Friday, November 30, 2007

Gono spoke about his 2R in the UFC

* In the corner *
I was getting my aggression back at the end of 1R.  I still feel like I was not fighting at my pace, probably because this was my debut fight in the UFC. The advice from my second was I should put myself in the defensive position until I get my confidence and I should be patient and turn offensive when I`m fully ready.

I don`t remember what Kikuta said, but he was worried if I was still confused in the new circumstance of the UFC. I was doing fine at the end of 1R, but my corner was not optimistic. I analyzed that my opponent was getting tired and used up his offensive techniques.  I was aware he may attack me again in the beginning of 2R.  I noticed he only kicks from his right. 

* 2nd Round *
I gave up giving the counter punch because my right hand was pain. My game plan was to be ready to block and catch his kick, break the punch by front kick, keep the position up-right, float on my forefoot a bit, and throw low kicks.

My low kick slightly hit between his legs when he tried to avoid my kick.  When I saw him appealing exaggeratedly that he got a low blow kick, I was certain that I took initiative of this fight.  I felt my toe slightly touched his foul cup and he definitely felt nothing even without the foul cup.  In fact, his appeal was not accepted and our fight started again.  I knew he was making time to take a break because he was getting very tired physically and mentally.  He was not on the level of someone who could compete techniques to me.  All he could do was attack until he exhausted.  Each time I blocked his attack, his energy was worn down and he realized I was controlling the fight.  I was sure I got him and won this fight!

This kid was still attacking with no techniques.  When I blocked his attack by back step I threw a combination punches to his left body and a right low kick.  I felt good and decided to give damages steadily. 

My left hook landed on his face and I saw this tall guy stumble.  I wanted to run into him and stomp his baby face like Shogun in PRIDE, but I controlled my impulse because it is foul play in the UFC.  I took the guard position to attack him.  I was surprised to see him trapped the arm triangle on my right arm.  I escaped and moved to his side, but he took it back easily because my right hand was not supporting well.  Immediately I used my left hand and moved to his side again.  I took the mount position by giving my elbow.  

All I can do is one thing from the mount position.  I have analyzed his move when he was under the mount position.  He always does the same movement.  I waited to see by pretending to give him an elbow and he started his move as usual.  I put on an arm bar and he screamed TAP TAP TAP.  He gave up and I thought I did great.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Gono spoke about his 1R in the UFC

Akihiro Gono talks about his UFC debut fight in his blog.
* 1st Round *
 McCrory attacked me from the beginning of the fight.  I was actually taken aback at his game plan because I thought he prepared for this fight by watching my fight videos.  He should have learned the aggressive attack does not work.  I wondered if he had a lot of confidence about his offense or he did not take his time analyzing me.  His attacking worked a bit because I was confused.

McCrory kept at a longer distance than Musashi, and I needed some time to get use to it.  I did not want to be offensive before I got the feeling of the distance and figured out how to fight my game.  So, I decided to be defensive in the beginning.

In PRIDE, I had 10 min./1R and I always fought at home.  I knew PRIDE judges understood my game plan even if I put myself in the defense position for first 4 to 5 min..  They considered I was waiting for the right moment to turn offensive.  In UFC, I had 5 min./1R and was an away game for me.  UFC judges definitely considered me an unknown asian who was being pushed back.  I was afraid of points being taken away by remaining in the defensive position for 2 min., even if I turned aggressive in the next 3 min.  

UFC has the different pointing system with PRIDE.  UFC counts points every round and do not combine points.  

I have to stop McCrory.  First thing I did to him was throwing the counter punch from my right.  I throw my punch at the same time he throw his right when the cage was right behind me.  My punch landed on the perfect spot at the same time my right hand broke 30%.  I throw low kicks and counter kicks while I was waiting for my right hand to recover from the pain.  When I caught McCrory`s low kick, his face was not protected at all.  In 0.3 seconds, I thought I got a great chance to punch him right on his face, but I was worried about my hand, though I was 100% sure my punch would land.  I decided to throw my right hand and it landed clearly and my right hand broke.  

I could not see how much damage I could give from his face, but McCrory was getting slow.  I didn`t know he was getting less offensive because he got my punched or he just simply got tired.

McCrory was getting slow and the fight started to be easier for me.  He started clinching.  He slapped and his kicks were nothing but creating rhythm.  I did not feel any risk taking his clinching.    

When I fought Shogun, my body was warning all the time.  I was caught and could not get out from him and could not do anything.  McCrory was not an opponent I have to be afraid of because I knew I felt I was controlling the fight.  I figured out I should show judges I`m taking control of this fight, and I threw him and could take him down easily.  My right hand hurts and could not give enough damage and the 1st round was over.

I did not get any power punches and I gave 2 right power punches and got 1 take down.  I was defensive in the beginning but I felt 50/50 at the end of 1R.  

Aoki likes this pic!

He is on a cover of a Japanese MMA magazine "Kamipro" with this outfit.  He said he would like to print this pic on a t-shirt.


PANCRASE support "Yarennoka?"

Mr. Sakamoto, a director of PANCRASE, appeared in the press conference on the day after the event "PANCRASE 2007 RISING TOUR" in Tokyo, and answered questions from press.

I'm impressed to see Japanese MMA organizations start to work together. We will definitely consider joining in the alliance when "Yarennoka!" talks to us.  I cannot say our fighters fight in the NYE event or not because we have not been offered.  I would like to have our champions fight in other events.  When our fighters win we can prove that PANCRASE is the one of the top level MMA organizations. 

