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K-1 Returns: Fight for Japan

By Sean Farrell

I have gotten the best news I have gotten all year…The love of my life since I was an infant K-1 is finally set to return after a 6-month absence. K-1 President Sadaharu Tanikawa announced last Thursday that the K-1 WORLD MAX 2011 63 kg Japan Tournament will be held at the Yoyogi Stadium 2nd in Tokyo on June 25, 2011 and similar to DREAM’s recent “Fight for Japan” card, it will be a “Fight For Japan” charity event to help the people still reeling from the natural disasters and nuclear reactor problems.

Remarkably, the event is set to stream to the world on the internet with no TV deal of any kind in place since the company went into restructure.

In the eight-man one-night tournament, 2010 K-1 63 kg Japan GP champ Tetsuya Yamato will attempt to defend his crown against former K-1 Koshien star HIROYA, 2011 Krush 63 kg Tournament runner-up Koya Urabe will also take on former R.I.S.E ace Yuki, 2010 K-1 63 kg Japan GP runner-up Yuta Kubo faces karateka and “pretty boy” Kizaemon Saiga and K-1 Koshien 2009 champ Masaaki Noiri takes on 2011 Krush 63 kg Tournament champ Ryuji Kajiwara. All of these champions and runner ups squaring off are going to make one incredible card and I am glad to see K-1 still breathing.

If those fights don’t appeal to you and I know they will once you tune in, K-1 also announced a 70 kg super-fight featuring 2010 70 kg World GP runner-up Yoshihiro Sato versus 2002 K-1 70 kg World GP champ Albert Kraus in what is expected to be a heated war of advanced striking. These K-1 vets have met in the ring on twice before with Kraus taking decisions in both after all out wars.
With K-1 returning to its form, its only a matter of time before things go back to normal and we are dazzled by the best strikers in the world such as Petrosyan, Ghita, Saki, Schilt, and countless others… and don’t forget a hall of famer who may just save the sport if he gives it one more go in Peter Aerts. K-1 is back and hopefully for good.

Below is the announced card:

K-1 WORLD MAX 2011 63 kg Japan Tournament – Fight For Japan
Saturday, June 25 2011 at Yoyogi Stadium 2nd, Tokyo, Japan
63 kg Grand Prix Quarterfinals:
Tetsuya Yamato vs. HIROYA
Koya Urabe vs. Yuki
Yuta Kubo vs. Kizaemon Saiga
Masaaki Noiri vs. Ryuji Kajiwara
70 kg Super Fight:
Yoshihiro Sato vs. Albert Kraus

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