-main event at 58kg, former MA Kick champion Shunta Ito bounced back from a loss at Big Bang 9 with a unanimous decision win over Atsushi Tateshima on scores of 50-45(x3). Ito recently vacated his MA Kick title and lost a unanimous decision to Kaimookaw Watcharachai at Big Bang 9, snapping a 3-fight win streak.
Krush 60kg champ Hirotaka Urabe also participated at the event, stopping J-Network Super Featherweight champ Takaaki Kimura with a high kick at 2:17 of the first round. Urabe (17-6-2, 9 KO) has been on a roll, going unbeaten in his last 9 and scoring 5 knockouts, with the sole blemish being a draw in a title defense against Naoki Ishikawa. Urabe could possibly find himself fighting Ishikawa for a third time, but it depends on the outcome of the three matchups that were recently announced for Krush.23 and could potentially put Urabe in rematches with Ishikawa, Yuji Takeuchi and Fumiya Osawa. Kimura (22-19-1, 3 KO) isn't that bad, holding wins over Yosuke Mizuochi, Takashi Nakajima and Ryo Pegasus, but isn't quite on the level of guys like Urabe, as he has been blown out of the water by Urabe and MA Kick champ Hikaru Machida in recent outings.
In a rematch between K-1 veterans, Hiromi Amada scored a 2nd round knockout of Alex Roberts at 1:07. The two first fought at NJKF Titans Neo X almost exactly a year ago, with the fight ending in a draw. Amada (34-20-3, 17 KO) snapped 2-fight losing streak, with losses to Singh Jaideep and Fabiano "Cyclone" Aoki, with a 2 fight win streak, most recently defeating Soichi Nishida at Big Bang 9. Amada was recently announced as a participant on the October 14th K-1 card which features the FINAL 16 portion of their heavyweight tournament, though Amada will probably not be fighting for a spot in the finals. Roberts (10-4-2, 8 KO) most recently lost to Tomasz Sarara at the Hoost Cup and is now winless in his last 4.
In other bouts, RISE #1 ranked Middleweight Yukihiro Komiya improved to 2-0 at 65kg with a unanimous decision win, RISE #3 ranked Heavyweight Raoumaru scored a 2nd round knockout and RISE #1 ranked Bantamweight Dyki picked up a majority decision win.
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Total Carnage II went down today in Gold Coast, Australia and featured a massive rematch between two of the world's best -95kg fighters under Muay Thai rules, Nathan "Carnage" Corbett and Steve McKinnon. The two met back in 2006 where Corbett won via controversial cut stoppage and the rematch has been a long time coming.
Corbett won again, this time getting the unanimous decision in a fight that everyone in Australia is saying lived up to the hype and then some. The fight apparently went at a torrid pace for heavyweights, with Corbett having the edge throughout most of the fight, being the agressor.
Also on the card, LiverKick #7 ranked middleweight Frank Giorgi took on late replacement, Rhyse Saliba, who stepped in for Nonsai. Giorgi controlled the whole fight and Rhyse didn't have much for him. Giorgi ended up winning a clear cut unanimous decision.
Michael "Tomahawk" Thompson took on the Thai fighter Kampan Santaweesok in what was by all accounts a very close fight. Kampan landed with hard kicks to the body and arms while Thompson landed most of his offense with punches. In the end, Thompson got the decision although I've seen people say that it should've gone Kampan's way.
Dane "Daddy Kool" Beauchamp rematched Joe Concha, who replaced Flip Street. Concha stopped Beauchamp back in February in a fight that Dane was winning right up until the final seconds of the last round. After a feeling out process in the first round, Concha once again stopped Beauchamp with an elbow, this time in the second round. Full results below:
Nathan "Carnage" Corbett def. Steve McKinnon by unanimous decision.
Frank Giorgi def. Rhyse Saliba by unanimous decision.
Michael "Tomahawk" Thompson def. Kampan Santaweesok by decision.
Joe Concha def. Dane "Daddy Kool" Beauchamp by KO (Elbow) in Round 2.
Michael Badato def. Mark Lucchiari by TKO (Punches/Elbows) in Round 2.
Elliot Compton def. Mark Staiti by TKO (Referee Stoppage) in the corner after Round 3.
Henare Redden def. Paymaan Shahrokhey by unanimous decision.
Grant Sims def. Dave McDonald by unanimous decision.Add a comment
Earlier today at the Nagoya Congress Center in Nagoya, Krush held Krush.22 ~ in Nagoya~, its first event in Nagoya, featuring a 55kg title fight and five Tokyo vs Nagoya fights featuring Yuta Kubo, Yuya Yamato, Masaaki Noiri and Keiji Ozaki, among others.
In the night’s main event, Krush 55kg champ Shota Takiya was given what turned out to be his toughest fight in some time against Takumi, but was able to win a unanimous decision on scores of 30-29(x3). Takiya (21-4-0, 13 KO) has now won 10 in a row and had won his last 5 by knockout heading into this fight. There’s no telling what’s next for Takiya, as Krush’s 55kg division isn’t that deep and unless they hold a 55kg tournament, they will have to go outside of the company to find legitimate opponents for Takiya. Takumi (12-3-0, 5 KO) did well in staying on his feet against the hard-hitting Takiya, but it wasn’t enough. His effort here should be noted as he was able to hang with a guy I felt was head and shoulders above the rest of the Krush 55kg division.
In the Krush vs Nagoya headlining fight, ISKA Light Welterweight champion Yuta Kubo moved up to 66kg and scored a 2nd round knockout of WBC Japan and NJKF Welterweight champion Yuya Yamato 51 seconds into the round. Kubo (34-4-1, 16 KO) pushes his win streak to 11 and has slowly been climbing his way up in weight, fighting at 64.5kg and 65kg in his last two fights and now at 66kg. While this was a good step up in weight against good competition, Yamato often fights between 63kg and 67kg, so he wasn’t the best test as far as bigger opponents go. Regardless, Kubo would be a welcome sight for
In the next Nagoya vs Tokyo fight, Nagoya’s Masaaki Noiri took an easy win over Tokyo’s Makihira Keita on scores of 30-27(x2) and 30-28. Noiri (13-3-0, 5 KO) picks up his first after his upset loss to Raz Sarkisjan back at the Hoost Cup in May which snapped a 6 fight win streak. As the reigning Youth Tournament champ, he awaits the winner of this year’s tournament for a fight that will likely take place early next year. Keita is now 1-1-1 on the year.
In the final three Nagoya vs Tokyo fights, Nagoya fighters went 2-1 with Taito upsetting Keiji Ozaki by majority decision, Yuya defeating Shota Hayashi and Masayuki Isabashi losing to Junpei Aotsu, giving Nagoya the overall victory with 3 wins (Noiri, Taito, Yuya) to Tokyo’s 2 (Kubo, Aotsu). The upset loss for Ozaki is huge as he’s been a borderline challenger despite not having any significant wins recently and Taito had lost his last 3 bouts heading into this fight. This loss should end Ozaki’s time as a legitimate title challenger.
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Earlier today, Shootboxing held its fourth Girls S-Cup and third main Girls S-Cup tournament, as well as the finals of the 53.5kg Girls S-Cup and the JKS48 High School tournament at Yamano Hall in Tokyo.
In the main tournament, the quarterfinals started off with 2-time defending S-Cup champion Rena Kubota scoring a unanimous decision over Australia's Kim Townsend on scores of 30-25, 30-26 and 30-27. Rena scored shoot points in the first and second rounds while working her superior boxing, moving her into the semifinals. In the next semifinal, 2011 Girls S-Cup runner-up Seo Hee Ham took out late replacement Lisa Ellis by unanimous decision on scores of 30-26(x2) and 30-27. Ellis tried using the clinch to work her grappling, but Ham was just too much for her, scoring a knockdown in the second round and advancing to face Rena in the semis. In the other half of the bracket, 2009 S-Cup runner-up and 2010 semifinalist V.V Mei Yamaguchi needed an extension round, but was able to defeat Thai representative Namtarn Por Muangpetch by unanimous decision, winning the extension round 10-9 on all three cards. Namtarn wasn't able to keep V.V Mei away from her and resulted in Yamaguchi getting a shoot point in the second round and ultimately winning the extension round, despite not getting a shoot point. In the final quarterfinal, Holland's Lorena Klijn scored the night's biggest upset with an extension round win over 2011 S-Cup Preliminary tournament champ Erika Kamimura. Kamimura had a slight edge in the stand-up, but Klijn surprisingly used the clinch to her advantage and was able to score a shoot point in the extension round which was the difference.
In the semifinals, Rena needed an extension round to defeat Seo Hee Ham and make it to her third straight S-Cup final. The two were even throughout the course of 3 rounds, but in the extension round, Rena was able to separate herself from Ham and won the round on all 3 judges' cards. In the other semifinal, V.V Mei also needed an extension round to advance to her second S-Cup final with a win over Lorena Klijn. Both fighters looked to use their clinch game to advance, but Yamaguchi proved to be superior in that department, scoring a shoot point in the second round and two shoot points in the extension round, as well as a yellow card to Klijn, which secured the lopsided extension round win.
In a rematch of the first Girls S-Cup final in 2009, Rena proved her dominance in Shootboxing once again with a unanimous decision over V.V Mei on scores of 30-29(x3). Yamaguchi was not able to capitalize with her grappling against the experienced Rena, who used her superior stand-up to win her third straight Girls S-Cup.
While she has lost single fights in Shootboxing, including a big upset to Jessica Penne, Rena excels in tournaments and showed great stamina, fighting 10 rounds on the night against tough competition. She has a rematch with Erika Kamimura to defend her RISE Queen title at a yet to be determined date and should she win, the only options seem to be either a third fight with Ai Takahashi or a fight with the girl who beat Takahashi twice, Mizuki Inoue. For V.V Mei, this is huge. In my opinion, she was more of an afterthought for the tournament, as she was originally scheduled for this event, but not in the tournament field and was upset in the 2011 S-Cup preliminary tournament by Mina in the first round. Huge showing from her and she likely cemented her place in future Girls S-Cups to come. If there ever were an "elite-level gatekeeper", it would have to be Seo Hee Ham. In MMA, she owns wins over the likes of Hisae Watanabe, Saori Ishioka and V.V Mei, while her only losses have come to WMMA legends Miku Matsumoto, Megumi Fujii and Yuka Tsuji, with a pair of losses against undefeated prodigy and student of Fujii, Ayaka Hamasaki. In kickboxing and Shootboxing, she has beaten everyone thrown her way except for Erika Kamimura and now Rena. Kamimura and Klijn are probably the biggest stories to come out of this event. Kamimura was an unstoppable force on her rise to the top, knocking out nearly everyone who got in her path, both domestically and internationally, and was favored to meet Rena in the tournament finals. However, a close loss to Rena and this loss here have shown a few holes in her game. She still has extremely good power, possibly the best in women's kickboxing, but if she can't land her hooks, while she is a very talented kickboxer, she has trouble winning rounds and in Shootboxing, her grappling base isn't very strong. Big congratulations to Klijn who shocked nearly everyone and will have to be invited to the next Girls S-Cup.
In the finals of the 53.5kg Girls S-Cup, Mizuki Inoue proved her first win over Ai Takahashi wasn't a fluke, defeating Takahashi for the second time, this time over the course of 6 rounds, winning the extension round on all three judges' cards. Inoue used superior speed and movement to land against Takahashi and take her second big win over the former Shootboxing champion, winning the 53.5kg tournament title as well. Inoue is one of the brightest prospects in both MMA and kickboxing and should find herself in another marquee matchup, possibly against Rena, some time in the near future. Takahashi wasn't able to exploit her length as well as she did against smaller opponents in the S-Cup, but was able to keep up with Inoue. Now 0-2 against Inoue, she'll have to work her way back up if she wants a second chance at redemption.
In the JKS48 High School tournament, Rena's younger sister Mio Kubota matched her sister's efforts and won the tournament with a unanimous decision over Yusa Tachi in the semis and a TKO of Akari Nakamura in the finals. It's hard to say what is in Mio's near future, but Shootboxing has a good number of former S-Cup participants with experience that could give her a good challenge and see if she has the same promise as her sister, who was fighting Miku Matsumoto and Su Jeong Lim when she was just 17.
Finally, in a 53.5kg single fight, 53.5kg Girls S-Cup participant Rio Kamikaze scored an upset over prospect Seira Aragaki by majority decision on scores of 30-28, 29-28 and 28-28. Rio scored 2 shoot points in the third round with a hip toss that won her the fight. A rematch with Ai Takahashi could be a good next fight for her.
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