The biggest event of the year is over and it was very enjoyable.
I’m someone who has been impressed with Izumi since his debut fight. His toughness and stand-up skills for someone who has such a build and only trained MMA for a month or so was very impressive in his debut fight (think how Yoon Dong Sik turtled up against Sakuraba).
He had another good fight tonight and I was most impressed with how he handled himself when he knocked down Shibata, smoothly going to mount. He won’t ever be a top ranker if he stays in the LHW division with his height, but I think he’s a natural.
Very impressive by Omigawa. When the fight was announced I thought it was quite even but leaned towards Omigawa before the fight started. Takaya got dropped by Tokoro and with Omigawa’s head movement and chin I thought Takaya would have a tough night. Very impressive by Gono as well, slick armbar.
The stoppages in the Super Hulk final and Misaki/Manhoef were really bad. I understand that it’s on national TV on NYE but that’s very unfair to fighters in such important fights. Great performances by Manhoef and Minowaman though.
Tokoro and Kim was one of the most entertaining fights of the night. Not surprising how it turned out. Before the fight I thought Kim could take Tokoro out if he landed, and he almost did in the third. Tokoro’s stand-up was once again impressive though and he was the clear winner.
Kawajiri/Yokota went as I thought. Yokota won’t be able to stop Kawajiri’s takedowns, Kawajiri will look more tired the longer the fight goes but will take it clearly in a three rounder.
An impressive performance by Kanehara, I didn’t think he would pull it off. I’m a little surprised at the commentators though, first round was either even or Kanehara’s (he actually dropped KID in the round), second Kanehara’s, and third KID’s. Kanehara is tough and hard to finish. He also hits hard which I don’t think people were very aware of before the fight.
Nothing surprising in the Overeem/Fujita fight, Overeem is really good right now as most know.
Impressive performance by Shinya Aoki. I’m not his biggest fan and didn’t like how he handled himself after the fight but he keeps beating top LWs.
I thought the referee in the Ishii/Yoshida fight was horrible, separating the clinch so quickly. He’s always horrible. Ishii looked very bad in the first, in the second he was successful in the clinch, and in the third it looked like his punches had more power behind them than earlier in the fight. He has a chin though and looked good the few seconds the fight was on the floor.
Masato went out in style. He didn’t say anything about what his future activities will be after the fight though.
FEG’s Tanigawa said after the event that he wants to go forward with a 60 kg K-1 tournament. DREAM EP Sasahara gave Aoki a stern warning after the event for his behavior. He thinks that it’s OK to provoke before a fight but as a pro such things shouldn’t happen when a fight is over. Kawajiri and Yokota also had some heated words before their fight but were very respectful afterward, with Kawajiri saying after the event that he is happy to have defeated a strong fighter like Yokota.
As for injuries, Hirota suffered a bone fracture in his right upper-arm, I believe Fujita suffered a strong concussion, and Kim Jong Man and Hiroyuki Takaya received some fracture on their right eyes. It doesn’t look like Yokota got injured from Kawajiri’s armbar.
The planned date for the first DREAM event in 2010 is the end of March. Look out for big-shot fighters at Featherweight and Welterweight. Sasahara said that they want to implement a title fight between Aoki and Kawajiri early this year. Minowaman asked Sasahara why there is no belt and prize money for the winner of the Super Hulk Tournament.
Kanehara said that there will probably be an SRC event in March and he wants to defend the belt against Omigawa there. We’ll see if there will be any Yoshida Dojo fighters fighting in SRC in the future though.
#15: Fujita Has Returned
Kazuyuki Fujita returned (photo) to Japan from his 4 week long training camp at Marco Ruas’s Gym in the U.S. on the 27th. When talking with the press he said that he doesn’t think there is another Japanese fighter who can fight with Alistair. “If I don’t do it, who will?!”
#14: Gono NYE Performance
Gono announced that if everything goes as planned, we will see a performance on NYE on the same level of the red & white song contest, which is the big TV program on NYE in Japan.
#13: Kazunori Yokota Shootboxing
#12: SENGOKU HQ Fight Videos
A few SENGOKU fights will be available on DREAM’s YouTube channel for a limited period of time. They are high quality and with no commentary. Check them out.
Tomorrow (December 22nd) from around 13:00 (Japanese time) the third Dynamite!! 2009 press conference will take place and it will be streamed live on Ustream (I’ll post the link when I get it).
FEG’s Tanigawa was asked about Gomi on twitter today and wrote that we’ll know the outcome of that affair at tomorrows announcement.
However, from reading Gomi’s blog, America looks to be next for him. But he did post a picture with a Dynamite!! poster and his post wasn’t about the event.
Aoki had some harsh words for SENGOKU on the latest issue of Kamipro. Will it be Aoki vs. Hirota? Most is pointing toward Shinya Aoki vs. Mizuto Hirota and Tatsuya Kawajiri vs. Kazunori Yokota right now but we’ll see tomorrow.
Yoshihiro Akiyama wrote on his blog that Hiroshi Izumi trained at his gym today.
FEG’s Tanigawa told Kamipro that they’re planning to hold a DREAM event in South Korea next year. He said that DREAM, K-1, and SENGOKU will all be around next year as well.
