By Zach Arnold | April 15, 2011
The promotion held a presser today to announce the promotion’s first 2011 show. May 29th at Saitama Super Arena. They are building it around a charity project theme of “FIGHT FOR JAPAN.” It’s different than the “Stay Strong Japan” charity project theme that has been more noted in media circles.
The plan is for a 61 kg Bantamweight tournament featuring: Masakazu Imanari, Kenji Osawa, Takafumi Otsuka, Darren Uyenoyama, Hideo Tokoro, Keisuke Fujiwara, Yoshihiro Maeda, & Atsushi Yamamoto.
There will be other fights on the card as well, featuring: Shinya Aoki, Mitsuhiro Ishida, Joachim Hansen, Kaoru Uno, Akiyo “Wicky” Nishiura, & Katsunori Kikuno.
The idea is to run the May event and then have a second event in July. The promotion claims that they want to book Bibiano Fernandes & Joe Warren in the future. Tournament matches are expected to be announced next week.
Speaking of Mr. Warren, he fights on the Bellator card Saturday night in Yuma, Arizona against Marcos Galvao. During a recent Sherdog interview, he stated that he has been recently training in Boise, Idaho with Scott Jorgensen & Kit Cope. His upcoming plans for the next two years: Saturday’s fight, wrestling in June, defend his belt in August, fight in 135 pound tournament in October, and then take time off from fighting in 2012 to make one more run at the Olympics. It was interesting that he said that he found training for MMA to be much more fun than training for wrestling. “I feel more like a fighter than a wrestler. … Wrestling is a job for me.”
The “Fight for Japan” charity project is being spearheaded/supported by K-1, Martial Arts Japan Kickboxing, New Japan Kickboxing, J-NETWORK, RISE, Krush, BIG BANG, DREAM, Sustain, Pancrase, DEEP, ZST, & Jewels.
Sadaharu Tanigawa said that K-1 would run an event towards the end of June and that there is discussion of running events in Europe and China. A World MAX event (Japanese tournament) will happen in June. Krush will have a 70 kg tournament. There will also be a 63 kg tournament. There is no word on what K-1’s future on Japanese TV is.