Belle Salle, in the Shinjuku district of Tokyo, hosted its first martial arts show yesterday. Knockout: ‘2019 Spring was headlined by the final of the lightweight tournament with Yodlekpet Or Pitisak defeating Chan Hyeong Lee by decision.
Reigning Rise super featherweight champion Lee took TKO victories over Hikaru Machida and Yosuke Morii in the tournament. Meanwhile reigning Knockout lightweight champion Yodlekpetch overcame both Yusuke Iwaki and Mongolian Boldbaatar Altandulguun by decision.
With Chan Hyeong Lee already through to the semi-finals of the fiercely stacked Rise World Series <61kg tournament all eyes were on him in his bid to take two major crowns in Japanese kickboxing this year. However, anyone on the circuit knew that it would be a tall order for him to overcome Yodlekpet.
Lee started off very strong, with his usual sharp shooting punches and whipping kicks finding their mark. His right cross battered straight through the middle of Yodlekpet’s guard numerous times in the first two rounds and, although the reigning champion ate them and kept pressing on, the crowd could see he was clearly taking damage.
A savvy approach by the Korean many would say since Yodlekpet, with his traditional Muay Thai style, rarely comes out the gate with flurries in the first two rounds. As the bell for round 3 rang Lee was breathing hard and looking tired from his efforts to finish the fight early.
Yodlekpet stepped up the pace slightly and fired back with compact hooks and his trademark dangerous elbows and middle kicks. Lee kept looking for angles and landed punches, but the Thai kept up a strong guard.
He did, however, pick up a yellow card in the 4th round for holding Lee and not following the referee’s instructions. Fortunately for the Thai this misdemeanor did not affect the judge’s decision and Yodlekpet retained his strap and won the tournament.
Yoshiho Tane pulled out of the title fight with Issei Ishii that was scheduled for this card. The flyweight champion faced Yoshinari Nadaka in an exhibition match instead.
The show was not broadcast live, but will air on Samurai TV in Japan on May 7th.