Josh Barnett throws a right hand at Pawel Nastula at PRIDE 32: The Real Deal. Photo property of PRIDE FC Worldwide.
A full recap of the event will come later today…
Nick Thompson def. Fabricio Monteiro - Unanimous Decision
Ryo Kawamura def. Antonio Neto - Unanimous Decision
Evangelista Santos def. Makoto Takimoto - Submission (Heel Hook)
Kazuyuki Fujita def. Peter Graham - Submission (North-South Choke)
Kazuo Misaki def. Siyar Bahadurzada - Submission (Guillotine)
Takanori Gomi def. Duane Ludwig - TKO (Cut)
Josh Barnett def. Hidehiko Yoshida - Submission (Heel Hook)
Josh Barnett weighs-in for PRIDE 32: The Real Deal. Photo property of PRIDE FC Worldwide.
For those of you in North America, a new era of mixed martial arts will take place over in Japan while you are sleeping Tuesday night. World Victory Road will hold it’s inaugural show titled “Sengoku” Wednesday at the Yoyogi National Gymnasium in Tokyo, Japan.
The show will feature a main event between former UFC heavyweight champion Josh Barnett and former Olympian Hidehiko Yoshida. Former PRIDE lightweight champion Takanori Gomi and one-time K-1 kickboxing standout Duane “Bang” Ludwig will clash. Kazuo Misaki will also compete on the card.
A definite mix of former PRIDE veterans and other notable fighters that have competed in various organizations around the world make this event intriguing.
As far as the main event goes, both Barnett and Yoshida will be attempting to shake of a good amount of ring rust as neither fighter has competed since PRIDE: Shockwave 2006 on New Year’s Eve two years ago.
Barnett lost a unanimous decision to Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira in a rematch of their Open-Weight Grand Prix bout at the event. Yoshida was stopped with strikes by heavyweight slugger James Thompson.
While Barnett has been staying in shape thanks to a regular schedule involving professional wrestling appearances and grappling matches, Yoshida is a complete question mark conditioning wise. In reality though, it won’t matter very much in this fight.
Even though the two are former training partners, it shouldn’t be much of a chess match. Look for Barnett to dominate Yoshida and pick up an easy win.
Yoshihiro Akiyama knocks out Denis Kang at K-1 Olympia Hero’s 2007. Photo courtesy of K-1.
Japanese mixed martial arts site God Bless The Ring is reporting that Kazuo Misaki’s knockout win over Yoshihiro Akiyama at Yarennoka! on New Year’s Eve has been changed to a no contest.
Misaki knocked Akiyama out with a brutal kick, however that kick connected while Misaki’s arm and legs were touching the mat. Under Japanese rules, a fighter can kick a downed opponent, but not when they are down on all fours.
The no-contest is now the second for Akiyama in three fights. His win over Kazushi Sakuraba at K-1 Premium Dynamite!! 2006 was overturned after it was found that Akiyama had greased himself up with a foreign substance before the bout.
Touch of gloves to Fight Opinion for the find.
World Victory Road remains busy leading up to their inaugural event March 5th as the promotion has signed former PRIDE veteran Kazuo Misaki.
The announcement was made at yesterday’s WVR press conference. Sports Navi has the scoop. Misaki’s signing is coupled with the official announcement of Sengoku’s first bout: Phil Baroni vs Sanae Kikuta.
Misaki is scheduled to compete at the show against an unknown opponent. With the promotion’s plan to match up Japanese fighters against foreign competition at the event, we can safely rule out a bunch of potential opponents for Misaki, who is coming off of an impressive knockout win over Yoshihiro Akiyama at Yarennoka! on New Year’s Eve.
WVR officials have also offered former PRIDE lightweight champion Takanori Gomi a contract and are hoping that he will agree to fight at Sengoku as well. According to WVR President Naoya Kinoshita, he and his team are currently in discussions with Gomi’s camp.
Touch of gloves to Nightmare of Battle for the finds.
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 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.
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.
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].”
News and Notes
- The next WEC show will be March 24th at The Joint in Las Vegas, Nevada.
- PRIDE has added the following bouts to their upcoming show Pride 33: Second Coming:
* Takanori Gomi vs. Nick Diaz
* Hayato Sakurai vs. Mac Danzig
* Kazuo Misaki vs. Frank Trigg
* Kazuhiro Nakamura vs. Travis Wiuff
- Matt Lindland has confirmed through ‘The Fight Network’ that he signed a three-fight deal with BodogFight. All of the fights will take place in the heavyweight division.
- It’s looking like Tito Oritz vs. Forrest Griffin II is a strong possibility for UFC 70 in Manchester.