|Heavyweight (Per 10/13)|
|1.||Semmy Schilt (?)|
|7.||Mirko Cro Cop|
|Light HW (per 10/13)|
|Middleweight (per 11/25)|
|Welterweight (per 10/13)|
|70kg (Per 11/25)|
|2.||Robin van Roosmalen|
|65kg (per 10/6)|
In the odd K-1 / DREAM hybrid rules bout, it was K-1 MAX Japan champion Yuichiro "Jienotsu" Nagashima who stood supreme, knocking Aoki out cold in a dramatic finish.
The two men started with a 3 minute K-1 rules round that was marked primarily by Aoki's flopping and stalling. Aoki spent the majority of the 3 minutes throwing himself to the ground, shooting takedowns on Jienotsu, and using a two handed clinch - basically doing anything he could to avoid standing and exchanging with the striker Nagashima, despte the rules. It was perhaps a sound strategy, but frustrating to watch.
As they came out for round 2 and 5 minutes of MMA action, Aoki immediately went for the takedown, but was hit perfectly by a Nagashima knee and knocked completely unconcious.
Great determination by Nagashima, who came into the MMA round at a huge disadvantage, but continued to fight his fight and earned the huge victory. Good to see a bit of redemption for K-1 as well after Kyotaro's defeat.Add a comment
In one of the 2 K-1 rules fights at Dynamite!! 2010, Dream fighter Gegard Mousasi improved his K-1 record to a perfect 2-0 with an upset win over Kyotaro. The K-1 Heavyweight champion came into the fight looking to avenge fellow K-1 fighter Musashi's loss to Gegard in 2008, but instead found himself added to Mousasi's mantle.
The first round was close, with both Kyotaro effectively using his superior skills to keep Mousasi at bay. But in the 2nd, Kyotaro slowed down and Mousasi caught him, scoring a knockdown that had Kyotaro doing the proverbial chicken dance. It looked like Mousasi would stop him in the 2nd, but Kyotaro survived until the final bell. The decision was academic, as Mousasi easily claimed the victory on the judges' scorecards.
An unfortunate ending to an otherwise superb year for Kyotaro.Add a comment
With 2011 quickly approaching, fight fans begin to look to the new year and anticipate the blockbuster matches that may come to fruition. MMA fans want Georges St. Pierre vs Anderson Silva. Boxing fans want Manny Pacquiao vs Floyd Mayweather. While those matches are well and good, none compares to a third meeting between K-1 World Grand Prix Champion Alistair 'The Reem' Overeem and Badr 'Golden Boy' Hari.
For the uninitiated, let's do a quick rundown of the history between these two iconic fighters.
Alistair and Badr first fought at Dynamite!! 2008. The match was made under the assumption that Alistair would first fight Badr in a K-1 match and then they would fight again under MMA rules. This gives each party involved a fight under the rules that they're most comfortable in. Alistair had fought in K-1 a handful of times before but he didn't have a lot of success and focused mainly on MMA. The terms were agreed upon and the fight went down on December 31st. Alistair shocked the world and defeated Badr with a left hook that KO'd the Moroccan. Following the KO, Badr Hari wouldn't agree to fight Alistair in an MMA fight. In a twist of fate, Overeem was elected by the fans to appear in the 2009 K-1 World Grand Prix Final 16. Alistair took full advantage of this opportunity and defeated kickboxing legend Peter Aerts to secure his spot in the Final 8. He would go on to meet Badr Hari in the semi-finals in what would be one of the most highly anticipated fights of all time. The energy inside the Saitama Super Arena was at a fever pitch for the rematch of these two giants of the sport. This fight would go differently, however, as Hari defeated Overeem with a high kick in the first round. Evening the score and giving Badr the vindication he so desperately wanted.
Fast forward a year and much has changed. Badr Hari has had multiple run-ins with the law while Alistair has methodically taken over the heavyweight landscape of both MMA and K-1. He has become a superstar in Japan and American audiences are starting to take notice of his skills with his first round dismantling of Brett Rogers in Strikeforce. Alistair currently holds the Strikeforce Heavyweight Championship as well as the K-1 World Grand Prix title. The first ever combat athlete to hold two titles in different fight sports simultaneously. Badr, on the other hand, was disqualified in his last fight for stomping Hesdy Gerges while he was down just like he did to Remy Bonjasky in the 2008 K-1 WGP final. The contrast between these two fighters is apparent — one comes from relative obscurity to dominate while the other is experiencing a fall from grace. But I believe this can change.
If sports history has taught us anything it's that winning covers a multitude of sin. Ask Ray Lewis, Kobe Bryant, or Michael Vick. Sports fan love winners and while they may not absolve athletes of their off-the-field ills, they will forget them long enough to cheer heartily for the athletes they love. There's a separation of the athlete from the person that allows us to see them only as who they are when they're on the field or in the ring. Badr Hari can benefit from this same practice. Beat Alistair Overeem and suddenly fight fans the world over forget about how many bouncers you sent to the hospital.
