clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Tetsuya Yamato Rebounds to Capture K-1 63 kg GP

Tetsuya Yamato was not the most technical fighter in the competition but he was certainly the toughest as he rebounded from a first round knockdown against the highly favored Yuta Kubo to capture the K-1 63 kg Japan title at Yoyogi Stadium 1st in Tokyo, Japan.

Yamato was downed with a straight left early in the first round but was able to stand, survive and turn the fight around. In the final exchange in the last round, both fighters threw simultaneous left hands, both connecting flush. Yamato staggered backwards but kept his feet, Kubo fell to the canvas and was not able to stand giving the Yamato the Hollywood movie style win and the title.
Tetsuya Yamato got off to a bad start in the 63 kg final against Yuta Kubo. In the first round, a clear speed difference was had by Kubo and he was able to beat Yamato to the punch constantly and able slip and counter effectively and Kubo caught Yamato on the ropes to send him to the canvas. Yamato quickly stood to find Kubo rushing in for the kill but Yamato was able to wade through the punches and counter this time as Kubo started to open up too much.

The second round was when the tide started to turn. Uncharacteristically Kubo dropped his defense and continued his assault on Yamato, hungry for the stoppage victory. At first taking three strikes to deliver one, Yamato started to win the exchanges with his sheer toughness and power in his hooks. Yamato's shots slowed Kubo and by the end of the round, it was Kubo who was on the back foot.

The final round started and the damage that Kubo took seeking the KO in the second was to be his downfall. Too shaken to rely on his speed and technical advantage it was to be a round of sheer guts and in this department Yamato proved superior.

A right hook fell Kubo early and put him down on the cards. Now needing a KO to win, Kubo was forced to get into a fire fight and at 1:26 he threw a left hook that landed flush. Yamato's ability to stay in the pocket paid off though and as the left from Kubo landed hard, a left hook from Yamato also landed, but this punch sent Kubo to the floor. Kubo was not able to beat the count and Yamato was awarded the first K-1 Japan 63 kg GP title in a thrilling match.

In his semi-final match Yamato took out tournament heel Kazaimon Saiga, also with his left hook. The first round was even with both fighters giving as good as they were getting and all judges scoring it a 10-10. Saiga's karate wasn't able to get through the strong guard of Yamato in the second though and at 2:13 a counter left hook sent him sprawling to the canvas on his hands and knees, much to the delight of the crowd. Saiga's attempts to stand were thwarted by his rubbery legs and he bowed out of the tournament and Yamato stepped into the finals.

Tournament runner-up Yuta Kubo was impressive in his semi-final match, landing a brutal right high kick on Yoshimichi Matsumoto's skull that sent a sickening bang echoing through the arena. At only 1:21 the finishing blow came and Matusmoto fell to the canvas where he lay unconscious with his eyes wide open and Kubo was able to advance to the final fresh but with an undoubtedly sore shin.

In his quarter-final match Tetsuya Yamato again scored the KO with his left hook but this time in the first round. The victim was renowned low-kick specialist Yuki and he found himself drawn into a slug fest with the eventual champion. The telling blow came at 3:03 in the first (despite it being a three minute round) and Yuki was laid out on the canvas by the left hand, also with his eyes wide open and unconscious.

Yuta Kubo's quarter-final match was also dominant but it came without the display of power. Keiji Ozaki managed to draw the first two rounds as Kubo was slow to start but in the final round when he was running at full steam, Kubo was in a different league. Ozaki managed to land one of his trademark spinning back kicks but it was all one way traffic otherwise as Kubo was easily able to evade and counter to get the unanimous decision.

In the nights most anticipated quarter-final bout, fan favorite Naoki "Naokick" Ishikawa was no match for the young big mouth Kizaemon Saiga. Within seconds, Ishikawa was on the mat courtesy of a left straight and although it seemed to be a flash knockdown, he never really recovered. Though the judges turned in some strange scorecards with 29-27, 30-26 and 30-28, Ishikawa's reaction to the final bell told the story of the match. As Saiga walked around the ring with his hands raised, Ishikawa rocked slowly further and further back on his heels and actually looked to be unconscious. Just as he reached the point where he might collapse, his corner came to him and assisted him back to a stool. Saiga seemed to be ahead the whole bout and Ishikawa was never really able to shake out the cobwebs from the knockdown.

In the final quarter-final and the evenings first main card bout, Yoshimichi Matsumoto turned in a strong performance to upset Daisuke Uematsu. Matsumoto withstood kicks from Uematsu and landed heavily with his hands, opening up a bad cut on the eye in the first round. The second round was all Matsumoto and he hooked Uematsu to the canvas for the down and left him bloody, also covering photographers (me) with blood. With only fifteen seconds left in the final round, Uematsu got stuck in the corner and shelled up, taking a barrage of hooks that brought the referee stoppage. Uematsu didn't collapse until the referee came but when he did fall, he didn't move for some time.

Up at 70 kg Albert Kraus, Yoshihiro Sato and Yuichiro "Jienotsu" Nagashima all advanced to the Final 8.

Albert Kraus completely outclassed Hiroki Nakajima and looks to be back approaching his best form. Though he wasn't able to finish the man picked by Masato to succeed him, Kraus battered Nakajima with punches and landed almost at will while avoiding the majority of the returning fire and taunting his opponent with his tongue out. It did look like it was going to be over quickly when in the first, Kraus landed a slapping left high kick that sent Nakajima to the mat but he was able to recover to make it to the final bell.

Yoshihiro Sato took a majority decision in his bout with 2009 Final Four participant Yuya Yamamoto to advance to the Final 8. Sato was surprisingly quick out of the gates and took the first with his step up knees and kicks while keeping Yamamoto at bay with his front kick. Yamamoto picked up his offense and attacked with heavy punches in the second and third rounds but Sato's knees, front kick his excellent hook continued to get the better of Yamamoto and so, took the decision.

In the final 70 kg tournament bout cosplayer Yuichiro "Jientosu" Nagashima took a very close decision over Andre Dida in a surprisingly unexciting bout. It was more a showcase of Nagashima's improved defense rather than his offensive prowess but a majority decision went his way after he perhaps slightly got the better of the last round with a good knee towards the end.

In a 63 kg tournament reserve match, MMA convert Kazuyuki Miyata took a decision in an exciting back and forth match with boxing wild man Kazuhisa Watanabe. There is no doubt that Watanabe is powerful, popular and has potential but he really needs to learn some low kick defense as again, he lost because of them. An inside low dropped Watanabe in the second and he fell again in the final round but it wasn't all MIyata's way. In the last round, Watanabe blasted Miyata to the floor with a punch and Miyata stood but was left scrambling for the remainder of the fight, desperate to make it to the final bell. When the decision came, Miyata didn't realize that the fight was over and still thought there was more rounds but his the damage he did with his kicks gave him a decision.

K-1 World MAX 2010 - July 5th at Yoyogi Stadium 1st, Tokyo, Japan

63 kg Japan Tournament Final
Tetsuya Yamato def. Yuta Kubo by KO (Left Hook), Round 3, 1:26

70 kg World Championship Tournament Final 16
Albert Kraus def. Hiroki Nakajima by Unanimous Decision

63 kg Japan Tournament Semi-Finals
Testsuya Yamato def. Kazaimon Saiga by KO (Left Hook), Round 2, 2:13
Yuta Kubo def. Yoshimichi Matsumoto by KO (Right High Kick), Round 1, 1:21

70 kg World Championship Tournament Final 16
Yoshihiro Sato def. Yuya Yamamoto by Majority Decision
Yuichiro "Jienotsu" Nagashima def. Andre Dida by Majority Decision

63 kg Japan Tournament Reserve Match #1
Kazuyuki Miyata def. Kazuhisa Watanabe by Unanimous Decision

63 kg Japan Tournament Quarter-Finals
Tetsuya Yamato def. Yuki by KO (Left Hook), Round 1, 3:03
Kizaemon Saiga def. Naoki Ishikawa by Unanimous Decision
Yuta Kubo def. Keiji Ozaki by Unanimous Decision
Yoshimichi Matsumoto def. Daisuke Uematsu by TKO (Referee Stoppage), Round 3, 2:45

63 kg Japan Tournament Reserve Match #2
Koya Urabe def. "Kyouken" Yuji Takeuchi by Unanimous Decision

70 kg Opening Fight
Yukihiro Komiya def. Tahir Menxhiqi by Unanimous Decision

63 kg Japan Tournament Reserve Match #3
Shohei Asahara def. Toshiki Taniyama by Unanimous Decison

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the MMA Fighting Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your fighting news from MMA Fighting