The two top MMA promotions in Japan, which originally were to go head-to-head in separate events on New Year's Eve, will instead square off inside the ring on FEG's Dynamite!! 2009 card at the Saitama Super Arena, World Victory Road's Sengoku Raiden Championship and FEG's DREAM announced in a press conference Wednesday.
The current plan is to pit Sengoku fighters against DREAM fighters as well as combine Sengoku's scheduled main event, Hidehiko Yoshida vs. Satoshi Ishii, with Dynamite!!'s K-1 main event, Masato vs. Andy Souwer, as the evening's co-headliners.
Sengoku last week cited a scheduling conflict as the reason for pulling out of the Ariake Colosseum, but the reality was that Sengoku was forced to cancel its event after an investor backed out. Sengoku is said to be on life support by reports in Japan, but the company insists it will continue to promote events in 2010.
No additional fights were announced Wednesday, but a number of fighters at the conference suggested matchups: Yoshihiro "KISS" Nakao (Sengoku) asked for Mirko Cro Cop (DREAM), Eiji Mitsuoka (Sengoku) asked for a rematch with Joachim Hansen (DREAM), Hirota Mizuto (Sengoku) asked for Eddie Alvarez (DREAM), Akihiro Gono (Sengoku) and Hayato "Mach" Sakurai (DREAM) mentioned one another as a possible opponent, Sanae Kikuta (Sengoku) wanted Kiyoshi Tamura (DREAM) in a battle of Japanese icons, Hideo Tokoro (DREAM) asked for Norofumi "KID" Yamamoto (DREAM) and Kazushi Sakuraba (DREAM) jokingly also asked for featherweight Yamamoto.
Dynamite!! 2009 Fight Card:
K-1 MAX: Masato vs. Andy Souwer
Sengoku: Hidehiko Yoshida vs. Satoshi Ishii
K-1 Koshien Semifinals: Hiroya vs. Masaaki Noiri
K-1 Koshien Semifinals Shota Shimada vs. Katsuki Ishida
K-1 Koshien Reserve: Tsukasa Fuji vs. Tatuya Kusakabe
DREAM: Ikuhisa Minowa vs. Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou