On this day three years ago, this epic first meeting between Kazuo Misaki and Jorge Santiago took place at Sengoku no Ran 2009 at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan.
The-back-and-forth battle that saw Santiago win the Sengoku middleweight strap after catching Misaki with a rear naked choke at 3:26 of the fifth round would set up arguably one of the top five MMA bouts of all time when the pair met again 19 months later at Sengoku Raiden Championships 14.
If you’ve been reading the site for a while, you know we’re big fans of Genghis Con’s work. The dude has put together some of the slickest MMA highlights and recently began filming, editing and producing some incredible web documentaries including Miami Hustle, which follows the trials, tribulations and triumphs of former Sengoku champ Jorge Santiago.
The latest short from the series by GC follows Santiago on a typical day relaxing and training in Miami for his upcoming UFC 130 bout with Brian Stann in May. Making a special appearance in the episode is Santiago’s new training partner, former Team Jackson fighter and ex-UFC light heavyweight champ Rashad Evans.
If you missed the prequel to Miami Hustle, check out “The Sengoku King” after the jump. If you enjoy Genghis Con’t work, you’ll thoroughly enjoy it.
“The Max Murderer” Maximo Blanco is a star in the world of Japanese Mixed Martial Arts. The 27-year-old Venezuelan first made his name in the world of Combat Sports as a freestyle wrestler. He won a bronze medal in the 60kg division at the 2007 Pan American games and earned a scholarship to wrestle at the college level in Japan.
After failing to qualify for the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympic games, Blanco made the jump into Mixed Martial Arts by being recruited by Sengoku, and began training at the legendary Yoshida Dojo in Japan. He became an instant star and has won over fans worldwide with his brutal and exciting brand of fighting, which has produced five knockout victories in his last six fights. Maximo Blanco was able to take some time out of his busy schedule to talk exclusively to our readers about his wrestling background, life in Japan, and career aspirations…
(Sadly, the Sengoku Girls have already been disassembled and sold for scrap.)
Well, it’s not like we expected something miraculous to happen after Sengoku started granting releases to their biggest stars. The Japanese promotion posted an “urgent report” on its website yesterday, saying that primary sponsor Don Quijote has pulled all of their financial support from the company, and if they can’t find another sponsor to replace DQ, Sengoku’s collapse will be unavoidable. More details via FightOpinion:
The note says that Don Quijote was backing the company fully, including office headquarters. The note says that a lot of money was lost and that rather than stay in the ball game, Don Quijote left and that the ‘heartless mass media’ comments made about them didn’t help matters. Sengoku’s note claims that Don Quijote will continue sponsoring other MMA organizations but that everything is under further review.
(If you thought we were going to pass up the opportunity to post a Wu Tang-infused Marlon Sandro highlight vid, well, you must be new around here. Vid: YouTube/Meyer124)
Former Sengoku featherweight champion Marlon Sandro – believed to be the second-best 145-pounder not currently under the UFC umbrella – has signed a deal with Bellator Fighting Championships and will make his American debut sometime in 2011, according to multiple internet reports out on Wednesday. Sandro’s exodus comes amid news that Sengoku is granting releases to fighters who ask for them, probably signaling that the Japanese promotion’s prolonged death spasm is nearing its end.
Sandro is currently ranked in the featherweight Top 10 on any list worth its salt. Though he lost his Sengoku title to Hatsu Hioki in late December he’ll make a stellar addition for the newly MTV-friendly Bellator. The promotion crowned Joe Warren it’s 145-pound champ after his come-from-behind victory over Joe Soto in September and you’d have to think Sandro immediately becomes No. 1 contender. Some pontificating on what it all means after the jump.
Nightmare of Battle wonders if Sengoku’s recent pursuit of heavyweights — Dave Herman and Roger Gracie have reportedly received offers, and a fight between Josh Barnett and Kevin Randleman is rumored for the January event — indicates that a heavyweight Grand Prix could be in the works. How badass would that be? We’d say that’s worth defying the CSAC over — though there’s the risk that American MMA organizations would hold a permanent grudge against Bigfoot for fighting while under suspension, and refuse to work with him after the suspension is over. But it’s hard to resist the competitive urge when you’re an athlete. Maybe Silva hopes that everybody in the U.S. will have forgotten about his little horse-steroid misunderstanding by next summer?
(The Fireball Kid returns on Saturday; Diaz may be ringing in ’09 overseas.)
— Though most of us want to see him return to the UFC eventually, Nick Diaz‘s next fight will likely be in Japan. Diaz’s manager Cesar Gracie told MMA Weekly that he’s already been contacted by Fight Entertainment Group (Dream’s parent company) and Sengoku, and Diaz will be competing either on FEG’s K-1 Dynamite! card on New Year’s Eve, or Sengoku VII on January 4th. Diaz’s EliteXC contract states that he can compete in Japan as long as it doesn’t interfere with his EliteXC duties — so, no problems there.
— According to MMA Fighting, former IFL lightweight standout Chris Horodecki will return to action on November 24th at the Shootboxing “S-Cup 2008,” a one-night eight-man tournament that will go down at the Saitama Super Arena; the tournament will also feature PRIDE vet Luiz Azeredo. Known as “standing vale tudo,” Shootboxing doesn’t incorporate ground-fighting, although throws and standing submissions are allowed. Horodecki is still penciled in to compete at Affliction’s “Day of Reckoning” show on January 24th.
(Jorge Masvidal vs. Ryan Schulz; more videos here.)
From today’s Sengoku show at the Yoyogi National Gymnasium in Tokyo, Japan…
Middleweight GP 1st Round:
Yuki Sasaki def. Yuki Kondo via submission (rear-naked choke), round 2
Siyar Bahadurzada def. Evangelista Santos via TKO (injury), round 1
Jorge Santiago def. Logan Clark via submission (arm triangle choke), round 1
Kazuhiro Nakamura def. Paul Cahoon via unanimous decision
Jorge Masvidal def. Ryan Schultz via TKO, round 1
Kiuma Kunioku def. Sol Kwon via unanimous decision
Muhammed Lawal def. Travis Wiuff via TKO, round 1
Xande Ribeiro def. Takashi Sugiura via TKO, round 3