Takanori Gomi celebrates after his win over Mitsuhiro Ishida at PRIDE Shockwave 2006. Photo property of PRIDE FC Worldwide.
Former PRIDE lightweight champion Takanori Gomi and pound for pound phenom Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto have both reportedly informed the Japanese media of their respective intentions to return to action this summer.
The news comes from Sherdog’s Jordan Breen in his latest edition of the Koubousen Companion.
Gomi stated that he planned to compete at World Victory Road’s upcoming third “Sengoku” event on June 8th while in attendance at this past weekend’s All Japan Combat Wrestling National Championships and plans to begin training again later this month.
The 29 year-old returned to action after a year of inactivity, stopping Duane Ludwig at WVR’s inaugural event last month. Ludwig suffered a cut on the bridge of his nose that forced ringside doctors to prevent him from continuing.
Meanwhile Yamamoto informed the media that he hoped to return to the ring in June or July. His contract with Fight Entertainment Group will have “Kid” competing inside the confines of DREAM. He remains unsure of which weight he will fight at.
Yamamoto last stopped World Extreme Cagefighting veteran Rani Yahya with strikes at K-1 Premium 2007 Dynamite!! on New Year’s Eve.
Rani Yahya ducks under a right hand from Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto at K-1 Premium 2007 Dynamite!! Photo courtesy of FEG.
Fight Entertainment Group, the parent company of K-1 Hero’s, has announced that Rani Yahya’s protest made in hopes of overturning his loss to Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto at K-1 Premium 2007 Dynamite!! has been denied.
Yahya filed the protest last month following his TKO loss to Yamamoto at the event. Yahya stated that a pair of soccer kicks delivered by Yamamoto caused the stoppage and that the decision should have been overturned due to the kicks being illegal under the official rules of the promotion..
However Hero’s official Gen Isono announced that referee Minoru Toyonaga halted the bout after Yahya crumpled to the ground following a Yamamoto left hook and that soccer kicks had no involvement with the stoppage since they came after the punch had already landed.
We will be going live at 1:00 AM EST with live results of K-1 Premium 2007 Dynamite!!, which is taking place at the Kyocera Dome in Osaka, Japan
The event is headlined by a main event between long-time Japanese veterans Kazushi Sakuraba and Masakatsu Funaki. Bob Sapp, “Kid” Yamamoto, Melvin Manhoef, and Ikuhisa Minowa will all be in action as well as annual Dynamite!! participants Bobby Ologun and Kiyoshi Tamura.
Be sure to leave comments throughout the morning.
Live results 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.
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.
News and Notes
- Reaction from last night’s Ultimate Fighter 6 episode:
UFC: Matt Hughes’ Blog – Week Eleven; The Ultimate Fighter Serra vs Hughes – Episode Eleven Recap
Sherdog: Sherdog.com’s Guide to TUF 6
The Fight Network: Speer Into TUF 6 Semis
MMA Junkie: “The Ultimate Fighter: Team Hughes vs. Team Serra” — Episode No. 11 Recap
MMA Mania: Ultimate Fighter 6: Episode 11 recap and discussion
Five Ounces of Pain: TUF 6: Episode 11 Recap/Thoughts
UFC Daily: The Ultimate Fighter 6: Episode 11 Recap
Steve Cofield: Ben Saunders has his say
Chicago Sun-Times: John Kolosci’s TUF diary, Episode 10
- MMA Weekly is reporting that Leonard Garcia will be moving to the WEC to compete in the featherweight division according to Garcia’s trainer Greg Jackson:
“Leonard (Garcia) is such a great fighter and a strong guy, but he walks around at like three pounds over weight,” said Jackson about his fighter’s move to featherweight. “He had to eat the morning of the weigh-ins the last time. We’ve got to bring him down a weight class where he’s going to be more effective. We talked after his last fight and 145 is where he’s going to be. I’m really looking forward to proving ourselves in that division in the WEC.”
- Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto will take on former WEC bantamweight contender Rani Yahya at K-1 “Premium 2007 Dynamite!! on New Year’s Eve according to a report from Sports Navi.
Touch of gloves to The Fight Network for that one.
- Sam Caplan has some pretty big news to report…
First off, apparently Andre Gusmao will not be fighting David Heath at UFC 81 because he’s not even signed with the UFC:
Several reports have surfaced in the last 48 hours claiming that Andre Gusmao will be debuting for the UFC at UFC 81 on February 2 against David Heath. Pro Elite has learned that those reports are incorrect, as the IFL has a contract option to retain Gusmao for the 2008 season and will be exercising that option.
