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Calvancanti vs. Aoki to take place at Yarennoka

Two matches have been officially announced for Yarennoka on Dec. 31 in Japan.

According to the website for the event, matches between Hayato Sakurai vs. Hidehiko Hasegawa and Shinya Aoki vs. Gesias “JZ Calvan” Calvancanti have been signed.

Zach Arnold of says JZ vs. Aoki is not much of a draw, and maybe he’s right, but it has a chance to be an amazing fight.

Other fighters expected for the card include Ricardo Arona, Joachim Hansen, Gilbert Melendez, Luis Azeredo, Kazuo Misaki, Tatsuya Kawajiri, and Mitsuhiro Ishida. All are picture on the Yarennoka website.

Also pictured on the site is Fedor Emelianenko, who appeared at a press conference in Japan last week to announce his addition to the card as one half of the night’s main event. An opponent has not been officially named, however, Vadim Finkelstein, Fedor’s manager, confirmed to me in an interview last night that Hong Man Choi is considered to be the most likely opponent.

There are also rumors that Yoshihiro Akiyama, who made headlines following a first round knockout of Denis Kang on Oct. 28, could be added to the card as well. Akiyama is contracted to K-1 HERO’s but it’s not a stretch to believe he could be added to the card because Calvancanti is also on the HERO’s roster.

As of now, the show is only scheduled to be televised via pay-per-view in Japan. It would be great if a site such as or Yahoo! could find away to make that stream available. Unfortunately, because of a global reach the live stream could hurt PPV sales in Japan. It looks like many of us will have to watch the fights through means such as YouTube.

  • Gygax says:

    Sam, Ricardo Arona announced last week in GracieMag that he is not fighting on this card.

    “M-1 Global hunted me down to fight at the end of this year, but I’m having some personal problems and will not be able to go.” said Arona.

    As is typical of the Japanese promotions, they like to throw a ton of names out there hoping they all stick.

    These are two excellent fights to kickoff the event as I think both will be very competitive.

  • jaydog says:

    If JZ/Aoki happens, I’ll forgive the Fedor/Sasquatch match-up. That list of names is really a throwing down of the gauntlet by M-1. As mixed-up as mix fight may appear, they’ll be a force to contend with if they can showcase that level of talent consistently. (or at least once, at this point).


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