John Chandler here again, breaking down Yarennoka! and K-1 Premium 2007 Dynamite!! fight-by-fight, including detailed predictions along the way.
Yarennoka! features the return of Fedor Emelianenko as he takes on K-1 kickboxer Hong Man Choi. The undercard includes Gilbert Melendez going up against Mitsuhiro Ishida and Kazuo Misaki battling with Yoshihiro Akiyama.
K-1 Premium 2007 Dynamite!! features an astounding total of 13 fights - 7 MMA bouts and 6 kickboxing matches. (I’ll only be previewing the MMA fights) The event is headlined by a main event between long-time Japanese veterans Kazushi Sakuraba and Masakatsu Funaki. Bob Sapp, “Kid” Yamamoto, Kiyoshi Tamura, Melvin Manhoef, and Ikuhisa Minowa will all be in action.
When Alfred Tennyson wrote “ring out the old, ring in the new,” the English poet was referring to the pealing of church bells to mark the beginning of a new year. It is also a Japanese tradition to strike the temple bell on December 31, but these days Tennyson’s phrase could just as easily be applied to the ringside bell at the Dynamite!! New Year’s Eve fight-sport extravaganza.
Over the last five years, K-1 Premium Dynamite!! has become one of the most widely-watched television productions in Japan, with estimates of up to 30 million viewers. This is fight-sport entertainment for the entire family, and tomorrow’s lineup is designed for maximum appeal. The evening’s 15 fights will feature wily veterans and wide-eyed teens; popular television “tarento” and foreign behemoths; and yes, more than a few match ups aimed at martial arts purists.
Seven bouts will be fought under Hero’s Rules (mixed martial arts), and eight under K-1 Rules (stand-up).
The Dynamite!! 2007 fighters met with the media this afternoon at the Osaka Imperial Hotel, to share their thoughts in advance of tomorrow night’s Kyocera Dome showdown.
411 Mania reported earlier this week that EliteXC is planning on holding a four-man heavyweight tournament during their next show in February. The tournament would apparently feature Eric “Butterbean” Esch, Kimbo Slice, Tank Abbott, and Bob Sapp.
Can you imagine that?
Well apparently there is no truth to the rumor according to Sam Caplan, who says that the idea has never been discussed according to an official close to EliteXC.
Sam also points out the obvious: Sapp is fighting for Strikeforce in February so it would pretty much be impossible.
Officials running the Yarennoka! show on New Year’s Eve held a press conference earlier today to announce the addition of three more bouts to the event’s card.
Fedor Emelianenko will make his long awaited return to action when he faces Hong Man Choi, who is coming off of a first-round defeat to Jerome LeBanner at K-1’s World Kickboxing Grand Prix last weekend.
Emelianenko was victorious in his only fight of 2007 when he submitted Matt Lindland with an armbar in the first round. Choi has not fought since stopping Bobby Ologun with strikes in just 16 seconds at last year’s K-1 Premium Dynamite!! A previously scheduled bout with Brock Lesnar earlier in the year fell apart when Choi was not cleared to participate by doctors.
Middleweights Kazuo Misaki and Yoshihiro Akiyama will clash on the card and Bob Sapp will fight for the first time in over two years when he takes on Bobby Ologun.
TACOMA, WA. - Former University of Washington football star and NFL lineman turned martial arts fighting sensation, Bob “The Beast” Sapp (8-2-1), will make his highly-anticipated return to the fight world when he headlines Strikeforce’s debut mixed martial arts event at Tacoma Dome on Saturday, February 23rd.
Former UFC Heavyweight Champion and K-1 North America king, Maurice “Big Mo” Smith (73-20-4), will battle fellow legend and six-time world kickboxing champion, Rick “The Jet” Roufus (57-7), in a heavyweight contest during “Strikeforce At The Dome,” which will be presented by BodogFIGHT. Sapp’s opponent will be named shortly.
At 6 feet 4 inches tall and 375 lbs, the 33-year-old Sapp, a native of Colorado Springs, Colorado, is nothing short of a monstrous specimen of man. Following his college football career as an offensive lineman for the University of Washington, where he won the Morris Award, Sapp went on to play for three different NFL teams over the course of four years.
It’s been a while since we’ve had one of these. I guess potential fight matchups haven’t been coming out in huge bunches lately.
Apparently a lot of news has come out of Strikeforce’s latest show at the Playboy Mansion this past weekend. The promotion announced that signing of Renato “Babalu” Sobral but that wasn’t all that was revealed courtesy of Gary Herman at 15 Rounds.
Sobral has told Herman that Strikeforce has also inked former UFC Heavyweight Champion Kevin Randleman and Evangelista “Cyborg” Santos to contracts. Sobral stated that he would like to fight either of the two:
Sobral signed a three-fight contract with Strikeforce.
“Strikeforce is a very strong organization. They are bringing in a lot of good fighters in my weight class,” said Sobral.
According to Sobral, two other fighters headed to Strikeforce are Kevin “Monster” Randleman and Evangelista “Cyborg” Santos. Sobral has his sights set on both of the former Pride Fighting Championship competitors.
“I’d like to fight both Randleman and Cyborg,” Sobral said.
Sobral also stated that he expects to fight in December.
Frank Shamrock says that he expects to be back in action at some point next spring.
