The Invisible Web

Your Trip Into the Chapel Perilous

K-1 WORLD MAX 2011 ~ -63kg Japan Tournament Round x Round

Posted by invizweb on June 25, 2011

When K-1 announced that it was going to air this -63kg Japan Grand Prix live, I thought it would be a good idea to do Round by Rounds.  So here I go:

MAGES (a company that was formed only one month ago) Presents K-1 World MAX -63 kg (139 lbs) Japan Grand Prix

3) Undercard Match:  Akihiro Kimura vs Yuji Tanaka

I awaken to the final moments of the third undercard match (Yeah I did not wake up from my nap until 02:50 AM).  Both Kimura and Tanaka were going balls to the wall.   Then Kimura wailed him with a killer right.

Winner:  Akihiro Kimura via KO

4) Undercard Match:  Shingo Yokoyama (Red) vs Yasuomi Soda (Blue)

R1:  No. Soda did not have a Pepsi tat like CM Punk.  But he was controlling the match with Low Roundhouse Kicks.  Shingo, however, tried to counter by doing Plum Clinch Knees, which are no longer legal.  Round was decent to watch.

R2:  I believe the scores were read with a tie for the previous round (I think).    Soda was once again the more active fighter and Shingo ate many Low Kicks and seemed frozen at points like a deer in headlights.  Alright, I guess.

R3:  And Soda has a slight edge in the score cards.  And the reading of the score cards finally comes into play because Yokoyama is now more active than before.  Unfortunately for him, the rounded ended with Soda throwing really good Leg Kicks that connected on him.

Winner:  Yasuomi Soda via Decision

It is FIRE Harada~!  Interesting story, this guy was a hikikomori for many years.  That meant he suffered from a developmental disorder on the Autism spectrum, which caused him to confine himself in his house for years.   One day, he took what he would have considered a risk, left his house, and took a job with a software company.  Upon the realizing that he did not have great fitness, he joined a local Kickboxing gym and later made it to K-1.  And now, K-1 has him give a speech on their behalf thanking everyone who contributed to the relief effort in Japan, in English it seems.  This is very brave of him.

Now is the parade of fighters beginning with the 2010 -63kg GP champ Tetsuya Yamato.

K-1 President Tanigawa is in the Announcer’s booth to offer some commentary.  Reminds me of the days Vincent Kennedy McMahon was a commentator.  However, this is not a good sign as it appears there are no Japanese commentators for this show.

5) GP Reserve Match:  Toshiki Taniyama (Blue corner) vs Yuto Watanabe (Red Corner)

R1:  Watanabe, a Kyokushin Kaikan fighter, comes out with a gi.  Too bad he takes it off.  He is wearing red trunks to go with his red gloves tonight.  Low Roundhouse Kicks to start by Watanabe.  He attempts some Rolling Solebat and Ushiro Jodan Mawashi Geri.  Taniyama is working with punches.  And he tries to work with a Plum Clinch.  The two trade 1-2 punch combos.  And Taniyama eats a Low Roundhouse after Watanabe checked the kick.  Round is ruled a draw.

R2:  Watanabe feigns a back spin and then attempts some High Roundhouse Kicks.  Yuto gets Taniyama to slip with a Rolling Solebat.  Unchecked Low Roundhouse on Taniyama.   Watanabe tries a Rolling Kick to no avail.  No real damage me thinks.  May be another draw.

R3:  I think judges had Yuto ahead for R2.  Taniyama attempts a Spinning Backfist but it is only glancing and got parried.  Watanabe hits a nice Body Uppercut.  Yuto is now rushing Taniyama against the ropes in the closing minute.  Yuto was running out of gas in the closing.

Judges:  Taniyama, Draw, Draw

Taniyama was getting aggressive but Yuto Watanabe at least won R2, and the other two rounds were too close to call.

ExtR:  Before I go on, I would like to pay respects to all who enter the ring as I myself could never reach such a high level.  That said, in this round, neither landed many solid hits.  However this time when they were on the Cross Sword position (when both fighters lean in on each other with their fists covering in a defensive posture), Taniyama got some Left and Right Hooks in.   I also think they were Head Butting each other when entering that position.  Taniyama’s nose and face are bleeding from what looked like an Overhand by Yuto.  However, Yuto is gassed and is eating lots of hits as the round ends.

Judges: Taniyama, Taniyama, Taniyama

Winner:  Toshiki Taniyama via Decision

I don’t know if Taniyama will be in condition, cardio wise, to substitute for any of the main tournament guys if they cannot continue.  By the way, this fight, not how I really want to start watching a show.

