The K-1 Group announced seven bouts to finalize the fight card for the K-1 World GP 2018 Featherweight Championship Tournament, which takes place on Sunday, June 17, from the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan.
Among the names announced was K-1 super lightweight champion Masaaki Noiri, who returns in non-title action against K-1 newcomer Vincent Foshciani. Noiri returned to the win column and defended his 65-kilogram belt when he knocked out Tetsuya Yamato at K’Festa.1 in March. Noiri was upset by fellow top-10 featherweight Abdellah Ezbiri outside of the promotion at the end of 2017, which ended the Japanese fighter’s five-fight winning streak. Germany’s Foshciani is the current ISKA 65-kilogram European champion and holds a record of 33 wins and six losses, with 15 knockout victories.
Newly crowned Krush 63-kilogram champion Gonnapar Weerasakreck, who defeated former titleholder Daizo Sasaki at Krush.87 last week, takes on wunderkind Rukiya Anpo, who left his former gym, TRY HARD, following the split between the promotion and contracted fighters Hiroya, Taiga and others. Weerasakreck won three straight fights to capture the Krush title following a failed attempt to win the K-1 lightweight title against former champ Wei Rui. Rukiya, 22, has won four straight fights under the K-1 group banner with two “Knockout of the Year” contenders in 2017 against Hiroshi Mizumachi and Deng Zeqi.
Well-traveled Dutch kickboxer Massaro Glunder makes his return to K-1 for the first time in just under two years. The 23-year-old steps up to 70 kilograms to take on the K-1 World GP 2017 welterweight tournament runner-up Yasuhiro Kido. Glunder will look for back-to-back wins for the first time in two years following a three-round decision victory over France’s Victor Pinto at GLORY 51: Rotterdam. Kido ended his own losing skid following his decision victory over Glory of Heroes 67-kilogram tournament winner Issam Chadid.
Elsewhere on the card, 16-year-old K-1 Koshien 65-kilogram champion Kaisei Kondo looks to build on his impressive professional debut against Hayato Suzuki, who picked up a big knockout win against Shinchiro Kawasaki at Krush.87. Speaking of participants in last weekend’s Krush card, winners Namito Izawa and Kento Ito will battle in a clash of prospects. Also, 2017 K-1 Koshien 60-kilogram tournament winner Tomoya Yokoyama, 17, meets former K-1 amateur tournament champion Kazuma Kubo, and 22-year-old Kaito looks for his third win in his past four fights against Toshiki Watanabe.
Koya Urabe vs. Arthur Sorsor
Minoru “Philip” Kimura vs. Melsik Baghdasaryan
Hideaki Yamazaki vs. Jun Nakazawa
Hisaki Kato vs. Makoto Uehara
winner of Saikyo/Asahisa vs. winner of Ashizawa/Silviu – featherweight tournament semifinals
winner of Murakoshi-Mahmoudi vs. winner of Ozawa/Varela – featherweight tournament semifinals
Haruma Saikyo vs. Hirotaka Asahisa – featherweight tournament quarterfinal
Ryusei Ashizawa vs. Vitez Silviu – featherweight tournament quarterfinal
Yuta Murakoshi vs. Elias Mahmoudi – featherweight tournament quarterfinal
Kaito Ozawa vs. Jorge Varela – featherweight tournament quarterfinal
Yuta Otaki vs. Yuki Egawa
Kazuma Kubo vs. Tomoya Yokoyama
Toshiki Watanabe vs. Kaito
Kaisei Kondo vs. Hayato Suzuki
Namito Izawa vs. Kento Ito
Gonnapar Weerasakreck vs. Rukiya Anpo
Massaro Glunder vs. Yasuhiro Kido
Masaaki Noiri vs. Vincent Foshciani