On Thursday, Nov. 3, K-1 World GP in Japan introduced a new weight category with a one-night, eight-man tournament from the Yoyogi National Gymnasium in Tokyo. The K-1 World GP in Japan Featherweight Championship Tournament featured one of the world’s top pound-for-pound kickboxers, Takeru, testing his skills in one of the three newly introduced weight categories.
The eight-man championship tournament featured some of the world’s best kickboxers under 130 pounds. Japanese combat sports superstar Takeru returned to the K-1 ring after going toe-to-toe with super featherweight champion Kaew Weerasakreck in an exhibition bout at KRUSH.68 in August. Takeru returns to his newly found weight class of 57.5-kilograms, after defeating KRUSH 58-kilogram champion Kaito Ozawa at the 2016 K-1 World GP Super Featherweight World Championship Tournament in his first fight in the division. Takeru fought ISKA 59-kilogram world champion Jamie Whelan. One of the United Kingdom’s top prospects, the 22-year-old Whelan had won 26 of his 27 career fights.
In the tournament’s quarterfinal action, one of China’s top 60-kilogram prospects, Yun Qi, took on 23-year-old Japanese prospect Shota Kanbe. Eighteen-year-old French Muay Thai phenom Elias Mahmoudi went to war with Japan’s Ryuma Tobe. KRUSH champion Kaito Ozawa stopped ISKA featherweight world champion Josh Tunna. Japanese featherweights Yuta Otaki and Yuki Asahisa fought in the tournament reserve bout.
In the evening’s main card action, two former top-10 65-kilogram kickboxers, Yuta Kubo and Yasuomi Soda, vied for positioning in the competitive division. GLORY and Krush eight-man tournament winner Kubo took on K-1 veteran Keita Makihira. The 2014 K-1 World GP 65-kilogram Championship Tournament runner-up, Soda, met the Netherland’s Fawad Seddiqi. Sweden’s Sanny Dahlbeck returned to Japan in a match-up with Japan’s Yasuhiro Kido.
The event aired live at 1:30 a.m. ET on AmebaTV.
Takeru def. Kaito Ozawa by unanimous decision – featherweight tournament final
Sanny Dahlbeck def. Yasuhiro Kido by knockout (left hook and knee). Round 1
Yuta Kubo def. Keita Makihira by unanimous decision
Yasuomi Soda def. Fawad Seddiqi by unanimous decision
Takeru def. Yun Qi by knockout (punches). Round 2 – featherweight tournament semifinal
Kaito Ozawa def. Elias Mahmoudi by unanimous decision – featherweight tournament semifinal
Kensei Kondo def. Umi Honma by unanimous decision – K-1 Koshien 65-kilogram final
Yuma Saikyo def. Takumi Yokoyama by unanimous decision – K-1 Koshien 60-kilogram final
Taito Gunji def. Ryuya Tsubakihara by decision – K-1 Koshien 55-kilogram final
Takeru def. Jamie Whelan by unanimous decision – featherweight tournament quarterfinal
Yun Qi def. Shota Kanbe by knockout (strikes). Round 3 – featherweight tournament quarterfinal
Elias Mahmoudi def. Ryuta Tobe by unanimous decision – featherweight tournament quarterfinal
Kaito Ozawa def. Josh Tonna by TKO (knee to body). Round 1 – featherweight tournament quarterfinal
Hirotaka Asahisa def. Yuta Otaki by unanimous decision – featherweight tournament reserve bout
Rukiya def. Hisaki Higashimoto by unanimous decision
Yuto Shinohara def. Ryuya Mineyama by unanimous decision
Yuki Egawa def. Ryota by knockout (left hook to the liver). Round 1
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