His return is highly anticipated by kickboxing fans. Badr is one of the sports biggest figures and a return match against Alistair Overeem would send the sport of kickboxing into a frenzy. The publicity created by such an event is priceless for a promoter. The kind of buzz FEG, who is the parent company of K-1, could desperately use.
There has been much speculation as to the future of K-1, in the last year. As we saw with the demise of PRIDE Fighting Championships, when you lose the support of Tokyo Broadcasting System, your demise as a company is soon to follow. Money troubles, waning interest from viewers and the rumored loss of support from TBS had the K-1 world anxious and fearing the worst. The Ultimate Fighting Championship once found themselves in a similar situation before a fight between Stephan Bonnar and Forrest Griffin turned into a barn-burner and sent fan interest through the roof. Things only got better for the UFC after that fight and they're still enjoying the benefits. Luckily, it's being reported that the financial troubles K-1 experienced are now a thing of the past and the future is bright. Let's hope so.
Even with renewed financial backing, the need is still there for a blockbuster fight to get fans watching and talking and no fight is more anticipated than a grudge match. Two fighters that are fighting for more than a win or money. These are two fighters with a history and something to prove.
I can think of no fight that is more highly anticipated than a third match between Alistair Overeem and Badr Hari. It has every story line you could ask for and there's no question about it being an all out war. Just look at the last two fights for proof.
We've already discussed the fights that were put together for a Japanese audience for Dynamite!! 2010, with Satoshi Ishii getting the big nod as the "star" of the show as well as a vast array of freakshow fights that would make your average fan on the Underground forums eyes roll back into their head. It should also be noted that Alistair Overeem is getting a rather big push in the press of late, with him being seen as a big foreigner heavyweight, the first since Fedor Emelianenko, basically.
Alistair Overeem will be squaring off against Todd Duffee, as we reported (also that it was an ordeal to get that fight signed), and it is still up-in-the-air if the fight will be for the DREAM Heavyweight Championship or not. Overeem has stuck around in Japan after the Grand Prix training in Japan due to not wanting to have to deal with the snow in Holland (MiddleEasy's Zeus can attest to how good of an idea it was to avoid that snow).
The big fights for the rest of us are fights between some name fighters, with the next biggest fight being a mixed rules bout between Shinya Aoki and Yuichiro Nagashima. It will be a three round affair, with the first being K-1 rules and the rest being MMA. The crux? MMA gloves throughout the fight, so to not need a giant gap for changing gloves between rounds.
Strikeforce's Josh Thomson squares off against Tatsuya Kawajiri in a fight that no one really expected, but looks to be a solid fight. Mariusz Zaromskis will defend his Middleweight Championship against Kazushi Sakuraba, with Saku looking to possibly take home the first title of his career at the tender age of 40. This fight is getting very little press in Japan, which for a Sakuraba fight is odd.
The other big fight is DREAM Light Heavyweight Champion Gegard Mousasi taking on K-1 Heavyweight Champion Kyotaro in a K-1 rules bout. It is a strange bout to say the least, with Mousasi not competing in a kickboxing bout since December 2008 against Musashi.Add a comment
Dynamite!! is just two days away, and in true FEG style, we're still getting the final details figured out. One important piece of info just released is the rules for the Shinya Aoki v. Yuichiro "Jienotsu" Nagashima fight. All that was known so far is that they would be alternating rounds of K-1 and MMA, but now we have the specifics.
The bout will start with a 3 minute K-1 rules round. Round 2 will be 5 minutes under Dream rules. If there is no winner after those 2 rounds, the fight will automatically be ruled a draw and will not be scored by judges. And then there's this - regular MMA style gloves will be worn for both rounds.
That last rule adds a new wrinkle to things. We're not accustomed to seeing a K-1 fighter like Jienotsu striking with smaller MMA gloves, nor is he used to using them. This should increase the chances of a KO, but it also increases the chances of a broken hand.
I'm glad they are starting with the K-1 round. As I said when this was announced, I think Nagashima's chances of surviving 5 minutes under MMA rules with Aoki are almost nonexistent. The intrigue of this fight comes from the standing portion. Common sense says Aoki should use his reach and defensive skills to try and survive those 3 minutes. But I have a suspicion that Aoki's emotions could get the best of him, leading the Dream champion to actively engage Jienotsu on the feet. If that happens, it should spell doom for Aoki, but those MMA fighters have a pesky way of surprising their K-1 opponents. Either way, this should be interesting, and is one of my personal Dynamite highlights this year.
Also announced were the rules for Bob Sapp v. Shinichi Suzukawa, which will be DREAM MMA rules with no gloves, closed fist strikes are not allowed, and you are permitted to throw open palm hand strikes. Sounds like a throwback to the old Pancrase days to me.Add a comment
Dynamite 2010 is fast-approaching, and while the entire card hasn't been finalized yet, for the most part, it has. It is safe to say that the card is epic, featuring 15 fights. This goes against FEG's wishes to tone down Dynamite!! this year into a 10-bout affair, but things did not work out that way. There were issues with TBS possibly not airing the card, financial woes and internal struggles at FEG. Since the PUJI deal finally came to fruition, Dynamite!! has once again become a mastodon of an event.
