World Victory Road (WVR) announced an additional card for the upcoming Sengoku Ran 2009 show at Saitama Super Arena. The founder of Yoshida Dojo Hidehiko Yoshida is taking on the leader of GRABAKA Sanae Kikuta.
During his Meiji University years, Yoshida trained a few times with Kikuta who was two years younger attending at Meiji Nakano High School. When Yoshida won a gold at the Barcelona Olympics in 1992, Kikuta, left Nippon Sports Science University and gave up on judo trying to become pro-wrestler making ends meet by working part time jobs.
"He is my senpai and he is the fighter I look up to. I don’t want to exchange punches with another Japanese, I just felt this mixed feeling." WVR is pushing this match up as the gold medal winner vs. grappling (ADCC) world champion, and Yoshida Dojo vs. GRABAKA. At the press conference Kikuta also touched on this theme, "It’s an individual fight but from the fans’ point of view this is a battle between two dojos. Its a hard and meaningful fight." He even added, "Depends on the winner of this fight, it will determine which team would take over Sengoku."
Yoshida first said, "I never thought of fighting him. I feel a bit confused" but compared to past big fights like the one against Naoya Ogawa on New Year’s Eve 2005, he believes "this fight is much heavier". Then he followed up, "When I get into that ring I forget about everything so I am looking forward to the fight day".
Sunday, January 4th, 2008
At Saitama Super Arena, Saitama, Japan
Confirmed Cards (Subject to Change):
Takanori Gomi (Japan / Kugeyama Rascal Gym) vs. Satoru Kitaoka (Japan / Pancrase-ism)
Kazuo Misaki (Japan / GRABAKA) vs. Jorge Santiago (USA / American Top Team)
Hidehiko Yoshida (Japan / Yoshida Dojo) vs. Sanae Kikuta (Japan / GRABAKA)
Sengoku Seat – 17,000 yen (with special gift)
PIC: Hidehiko Yoshida (right) is a judo elite and Sanae Kikuta (left) is a judo drop out.