They still don't have a TV deal in Japan, but the World Victory Road is signing some interesting fighters for its Sengoku event on March 5th.
- Legit contenders: Josh Barnett, Kazuo Misaki, Takanori Gomi.
- Olympic Atheletes: Hidehiko Yoshida, Makoto Takimoto
- Veteran Brawlers: Evangelista "Cyborg" Santos, Phil Baroni
- MMA Legend: Sanae Kikuta
- Up and Comer: Siyar Bahadurzada
The thing they don't have so far is good match ups. Barnett vs Yoshida might have been intriguing in 2003 but Yoshida's long past his hey day (and he never really developed a true MMA game anyhow). Baroni vs Kikuta doesn't mean much in 2008 either. And there's no legit opponent in the offing for Gomi, but it will be good to see the Fireball Kid in the ring again. The Misaki vs Bahadurzada does have me a bit titillated though.
Mainly I'm just happy to see them getting off the ground. Japan needs more than one high profile MMA promotion as bad as MMA needs more than one major market.
Suki MMA has a nice translation of a Yahoo article announcing the Barnett/Yoshida fight with some good pre-fight respect-talk from both fighters.