6) GP Reserve Bout 2:  Koji Yoshimoto (Blue) vs Shohei Asahara (Red)

Yoshimoto’s entrance includes a troupe of dancing ninjas.  Best pre-match ring entrance I have seen all night (and will see all night).

R1:  Why is Red’s corner applying an ice bag to their fighter’s head before the first round even starts?  Nice Mid Roundhouses by Yoshimoto.  Nice Kick Combo by Asahara.  Trading hard Low Roundhouse Kicks. Attempted Jump Knee by Asahara.  He hits a blocked Clinched Jumping Knee and another which only unbalances him.  Nice solid Cross by Asahara.  Asahara wins the round on the judges’ cards..

R2:  It was a nice round and I apologize if I am not writing as much but I have not watched K-1 in a long time and am trying to enjoy the action.  It was not a round like Takayama-Frye but it was more than adequate exchange of technical combos.  I think Yoshimoto may have won.

R3:  Both fighters were super aggressive this round.  Almost like a Grudge Match now with how they are going at it.  Weird spot in the middle where Yoshimoto put the crook of his elbow and pushed Asahara back in what looked like a Reverse Single Collar Tie.  In the end, they were trading like Takayma-Frye but with less power.

Judges:  Draw, Draw, Draw

ExtR:  Yoshimoto landed a Straight flush onto Asahara’s face.  He then fired a blocked High Kick Combo.  Asahara attempts a TKD Tornado Kick but falls.  Asahara responds when he gets up, with a glancing Jumping Knee.

Winner:  Koji Yoshimoto via Unanimous Decision

I liked the fighters and would call it very good match (but not excellent from a spectator’s point of view).  A viewer would want an entire card with matches like this.

And now the fighters for the -70kg Grand Prix.  They include Yasuhiro Kido, Go Yokoyama, Shintaro Yoshikura, Hiroki Nakajima, Yuya Yamamoto, and incumbent -70kg champ Jienotsu Nagashima.  Kido had the most spirited promo.  Yuya was the best dressed with his posh tie.  And the champ needs a promo coach.

7) Tournament Quarter Final: HIROYA (Blue) vs Tetsuya Yamato (Red)

R1:  Oh shit, Yamato is coming out to Saraba Yamato, the Space Battle Cruiser Yamato (StarBlazers) opening theme.  TY is the reigning champ, and was a house painter until he won the -63 GP last year.  Hopefully, he can draw some shots on his opponent.  No, not a good pun?  Round was a feeling out process with Yamato and HIROYA trading Low and Mid Roundhouse Kicks to feel each other out.  HIROYA, the aggressor is hitting some hard clean Low Roundhouse Kicks.  Around the 1:30 mark, HIROYA landed a clean Left on the champ. President Tanigawa said that HIROYA is the more popular fighter in Japan despite Yamato being the Champion.  Of course, teenagers make better media darlings since the idols are what cater to the most spendthrift demographic:  teens.  Although Yamato tries to corner HIROYA, the teen’s superior head movement and better footwork gets him out of tight spots.  In the replay, the video shows Yamato nailing a nearly unblocked High Roundhouse Kick on HIROYA.  Judges called the round even.

R2:  MASATO, former K-1 World MAX champ, is in HIROYA’s corner as the teen is thought to be his heir apparent.  HIROYA is hitting some hard Inside Cut Kicks (I know a lot of people do not like that term.  However, many MMA based Muay Thai text books, such as those from Victory Belt, uses that term now and it is faster to write than Low Roundhouse Inside Kick). Yamato lands what the commentators term as his “signature Left Body Blow.”  Yamato hit HIROYA flush with a Hook right during the ringing of the closing bell, to get a Standing 8 count on the latter.   On the replay, it was shown that HIROYA was attempting to land an Overhand-Right Combo on Yamato when he got clobbered.  The other main HL I found most memorable was the champ clapping his gloves together and staring down his opponent in the beginning of the round.  Yeah, I pay attention to too much dumb shit.

R3:  Now HIROYA attempts to corner Yamato in the opening moments of the round.  Yamato escapes and delivers an Overhand-Uppercut combo.  Now they are trading lots of blows with neither flinching, Between the 2 minute mark and the 1 minute mark they are going bonkers.  Then they clinch and decide to conserve some energy I guess since the winners has to fight maybe twice again on this day.  HIROYA then does some awesome Hook and Overhand combos that would have floored Yamato if they connected dead on.  In the last 30 seconds, HIROYA landed some great Hooks.

