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Rizin signs Sapp vs. Akebono rematch for its debut

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Wez

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It was anything but a classic fight, but on Dec. 31, 2003, Bob Sapp and Akebono put on a spectacle that nothing since has ever come close to equaling in Japanese culture. On Friday, a rematch was announced for a show exactly a dozen years later.

Read more here....

(Courtesy of All That MMA on Twitter)

Post #1   11/28/15 11:17:33PM   

jae_1833

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"Akebono, now 46, was a great sumo, but not a fighter. He would fight under MMA rules on the next three New Year's Eve shows, losing to Royce Gracie via quick submission, Bobby Ologun, a popular Japanese television comedian who fought on major TV events, and the 7-foot-3, 400-pound former pro wrestler Paulo "Giant" Silva. He ended up going 0-4 in MMA and 1-8 in kickboxing, with his only career win coming against Nobuaki Kakuda, a referee who worked in the front office for K-1.

Sapp, now 42, saw his stardom in Japan run its course after a few years, but has come back regularly over the years for pro wrestling appearances.

He ended up losing 13 of his last 14 kickboxing matches between 2005 and 2013, nine in the first round. In MMA, he had a similar fate, losing 15 of his last 16 recorded fights between 2009 and 2013, with every loss coming in the first round. He was known for going down the first time a punch came, or sometimes, it seemed, even earlier than that."

Yup! I'll be tuning in for that...

Post #2   11/28/15 11:30:06PM   

FKA

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Japan will go crazy for this a smart move it will draw alot of casual Japanese fans.

Post #3   11/29/15 1:43:32AM   

jae_1833

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They may very well do that, but can you honestly call it good MMA? Would you get up super early to pay $25 and watch that? With a piss poor match up (at least most likely) for Fedor, and Gabi Garcia vs some other girl you've never or barely ever even heard of? An easy match for Aoki against a man who should have retired 8 years ago, it's just a bad event with shitty fights. I don't see any draw to this event and would be shocked to see it turn around at this point. I guess I've been spoiled and expect something fantastic for a resurrection of Pride.

Post #4   11/29/15 3:40:02AM   

RhythmAndStyle

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I will never complain about a freak show fight..they even prove to be more exciting then some top tier fights..and not every fighter needs to be in the title picture..Japan will always put together freak show fights, and a lot of them don't disappoint either..and plus it wouldn't be a NYE without Japan doing a crazy event..and yes I will be tuning into this event..

Post #5   11/29/15 3:21:27PM   

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I wonder what the over/under time is for Vegas odds on Sapp's fight length lol 1 minute? 30 seconds?

Post #6   11/29/15 3:43:04PM   

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Rizin Fighting Federation
December 29-31, 2015
Saitama Super Arena
Saitama, Japan

Main Card:
Fedor Emelianenko (34-4) vs. TBA
Main Event | Heavyweight | 265 lbs (120 kg)


Kazushi Sakuraba (26-16) vs Shinya Aoki (38-6)
Co-Main Event | Openweight



Gabrielle Garcia (0-0) vs. (0-0) Lei’d Tapa
Main Card | Female Light Heavyweight | 205 lbs (93 kg)



Rena Kubota (0-0) vs. (0-0) Jleana Valentino
Main Card | Female Strawweight K-1 | 115 lbs (52 kg)




Hiroyuki Takaya (20-11) vs. (17-9) DJ.taiki
Main Card | Featherweight | 145 lbs (66 kg)



Yuki Motoya (15-4) vs. (10-7) Nam Jin Jo
Main Card | Flyweight | 125 lbs (57 kg)




Andy Souwer (0-0) vs. (4-2) Yuichiro Nagashima
Main Card | Catchweight | 159 lbs (72 kg)





Kron Gracie (1-0) vs. (0-0) Asen Yamamoto
Main Card | Lightweight | 155 lbs (70 kg)





Tsuyoshi Kosaka (26-18) vs. (20-14) James Thompson
Main Card | Heavyweight | 265 lbs (120 kg)





AJ Matthews (8-3) Bellator vs. (20-14) Anatoly Tokov ABC
Main Card | Middleweight | 185 lbs (84 kg)




Kaido Höövelson (0-0) vs. TBA
Main Card | Openweight |





8-Man Heavyweight GP:
Bruno Cappelozza (7-3)
King Mo (16-4)
Mark Godbeer (10-2)
Teodoras Aukštuolis (7-2)
Goran Reljic (15-5)



I assume you guys aren't actually following rizin news......so i shall shed some light,


Each day of fights will have a production theme i believe the first day is a tribute to the past,hence akebono vs sapp and tk vs colossus,etc.

