New Years Eve Previews: K-1, Shockwave, and Inoki

Introduction

Dec 30, 2003
While American MMA fans are left with a 6-hour UFC commercial featuring brief clips of bouts you've probably already seen, Japanese fans have to decide where to send their precious PPV dollars. The face of professional wrestling in Japan, Antonio Inoki, has held a NYE event for the last 3 years (with plans to hold them more often next year) but now the Pride Fighting Championships and K-1 have also gotten in the act. And this year all three events will feature MMA bouts in addition to kickboxing or "worked" wrestling matches. With MMA gaining in popularity in Japan and around the world (right now, it is mostly Japan), the producers of the events felt they had to raise the stakes and incorporate the "sport of the future" our beloved mixed martial arts.

Below each of these star-studded events will be dissected in a short preview. Yes, I know we won't see these shows in the U.S. for a while or maybe ever…unless you have a good friend in Japan. But I know die-hard fans will be scouring the internet to find out what happened and who won just the same. And with all the rumors and program changes that have floated around the last month, it will be interesting to see who actually competes in each show come fight night.

The current line-up features the following matches:

K-1 Premium 2003 Dynamite
Nagoya Dome Nagoya, Japan

K-1 rules match-ups:
Bob "The Beast" Sapp vs. Chad "Akebono" Rowan
Ernesto "Mr. Perfect" Hoost vs. "Montanha" Silva
Francisco Filho vs. TOA "The Samoan Beast"
Francois "The White Buffalo" Botha vs. Yusuke Fujimoto
MMA match-ups:
Alexey "The Scorpion" Ignashov vs. Shinsuke Nakamura
Genki "The Neo Samurai" Sudo vs. Eric "Butterbean" Esch
Cyril Abidi vs. Sylvester "The Predator" Terkay
David Khakhaleichivili vs. Yoshihiro Nakao
Jan "The Giant" Nortje vs. Masayuki Naruse
Tom "The Green Beret" Howard vs. Christopher "The Phoenix" Midoux

PRIDE Shockwave 2003
Saitama Super Arena Omiya, Japan

Rogerio "Minotoro" Nogueira vs. Kazushi Sakuraba
Kiyoshi Tamura vs. Rony Sefo
Mario "The Zen Master" Sperry vs. Yuki Kondo
Daniel Gracie vs. Wataru Sakata
Don "The Predator" Frye vs. Gary "Big Daddy" Goodridge
Royce Gracie vs. Hidehiko Yoshida
Murilo "Ninja" Rua vs. Akira "Mr. Pride" Shoji
Hayato "Mach" Sakurai vs. Daiju Takase
Heath "The Texas Crazyhorse" Herring vs. Giant Silva
Ikuhisa "The Punk" Minowa vs. Quinton "Rampage" Jackson

Inoki Bom Be Ye 2003
Kobe Wing Stadium Kobe, Japan

Kazuyuki Fujita vs. "Merciless" Ray Mercer
Fedor Emelianenko vs. Yuji Nagata
Josh "The Baby-Faced Assassin" Barnett vs. Semmy "The Viking" Schilt
Stefan "Blitz" Leko vs. Kazunari "Terrorist of Heisei" Murakami
Rene Rooze vs. Tadao Yasuda
Rich "Ace" Franklin vs. Ryoto "Lyoto" Machida
Alistair "The Demolition Man" Overeem vs. Vladimir "The Janitor" Matyushenko
Amar Suloev vs. Din "Dinyero" Thomas
Aleksander Emelianenko vs. Angelo Araujo
Pedro "The Rock" Rizzo vs. Hiromi Amada
<h2>Fight Finder</h2>