The first fight for the March 17th ZST.31 event has been announced
ZST Featherweight champion and DREAM participant Keisuke Fujiwara will defend his title in a 5 rounder against Tetsuya Fusano who is unbeaten in his last 8.
Exciting new fights have been announced for the March 10th Shooto event.
Kyoji Horiguchi will return after his first loss ever to take on Tetsu Hadairo.
Former Shooto Bantamweight (Flyweight) champion BJ (Shinichi Kojima) will face the Korean Legend FC Bantamweight tournament finalist and Sengoku G! Korea champion “Crazy” Nam Jin Jo. So it looks like Jo is moving down to Flyweight for the first time.
Undefeated 2011 Shooto Rookie Of The Year MVP and Featherweight champion Michinori Tanaka will fight for the first time in 2012 against Korean Jong Hoon Choi.
Hayato “Mach” Sakurai’s next fight will be at an M-1 event in Russia on March 16th.
K-1 godfather Kazuyoshi Ishii’s newly established FIKA (International K-1 Federation) will continue with the K-1 Koshien series as they have announced “The 5th All-Japan Senior High School K-1 Championship Tournament ~K-1 Koshien~” for March 17th in Korakuen Hall.
24 fighters have been announced for the tournament and two of them participated in the 2010 K-1 Koshien. They are Sho Ogawa who faced HIROYA and Riki Matsuoka. The first place, second place, and two third place fighters will receive some nice prizes (money and a Budo scholarship for the winner).
The combination draw for the tournament will be streamed on UStream at 10 PM on March 3rd.
There are two big cards in Japan this week.
Today we have Krush.16 with three main events.
In the main event of the triple main events K-1 World MAX 2011 Minus 63 Japan Tournament champion “The Smiling Demon” Yuta Kubo will take on Muay Thai champion Charles François in a ISKA World Light Welterweight title fight.
In the second main event veteran Fadi Merza will defend his ISKA World Light Middleweight title against another veteran in Yoshihiro Sato.
In the first main event K-1 MAX veteran Yuya Yamamoto will face China’s Xu Yan who defeated cosplayer Nagashima in K-1 and who also has experience fighting Buakaw.
Also on the card, cocky Karateka Kizaemon Saiga will battle Katsuya Goto.
The event will air on GAORA on the 29th.
The other big card of the week is DEEP 57 IMPACT on the 18th that unfortunately took a big hit when Korean Featherweight title challenger Doo Ho Choi went missing. He has been replaced by Hideki Kadowaki who will challenge champion Kazunori Yokota instead.
Click here for the full card. The event has a six hour same day broadcast on Samurai TV in Japan.
A Lightweight King Of Pancrase title fight between champion Koji Oishi and 2011 Pancrase Lightweight GP champion ISAO (Kobayashi) has been announced for the April 1st Pancrase event. The 23 year old Sakaguchi Dojo product ISAO’s only career loss came against Koji Oishi in April of 2010.
Also announced for the card, former Welterweight KOP URAKEN (Kengo Ura) will move down to Lightweight to take on veteran Takafumi Ito.
The main card of the September 17th It’s Showtime In Yokohama event will consist of six fights. Two of those will be title fights.
The legendary Masahiro Yamamoto has finally gotten back on track and is on a three-fight winning streak. After defeating Kan Itabashi at REBELS.9 last year he has received the right to challenge for the It’s Showtime 61kg world title at the event.
The other world title fight will be at 65kg. The best Korean K-1 fighter of all time, Chi Bin Lim, defeated Mosab Amrani last year to acquire the right to challenge for the title.
Popular singer, actor, etc. Masaharu Fukuyama will perform live at the UFC Japan event at Saitama Super Arena on the 26th.
RINGS announced fights for their return event, RINGS ~reincarnation sairin~ (sairin=second coming), on March 9th today.
The big news is that former K-1 MAX veteran and former rival of Masato, Taishin (formerly Takayuki) Kohiruimaki, will make his martial arts return and MMA debut as he takes on RINGS UK’s Ben Abbott in a 77kg fight. Kohiruimaki’s last fight was in 2009.
ZST’s Kenichi Ito will face RINGS Asutralia’s Jarrett Owen in a 62kg fight.
The Outsider graduate Hisato Ozawa will take on undefeated Russian Vitali Krat in a 73kg fight.
And the brother of Shunichi Shimizu, Toshihiro “Kamen Rider Hiro” Shimizu, will battle Mach Dojo and The Outsider fighter Daisuke Maku in a 65kg fight.
There are a couple of big events this weekend outside of Japan and one fight in Japan that people should look forward to.
Legend Fighting Championship 7 will take place on the 11th in Macau. The preliminary bouts will be streamed live on YouTube and the event will also be available worldwide on LiveSport.tv. Click here for the card.
Main highlights for me are Myung Ho Bae who I hold and have held in very high regard, seeing who out of Tuerxun Jumabieke and Honggang Yao has evolved the most since their first fight in the beginning of their careers, Hae Jun Yang’s continuing Middleweight saga, and the return of SRC Bantamweight Asia Tournament finalist Taiyo Nakahara.
Also on the 11th, One FC are back with their second ever event which will take place in Indonesia. The undercard will be streamed for free and the main card cost $9.99 at UStream (where you can also check out the 10-bout fight card).
Soo Chul Kim and Bae Young Kwon vs. Honorio Banario are definitely highlights for me. The Gracie vs. Sapp fight and the MMA return of Ole Laursen should be entertaining one way or another as well.
The February 12th Shooto Gig Central vol.24 main event between Hatsu Hioki training partner Takasuke Kume and Shane Nelson in Japan is also something to definitely keep an eye on.
A new fight has been announced for the March 11th Pancrase event.
Undefeated Jon Shores will take on Takada Dojo’s hard hitting Masakazu Takafuji in a Featherweight fight.
The Legend FC 7 undercard will be streamed live on YouTube on Saturday, February 11, at 4:30 PM Macau time (8:30 AM GMT). Visit www.youtube.com/LegendFCMMA to catch the action!
A Japan vs. The World themed card can be expected.
The main event of February 12th’s Shooto Gig Central vol.24 event will be a Shooto Welterweight (Lightweight) fight between the rising Hatsu Hioki teammate Takasuke Kume and ex-UFC fighter Shane Nelson. Kume has won his four last fights by submission and is undefeated since dropping down from Welterweight to Lightweight.
New fights and partiicpants have been announced for the March 10th Korakuen Hall Shooto event.
Sengoku veteran and world-class wrestler Shigeki Osawa will return to Shooto to take on the young Yusuke Yachi in a Shooto Lightweight fight. Osawa recently improved his record to 7-2-2 as he defeated Young Sam Jung at RINGS return event.
Super Flyweight King Of Pancrase Kiyotaka Shimizu will also return to Shooto as he has been matched up with top Shooto Bantamweight Haruo Ochi. Very good fight.
Shinji Sasaki vs. Daisuke Hoshino and Ryuichi Miki vs. Yuya Shibata have also been announced for the card.
Kyoji Horiguchi and undefeated 2011 Shooto Featherweight Rookie-Of-The-Year and MVP Michinori Tanaka will participate on the card.
Yuji Hoshino vs. Akitoshi Tamura and Junji Sarumaru vs. Yuki Shojo were previously announced for the card.