Good morning bitches! More coverage of last night’s UFC Fight Night to come later on this morning.
Calvancante and Aoki Set to Try Again; Masvidal Added to “Strikeforce At The Dome”
It seems like Gesias Calvancante and Shinya Aoki will finally meet at a K-1 show in Japan in March. American Top Team’s manager Richie Guerrero (who manages Calvancante as well) announced the matchup yesterday during an interview on TAGG Radio.
The two were originally set to face off at Yarennoka! on New Year’s Eve but Calvancante was forced to pull out of the fight after suffering a knee injury during training. The injury occurred on the same knee that he had knee surgery on this past fall.
Guerrero also revealed that lightweight contender Jorge Masvidal will be competing at the “Strikeforce At The Dome” show next month as well. Masvidal does have an opponent but the name was unable to be announced at the time.
Aleksander Expects April Fight With Barnett
Aleksander Emelianenko, who will be fighting in M-1 Global’s first U.S. show in April along with his brother Fedor, expects to take on former UFC heavyweight champion Josh Barnett.
Emelianenko made the announcement via his official website.
Fedor is expected to take on part-time K-1 kickboxer Semmy Schilt but Jeff Monson has also been rumored as a potential opponent. The show will most likely take place right outside of Chicago at the Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Illinois.
Touch of gloves to MMA Junkie for the find.
Frank Edgar Returns at UFC Fight Night 13
I missed it and I’m sure a lot of other people did but apparently UFC play-by-play announcer Mike Goldberg stated that Frankie Edgar would be part of the UFC’s next “Fight Night” in Denver, Colorado in April.
Edgar, who has not lost yet inside of the UFC, still remains undefeated in his professional mixed martial arts career as well. Edgar is coming off of a dominating performance over Spencer Fisher en route to a unanimous decision win at UFC 78.
Props to Combat Hooligans for catching that.
BodogFight has released the full card for it’s February 1st event in Las Vegas. The Sun is reporting that Brock Lesnar, win or lose, may be tapped to headline the UFC’s June show in London England due to his overseas popularity because of professional wrestling. Roger Gracie may be fighting Hidehiko Yoshida at Sengoku in March.
Fightlinker went live with The Low Blow last night, recapping UFC Fight Night 12. Hilarious.
Bob Sapp prepares to throw a right hand at Bobby Ologun at K-1 Premium 2007 Dynamite!! Photo courtesy of FEG.
OSAKA - Veteran Japanese fighter Kazushi Sakuraba, 36, beat Masakatsu Funaki in the Main Event tonight at the K-1 Premium Dynamite!! Also victorious at the New Year’s Eve fight-sport extravaganza were Kid Yamamoto, Bob Sapp, and 16 year-old karate stylist Yudai.
Since its inception five years ago, Dynamite!! has become one of the world’s most popular fight-sport productions, broadcast live across Japan with viewer estimates of up to 30 million. This is fight-sport entertainment for the entire family—featuring wily veterans and wide-eyed teens; popular Japanese television tarento; foreign behemoths; and yes, enough elite-fighter matchups to satisfy the martial arts purists.
Dynamite!! was held before a full house at the Kyocera Dome Osaka. Seven bouts were fought under Hero’s Rules (mixed martial arts), and eight under K-1 Rules (standup).
In the Main Event it was a couple of Japanese mixed martial arts legends meeting under Hero’s Rules, with a 85kg/187lbs weight contract. Kazushi Sakuraba and Masakatsu Funaki brought a wealth of experience and illustrious careers to the ring. Both are grapplers and so this fight was expected to go to the mat early.
There were a few low kicks and punches to start, both fighters connecting smartly before an off-balance Sakuraba managed a takedown to mount. Funaki coiled up, and after the pair spent some time locked in a Greco-Roman embrace Sakuraba emerged standing over his opponent.
Funaki used bicycle kicks to keep his opponent at bay, smacking one up to the face, before Sakuraba grabbed the feet and came down to a side mount to begin fishing for the armbar. The pair were wrapped tight when Sakuraba worked Funaki’s right arm free, twisting it behind the back to force the submission and take the win.
“It’s been seven years since I fought Funaki and I was surprised at how good his punching and timing are,” said Sakuraba in his post-fight interview. “He is stronger than I remember, I was planning to pound on his face, but he was so good at blocking that I couldn’t.” Asked about FEG Event Producer Sadaharu Tanikawa’s call for a Sakuraba vs Rickson Gracie fight next year, Sakuraba replied, “I’m up for it, I’ve never fought him, but I can only think of one fight at a time. This was a good year and I was relatively uninjured, so I’d like next year to be like that!”
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.
K-1 parent company FEG held a press conference earlier today to announce three additional fights that will take place at K-1 Premium 2007 Dynamite!! at the Kyocera Dome in Osaka, Japan on New Year’s Eve.
Former PRIDE lightweight standout Joachim Hansen will face former Olympian Kazuyuki Miyata, Melvin Manhoef takes on Yosuke Nishijima in a battle of talented strikers, and Ikuhisa Minowa will fight Wagner da Conceicao Martins in an open-weight bout.
