Mariela Zarate (2014 USWC Women’s LW Champion)
Current US Women’s Lightweight Champion, Mariela is back to defend her title and establish her record for this year’s Women’s World. Like a rolling Nor’easter, her thundering punches and whirlwind high kicks are levied with speed, power and fierce determination. Don’t let her small frame deceive you, Mariela takes the fight by storm, aggressively leveling opponents on her way to the top of the podium. A word to her opposition: beware that loaded right!
Koto Hiraoka (2014 All Japan Women’s LW Champion)
Current All Japan Women’s Lightweight Champion, Koto, recently took the Kyokushin community by storm with her stunning win in the 2014 All Japan, the most prestigious annual tournament held each year in Tokyo. With rebounding footwork, fiery spirit, and a heavy kicking arsenal, Koto succeeds easily in keeping her opponents at bay. Though barely in her twenties, Koto already has an excellent record, having fought in Los Angeles, New York and in her native Japan since a youth. She will not be intimidated by the surroundings; quite the contrary, she will be the one to beat.
Sota Nakano (2010 & 2012 USWC Middleweight Champion)
Local LA favorite since a youth, Sota Nakano is a consistently successful middleweight contender in the USWC and an inspiration to many. With considerable power, ferocious kiai and fluid footwork, opponents are stunned and fight fans in awe. Sota fought fiercely in the 2014 All Japan Open Weight recently, with the sole purpose to set his sights on the pinnacle of Kyokushin competition, the World Open this November 2015. A success today will put Sota hard on track for the World’s. His motivation will be clear when his fury of attacks is unleashed; watch for his rapid fire kicks and uncompromising punch combinations.
Mohamed Chikh (2013 USWC Heavyweight Champion)
Easily one of the most experienced and successful fighters in North America, former USWC Heavyweight Champion from Canada, Mohamed, has competed on several continents, including making his mark on the 10th World Open in 2011. His aggressive “in-fighting” style, coupled with his stature and speed, has been used to countless advantage, and positions him as an inimitable force here at the USWC, and hopefully later this year as well if he meets expectations. His rib-shattering hook punch, effectively paired with destabilizing low kicks, unbalances his opponent till he goes in for the finish.