In many respects Japanese MMA reminds me a lot of this French foreign exchange student I had in my 10th grade homeroom. While she intrigued me with her beauty, exotic accent, and wonderment with all my circa ’96 hip-hop jargon, part of me was mortified that taking the relationship to a more physical aspect would result in the discovery of hairy legs and arm pits. That is how I used to view Japanese MMA promotions. From the outside, they intrigued me with their over-the-top productions, but there was a part of me that was afraid of finding something so off-putting that it may ruin me from watching it.
I like to think that I have matured as an MMA fan over the years. No longer am I dismissive of foreign rules and promotions. In fact, I have a healthy love and admiration for Japanese MMA and not just because the fighter’s intros and ring entrances bring me back to my days playing Street Fighter II. Unfortunately, being able to watch the various MMA offerings from the “Land of the Rising Sun” has proven to be a difficult task thanks in large part to my former cable provider who did not carry HDNet. If not for the internet, and old episodes of Pride, I may have gone without the beauty that is Japanese MMA.
All of which is why I’m happy that these next two days will be the equivalent of nirvana for you MMA fans who live for Japanese style fighting. After all, with Sengoku tomorrow and Dynamite!! 2010 on New Year’s Eve, your head may explode.
Kicking things off tomorrow night will be World Victory Road's end of year event "Sengoku: Soul of Fight.” In what may very be one of the biggest damn fight cards in the history of mankind a jaw-dropping twenty-eight bouts will take place at the Ariake Colosseum in Tokyo, Allow me to reiterate the fact that there will be TWENTY-EIGHT BOUTS! I know, it’s an ungodly amount of fistic carnage. The bouts will be a mix of men and women’s MMA, Muay Thai, kickboxing, and “jacket rules (modified MMA with fighters wearing uniforms).” While the bulk of the card is MMA (15 bouts) the fact that spectators of this all-day event will be treated to a plethora of various fights. Think of it like a MMA buffet.
The only downside to tomorrow’s Sengoku is that there will be no television coverage here in the States. With HDNet covering Friday’s Dynamite!! event, Sengoku will go dark here in America. But, be happy to know that there is rumor of HDNet airing some of the bouts, or at least highlights, in the coming weeks.
Sengoku Fight Card
Ok, since you asked, here is the complete Sengoku: “Soul of Fight” fight card. While it sucks that Bellator’s Dan Hornbuckle was forced to withdraw from the event due to the flu, the fact remains that TWENTY-FIGHT friggin’ bouts our on deck for this most awesome of cards. Props goes out to Ray Hui of MMA Fighting for compiling the fight card.
Marlon Sandro vs. Hatsu Hioki (Sengoku Featherweight Title Fight)
Kazuo Misaki vs. Mike Seal
Megumi Fujii vs. Emi Fujino
Masanori Kanehara vs. Yoshiro Maeda
Ryo Chonan vs. Taisuke Okuno
Maximo Blanco vs. Won Sik Park
Yasubey Enomoto vs. Keita "K-Taro" Nakamura (SRC Welterweight GP Series 2010 Final)
Kazunori Yokota vs. Jadamba Narantungalag
Mamed Khalidov vs. Yuki Sasaki
Yoshihiro "KISS" Nakao vs. Dave Herman
Akitoshi Tamura vs. Taiyo Nakahara
Manabu Inoue vs. Shunichi Shimizu (SRC Bantamweight Asia Tournament Semifinals)
Hitomi Akano vs. Roxanne Modafferi
Rin Nakai vs. Mika "Hari" Harigai
Amy Davis vs. Misaki Takimoto
Muay Thai Bouts
Erika Kamimura vs. Chiharu
Fabiano Cyclone vs. Andrew Peck
Norihiro "Musashi" Miyamoto vs. Hiroki Komata
Kanongsuk Weerasakreck vs. Genki Yamamoto
Arashi Fujiwara vs. Mutsuki Ebata
Yutaro Yamauchi vs. Go Yokoyama
Shintaro Matsukura vs. Yusuke Ikei
Hironobu Ikegami vs. Yuji Tanaka
Buakaw Por. Pramuk vs. Hiroki Nakajima
Kazuki Osawa vs. Chang Seob Lee
"Jacket Rules" Bouts
Yukio Sakaguchi vs. Jin Suk Jung
Kiyotaka Shimizu vs. Ichiro Sugita
Sotaro Yamada vs. Lee Sak Ki