Lots of gossip has emerged in the past few weeks regarding World Victory Road's plans for the remainder of the year, and WVR PR director Takahiro Kokuho fed another bunch of names into the rumor mill at a press conference on Friday at J-ROCK, following an open workout by Sengoku 11 participant Michihiro Omigawa.
Some salient tidbits from Nightmare Of Battle:
[Kokuho] wants to hold [Sengoku's New Years event] either on December 31st (head to head with Dynamite!!) or January 3rd... About Japanese fighters participating in the event, Kokuho plans to include Satoshi Ishii [potential opponents are Hidehiko Yoshida or a foreign fighter], Lightweight champion Mizuto Hirota, Featherweight champion Masanori Kanehara, and former Lightweight champion Satoru Kitaoka.
The opponent of Omigawa... will probably be Marlon Sandro or Hatsu Hioki and the winner will probably face Kanehara for the belt on the new years event.
The opponent of Kevin Randleman will most likely by King Mo, Xande Ribeiro, or possibly Hiroshi Izumi if he wins at SENGOKU X.
If Kazunori Yokota defeats Ryan Schultz via submission or KO, they want to hold Yokota vs. Eiji Mitsuoka at SENGOKU XI (tough road to a title fight for Yokota).
It was also confirmed that the winner of the upcoming Joe Doerksen-Takenori Sato scrap will be the most likely challenger for Jorge Santiago's middleweight title at Sengoku 11, and that the winners of the Japan vs. Korea "Gold Cup" opening bouts at Sengoku 10 could see their first "real" Sengoku fights in November.
(My only question would be: where is Chan Sung Jung in Sengoku's featherweight title picture? You know, the guy who 99.9% of hardcore fans felt should've won a decision over Kanehara in the quarterfinals.)
DEEP has revealed the first batch of bouts for its "44th Impact" show at Korakuen Hall on October 10th. They feature some "Team Japan" fighters coming back from the M-1 Challenge, as the country's squad is now officially eliminated from this season's tournament (despite a 3-2 victory over France in August).
The biggest of the match-ups, both literally and figuratively, is DEEP's 2008 Megaton GP champion Yusuke Kawaguchi (9-1) returning to defend his heavyweight strap against Seigo Mizuguchi (6-4). Kawaguchi defeated Mizuguchi via first round TKO two years ago at DEEP 32, before beginning his four-fight title run. If you missed out on Megaton fever, do watch GoForkYourself's opening round highlight reel.
Also on the bill are Kawaguchi's M-1 teammates Yuya Shirai (16-8) and Hidehiko Hasegawa (17-12-6), ex-Outsider prospect Tomoya Kato (4-1), and DEEP women's lightweight ace Miku Matsumoto (21-4), who'll enter the event riding an 11-fight win streak.
Check out the full card (thus far) over at Japan-MMA.
- The "Ace of ZST," Naoyuki Kotani (18-9-6) will take on fellow promotional mainstay Yojiro Uchimura (6-4) at ZST.21 on September 21st. Kotani will try to rebound from his May submission loss to Kuniyoshi Hironaka. It will be Uchimura's first fight in 2009 after posting a 1-3 record last year.
- A few interesting bouts added to Shooto's "Revolutionary Exchanges 2" on 9/22: Gutsman's Ryuichi Miki (9-2-3) will rematch with Yasuhiro Urushitani (15-4-6) - the pair's first bout last May ended in a draw - and Daisuke Ishizawa (4-5) takes on Australian import Gustavo Falciroli (6-1-2), who entered the Shooto 143-pound rankings last month following a win over "Wicky" Akiyo in Oz.
- PRIDE vet Sentoryu (5-7, 1 NC) and Cristiano Kaminishi (6-1, 2 NC) will have a do-over on their HEAT Heavyweight Tournament Finals bout at Differ Ariake on September 26. The original match in July was waved off early in the first round when Kaminishi accidentally kicked the former sumo in the groin.
HEAT 12 was also announced for November 1st at Zepp Nagoya. Powergate fighter Jun Kito (7-5-3) will participate. He was booked for HEAT 8 back in December of last year, but withdrew due to a ruptured Achilles tendon.
- Finally, JEWELS have been forced to make some changes to their 48kg Rough Stone GP bracket . The Grabaka-trained Miyoko Kusaka was set to debut in the opening round of the 48kg GP, but had to withdraw last month due to injury. Therefore, Kikuyo Ishikawa (1-0) gets a bye to the finals, where she'll face the winner of this weekend's Asami Kodera (3-3) vs. Shinsaki Ozawa (0-3) bout.