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LiverKick.com Rankings


Heavyweight (Per 4/15)
1. Rico Verhoeven
2. Daniel Ghita
3. Gokhan Saki
4. Tyrone Spong
5. Peter Aerts
6. Errol Zimmerman up
7. Benjamin Adegbuyiup
8. Ismael Londt up
9. Hesdy Gerges up
10. Ben Edwards up

Light HW (per 4/15)
1. Gokhan Saki up
2. Tyrone Spong down
3. Danyo Ilunga
4. Nathan Corbett down
5. Saulo Cavalari

Middleweight (per 4/15)
1. Wayne Barrett
2. Joe Schilling
3. Artem Levin
4. Steven Wakeling
5. Franci Grajs

Welterweight (per 4/15)
1. Nieky Holzken 
2. Joseph Valtellini 
3. Simon Marcus
4. Marc de Bonte
5. Aussie Ouzgni

 

70kg (Per 4/15)
1. Davit Kiriaup
2. Andy Ristiedown
3. Robin van Roosmalendown
4. Giorgio Petrosyandown
5. Murthel Groenhart
6. Buakaw Banchamek
7. Dzhabar Askerov
8. Ky Hollenbeckup
9. Aikprachaup
10. Enriko Kehlup

65kg (per 1/20)
1. Masaaki Noiri
2. Mosab Amraniup
3. Yuta Kubo down
4. Sagetdao
5. Liam Harrison

Event Results

In another packed Saturday of stand up fighting, the action moved to Brazil, where WGP Kickboxing played host to a 4 man Heavyweight tournament in which the winner qualified for a place on the Superkombat roster. Also on the card, Superkombat veteran, Miodrag Olar, was set to take on former MMA fighter and Bellator veteran, Thiago Michel, and fan favorite Sandro Pereira fought for the 85 kg Brazilian Title against Cesar Almeida.  

In the opening rounds of the heavyweight tournament Felipe Micheletti won a hard fought decision against Argentina's Rogelio Ortiz, and Brazil's Edson Lima took out Robson Rocha by KO in the second round. Michelliti and Lima met in the finals, with Michelliti primarily back-pedalling and landing hard shots to the chin of Lima, who ambled forward swinging at air. In the first and third round Edson seemed a hair's breadth away from tumbling to the canvas. After 3, it was Micheletti who had his hand raised, and was awarded a place among the Superkombat Heavyweight roster.

On the other half of the card, Thiago Michel won a lackluster decision over Miodrag Olar. The Brazilian clearly outweighed the smaller Olar, pushing him around the ring and dominating in a display of brute strength and size. The other big fight was far more entertaining. Home-town hero Sandro Pereira put on a show of shows against Cesar Almeida in a knock down, drag out, balls to the walls 5-round throwdown. The two Brazilians opened up in the first, deciding during the first thirty seconds to stand in front each other and throw everything they had at full power while eating punches with a smile. To the delight of the fans, Pereira began to pull from Almeida in the later rounds, eventually coming away with the unanimous decision and the 85 kilogram belt. 

Full Results

Semifinal #1: Fillipe Micheletti def. Rogelio Ortiz by KO (Liver Kick) in Round 2

Semifinal #2: Edson Lima def. Robson Rocha by KO in Rd. 2

Final: Fillipe Micheletti def. Edson Lima by Decision

Thiago Michel def. Miodrag Olar by Decision

85 kg Brazilian Title Fight: Sandro Pereira def. Cesar Almeida by Decision 

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GLORY 5 London goes down today from London, England at the ExCel Arena with a stacked fight card headlined by Remy Bonjasky vs. Tyrone Spong and we've got you covered for live results of the entire event, as well as how to watch.

The event can be watched anywhere in the world via live stream right here on LiverKick for $20 USD. The stream starts at 3:30PM ET/12:30PM PT in North America, or two and a half hours from the time of this post. The actual event and preliminary fights get underway in an hour from the time of this post. The Fight Network in Canada will be airing the event live.

The full fight card can be seen here. As well, weigh-in results and videos of the weigh-ins and press conference can be seen here.

For live play by play and updates, we're all on Twitter at @rianscalia, @LiverKickdotcom and @SandersonSensei.

95kg: Boris Uhlik def. Fraser Weightman by decision.

70kg: Kerrith Bhella def. Sam Omomogbe by decision.

70kg: Chad Sugden def. Sam Wilson by decision.

85kg: Marlon Hunt def. Andrei Manzolo by decision.

77kg: Jonatan Oliveira def. Nicola Gallo by unanimous decision.

67kg: Reece McAllister def. Tim Thomas by unanimous decision.

70kg: Johann Fauveau def. Constantin Pasniciuc by unanimous decision.

HW: Daniel Sam def. Jaideep Singh by unanimous decision.

65kg: Mosab Amrani def. Liam Harrison by KO (Liver Shot) in Round 1.

95kg: Michael Duut def. Dustin Jacoby by KO (3 Knockdowns) in Round 1.

95kg: Danyo Ilunga def. Stephane Susperregui by KO (Knee) in Round 2.

85kg: Steve Wakeling def. Eddie Walker by KO (Low Kicks) in Round 2.

70kg: Albert Kraus def. Warren Stevelmans by unanimous decision.

70kg: Jordan Watson def. Steve Moxon by unanimous decision.

HW: Tyrone Spong def. Remy Bonjasky by KO (Right Hook) in Round 2.

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Earlier today at Korakuen Hall in Tokyo, Krush held Krush.27, headlined by a 63kg title bout between current champ Thomas Adamandopoulos and 2012 WILDRUSH League winner Hideaki Yamazaki. Also on the card were the semifinals of the 58kg tournament, the second leg of the 55kg WILDRUSH League and fights featuring Krush standouts Koya Urabe, Yutaro Yamauchi, Yuji Takeuchi, Hisaki Higashimoto and MA Kick champion Keisuke Miyamoto.

The main event saw Krush 63kg champ Thomas Adamandopoulos attempt to defend his title for the first time against Hideaki Yamazaki, who earned the fight by winning the 63kg WILDRUSH League with a perfect 5-0-0 record. In a big upset, the Liver Kick #6 ranked Lightweight Adamandopoulos was dropped by a spinning backfist in the 2nd round and seemed to have a bit of trouble finding offense against Yamazaki, losing a unanimous decision on scores of 30-28(x2) and 30-27. I had given Yamazaki little chance to beat Adamandopoulos as he was coming off of a stoppage loss to Gagny Baradji, who had very little kickboxing experience despite being a Savate champion. Some might remember that Adamandopoulos' first trip to Krush saw him get dropped by a spinning backfist when he won his ISKA title against Keiji Ozaki. The win continues the chaos in the Lightweight division and could earn Yamazaki a spot in the top 10. I'd like to see Yamazaki rematch Gagny Baradji for the title and possibly see Adamandopoulos back in Krush against Koya Urabe. The odds of Urabe fighting his teammate Yamazaki are pretty low, though he did fight his teammate Ryuji Kajiwara in the finals of the Krush tournament. 