The UFC had been in discussions with someone falsely claiming to be representing Gusmao and misrepresenting information during the faux negotiations. According to the source, the UFC was contacted by the IFL soon after hearing the reports of Gusmao’s departure.
Secondly, Caplan has learned that M-1 Global is leaning towards holding their first-ever event at the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ in March, which is good for this site because of a short traveling distance.
- Adam Morgan at Five Ounces of Pain is reporting that Dan Barrera and Ben Saunders will rematch at The Ultimate Fighter 6 Finale next Saturday.
London Free Press: He’s called the Crosby of fighting
Sherdog: Politics of Promoting on New Year’s Eve in Japan
MMA Opinion: We Found Rampage!
Bloody Elbow: How Dana White Blew It in 2007
MMA Analyst: Sengoku won’t prove who is the Fight Master
K-1 parent company FEG held a press conference earlier this week to officially announce that Kazushi Sakuraba and Masakatsu Funaki will meet for the first time in their careers on New Year’s Eve at K-1 Premium 2007 Dynamite!! at the Kyocera Dome in Osaka, Japan.
Rickson Gracie was originally rumored to be on the card but will now most likely fight early next year according to FEG officials, against the winner of Sakuraba-Funaki:
“I want to have Rickson fight as soon as possible next year,” said FEG President Sadaharu Tanigawa. “Even if it is not in our ring, even in another organization, I would send these champions to fight.”
Gracie was originally set to take on Funaki for the second time in his career at the event but it was Funaki who decided that he would rather face a different opponent:
“I’ve already lost once to Rickson, so Sakuraba is the better choice,” Funaki said.
Other fighters Tanigawa mentioned as possibilities to fight on the card include Hidehiko Yoshida, Kid Yamamoto, Yoshihiro Akiyama, Ikuhisa Minowa, Katsuyori Shibata, and Masato Kobayashi.
YOKOHAMA - Gesias Calvancanti prevailed in two fights tonight to defend his Belt in the Hero’s Middleweight World Championship 2007 Tournament Final at the Yokohama Arena.
The twenty-four year-old mixed martial arts fighter was one of three Brazilians in the final four of the 70kg/154lb tournament. The bouts were fought under Hero’s Rules, two five-minute rounds.
The first of the semis featured chute boxer Andre Dida of Brazil and fan favorite, accomplished grappler Caol Uno of Japan.
With a edge in striking, Dida was content to stay on his feet, while Uno wanted to take this one to the mat. Dida did better in the early going, powering a couple of uppercuts and a hard knee to Uno’s face to bloody an eye and send the Japanese fighter to the mat. But Uno was capable on his back, employing bicycle kicks to keep the aggressive Brazilian at bay. Uno dove in looking for a leg takedown but Dida intercepted and the two were re-stood. Now it was Uno who tested with the jab while Dida circled, and the first ended without further damage.
The bout between Sergei Kharitonov and Alistair Overeem is considered an open-weight contest. Neither fighter was required to weigh-in.
Vitor Riberio originally failed to make weight the first time around but eventually made it within the lightweight limit.
Gesias Calvancanti (155 lbs) vs. Vitor Riberio (156 lbs)
Caol Uno (155 lbs) vs. Andre Dida (154 lbs)
Kazushi Sakuraba (184 lbs) vs. Katsuyori Shibata (184 lbs)
Kid Yamamoto (137 lbs) vs. Bibano Fernandes (137 lbs)
Ikuhisa Minowa (196 lbs) vs. Kevin Casey (195 lbs)
Melvin Manhoef (192 lbs) vs. Fabio Silva (193 lbs)
Zelg Galesic (185 lbs) vs. Yoon Dong Sik (185 lbs)
Kazuyki Miyata (155 lbs) vs. Harvey Harra (154 lbs)
Wataru Takahashi (154 lbs) vs. Tashiro Nishiuchi (154 lbs)
Takenori Sato (185 lbs) vs. Kenji Nogai (184 lbs)
Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto is slated to return to the K-1 Hero’s ring at the promotion’s September 17th event against newly signed featherweight Bibiano Fernandes according to Sherdog.
Fernandes stated that he and his camp had been in contract talks with K-1 for almost a year and that he is now ready for the challenge that Yamamoto will bring:
“I am focused,” he said. “Already I have trained sufficiently for a long time and I will be ready to face anyone. Yamamoto is a great fighter, but I’m going there to make a great presentation and be successful.”
K-1 is expected to formally announce the bout to the public at some point next week.