K-1's 70 kg division finally made its full-scale return official on Thursday as FEG President Sadaharu Tanikawa announced the complete card for the 2011 K-1 World MAX 70 kg (154 lbs) Japan
GP, to be held on Sept. 25 at Osaka Prefectural Gymnasium in Osaka, Japan.
The one-night sixteen-man tournament is set feature 2002 World GP champion Albert Kraus taking on former All-Japan Karate champ Yuji Nashiro and 2010 Japan GP finalist Hiroki Nakajima facing R.I.S.E middleweight champion Takafumi Morita on one side of the bracket, while 2009 World MAX World GP semifinalist Yuya Yamamoto clashes with 2009 "Koshien" (High School) winner Shintaro Matsukura and 2008 World MAX Japan winner Yasuhiro Kido meets former Krush champ Kenta on the other side of the tournament.
Cross-dressing cos-player and 2010 World MAX Japan GP winner Yuichiro "Jienotsu" Nagashima will also feature on the card in a 78 kg super-fight against Masayuki "Kenmun" Sagara. Nagashima stayed active during K-1's restructuring this year with a stint on the local pro wreslting circuit where he packed on a significant amount of weight. Nagashima last fought a legitimate bout on Dec. 31, 2010 at Dynamite where he knocked out DREAM lightweight champion Shinya Aoki
in a mixed rules match.
K-1 promoter Fighting and Entertainment Group have seen significant financial difficulties for the past few years and have been going through a restructuring phase for much of 2011. K-1 have only managed one other event this year, the down-scaled 63kg Japan GP - an event that was broadcast live on YouTube but not on Japanese TV.
Last month it was revealed that the Japanese Trademark Registration Database no longer has FEG as the owner of K-1 and its associated trademarks. With the exception of K-1 Koshien, all K-1 trademark rights have been transferred to real estate company Barbizon. FEG officials are yet to publicly comment on the situation. 2011 K-1 World MAX 70 kg (154 lbs) Japan GP - Sept. 25, Osaka Prefectural Gymnasium in Osaka, JapanSuper Fights:
Yuichiro "Jienotsu" Nagashima vs. Masayuki "Kenmun" Sagara
Kizaemon Saiga vs. Valdrin VatnikajTournament Quarter Finals:
Yuji Nashiro vs. Albert Kraus
Hiroki Nakajima vs. Takafumi Morita
Yuya Yamamoto vs. Shintaro Matsukura
Yasuhiro Kido vs. KentaTournament Semi Finals:
Nashiro/ Kraus vs. Nakajima/ Morita
Yamamoto/ Matsukura vs. Kido/ KentaTournament Final:
Nashiro/ Kraus/ Nakajima/ Morita vs. Yamamoto/ Matsukura/ Kido/ KentaTournament Reserve Bout:
Go Yokoyama vs. Yoshi