The co-main event features were the semifinals of the 58kg tournament featuring Nobuchika Terado vs Shota Kobe and Takeru vs Yuzo Suzuki. Tournament favorite Terado struggled a bit, but was able to drop Kobe in the 2nd round and ride out a unanimous decision on scores of 30-28(x2) and 29-27. At this point is career it's clear that Terado has lost a step, but he's still one of Japan's best talents around this weight and his combination of power and heart makes him a difficult matchup for nearly everyone. The other semifinal saw the other favorite advance as Team Dragon's Takeru pushed his win streak to 5 with a unanimous decision over former Kyokushin world champion Yuzo Suzuki on scores of 30-28(x3). Takeru wasn't unhittable, but he controlled the action and landed the better shots, setting up a final against Terado. I have a feeling that Takeru will win, but the logical choice in the finals is Terado. Despite being 11 years older, Terado has shown the ability get hit and hit back harder. He gets knocked down more often at this point in his career, but he always seems to get back up. Takeru, on the other hand, has not been put in the same position, so it's impossible to know how he'll respond to being hit by Terado. I give Takeru the power advantage and it's very possible he could hurt Terado early and put him away, but he is also pretty wild and Terado can end a fight just as quickly. Regardless, the finals should be fireworks whether it lasts one round or three.

The main super fight saw 2012 63kg Youth GP champ Koya Urabe drop to 60kg to rematch 2012 60kg Tournament winner Fumiya Osawa. The two previously met very early in their respective careers, with Urabe winning by knockout with a flying knee. Urabe had grown into a star while Osawa meddled in mediocrity until surprising everyone by winning last year's 60kg tournament and a shot at Hirotaka Urabe's title. Despite that, he was coming off of two stoppage losses and most had him pegged as a big underdog in this rematch. That was until Koya Urabe tried the same flying knee that he stopped Osawa with in their first fight, which Osawa countered beautifully with a left cross, dropping Urabe. Unfortunately, however, I believe Urabe dropped Osawa with a right hook coming off of a break. Osawa was more or less knocked out and the referee had no other option but to disqualify Urabe. I can definitely see these two fighting for a 3rd time as the result here was inconclusive and I assume most people would want to see this fight again considering the underdog Osawa was able to drop Urabe early. Not to mention that Urabe is in no man's land when it comes to a title shot, as his brother holds the 60kg title and his teammate Yamazaki just won the 63kg title.

In a 61kg fight, "Kyoken" Yuji Takeuchi made quick work of Team Dragon's Shota Hayashi, stopping him with his favored left hook at 1:48 in the 1st round. Admittedly, the fight was a squash match, much like Takeuchi's last fight in Krush which ended in a no contest due to an accidental low blow, and it seems like they're trying to give him wins just to keep him in the picture at the top of the division and open up possible rematches with SHIGERU and Naoki Ishikawa. If Hirotaka Urabe fights Naoki Ishikawa for a 4th time in the near future and SHIGERU doesn't come to Krush, I'd like to see him fight Kan Itabashi. Otherwise give him Ishikawa or SHIGERU in a #1 contender bout. 

Krush 70kg tournament finalist Yutaro Yamauchi knocked out fellow tournament participant Hiroki Nakajima with a right hook at 1:10 of the 2nd round. This fight was a rematch of a fight from 2009 which saw Nakajima win by decision. This time, however, Nakajima was coming off of a 14 month layoff and it really hurt him as Yamauchi constantly hurt and dropped Nakajima en route to a stoppage. Krush has a lack of fresh options at 70kg with Kenta beating Yoshihiro Sato and unless Krush rushes right into a third fight between Kenta and Yasuhiro Kido, I'd like to see Yamauchi get a rematch with Kenta with a shot at Kido on the line. If not, a fight with Takuro Moriya or Asami Zaurus would be a good indicator as to where the 35 year old Yamauchi stands in the division at this point in his career. 

At 55kg, MA Kick champion Keisuke Miyamoto and MAD MAX Gym's Masahiro faced off in a matchup of 20 year old prospects. Miyamoto showed he was the better fighter over 3 rounds, earning a unanimous decision on scores of 30-29(x3). After a 2012 that had me name him the #2 prospect in Japanese kickboxing, Miyamoto had a bumpy start to 2013, barely being able to retain his MA Kick title with a majority draw against Kunihiro. Conversely, Masahiro had a great start to his year as he picked up a big win over Shuichi Wentz. Masahiro was able to hang, but he was outgunned by Miyamoto, who snaps a 2-fight winless streak. 

At 63kg, Ikki was able to knock out 63kg Youth GP finalist Hisaki Higashimoto in the 3rd round with a right cross. This fight seemed to go much like Higashimoto's fight with Koya Urabe where he started strong in the first, even winning the round, began to lose a step in the 2nd and was ultimately finished in the 3rd. By upsetting Hiroya by knockout in his pro debut, Higashimoto made himself a hot commodity in Krush, and a strong performance against Koya Urabe solidified that, despite being finished. However, I think Krush and his management need to take a step back so they don't ruin his career before it has a chance to get started. I didn't have a problem with this fight because it was a real test to where Higashimoto stood, but it's clear he doesn't have the experience to be fighting a guy like Ikki. He's just 20 and clearly has a lot of potential, but he needs to learn how to pace himself over 3 rounds and needs more ring experience before he's ready for the upper echelon of the division. Nonetheless, solid win for Ikki.

Finally, this event also saw the 2nd leg of the 55kg WILDRUSH League take place with tournament favorite Takumi picking up a decision win over Yuki Masato and improving to 2-0, Yuya Suzuki and Kazyosi fighting to a majority draw and Kazuki Okawa knocking out Masanori Shimada in the 1st round. After 2 rounds of fights, the standings look like this:

1. Takumi, 4 pts (2-0-0, 0 KO)

2. Yuya Suzuki, 4 pts (1-0-1, 1 KO)

3. Kazuki Okawa, 3 pts (1-1-0, 1 KO)

4. Kazyosi, 2 pts (0-0-2, 0 KO)

5. Yuki Masato, 1 pt (0-1-1, 0 KO)

6. Masanori Shimada, 0 pts (0-0-2, 0 KO)

Quick results after the break Add a comment

W5 held their second event of the year yesterday, branching outside of Russia to Bratislava, Slovakia where they held two tournaments to crown two new champions. The two tournaments consisted of four fighters each and took place at 71kg and 75kg respectively, with the winners becoming W5 champions.

At 71kg, the field was set up with Hysni Beqiri vs. Vladimir Konsky and Alim Nabiev vs. Tevfik Sucu. Beqiri vs. Konsky was up first and was a non-stop fight. Beqiri hit Konsky with everything including the kitchen sink but Konsky still managed to valiantly fight back for the entire fight. Konsky had the more diverse attack while Beqiri, outside of a few kicks, only threw punches, seemingly trying to save his legs for the final. Beqiri was awarded a unanimous decision but couldn't continue to the finals due to injury, so Konsky moved on to the finals despite the loss.

The other 71kg semi final saw 18 year old Alim Nabiev put in another clinical performance as he schooled Tevfik Sucu and moved on to the finals with a unanimous decision win.

At 75kg, the semi finals saw Vladimir Moravcik fight Artem Litvinenko and Remy Bonjasky pupil Darryl Sichtman fight Konstantin Serebrennikov. Litvinenko hung with Moravcik for a short period of time, but eventually Moravcik took over by the second round and stopped Litvinenko with body punches, moving on to the final. In the other semi final, Serebrennikov was competitive with Sichtman, but it was the two knockdowns Sichtman scored that sealed the fight for him. Sichtman would land some perfectly placed and timed punches that sent Serebrennikov down.

So with the finals set, Alim Nabiev faced Vladimir Konsky at 71kg. It was almost identical to Nabiev's semi final fight, as he schooled Konsky over three rounds and was never close to being in danger. Nabiev won a unanimous decision and earned himself the W5 71kg title.

In the 75kg final, it was another action packed fight between Darryl Sichtman and Vladimir Moravcik. Moravcik was the much more experienced fighter and had much bigger names on his resume, but Sichtman overcame that and had Moravcik seemingly out on his feet at the end of the third round, and damaged from repeated low kicks. After three rounds the judges declared an extra round but Moravcik was unable to continue, therefore giving the win to Darryl Sichtman. Sichtman got the biggest win of his career to date and became the W5 75kg champion. 

71kg semi final: Hysni Beqiri def. Vladimir Konsky by unanimous decision.
71kg semi final: Alim Nabiev def. Tevfik Sucu by unanimous decision.
75kg semi final: Vladimir Moravcik def. Artem Litvinenko by KO (Body Punches) in Round 2.
75kg semi final: Darryl Sichtman def. Konstantin Serebrennikov by unanimous decision.

81kg: Pavel Turuk def. Marcel Jager by unanimous decision.
55kg: Alena Hola def. Ekaterina Vandaryeva by unanimous decision.
67kg: Maxim Shalnev def. Rudolf Durica by split decision.

71kg final: Alim Nabiev def. Vladimir Konsky by unanimous decision.
75kg final: Darryl Sichtman def. Vladimir Moravcik by TKO (Gave Up/Corner Stop) after Round 3.

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A big RISE 92 card went down today in Japan and featured some pretty big fights in the lighter weight divisions with a number of RISE titles on the line.

The biggest fight on the card wasn't for a title but featured two of LiverKick's top ranked lightweights, Masahiro Yamamoto and Karim Bennoui. This fight had been a long time in the making and it seemingly lived up to expectations and went into an extra round. Yamamoto edged the fight out in the extra round to get the decision win, continuing on the roll that he's been on as of late. This win really does prove just how good Yamamoto is, even after a long career. 

RISE's 65kg title was on the line in a match-up that was built up for a long time between champion Koji Yoshimoto and challenger Yasuomi Soda. The bout went all five rounds and Soda got a majority decision. With that, he becomes the new RISE 65kg champion.

Chang Hyun Lee and Genji Umeno put on one of the fights of the year in 2012 and today they rematched on this card. The fight seems to have gone in a much different direction than last time, as Genji Umeno won a unanimous decision on scores of 30-27 across the board. With that, he avenges the loss to Lee from last year.

RISE's 55kg title was also on the line in a fight between Dyki and Seiya Rokukawa. This seems to have been a pretty close fight, going to a split decision in Dyki's favor after all five rounds.

Last but not least for the title fights, the RISE 90kg title was on the line between two heavyweights dropping down, in Kengo Shimizu and Makoto Uehara. This fight was the main event and like the 55kg title fight, also went to split decision. Uehara got the decision, with a point deduction from Shimizu in the second round seemingly being the deciding factor.

RISE 90kg title: Makoto Uehara def. Kengo Shimizu by split decision.
RISE 65kg title: Yasuomi Soda def. Koji Yoshimoto by majority decision.
RISE 55kg title: Dyki def. Seiya Rokukawa by split decision.
61kg: Masahiro Yamamoto def. Karim Bennoui by unanimous decision in an extra round.
60kg: Genji Umeno def. Chang Hyun Lee by unanimous decision.
60kg: Motochika Hinada def. Taison Maeguchi by unanimous decision.
63kg: Yuya Fujita def. Yuto Nakaegawa by TKO in Round 3.
57.5kg: Masato Sato and Yuta Sashikubi draw after an extra round.
57.5kg: Tomoaki Iemoto def. Ryoma Hasumi by unanimous decision.
63kg: Keisuke Niwa def. Tomohiro Sato by majority decision.

 

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K-1

It is finally upon us -- the time for the K-1 World Grand Prix to go down. You can purchase your live stream at K-1's site for $20 and it starts at 3PM Eastern Time (in under an hour). All of the fighters have made weight and are ready to go. The Finals look like this;

Reserve: Sergeii Laschenko vs. Dzevad Poturak - The first round was a close one, with both fighters being quite even, but Poturak landing the cleaner shots. The second round is more of the same with Laschenko starting to gas out and Poturak getting off some more clean shots, not doing much damage, but winning. Round 3 saw Poturak control the fight even more, he ran away with this one.

Winner: Dzevad Poturak

Catalin Morosanu vs. Pavel Zhuravlev - Morosanu comes in like Morosanu with crazy hooks, very aggressive. Zhuravlev is able to weather most of the storm without much damage. Second round sees a lot of the same, but Zhuravlev is able to catch Morosanu a few times and opens up a cut above the eye. Round 3 sees a lot of the same, with Morosanu being a little more tentative and picking his shots. Not a pretty fight. Zhuravlev was landing the cleaner shots.

Winner: Pavel Zhuravlev

Mirko Cro Cop vs. Jarrell Miller - Tough first round for both guys. Cro Cop went for some of his patented kicks, but they were all blocked. Miller worked some leg kicks and landed some decent punches from the clinch. Second round was all Miller with clinch knees and uppercuts. Cro Cop is gassing out, but, this is Croatia. Third round is more of the same, Miller landing the cleaner shots and being the clear aggressor. Annnnd Croatian judges give the fight to Cro Cop.

Winner: Mirko Cro Cop

Badr Hari vs. Zabit Samedov - Badr looks calm and collected, drops Samedov early. He lands a low blow and Samedov looks dead. Literally something happened at the end of the round and no one knows what, but Samedov had Hari rocked, there was no count and Hari kind of dropped Samedov but it didn't count? I don't know. Samedov landed some big bombs, Badr got a counter. Badr got a bit of a rest for a bloody nose, I don't even know. Hari with an assault on Samedov in R3 but jumps on him instead, then he hits him a few more times and the ref calls the count. Badr then runs away the rest of the round while Samedov taunts him to hit him. Just a weird, surreal fight.

Winner: Badr Hari

Ismael Londt vs. Hesdy Gerges - Londt went full force with Hesdy defending as well as he always does. One would guess his tactic was to let Londt gas. Londt slows down a bit in Round 2, Hesdy starts opening up a bit more, but Londt still controlling the ring. Londt continues to swarm Hesdy and lands a flying knee that breaks Hesdy's nose and Hesdy calls the fight.

Winner: Ismael Londt

Xi Chuang def. Samo Petje - Entertaining scrap, absolutely the best fight of the event thus far.

Emil Zoraj def. Giannis Sofokleus - Well, this was an interesting fight. Giannis took the fight on something like 12 hours notice and still really took it to Emil, but Emil was able to edge him out in the end.

Semi-Finals: Pavel Zhuravlev vs. Mirko Cro Cop - Missed most of this as the stream went down. The PPV went down as well, that is, the PPV never worked and everyone was accessing it for free so K-1 shut it down. Even those who paid can't figure out how to get it to work. Cro Cop won.

Winner: Mirko Cro Cop

An announcement is made that Badr Hari has broken his foot and will be replaced by Dzevad Poturak. Poturak is not in the arena, though, so they need to push one of the Superfights up to give them time to tell him.

Jason Wilnis def. Toni Milanovic - Wilnis looked great, demolished Milanovic in the first round, big knockout.

Semi-Finals: Dzevad Poturak vs. Ismael Londt - Londt looked great but Poturak held his own. Poturak fought well but a kick to the midsection broke his rib and he calls it quits in the second round.

Winner: Ismael Londt

Agron Preteni def. Andrei Stoica  - This fight was all Stoica, at least it should have been, until Preteni dropped him and really turned the tide of the fight. From that point on it was Preteni's fight.

Mladen Brestovic def. Frank Munoz  - Tough fight for Munoz who really just seems to not be able to find the right weight class. Brestovic was simply the better man tonight.

K-1 World Grand Prix Finals: Mirko Cro Cop vs. Ismael Londt - Londt was controlling things early on, but a left high kick knockdown in R2 by Cro Cop sealed the victory for him.

Winner: Mirko Cro Cop

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Total Carnage 3 took place yesterday once again in Gold Coast, Australia with Nathan "Carnage" Corbett in the main event, taking on Poland's Kamil Sokolowski.

The fight was almost over before it even started, and was all Corbett. Just seconds into the fight, Sokolowski came at Corbett with punches but got countered with a few knees and then got dropped with a right elbow. Sokolowski couldn't get up and the fight was over just like that.

Also on the card was Michael "Tomahawk" Thompson, who fought another Polish fighter, Tomasz Makowski. The fight was heating up nicely in the first round before Makowski seemed to have broken his leg and was unable to continue, giving Thompson the TKO win. (Video)

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Earlier today in Shinjuku, Tokyo, GLORY held its first Road to GLORY Japan event, a 65kg tournament with Masaaki Noiri, Yuki, Ryuji Kajiwara and Hiroya, among others. Also on the card was a big 60kg fight between Hirotaka Urabe and Shigeru.

Zen Fujita and Riki Matsuoka opened up the tournament with the REBELS champ Fujita stopping the Koshien semifinalist with a pair of knockdowns in the 3rd after getting knocked down once himself in the previous round. The second fight was my most anticipated opening round matchup as brawlers Yuki and Mohan Dragon faced off, but it was the former RISE champ Yuki winning a decision on scores of 29-27, 28-27 and 30-27 over the MA Kick champion due to Mohan Dragon having points being taken away for low blows. The third quarterfinal saw a 3rd matchup between former Koshien champs Masaaki Noiri and Hiroya. This fight was much closer than their first two affairs as Noiri was only able to pick up a majority decision due to a point deduction for low blows to Hiroya, resulting in scores of 30-29(x2) and 29-29. The last quarterfinal featured an upset as Yukihiro Komiya defeated former Krush champion Ryuji Kajiwara in an extension round after a split draw. Kajiwara was deducted a point for shots to the back of the head in the extension round, but lost the round on each judge's scorecard, as well.

The semifinals saw Zen Fujita go down again, but this time he was sent right back to the canvas after suffering some of Yuki's brutal leg kicks. Yuki won by TKO at 2:42 of the 2nd round and advanced to the finals. In the other semi, Noiri struggled once again, but again came out with a majority decision over Yukihiro Komiya on scores of 30-30, 30-29 and 30-28. However in the finals Noiri made sure he didn't win a close decision and knocked Yuki down twice in the 1st round and twice in the 2nd en route to a 2nd round stoppage at 1:35 to win the tournament and a spot in GLORY's World Tournament in May. 

Despite going up in weight, the tournament win further solidifies Noiri as the world's top Lightweight. It's interesting to see how he'll fare against bigger fighters in the main GLORY tournament, but I don't see any reason to not consider him the early favorite. Sure, scores indicate that he struggled with a bigger Hiroya and Komiya, but until footage of the fights comes out it'll be hard to know. It is very possible he chose to work at range and save his energy, an approach he's taken to tournaments before. Yuki lived up to my expectations by getting past Mohan Dragon, albeit in an unconventional way, and then stopping Zen Fujita. And as I expected, Yuki had the flaws in his game exploited by the technically superior Noiri. Still a good showing from Yuki and a good way to bounce back from the loss to Sung-hyun Lee. Yukihiro Komiya made the biggest impression in the tournament. The former RISE Middleweight champion had looked very good since dropping to 65kg, but his loss to Yasuomi Soda made it seem like it was a bit too late for him to break through. However, he was able to pull off the upset against Kajiwara and gave Noiri a good run for his money. Zen Fujita made it to the semis, but didn't give me any reason to think he's close to a world level. He got dropped by Matsuoka in his quarterfinal and although he showed great heart by coming back and getting a stoppage, he wasn't ready for Yuki's low kicks. Kajiwara had a disappointing night, but it's not as if he wasn't competitive. His run at 63kg was far from a fluke, but his style relies heavily on his opponent coming at him. I would assume the more experienced Komiya didn't fall into that trap and that's why he was able to win, but according to GLORY's Martijn De Jong on Twitter, the fight was action packed, so I guess that's another good way to throw a counter fighter off of his game. Despite losing, Hiroya fighting Noiri close and not getting dropped says, to me at least, that he's made some improvements and that the move to 65kg is bigger than I thought it would be. Mohan Dragon mostly gave me what I expected and I'm not surprised his wild, looping shots resulted in low blows against a fighter who loves to be on the inside. I guess I could say Matsuoka surprised me by dropping Fujita, but his lack of defense cost him.

The event also featured a few super fights, the most significant of which featured Krush 60kg champion Hirotaka Urabe taking on WPMF Japan Super Featherweight champion Shigeru. After 3 rounds of what GLORY's Martijn de Jong called the fight of the night, the two went to an extension round. Less than 30 seconds into the extension round, Urabe opened up a nasty cut with a flying knee and forced a doctor stoppage. Urabe pushes his undefeated streak to 14 and picks up another win over a top 60kg fighter. Although he lost, Shigeru proves he's one of the best 60kg fighters in Japan after defeating Yuji Takeuchi and fighting Urabe even for 3 rounds. Clearly he has some defensive holes, but he's shown he can fight against all different types of fighters and under different rulesets. I'd like to see him fight Naoki Ishikawa in Krush with the winner getting another shot at Urabe. 

Quick results after the break Add a comment

February was kind of a slow month at the top of the ladder, especially when compared to January and March, but it still had a plethora of events and was not devoid of high level competition. Big cards in February included Shootboxing, NJKF and Fist Kick's first events of 2013, all of which featured top Japanese fighters taking on foreign competition, with two facing Rajadamnern Stadium champions.

February 3rd - J-Network: J-Fight in Shinjuku ~vol.29~/J-Girls 2013 ~Victorious Goddess 1st~

In the J-Network main event, Bantamweight champ Kentaro Kimura stopped MA Kick's Hiroshi Watanabe via cut in the 2nd round, bouncing back from a loss to Takuma Ito that snapped a 5-fight winning streak. In a fight that may have determined Kimura's next challenger, 7th ranked Yojiro upset #1 Kenta by split decision. For Yojiro it's his 3rd straight and Kenta is now winless in his last 4. As part of a 4-man mini-tournament to determine WPMF Japan Super Flyweight champion Kiminori Matsuzaki's next challenger (or for the vacant title if he vacated it), Ryuji Wakayama upset Hiroyuki Yamano by unanimous decision. This was quite the upset as Yamano was coming off of a win over Yuji Uwasawa. In the J-Girls main event, Yuichiro Nagashima student Chihiro Kira took a unanimous decision over Shootboxing JKS48 tournament runner-up Akari Eneos, avenging her sister, Yuki Kira, who lost to Akari last year. 

February 10th - DEEP*KICK 14

In the night's main event, 65kg champ and Krush regular Hiroto Yamaguchi took a close unanimous decision over 2011 K-1 Koshien runner-up Yuya Shibata. Yamaguchi has now won 2 straight since losing to Koya Urabe in the semifinals of the 2012 Krush Youth GP. Shibata also participated in that tournament, but lost his quarterfinal fight to Daizo Sasaki. The event was also supposed to have a 70kg title fight between champion Ren Takeno and Yoji Fujimoto, but Takeno weighed in 6.2kg over the limit and his title was forfeited to Fujimoto. In a pair of 55kg fights, Yokinobu Nakatsuka stopped Koki Nakamu in the 3rd round while Krush veteran Kazuki Tanaka defeated Ikki by decision. This likely sets up a fight between Tanaka and Nakatsuka and if Tanaka wins he could get a shot at 55kg champ Seiya Rokukawa. Nakatsuka has faced Rokukawa twice and lost convincingly both times.

MA Kick - Break 34

The main event saw #5 Welterweight Akira Makoto keep his undefeated record with a win over #1 Yasuyki Murata. Makoto will likely face off with champion Jun Nakazawa next and will need to bring it if he wants to stay undefeated. In the co-main event, Thai Pupanrek Esugym stopped Yukimaru in the 1st round.

February 17th - NJKF 2013 1st

In the month's biggest event, Rajadamnern Stadium champ Kaimookdham Aikbangzai dominated title challenger Kunitaka en route to a 2nd round stoppage, retaining his Raja Stadium title. The fight was a bit of a mismatch, as Kunitaka had a weak record against Thai competition. The main event saw Gansuwan Sasiprapa score a bit of an upset over Tetsuya Yamato. Gansuwan has had strong outings in his last two fights in Japan, taking out Tetsuya Yamato and Yuya Yamato. This loss stopped a 3-fight win streak for Yamato. In a NJKF Welterweight title fight, Yuya Yamato picked up a second close win over Soichiro Miyakoshi on scores of 49-48(x3) to earn his first title defense. Miyakoshi had looked very good since their first fight, but was unable to use his momentum to overcome Yamato despite a strong performance. His brother Keijiro Miyakoshi also fought, defending his NJKF Lightweight title against Ryota, snapping a 2-fight losing streak. NJKF Super Lightweight champion Seiji Takahashi defended his title as well with a one sided decision over Kazushige Sugama. NJKF Super Bantamweight champion Arato was unable to keep his title, losing a decision to challenger Hiroya Haga. WBC Japan Women's Featherweight champ Ayano Oishi defended her title with a 5th round TKO via cut in the 5th round over Team Dragon's Kimiko Sasaki. Finally, Flyweight prospects Nemo and Takashi Saenchaigym fought for a 2nd time, their first encounter ending in a draw, with Takashi picking up the unanimous decision win and vacant NJKF Flyweight title, ending Nemo's impressive run.

Fist Kick IX

The main event saw Rajadamnern Stadium Featherweight champion Sirimongkol Eiwaigym make his third trip to Japan, this time defeating Daiki Nagashima by unanimous decision, although the fight was pretty close. Sirimongkol improves to 2-0-1 on Japanese soil, having previously defeated Shunta Ito and surprisingly drawing with Yusuke Shimizu. The co-main event saw Kanongsuk WSR pick up a win over WPMF Japan Super Lightweight champion Hidekazu Tanaka. Kanongsuk had just been knocked out by undefeated prospect Yasuyuki while Tanaka was coming off of a loss to Minoru Kimura. Polish fighter Joanna Jedrzejczyk returned to Japan after a win over Ayano Oishi in the Hoost Cup and picked up another win over NJKF Featherweight champ AZUMA. In a bit of an upset, Takeshi Shimizu defeated TOMOYUKI to win the vacant WPMF Japan Super Welterweight title. TOMOYUKI had recently had a 3-fight win streak snapped by Buakaw in Thai Fight while Shimizu was knocked out by Takayuki WSR in his last outing. In another upset, Noro Yuki stopped J-Network Super-Flyweight champ Yuki via cuts in the 2nd round to win the vacant WPMF Japan Bantamweight title. Noro Yuki now has two big wins over guys moving up in weight recently, previously picking up a win over TO-MA. Yuki had won three straight including a win at Bantamweight over Kenta. In the other semifinal of the aforementioned WPMF Japan Super Flyweight tournament, Nagata Haryi upset Sazanami Satsutama in an extension round and will now face Ryuji Wakayama. This is a much more shocking upset than Wakayama's win over Yamano as Satsutama had looked very strong over the past few years, only losing to the top 3 fighters in the division. Also in action was Madoka Jinnai, also known as Erika Kamimura's amateur rival and the first girl to beat her, albeit in amateur competition, defeated J-Girls Bantamweight champion Yukino Oishi, winning the vacant WPMF Japan Bantamweight title.

February 22nd - Shootboxing 2013 act.1

The main event saw the struggling Yoshihiro Sato take on "Japanese Killer" and 2012 S-Cup runner-up Henri van Opstal. Sato became the first Japanese fighter to defeat van Opstal, winning a close majority decision. Sato was coming off of a disappointing loss to Kenta which dethroned him as Japan's top Middleweight, a distinction he had held since Masato's retirement. The co-main event saw Warren Stevelmans pick up a win over the entertaining Bovy Sor Udomson. Stevelmans was supposed to compete in last year's S-Cup, but opted to fight as a late replacement in GLORY. Bovy did compete in the S-Cup, but lost in the opening round to Henri van Opstal. Shootboxing Featherweight champion Akira Utagawa took a one-sided decision over Kazuki Tamagawa, scoring shoot point after shoot point. MMA fighter Joachim Hansen returned to Shootboxing after a surprisingly close fight with Hiroaki Suzuki in last year's S-Cup in his Shootboxing debut, this time picking up a win over Kenji Kanai on extremely impressive scores of 30-21(x2) and 30-20. Hinata competed on the card, picking up an easy win over Masatoshi Hyakutake. K-1 veteran Kizaemon Saiga returned to Shootboxing as well, picking up his second win in the promotion with a win over Makoto Yamauchi. Ai Takahashi returned with a win, defeating Korean Mi-jeon Jang. Finally, Rena's protégé and JKS48 winner MIO suffered her first pro loss at the hands of J-GIRLS MiniFlyweight champion Momi. 

February 24th - Big Bang 12

The main event saw Krush 70kg champ Yasuhiro Kido take on Asami Zaurus, who lost a close fight to Takuro Moriya which would have given him a shot at Kido's Krush title. Asami put up a good fight, but came up short as Kido picked up yet another win. Shunta Ito bounced back from a close loss to Hiroki Akimoto with a 4th round KO of Korean fighter Seong-bum Woo. At Heavyweight, Hiromi Amada had his first real competition in a while and picked up a win over Tsutomu Takahagi. Toshiki Taniyama picked up his 2nd straight win with a close majority decision over Korean fighter Son-cheol Oh. At 71kg, Yoichi Yamazaki stopped K-1 veteran Shingo Garyu while 55kg Krush prospect Namito Izawa dropped a decision to Ariaki Okada. 

Hoost Cup Spirit 2

The main event saw prospect Sho Ogawa struggle with RISE Lightweight Shohei Asahara, but ultimately pull out a split decision victory. After a strong run that saw him win the 2011 K-1 Koshien tournament and also pick up wins over Makihira Keita and Minoru Kimura, Ogawa is 1-1 in his last two and hasn't looked great in either fight. Asahara may not be the best Lightweight, but he is much better than his 0-5 record over his last 5 fights would indicate. He took RISE 65kg champ Koji Yoshimoto and top ranked RISE Lightweight Yuto Watanabe to extension rounds, lost close, competitive decisions to Yusuke Sugawara and current RISE Lightweight champ Sung-hyun Lee and now loses a split decision to Ogawa. 

NJKF Muay Thai Open 23

The main event pitted Kongenchai Esugym against Shota Saenchaigym and started well for Shota, who scored knockdowns in the 1st and 2nd rounds. However, Kongenchai stormed back and was eventually able to cut Shota with an elbow, causing the doctor to stop the fight in the 4th. Though he likely would have lost a decision, Kongenchai showed a lot of heart and was able to get the stoppage, even if it was kind of anti-climactic. This is a tough loss for Shota who was winning and had won 2 straight, including a win over Shohei Hareyama. The co-main event saw Dejpanom Saenchaigym bounce back from a loss to Seiji Takahashi with a win over Team Dragon's Shota Watanabe. 

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In what's becoming a growing trend for Thai Fight events, the Thai's once again easily routed their less than stellar farang competition in a 7 fight shutout on the main card. Featured on the first Thai Fight of 2013 were fan favorites like Sudsakorn, Saiyok, Iquezang, and Saenchainoi.

One of the top 70 kg fighters, Saiyok Pumphanmung, took on a game Thiago Texeira in one of the few fights that went the distance. While Texeira was resilient enough to last until the final bell, he couldn't mount any sort of offence throughout 3 rounds that would threaten the veteran Thai. Saiyok won a unanimous decision win; his second in a row after dropping a loss via injury to Dylan Salvador late last year. 

In another big name fight, the well known Sudsakorn Sor. Klinmee took on the not-so-well-known Veselin Veselinov from Russia. Veselinov looked good in the opening round, pushing forward and landing a few big lefts. Sudsakorn seemed to take the shots as minor annoyances more than anything and ramped up the pace in the second, dropping Veselinov in the middle of the round. He kept the pressure high and eventually the Russian wilted, going down to a hard shot midway through the third. 

In the final fight on the card, Saenchainoi Pumphanmung fought Jose Neto in a bout that revealed the Thai's golden years may be behind him. Neto never hurt Saenchainoi, but he stayed in the match far more than he should have. It was an overall sloppy affair, with Saenchainoi already looking pudgy and slow from his jump to 68 kg. Regardless, he still won a unanimnous decision over the Brazilian on all the judges scorecards.

Overall, the quality of the competition was a bit dissapointing. None of the foreign fighters stood much of a chance against their Thai counterparts, which is strange considering there is so much international skill at 70 kg and 68 kg. Hopefully this downward spiral in talent will not be a mainstay of the event.

