12.26.2007 - 3:35:00 PM -
Yarennoka!: Roman Zentsov vs Mike Russow
Sam Caplan got word that the final fight to be added to the Yarennoka! card will be Mike Russow (6-1) vs Roman Zentsov (16-11). I'm guessing that Aoki's opponent will be revealed sometime soon. There's not much time left to be announcing a replacement. Here's what the card looks like so far:
12.06.2007 - 11:54:00 AM -
Yarennoka!: Tatsuya Kawajiri vs Luis Azeredo; Gilbert Melendez vs Mitsuhiro Ishida
Sherdog.com announced 2 more fights for the New Years Eve Yarennoka! event at Saitama Super Arena in Japan.
At a news conference Thursday held in Hayato Sakurai's newly opened gym, the Mach Dojo, two additional fights were announced for the Yarennoka! New Year's Eve event in Japan.
Former Shooto welterweight world champion Tatsuya Kawajiri will face Chute Boxe's Luis Azeredo. Kawajiri's teammate and former Shooto Pacific Rim champion Mitsuhiro Ishida will clash with current Strikeforce champion Gilbert Melendez.
11.29.2007 - 1:58:00 PM -
Yarennoka: Aoki vs Calvancanti; Sakuari vs Hasegawa
Two fights have been officially announced for the New Year's Yarennoka! event in Japan. Hayato "Mach" Sakurai (30-7-2) will fight Hidehiko Hasegawa (14-8-4). Shinya Aoki (11-2) will take on Hero's 154 lb. tournament champion Gesias "JZ Calvan" Calvancanti (14-1-1).
A Press Conference was held yesterday to announce the MMA show on New Years Eve that Fedor would be fighting in. Zach Arnold from Fight Opinion has the rundown on the press conference:
A press conference was held today by former PRIDE staff members to announce that there would be an MMA show on 12/31 at Saitama Super Arena. The promoters are labeling the event as being "Yarennoka! supported by M-1 Global Mixed Martial Arts." Takada, Sasahara, Saeki, Lenny Hardt, Kei Grand, Daisuke Sato, and major names from DSE's management past are involved in the show. Fighters announced included Fedor, Hayato "Mach" Sakurai, Shin'ya Aoki, Tatsuya Kawajiri, and Mitsuhiro Ishida. Photo mugshot of DSE management here.
Take notice of the NYE logo for Yarennoka, which uses the exact same font as the past DSE-produced Otoko Matsuri (Man Festival) shows did. Furthermore, the web page for Yarennoka is only a slightly modified format as compared to the old PRIDE web site.
The Yarennoka website and the Pride Official website look eerily similar as pointed out by Zach. The fonts for some of the multimedia appear to be identical as well. The Yarennoka image is at the top of this article and here are some of the old PRIDE Otoko Matsuri images from past shows (click the thumbnail to see the full image):
I also did some hunting and found this image on the PRIDE Official website (click the thumbnail for the image):
That image appears to be copyright Dream Stage Entertainment (DSE) the old parent company of PRIDE. Strangely enough it looks a lot like the logo from 2007 event but with a ? instead of a !. There have been many blurbs that this could be the new PRIDE or this could be a farewell to the PRIDE that so many loved.
M-1 Global president Monte Cox, whose promotion owns the rights to Emelianenko, confirmed late Tuesday that the Russian Sambo champion would be competing on the card. Emelianenko will be paid $1.5 million by the Japanese promotion. Cox, however, did not reveal what type of compensation M-1 Global will receive for lending out Emelianenko's services. An opponent for the former PRIDE heavyweight king was not named at the press conference.
Cox said that reports on MMAWeekly.com and Sherdog.com naming South Korean kickboxer Hong Man Choi - who stands 7-foot-2 and weighs in at more than 350 pounds - as Emelianenko's opponent were premature. Cox said Choi has neither been confirmed nor signed to face Emelianenko.
"Part of the deal is that they choose the opponent," Cox said. "They're choosing an opponent that makes sense for the Japanese market."
Cox said M-1 Global and Emelianenko would remain open to whichever opponent the Japanese promotion presents, Choi included. Cox did not comment on how this latest development might affect plans to have Emelianenko compete in February in the U.S. under M-1 Global's first official event.
The Yarennoka official website has the following fighters listed as possibly participants at the NYE event: