||10-12-2010 03:08 AM
DREAM Dynamite!! 2010
DREAM "Dynamite!! 2010"
Date: Dec 31, 2010 4 AM EST
Location: Saitama, Japan
Venue: Saitama Super Arena
Broadcast: HDNet (North America)
* Satoshi Ishii vs. Jerome Le Banner
* Sergei Kharitonov vs. Tatsuya Mizuno
* Alistair Overeem vs. Todd Duffee*
* Bob Sapp vs. Shinichi Suzukawa^
* Champ Bibiano Fernandes vs. Hiroyuki Takaya (for featherweight title)
* Champ Marius Zaromskis vs. Kazushi Sakuraba (for welterweight title)
* Shinya Aoki vs. Yuichiro Nagashim+
* Tatsuya Kawajiri vs. Josh Thomson
* Kazuyuki Miyata vs. Caol Uno
* Akiyo "Wicky" Nishiura vs. Tetsuya Yamato@
* Kyotaro Fujimoto vs. Gegard Mousasi@
* Hideo Tokoro vs. Kazuhisa Watanabe
* Jason High vs. Hayato Sakurai
* Hiroshi Izumi vs. Ikuhisa "Minowaman" Minowa
* Katsuaki Furuki vs. Andy Ologun
* - Not officially announced
^ - IGF special rules
+ - MMA/K-1 mixed-rules bout
@ - K-1 rules bout
It's October, the fall holiday season has started to roll, and for fans of Japanese MMA that can mean only one thing - Dynamite!! The annual December 31 MMA spectacular will once again be presented by K-1 and DREAM parent company FEG this year. There have been no official announcements regarding Dynamite 2010 just yet (and given how long it took to get K-1 Grand Prix announcements, I wouldn't bank on news coming any time soon), though FEG head Tanigawa did discuss Dynamite earlier this summer, stating that the event will be scaled back a bit from the past few years. Instead of the enormous 20 fight supershow, this year's event will have a more manageable number of fights, hopefully fitting in to a 3 hour timeslot. One change stemming from this - the Koshien finals will not be part of Dynamite, but will instead take place on a separate show.
Some may say this is another bad sign for FEG, but on a personal level, I have no problem with this. I love Dynamite, but the past few years have been something of a slog to sit through with shows topping 5 hours in length. Reducing the number of fights will help streamline the show greatly, and perhaps lead to less throw aways like Mousasi v. Goodridge.
Though we don't yet know anything official, we are starting to hear rumblings regarding some potential match-ups. Obviously, these are very shaky rumors at this point, and could change many times between now and the 31st, but as of today, here are some of the fights being discussed, courtesy of Nightmare of Battle:
Kazushi Sakuraba v. Satoshi Ishii - What originally started as an Ishii v. Aerts rumor has morphed into this. When Aerts qualified for the K-1 GP, he was eliminated as a potential Ishii opponent. In the K-1 Final 16 aftermath, Tanigawa mentioned a possible Ishii v. Le Banner fight since Le Banner's temper tantrum kept him out of the GP finals. But when asked about that fight, Ishii stated "I want to face Sakuraba on NYE. My senior Akiyama also fought him, he’s a legend". One of the keys to success for Dynamite is to deliver a big name main event that will draw in the casual Japanese fan, and Sakuraba v. Ishii delivers in that regard. Although both men have seen their drawing ability drop a bit in the last year, this still will grab some eyes, and would provide a solid foundation for the show.
Asashoryu v. TBA - BloodyElbow has great coverage of the potential inclusion of the disgraced Sumo legend Asashoryu. An all time Sumo legend, Asashoryu was forced into retirement when he beat up a man outside a night club. Tanigawa has publicly stated that he wants Asashoryu in at Dynamite, and that they are actively pursuing the fighter. But his price tag will be steep, and there will definitely be hurdles to getting him inside the ring. Ishii has also been discussed as a potential opponent here, which would be a huge drawing fight - considerably more so than Ishii v. Saku.
Tatsuya Kawajiri v. Satoru Kitaoka - Rumors have Kitaoka competing at Dynamite this year, and Kawajiri has been discussed as a possible opponent. Kitaoka is the first ever Lightweight champion for Sengoku. He lost that title to Mizuto Hirota last year (which led to the Aoki v. Hirota arm-breaking fight at Dynamite 2009), and has not fought for Sengoku since November 2009. He's 2-0 since then, with both wins coming in Pancrase. Kawajiri is a very popular fighter who almost certainly will be included on the card in some capacity, and Kitaoka would present an interesting new opponent.
Shinya Aoki v. Gilbert Melendez - Back in September, both Cesar Gracie and Scott Coker stated that FEG was interested in having Melendez appear at Dynamite. Coker commented further in the aftermath of this weekend's Strikeforce show: "[Aoki v. Melendez] is not confirmed, but it is something that (Dream has) said that they would like to have happen if possible, so we're having that dialogue." This would of course be a rematch from their Strikeforce bout in April where Melendez dominated the Dream champion. Like Kawajiri, Aoki is a major player in Dream, and is almost a lock to appear at Dynamite. A rematch with Melendez would certainly be an intriguing fight, both to see how Aoki would adjust his gameplan and to see how the ring would change the fight.
Other names being tossed around as taking part include Andrews Nakahara, Murilo Ninja Rua, Hiroyuki Takaya, and Michihiro Omigawa.
In a final bit of New Year's Eve news, SRC remains up in the air regarding their NYE plans. They have discussed a possible Sengoku show on the 31st to go against Dynamite, an all day festival featuring different combat sports on the 31st, or a Sengoku show on January 2nd.