More details for Vale Tudo Japan '09 were revealed by Sustain at a presser in Tokyo today. It feels like the Shooto promoter is having a hard time pulling this one together, as we're now about two weeks out from the show and still without a full card. In any event, they've secured an opponent for Takanori Gomi's big "last fight in Japan," and it is... drumroll, please...
Tony Hervey. You know, King of the Cage lightweight champion Tony Hervey? Yeah, I wasn't familiar either, but a quick background check reveals that the Warren, MI, native has both battered Victor Valenzuela and KO'd Alberto Crane in the past four months - not elite opposition, but not names to scoff at either, and certainly among the best you'll find in the KOTC ranks. This may be looked at by some as a going away present for Gomi, but it could be an upset waiting to happen if a lackadaisical "Fireball Kid" shows up. After all, Gomi's got a lot on his mind with a baby on the way and his impending move to the States. Oh, and his pro surfing career.
It's also worth noting that the Gomi-Hervey main event is set for five five-minute rounds contested under "VTJ Rules," as is the previously announced "Lion" Takeshi-"Pequeno" Nogueira match. Ironically, the Shooto 155-pound title bout between Kenichiro Togashi and Nova Uniao's Willamy Chiquerim will be a three-rounder.
Also made official: a bantamweight bout between Mamoru Yamaguchi and Jesse Taitano (as reported by Bloody Elbow earlier this month) and this year's 167-pound rookie tournament champion Yoichiro Sato, who will participate against an as-yet-unnamed opponent.
Vale Tudo Japan '09
October 30, 2009
Rumina Sato (24-14-2) vs. TBA
Yoichiro Sato (5-1-1) vs. TBA