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Tag: Japan

Fight Booking News: Mousasi/Sokoudjou, Lutter/Lister + More

Gegard Mousasi Musashi K-1 MMA
("Just out of curiosity, what’s up now, bitch?" Mousasi surveys the wreckage of the similarly-named Musashi in their K-1 match at Dynamite!! 2008.)

— Though he may still be making his U.S. debut for Affliction, Gegard Mousasi‘s next fight will be in Japan. FiveOuncesofPain reports that DREAM’s 2008 middleweight grand prix winner could return at DREAM 9 (May 23rd) to take on Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou; it would be Mousasi’s debut as a light-heavyweight, and his first MMA fight since last September. Sokoudjou currently carries a 5-4 record, and has dropped his last two matches to Luis Cane (at UFC 89) and Renato Sobral (at Affliction: Day of Reckoning). The African Assassin needs a break, but he probably won’t catch one here.

— A battle between two middleweight grapplers who flamed out of the UFC despite loads of talent has been booked as the main event of MFC 21 (May 13th; Edmonton, Alberta, Canada). MFC prez Mark Pavelich announced yesterday that Travis Lutter vs. Dean Lister would headline the show, which will also feature Marcus Aurelio, David Heath, John Alessio, and Solomon Hutcherson. Lutter hasn’t competed since his loss to Rich Franklin at UFC 83 last April, while Lister made his most recent appearance at UFC 92 in December, where he dropped a unanimous decision to Yushin Okami.

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DREAM 8′s Lineup Isn’t Looking Too Awesome

Hayato Sakurai Shinya Aoki MMA Japan DREAM
("I used to be an AFC like Shinya. Now that I’ve learned the Mystery Method, I pull more tail than Hayato.")

DREAM’s 2009 welterweight grand prix kicks off April 5th at DREAM 8, and four of the tournament matchups have just been announced, along with a few features in other weight classes. The event will be headlined by a rematch between Shinya Aoki and Hayato "Mach" Sakurai; Sakurai previously won a decision over Aoki at a Shooto event in August ’05. Check out the current lineup below, and keep in mind that the opening round kicks off ten days from now, and only half the field is assembled. Not that this is the first time that DREAM hasn’t had all their GP participants locked down before the opening round, but this is really pushing it…

Welterweight GP Fights
Shinya Aoki vs. Hayato “Mach” Sakurai
Sergei Kharitonov vs. Jeff Monson (heavyweight)
Ikuhisa "Minowaman" Minowa vs. Katsuyori Shibata (194-pound catchweight)
Andrews Nakahara vs. Shungo Oyama (middleweight)
Murilo "Ninja" Rua vs. Dong Sik Yoon (middleweight)
Hideo Tokoro vs. Daiki "DJ.taiki" Hata (featherweight GP fight)

I don’t see how the winner of Aoki/Sakurai doesn’t just pwn the fuck out of this field, which is easily the weakest of any DREAM GP to date. Shirai and Ikemoto are local jobbers, and UFC/WEC-castoff John Alessio is only slightly better. High just got owned by Jay Hieron at Affliction: Day of Reckoning; too bad the Thoroughbred isn’t available for this tournament. And while Andre Galvao is a stud when it comes to jiu-jitsu, he’s underexperienced in MMA. There’d better be some big names attached to those last four spots, or the tourney could be a gigantic bust.

And the other bouts on the card aren’t much better. The Kharitonov/Monson clash could be entertaining, but of the six men in the other non-GP bouts, only Minowaman and Ninja have winning records. Seriously. DREAM is hoping for a big ratings resurgence when they return to a decent time-slot, but it’ll be hard to get fans interested — especially in the U.S., where once again, HDNet is airing the event days later on tape-delay.

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Gomi Looks to Recover His Fire in Shooto

Takanori Gomi MMA Kitaoka Sengoku Japan
(Satoru Kitaoka finishes Takanori Gomi at "Sengoku no Ran 2009" in January. I’m not sure feet are supposed to bend that way.)

Before he rose to international fame as PRIDE’s most dominant lightweight, Takanori Gomi was a local hero in Japan’s Shooto league, where he reigned as the 154-pound champ from December 2001 to August 2003. Now, after two upset losses to Sergey Golyaev and Satoru Kitaoka in Sengoku, the Fireball Kid is heading back to his roots. Writes Japan MMA:

Shooto will hold the final event in their Tradition series (celebrating 20 years of Shooto) in May. The event will take place in JCB Hall, where also the first "Tradition" event took place…Former champion Takanori Gomi will return to Shooto and will take on the current [154-pound] champion Takashi Nakakura in what should be an awesome fight. Nakakura is on a 5 fight winning streak and has not lost since August 2005 when he fought Mitsuhiro Ishida.