The other announced theme is the future so that will be the gp,fedor,etc.


This 3 day event encompasses everything pride was,they will py tribute to where they came from bringing in the Japanese hardcore as well as casuals, and then will give us some great fights to showcase some future talents and the direction of rizin.

Last edited 11/29/15 4:39PM server time by FKA
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Post #7   11/29/15 4:28:37PM   

Shawn91111

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Posted by FKA

Fedors return and the gp are the legit mma fights also the gracie fight is cool too.

This is a nye event so i would expect many freakshow fights in japan nye is a holiday where tv events are extremely popular to draw in casuals they need legends and freak fights.

This card will be alot f fun im not bitching one bit.



You would be if the UFC was doing this

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On the comeback trail

Post #8   11/29/15 4:34:01PM   

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No way would i complain if the ufc ditched dogshit unified rules and did a ring fight and catered to a japanese fanbase......nice try tho shawn.This card will in fact be epic and will generate alot of viewers.


Ufc is north American cage fighting it is not doing the same thing at all.

The state of jmma is sad and sakakibara knows how to draw huge audiences and it will work.


Post #9   11/29/15 4:45:56PM   

FlashyG

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Posted by FKA

No way would i complain if the ufc ditched dogshit unified rules and did a ring fight and catered to a japanese fanbase......nice try tho shawn.This card will in fact be epic and will generate alot of viewers.


Ufc is north American cage fighting it is not doing the same thing at all.

The state of jmma is sad and sakakibara knows how to draw huge audiences and it will work.





This may draw a big audience but it will do nothing to help JMMA. Instead of trying to rebuild JMMA they are trying to bring back everyone involved when JMMA was relevant.

This card is nothing close to epic, Affliction put on more impressive cards.

Post #10   11/29/15 4:56:37PM   

Bustamante-Aoki

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Ishii was confirmed for the GP today as well

Sapp vs. Akebono in K-1 was the highest rated fight in Japanese combat sports history. It's like the Japanese version of Brock vs. Kimbo, and you know we'd all watch that lol.

This time Akebono not only has a chance to win, but he'll be the favourite. He's lost a lot of weight.

They can't just put Rena, Gabi, Motoya, Matthews. Tokov, & the GP participants on the card without old-school legends. No one would watch. Did people forget about DEEP's 2014 NYE card already? They used all the best prospects they could find, and a few older fighters and it bombed miserably.

MMA hasn't been on mainstream TV in Japan for 10 years. This event is what got it back on air. Personally I can't wait, and I think it's going to be awesome.



Last edited 11/29/15 5:46PM server time by bustamante-aoki
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Post #11   11/29/15 5:35:14PM   

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Gabrielle Garcia (0-0) vs. (0-0) Lei’d Tapa
Main Card | Female Light Heavyweight | 205 lbs (93 kg)


Post #12   11/29/15 6:07:47PM   

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Posted by tildengolfer

Gabrielle Garcia (0-0) vs. (0-0) Lei’d Tapa
Main Card | Female Light Heavyweight | 205 lbs (93 kg)





Seriously? Probably the best female fighter on the planet making her MMA debut is "rolls eyes" worthy?

Her opponent is disappointing but really, who were they going to get? They went after some HW Olympic Judoka's but couldn't find anyone willing to fight Gabi. What Tapa lacks in skill and experience is in some part made up for by her size and the fact that she is taking the fight seriously. She's used to fighting in front of large crowds also and Gabi isn't. I still think she's going to get smoked but you never know. She might make it interesting.

JMMA in a ring with large yet quiet crowds, stomps and soccer kicks, the music, the fireworks, the spectacle, the event is going to be special.I think Fedor is probably fighting Randy, Rampage, Wand, Palhares or someone who shouldn't be fighting for Rizin, therefore they're waiting until the last minute to surprise us with the fighter. They don't want to give lawyers a chance to shut it down on them.

Baruto looks pretty deadly tbh, he's massive and poweful but really light on his feet. I'm really excited to see his debut.