He said Satoru Kitaoka and Yuki Kondo may fight on NYE.  Kitaoka had an offer to fight in the PRIDE light weight GP before.  Kondo fights in an event in Philippines on Dec 09. If he wins, he will fight somewhere on NYE.

KID Yamamoto fights Rani Yahya on NYE

"Dynamite!" announced a match, Norifumi "KID" Yamamoto vs Rani Yahya, in "Dynamite!".  Kid showed up to the press conference and said I will prepare for ground fight.  

Yahya is the champion of ADCC 66.9kg weight class and the No1 fighter in WEC.  He fought in HERO`s last year and showed his high level ground technique though he was defeated by J.Z. Calvan.  

KID remembered his fight with Bibiano Fernandes last Sep. He barely won by decision and the fight was far from his satisfaction.  I`m going to have ground training for a month and will be ready to defeat this guy.  He may ask Baret Yoshida, who used to live with Yahya and comes to Japan for DEEP X on Dec 02, to train with him. 


Aoki & Hasegawa

インタビュー 記者会見

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Japanese MMA alliance is built for "Yarennoka!"

"Yarennoka!" committee had a press conference in Tokyo on Nov 28.  "Yarennoka" had asked other MMA organizations to support the event.  This press conference was the place to announce the organizations which responded to their invitation.  Monte Cox (CEO of M-1 Global), Shigeru Saeki (DEEP) and Sadaharu Tanigawa (FEG) appeared.  They shook hands with each other and Takada.  

Monte Cox said I am very excited to be a part of this event.  I expect this event will be very exciting.  Fedor is also glad to fight in this event and in Japan.

Saeki said I came here as a representative of DEEP.  We would like to give the extensive support to this event.  We are going to offer Hidehiko Hasegawa who is our current welter weight champion to fight against Mach Sakurai.  I know Japanese fighters hesitate to fight Japanese fighters, and they try to avoid matching up.  I think that`s why Japanese fans would like to see this match and decided to have this match in this event.

Tanigawa said I`m in Japanese MMA scene for over 30 years and I have seen pro-wrestling, Karata, Kick-boxing, UWF split and their business became slow.  Our MMA is now facing the same tragedy and I believe now it is time to alliance with other organization for us, fighters and our MMA fans.

Hasegawa said I would like to have the best fight by preparing well for this fight and have a great fight with the great opponent.

Mach said Hasegawa is the best fighter in the 76 kg-77 kg weight class.  I`m happy to be able to fight the best and would like to have an amazing fight like playing final fantasy for our fans.

Aoki: I am very happy to fight against the best fighter in this great event.  I appreciate for giving me this opportunity.  I am not an experienced MMA fighter but I would like to win by incredible submission and have a fight which fans cannot forget.  I would like to win by KO!

Tanigawa: I`m very glad to see you again, Takada.  I would like to work with you as commentator again.  

Takada: I hope what he said is not flattery and I actually knew we work together again.  We should not confront each other any longer.

Tanigawa:  I hope this alliance will be the start of new scene in Japanese MMA. 

Cox: I hope this event will be held next year and we can work with each other again.  I would like to share fighters and have an MMA event together.  I would like to cooperate making Mix Martial Arts popular world wide.


"Emperor is back!" NEW Fedor interview!

A Japanese magazine "Kamipro" had a private interview with Fedor after his announcement of fighting on NYE in Russia M-1 official website.

- Welcome back to Japan, Fedor!
Fedor: I`m glad to be back to Japan too!

- I believe your fans in Japan would like to say thank you and I would like to show the appreciation for your fans.  " Fedor, you are the best man in the world!"
Fedor: Thank you for supporting me all the time.

- I heard you made a decision to fight in "Yarennoka!"  Why is that?
Fedor: I did not make any special decision.  It is a custom for me to fight in Japan.  I`m going to do the same thing with what I did for last 4 years.  It is my great pleasure celebrating New Year with Japanese fans after wining the fight. 

- You could fight in other event on NYE, but did you like PRIDE particularly?
Fedor: Yes.  I think PRIDE was the wonderful event though PRIDE lapsed.  I hope the "M-1 Global" produces the high quality events like PRIDE.

- I wonder if M-1 Global management show their disappointment about your fight in Japan before their debut event in next spring?
Fedor: I don`t think so.  They agreed with my decision.  They know I have many fans in Japan.

- "M-1 Global" would like to have an event next year in Japan.
Fedor: Yes.  I heard they are planning to hold their first event in Japan next summer.

- What exactly did you like about PRIDE?
Fedor:  Needless to say PRIDE had many strong fighters, their event had high quality.  Their event entertained fans and created the stage fighters can do their best.  In addition, PRIDE treated fighter great and PRIDE fans loved events.

- The "UFC" is the current biggest MMA event.  Do you think PRIDE was better?
Fedor:  I cannot compare.  "UFC" has nothing superior than PRIDE when I compare the quality of event, the level of fighter and the contents of fights.

- But you discussed with the "UFC" though?
Fedor: I cannot decide where I fight.  Vadim took care of all offers for me.  

- Do you feel sadness about Cro Cop and Minotauro going to the "UFC" and will not be able to fight in "Yarennoka!" and "M-1 Global"?
Fedor: I am fine.  I actually look forward fighting strong fighter who I have never fought against in "M-1 Global!"

FEG had a crisis seminar for fighters

FEG had "Crisis Management" seminar for K-1 and HERO`s fighters on Nov 28.  FEG recently had scandals by fighters and decided to educate fighter to be smart fighters.  Masaaki Miyamoto has been procecuted for possession of drugs and traffic violation.  Hiromi Amata was arrested for street fighting.  