As we learned recently, Gomi’s head hasn’t been in the game for a while, so maybe a stint on a smaller, familiar stage will help him find his confidence  and regain his competitive spark. Of course, the fight with Nakakura is a must-win for Gomi’s career, and the current Shooto champ is no pushover. Can Gomi get his balls back, or will he join the ever-growing club of former PRIDE legends whose skills have mysteriously evaporated? (President: Wanderlei Silva / Treasurer: Mirko Cro Cop) Nakakura’s last fight, a rear-naked choke victory over Bendy Casimir, is after the jump.

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Sengoku: Seventh Battle — Quick Results

Sengoku 7 poster Japan MMA
(Props: FightTrend)

- Muhammed Lawal def. Ryo Kawamura via unanimous decision
- Hatsu Hioki def. Chris Manuel via submission (armbar), 4:12 of round 1
- Nam Phan def. Hideki Kadowaki via TKO, 3:09 of round 1
- Jim York def. James Thompson via KO, 4:33 of round 1
- Michihiro Omigawa def. L.C. Davis via unanimous decision
- Marlon Sandro def. Matt Jaggers via submission (arm-triangle choke), 2:57 of round 2
- Masanori Kanehara def. Jong Man Kim via unanimous decision
- Chan Sung Jung def. Shintaro Ishiwatari via submission (rear-naked choke), 4:29 of round 1
- Ronnie Mann def. Tetsuya Yamada via unanimous decision
- Nick Denis def. Seiya Kawahara via TKO, 2:36 of round 1

Notes:

— King Mo was yellow-carded in the second-round for poking Kawamura in the eye twice. He dominated the fight with his takedowns; one judge scored the fight 30-24 for Lawal.

— The second-highest-ranked featherweight in the tournament, L.C. Davis, lost to the fighter with the worst record. Yes, we’ll be updating that Power Rankings page soon. Red-hot prospects Marlon Sandro and Ronnie Mann may have a spot on it shortly.

— The night’s other notable upset belonged to Nam Phan, a middling lightweight who dropped a weight class to be in the tournament and wound up knocking out former Shooto champ and top-15 featherweight Hideki Kadowaki.

James Thompson went back to doing what he does best: Getting KTFO’d. His traditional fight-opening gong-and-dash nearly sent him flying out of the ring.

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Things to Do While You Wait For Tonight’s Sengoku Event


(Worth it just for the introductions.)

Sengoku 7 is popping off tonight live on HDNet at 3 am EST.  Sure, you could DVR it and get some sleep instead of staying up to watch it live, but wouldn’t that only make the people at HDNet feel like they made the right decision by not showing the last Dream event live?  I don’t know about you, but if there’s one thing I can’t stand it’s allowing others to feel as if they’ve done the right thing.

That’s why I’m staying up to watch it.  Maybe that means I’ll be a mess tomorrow, but the way I see it the quality of my work is already so poor, who’s going to notice?  Here are some things you can do while you’re waiting for tonight’s broadcast and fighting off the powerful forces of sleep:

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Oh Yeah, This Is Going To Happen


(Via Dreamofficial.com)

Need a reason to continue living until April 5?  How about Dream 8, which will feature the rematch between crazy-talking, tights-wearing submissions wiz Shinya Aoki, and amateur porn star Hayato "Mach" Sakurai.  It has now been officially announced.  So step in off that ledge (we knew you weren’t going to jump anyway, you pansy) and get through the next couple of weeks.  You will be rewarded with what should be one hell of a fight.

If you need help passing the time, watch what happens when dudes try to get funny with Aoki on their back.  It’s not funny ‘ha-ha,’ more like funny ‘you’re a moron.’

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Heads-Up: Sengoku ‘Seventh Battle’ Kicks Off Late Thursday Night


("The Year of the Mo: Part One," courtesy of Esther Lin.)

With no UFC event scheduled until April 1st’s UFC Fight Night: Condit vs. Kampmann, the MMA world feels like a bit of a wasteland lately. But if you get HDNet in your cable package, you’re in for a treat. Sengoku: Seventh Battle goes down Friday at the Yoyogi National Gymnasium in Tokyo, and will be broadcast live on HDNet beginning at 3 a.m. ET/midnight PT. (So, late Thursday night, in other words.) A replay is scheduled for Friday night at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT, in case you forget to set your DVR, or you’re too poor to afford one or something.

