With the 2010 K-1 World GP officially behind them, FEG has quickly turned their attention to putting together a Dynamite!! NYE show. While the card probably won’t be finalized until the days or even hours before the show, they have announced several bouts, which are listed below.
- DREAM WW Title Fight: Marius Zaromskis vs. Kazushi Sakuraba
- DREAM FW Title Fight: Bibiano Fernandes vs. Hiroyuki Takaya
- Tatsuya Kawajiri vs. Josh Thomson
- Kazuyuki Miyata vs. Caol Uno
- Jerome Le Banner vs. Tatsuya Mizuno
- DREAM/K-1 Special Rules bout: Shinya Aoki vs. Yuichiro Nagashim
- K-1 bout: Akiyo “Wicky” Nishiura vs. Tetsuya Yamato
Gegard Mousasi and Melvin Manhoef have also been rumored for the card at one point or another, but nothing is official yet. Another rumored participant for the card is Alistair Overeem. Word was FEG wanted to book him in a heavyweight title fight on NYE if he won the K-1 WGP. He did and it appears they’re attempting to move forward with it, but nothing has come together yet. It appears the hang-up is finding him a suitable opponent for a title fight on two weeks notice. I assume a non-title fight is an option FEG would consider, but it doesn’t sound like Overeem’s too interested if there isn’t a belt on the line.
“If I fight on the ‘Dynamite!!’ show, I expect it to be for the DREAM heavyweight title,” Overeem told reporters following his win.
“I’m a little bit skeptical, but that’s my own personal opinion,” he said. “You never know with the Japanese, so we’ll see.”
Interestingly, Antonio Inoki, who essentially led their NYE competition in the past, was announced today as the “executive producer” for Dynamite!! 2010. Here’s Fight Opinion’s Zach Arnold on this development.
The big development, if you want to call it that, today was the announcement of Antonio Inoki as “executive producer” of this year’s Dynamite event at Saitama Super Arena. If you believe that Inoki would book the kind of fights listed up above, I have a bridge in Brooklyn I’d like to sell you. Any how, Inoki will play the Hulk Hogan role of being the face for the event and promising some ‘big surprises’ for the show.
The news of K-1 & Kazuyoshi Ishii calling upon Antonio Inoki to participate is interesting on a lot of political levels, but fights move the needle for fans rather than politics. Politically-speaking, the move to bring Inoki on board is a tacit acknowledgment by K-1 that they needed more star power than they could produce with the fights on their card. Inoki is a far bigger star than anyone on the fight card. Here’s the problem — he can’t fight. Sure, he may do a goofy wrestling exhibition match, but you’ve seen that before. You’ve also seen Inoki-produced events before (see: 8/8/03 at the Tokyo Dome for UFO when he booked Matt Ghaffari vs. Naoya Ogawa and Sanae Kikuta was stretchered out after a beating by Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, plus the infamous 12/31/03 Kobe Wing Stadium show that later on would be a key moment in the implosion of PRIDE.)
In rather surprisingly positive news for K-1 and DREAM’s future, HKL is reporting that the organization may be saved by a last-minute investor after all. A deal hasn’t been closed yet, so there’s still time for it to fall apart, but apparently PUJI found someone who wants to move forward with investing in FEG.