The K-1 World Grand Prix put on another huge fight card, featuring a plethora of household names and the return of six of their champion. In the headlining bout, Hiromi Wajima got the chance to avenge his loss against Jordann Pikeur from five years ago. In the second title defense on the card, KANA made another statement when she took on McKenna Wade.
WAJIMA VS. PIKEUR
The highly anticipated rematch between Hiromi Wajima and Jordann Pikeur started out with both fighters testing the waters in the first round. Pikeur took the initiative with his pressuring, boxing heavy style but failed to land significant strikes. Wajima countered the typical Mike’s Gym style of Pikeur, using his knees and legs to weaken the Dutchman. In the second round, Pikeur came out aggressively and landed good punches before getting countered by the Japanese champion who took over the momentum. With a barrage of kicks to the back leg mixed up with strong high kicks, Wajima didn’t give Pikeur any chance of getting back in the fight. The referee stepped in when Pikeur was up against the ropes, taking punch after punch and thus Wajima was able to maintain his dominance as the reigning Super Welterweight champion.
NOIRI VS. PARASHIV
Masaaki Noiri came in as a massive favorite against Amansio Paraschiv and proved the audience why within the two minute mark. Noiri patiently picked away at the leg of his Romanian opponent using a well placed variety of calf- and low kicks. With Paraschiv visually bothered by the kicks, Noiri took the opportunity to change levels to the body. A single loud body kick that echoed through the whole arena was enough to end the fight and add yet another international name to his already decorated record.
YOZA VS. AIKMONGKOL
Easy money for Yuki Yoza against Aikmongkol. Not even one minute into the fight the reigning K-1 Lightweight champion landed a high kick, followed by a kick with his toes towards the midsection of his Thai opponent. Yoza has kept a busy schedule since winning the title against Asahisa earlier this year, but fans have to ask when the number one contender in the division, Kongnapa is returning.
KANA VS. WADE
Despite coming in as a sizable underdog, McKenna Wade started the fight strong, coming out swinging against reigning Women's Flyweight champion. It didn't take long however until KANA found a hole in her defense, landing a flush kick to the body while exiting the pocket. The third middle kick knockout of the event!
LATESCU VS. K-JEE
Stefan Latescu started out with big power punches, immediately landing two clean shots to the body. To counter the power difference, K-Jee clearly set out to target the legs. However, it was during one of those leg kicks that Latescu was able to land a straight, that send the Japanese down to the canvas. K-Jee made the count however it didn't take long before Latescu finished his opponent for good with a liver punch ending the fight 1:53 minutes into the first round. After his fight the Romanian "Golden Boy'' called out Sina Kariman, the former Cruiserweight champion, to fight in December.
K-1 WORLD GP 2023 RESULTS
(C) Hiromi Wajima def. Jordann Pikeur – KO at 2:17 of R2
(C) KANA def. McKenna Wade – KO at 0:52 of R1
(C) Noiri Masaaki def. Amansio Paraschiv – KO at 1:33 of R1
(C) Gunji Taito def. Daawsyaam – Unanimous Decision
(C) Sugawara Miyuu def. Dimitra Agathangelidou – Unanimous Decision
(C) Yoza Yuki def. Aikmongkol – KO at 0:43 of R1
Stefan Latescu def. K-Jee – KO at 1:53 of R1
Tanigawa Seiya def. AKIRA Jr. – Unanimous Decision
Carlos Budiao def. Hoshi Ryunosuke – KO at 0:58 of R1
Toma Tanabe def. View – KO at 2:52 of R3
Shinozuka Tatsuki def. Yusuke – KO at 0:46 of R4
SAHO def. Suzuki Mariya – Unanimous Decision
Iwao Chikara def. Koki – KO at 1:45 of R1
Jomthong def. Ayinta Ali – Unanimous Decision
Matsutani Kira def. Phayahong – Extra Round Decision
Yuto Shinohara def. Ryuka – Unanimous Decision
Hisai Taimu def. Ryuto – Majority Decision
Osawa Fumiya def. Higashimoto Hisaki – Unanimous Decision
Kento Ito def. Tingthong – Unanimous Decision
Suzuki Hayato def. Dansiam – KO at 2:28 of R1
Fukashi vs. Jin Sijun – Split Draw
Ueno Kuto def. Inoue Shuichi – KO at 2:17 of R3
Matsumoto Haruto def. Yamamoto Riku – Unanimous Decision