New-Years Eve Events PreView

Saturday 29 December 2007

I will not be in Tokyo, or Osaka for that matter, for NYE. I have been kicking myself for that decision since these cards started evolving. However, sometimes family committments have to come first.

That means also that I will not be able to give live updates on these events (unless a miracle happens), but I should at least be able to see the K-1 Dynamite broadcast.

Anyway, to the real topic.
Sherdog has published a very good review of all the fights happening on the K-1 card. I will only go through the fights that I am excited about for the NYE. There are some fights with some real potential on both the K-1 and the Yarennoka cards.

K-1 Dynamite, this card is mostly for the general public in Japan. Like it or not, they want to see freakshows. As a consequense of this, I am only really excited about 3 fights. That being said, it will be fun to see Sapp kick some ass. And Sakuraba is always an highlight, but he is reaching the end of his career and this should not be a main-event.

Joachim Hansen 15-6-1 vs. 5-5-0 Kazuyuki Miyata
I believe this is a great match-up. I saw Miyata demolish Harvey Harra in his last fight, this guy should not be underestimated! He is very powerful and is an increadible wrestler. Joachim Hansen is one of my top 2 favorite fighters, if I was anywhere near Osaka I would be in the crowd. He has the experience, the better stand-up game and striking skills on his side.

I will be very surprised if this fight goes the distance. Miyata rarely goes past round 1, I think the trick for Hansen will be to get through the initial charge from Miyata. I would not be surprised if this ends with a KO win for Hansen. But this could be fight of the year, it has the potential.

Yusuke Nishijima 0-4-0 vs. 18-4-1 Melvin Manhoef
I am not sure if this will be a great fight, but I am still looking forward to it. This will end in a round 1 KO to one of the fighters, my house is on Manhoef. Nishijima has showed that he has a strong chin, but Manhoef will be too strong for him.

Norifumi "KID" Yamamoto 16-1-0 vs. 11-3-0 Rani Yahya
This is a very interesting match-up. KID is a wrestler that likes to KO opponents. Rani Yahya, from what I have seen, goes straight for the grappling. After his last fight, KID promised to win his next fight by KO. But this is a very similar opponent to what he faced last time.

My money would be on KID for a second round KO.

Yarennoka! This is a VERY good card. It is much harder to exclude fights for this event, but Roman Zentsov vs. Mike Russow, I dont know much about these fighters. The Fedor fight doesnt excite me, because of the opponent, the same goes for the Aoki fight...
I am a big fan of Aoki`s work, but think his opponent will be too light for him.

I will also leave out the Bustamante/Takimoto (Bustamante is old and Takimoto doesnt interest me) and Sakurai/Hasegawa (Sakurai acted like a spoiled 6-year old during the DEEP presentation, I am more interested in seeing Hasegawa) fight...

That leaves 3 fights. Keep in mind, all the fights on this card has potential and I am leaving some out based on my personal opinion.

Tatsuya Kawajiri 19-4-2 vs. 11-6-0 Luiz Azeredo
Two very experienced guys. This will be a ground fight, that means Azeredo on his back and Kawajiri in his element, most likely Kawajiri will win this by ground and pound. It will be interesting to see how rusty these fighters are... A year is a long time.

Gilbert Melendez 13-0-0 vs. 14-3-1 Mitsuhiro Ishida
Melendez, the other unbeaten fighter on this card... Against Ishida, the home favorite. This will be a very tough fight. I am going to go with Melendez, he has not lost yet, and I dont think Ishida will be able to take this. It will be a very tough fight, but dont think it will be a very entertaining fight, one for the true fans.

Kazuo Misaki 18-8-2 vs. 10-1-0 (1NC) Yoshihiro Akiyama
This fight has a lot of potential. These are the only 2 fighters to beat Denis Kang since 2003.

If I was going to watch one fight this NYE, it would be between this and the Miyata/Hansen fight. It is worth the PPV fee alone, except they are showing this on free-to-air in Japan... Akiyama, the Judo guy with KO power. Has also proven to be a very respectful guy after his come-back earlier this year, and he has a lot of respect for Misaki.

Misaki is the more experienced of the two fighters, but he has not been in the ring since February. Akiyama was crushing in his come-back. My money is on Akiyama, I think he is stronger in just about any part of the game.


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