Fans Pick Kawajiri to Fight Masato in K-1 Poll

Fight-kawajiri-versus-takeda_mediumK-1 has posted the results of their online poll to help select the retiring Masato's next-to-last opponent, and after a month of voting, Tatsuya Kawajiri has apparently edged out "KID" Yamamoto and Takanori Gomi as the fan favorite.

01: Tatsuya Kawajiri (2,966)
02: Norifumi "KID" Yamamoto (2,694)
03: Takanori Gomi (2,489)
04: Takayuki Kohiruimaki (1,770)
05: Yoshihiro Sato (1,689)
06: Yodsanklai Fairtex (1,375)
07: Toshiaki Kasuga (681)
08: Oscar De La Hoya (542)
09: Fedor Emelianenko (501)
10: Musashi (420)
11: Eddie Alvarez (386)
12: Yuichiro Nagashima (377)
13: Peter Aerts (333)
14: Other / Write-in (324)
16: Mirko "CroCop" Filipovic (222)
17: Akebono (191)
18: Hinata Watanabe (171)
19: Andre "Dida" Amade (102)
20: Hayato "Mach" Sakurai (92)

17,860 total votes

The bout will take place during the K-1 World MAX 2009 Final 8 show at the Nippon Budokan on July 13, and will be followed by the "Silver Wolf's" final bout on New Year's Eve against the winner of this year's tournament.

Perhaps not so coincidentally, after Kawajiri's decision victory over "JZ" Cavalcante at DREAM.9 last weekend, K-1's Sadaharu Tanikawa told the press that he planned on making a formal offer to "Crusher" to face Masato. With Joachim Hansen still on the shelf and the prospect of a title shot now considerably further off - combined with Yamamoto's tough loss to Joe Warren and Gomi's stated desire to fight outside of Japan - this seems like a good opportunity for the PRIDE and Shooto vet.

Kawajiri tested his stand-up skills in a K-1 rules bout last New Year's and demolished aging Japanese kickboxer Kozo Takeda (pictured), but this would be stepping up to a whole different level of competition. However, Kawajiri really has nothing to lose in the bout and the additional exposure could only help to bring more eyes when he returns in DREAM.

\The FanPosts are solely the subjective opinions of Bloody Elbow readers and do not necessarily reflect the views of Bloody Elbow editors or staff.

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