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PRIDE Otoko Matsuri 12/31/2005: ‘2001 ADCC Champion Sanae Kikuta Back in PRIDE!

Home » ADCC News » PRIDE Otoko Matsuri 12/31/2005: ‘2001 ADCC Champion Sanae Kikuta Back in PRIDE!

DSE Presents ?PRIDE OTOMO MATSURI (Man?s Festival) 2005 – ITADAKI – ?December 31st, 2005At Saitama Super ArenaDoor Open: TBAFight Start: TBAThe day after the announcement of Ogawa vs. Yoshida that rocked the Japanese society, DSE followed it with two very interesting match-ups. On November 15th, DSE held a press conference in Tokyo and announced that Makoto Takimoto and Kazuhiro Nakamura of Yoshida Dojo will challenge veterans, Sanae Kikuta and Yuki Kondo.In Japan, the fans are now viewing Kikuta as sort of like the ‘backroom’ or ‘behind-the-scene,? perhaps hidden champion. When Kikuta became the first on the only Japanese conquer of the ADCC World Championships in 2001, the entire Japanese fight world was buzzed by his accomplishment. Kikuta was supposed to be the next big thing in the MMA. However, in 2002, when Kikuta made a comeback into PRIDE as the best grappler in the world, he was treated like nobody. During the fight, his opponent, Alexander Otsuka, repeatedly kneed Kikuta’s groin but the referee Yuji Shimada not only ignored Alexander’s illegal tactic but also didn’t even issue a warning. This was one of the ugly performances ever displayed in the history of PRIDE. Since then Kikuta stayed away from PRIDE concentrated on fighting in Pacnrase shows so the fans never got to see world champion grappler Kikuta facing big name fighters in the big stage and that made him, in fan?s perception, like a secret champion.Kikuta seemed like he is well aware of what the fans are thinking, ‘On New Year’s Eve, I am not just going to be ‘behind-the-scene’ world’s best grappler, I want to submit an Olympic Gold Medallist. I think I am a flameout. (laugh) But for past ten years, I am feeling proud that I have been one of the tops of the world. At this juncture, I am glad I can fight another world?s top grappler. Finally, the man from the back channel is getting an opportunity to prove it on the front stage, that’s how I feel like.’Takimoto, however, was thinking about something else, ‘I am not going to insist on the ground game. In the last fight fans booed me so I didn’t feel good. So, this time, I am looking to brush away the cobwebs and win in a way spectators would be feel consent.’Nakamura was absent because he is currently training in Brazil but his opponent Kondo attended the press conference, ‘In last fight (vs. Igor Vovchanchyn), I couldn’t produce good result nor good fight. I want to be intense take ippon. (submission or KO) I think I am on the absolute edge. I can’t lose this fight. I want to win.’In order for PRIDE to win in a TV rating war against K-1 Dynamite!!, battle between Japanese fighters were necessary. At the end, DSE President Nobuyuki Sakakibara added a crucial quota, ‘Fighters who couldn’t get accepted by TV rating and the fans, that would have an effect in the future matchmaking in PRIDE.’Confirmed CArd (Subject to change):PRIDE GP 2005 Lightweight (73 kg / 160.96 lbs & under) FinalTakanori Gomi (Japan / Kiguchi Wrestling School) vs. Hayato ‘Mach’ Sakurai (Japan / Mach Dojo)PRIDE GP 2005 Welterweight (83 kg / 183.02 lbs & under) FinalDan Henderson (U.S.A. / Team Quest ) vs. Murilo Bustamante (Brazil / Brazilian Top Team)Heavyweight Bout 10 min 1R, 5 min 2R & 3RNaoya Ogawa (Japan / Freelance) vs. Hidehiko Yoshida (Japan / Yoshida Dojo)Middleweight Bout 10 min 1R, 5 min 2R & 3RSanae Kikuta (Japan / GRABAKA) vs. Makoto Takimoto (Japan / Yoshida Dojo)Middleweight Bout 10 min 1R, 5 min 2R & 3RYuki Kondo (Japan / Pancrase-ism) vs. Kazuhiro Nakamura (Japan / Yoshida Dojo)Ticket Prices:VIP – 150,000 yen (including special gift), RRS – 32,000 yen, Stand S -19,000 yen, Stand A – 9,000 yen

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