(Marlon Sandro shows off a kick he’s been working on called the ‘Flying Photoshop Material.’ Props: Sherdog)
Tomorrow’s year-ending Sengoku event in Tokyo may be short on gross mismatches, public executions, gender/rule-bending stunt fights, and Bob Sapp, but the card makes up for it in matches that are actually competitive and relevant. "Soul of Fight" will present a staggering 28 bouts of MMA and kickboxing; you can check out the full lineup at the end of this post. HDNet will be airing the bouts in a two-part series on January 14th and 21st, but we’ll try to post videos of the best fights as soon as we can. Here’s a few you might be seeing…
Marlon Sandro vs. Hatsu Hioki (for Sengoku Featherweight Championship)
Soul of Fight’s main event is easily the most important featherweight bout possible outside of the WEC. Since debuting in Sengoku last March, reigning champion Marlon Sandro has become one of the most vicious knockout artists in all of MMA, dispatching his last three opponents in a combined fight time of 3:20. In his last fight, the Nova Uniao standout starched Masanori Kanehara in 38 seconds to win World Victory Road’s featherweight strap. Hioki, who is the reigning 143-pound champ of Shooto, might be the last elite-level challenge that Sandro will find in Japan, and brings an Aoki-esque grappling style that’s as creative as it is aggressive.