(PHOTO: Hiroshi Izumi, instead of taking the fightto the ground, stood and traded strikes with Antz “Notorious” Nansen,a kick boxing champion from Holland, and went down hard on his pro MMA debut.)
Sengoku Tenth Battle was held at Saitama Community Arena which is a smallervenue located inside the Saitama Super Arena.
This venue holds only about 5,000 and there was only one big screen in thehouse so it did look like the tamest show Sengoku ever held but it was morethan apparent that WVR (World Victory Road) are just trying to make sense onthe financial books.
They got rid of the fancy stage for the opening ceremony and also, that longelevated runaway, and long introductory videos. Some can consider this as a bigbudget cut but many felt there are more possibilities for the future in Sengokucompared to DREAM, which has been rumored to be in financial problems.
Sengoku still houses more Japanese stars than anybody else but yet, they arecourageous enough to scale down to make a profit which is, obviously, a gooddecision in terms of business. And they have successfully signed big nameOlympic judokas like Hiroshi Izumi who made his pro MMA debut in this show, andof course, Satoshi Ishii, the gold medal winner from the Peking Games, thatwill be making a pro MMA debut on New Year’s Eve.
So, this show, for the Japanese fans, was all about Izumi’s pro debut, butIzumi stood and traded strikes with Antz “Notorious” Nansen and gotbeat which was a harsh reality but also at the same time, Sengoku showed itsattitude that it’s not about protecting their star fighters.
And while Izumi fell on the canvass, in this show, another star was born andthat is none other than Dan Hornbuckle, who took out Japanese star, UFC andPRIDE vet Akihiro Gono in the Ninth Battle, and UFC vet and Bodog Fight champNick Thompson in this show.
Hornbuckle quickly became one of the popular fighters in Japan with these twovery impressive victories and now he will be back on New Year’s Eve to fight inthe first Welterweight Title bout.
Also, Joe Doerksen from Canada, by defeating Takenori Sato, a disciple ofKazushi Sakuraba, also left an impression on the mind of Japanese fans.
So Sengoku has scaled down but playing are solid marketing tactics by goingback to Ryogoku Sumo Arena in November followed by a big New Year’s Eve show sothis show looks like it is going to take over the Japanese market in the year2010.
Reportby Shu Hirata
Photo byYoshinori Ihara (boutreview.com)
PIC 1: Dan Hornbuckle continued his impressive run by taking out NickThompson with combination and knee shots.
PIC 2: Makoto Takimoto, an Olympic judo gold medal winner, scored a win inthis welterweight bout so more than likely he would face Hornbuckle for thetitle on New Year’s Eve.
PIC 3: Joe Doerksen scored two consecutive wins in Sengoku and now quicklyhas become one of the hot middleweights in Sengoku.