On Friday, June 24, the most prestigious kickboxing promotion in the world returned for K-1 World GP 2016 in Japan: 65-Kilogram World Tournament. Many of the world’s best featherweights were featured in the one-night, eight-man tournament to decide who is the best 65-kilogram fighter in the world.
The main event of the evening was the 65-kilogram tournament final. The combatants had to win two fights in one night for the opportunity to become the best featherweight in the world. The current K-1 65-kilogram champion and No.1-ranked featherweight in the world, Kaew Weerasakreck, participated in the tournament. He took on Japanese star HIROYA in the fourth quarterfinal bout. The winner of that bout faced the winner of the rematch between stand-outs Masaaki Noiri and Massaro Glunder in the evening’s third quarterfinal bout. In the evening’s second quarterfinal bout, Lion Fight veteran Chris Mauceri converted to kickboxing against top-15 featherweight Ilias Bulaid. The winner of that bout faced the winner of Romanian prospect Stanislav Renita and Hideaki Yamazaki, the man who defeated three opponents in one night to win the K-1 World GP 65-kilogram Japan tournament. The tournament reserve bout featured top-10 featherweight Minoru Kimura fighting former KRUSH champion NOMAN.
In the evening’s co-main event, Japan’s biggest kickboxing superstar, Takeru, moved up in weight to fight KRUSH 58-kilogram champion Kaito Ozawa in a catchweight bout. Takeru is the K-1 World GP 55-kilogram, a belt he won after decimating every opponent he faced in the 2015 K-1 World GP 55-kilogram championship tournament. The grudge match got heated when Ozawa pushed Takeru at the weigh-ins and K-1’s biggest star quickly threw his opponent to the ground.
The action aired live on AmebaTV at 3:00 a.m. ET.
Takeru def. Kaito Ozawa by unanimous decision (30-28, 29-28, 30-28)
Yasuhiro Kido def. Watanabe Futoshimoto by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-27)
Kaew Weerasakreck def. Masaaki Noiri by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-29) – 65-kilogram World Tournament Semifinal
Ilias Bulaid def. Hideaki Yamazaki by extension round split decision (10-9, 9-10, 10-9) – 65-kilogram World Tournament Semifinal
Yun Qi def. Kosuke Komiyama by majority decision (29-27, 28-28, 29-28)
Makoto Uehara def. Tsutomu Takahagi by TKO. Round 1, 0:32
Kaew Weerasakreck def. HIROYA by knockout. Round 1, 0:36 – 65-kilogram World Tournament Quarterfinal
Masaaki Noiri def. Massaro Glunder by unanimous decision (30-28, 30-26, 30-28) – 65-kilogram World Tournament Quarterfinal
Ilias Bulaid def. Chris Mauceri by knockout. Round 2, 0:50 – 65-kilogram World Tournament Quarterfinal
Hideaki Yamazaki def. Stanislav Renita by unanimous decision (30-28, 30-27, 30-27) – 65-kilogram World Tournament Quarterfinal
Minoru “Philip” Kimura def. NOMAN by unanimous decision (30-28, 30-26, 30-26) – 65-kilogram World Tournament Reserve Bout
Xijing def. Yasuo Asahisa by majority decision (30-29, 29-29, 30-29)
K-Jee def. Hitoshi Sugimoto by unanimous decision (29-28 x3)
Mitsuharu Kazu def. Seiya Ueda by unanimous decision (30-27 x3)