After Daniel Puder’s victory Saturday night, he went over and challenged K-1 veteran Bob Sapp:
“After the match, I went and told Bob Sapp I want to fight him,” Puder said.
Puder said that Sapp was more than willing to accept the challenge.
“Sapp is going to talk to Scott Coker about it. We want to make it happen,” said Puder. “I want to fight him next year.”
BodogFight Middleweight Champion Trevor Prangley noted that discussions are currently taking place in order to have him making his first title defense against Matt Lindland:
“It has been talked about,” said Prangley. “I would love to fight him.”
Touch of gloves to Five Ounces of Pain for the find.
Cage Rage Championships has announced that K-1 veteran Bob “The Beast” Sapp has been forced to withdraw from his fight at Cage Rage 21: Judgement Day. According to Cage Rage, Sapp was having some personal problems which made him unavailable for Saturday’s event.
Replacing Sapp will be legendary pitfighter David “Tank” Abbott who is expected to arrive in London later today.
News and Notes
- UFC veteran Jonathan “Road Warrior” Goulet added to his winning streak this past weekend when he disposed of Jesse Bongfeldt early in the first at TKOMMA Tourney 2007. His next fight will come June 1st at TKO 29: Repercussion when he faces fellow UFC veteran Steve Vigneault for the vacant TKO welterweight title. Georges St. Pierre was foreced to vacate the title when he won the UFC welterweight belt.
- Yesterday Sherdog.com reported Chuck Liddell and Quinton Jackson will lock horns in the world famous octagon May 26th at UFC 71.
- This past weekend former UFC heavyweight champion and MMA legend, Bas Rutten, announced that he was stepping down as the coach of the Anacondas and Sean Tompkins would be taking his place as the head coach. Rutten will remain with the IFL but instead of coaching he will become the “Face of the IFL” working the broadcast booth and hosting “IFL Battleground”.
- The UFC has hired Mike Mersch who will be the organization’s chief operating officer. Originally Mersch was the Nevada deputy attorney general who represented the Nevada Athletic Commission.
- Hall of Fame play-by-play boxing announcer, Col. Bob Sheridan, will be ringside April 14th when Fedor Emelianenko and Matt Lindland fight in the BodogFight ring.
- Bob Sapp’s new opponent at the upcoming Cage Rage show will be Gary Turner.
- GracieMag.com is reporting that Ronaldo Jacaré will not compete at ADCC 2007.
- According to GracieFighter.com UFC lightweight Tyson Griffin has parted ways with David Terrell and the Nor-Cal Fighting Alliance. Terrell said, ““He didn’t train at all with us for that fight so why would we corner him. Win or lose we wouldn’t have been responsible.”
Clip of the Day
Does anyone remember this man? He was at the very first show of the IFL, and before everyone noticed, he had some ex-body builder running his team Tokyo Sabres. On March 14th, Inoki officially announced that as of April 1st, he is starting a new martial arts promotion called Inoki Genome Federation. (IGF) The head of organization is none other than Anotonio Inoki but other executives and staff are still unknown till this date. The only prediction we can make at this point is that his son-law, Simon Kelly Inoki, just revealed his resignation from New Japan Pro-Wrestling’s president post, probably to join his father in-law’s new promotion. Besides this, no one knows what is going to take place with this new project by Mr. Inoki. All we can tell at this point, is that everyone is making big announcements in April.
News and Notes
- Both Ryan Schultz and Aaron Stark of the Portland Wolfpack will not be able to compete at the team’s season debut on February 23rd according to coach Matt Lindland.
Schultz will miss the event because of a medical suspension he received from the Mohegan Sun Athletic Commission after his KO loss to Bart Palaszewski at the IFL Championship this past December. Ironically, the suspension will end the following day after the event. Ian Loveland will be Schultz’s replacement for the event.
Stark will also be out of action because of a rib injury. Taking his place will be John Krohn…
- Bob Sapp has signed with Cage Rage and caused a bit of a disturbance at the promotion’s event this past weekend:
It seems like every Cage Rage heavyweight wants a piece of Bob “The Beast” Sapp after the former NFL lineman-turned-fighter signed with the U.K based promotion earlier this week.
Yesterday, the names of two contenders were revealed.
After defeating MMA legend Dan Severn (78-15-7) in a lackluster performance last night, British boxer-come-mixed martial artist Dave Legeno (3-3-0) took the mic and voiced a verbal challenge to the self-described “ripped 400-pound monster.”
Upon hearing the challenge, Sapp rushed into the cage, pushing bystanders and media out of his way, until he stood face-to-face with Legeno, while the audience applauded in approval.
“I’ll sign the contract right now,” said Sapp. “I’ll take you on.”
Before Legeno could answer, another British heavyweight, Robert “Buzz” Berry (10-5-0), climbed over the fence and rushed Sapp, causing a commotion that escalated into a brief minute of chaos. When the dust settled, Berry was holding a microphone, challenging Sapp as well.
“I’ll take you both on,” Sapp told the two British heavyweights. “You’re both going down.”
Once the show resumed, Cage Rage promoters Andy Geer and Dave O’Donnell made a public announcement that “The Beast” will indeed face “an unnamed British heavyweight” at Cage Rage 21 in April.
- In a recent interview, professional wrestler Kurt Angle stated that he is currently in discussions with the UFC and Elite XC on a contract that would allow him to begin fighting later this year…