FULL RESULTS BELOW 

Saenchainoi def. Jose Neto by Decision

Payakdam def. Ashley Bryne by TKO in Rd. 1

Sudsakorn def. Veselin Veselinov by KO in Rd. 3

Yodpayak def. Paulo Sergio dos Santos by KO in Rd. 1

Iquezang def. Behzad Rafigh Doust by Decision

Saiyok def. Thiago Texeira by Decision

Peemai JitMuangnon def. Jackson Alves de Souza by Decision

 

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In what's becoming a growing trend for Thai Fight events, the Thai's once again easily routed their less than stellar farang competition in a 7 fight shutout on the main card. Featured on the first Thai Fight of 2013 were fan favorites like Sudsakorn, Saiyok, Iquezang, and Saenchainoi.

One of the top 70 kg fighters,Saiyok Pumphanmung, took on a game Thiago Texeira in one of the few fights that went the distance. While Texeira was resilient enough to last until the final bell, he couldn't mount any sort of offence throughout 3 rounds that would threaten the veteran Thai. Saiyok won a unanimous decision win; his second in a row after dropping a loss via injury to Dylan Salvador late last year.

In another big name fight, the well known Sudsakorn Sor. Klinmee took on the not-so-well-known Veselin Veselinov from Russia. Veselinov looked good in the opening round, pushing forward and landing a few big lefts. Sudsakorn seemed to take the shots as minor annoyances more than anything and ramped up the pace in the second, dropping Veselinov in the middle of the round. He kept the pressure high and eventually the Russian wilted, going down to a hard shot midway through the third.

In the final fight on the card, Saenchainoi Pumphanmung fought Jose Neto in a bout that revealed the Thai's golden years may be behind him. Neto never hurt Saenchainoi, but he stayed in the match far more than he should have. It was an overall sloppy affair, with Saenchainoi already looking pudgy and slow from his jump to 68 kg. Regardless, he still won a unanimnous decision over the Brazilian on all the judges scorecards.

Overall, the quality of the competition was a bit dissapointing. None of the foreign fighters stood much of a chance against their Thai counterparts, which is strange considering there is so much international skill at 70 kg and 68 kg. Hopefully this downward spiral in talent will not be a mainstay of the event.

FULL RESULTS BELOW 

Saenchainoi def. Jose Neto by Decision

Payakdam def. Ashley Bryne by TKO in Rd. 1

Sudsakorn def. Veselin Veselinov by KO in Rd. 3

Yodpayak def. Paulo Sergio dos Santos by KO in Rd. 1

Iquezang def. Behzad Rafigh Doust by Decision

Saiyok def. Thiago Texeira by Decision

Peemai JitMuangnon def. Jackson Alves de Souza by Decision

 

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Best of Siam 3 held another big show in Paris, France yesterday and by all accounts it was another evening of great Muay Thai.

In the main event, Sitthichai Sitsongpeenong fought Fabio Pinca in a rematch from just over three years ago. Pinca wouldn't get revenge, as Sitthichai continued to show that at 67-70kg he's arguably the best in Muay Thai. Sitthichai dominated over the course of five rounds and got a clear unanimous decision victory.

Right before the main event was Kaoponlek taking on France's Mehdi Zatout. Kaoponlek, even at 36 years of age, is still a very formidable opponent and he showed exactly why, getting a unanimous decision victory, clearly controlling most of the fight.

Sitthichai's stablemate Kem Sitsongpeenong was also back in action, against fellow Yokkao Extreme competitor Mickael Piscitello. Like Sitthichai, Kem dominated his French opponent, scoring multiple knockdowns with elbows over the course of the fight. Kem would go on to get a unanimous decision win.

French up and comer Raphael Llodra got one of his biggest wins to date, defeating Marco Pique by TKO, after Pique failed to answer the bell before the fifth round. Apparently Pique was on the verge of throwing up. Llodra got stronger as the fight went on.

The lone women's bout of the evening was between France's Sandra Sevilla and England's Lucy Payne. In what was described as a close fight, Sevilla won a split decision. Some had Payne winning.

Much like Petchasawin's fight at Best of Siam 2 against Bobo Sacko, his fight yesterday against Charles Francois was also described as action packed. Francois got cut very early but managed to hang in the fight and hurt Petchasawin later on, before getting dropped with a high kick himself. In the end, Petchasawin walked away with a split decision win.

Another close fight on the card was a battle of two very bright up and comers, Ayoub El Khaidar and Sofiane Bougossa. Bogossa got a decision win in another fight that could've gone either way.

Sitthichai Sitsongpeenong def. Fabio Pinca by unanimous decision.

Kaoponlek def. Mehdi Zatout by unanimous decision.

Raphael Llodra def. Marco Pique by TKO (Gave Up) after Round 4.

Kem Sitsongpeenong def. Mickael Piscitello by unanimous decision.

Sandra Sevilla def. Lucy Payne by split decision.

Petchasawin Seatransferry def. Charles Francois by split decision.

Sofiane Bougossa def. Ayoub El Khaidar by decision.

Fabrice Delannon def. Karim Joval by TKO in Round 4.

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Nuit des Titans put on another big show in France today, which saw a four man tournament at 72.5kg, as well as a number of super fights featuring the likes of Fabio Pinca, Dernchonlek, Super X and Aziz Hlali.

The tournament featured Aikpracha Meenayothin, Yury Bessmertny, Yohan Lidon and Karim Ghajji. Aikpracha faced Bessmertny in the semi finals and in the other semi, Lidon fought Karim Ghajji, in what was a rubbermatch between the two.

Aikpracha defeated Bessmertny, but he needed an extra round to get a decision win. Aikpracha won rounds one and three, but in the second round he got dropped and almost got finished. The extra round was all Aikpracha, however.

Karim Ghajji and Yohan Lidon had fought twice before, with each of them winning once. The two times they fought had been under K-1 rules, and with this one being Muay Thai, it looked like Lidon was the favorite. Ghajji scored a decision victory though, in what seems to have been a very close fight much like their first two encounters.

The final was where the real shock of the event was. Karim Ghajji knocked out Aikpracha in the first round with a combination of a high kick, straight left, knee and a huge right hand to end things. This is a huge win for Ghajji, who doesn't normally even fight Muay Thai. Aikpracha, despite having fought a week ago, was the sure favorite to win the tournament. For Ghajji, this tournament win gives him a ton of momentum as he'll debut in GLORY in April in a big fight that will probably be announced soon.

Also on the card were some super fights. Fabio Pinca defeated his Thai adversary, Yakdam by decision. Apparently Pinca had a tough time with Yakdam's awkward style but still managed to get the win. Super X stopped Aziz Hlali in the first round, but the word is that it was a terrible stoppage and Hlali protested after. Dernchonlek Sor. Sor. Niyom cruised to a decision over Issam Reghi.

72.5kg semi final: Karim Ghajji def. Yohan Lidon by decision.

72.5kg semi final: Aikpracha Meenayothin def. Yury Bessmertny by decision in an extra round.

