Watched all those DREAM videos.

Watched all the videos in this post. Very enjoyable!

So, here are my thoughts.

  • I’m not sure who this was made by, but it has the same feel as all the Pride pre-fight videos.
  • There is a hell of a lot of talk about Fedor. Despite the fact that he is not a part of the organisation, they have no qualms about fighters like Cro Cop saying that he is probably the best fighter in the world right now. They show footage of Fedor’s fights, and his sambo escapades. I’d be very surprised if he doesn’t end up fighting for DREAM, after seeing these videos.
  • It really is an absolute who’s who of MMA, apart from a handful of stars on the North American circuit. These videos truly got my pumped about the promotion. It all looks almost too good to be true… It seems that Pride the ship went down, but all the passengers survived and are now cruising on the good ship DREAM. There’s Cro Cop, Aoki, Calvan, Uno, Kid Yamamoto, Kawajiri, Akiyama, Sakuraba, Tokoro, and in fact Fedor’s name is directly mentioned along with the others, as if he already was a part of the promotion… I need to be careful, I’m getting a killboner in my brain just writing all these names in the same sentence.
  • Aoki is being pushed as the great Japanese hope. He’s also got the mind of a pervy old Japanese businessman.
  • Actually, the more I watch the videos in terms of production, the more I feel they have a stronger K-1 / Heroes influence than a Pride one. Although they were always very similar, I was reminded of the K-1 / Heroes TV broadcasts.
  • Crusher Kawajiri is absolutely fucking ripped. I had no idea the guy was such a monster.
  • Saturday night is alright for fighting.
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PUMPED about NYE?!?!?!

So the New Years Eve MMA scene in Japan went from being about as exciting as watching men’s figure skating to as awesome as inhaling TNT whilst boning Lucy Liu during an earthquake with two tiny crocodiles nibbling on your nipples.

First, K1’s Dynamite spectacular.

We are going to see Rani Yahya against Yamamoto Kid. Kid showed in his last fight that he can be really pushed by a strong and skilled, elite-level BJJer. Yahya may not be as strong as Bibiano Fernandes, but his BJJ is world-class (as Joe Rogan would say in between frowning at Mike Goldberg’s overenthusiastic use of the word “teep”). Kid is always exciting, so this should be a fantastic fight.

We are going to see Sakuraba against Funaki. Putting aside the fact that these two guys combined ages probably reaches over 100, this is going to be awesome. Two absolute legends, and they both like a bit of the old grapple grapple, so it should be a chessmatch between two greats. Here’s hoping it’s not a fly-swatting match between two pensioners, or a yawn-inducing snooze fest a-la Gracie Sakuraba II.

Then there’s the rumours of Kharitonov, Minowaman, Tokoro, and Melvin Manhoef (last spotted ripping the heads off babies and skewering them on his penis) all competing which pretty much make this a can’t miss.

Second, the revival of Pride… or is it? A quick glance at the website ( http://www.yarennoka.com/ )reveals that Pride’s Japanese web designer clearly wasn’t out of a job for long… I also hear that Sato Daisuke will be involved. He’s the one who made all the majorly pump-tastic introduction clips for the Japanese broadcasts of Pride… I compiled a couple here.  Basically, everyone who was involved in Pride is involved in this special event. Yarennoka means “Can’t we do it?!” and was one of Antonio Inoki’s catchphrases. His others being the equally as inventive “ONE TWO THREE DAAAAAAAAAAH” and its derivate, “DAAAAAAAAAAAAA” (while slapping you in the face.)

Basically a bunch of the Japanese MMA scene’s bigwigs got together ( Monte Cox (CEO of M-1 Global), Shigeru Saeki (DEEP) and Sadaharu Tanigawa (FEG)) and decided to make a totally awesome MMA spectacular, and a shitload of cash for themselves. They all claim this is a farewell to Pride, rather than a revival. Takada is on board… you may remember him from such disasters as “Man with a nappy on bangs a huge drum for ten minutes”. Takada said he’d only get involved with Yarennoka if he could get Gomi on the card. Well that didn’t happen, but still…

We are going to see Shinya Aoki against Gesias Cavalcante. This has got Japanese MMA fans salivating harder than Gabe Ruediger in a Mister Donut. Can Aoki’s high-flying submission style beat the ape-like strength and aggression of “JZ Calvan”? (Hint: no. Aoki will take too much punishment trying to reverse boston crab JZ’s earlobes.)

Then there is the strong possibility of Fedor fighting the Techno Goliath, Choi Hong Man. While I am disappointed that such a great man has been reduced to a comedy match worthy of a K-1 main event, I am also pretty pumped to see Fedor pummelerizing the be-tumoured one’s rather large head into a giant Korean flavoured pancake. Other rumoured competitors include Mitsuhiro Ishida, Tatsuya Kawajiri, Kazuo Misaki, Joachim Hansen, Luiz Azeredo, Ricardo Arona, Gilbert Melendez, Aleksander Emelianenko, Mark Hunt… basically, it is going to be sweeeeeeeet as.

I’m pretty pumpalised about the whole thing, really.

If you’d like to keep up with Japanese MMA news, I recommend the following sites. Bookmark them if you haven’t already!

http://nightmareofbattle.wordpress.com/
http://sukimma.blogspot.com/
http://www.fightopinion.com/