(Aoki has been on the internet all day trying to figure out who these Sengoku jokers are. It would probably help if he didn’t keep pausing every five minutes to shop for new tights on Amazon.)
Instead of splitting the Japanese MMA vote with two separate New Year’s Eve events, Sengoku and Dream have decided to not only combine their efforts, but to pit several of their fighters against one another in a Sengoku vs. Dream battle royal. Of course, because they’re still a little over a month away from the event, the organizers haven’t seen fit to nail down the complete fight card yet. That’s just not how they do, but chances are that the final lineup will be co-headlined by the K-1 bout between Masato Kobayashi and Andy Souwer, along with Hidehiko Yoshida taking on MMA newcomer Satoshi Ishii in the battle of the gold medalist judokas.
Aside from that, it’s a toss up. Several cross-promotional fights are expected, but far from finalized. If you were hoping to see Dream lightweight champ Shinya Aoki take on Sengoku lightweight champ Mizuto Hirota, well, first you’ll need to explain to Aoki exactly who Hirota is:
"Who’s the champion now? Because I don’t know,” [Aoki] said. “Right now, I’m number one. I feel that I’m [at the] top now, and if I fight him, I fight him. I didn’t say I wanted to fight him, and no one knows who he is, so if we fight … well, I’ll have to think about it.”
Oh, Shinya. You crazy guy. Allow us to provide a little primer for you after the jump.
(Hirota vs. Ryan Schultz, 8/24/08.)
(Hirota vs. Satoru Kitaoka, 8/2/09)