72.5kg final: Karim Ghajji def. Aikpracha Meenayothin by KO in Round 1.

68kg: Fabio Pinca def. Yakdam by decision.

68kg: Super X def. Aziz Hlali by TKO in Round 1.

73kg: Dernchonlek Sor. Sor. Niyom def. Issam Reghi by decision.

70kg: Aslan Oustarkhanov def. Mohamed Abdellaoui by KO in Round 1.

71kg: Yazid Bussaha def. Mahfoud Nafi by TKO in Round 3.

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Enfusion Live's first event of the year takes palce today in Zwevegem, Belgium. The event features a four man heavyweight tournament, with the winner qualifying to the next Enfusion reality show in Las Vegas. As well, Andrew Tate fights David Radeff at 85kg and a women's 61kg title fight takes place between Ilona Wijmans and Anke van Gestel. Full fight card here.

The event gets started at 4PM ET/1PM PT in North America and can be seen live on Fight Network in Canada. I'll be providing live play by play on twitter at @rianscalia. Live results will be updated here as they happen.

HW semi final: Geatan Sautron def. Kirk Krouba by TKO in Round 1.

HW semi final: Thomas Vanneste def. Mohamed Achachbaun by unanimous decision.

70kg: Cenk Cankurtaranoglu def. Kevin Hesseling by KO (Left Cross) in Round 1.

85kg: Andrew Tate def. David Radeff by unanimous decision.

61kg Enfusion world title: Anke van Gestel def. Ilona Wijmans by unanimous decision.

HW final: Geatan Sautron def. Thomas Vanneste by unanimous decision.

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MA Kick started off 2013 with a big card headlined by a Heavyweight fight between Magnum Sakai and Alex Roberts as well as 5 title fights featuring MA Kick's biggest stars. The theme of the night was rematches as four of the five title fights were rematches, but only one fighter was able to pick up a 2nd win against his opponent, as two of the others lost their titles and the third nearly lost his title in a draw.

While Roberts vs Sakai was the main event, it was not the most important fight of the night, so I will recap the event by order of importance. At Flyweight, top 5 Flyweights Ryuji Kato and Yuji Uwasawa met for a second time and after another close fight, it was Ryuji Kato who came out on top, winning a split decision and earning the MA Kick Flyweight title. The win solidifies Kato as the #1 Flyweight in Japan as he had a win over almost every top fighter in his division except for Uwasawa, who he lost his MA Kick title in their first meeting last January. Kato has now won 4 in a row and is the owner of the MA Kick, WPMF Japan and WBC Japan Flyweight titles, so it's hard to know which one he will defend next, though I can imagine MA Kick want to book a 3rd fight between the two. Uwasawa was just 1-2 since beating Kato last year, getting stopped by Shuichi Wentz and Hiroyuki Yamano before picking up a win over Nagata Haryi. He is still a top 5 fighter, but he will need a solid win over a top 10 guy to remain elite.

In a Bantamweight title fight, Takashi Ohno improved to 2-0 against Takuma Ito with a majority decision win to retain his MA Kick belt. The two first fought last January with Ohno taking Ito's title and emerging as the top Bantamweight in Japan. Despite fighting in 2 different weight classes throughout his career, the 22 year old Ohno has put together a 12-4-1 record and hasn't lost a fight at Bantamweight since a split decision loss in January of 2010 to current MA Kick Super Bantamweight champ Keisuke Miyamoto. After the fight he stated he wanted to avenge his loss to Dyki and a rematch is definitely something I want to see as there's not a whole lot for him to do at Bantamweight at the moment as he owns two wins over the #2 in his division and has a win over Seiya Rokukawa, who fights Dyki for the vacant RISE 55kg title in March. Ohno vs the winner of that fight would be a great matchup. After losing in their first fight, Ito went on to lose to Kiminori Matsuzaki, which put him on a 3-fight losing streak. He bounced back with 3 straight wins, including a big win over J-Network champ Kentaro Kimura, but the loss here moves him back to square one. He did better in this fight than their first, as he was knocked down twice in their first encounter and he is still young, so it's not as if he's at a difficult time in his career. I'd like to see him rematch Matsuzaki or take on someone like J-Network Flyweight champ Yuki next.

In a Super Bantamweight title fight, champion Keisuke Miyamoto and challenger Kunihiro fought to a majority draw, giving Miyamoto his first defense. While Miyamoto escapes with the title, he takes a huge hit to his stock as Kunihiro won the only judge's card that wasn't a draw and Miyamoto was a big favorite in this fight after knocking off former #2 Super Bantamweight Ryuya Kusakabe in October. Like the two previous title fights, this was a rematch of a fight that  took place in 2011 that Miyamoto won quite handily. This draw is huge for Kunihiro, who didn't have a real quality win on his record. He goes from afterthought to legitimate contender and may have earned himself another shot at Miyamoto. While I think Miyamoto may have overlooked him a bit and I would favor him in a third fight, I think Kunihiro may have figured out a gameplan to beat Miyamoto.

In a Super Featherweight title fight, Tadahiro Hashio pulled off the upset, forcing a doctor's stoppage of Hikaru Machida in the 4th round to win the MA Kick Super Featherweight title. After failing to win the MA Kick Lightweight title from Yoshito Kajita, Hashio dropped to Super Featherweight where he is now 2-0 and the MA Kick champion. While this may look like a bit of a fluke win, Hashio was step for step with Machida after a rough first round and was able to open up a cut that stopped the fight, so props to him. Machida now finds himself on a 3-fight losing streak after a loss to Yoshinori Nakasuka and a similar cut stoppage loss to RIOT at K-SPIRIT 4. After looking to be one of Japan's most promising prospects over the last 2 years, Machida finds himself without any titles and with a bit of an exploitable flaw for the ruleset he fights under. While I don't think these cut stoppages will drive him away from full contact rules, it would be interesting to see what he could do against RISE and Krush's crop of 60kg fighters.

In the night's final title fight, Super Welterweight champion Kazuya Takeda was upset by Hiroto, who earned a doctor's stoppage via cuts in the 3rd round. Keeping with the night's theme, this was another rematch and Takeda had won their first fight in March of 2011, netting him the MA Kick title. Hiroto had failed twice before in winning the title, as he lost the first fight to Takeda and then lost to Masahito Arthur in a #1 contender bout. However a 4-1 record since the loss to Arthur earned him this shot which he capitalized on. Like the other fights, I expect a third fight between these two due to the nature of the stoppage, but it's a solid win for the previously unheralded Hiroto. Takeda reached a career high in 2012, going 4-0 including a big win over TOMOYUKI, but takes a step back to start 2013. That being said, I believe he is one of Japan's best 70kg fighters, if not the best, who has not fought on a bigger stage. 

Quick results after the break

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