We will be going live at 6:00 AM EST with live results of Yarennoka!, which is taking place at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan.
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. Shinya Aoki, Hayato Sakurai, and Murlio Bustamante will also be competing.
For those that are interested, the event is being shown live on HDNet starting at 6 AM EST.
Be sure to leave comments throughout the morning.
Live results and commentary are shown after the jump.
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.
Officials running the Yarennoka! show scheduled to take place at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan held a press conference earlier today to announce two additional bouts for the event.
Reigning K-1 lightweight tournament champion Gesias Calvancanti will face Shinya Aoki for the first time in their respective careers.
Calvancanti had a monster year in 2007, stopping Nam Phan, Vitor Ribeiro, and Andre Amade in consecutive fights to win the K-1 Hero’s lightweight tourney for the second straight year. Calvancanti’s lone career loss came at the hands of Joachim Hansen at a Shooto event in 2004.
Aoki is 2-1 so far in 2007, submitting Brian Lo-A-Njoe at PRIDE 34 in April and earning a close split decision win over highly touted welterweight Akira Kikuchi at Shooto’s first “Back to our Roots” show in February.
The second bout announced at the press conference was Hayato “Mach” Sakurai returning to action against Hidehiko Hasegawa.
Sakurai last fought at PRIDE 33 where he knocked out current Ultimate Fighter contestant Mac Danzig.
Sakurai’s confirmed participation as this event should dispel the rumor that he had signed with the UFC to compete at welterweight. The UFC even showed him as a UFC welterweight during a PPV broadcast earlier this year but I’m assuming that contract talks thought to be a done deal may have fell apart. Either that or Sakurai is being lent to the show by Zuffa.
Hasegawa has been fairly active in 2007, earning a majority decision win over Jutaro Nakao in his first bout of the year. Hasegawa then faced Dong Hyun Kim in consecutive fights; Kim defeated Hasegawa in August by TKO before the two fought to a draw last month.
An official opponent for Fedor Emelianenko was not announced at the press conference. Officials present included M-1 Global CEO Monte Cox, FEG president Sadaharu Tanigawa, former PRIDE official Nobuhiko Takada and DEEP president Shigeru Saeki.
A press conference was held earlier today in Japan to officially announce a New Year’s Eve MMA event that will take place at the Saitama Super Arena, in Saitama, Japan.
Now I can’t speak a lick of Japanese so I can’t tell you who exactly the promoter is behind this whole thing but I’ll be able to find out later today.
The press conference was attended by a load of former PRIDE and DSE officials, including Nobuhiko Takada. Many of them will be involved in the running and production of the event. The event will be broadcast on SkyPerfecTV PPV and as of right now, there are no plans to have anything other than a Japanese-only broadcast.
Fighters that have been announced as officially competing at the event are Fedor Emelianenko, Hayato Sakurai, Shinya Aoki, Tatsuya Kawajiri, and Mitsuhiro Ishida. Other fighters that were mentioned as possibly competing at the event were Kazuo Misaki, Joachim Hansen, Ricardo Arona, Gilbert Melendez, Luiz Azevedo, and Hidehiko Hasegawa.
There was no mention of Hong Man Choi in any forum, leading more credibility to The Fight Network’s Brian Knapp and his report via Monte Cox that Hong Man Choi is not signed to fight Fedor and is nothing more than an option as of right now.
Cox mentioned a few details in terms of the lending out of Fedor by M-1. Fedor is set to be paid $1.5 million by the Japanese promotion and they are also responsible for choosing Fedor’s opponent:
“Part of the deal is that they choose the opponent,” Cox said. “They’re choosing an opponent that makes sense for the Japanese market.”
I’ll update this post whenever I receive more information on the press conference.
Damon Martin of MMA Weekly made an interesting statement earlier today in his “Top Five Topics” column. He states that Karo Parisyan will most likely be part of the card for UFC 78 in November and that PRIDE veteran Hayato Sakurai has been mentioned as one of Parisyan’s possible opponents:
UFC welterweight contender Karo Parisyan has been quiet since his win in May over Josh Burkman, but he will most likely fight on the upcoming UFC taking place in New Jersey on November 17th.
