Hello, Japan: Aoki vs. Hansen III Penciled in for October

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First off, my sincere apologies for the lack of these posts in the past month - it's been a relatively slow time for Japanese MMA and a relatively busy time for myself. Lots of news to catch up on, though, so let's get straight to business...

- Following Shinya Aoki's (21-4, 1 NC) unanimous decision victory over Vitor Ribeiro at today's DREAM.10, event producer Keiichi Sasahara told reporters that the "Baka Survivor" will finally get his rubber match with missing lightweight champion Joachim "Hellboy" Hansen (19-7-1). Provided Hansen can stay healthy, the title fight will take place on October 6th at the just-rescheduled DREAM.11. The same show will feature the Featherweight Grand Prix semifinals (Bibiano Fernandes vs. Joe Warren; Hiroyuki Takaya vs. Hideo Tokoro) and finals, plus the second round of the Super Hulk Tournament (Minowaman vs. Hong Man Choi; Gegard Mousasi vs. Sokoudjou). Kazushi Sakuraba was also mentioned as a possible participant. (Source: Kamipro; photo via Sportsnavi.)

- Having just completed its inaugural "Revolutionary Exchanges" event at Korakuen Hall, Shooto promoter Sustain has revealed some details regarding the second and third events in the new series. The second show will take place on September 22nd and is headlined by a Shooto Pacific Rim Welterweight Title rematch between champion Yusuke Endo (12-3-2) and challenger Kotetsu Boku (14-5-2). The pair's first (non-title) bout in January of this year ended in a majority draw after three rounds of back-and-forth action. (Video in the extended entry.) Boku went on to defeat Yutaka Ueda via impressive TKO at Shooto's "Tradition Final" event in May, while Endo was choked out by Shooto Brazil lightweight champ Willamy "Chiquerinho" on the same show.

The third "Revolutionary Exchange" will be held on November 23rd; the only scheduled participant thus far is #2 ranked flyweight Rambaa "M-16" Somdet (6-2). In between the two shows, Sustain will resurrect its Vale Tudo Japan series for an eagerly anticipated event at JCB Hall on October 30th.

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S-Cup Girls (left to right): V Hajime, Megumi Fujii, Lena, Saori Ishioka, Shizuka Sugiyama, Hiroko
photo via Sportsnavi

- You may remember that Shoot Boxing and Jewels formed an alliance back in April to help foster the growth of both female Shoot Boxing and MMA in Japan. Last Thursday, it was revealed that the promotions will team up for a new event entitled "Girls S-Cup 2009," an all-female version of Shoot Boxing's popular biennial tournament.

Same as the male tournament, the Girls S-Cup will feature a one-night, eight-woman bracket. The rules will also be similar - basically K-1 rules with standing submissions and clinching allowed - albeit with shorter rounds. The weight limit is 52kg (114 lbs).

At the press conference, Shoot Boxing founder Caesar Takeshi said that they have wanted to do a women's tournament for some time, but it was only possible with the cooperation of Jewels. A representative from Jewels said that they hope the tournament will be good for the visibility of women's MMA in Japan.

All of Jewels' top talent will be participating - either in the tournament or single bouts - and even Valkyrie's #1 featherweight contender "V Hajime" is getting involved. Teenage kickboxing wunderkid Lena (aka Reina) lost a heartbreaker to Su Jeong Lim in the first ever K-1 women's fight this past March, and she hopes to get revenge during the course of the tournament. (Source: GBRing)

Here's a look at the card so far:

Que Ser's Japon presents SHOOTO BOXING GIRLS TOURNAMENT "Girls S-Cup 2009"
August 23, 2009
Shinagawa Stellar Ball
Shinagawa, Tokyo, Japan

S-Cup Tournament Participants
Lena (Team Oikawa), Saori Ishioka (Zendokai Koganei), Mei "V Hajime" Yamaguchi (MAX Jiu-Jitsu Academy), Su Jeong Lim (Barunson Games)

Single Match Participants
Megumi Fujii
(AACC), Shizuka Sugiyama (Zendokai Yokohama), Yuko "Hiroko" Yamanaka (B-Crew)

- And just a little more Shooto news: Paraestra's Yoshihiko Matsumoto was previously announced as one half of a grappling match at "Gig Saitama 01" on August 9th; now it's been revealed that his opponent will be none other than the "Moon Wolf," Rumina Sato. Though the fading Japanese legend has dropped six of his last seven MMA bouts, Sato recently submitted PFC flyweight Ulysses Gomez via armbar at the Grapplers Quest UFC Fan Expo event and has spoken of his desire to continue competing in MMA, particularly in the WEC.

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