In this seminar, lawyers explained the disadvantage of street fighting.  A president of a security company, who used to be a police officer, explained the principles to avoid a crisis with the Yakuza.  The message was not to be upset, do not hide, do not lie and do not be afraid of running away.

After this seminar, Musashi answered questions and said I don`t get upset often and apologize immediately if something happens.  Fighters should not fight in the street but only in the ring.

Mr. Tanikawa said he would like to hold this seminar once a year.  

FEG to be a joint sponsor of "Yarennoka!"

FEG announced to be a joint sponsor of "Yarennoka!". "Yarennoka!" invited other organizations to the event in the inverview on Nov 21. Nobody expected FEG to participate. PRIDE and FEG had been confrontational for long time but their circumstances were changed after PRIDE lapsed. FEG decided to united and produce the great event together in Tokyo as well as in Osaka. Mr.Tanikawa said it is time to cooperate and bring energy back to Japanese MMA. We should not have any conflict from now on and should work together. In addition to FEG, DEEP, ZST and SHOOTO have agree to assist "Yarennoka".

"Dynamite!" broadcast by TBS. Mr.Tanikawa would like to have TBS broadcast "Dynamite!" and "Yarennoka!" at the same time. But this is way too far from the reality because a cable company, "Skyperfect TV" supposes to broadcast "Yarennoka!".


Shinya Aoki vs J.Z.Calvan in "Yarennoka!"

Nobuhiko Takada announced Sadaharu Tanikawa (FEG) supports "Yarennoka!" in Tokyo on Nov 28. Mr.Tanikawa said Japanese MMA need to be allied and work together to create great MMA events. FEG holds a big event, "Dynamite", on NYE and he is going to make both events successful.

With the cooperation of FEG, "Yarennoka!" arranged one big match, Shinya Aoki vs J.Z. Calvan. Aoki is an undefeated PRIDE fighter and J.Z. Calvan is HERO`S 2006 middleweight champion. Takada also announced Mach Sakurai fights Hidehiko Hasegawa fight.

Fedor Emelianenko, Joachim Hansen, Ricardo Arona, Luiz Azeredo, Gilbert Melendez, Kawajiri Tatsuya, Ishida Mitsuhiro and Misaki Kazuo will fight in this event.


Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Bruno Frazzato does not fight in 12.2 DEEP X

DEEP announced Bruno Frazzato, who is the ADCC Brazilian champion, does not fight in DEEP X in Tokyo on Dec 02.  H was injured while training.  Daisuke `Amazon' Sugie is going to fight Baret Yoshida.  Sugie mainly fights in Shooto but has fought in Bushido.  

GONO talks about his 1st fight in UFC

Gono who fought in UFC 78 updated his blog and talked about his debut fight.

I registered in the UFC website and paid $2 and bought my fight video.  I watched 5 times and think my fight was better than I expected.  I did not move in the way I wanted in the beginning, but I gradually showed my efficiency and I could win by arm bar.  

I had thought my fight was far from my ideal fight until I saw my fight today.  I think I can be a lot better if I can move without any hesitation, and my fight was actually not bad.   Despite the level of my opponent, I think my debut in UFC went well and I got confidence to be better next time.   

KIKUTA updated his blog

Sanae Kikuta updated his blog on Nov 27.

I am very busy these days. It is not bad if I don`t have any training to do. I`m actually training for upcoming fights. I`m exhausted mentally and physically after training because I pay attention to my movement and concentrate all the time.

I went to the official announcement of the new event by WVR today. I was with Mr. Yoshida who was my senior in my Judo school. I had a talk to WVR about their event and I thought the new event has the strong energy and I was fascinated by their business plan. I`m going to fight regularly in "SENGOKU" and I`m excited to see my opponents.

Now I`m sure I fight in Mar, but I still have a possibility to fight on NYE and I prepare for the both fights.

More info about "SENGOKU"

Fighters who attend the "SENGOKU" announcement had interviews.

Kikuta: I`m glad to join in the new event starting next year.  My team, "GRABAKA", have many fighters who belong to other organization and put lots of contributions.  I hope I can make a sensation here in this event.  

Takimoto: I was training without any goal since April.  I`m glad to fight in this new event and would like to show my great fights to my fans.  

Kawamura: I`m glad to be here and I have nothing to say until my next fight on Dec 22 is ended.  

WVR President, Naoya Kinoshita" said the first event will have 8 matches and he would like to hold the championship tournament in 2008.  

WVR is going to have their event 5 times a year.  There is no rule of GI, can wear if they want.
All the weight classes:
Heavy Weight- over 93.10 kg
Light Heavy Weight- under 93 kg
Middle Weight- under 83 kg
Welter Weight- under 76 kg
Light Weight- under 68 kg
Feather Weight- under 60 kg

吉田の大みそか「やれんのか!」参戦はあるのか!?  吉田は新天地での新たな闘いに燃える 菊田はアグレッシブな試合を約束 

Monday, November 26, 2007

WVR announced a new event "SENGOKU"

World Victory Road had an interview in Tokyo on Nov 27 and announced their new event, "SENGOKU".  

Their new event name is selected from the pick a name contest.  Their fist event is held on Mar 05, 2008 in Tokyo Yoyogi Kyogijyo.  Hidehiko Yoshida, Sanae Kikuta, Makoto Takimoto and Ryo Kawamura will fight in this event.  

They will have 6 different weight classes.  The fight is 5 min./3R and the championship fight is 5 min./5R.  Knee kicking, and stomping on the ground are allowed but soccer ball kicking and elbow punching are prohibited.

Yoshida said he would like to enjoy fighting in this new event.  Other fighters and I will do our best to have greats fight here.  I would like to fight in other events if I get an offer, but this event is my main ring to fight.  