Winner:  Tetsuya Yamato via UD

The commentators and President Tanigawa all think HIROYA performed better.  Upon review, I think so as well. They need a rematch NYE or something.

8) Tournament Quarterfinal:  YUKI (Blue) vs Koya Urabe (Red)

R1:  Jienotsu is Koya’s corner man.   Wow, Urabe really does have great Boxing skills as he is working the body with Hooks and then throwing some nice occasional Jabs.  These are backing YUKI into a turnbuckle and Urabe ends his rush with a High roundhouse that is blocked.  YUKI just fired a Low Roundhouse Kick that can probably be heard over the entire neighborhood of Yoyogi~!   Urabe’s Hooks combined with his footwork is so fluid the announcers just exclaimed, that it was “not a frame skip.”  However, YUKI nailed Urabe with a Left Hook a few seconds before the closing bell, YUKI almost got a KD on Urabe.  The judges call the round even.

R2:  Urabe’s Team Dragon tell him, “Move~!  Just Keep Moving.”   YUKI is blocking most of Urabe’s Straight, Hook, and Body Blow combos but that ones that connect probably sting like a Fucker, and the ones blocked are probably killing his biceps.  Cornering YUKI again, Urabe lands a nice Left Hook, Straight, Body Hook combo by a turnbuckle.  Near the 01:40 mark, Urabe knocked down YUKI for a Standing 8 with a GNARLY Right Spinning Backfist.  And getting back up, YUKI is not fucking around anymore answering every Urabe combo with some deafening Low Roundhouse Kicks.  The makes the crowd nuts.  All three judges give the round to Koya Urabe but one ruled 10-9 as he probably felt YUKI was chasing back up after his KD from Urabe.

R3:   Urabe is so great working different angles with his Hooks, Unfortunately, YUKI is content trying to destroy every muscle in Urabe’s lead thigh. And they are flinching Urabe. From the commentators’ vantage point, Urabe’s thighs are starting to look really messed up.  Tanigawa and his cohorts are very much pro-YUKI now.  Tanigawa says Urabe should stop backing up as it gives YUKI more room to nail those fearsome Leg Kicks.  This round had a lot of action too.

Winner:  Koya Uraba via Split D (one judge ruled it a draw)

Urabe really is freakin aggressive as the commentators said going into this match.  But will he be able to stand up to Yamato if they fight on this day?  These guys also deserve a rematch, More so than the previous maybe.  I was not a big Urabe fan coming into this but I really loved this match.

9) Tournament Quarterfinal:  Kizaemon Saiga (Blue) vs Yuta Kubo (Red)

R1:  Saiga, the Lady’s Choice, cut his hair and put on some weight and is no longer pale.  He of course has been Kickboxing and doing Shin Karate (Gloved Karate) since he was a kid.  I dislike him less now with his new look.  Kubo is a favorite in this tourney.  This round was hella vicious.  Saiga caught a Kick and just teed off on Kubo.  So Kubo caught a Kick and swept the other leg with a Roundhouse.  Saiga connects with a Spinning Back Kick and then rushes Kubo with an Axe Kick. Kubo sidestepped it and almost threw Saiga over the top rope in anger.  When the ref broke it up, Saiga’s hand was caught in the ropes.  I too would hold on to my dear life if I fought against Kubo (but because I value my life I would not fight against Kubo).  Saiga threw a LOUD blocked Mid Roundhouse. Kubo clinched Saiga causing the kid to grab his hair in protest to the ref.  He lost his cool charged with a Kick and got slammed for it.  Hell yeah, Kubo is an agro fighter.  Round called even.

R2:  Kubo stares at Saiga hungrily before the opening bell.  These guys are starting to bring the HATE (sounds very different that phrase now than before Hirai was hospitalized).  Saiga leapt at Kubo and got thrown down again.  A clean Side Kick by Saiga.  A lot of throwing by Kubo (as in sweeps and slams) in a K-1 match.  When Kubo moves forward he also gets tagged by Kubo’s Lefts.  Saiga got in a Roundhouse and then a Right Cross.  Both are throwing Loud Roundhouse Kicks that are blocked.  Commentator Mike keeps calling Saiga, “Sega.”

