Judo legends face off New Year’s

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Satoshi Ishii. Photo: Publicity

Satoshi Ishii. Photo: Publicity

As is the tradition in Japan, New Year’s Eve is celebrated with a monumental fighting spectacle, this year in the form of Dynamite!!, promoted by K-1, Dream and World Victory Road. This December 31, the fight-loving Japanese public and MMA and kickboxing fans the world over will be treated to 10 MMA matches, a mini tournament and two K-1 rules superfights.

Many of the matchups will feature athletes consecrated in Japan, Two Olympic judo champions will face off under MMA rules. Satoshi Ishii, heavyweight gold medalist at Peking 2008, will make his MMA debut against Hidehiko Yoshida, also a gold medalist, but at Barcelona 1992, in a matchup that has been postponed several times already.

Shinya Aoki, who is coming off wins over Joachim Hansen and Vitor Shaolin, faces Mizuto Hirota. Other Japanese heroes to make appearances are Tatsuya Kawajiri, Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto and Hayato Sakurai.

Kazuyuki Fujita has the tough task of facing Alistair Overeem. Curiously, although Overeem is a standup specialist – even knocking out Brazil’s Ewerton Teixeira in the final of the K-1 World GP –, he is coming off three submission wins in a row.

Also awaited is the Super Hulk tournament final between Ikuhisa Minowa and Rameau Thierry Sokodjou. The K-1 rules bouts pit Andy Souwer against Masato and Ray Sefo against Yosuke Nishijima.

Check out the complete card:

Masato vs Andy Souwer (K-1)
Satoshi Ishii vs Hidehiko Yoshida (MMA)
Shinya Aoki vs Mizuto Hirota (MMA)
Tatsuya Kawajiri vs Kazunori Yokota (MMA)
Masanori Kanehara vs Norofumi “Kid” Yamamoto (MMA)
Akihiro Gono vs Hayato “Mach” Sakurai (MMA)
Hiroshi Izumi vs Katsuyori Shibata (MMA)
Marlon Sandro vs Hideo Tokoro (MMA)
Michihiro Omigawa vs Hiroyuki Takaya (MMA)
Kazuyuki Fujita vs Alistair Overeem (MMA)
Yosuke Nishijima vs Ray Sefo (K-1)
Ikuhisa Minowa vs Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou (MMA/”Super Hulk” finale)
Hiroya vs Japan Masaaki Noiri (K-1 KOSHIEN semifinal)
Katsuki Ishida vs Shota Shimada (K-1 KOSHIEN semifinal)
Tsukasa Fuji vs Ryuya Kusakabe (K-1 KOSHIEN semifinal reserve)

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