Tokoro wants to fight Minowa

Hideo Tokoro said he would like to fight Ikuhisa Minowa.  His boss, Akira Maeda, said Tokoro should fight someone in his weight class to be a better fighter.  Tokoro accepted his advice.   

Funaki Interview (about Akiyama)

Masakatsu Funaki is coming back to fight Kazushi Sakuraba in "Dynamite!" this year.  He had an interview with a Japanese MMA magazine and talked about Yoshihiro Akiyama.

- Akiyama came back to the ring.  What do you think?
I went to Korea with him.  I did not imagine he had not fought for 1 year.  He was really relaxed before the fight.    He started to have a good rhythm after making jabs in the middle of fight.  

- What did you think about the fight between Akiyama and Sakuraba?  You were at ring side..
I did not notice about his body cream.  I was actually interested in seeing how good Akiyama would avoid Sakuraba`s tackles.  I was sitting right next to Mr. Tanigawa.  After the fight Sakuraba came by and complained about the slipping of Akiyama`s whole body.  I wonder if Akiyama applied an oil on his body and I watched the fight video when I come home.  I was sure Akiyama had an oil on his body by seeing the way Sakuraba was slipping.  I have fought fighters who did same thing as Akiyama and was not surprised though.

- What do you think about Akiyama`s comeback?
Well, If he did something he should not do, Hero`s should kick him out.  But since there is no MMA athletic commission in Japan, he will move on to the next promoter whenever Hero`s terminates the contract.  He is very competitive and has many fans and brings Hero`s more money, so Hero`s decided to keep him.  

Aoki had a private interview with "Gonkaku"

Shinya Aoki had a private interview with a Japanese MMA magazine,
"GONKAKU", which is published on Nov 22.

- You said now your body is ready for fighting in the 70kg weight class in your blog.
My average weight is 75~76kg. I can either choose to fight in 70kg or
77kg weight class. I chose 70KG because it is easy to lose 2~3kg from my average weight and another 3kg right before the weight-in by controlling the intake of water.

- Are you going to fight in 70kg for a while?
I don`t think so. My primary weight class is 70kg. But if I get an offer in 77KG, I will move up to 77kg, and I actually would not mind fighting in any weight classes, even in the free weight if my promoter brings a good offer. I respect the decision my promoter made and believe they also consider me and my career.

- Do you mean you would fight in the free weight when the conditions are ready?
Of course! Mr. Minowa is fighting in Free weight! If our fans want to see me in the free weight, I will fight. I believe it is not happened, but I will fight Vanderlei Silva if my fans request. I fight for me and for my fans, so I would
respect requests from my fans.

- Why do you respect fans more than other fighters do? When did you start to think this way?
It is easy to pursuing only the self-satisfaction. But I think it is more important to have fights fans want to see. Answering to the request from fans increase more MMA fans and have them come to see the event.

- Did you think anything when PRIDE office was closed?
Not really, but I actually felt refreshed when I heard.

- Some fighters said they were upset about the way they closed.
I did not think that way. I was actually amazed to see the end. I did
not hear from PRIDE staff for a while but I trusted them and believed
they will get through what happened to PRIDE and will move on to the
next event.

Continue more next month.
大晦日の格闘技イベント『やれんのか!』会見で「またあの空間に立てる事を本当に、本当に幸せに思います」と決意表明した青木真也。大晦日はビッグマッチになるか? 07年4月8日のPRIDE.34でブライアン・ローアンユーを1R1分33秒アームバーで下した青木。8カ月ぶりの総合の試合への想いとは…

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Genki Sudo got married!

Genki Sudo updated his blog and announced that he got married with a Japanese girl on Nov 22.  After retiring from the ring, he is now acting, modeling and writing a book.  

Mark Hunt double header?

Mark Hunt debuted in Hustle on Nov 25 and said about NYE he would like to fight in both events, pro wrestling show and MMA.  Hustle is having a daytime show in Saitama Super Arena on NYE and `Yarennoka!' is having a night event in the same place.  Mark would like to fight in both shows.  

Fedor interview on SAMURAI TV `S Arena'

SAMURAI TV which is a pay-per-view MMA news show had a private interview with Fedor on 22 Nov.

- You have not been to Japan for a long time.
I`m glad to be here in Japan again.  I knew I would come back for all of my fans in Japan.

- How did you know you can fight on NYE?
Vadim asked me if I`m interested in and I accepted the offer immediately.  I would like to prepare well for the fight and would like to have an exciting fight.

- Do you have any comment to former PRIDE staff?
I don`t think this is the last event I work with them.  M-1 Global has a business plan to hold events starting next year.  M-1 Global is actually approaching them and asking to support their events.  I believe M-1 Global will corporate with former PRIDE employees to create great events like the PRIDE had before in Japan.

- Why did you choose M-1 Global?
M-1 Global is formed by trustworthy staff and we agreed to create the best MMA event.  I accepted because M-1 Global is going to have an event in Japan, Russia and  the Netherlands as well as in the U.S.

- Who would you like to fight?
I would like to fight champions in other MMA organization like Randy Couture, Gabriel Gonzaga and champions of UFC, Cage Rage and IFL etc.

- What is the definition of the strongest fighter for you?
The strongest fighter should be able to defeat all the opponents, respect other fighters, understand circumstances and communicate well with others.

- Do you think you are the best now?
I don`t think I`m the best now but I`m trying to be.  

- Do you have any message to your fans?
I`m happy to have a fight in Japan again.  I train hard to win and please come and see my fight.

