In addition to the Shinya Aoki vs. Hayato "Mach" Sakurai Welterweight Grand Prix opening matchup, FEG has added Andre Galvao vs. John Alessio, Yuya Shirai vs. Jason High and Marius Zaromskis vs. Seichi Ikemoto.
High (6-1) suffered a 64-second knockout loss to Jay Hieron at Affliction "Day of Reckoning" in January. His opponent Yuya Shirai, a teammate of Ryo Chonan, qualified for the tournament on March 14 with a third-round submission win over Yoon Young Kim at clubDEEP.
Alessio (24-12) out of Xtreme Couture lost to Paul Daley via TKO at MFC 19 in December. Gavao (2-0) is a well-decorated submission artist who has defeated both his MMA opponents via armbar. Alessio is also contracted to fight again with MFC on May 15.
In a heavyweight bout, Jeff Monson (28-8), who fought as a UFC representative at the final PRIDE event in 2007 and did a fight for "Sengoku" in 2008, will return to Japan this year to take on Sergey Kharitonov (16-3). Monson won last Saturday in a controversial decision over former IFL champ Roy Nelson. Kharitonov has won three straight, including a win over the currently dominant Alistair Overeem.
Welterweight Grand Prix:
- Shinya Aoki vs. Hayato "Mach" Sakurai
- Andre Galvao vs. John Alessio
- Yuya Shirai vs. Jason High
- Marius Zaromskis vs. Seichi Ikemoto
- Hideo Tokoro vs. DJ.taiki
- Minowaman vs. Katsuyori Shibata
- Andrews Nakahara vs. Shungo Oyama
- Murilo Ninja vs. Yoon Dong Sik
- Sergey Kharitonov vs. Jeff Monson