World Victory Road announced Thursday Takanori Gomi's opponent and the matchups for the start of its Lightweight Grand Prix at "Sengoku" 4 on August 24.
Gomi will face DEEP lightweight champion Pang Seung Hwan in the main event, as rumored.
As part of the Lightweight Grand Prix, eight competitors will do battle for spots on the November semifinal/final card, where the eventual tournament winner will earn a shot at Gomi for the "Sengoku" lightweight belt. The four opening round bouts are:
In a champion vs. champion bout, IFL lightweight champion Ryan Schultz (20-9-1) squares off against Cage Force Lightweight champion Mizuto Hirota (9-2). Team Quest fighter Schultz was the lightweight winner in the IFL World Grand Prix Finals last December, delivering Chris Horodecki his first loss in fourteen career fights.
Pancrase veteran Satoru Kitaoka (20-8-9) will take on King of the Cage lightweight champion Clay French (16-2). Kitaoka won his "Sengoku" debut in May against Ian James Schaffa via guillotine choke. French will be returning to Japan for the first time since PRIDE Bushido 13 in November 2006.
Eiji Mitsuoka (13-5-2) will fight Rodrigo Damm (8-1), who is on an eight-fight winning streak. Mitsuoka joined "Sengoku" after winning a majority decision over now-DREAM lightweight GP champion Joachim Hansen at Shooto: Back To Our Roots 6.
DEEP competitor Kazunori Yokota (6-1-3) will clash with Bojan Kosednar (6-1). Kosdnar recently lost via knockout to Paul Daley at a Cage Warriors event.
Duane "Bang" Ludwig will not appear in the tournament as originally planned due to a scheduling conflict.
World Victory Road: Sengoku 4
Sunday, August 24, 2008
Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan
- Takanori Gomi vs Bang Seung Hwan
- Makoto Takimoto vs Frank Trigg
- Peter Graham vs Moise Rimbon
- Satoru Kitaoka vs. Clay French (Lightweight GP)
- Eiji Mitsuoka vs. Rodrigo Damm (Lightweight GP)
- Kazunori Yokota vs. Bojan Kosednar (Lightweight GP)
- Mizuto Hirota vs. Ryan Schultz (Lightweight GP)
I got Kitaoka, Yokota, Schultz and Mitsuoka, REALLY liking that fight though, I'm only really picking Mitsuoka because of bias, I don't know who will win that fight. Should be great, Damm beat Masvidal last time out and even though I think I remember it being a bullcrap stoppage, thats pretty impressive. Mitsuoka has looked just great recently. So really looking forward to that fight.
Outside of the tournament, gotta go with Rimbon, although I'd like to see Graham win, but getting choked by Fujita in about a minute doesn't pose well for him being an all round martial artist, I hope he can knock Rimbon out, but just gotta go with the guy who fights MMA.
Not gonna predict the Takimoto/Trigg fight, looking forward to it very much though. Will be interesting.
Gomi vs. Pang is cool, I've his name written SO many different ways it's unbelievable. Should be exciting to see Gomi back in action, and SHP is no chump thats for sure.
I like the card
Hopefully they co-promote with DREAM sometime, but I've heard there not really buddies? Shame.