Japanese MMA

Kai Asakura considers switching to kickboxing

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RIZIN bantamweight superstar Kai Asakura posted a video on his Youtube channel, showing him talking with a K-1 legend, Masato. During this talk, Askarua told that he wants to fight at the upcoming Tenshin vs. Takeru card set for June and he is willing to make a transition to kickboxing in order to secure his spot.

Asakura said that he broke his hand in the semifinal of the Rizin Bantamweight Grand Prix when squared off against Kenta Takizawa. In his own words, this injury cost him a win in the final when he was defeated by Hiromasa Ougikubo. Masato sympathized with him as he recalled the K-1 MAX 2005 tournament from which he withdrew due to an injury he suffered in the quarter-final fight with Mike Zambidis.

The younger of the Asakura brothers stated that he wants to try kickboxing and he wants to do it at the June event in the Tokyo Dome stadium. As for now, there’s no confirmation that the fight card headlined by Tenshin vs. Takeru dream match will consist of kickboxing fights only. There is a possibility of MMA matches being booked and both fighters discussed a possibility of the Asakura rematch with Ougikubo.   

Asakura’s ambition to switch from MMA to K-1 competition comes as no surprise considering his fight style is heavily focused on striking. It is exampled in his professional MMA record, as 11 of his 20 victories came by the way of knockout, and he found himself on the receiving end of opponent’s strikes in three of four lost fights. 

Masato is one of the biggest names in Japanese kickboxing history and has a 55 – 6 – 2 professional record. He was two time K-1 Max champion and a two-time runner-up. He defeated Norifumi ‘Kid’ Yamamoto by a decision at K-1 Premium 2004 Dynamite which was watched by over 34 million tv viewers.  

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