Kazushi Sakuraba and Kiyoshi Tamura. Photo courtesy of Fighting and Entertainment Group.
Fighting and Entertainment Group officials have announced two bouts that will take place at “K-1 Dynamite!! 2008” on New Year’s Eve at the Saitama Super Arena: Japanese legends Kazushi Sakuraba and Kiyoshi Tamura will collide and DREAM lightweight champion Joachim Hansen will compete in a non-title rematch against Gesias Calvancante.
Sakuraba and Tamura will be meeting for the first time in their respective careers in a much-anticipated matchup for Japanese fans. Sakuraba recently had a three-fight winning streak snapped at the hands of Melvin Manhoef, who brutally stopped Sakuraba with strikes in the second round of DREAM’s inaugural middleweight grand prix.
Tamura meanwhile has won two out of his three bouts under the K-1/DREAM banner. He most recently competed at DREAM.2 in April, where he scored a quick, 57-second TKO of Pancrase icon Masakatsu Funaki.
Despite dropping a decision to Eddie Alvarez in the DREAM lightweight grand prix quarterfinals, Hansen ended up replacing an injured Alvarez in the tournament finals and avenged a prior loss to skilled grappler Shinya Aoki to become DREAM’s first-ever lightweight champion.
He will face Calvancante, a two-time K-1 Hero’s middleweight tournament winner and favorite to win DREAM’s lightweight grand prix until he was eliminated by Shinya Aoki. Calvancante will be fighting for the first time since undergoing surgery to repair a torn meniscus and ACL in one of his knees. “JZ” dropped a majority decision to Hansen at a Shooto event four years ago.
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