Photo via K-1.
This Saturday, K-1 makes its return to action with the K-1 WORLD MAX 2011 -63kg Japan Tournament FINAL streaming live and for free throughout the world on Saturday, June 25. Check back this week for more on this show, including a live discussion thread in the early morning hours on Saturday. In anticipation of the event, let's take a look back at last year's very exciting tournament final.
Tetsuya Yamato vs. Yuta Kubo
K-1 WORLD MAX 2010 -63kg Japan Tournament FINAL
July 5, 2010
K-1 spent the early part of 2010 largely focused on this new 63 kg division, as they introduced a new group of fighters through a 22 man tournament. The entire tournament was thrilling, with a number of big upsets and huge KO's. In the end, the event came down to two men: Tetsuya Yamato and Yuta Kubo.
Yamato's path to the finals was tough. In the opening round, he was paired with the heavy favorite to win the entire tournament, Masahiro Yamamoto. Yamato upset him, making his way to the final 8, where he defeated heavy-handed Yuki and the brash Kizaemon Saiga, both via KO. Kubo had made it to the finals of a similar tournament last year, and was the favorite here. He came to the finals by defeating Dream fighter DJ.taiki, Keiji Ozaki, and then Yoshimichi Matsumoto in one of the best KO's of 2010.
A few things to watch for here. Kubo is the more technical striker - keep an eye on the way he utilizes a range of kicks, mixing it up so that he strikes the leg, the body, and the head. Also, watch how good Kubo is at finding the holes in Yamato's defense, particularly in round 1. Yamato is a bit more sloppy, but has very good hooks when he gets inside. Yamato is in blue gloves, Kubo in red.
Video in the full entry.
All around great action here and a very dramatic final, with Kubo looking like he would dominate, only for Yamato to gut it out and pull off the comeback win.
Be sure to tune in on Saturday to see if this year's final tops it, and don't forget to check out our friends at Head Kick Legend for more in-depth coverage of K-1 and the world of kickboxing.
Interested in checking out this weekend's show (or any other K-1) but have questions about scoring, rules, or anything else? Ask away in the comments and I will be sure to help fill you in.