One name that has been mentioned amongst possible opponents is Hayato “Mach” Sakurai, who would be making his return to the UFC at 170lbs. A few other names have been mentioned including Hector Lombard.
There has never been an official announcement concerning Sakurai signing a deal with the UFC. The promotion did however show him sitting in the stands at UFC 73 and his on-screen description read “UFC Welterweight”. Sakurai was heavily rumored to have been signed to fight Diego Sanchez at this weekend’s UFC 74 but that rumor was shot down by Frank Trigg in June.
News and Notes
- Another reminder to leave your selection on our latest Rock the Vote: Should Sherk Be Stripped of the Title?
- Hayato Sakurai has not yet signed a contract to compete with the UFC according to The Fight Network:
Following his introduction to the United States audience by UFC president Dana White, Sakurai conducted several interviews over a seven-day period. He said “the [UFC] contract hasn’t been signed yet, but there are fighters in the UFC I would love to fight.”
- Former TUF runner-up Stephan Bonnar will now be training alongside rival Forrest Griffin at Xtreme Couture in Las Vegas.
- The Ultimate Fighter reality show will be moved to Wednesday nights instead of it’s usual Thursday time slot for the upcoming sixth installment according to Spike TV. The show will still air at 10 PM. The season premiere of TUF 6 will air at 11 PM on September 19th because of the scheduled UFC Fight Night 11 airing from 9-11 PM that same night.
News and Notes:
- Our rumors section has been updated once again…
- Be sure to check back later today when we post a brand new Rock the Vote. An updated MMA on Tap Top 10 is also possible.
- Tonight’s episode of BodogFight: Paradise Lost will feature a bout between Tara LaRosa and Shayna Bazsler at 135 lbs.
- UFC Fight Night 11 will air on September 20th and will precede the debut of The Ultimate Fighter 6. The event will take place at the The Palms in Las Vegas. Mike Swick vs Chris Leben and Din Thomas vs Spencer Fisher are two of the rumored bouts for the event.
- Lightweight Jeremy Stephens has been granted a temporary leave of absence by the UFC in order to fight in smaller shows according to UFC Junkie.
- The third season of The Ultimate Fighter is in stores starting today.
Live Shows -
Earlier this week on Tagg Radio, Frank Trigg, stated that Hayato Sakurai is not fighting Diego Sanchez, at least not right now.
“One thing I do know is Sakurai is not fighting Diego at least as of Sunday morning when I talked to him, or talked to his guys, not him his english isn’t that good. He doesn’t have any plans of fighting Diego and doesn’t know anything about it.”
When asked if Sakurai had heard the rumors Trigg said…
“Yeah he’s heard them cause he’s like why do people keep asking me if I’m going to fight this guy Diego. I’m in Japan laying down, I’m literally on the couch with my wife and kids. I’m not training for this guy right now. “
Rumors of the possible Sakurai-Sanchez fight originally surfaced on KRQE News 13, a local New Mexico-based television station, when they said:
“Diego Sanchez is ready to return to the UFC stage after suffering his first defeat back in April. Sanchez will has a welterweight showdown on the UFC 74 card in Las Vegas, Nevada, August 25th. He will fight Hayato Sakuri of Japan. Sanchez says if he is victorious he could get a rematch with the only man ever to defeat him … Josh Koscheck.”
News and Notes
- Nate Diaz and Manny Gambaryan were victorious on last night’s episode of The Ultimate Fighter 5. Diaz submitted Corey Hill with a triangle choke three minutes into the first round and Gambaryan pulled off a hard fought unanimous decision win over Matt Wiman. Diaz and Gambaryan now join Joe Lauzon and Gray Maynard in the semifinals.
- Josh Koscheck discussed his hacked MySpace account and the series of phone calls he had with Dana White with UFC Junkie after a bulletin posted by Koscheck’s account ranted on about UFC fighters not getting paid enough and made suggestions of forming a union between fighters.
