(Image courtesy of Nightmare of Battle)
Two headlining matchups were announced today for DREAM and K-1′s combined “FieLDS Dynamite!!: Yuuki no Chikara 2008″ event, which will be held on New Year’s Eve at the Saitama Super Arena in Japan. In the main event spot will be Japanese legend Kazushi Sakuraba facing Kiyoshi Tamura. Sakuraba and Tamura are former UWFi pro wrestling stablemates who were previously supposed to fight each other in PRIDE, but the match never came together; there is a rumored rivalry between them dating back to Tamura’s disrespectful treatment of Sakuraba in the early ’90s when Tamura was a UWFi star and Sakuraba was a struggling up-and-comer. Tamura’s last ring appearance was a 57-second knockout victory over Masakatsu Funaki at DREAM 2 in April, while Sakuraba is coming off his brutal beating at the hands of Melvin Manhoef at DREAM 4 in June.
In the co-main event spot is a non-title fight between DREAM lightweight GP winner Joachim Hansen and highly regarded American Top Team fighter Gesias “JZ” Calvancante. Also on the card is a four-man K-1 tournament featuring Ryuya Kusakabe, Koya Urabe, Shota Shimada, and 16-year old Japanese kickboxing phenom “Hiroya“; check out some of his work here.
Nightmare of Battle lists Mirko Cro Cop vs. Alistair Overeem and Kimbo Slice vs. Seth Petruzelli as other possible fights for this event, and Hong Man Choi, Semmy Schilt, and Vitor “Shaolin” Ribeiro as possible participants. N.o.B. also says that “Yuuki no Chikara” translates to “Power of Courage,” and that Kazushi Sakuraba has requested that his fight not have a time-limit. I guess he needs more than 15 minutes to work out 15 years of pent-up Tamura-related hostility…
— K-1′s World GP on 12/6 in Yokohama will feature Badr Hari, Melvin Manhoef, Hong Man Choi, Peter Aerts, and Ray Sefo.
— Sengoku 7 (1/4/09; Saitama, Japan) will feature the organization’s first-ever middleweight championship match between Kazuo Misaki and this year’s middleweight grand prix winner Jorge Santiago. Takanori Gomi is also slated to face lightweight tournament winner Satoru Kitaoka.