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Highlights Going Into Dynamite!! 2010 For The Rest of Us

We've already discussed the fights that were put together for a Japanese audience for Dynamite!! 2010, with Satoshi Ishii getting the big nod as the "star" of the show as well as a vast array of freakshow fights that would make your average fan on the Underground forums eyes roll back into their head. It should also be noted that Alistair Overeem is getting a rather big push in the press of late, with him being seen as a big foreigner heavyweight, the first since Fedor Emelianenko, basically. 

Alistair Overeem will be squaring off against Todd Duffee, as we reported (also that it was an ordeal to get that fight signed), and it is still up-in-the-air if the fight will be for the DREAM Heavyweight Championship or not. Overeem has stuck around in Japan after the Grand Prix training in Japan due to not wanting to have to deal with the snow in Holland (MiddleEasy's Zeus can attest to how good of an idea it was to avoid that snow). 

The big fights for the rest of us are fights between some name fighters, with the next biggest fight being a mixed rules bout between Shinya Aoki and Yuichiro Nagashima. It will be a three round affair, with the first being K-1 rules and the rest being MMA. The crux? MMA gloves throughout the fight, so to not need a giant gap for changing gloves between rounds. 

Strikeforce's Josh Thomson squares off against Tatsuya Kawajiri in a fight that no one really expected, but looks to be a solid fight. Mariusz Zaromskis will defend his Middleweight Championship against Kazushi Sakuraba, with Saku looking to possibly take home the first title of his career at the tender age of 40. This fight is getting very little press in Japan, which for a Sakuraba fight is odd.

The other big fight is DREAM Light Heavyweight Champion Gegard Mousasi taking on K-1 Heavyweight Champion Kyotaro in a K-1 rules bout. It is a strange bout to say the least, with Mousasi not competing in a kickboxing bout since December 2008 against Musashi. 

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Nagashima vs. Aoki Rules Set

Yuichiro NagashimaDynamite!! is just two days away, and in true FEG style, we're still getting the final details figured out.  One important piece of info just released is the rules for the Shinya Aoki v. Yuichiro "Jienotsu" Nagashima fight.  All that was known so far is that they would be alternating rounds of K-1 and MMA, but now we have the specifics.

The bout will start with a 3 minute K-1 rules round.  Round 2 will be 5 minutes under Dream rules.  If there is no winner after those 2 rounds, the fight will automatically be ruled a draw and will not be scored by judges.  And then there's this - regular MMA style gloves will be worn for both rounds.

That last rule adds a new wrinkle to things.  We're not accustomed to seeing a K-1 fighter like Jienotsu striking with smaller MMA gloves, nor is he used to using them.  This should increase the chances of a KO, but it also increases the chances of a broken hand. 

I'm glad they are starting with the K-1 round.  As I said when this was announced, I think Nagashima's chances of surviving 5 minutes under MMA rules with Aoki are almost nonexistent.  The intrigue of this fight comes from the standing portion.  Common sense says Aoki should use his reach and defensive skills to try and survive those 3 minutes.  But I have a suspicion that Aoki's emotions could get the best of him, leading the Dream champion to actively engage Jienotsu on the feet.  If that happens, it should spell doom for Aoki, but those MMA fighters have a pesky way of surprising their K-1 opponents.  Either way, this should be interesting, and is one of my personal Dynamite highlights this year.

Also announced were the rules for Bob Sapp v. Shinichi Suzukawa, which will be DREAM MMA rules with no gloves, closed fist strikes are not allowed, and you are permitted to throw open palm hand strikes.  Sounds like a throwback to the old Pancrase days to me.

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Highlights Going Into Dynamite!! 2010 For Japanese TV

Dynamite 2010 is fast-approaching, and while the entire card hasn't been finalized yet, for the most part, it has. It is safe to say that the card is epic, featuring 15 fights. This goes against FEG's wishes to tone down Dynamite!! this year into a 10-bout affair, but things did not work out that way. There were issues with TBS possibly not airing the card, financial woes and internal struggles at FEG. Since the PUJI deal finally came to fruition, Dynamite!! has once again become a mastodon of an event.

We are going to split our pre-show coverage up into two parts: this first part is what is of key interest to the Japanese crowds and why they are, the second is what is of key interest to Western audiences.

If you are Japanese, the highlights of the evening will most likely be some of the more odd fights. Katsuaki Furuki vs. Andy Ologun might sound like a terrible freakshow, and to a degree it is, but Ologun is a legitimate fighter. His MMA and K-1 record are not entirely impressive, but he is skilled enough to put a hurting on Furuki. Furuki was a popular baseball star, playing most of his career for the Yokohama Bay Stars. 2003 and 2006 saw him look extremely impressive, but from there he fell off a bit. He finished out his career with the Orix Buffaloes and retired after the 2009 season before taking up martial arts. He looked to make his debut at DEEP 50, but instead held off for Dynamite!!

The other freakshow for ratings is an "IGF" rules bout. IGF is Inoki Genome Federation -- professional wrestling -- and both men have a history of professional wrestling, with Sapp being a one-time New Japan Pro Wrestling competitor, holding the IWGP Heavyweight Championship, a belt originated by Inoki. His opponent is shamed sumo Wakakirin Shinichi. Wakakirin was kicked out of sumo for possession of marijuana, basically, which in Japan is very, very shameful (see: Kid Yamamoto). Wakakirin has wrestled for Inoki before and basically works as stiff (read: real) as possible. The IGF rules are essentially old Pancrase rules of no closed-fist strikes to the face, and as of right now it isn't clear how real or worked this will be. I don't think it matters, honestly, as it is a throwaway bout for Japanese audiences.

Minowaman will most likely take his place opening up the televised portion of the show like he is known to do, and do so in a bout against Judoka Hiroshi Izumi. Minowa was the only MMA fighter in Japan to make the Nikkan Sports list last year, with Masato at the top and assorted K-1 fighters and boxers rounding out the list. To say that Ikuhisa Minowa is a national treasure is maybe taking it a bit too far, but he is immensely popular. He will never be the favorite fighter in Japan, but he will always have a following and name for his accomplishments. He faces a tough challenge in Izumi. Izumi will at least not be dwarfing Minowa in weight.

Last but not least is Satoshi Ishii vs. Jerome Le Banner. JLB finds himself in the unenviable spot of facing Japan's only prospect to be a breakout star in a post-KID Yamamoto and post-Masato world. Jerome Le Banner of course has trouble defending against takedowns and throws, which are Ishii's specialty. Le Banner has what many will call a puncher's chance, but the truth is, Ishii has shown a tendency to "stand and bang" in his fights, which against JLB is a death warrant. In his last fight with Katsuyori Shibata, Ishii wisely took him down and submitted him, something he did not have luck against Ikuhisa Minowa with (although he did dominate Minowa). This is a big deal for Ishii, as he has gotten in some practice, he has tasted defeat, is he ready to carry Japan's fight scene on his shoulders, and is Japan ready to make him the next big star? Or is he just not enough of a pretty boy and not witty enough?

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Dynamite!! Preview Hits the Net; Feel Bad for Takaya Already

As always, FEG has put together some absolutely epic video packages for this year's Dynamite!! It is split into four parts and each part ranges around 9 minutes or so. You can see, very clearly, who FEG and TBS are appealing to in these video packages. Part 1 is Satoshi Ishii vs. Jerome Le Banner. About 10 seconds of JLB footage is shown.

 

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