- A New Mexico TV station is reporting that Diego Sanchez’s next fight will take place at UFC 74, possibly against top ranked lightweight Hayato Sakurai.
- Former boxing heavyweight champion Tommy Morrison makes his MMA debut this Saturday night at WFC: Rumble in the Red Rocks against John Stover…
- Just a quick reminder to check out the items that are currently up for auction by the Ryan Bennett Memorial Fund. The items currently available include autographed shirts by Chris Leben and Houston Alexander, an original UFC 7 poster with Ken Shamrock and Oleg Taktarov, Din Thomas’ autographed and UFC 71 worn gloves, a Poison tour used CC Deville autographed guitar, and Cole Escovedo’s WEC Featherweight Title belt autographed by the champ himself.
Video of the Day
EFC 18: Bike Week Beatdown
Total Combat 21
Combat in the Cage: Conquest
WFC: Rumble In The Red Rocks
NAAFS: Fight Night in the Flats III
Live Shows -
Just some random thoughts from this past weekend’s Pride 33: The Second Coming show.
It was a great show put on by DSE, which is great considering the amount of mismatches that most thought plagued the fight card. Stunning KO upsets (Lil’ Nog especially), an absolute war between Nick Diaz and the Fireball Kid Takanori Gomi that saw the UFC vet Diaz choke out Gomi with a gogoplata, and another highlight KO of Wanderlei Silva by Dan Henderson highlighted the event. While the production style of Pride may take some getting used to in the American market, the event was a much better representation of Pride than their first foray into the US this past October.
PRIDE 33 FULL RESULTS
Dan Henderson def. Wanderlei Silva by KO at 2:08, Round 3
Nick Diaz def. Takanori Gomi by Gogoplata at 1:46, Round 2
Mauricio “Shogun” Rua def. Alistair Overeem by TKO at 3:37, Round 1
Sergei Kharitonov def. Mike Russow by Armbar at 3:46, Round 1
Hayato “Mach” Sakurai def. Mac Danzig by TKO at 4:01, Round 2
Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou def. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira by TKO at 0:23, Round 1
James Lee def. Travis Wiuff by Guillotine Choke at 0:39, Round 1
Frank Trigg def. Kazuo Misaki by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Joachim Hansen def. Jason Ireland by Armbar at 2:33, Round 3
That being said, there are some stories out there that claim the results of Pride 33 will hurt the promotion in the long run. The first one by Zach Arnold was first printed on BoxingScene.com.
PRIDE 33 will go down as an event that, on paper, had a fight card line-up that looked like a turkey but produced some exciting fights. Short-term, the event was successful. Long-term, however, major damage was done to several of PRIDE’s key Japanese assets.
There is no turning back to Japan now for PRIDE. *Read More*
Arnold goes on to intricately detail how the surprising results will hurt Pride, especially in their stronghold of Japan itself.
A few days later, Al Yu, a Japanese columnist for MMAWeekly who specializies in covering the Far East MMA scene for the site, offered very similar setiments to Arnold. He even called it a disaster, the same as Arnold.
Operating under financial turmoil, DSE continued forward with their second U.S. show in hopes to make a further impact in a market currently dominated by the UFC. Pride 33: The Second Coming produced many exciting fights and was easily one of the best events of the year. Of the nine scheduled fights, only one went to a decision. So why was it a disaster?
What makes an organization is its stable of fighters. Pride’s large roster consists of some of the best fighters in the world. Any time a marquee fighter loses, it can have an adverse affect on an organization. In this case, four of Pride’s stars faltered on a crucial night for the Japanese organization.
There is no question that the event itself was a huge success, especially fight wise. The key will be where the PPV buy numbers end up, especially considering how poor the PPV numbers for the October event turned out. Let’s hope for the best.
Finally, for the first time ever, Pride CEO Nobuyuki Sakakibara made a comment that did not deny that Pride may be up for sale. In the past, he has always firmly denied the sales rumors. From Loretta Hunt’s article on the Fight Network…
“Maybe,” PRIDE CEO Nobuyuki Sakakibara answered of rumors that the PRIDE organization could go up for sale. “Today[‘s] show is very good [though].”