`S Arena' had interview with Mr. Saeki and Shinya Aoki.

Aoki said he actually had a call about the interview of `Yarennoka!' at night on Nov 20.  Aoki was anxious about the delay of the interview.  Aoki had mentioned this event in a magazine interview which was published a couple of days before and he was worried about being called a liar.  

Mr.Saeki said the process of this event was delayed a lot and could not be announced until the last minute.  He is sure that this event would not happen if he could not make an official announcement on Nov 21.  

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Takada updated his blog about Gomi

Takada updated his blog about Gomi.

He believes Gomi is necessary for `Yarennoka!'.  Takada had one condition to accept the offer as being a spokesman of `Yarennoka',  it was Fedor and Gomi fight in this event.  `Yarennoka' is working on but has not come to signing.  There is a rumor that Gomi has signed up with WVR and cannot fight in `Yarennoka' without an authorization from WVR.     

Friday, November 23, 2007

Yoshida fights in `Yarennoka! Omisoka! 2007'?

Hidehiko Yoshida showed up in the event `VIVA JUDO' on 23 Nov and had an interview.  

Yoshida said his production,  J-rock, manages offers and contracts, and he does not even know Mr. Tanigawa (K-1) is offering a fight against Akiyama in `Dynamite!!' in NYE.  He would not like to fight Akiyama because he was his teammate before.  

Some people are expecting to see a fight between Yoshida vs Fedor in `Yarennoka'.  Yoshida says he is not sure if he fights in NYE or not but he is interested in fighting Fedor.  He does not have long time before retiring but he still has the fighting spirit to fight Fedor who is the long time PRIDE champion.  

Mr. Kuniyasu, the president of J-Rock, said he would like to have Yoshida and Takimoto fight in `Yarennoka!' and he is not thinking to take an offer from K-1 this year. 

 期待される大みそかの試合については「会社に任せているので全然分からない」と吉田 集まったちびっこらに指導を行った吉田。気になる大みそかの対戦相手は誰に? VIVA JUDO!に出席した中村。騒動前と変わらぬ元気な姿でちびっこたちに熱血指導

Mr. Kuniyasu also spoke about Nakamura who fought in the UFC and had an the positive drug test.  He believes Nakamura is innocent and will send a lawyer and ask the athletic commission to give another test.     

Tokoro fights in `Dynamite!!'

`ZST. 15' was held in Tokyo on 23 Nov.  

`ZST' had announced that Hideo Tokoro was not able to fight in `Dynamite!!' if he lost.  Tokoro fought in the main event and defeated Ko Inatsu in 1R by arm bar.  After the fight, he said he would like to fight Ikuhisa Minowa who fights in 91 kg/free weight in NYE.  

Thursday, November 22, 2007

`Yarennoka?' after the interview

After the interview with the audience, fighters and former PRIDE employees answered questions from TV and publication crews.  

Fedor: I looked forward to fight in Japan again.  I am very glad to work with former PRIDE employees and I accepted immediately when I was offered this fight.  

Vadim: Pride lapsed and cannot use the name of PRIDE anymore.  I think M-1 Global will take over the PRIDE and would like to work with former PRIDE employees.  I would like to hold an event `M-1 Bushido' for young Japanese fighters. 

Mach Sakurai: I believed PRIDE would be back and I did not take any offer from other organization.  

Shinya Aoki: I would like to fight Arona or Fedor.  I would like to do my best and have a great fight.  

Tatsuya Kawajiri: I really want all PRIDE fans to enjoy this last event and I would like to have a great fight.


Mr. Sasahara and Mr. Saeki (DEEP) answered questions.

- How many staff members do you have for this event?
Sasahara: We are not a company but an event group, and we have more than 1000 staff to run this event.  

- Could you tell me the size of arena?
Sasahara: Probably, 25000 ~ 26000 people will be capable to come and see the event.  

- Are you going to work with the day event, `Hustle'?
Sasahara: I don`t think so.

- Are you going to organize any event next year?
Sasahara: No.
Saeki:  This is the farewell event of PRIDE and this is not the beginning of new PRIDE.

-  What happens if this event success and many fan request next event?
Sasahara: If we could succeed, it is possible to work on a next event, but I`m not thinking about next year at all and would like to focus on this event.

- Does Fedor fight in the main event? and who is the opponent?
Sasahara: Yes, but we are still working on matching.  I believe we can announce next week including the opponent of Fedor.

- Where is the titte ` Yarennoka?'' coming from?
Sasahara: This phrase is actually used by Antonio Inoki before.  I think this title is very powerful and contains a strong message to us and fans.

- Are you asking fighters in Yoshida Dojo and Kazuyuki Fujita?
Sasahara: I have not offered yet, but if we can find great opponents, I will offer fights more than likely.  They are top fighters and it will not be easy to have matches which they can satisfy. 
Saeki: We are working of making matches now and would like to have another interview or press release next week.  

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

`Yarennoka!' more info

Many PRIDE related people gathered in Saitama Super Arena on 21 Nov, including not only former PRIDE employees, Nobuhiko Takada and Keichi Sasahara but fighters (Fedor Emelianenko, Shinya Aoki and Mach Sakurai), DJ Kei Grant and Lenne Hardt.

旧PRIDE勢が大晦日に格闘技イベント「やれんのか!大晦日2007」を開催! ヒョードル(右から3人目)も参戦

Mr. Sasahara said he believed PRIDE continued having great events when he had an interview in Tokyo on Mar 27, 2007.  MMA was a part of his life and was very disappointed when the PRIDE office was closed and all employees were laid off in Oct.  It did not take a long time to know that many people (PRIDE employees and fans) are still hoping to see PRIDE.  He decided to have the biggest event which is going to be a legend.