Rena is a 3x shoot-boxing women's tournament champion, making her MMA debut. She's young, hot, has an exciting style and she's facing another kickboxer. She could be a big star in Japan. Solid fight

Andy Souwer vs. Jienotsu Nagashima - Awesome fight. Souwer is a 2 time K-1 MAX champion and 4 time Shootboxing champ, also making his MMA debut. Nagashima former K-1 MAX Japan tournament winner. Nagashima knocked out Aoki on NYE during the MMA round of their fight a few years back. Both guys are always exciting as hell. Great fight for K-1 & JMMA fans.

JT and TK are going to try their best to re-enact JT vs. Don Frye for us. It's going to be epic while it lasts. There's no quit in either fighter.

Sapp vs. Akebono: two huge guys without much skill or cardio throwing down. It will be short and either entertaining or hilariously entertaining. Either way I'm down. Despite popular belief Sapp does try to win fights, he just gives up easily if he can't. Akebono was useless, but he's a pro-wrestler now in Japan. He's lost a lot of weight and vastly improved his cardio. This time the fight will be competitive. Akebono might actually get his first MMA win. That alone is worth staying up to see, because it won't ever happen again.

Sakuraba vs, Aoki: OK this one is dumb, it's more of a passing of the torch fight. Aoki will submit Saku to become the new Japanese IQ wrestler. Whatever.

AJ Matthews the young and talented prospect from Bellator vs. Anatoly Tokov, Fedors new protégé. Nothing to crazy over, but it's definitely a good fight.

Takaya vs. DJ Taiki - Two former Dream champs/contenders square off in what should be a very exciting fight. I'm a big Takaya fan and DJ Taiki I like also. Officially DJ jasn't lost in almost 4 years, and he did well on TUF Japan despite not winning the show.

Motoya vs. Nam Jin Jo is a bit of a gimme fight for Motoya but Nam Jin Jo is nicknamed "Crazy" for a reason, and he's never been finished, he has a lot of heart. Expect excitement, aggressiveness, creativity and displays of heart/willpower. The kind of fight that always wins over the crowds.

And then we have the tournament: 8 man 3 day GP. Champs and #1/2 contenders from Bellator/USA, Bamma/UK, KSW/Poland, Bushido/Lithuania, Jungle Fights/Brazil, IGF/Japan, and two more to come.

Seriosuly, with where they started two months ago and taking into account todays MMA scene and what they had to work with, Sakakibara is doing a great job of putting together these cards. You can't please everyone I guess.

Last edited 11/29/15 6:58PM server time by bustamante-aoki
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Post #13   11/29/15 6:54:25PM   

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Yeah rizin is doing alot of things to please hardcore jmma fans and mostly japanese casuals......you broke everything down very well.

This event has done more for jmma without happening then anything really in years,getting on fujitv and spike in front f millions and millions is incredible.

Baruto is being trained by masters in kickboxing and judo that guy has crazy potential probly fighter im excited about most.

Female fights will be interesting for sure this is coming from a guy openly not entertained by wmma lol,rena and gabi botj debuting is really interesting.

Andy souwer debuting in mma against another decorated kickboxer....OMG YES!!!

Oh and gracie vs yamamoto is really cool.

Fedor i hope gets rampage but randy would be a huge draw too wanderlei silva would be cool but whoever it is fedor is a god in japan it will draw.

Aoki vs sakuraba is dumb but i wont lie and ill say i find myself more interested as event grows closer.

The GP is hands down the coolest and most refreshing thing in mma ive seen in years really cool concept with alot of great talent.


If you are a jmma fan you cant help but love this card and honestly more people are hitting me up to come watch this event then i've had ever.I always have friends over for any mma fights i watch be it UFC,Bellator,WSOF,or old PRIDE,and Strikeforce dvds and they all are excited and interested to see a JMMA event and especially the tournament.



Last edited 11/29/15 8:01PM server time by FKA
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Post #14   11/29/15 7:43:59PM   

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I am sorry but that break down just made it soo much more disappointing for me...I see no relevance or excitement to any of it. If I catch a free short vid of Gabi, I'd watch that one...and if they find anything worth watching at all with Fedor, or if somehow Aoki vs Sakuraba ends up competitive...I just seriously doubt it. I haven't heard a single soul (except the few on this site) even mention knowing this event is going on and I just got back from Okinawa (spent 6 months there and only saw 1 advertisement). Plus, three days in a row...I doubt any viewership lasts to the third day.

Post #15   11/29/15 8:09:59PM   
 
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