MMA Fighter Challenges People to Punch Him in the Face, Everyone Fails

Tag: JMMA

UFC Plans Four Event Tour of Japan for 2013

At UFC 144, the organization made a triumphant return to the Land of the Rising Sun with an evening full of exciting fights, culminating in Benson Henderson winning the lightweight championship from Frankie Edgar. Add on the way that the polite, educated Japanese fans packed the Saitama Super Arena, and it felt like it would only be a matter of time before the organization returned to Japan for more events.

Today, Japanese sportspaper NikkanSports is reporting (translated by MMAWeekly) that the UFC is planning on returning to Japan with a series of four smaller events in 2013. The events will showcase local, Japanese talent and will take place at a small, yet-to-be-determined venue. The UFC is reportedly aiming for 5,000 people attending each event.

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Kazushi Sakuraba vs. Shinya Aoki Reportedly Booked for Next DREAM Event

Kazushi Sakuraba Ricardo Arona photo eye face bloody MMA photos gallery
(Kazushi Sakuraba during his PRIDE glory days in 2005.)

By Elias Cepeda

When does a person not eagerly anticipate the next time one of his favorite fighters competes? When that fighter should have retired years ago due to the damage he’s endured over the years. That’s the way I’ve feel each time Kazushi Sakuraba gets a new match — not excited, but filled with genuine concern for his well-being. The legendary “Gracie Hunter” may be the best MMA fighter the warrior-nation of Japan has ever produced, but he’s lost four fights in a row, hasn’t won a bout since 2009, and has suffered enough beatings for 12 lifetimes. (This guy knows what I’m talking about.)

What makes Saku’s situation worse is that so many of his early losses were the result of savage abuse at the hands of much larger opponents (Wanderlei Silva, Mirko Cro Cop, Ricardo Arona, etc.), leaving him completely broken down at the age of 42. Sakuraba competed just once in 2011 — getting choked out at Dream 17 by unheralded Brazilian prospect Yan Cabral — and has yet to fight this year, while venturing back into pro wrestling just to stay active.

It is now being reported that Sakuraba will return to the ring at Dream’s next event, for a welterweight match against Shinya Aoki. If there’s a silver lining to rolling out Saku for another pay day, it’s that Aoki is foremost a grappler like Sakuraba, so it’s possible that we could see a technical wrestling and Jiu Jitsu match with minimal blunt strikes hitting the legend. Also, Bloody Elbow’s Anton Tabuena is reporting that the fight, now signed according to him, could be Sakuraba’s final MMA appearance.

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Genghis Con: Honor Among Champs

If you’re like me, you are a YouTube Genghis Con subscriber, and you have a fondness for the theater of Japanese MMA. Also, you write rebuttal articles completely off the cuff, you’re not getting any younger, and you’re frustrated at the extra weight you’re putting on. And you’ve also been known to cry over Disney movies and those damn Pedigree commercials. Long story short, you’re a pretty cool person, and we should probably hang out and share some Ben & Jerry’s Americone Dream and talk about fighters with heart.

Ok, you’re probably not like me, and that’s probably just fine with you. But if you don’t enjoy a good scrap from the land of PRIDE, Shooto, and DREAM, then we probably shouldn’t hang out, because chances are we’re going to have less in common than Miley Cyrus and Emanuel Yarbrough. By the way, Ben says that picture is a celebrity with a random-ass fighter, which is totally different.

If you do dig JMMA and Genghis Con, go ahead and enjoy his latest effort, “Honor Among Champs”. Then you can rag on me for being a fifteen year old girl in the comments.

[RX]

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DREAM Finally Announces First Event of 2011; Japan Bantamweight GP Slated for 5/29

Masa Kazu Imanari Shinya Aoki funny MMA photos schoolgirl
(Imanari and Aoki: The [lady-]boys are back in town.)

While Sengoku’s tail-spin has been widely publicized, news about DREAM has been almost non-existent since Dynamite!! 2010 on New Year’s Eve. The silence was broken today at a press conference in Japan, where DREAM organizers announced a May 29th event at the Saitama Super Arena — the promotion’s first show of 2011.

DREAM.17 will feature the quarterfinals and semifinals of their Japan Bantamweight tournament, which will feature the following native competitors: Hideo Tokoro, Masakazu Imanari, Kenji Osawa, Darren Uyenoyama, Keisuke Fujiwara, Atsushi Yamamoto, Takafumi Otsuka, and Yoshiro Maeda.

According to Nightmare of Battle, the finals and third-place fight (between the losing semi-finalists) will take place at a subsequent event in July. The winner and loser of the final match and the winner of the third-place fight will advance to the DREAM World Bantamweight Tournament (date TBA). N.o.B passes along even more details…

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FEG in Trouble As Financial Backing Falls Through and NYE TV Deal Has Yet to Be Struck; DREAM and K-1 On Life Support


(All for one and one for all….right guys?)

The plausibility that DREAM and K-1 will continue past the first quarter of 2011 is looking bleak as the promotions’ parent consortium, Fighting and Entertainment Group (FEG) has failed to secure much needed financial backing.

A $200 million deal that was in the works with Japanese capital investment firm PUJI has collapsed according to Fighters Only and it seems that the reason the agreement fell through was because the popularity of kickboxing and MMA in The Land of the Rising Sun" is waning.

Some red flags that signalled to PUJI that Japan’s interest in combat sports is on the decline were a dramatic drop in advertising dollars, live gate revenue and FEG’s inability to secure a television deal for its K-1 Dynamite! New Year’s Eve show this year. Investors weighed the risks of the deal and decided that FEG had grossly exaggerated the value of the company and the potential revenue that could be made in Japan, given the current state of the sport in the country.

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Gomi Says It’s Necessary to Train Full-Time in the U.S. if He’s Going to Compete in America


(Video courtesy YouTube/Fight!)

As impressive as Takanori Gomi’s knockout win over Tyson Griffin was last night at UFC Live on Versus 2, I think it might be somewhat premature to jump on the bandwagon that a lot of reporters have seemed to have piled onto since last night by making claims like Fight! Magazine’s Danny Acosta that the "old Takanori Gomi is back" and that he was "the biggest star in PRIDE."

Even Gomi,  seems like he wants to further prove himself and obviously he feels that he has improvements to make, which he thinks will only come to fruition if he trains Stateside to learn the "American style of fighting" he referred to in his post-fight interview with Joe Rogan after his win last night.

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