12th World Karate Championship

Closing in to the greatest event,keeping the full contact Karate tradition alive: A World Tournament in Open Weight – the excitement raises and the expectations have never been higher. It would be hard to tell how such a great championship will turn out – but we will at least take a little closer look at the fighters, the draw and maybe also get to “know” some new fighters as well.. Men B block. Remember: it is only speculation – based on previous records and fight.. We appreciate and warmly welcome when fighters disprove our speculation 🙂

Valeri Dimitrov / Bulgaria, the veteran who are leading the way of develop Kyokushin fighting. How he adapt to new setting , or make them happen self makes he unique. Into the tournament – we believe that he will advance to his third fight that gets some attention: Kazufumi Shimamoto / Japan. Kazufumi is a very respectable opponent, and fighting a Japanese top fighter on home soil will always be challenging. But we believe that Dimitrov can pass him, and look forward to next opponent. -and it could be Japanese as well.

Further down: Marek Wolny / Poland,will be one to follow, and if he starts of well he might face a another European fighter in their 2nd fight – Juras Sokolovas / Lithuania – 2nd last EC. We think Wolny’s aggressive forward style can pull him trough this one, but Sokolovas can not be counted out for that reason. The winner will for sure have to step it up even more next fight, as some of the “big-guns” probably are waiting. And it can be a fighter that Wolny “know” from the 46th All Japan Open – Kembu Iriki / Japan.

Kembu Iriki, will be one of the favorites in total. 2nd 11th World Championship,1st WFKO International Tournament 2018 -among the absolute top fighters. Will face a creative Fady Allan / Denmark, known for razor sharps kicks, and can shave his opponents with his feet. – if Iriki in the 2nd: KWU / IFK ace Aleksander Drozd / Russia. Multiply EC champion, World Champion etc. absolute top fighter, dangerous knees, and kicks to the head, and seems immune to get hurt or take damage. That will come in handy, facing Iriki and his devastating lowkicks. Iriki on his way are heading towards possible fight vs Wolny, and finally Dimitrov.

Paulius Žimantas / Lithuania. This young fighter did a very strong impression in the European Championship this spring in Lithuania. Into the final in the heaviest category, and challenging top fighter Maciej Mazur hard in the final. On the way to the final Paulius Žimantas showed excellent skills, power and technic. In his way to the final he knocked out several opponents – and sometimes he made it look easy. He came from Jr EC with a win in 2018 – into 2nd the year after – in senior division. We believe he are heading towards a possible 3rd round fight vs Ilya Yakovlev – that’s a really tough test. Photo Algimantas Barzdžius

Moving into the lower part of the B block, we can see a really good mix of nations and fighters. Russia, Kazakhstan, Europe and Japan – all with strong competitors. All the way down we have Nazar Nasirov / Russia. 6th place last World Championship and 2nd in the weight category World Championship. He is a fighter for today. He will be able to challenge everyone in his way, technically, tactically and not least on fighting pace. He is one of the aces in the deck of cards, but he can face a joker in fight number two: Ryuki Ushirosako / Japan.

We think that Nasirov could be able to advance. And on his path we think we can face a another Japanese fighter, Shin Kameyama. If, if and if – we believe that the man in the end will be from Kazakhstan – Ilya Yakovlev. He is a very complete fighter, got everything one needs. Faces very technical Hungarian fighter Tamas Popovics in his first fight, but Yakovlev seems to be a to big challenge. In Yakovlev’s path – once again a Japanese champion can appear: Koki Oishi, lightweight champion. But again, we give the edge to Kazakhstan. Europe do also have a word in this, Paulius Žimantas / Lithuania – 2nd in EC heaviest category – aggressive hard style – from one of the strongest nations – once again, edge to Kazakhstan.

Ryuki Ushirosako / Japan – fresh of a big win in the 5th JFKO All Japan Tournament – 2019, only 18 years, and all ready a star. Ushirosako faces Swedish steel in his first fight, Rasmus Bergström – and here will sparks fly. The edge would be to Ushirosako, fighting on home soil and being able to win All Japan Open with speed power and incredible stamina. But Bergström will be a factor – we believe it could be a “speed-factor” if one are stronger, one still have to catch the other one.

If Ushirosako face Nasirov, it will be a very interesting match up. The physical aspect is on the Russian side, but surprises can happen quickly. And considering that it’s early in the tournament, both are likely to be unscathed. And time goes by quickly like decisions on the match. We are afraid it can turn out to be a fight with “warnings to come” The height and weight difference can be soled with close fighting where warnings can appear.

To wrap it up, or to make it a little simple – more or less, the heaviest profiles are pulled trough. But we have also tried to dig a little deeper – and see who can challenge the upper favorites. Valeri Dimitrov, Kembu Iriki, Ilya Yakovlev, Ryuki Ushirosako,Nazar Nasirov – and more. Well known profiled fighters that have delivered time after time in big events. A factor will of course be, for each fight one could get some “souvenirs” that can inflict next fight. As always – time will show.