We are going to split our pre-show coverage up into two parts: this first part is what is of key interest to the Japanese crowds and why they are, the second is what is of key interest to Western audiences.
If you are Japanese, the highlights of the evening will most likely be some of the more odd fights. Katsuaki Furuki vs. Andy Ologun might sound like a terrible freakshow, and to a degree it is, but Ologun is a legitimate fighter. His MMA and K-1 record are not entirely impressive, but he is skilled enough to put a hurting on Furuki. Furuki was a popular baseball star, playing most of his career for the Yokohama Bay Stars. 2003 and 2006 saw him look extremely impressive, but from there he fell off a bit. He finished out his career with the Orix Buffaloes and retired after the 2009 season before taking up martial arts. He looked to make his debut at DEEP 50, but instead held off for Dynamite!!
The other freakshow for ratings is an "IGF" rules bout. IGF is Inoki Genome Federation -- professional wrestling -- and both men have a history of professional wrestling, with Sapp being a one-time New Japan Pro Wrestling competitor, holding the IWGP Heavyweight Championship, a belt originated by Inoki. His opponent is shamed sumo Wakakirin Shinichi. Wakakirin was kicked out of sumo for possession of marijuana, basically, which in Japan is very, very shameful (see: Kid Yamamoto). Wakakirin has wrestled for Inoki before and basically works as stiff (read: real) as possible. The IGF rules are essentially old Pancrase rules of no closed-fist strikes to the face, and as of right now it isn't clear how real or worked this will be. I don't think it matters, honestly, as it is a throwaway bout for Japanese audiences.
Minowaman will most likely take his place opening up the televised portion of the show like he is known to do, and do so in a bout against Judoka Hiroshi Izumi. Minowa was the only MMA fighter in Japan to make the Nikkan Sports list last year, with Masato at the top and assorted K-1 fighters and boxers rounding out the list. To say that Ikuhisa Minowa is a national treasure is maybe taking it a bit too far, but he is immensely popular. He will never be the favorite fighter in Japan, but he will always have a following and name for his accomplishments. He faces a tough challenge in Izumi. Izumi will at least not be dwarfing Minowa in weight.
Last but not least is Satoshi Ishii vs. Jerome Le Banner. JLB finds himself in the unenviable spot of facing Japan's only prospect to be a breakout star in a post-KID Yamamoto and post-Masato world. Jerome Le Banner of course has trouble defending against takedowns and throws, which are Ishii's specialty. Le Banner has what many will call a puncher's chance, but the truth is, Ishii has shown a tendency to "stand and bang" in his fights, which against JLB is a death warrant. In his last fight with Katsuyori Shibata, Ishii wisely took him down and submitted him, something he did not have luck against Ikuhisa Minowa with (although he did dominate Minowa). This is a big deal for Ishii, as he has gotten in some practice, he has tasted defeat, is he ready to carry Japan's fight scene on his shoulders, and is Japan ready to make him the next big star? Or is he just not enough of a pretty boy and not witty enough?Add a comment
As always, FEG has put together some absolutely epic video packages for this year's Dynamite!! It is split into four parts and each part ranges around 9 minutes or so. You can see, very clearly, who FEG and TBS are appealing to in these video packages. Part 1 is Satoshi Ishii vs. Jerome Le Banner. About 10 seconds of JLB footage is shown.
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It came out yesterday that Silver Star was once again using Nazi imagery on some of their products. This is hot on the heels of last year's Hoelzer Reich incident which turned stomaches everywhere. The bottom line for this should be that using imagery on products that anyone would wear is wrong. Silver Star Casting Company is a MMA "lifestyle" clothing company with association to the UFC. Some of the sport's biggest stars wear Silver Star shirts, from Georges St. Pierre, Anderson Silva, Rashad Evans and Quinton "Rampage" Jackson. It should also be noted that much like TapouT, Silver Star was acquired by an acquisition and brand-building company, Authentic Brands Group, and through that acquisition, has been placed in major retail outlets around the country.
Authentic Brands Group is a company that purchases budding companies for healthy sums of money, uses their wide distribution network to make the brand stronger, then in a calculated manner sell to the highest bidder. They were, of course, quick to issue a statement about how they do not support Nazi imagery and how Silver Star has acted quickly. You'll notice in the same article, Luke Burrett of Silver Star was also quick to respond, but throughout this whole thing, there is something missing.
An apology. Silver Star owes the world an apology, they need to take responsibility for their actions, regardless of the status of the designer with the company. Silver Star produced and distributed those t-shirts, hats and other products with Nazi symbols, there should be an apology. (Read after the break as to why they should apologize)Add a comment
It seems the way to go if you are a kickboxer who competes in the Netherlands is to allow a really tight documentary crew follow you around and document your fighting career. Luckily for us, it wasn't just the brains behind the Alistair Overeem hype train, but AFAV (Advanced Fighters Action Visuals) has been putting together some great videos, and the highlight being a 5-part series about the build-up to Mosab Amrani vs. Mohamed Khamal from It's Showtime 45. As we all saw, it was an absolute-war, one of the best fights of the year. Now watch part 5 of AFAV's awesome series and be in awe.
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