twitter google

Cro Cop, Aoki, and host of underdogs victorious at FEG’s “Dynamite!!”

The Fighter Entertainment Group held a massive 17-bout show on New Year’s Eve in Japan that featured fighters from both its K-1 kickboxing and DREAM mixed martial arts rosters.

The show, which emanated from the Saitama Super Arena in the city of Saitama and was televised live on network TV in Japan, featured a mix of bouts that were contested under K-1 and also MMA rules.

In some unusual matchmaking, MMA stars such as Alistair Overeem, Tatsuya Kawajiri, and DREAM middleweight champion Gegard Mousasi were all pitted against K-1 stars in K-1 rules bouts. And in a major surprise, all three were victorious.

Overeem knocked out K-1 “bad boy” Badr Hari following a left hook that was delivered at 2:07 of round 1 with Mousasi also winning his bout in the first round over the similar-named Musashi at 2:32. Kawajiri, a top ten ranked lightweight fight by virtually every major rankings poll, completed the trifecta of first round KO upsets after he finished Kozo Takeda with a left hook knockdown that was preceeded by a knockdown caused by a flying knee.

The event also featured familiar MMA stars competing in bouts governed under MMA rules such as Kazushi Sakuraba, Mirko Cro Cop, and Shinya Aoki. In the main event, Japanese legend Sakuraba lost his second consecutive fight after losing a unanimous decision to Kiyoshi Tamura.

Cro Cop, a former veteran of PRIDE and the UFC, was successful in defeating 7’2” kickboxer Hong Man Choi via TKO at 6:32 of round 1 after the referee called the stop to the fight due to Choi favoring his knee after being the recipient of several major leg kicks. After the bout, Cro Cop reportedly announced a six-month hiatus from fighting in order to undergo knee surgery.

Aoki also became the first-ever lightweight champion of the World Alliance of Mixed Martial Arts after he submitted Eddie Alvarez with a heel hook at 1:32 of round 1. WAMMA officials were not on hand to present Aoki a belt as an agreement between the organization and FEG could not be worked out in time. According to WAMMA officials, the organization decided to sanction the bout independently after both Alvarez and Aoki consented to accepting the title in the event that they won. Aoki is expected to be presented the title at a ceremony to be held at a later date.

“Dynamite!!” also featured one of the year’s biggest upsets, with middleweight Melvin Manhoef stepping in to face super heavyweight Mark Hunt on short notice after Jerome LeBanner pulled out of the fight. Despite the tremendous disparity in weight, Manhoef needed just 18 seconds into the fight to knock Hunt out.

Other results included Ikuhisa “Minowaman” Minowa submitting Errol Zimmerman at 1:01 of round 1; Bob Sapp TKO’ing professional wrestler Akihito Tanaka (competing under the identity of an Japanese Anime character known as “Kinniku Mantaro”); Semmy Schilt submitting Siala “Mighty Mo” Siliga at 5:31 of round 1; and Hayato “Mach” Sakurai TKO’ing Katsyuyori Shibata at 7:01 of round 1.

The 17-bout event had originally been planned to consist of 18 fights but a non-title match between DREAM lightweight champion Joachim Hansen and Gesias Calvancante was cancelled at the last minute after Hansen could not gain medical clearance.

  • 45huddle says:

    Translation: DREAM Doesn’t care about WAMMA.

    WAMMA Lightweight Title is now just a second DREAM Belt. Nothing more, nothing less. It’s pointless as Aoki isn’t going to be cross promoting, and he wasn’t even Top 3 at the time of the fight (in credible rankings).

    Please, for normalcy, just drop this WAMMA garbage already. I know Mr. Caplan thinks it is doing good, but it just dilutes the sport, and adds more politics like boxing to it. WAMMA doesn’t even have a credible Championship policy like The Ring Magazine does…. Nor do they allow 50% of their ranked fighters to compete for it. That makes it pointless. Please, let it die off already.

  • Patrick says:

    Aoki may not be top 3 (depending on how you rank…)

    However, Aoki is most certainly top 5 after beating Eddie, easy. There is quite a short list of guys above him at lightweight.

  • Big Dummy says:

    Isn’t WAMMA supposed to be a sanctioning body?

    How in the hell did they sanction a fight they weren’t even at?

    What is it they exactly do that allows them to call themselves a sanctioning body?

    How about someone explaining what exactly WAMMA’s role was in the Aoki/Alvarez fight? Step by Step what exactly they did for that fight? For that matter what exactly was there role in the Fedor/Timmy fight? What exactly did they do for those fights that constitute them being considered a sanctioning body?

    What in the hell does WAMMA actually do other than hand out belts and hope to make money off of that?

    Someone also please explain to me why anyone would buy into WAMMA? I mean if in any other field of business a company formed and said we are new to this business but we are going to be the leader in this field of business and tell everyone else in this business what to do and how to run things and make money off all your hard work they would be looked at as crazy. To me that would never fly for any company in any other business so why is WAMMA looked at as a good idea by anyone for the business of MMA.

  • 45huddle says:


    After this victory, he is back to #2 in the world…. I was just making reference to WAMMA having him ranked #3 in the world before this fight.

    But as of right now, he is #2 in the world…. The only problem is that BJ Penn is the worst matchup for him in all of MMA. He can’t sub BJ, and BJ would hurt him on the feet. Styles make fights, and that fight would put a “L” on Aoki’s record.

  • romano says:

    it’s impossible for me to speak highly of aoki….i mean sure his submission game is second to none….but who on earth believes that crab walk antonio inoki style would fly against kenny florian, sean sherk, bj penn or a dozen other guys in an octagon?

    japanese lightweights are ALWAYS overrated….ever since the mma community decided to completely forget about gomi’s failures and rank him as if he was an undefeated monster, for some reason mma writers buy into that japanese mythology in the lower weight classes.

    i could barely watch this morning. Pride had great english speaking announcers and backstage bits that made up for the odd japanese production values…but this dynamite show was just ridiculous. i don’t understand why the japanese are entertained by the things that they are entertained by….it’s like the whole country is constantly on acid or something.

  • Joseph says:

    Check out roman and his haterade…LOL!

    I am sure Aoki is NO MATCH for the elite fighters like Florian and Sherk….LOL!

  • TurdFerguson says:

    I wonder what was up with Hansen? Haven’t heard anything yet, is this similar to when Aleks couldn’t pass medical for Banned! Probably a nagging injury

  • Patrick says:


    Misunderstood what you were saying, thought you were saying that Aoki wasn’t a top 5 guy, my bad. He’s definitely ranked #2 on my personal list, but 2/3 is a close call. I agree with you though that Penn is leagues ahead of everyone else in the LW division (also… he’s my favorite fighter, he’d be number 1 regardless for me haha).

    We’ll see, I’d like to see Aoki get that Dream title from Hansen, beat JZ again, and then move on to bigger and better things (UFC).

    Aokiplatas for all.

  • Cathedron says:

    Good night for MMA in general. Beating K-1 guys with their own rules is just awesome to me.

    I agree totally with Big Dummy. WAMMA is totally pointless. The UFC doesn’t need them to lend validity to their belts, so already most of the best fighters will never be “WAMMA certified”. Hell, any promotion that gets big won’t want to water down the value of their own belts.

    I’m going to start a better organization than WAMMA right now, if anybody’s interested. I’ll call my org Pound For Pound (or #4# for short – it’ll make cool t-shirts). I could probably scrounge up enough cash to make a belt in the next month. I could mail that belt to Anderson Silva and declare him the Best Fighter on Earth. Does that make any titles I hand out important? Hey! Look at me! I’m important.

  • Rich S. says:

    Aoki’s BEAST.
    He had me and the whole arena laughing with that little scoot show he put on..
    and it simply amazes me that ANYONE can beat Eddie with such a small amount of time and such ease..
    great job..

    Also, Grats to Mirko.. he did exactly what he needed to do: chop down the giant tree at the base with his axe, or in this case, his left leg..
    That’s EXACTLY what he needs to do if he rematches Overeem, otherwise, he’ll lose..

    also i was very shocked with the Manhoef fight.. glad with the results though..

  • Nir says:

    Romano’s right. I think Aoki can’t even beat guys like Escuardo or Nover. he’s got great submissions, not much else. how is he ranked so high? who has he beaten? with all due respect to Alvarez, i love watching him fight but he’s mainly beaten lesser talent on smaller shows.
    you see “super submission guys” like Alberto Crane come to the UFC and get their ass handed to them, it wouldn’t be any different for Aoki.

  • choi hong man is sexy says:

    i agree with cathedron. watching mma fighters vs k1 fighters is great. it’s surprising that these mma guys can hang with the k1 fighters and even more surprising that they would win. it’s great to see though.

    i loved seeing overeem destroy that jerk badr hari. i only qish that the fight wouldve been mma rules so he couldve really broken hari’s neck. side note: overeem’s wife/gf is FINE AS HELL!!!!!.

    at the moment i’m in south korea and saw this show on korean cable for free. if k1 and dream can put on such a massive show on cable (NOT ppv) why cant it be done in the US?

  • Rich S. says:

    you can’t tell me Alvarez wouldn’t smoke any LW the UFC has to offer, barring Penn..
    Hell, Alvarez beat Hansen, and i’d say Hansen can smoke any LW the UFC has to offer..
    Aoki has beaten both of them, so to say he “can’t even beat guys like Escudero or Nover” is crazy..

  • platypus says:

    doesnt seem like romano travels much, or is very accepting of foreign customs or culture, or really is interested in stopping to consider that maybe other countries have different cultures. its ok though, since what goes on in japan generally stays there.

    great results, great fights, im glad b/c i remember back in the day all the mma fighters were getting embarrassed in their dabbings into k1. hoost owned igor vov, sefo owned melvin and sapp, im sure there are more matches, like mike zambidis KOing kid yam, its like all this has been building up for a night of vengeance by mma fighters, awesome

  • Nir says:

    Rich S.,

    first off, you gotta agree that Aoki doesn’t have ANY standup. he’s fun to watch, I love his submissions, but how can someone with no stand up be considered as so good?

    second, don’t forget that Hansen recently beat Aoki, and easily, so I’m not sure Aoki’s really much better than him.

    as for you being so sure these fighters who fight in Japan can smoke everyone, if you look at their record, take Hansen, Gomi or Aoki, it’s hard to find a win over even a mid-level contender in the UFC. Marcus Aurelio made a big splash in Japan, and everyone considered him to be a top 10 guy, but when he came to the UFC he had very mixed results, until the finally cut him. that’s what will likely happen to any of the fighters you listed. (let’s call it “the Sokoudjou sydrom”)


You must be logged in to post a comment.