DEEP has announced the formation of a new kickboxing event aimed at raising fighters who aspire to join K-1 MAX, K-1's 155-and-under division. The inaugural DEEP KICK event, "DEEP KICK START!," launches at Zepp Osaka on July 5th and is co-produced by popular cosplay kickboxer Yuichiro "Jienotsu" Nagashima, who will also be on the card after being brutally eliminated from this year's K-1 MAX GP by Albert Kraus in April. The themes for the show will include Japan vs. Thailand, Kansai vs. Kyushu, and a team led by Nagashima vs. J-NETWORK veteran Keiichi Samukawa's squad. The sister of K-1 Koshien fighter Tatsuya Kusakabe was also introduced as a participant at the press conference. More pics at Kamipro.
- Sengoku is auctioning off pairs of signed gloves from Takanori Gomi, Kazuo Misaki, Sergey Golyaev and Sanae Kikuta to benefit the Japan Stop AIDS Fund. The auctions end next Thursday, and you can check them out here. Gomi is currently leading the pack with a high bid of ¥205,100 ($2,092) on his mitts, with Misaki next at ¥100,100 ($1,021).
- On June 14th, the Chofu branch of Kiyoshi Tamura's U-File Camp will be host to "U-FILE 41," the latest in a series of in-house tournaments which, this time, will feature 75kg (165 lbs.) U-File vs. ZST matchups. Hideo Tokoro will coach Team ZST, while Daisuke Nakamura - who armbarred Tokoro six months ago at Dynamite!! - will supervise the U-File squad.
- Check out some stats on the Pancrase 2009 Neo-Blood Tournament finalists here. Perhaps the most interesting storyline heading into the August 8th finals is that of Shigeyuki Uchiyama, a 36-year-old unbeaten Grabaka product with four Pancrase victories under his belt already in 2009. Uchiyama hadn't fought since 2007 when he entered the Neo-Blood Featherweight bracket in February; now he's on a tear, with three first round stoppages in four fights. His opponent for August is 24-year-old Paraestra neophyte Yo Saito.