 Takada said he had not decided to take an offer to be a spokesman of this event until last night.  He would like to be a part of this and decided to make this event the greatest ever.  Takada also emphasized that this is the last PRIDE and wanted to make this magnificent.

高田延彦氏が「やれんのか!」統括本部長に就任 超大物ヒョードルの参戦も決定 

Shinya Aoki said he is very honored to fight in the PRIDE ring again.  Fighting in this event means a lot for him.  He have not fought since April, but he will do my best.

Mitsuhiro Ishida said he will is do his best and be very happy to fight in this event.

Tatsuya Kawajiri asked himself `Yarennnoka?".  He believes this event will happen and will be a success.  I will do my best to show a great fight.   

Mach Sakurai said he was waiting for this event to be officially announced for long time.  He is very happy to fight in NYE.  He would like to fight someone who is considered to be better than him.

Fedor said we had a long break and finally the event was officially announced.  He is very honored to be a part of this.  This is his 5th year to have New Years Eve in Japan.  He would like to have a great fight and have a great new year.  He also said he would like to fight the strongest fighter and make his fight unforgettable.  

Vadim said he thinks PRIDE was the one of the best MMA production in the world and would like to continue to work with former PRIDE staff in US and Russia after this event.  He would like to have an event, `M-1 Bushido'  next summer in Japan.  Mr. Sasahara said we have to focus on this coming event and make it happen, and we are not thinking about next event for now.

7~8 matches will be arranged and will be announced next week.

`Yarennoka! Omisoka 2007' in NYE

Nobuhiko Takada had an interview in Saitama Super Arena on 21 Nov and announced to hold an event, `Yarennoka! Omisoka 2007' in NYE. This one night event is organized by former PRIDE employees and supported by M-1 Global.

Fedor Emeliaenko, Ricardo Arona, Shinya Aoki, Mach Sakurai and Tatsuya Kawajiri are going to fight in this event.

** I will update more info with pics later tonight **

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

`DEEP PROTECT IMPACT in OSAKA' all matches announced

DEEP announced all matches of `DEEP PROTECT IMPACT in OSAKA' .  

Miku, the lightweight champion, is going to fight against Sukrungrean from Thailand.  Sukrungrean is a Muay Thai fighter and the 2003 Muay Thai Champion.

** 25 Oct in club DEEP
** 25 Oct in club DEEP

** Matches **
Yoshiro Maeda vs Jong Man Kim
Seichi Ikemoto vs Seo Do Wong
Ryuichi Murata vs kim Bo Jin
Miku Matsumoto vs Wenton Sukrungrean
Hiroki Nagaoka vs Ken Hamamura
Tomoyuki Fukami vs Akihiko Mori
Naoki Matsushita vs Yukinari Tamura
Motoyuki Takinishi vs Toru Harai
Yusuke Sakashita vs Taiki Yonashiro
Takahiro Kajita vs Hiroshi Shiba
Isao Terada vs Nobuhiro Yoshitake
Kousuke Eda vs Takashi Haseawa
Yabu vs Junichi Nakahira

** Next Level Matches ** 
Hiroki Koyama vs Koji Mashita
Kenji vs Harada 
Ren Takeno vs Atsushi Tamefusa
Jin Hirayama vs Takuma Konishi

Monday, November 19, 2007

Gono update his blog

Gono, who fought in UFC 78, came back to Tokyo and updated his blog.

He said he was glad to win his debut fight in the UFC by submission.  He thanked all his fans who supported him from Japan and flew to NJ to see his first fight.  He injured his right hand by punching.  He had a similar injury in the past.  He went to see a doctor, the bones are not broken and should be fine in a while.  He got the best submission praise from UFC 78.  

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Dynamite to hold U18 Tournament in NYE

Mr.Tadaharu Tanigawa announced to hold K-1 Under 18 years old Tournament in Dynamite in NYE.  This tournament is going to have special rules to avoid having major injury (i.e. short fighting time, more cushioned gloves etc).  

He said many kids take martial arts classes including boxing, kick boxing and Jiujitsu at the gym and schools now.  He would like to provide an opportunity for young people who have a dream to be a great MMA fighter.  He wants to give them a motivation to train hard.  He also said he may have U18 Tournament in K-1 worldwide.  

** The youngest fighter is 15 years old.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Comment of Sanae Kikuta (Gono`s second)

Sanae Kikuta who is the second of Akihiro Gono updated his blog after the fight in UFC 78.

Gono won by arm bar in 2R.  Gono himself was disappointed not to be able to take the initiative in 1R.  It was not easy fight for him because his opponent had a long reach and this was his first fight in UFC under UFC rules.  He had hard time adjusting his weight and training for the Octagon.  After the fight he said he is more comfortable fighting in the ring compared to the cage.  He was also upset about the opening because he could not hear his entrance music and did not know when he started to walk to the cage.  After fighting, he changed into an costume and went to the interview.  

Akihiro Gono, Comment from his blog

Akihiro Gono debuted in UFC 78.  His style is Jujitsu and kickboxing.  He fought in PRIDE bushido and Pancrase in Japan and defeated Tamdan McCrory in UFC 78 tonight.

He updated his blog from NJ.  He usually feels a lot of pressure on the day of the fight and cannot eat anything, but he felt fine today and could eat a lot.  His weight is 176lb this morning.  His fight starts 20:10.  He appears in the first fight from blue corner.  He said he will not stay in this position and will be a top fighter in UFC.



his passport & visa photo

His contract with UFC is 4 fights. UFC was the first organization which offered a contract after PRIDE and he signed up without hesitating. He had said he would be a Japanese Sensation in UFC at the inverview on 25 Sep.

at the interview on 25 Sep

Friday, November 16, 2007

DEEP Middleweight Championship starts in Feb, 2008

DEEP President, Shigeru Saeki, had an interview in `FIGHTING ROAD presents DEEP 33 IMPACT' in Tokyo on 16 Nov.

He announced that he would hold the middleweight championship in Feb and Apr.  The current DEEP middleweight champion, Ryo Chonan, announced to fight in UFC and the title he has will be returned to DEEP soon.

Shigeru Saeki also answered the question about the news regarding Fedor and M-1. He said he thinks `M-1 global' will not have their debut event in Japan with such a short notice.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

The first event of World Victory Road

WVR is going to have their first event in Tokyo Budokan on 15 Feb.  

Fedor fights in Japan in New Years Eve !?

Fedor Emeliaenko announced that `M-1 Global' is going to have the first event in Saitama Super Arena in NYE.  Fedor will fight in the main event.

`M-1 Global' has not announced any official statement yet.  

In `Kamipro', I read about an organization formed by former PRIDE employees.  This organization reserved Saitama Super Arena in NYE and will have a big event.  Shinya Aoki, Mach Sakurai and Tatsuya Kawajiri are going to fight in this event.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Fedor Interview with KAMIPRO

A private interview with Fedor Emeliaenko is published in the Japanese MMA magazine, KAMIPRO, from 13 Nov.  This interview took place on 22 Oct.  

- Why did you sign with `M-1 Global', instead of UFC?
My manager, Vadim Finkelstein, managed the contract.  I was satisfied when I saw an offer from `M-1 Global' first time. I was looking for an organization which can arrange the fights with the best opponents for me, and that is `M-1 Global'. I can fight outside the organization and `M-1 Global' will arrange to fight the champions in other organizations for me. I believe `M-1 Global' will be a real international organization and will be the best MMA organization in the world.

- Could you tell me about the offer from UFC? What the main reason you decided not to fight in UFC?
Vadim: The offer from UFC was very advantageous for them but not for us. UFC only has right to make a decision of picking the opponent, to terminate the contract and to change the contract. I have never had such an unfair offer like that in past 10 years. We were working with UFC and FEG, but could not come through to the signing with both of them.

- UFC President, Dana White, said `crazy russian' about you. What do you think?
Vadim: I would say he is a crazy American. I respect Dana White because he is the person who made MMA very popular in USA. But the downside is, he wants to control MMA market in US and outside of US, tie fighters with the unfair contract and push his policy and his business theory to fighters. He cannot control all MMA organization in the world from now on. UFC have to change and need to cooperate with other organizations.

- What do you think about PRIDE?
PRIDE was the best event because I had a lot of opportunity to fight the best fighters in the world. I say `M-1 Global' has the closest business idea to PRIDE.  `M-1 Global' is going to hold an event in Japan next summer.


Tuesday, November 13, 2007

`PANCRASE 2007 RISING TOUR' Nakanishi vs Wada

Takuya Wada had an open training on 12 Nov.  He fights the current champion, Yuichi Nakanishi, on 28 Nov in `PANCRASE 2007 RISING TOUR`.  This is his 4th challenge to get a title.  He lost against Nakanishi by the split decision last December, and he remember that Nakanishi was well rounded fighter and was not easy fight.  He believes he could have won if he did not bleed from the knee kick.  He trains hard everyday and he has been in the great condition.  He says this fight will be his last fight in this weight class if he loses.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Does Yoshida come back to the ring someday?

Now the Japanese MMA scene is very slow since PRIDE is over.  The only big event which is announced to be held is Dynamite.  The card announced so far is not quite interesting and does not attract fans.  

People are talking about Yoshida and expecting to hear of his next fight.  He has not fought since James Thompson last December.  He said he had a hunch something bad might happen when he heard about the change of the PRIDE management last spring.  He waited to fight in the PRIDE ring when it was started again under the new management (UFC), but it never happened.  

Most people think he will probably come back with the WVR (World Victory Road).  Yoshida said he is interested in starting his career over in the new event and would like to make WVR popular like K-1 and Hero`s.  He believes making their rival is the only way to develop Japanese MMA industry.  But he is 38 years old and cannot wait long if WVR does not set up the first event in near future.  He is actually training hard for his next fight and looking to see if Dynamite offers him a good opponent or not.  If the card is interesting, he will come back next month in Osaka.

`MARS' in Tokyo on 09 Dec.

MARS announced to hold its 10th event, `MARS 10 "ALL-OUT WAR"' in Tokyo on 09 Dec.  This event started 2 years ago in Tokyo.  The card hasn`t been announced yet but will have Japanese, Korean, and Brazilian fighters.  This event is just started 2 years ago and not as popular as other events.

These are the winners of the MARS ring girl contest.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Yushin `Thunder' Okami

Yushin `Thunder' Okami  had an interview in CAGE FORCE EX on 11 Nov.  He reported he defeated Jason MacDonald in UFC77.  Since he lost against Rich Franklin on 16 Jun, this fight was very important for him to go on to be the first Japanese UFC champion.  He was glad to win even by decision.  He is not ready for the championship but he believes he is the only one who can defeat Anderson Silva.

Someone asked where his nickname, `Thunder', came from.  He said he talked to one of UFC staff who is a Shinnihon Pro Wrestling maniac .  This guy said his name Yushin sounded similar to a famous pro wrestling guy named Jyushin Thunder Liger and he picked Thunder as his nickname.