R3:  Saiga throws a Right Cross followed by a Left Kick.  Saiga then catches Kubo with a Low Spinning Hook Kick. Kick Catch Sweep by Saiga.  Jumping Clinch Knee attempt by Kubo.  Both guys attempt Brazilian Kicks in a show of bravado.  Kubo then proceeded to rush Saiga causing the ref to back Kubo up.  Imagine if we get a DQ from too much ass whooping?  In the heat of the moment, Kubo gets a Front Chancery on Saiga and the ref gets them to break.  Saiga does hit a nice Left Hook a few seconds by the closing bell.  And he attempts an Abisegiri sacrifice kick at the bell.

Judges:  Kubo, Draw, Kubo

Winner:  Yuta Kubo via SD

10) Tournament Quarterfinal:  Masaaki Noiri (Blue) vs Ryuji Kajiwara (Red)

R1:  Is that Royce Gracie coming out?  No its just Noiri coming out to Gracie’s entrance, Fort Battle. Noiri is an 18 year old high school student who apparently is sweeping the nation by storm, billed as “The Strongest High School Student”.  And Kajiwara is the oldest fighter at 34.  Most heat all night with what may be Noiri’s entire high school class cheering him.  The highlight of the round, in my opinion,  included the fighters doing Standing Switches on the ropes and nailing each other with Clinched Knees.  Other than that it was mostly Noiri throwing Roundhouse Kicks and clinching whenever Kajiwara was getting him with punches.

R2:  Kajiwara is hitting Noiri with slews of clean Punch combos throughout the round.  That’s mostly it.

R3:  Noiri began the round with flashy kicks including a Teep but Kajiwara answered with awesome Hooks.  I know K-1 wants Noiri to win but they probably should not have matched him against a crafty vet. Noiri hits a clean Flying High Roundhouse but ended up eating a barrage of Hooks.

ExtR:  Not as exciting as the commentators would have you believe.  Noiri hit Double Inside Cut Kicks but got tagged.  And every time he ate punches he clinched instead of circling away.

Winner:  Masaaki Noiri via Split

It could have gone either way but I think K-1 really tried to stack it for the High School Student.  I would have rather had the kid eat less in another round of punishment.  He needs to learn how to better defend against say Urabe or Yamato’s punches before the next round.  But I think he is next against Kubo so he will have a long night.

A Mr. Chien is now sitting next to K-1 President Tanigawa.  He might be the new money mark.  And they claim that they are going to take it to China.

Highlights of the previous 4 matches being replayed.  All 4 semi finalists must be dead tired.  It is now past 7:00 PM Tokyo time.  I hope they are serving dinner at the Yoyogi because this show does not seem to be ending before dinner.  Some folks may need to cancel reservations.  I think the crowd is getting a 20 minute meal allowance.

11) Semi Finals:  Koya Urabe (Blue) vs Tetsuya Yamato (Red)

R1:  Rematch time.  Many hardcore Kickboxing critics crap on Yamato because Urabe beat him last fall via Unanimous Decision.   Tanigawa notes the damage YUKI did on Urabe’s leg via kicks. Yamato hitting Leg Kicks.  Urabe hit a hard Left Cross to counter.  TY’s face still damaged from the earlier match.  Urabe is sitting between rounds so the commentators believe his leg is fine.  Urabe wins the round by a single vote.

R2:  A Yamato Leg Kick get countered by a clean Left Cross x 4 combo.  TY pushed Koya down at the end of the round perhaps testing his leg.  Koya Urabe unanimously won the round. It is noted by Tanigawa and the other two guys that Yamato has trouble fighting Southpaws, like Urabe.

R3: Urabe’s Left Hooks are not defended.  Yamato got some good shots in but he eats worst.  Wow, the commentator is right: even while backed into the corner Urabe’s punches more and do more damage than Yamato’s.  It is the equivalent of Bas Rutten out-striking Kevin Randleman from the bottom in their fight.

Winner:  Koya Urabe via UD

And Koya Urabe is limping away from the ring.

12) Semi Final:  Masaaki Noiri (Blue) vs Yuta Kubo (Red)

R1:  Sorry.  “Ultimate Japanese High School Student.”  Noiri threw a hard Low Kick, Kubo counters with a clinch, and they trade Side Knees by the ropes.  Kubo might lose a point for Slamming soon as he kept throwing the kid around with his weight.  Kubo hits a nice Flying Knee to the ribs.  Rolling Solebat causes a slip by Noiri.  Kubo gets two judges and one goes for Noiri.

R2:  Kubo rocked with a Cross.  Noiri then countered a Right with a Low Kick  sending Kubo to the mat.  Not counted as a Knockdown though.  Both fighters were cautioned about Clinching.  Noiri hits with a strong Right Hook late into the round.  Even round.