SRC will have an event on March of next year but it’ll be tough if they don’t have any good results on the first events of 2010. We’ll see if the new guy (Booker K: past matchmaker of PRIDE, was the link between PRIDE and the Chute Boxe camp, I think he was agent of Igor Vovchanchyn, etc.) can come in and keep the organization alive.
Shu Hirata asked WVR to end the contracts of his fighters if they won’t hold an event on NYE so that they could/can negotiate in the U.S. (Dan Hornbuckle was going to face Takimoto for the title on NYE if SRC 12 wasn’t cancelled, etc.). He says that they are earnest and ended the contracts.
Satoshi Ishii is currently making his final preparations for his debut in Hawaii. Him, several trainers, and his sworn friend Phil Baroni are having a training camp there. He looks to be in great shape but we’ll see how he handles the first fight.
Some information from Tanigawa’s twitter:
Hong Man Choi or Bob Sapp will probably not participate on NYE.
There will be 3-5 more fights for the Dynamite!! card. Three are already signed and 1 or 2 besides those could be added.
Someone wrote to him that he’s waiting for Manhoef vs. Misaki and Tanigawa answered: “Manhoef is waiting as well”.
About Arlovski: “He will probably face Alistair next year. Is he angry that he didn’t get a fight on NYE? I wonder if contacting him will not go smoothly…”
K-1 will start a reality show next year but it will only air in the U.S.
A special Dynamite!! website is up with the Masato Dynamite!! preview video. Click here to get to the site.
FEG Producer Tanigawa wrote on his twitter that the next Dynamite!! press conference will probably be early next week (most likely Tuesday).
Some other Dynamite!! information originally from Kamipro:
The chance of Takanori Gomi participating is low, Gomi’s side and the promoter side aren’t feeling each other on everything.
Sakuraba’s participation in itself isn’t even decided yet. Misaki could face a foreign fighter.
Sanae Kikuta appealed for a fight with Kiyoshi Tamura, but Tamura has his eyes set on a foreign DREAM champion.
Tim Sylvia and Brett Rogers are/were participation candidates but the TBS side would rather see fighters like Bob Sapp and Hong Man Choi on the card.
Masanori Kanehara trained at Fujiwara gym today and had the chance to spar with the great Masahiro Yamamoto (31-7-5, 2009 Krush Lightweight GP champion). He writes that on Friday and Saturday he will train at a big time place.
KID, Shibata, Sakurai, and Tokoro had a photograph session and while KID writes that he doesn’t know exactly for what reason, it’s probably for some DREAM vs. SRC promotional stuff.
Hidehiko Yoshida will most likely retire after the Ishii fight, win or lose. It seems that he decided on retirement as far back as in September.
Masato is feeling the rivalry from the Ishii vs. Yoshida fight, saying today that the level of his and their fight is different and that when people see the fights it will be evident which is better.
DREAM EP Sasahara wrote on his blog that they will announce the rest of the Dynamite!! fights quickly.
FEG president Tanigawa thinks that Fujita is at Marco Ruas place for training right now. They couldn’t contact him but he called during the press conference and said that he’ll fight Alistair Overeem (he was offered Overeem and Le Banner).
4 or 5 more fights will be announced. Tanigawa says that there might be one more SRC vs. DREAM fight but depending on the situation, as many as up to 4 more versus fights could be booked. They mentioned a lot of possible fighters for the last fights, Sakuraba, Tamura, Misaki, Hirota, Yokota, Watanabe, Manhoef, Mousasi, Aoki, Kawajiri, possible MAX fight. From their talk it feels like there will be more than one additional SRC vs. DREAM fight. Expect the rest of the card by the end of this week or next week.
WVR Inemura wants fights for Misaki, Hirota, and Yokota. Tanigawa has even more fighters (as written above) that he wants to include and said that he wants to announce the fights soon so that Inemura doesn’t get angry.
KID vs. Kanehara will be fought at 63 kg, and Takaya vs. Omigawa and Tokoro vs. Sandro at 64 kg (DREAM’s FW division is 63 kg and SENGOKU’s 65 kg). Shibata vs. Izumi will probably be an open-weight fight.
KID originally wanted to rematch Bibiano Fernandez on NYE. However, Bibiano got injured so he gave up hopes for that fight. Since it was announced that DREAM and SRC were going to have fights between each other KID then appealed for a fight with SRC’s champion. Both were quite respectful to each other but they are clearly aiming for the win.
KID did not travel abroad to train (as he had planned originally) but went to Izu in Japan (a lot of mountains, etc.). When asked about his divorce it was clear that KID wants to get back together with his ex-wife. It doesn’t look like his ex-wife wants that right now though. She wrote about how she became a terrible woman while being married to KID not long ago (there were allegations of them smoking weed in front of their little kids around a year ago).
Gono and Sakurai have known each other for years now. Sakurai said that he’s not an homosexual person, but he and Gono usually do things like date, look at clothes, and eat food. However, besides having know each other for a long time, both announced that they would hurt the other one badly in the fight.
Shibata was very excited at the press conference and Izumi said that he wants to use his judo heavily in this fight.
Omigawa is currently in the middle of a training camp somewhere. He is very honored to be able fight Takaya and he announced that NYE will be the final episode of “Michihiro Omigawa Kusottare (shithead, what he said after the Davis fight) 2009”.