With the addition of the bouts, the card for the event currently looks like this:
Kazushi Sakuraba vs. Masakatsu Funaki
Sergei Kharitonov vs. Mighty Mo
Kid Yamamoto vs. Rani Yahya
Joachim Hansen vs. Kazuyuki Miyata
Melvin Manhoeff vs. Yosuke Nishijima
Ikuhisa Minowa vs. Wagner da Conceicao Martins
K-1 World Grand Prix Quarterfinals
Jerome Le Banner def. Hong Man Choi - Unanimous Decision
Semmy Schilt def. Glaube Feitosa - Unanimous Decision
Remy Bonjanski def. Badr Hari - Split Decision
Peter Aerts def. Junichi Sawayashiki - KO
K-1 World Grand Prix Semifinals
Semmy Schilt def. Jerome Le Banner –-TKO
Peter Aerts def. Remy Bonjanski - Unanimous Decision
K-1 World Grand Prix Finals
Semmy Schilt def. Peter Aerts - TKO
Paul Slowinski def. Mighty Mo - TKO
Musashi def. David Dancrade - KO
Takashi Tachikawa def. Ki Min Kim - KO
Jan Nortje def. Dong Wook Kim - TKO
Mitsugu Noda def. Noel Cadet - TKO
News and Notes
- Sean Sherk will remain the UFC Lightweight Champion according to a report by Steve Sievert of The Houston Chronicle:
The UFC’s lightweight belt continues to reside with Sean Sherk.
The UFC has yet to comment and when asked about the situation late today, the UFC confirmed that Sherk remains the promotion’s 155-lb. titleholder.
- Ray Sefo, Chalid Arrab, and Souleimane Konate have all been forced to pull out of the K-1 World Grand Prix, which is scheduled to take place this Saturday night in Japan, because of injury.
The final card now looks like this:
Jerome LeBanner vs. Hong Man Choi
Peter Aerts vs. Junichi Sawayashiki
Remy Bonjasky vs. Badr Hari
Semmy Schilt vs. Glaube Feitosa
Musashi vs. David Dancrade
Mighty Mo vs. Paul Slowinski
Takashi Tachikawa vs. Ki Min Kim
Jan Nortje vs. Dong Wook Kim
Mitsugu Noda vs. Noel Cadet
- Mac Danzig says that he will move down to 155 lbs regardless of the outcome of his fight against Tommy Speer at this weekend’s TUF 6 Finale:
“I decided that before I even went on the show,” said Danzig. “I really have no business fighting the top five guys at 170, or even the top ten when it comes down to it. It’s not that I can’t beat them, but if you put me in with Matt Hughes or Georges St-Pierre ten times, I’m gonna win a number of those times, but realistically, with all skills being the same, those guys are extremely skilled and much bigger than me. I walk around at 170, those guys walk around at 190, so it’s not a good idea for me. I really want to make a run for a title, and 155 is my weight class. I feel that within a couple of years I can be a world champion at 155.”
- Five Ounces of Pain has a good recap of yesterday’s conference call for The Ultimate Fighter 6 Finale.
- Hiroyuki Takaya is set to join the featherweight ranks of the WEC according to Jordan Breen of Sherdog.
- The California State Athletic Commission denied Bill Mahood’s motion to appeal his positive test for steroids following post-fight testing for Strikeforce’s Playboy Mansion event in September:
“[CSAC] sent me their letter and it took an extra four days at the border. So as far as they were concerned I already had it when you [The Fight Network] called me originally to inform me of the positive test,” Mahood said. “That was fine but when I sent my stuff back to them, it arrived one day after the deadline and they denied me.”
Officials running the mega New Years Eve event Yarennoka! held a press conference yesterday at Hayato “Mach” Sakurai’s newly opened gym to announce two additional bouts for the event.
Gilbert Melendez going up against Mitsuhiro Ishida was one of the announced fights. We reported on this fight being signed last week.
The other fight that was revealed was former Shooto welterweight champion Tatsuya Kawajiri facing off against Luiz Azeredo.
Kawajiri is coming off of an unanimous decision loss to Gilbert Melendez at PRIDE Shockwave 2006 which took place last New Year’s Eve. Before the loss, Kawajiri had won nine out of his last ten bouts. Azeredo has not fought since winning a decision over Paul Daley at Cage Rage 19 in December of 2006. Azeredo owns a win over current UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva.
DEEP official Shigeru Saeki expects the fight to be a war on the feet:
“I expect Kawajiri’s fight with Azeredo to be an aggressive fisticuff style fight,” Saeki said. “It will be exciting.”
News and Notes
- Our rumors section has been updated.
- Check back later this morning for an extensive interview with MMA veteran Joe Camacho…
- The UFC has officially announced three more bouts for UFC 80: Rapid Fire in January, including Jason Lambert’s return to the Octagon against Wilson Gouveia.
The two were originally slated to fight at UFC 76 but Gouveia was forced to pull out of the fight after suffering a broken nose during training.
- K-1 Hero’s veteran Andre Dida has revealed that he will be leaving Chute Boxe to MMA Weekly:
“My brother (Mauricio ‘Veio’) lives in Canada and he has some contacts and some of his contacts made me an offer to teach mixed martial arts and Muay Thai in Canada,” said Dida. “It’s a very good offer and I cannot deny an opportunity like that. I have talked with Master Rafael Cordeiro and I’ve never seen him so sad with anything. He was disappointed with the news. I consider him as a father, but I have to leave.”
- Gray Maynard will take on Dennis Siver at UFC Fight Night 12 according to MMA Junkie.
Maynard was originally supposed to fight Matt Grice but Grice opted to decline the fight because of police training requirements. (You can read Grice’s entire explanation in the comments portion of MMA Junkie’s post.)
- Joe Riggs will take on Mike Gates at KOTC: Avalanche on December 15th at the Moncton Coliseum in Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada according to The Fight Network.
- The California State Athletic Commission has announced that Alexander Crispim has tested positive for Desoxymethyltestosterone, an anabolic steroid, following post-fight testing for Strikeforce: Four Men Enter, One Man Survives. Crispm has been suspended for one year and fined $2,500.