Sengoku 7 features the first round of the league’s featherweight grand prix — which includes #7-ranked featherweight Hatsu Hioki, undefeated Nova Uniao prospect Marlon Sandro, UFC vet Michihiro Omigawa, and former Shooto champ Hideki Kadowaki — as well as a headlining light-heavyweight scrap between King Mo and Pancrase vet Ryo Kawamura, and James Thompson‘s latest attempt to participate in a fight that doesn’t turn into an utter fiasco. The official bout order is after the jump, courtesy of Nightmare of Battle. Will any of the gaijins fail as hard as David Gardner did at the last DREAM show? Tune in to find out!

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DREAM 7 Quick Results + Videos

(Aoki vs. Gardner. Props to MMALinker.)

The opening round of DREAM’s featherweight GP is in the books, with tournament standout Masakazu Imanari advancing (just barely) over Atsushi Yamamoto, former wrestling world champion Joe Warren scoring a cut-stoppage victory over former WEC bantamweight champ Chase Beebe, and Korean judo champ Jong Won Kim losing his MMA debut to Hiroyuki Takaya.

The non-tourney bouts were all easy victories for the big names, as Mitsuhiro Ishida used his wrestling to dominate Daisuke Nakamura for 15 minutes, and Tatsuya Kawajiri was able to choke out BJ Penn student Ross Ebanez in the shortest fight of the night. The Shinya Aoki/David Gardner 163-pound feature started out exciting, with the American punishing Aoki with punches to the face after Aoki tried to pull guard, but once Aoki took his back it was only a matter of time before the submission came. Completely trapped, Gardner took a couple opportunites to wave to the audience. I don’t think I need to tell you what happens when you’ve got Aoki on your back and you decide to lift your arm to wave.

Full results are after the jump, followed by videos of the Warren/Beebe and Ishida/Nakamura scraps.

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Bout Order Announced for Sunday’s DREAM 7

Shinya Aoki Japan MMA BJ Penn
(Hey, if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. Photo courtesy of Sherdog.)

FEG has finalized the lineup for this Sunday’s DREAM 7 in Saitama, Japan, which will feature the opening round of their featherweight grand prix. Even though the card contains such big names as Shinya Aoki (in a welterweight tune-up match), Tatsuya Kawajiri, and Mitsuhiro Ishida, the show’s main event will be the tournament’s most anticipated first-round bout, between #5-ranked featherweight Masakazu Imanari and Krazy Bee standout Atsushi Yamamoto. Here’s how the fights will go down: 

9. FW GP: Masakazu Imanari vs. Atsushi Yamamoto
8. FW GP: Hiroyuki Takaya vs. Kim Jong Won
7. FW GP: Yoshiro Maeda vs. Micah Miller
6. Lightweights: Tatsuya Kawajiri vs. Ross Ebanez 
5. Welterweights: Shinya Aoki vs. David Gardner
4. Lightweights: Mitsuhiro Ishida vs. Daisuke Nakamura
3. FW GP: Akiyo Nishiura vs. Abel Cullum
2. FW GP: Chase Beebe vs. Joe Warren
1. FW GP: Takafumi Otsuka vs. Bibiano Fernandes

You might have noticed that DREAM 7 will only produce six quarterfinalists for the featherweight GP. The other two will be Norifumi "Kid" Yamamoto, who’s getting a bye to the second round, and the winner of the Daiki Hata/Hideo Tokoro match at DREAM 8 (April 5th, Nagoya, Japan). Unfortunately, Sunday’s event won’t be broadcast on HDNet until next Saturday, but we’ll post the best fights on Sunday and Monday, so stay tuned.

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Here It Is, Your Moment of Zen…


(Props: "Card" on the UG. Lots more robo-scraps here.)

Are you sitting down? Good — prepare to have your mind blown. When I started to watch this Japanese robot MMA video, I thought, okay, these little guys are going to throw haymakers until one of their heads pop up. I was not expecting the little gray one to duck the hook then shoot in for the single-leg takedown (1:01), then follow it up with a suplex (1:26). Classic striker vs. grappler battle here. Alright, so it gets a little sloppy after a while, but the PRIDE victory music makes up for it. Skip to 3:42 for another epic slam, and if you watch to end, you’ll see that even in robot fights, the Japanese are fond of their freak shows.

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