Bahadurzada, Cyborg Added to Sengoku

By Tim Leidecker Dec 14, 2007
Upstart Japanese promotion World Victory Road has announced the participation of two more fighters for its debut show, "Sengoku," scheduled for March 5 at the Yoyogi National Gymnasium in Tokyo.

One half of the duo is Shooto light heavyweight (183-pound) champion Siyar Bahadurzada (Pictures). The 23-year-old kickboxer won the title from Japanese grappler Shikou Yamashita (Pictures) in July with a dominating performance. Now the standout fighter from Holland's prestigious Golden Glory team is taking the next step by moving to an even bigger stage in Japan.

In a statement on World Victory Road's official Web site, Bahadurzada, who grew up in war-torn Afghanistan before moving to the Netherlands, was very pleased with the chance to fight at Sengoku.

"It is an honor for me to represent Golden Glory," he said. "I want to show why I am the champion in Shooto and I am already preparing for my bout. Fighting in Japan is always a pleasure!"

The other fighter added is Chute Boxe bad boy Evangelista Santos (Pictures). "Cyborg," as the grim-looking Brazilian is called, was recently booked to fight Englishman Paul Cahoon (Pictures) at Cage Rage 24 but had to cancel the promising bout due to weight problems. The knockout artist turned 30 years old on Wednesday. He has plans to compete in the middleweight division in the future.

"Cyborg" is no stranger to fighting in Japan. In 2003 he debuted in the Land of the Rising Sun by knocking out Osami Shibuya (Pictures) in 1:20 to earn a shot at Pancrase light heavyweight champion Yuki Kondo (Pictures). The champion controlled him for three rounds to keep the belt via unanimous decision.

It took Santos almost two years and a move to the Chute Boxe Academy to return to Japan, where he accumulated a 1-1 record in Pride last year, losing to Kazuhiro Nakamura (Pictures) and submitting Yosuke Nishijima (Pictures).

"Win or lose, the only way to fight is for the knockout," Santos said before suggesting a showdown with Ryo Kawamura (Pictures), who knocked out Chute Boxe fighter Daniel Acacio (Pictures) in September 2006 and was knocked out by Fabio Silva (Pictures) in May. "If I were to choose an opponent, I would like to face Kawamura because he has a history with Chute Boxe."

With 2001 ADCC winner Sanae Kikuta (Pictures), Olympic judo gold medalist Makoto Takimoto (Pictures), Ryo Kawamura (Pictures) and now Bahadurzada and Cyborg, World Victory Road has assembled five of the better middleweight fighters in the world.

Although nothing has been confirmed, the Sengoku event could be building up to a 183-pound grand prix.
<h2>Fight Finder</h2>