CAGE FORCE EX-eastern bound

CAGE FORCE Ex-eastern bound was held in Tokyo on 11 Nov in Japan.  The main event was the lightweight tournament semi final by Oumakhanov Artur vs Tomonari Kanomata. Oumakhanov won and moves on to Final with Kotetsu Boku who defeated David Gardner and Eiji Mitsuoka.

Ktaro Nakamura won against Takefumi Hanai and announced that he would like to go on to UFC again.  Ktaro Nakamura used to be an undefeated fighter (15-0) until he lost on 13 Dec, 06 and on 05 Apr in UFN.  

D.O.G. is the former name which changed to CAGE FORCE on 2006.  It is named by Caol Uno.  The lightweight and middleweight tournament final are held on 01 Dec.  

Saturday, November 10, 2007

PRIDE FIGHTERS 3 (Shinya Aoki)

Shinya Aoki has not appeared in the ring since PRIDE discontinued and has not have any interview about his next fight yet.  He is training to fight in any New Years Eve event if he gets an offer.  Dynamite seems like approaching him.

Many people are talking about if we can see Gomi vs Kid Yamamoto in Dynamite this year.  Dynamite has not announced yet, but Gomi said he is coming back to the ring in New Years Eve and will fight against a Japanese big name fighter.  Since Gomi denied the fight against Masato, who is a superstar in K-1, Kid could be his opponent if they can settle on the weight class.    

Friday, November 9, 2007

PRIDE FIGHTERS 2 (Hayato Sakurai)

Hayato Sakurai owns his own gym named MACH DOJO in Ibaragi.  He opened another one in Tokyo on 30 Sep, 2007.  His recent fight is in an charity event named `Battles Summit Ground Zero Tokyo' sponsored by Shootboxing Association.  In the event, he entered with PRIDE main theme music.  This is his first fight in SB rule and he won by decision.  In his interview after the fight, he said that he wish he could wear PRIDE 4 oz. glove instead of wearing 10 oz glove,  then he had a chance to KO.  He answered to the question about any possibility of fighting in any MMA organization near future.  He said his next fight in this year has been arranged but he is not ready to announce yet.  He also said, he feels his body is ready and he wants to not take a break between fights.

Tokoro may not fight in Dynamite this year?

Hideo Tokoro, who is one of the most popular fighter in HERO`S, may not be seen in Dynamite this year.  ZST has an event in Tokyo on 23 Nov and he fights against Ko Inatsu in this event.  ZST says this is his last fight this year if he loses.  

Tokoro is getting famous and strong by taking chances to fight against Royce Gracie, Royler Gracie and other great fighters.  Inatsu, 23 years old,  mostly fights in ZST and has never fought any big names.  This could be his big chance.  If he wins, he will be a new star in ZST as well as MMA Japan.  Tokoro seems kinda nervous and says this will not be an easy fight.  

ZST is one of the MMA productions organized by Mr.Akira Maeda and RINGS staff.  Many fighters in ZST used to fight in RINGS.  ZST has its own rules.  No kicking to face from the ground position.  Once the movement is stop on the ground, Referee breaks into and start over from the standing position.  No cross guard position allowed.

Thursday, November 8, 2007


I had a request to update PRIDE fighters.  

Takanori Gomi has not signed with any organization yet.  He belongs to Kugayama Rascal Gym and he is a leader of a team `RASCAL'.  He trains with his teammates and has wrestling classes.  Someone says he has a cousin whose name Natsuki Iijima who is a porn star, but I`m not sure if this is true.

Tatsuya Kawajiri had his own blog `Kinniku Nikki' but he closed it.  His fan asked him what he thought about Sakuraba vs Akiyama fight on K-1 PREMIUM 2006 Dynamite on Dec, 2006.  I don`t know what he said about the fight in his blog, but some fan left slander comments about him.  He figured out that his blog gives his other fans bad feelings and misunderstanding, so he closed his blog.   

I will update about other fighters later..

Takada is back to the ring on 25 Nov

Nobuhiko Takada fights against Wataru Sakata in the event `Hustle Mania' in Yokohama Arena on 25 Nov.  

Barnett is back to Pancrase

Pancrase announced that Josh Barnett fight against Mitsuru Sato in Tokyo on 22 Dec.  This would be under Catch wrestling rule.  Josh says he will show us he is a champion.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

DEEP may have an event on New Years Eve?

Mr. Saeki with DEEP had an interview and mentioned the possibility of having an event in Saitama Super Arena on New Years Eve.  Hustle announced having an afternoon event in the same arena on New Years Eve. 

Some matches announced for new event `Kakutoh Live 2007'

`格闘王国(Kakutoh) LIVE 2007' has announced some matches.

`Kakutoh' is a mobile site which started last year.  This site is having a new event called `Kakutoh Live 2007' in Tokyo on 25 Nov, 2007.  This event is sponsored by Wajyutsu Keisyukai, Pancrase, Deep, Smackgirl and Zendokai Karate.  This is one day event and all fighters are recommended by the sponsors.

Katsuya Inoue vs Shigetoshi Iwase
Inoue is a tentative King of Pancrase (Welterweight) and Iwase is in the 10th position of Shooto World Middleweight ranking.  They are fighting in MMA rule. (5min. 2R.)

Jtaro Takita vs Tomoya Miyashita
MMA rule (5min. 2R.)

Mika vs Hari
Girl MMA rule (5min. 2R.)

Monday, November 5, 2007

New Site!!

Hi, I`m starting this site.  Like I say in my title, I`m going to translate Japanese MMA news to English for the American MMA fans.  Please check my site daily for updates.  I will usually post when I come home from work in the evening.