R3:  Noiri with an Outside Leg Kick then two Cut Kicks.  Noiri warned about Holding which, he once again does every time he gets outpunched.  I think this very good defense for a MMA fight or if you are face with an inescapable fight but this is Kickboxing.  Noiri hits some nice Cut Kicks.  Wow – Commentator Mike (not Schiavello) said,” Stop having a Kickboxing Match and turn this  into a Fight.”  Young Noiri has some guts and perhaps a nice future even if he does not take this one.

Winner:  Yuta Kubo via UD

BTW, Yuta Kubo actually has a Tae Kwon Do background.  All this time I thought he was a Muay Thai fighter because he was good with catching kicks and throwing from a striker’s perspective.

13) Albert Kraus (Red) vs Yoshihiro Sato (Blue)

R1:  You got to be shitting me:  Kraus is coming out to “Eye of the Tiger.”  “Knock out Yoshihiro Sato for the third and hopefully last time,” said the commentator not Mike.  Where did K-1 find these guys?  Were they the cheapest they could find?  Sato started with hard Leg Kicks but Kraus counters with Jab/Hook combos.  Body, Hook, Hook combos by Kraus.  Kraus hits some nice hard Hooks.   Even by the Judges.

R2:  Low, Low High Roundhouse combo by Sato.  Hook combo by Sato.  Kraus is good working the Inside.  Cross Sword position.  Sato doing damage with Low Kicks but Kraus’ punches are harder.  Even again.

R3:  Sato tries a Rolling Solebat to no effect.  Straight Body Combo by Kraus.  Unprotected Hook on Sato.  More unchecked Low Kicks by Sato.    Sato actually flinched Kraus with a Swing.

Judges:  Sato, Draw, Sato

Winner:  Yoshihiro Sato via SD

Mike is complaining next to Tanigawa calling it BS.  Tanigawa definitely disagrees.  It is a Kicboxing match, Mike, Kicks do count.  Mic performance by Sato.

A dance performance now.  So many female artists in Japan look like a cross between hip hop dancers and Lady Gaga now.  One dancer is now doing a Headstand while her legs are doing splits midair.  UD win.  And now comes REMA Showcase who looks like Japanese mid 90s Madonna.  J-Pop can be wacky.  Corset is cool but this is not my visual style preference for J-Pop.    Needs more space ships.

14) FINAL:  Yuta Kubo (blue) vs Koya Urabe (red)

R1:  A match between two guys who come out to hip hop.  Nothing interesting to say about that.  Kubo is killing Urabe with Low Kicks.  Mike calls Tetsuya Yamato from earlier  “Yamamoto.”  And Kubo kicks the leg from under Urabe.  Called  a slip by the ref even when the 2nd one floored him also.  Urabe is flinching from Kubo’s Low Roundhouse Kicks.  Judges give the round to Kubo.

R2:  Urabe hits an Overhand but Kubo counters with the Low Roundhouse.  Kubo with a rear clinch Low Roundhouse.  Kubo charging constantly.  Urabe countering with a 3 Hit Combo.  Kubo flinches him again with the Low Roundhouse to the front leg.  Kubo given the round by the judges.

R3:  Crowd pro-Koya.  Means I am pro-Yuta.  Why is Kubo trying to work inside with punches?  Body Head Combo by Urabe connects.  And Urabe keeps eating the Leg Kicks.

Winner:  Yuta Kubo via UD for the Japan -63 GP Championship

My favorite match was actually Kizaemon Saiga vs Yuta Kubo due to the personalities of the two guys showing throughout the match.  Kubo is such a beast like Miguel Torres, like some sorta rabid..pitbull  (I don’t think I will even make a Pro Wrestling reference there).  Even though Urabe’s not my favorite due to people riding his wagon, I thought Koya Urabe vs YUKI was the second best  fight of the night, as it had flurries, a knockdown, and a quick pace.  When it became obvious that the fighters in the tournament were slowly gassing out, the show started slowly sloping downhill for me.  I would love to see a show with any combination of the 6 competitors from the first 3 quarter final fights (as well as Noiri)

And that concludes this edition of the Fools’ Gold recaps.  I hope you enjoyed reading this as I took time to compose it.  To those who think this was a confusing read, I apologize as I typed as I watched some segments that night and then rewatched some of it a day later.  If you liked this or thought it sucked a big one, please send constructive criticism.

And on a serious note, for more information on hikikomori please visit this BBC article (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programmes/correspondent/2334893.stm) or talk to a mental health professional.  Please take care folks.

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