Sengoku’s ‘Soul of Fight’ Gains First Bouts, FEG Cooperation

By Chris Nelson Nov 15, 2010
Sengoku Raiden Championship promoter World Victory Road on Monday formally announced the first batch of fights for its year-end card and introduced a new strategic partner for the event.

At a press conference in Tokyo, WVR President Toru Mukai confirmed the final of SRC’s 2010 welterweight grand prix between Keita “K-Taro” Nakamura (Pictured) and Yasubey Enomoto will take place at “Soul of Fight,” set for Dec. 30 at the Ariake Coliseum in Tokyo. Also added to the bill were the semi-finals of the promotion’s Asia bantamweight tournament, one of which pits Pancrasist Manabu Inoue against Zst’s Shunichi Shimizu; the other features former Shooto champion Akitoshi Tamura against Cage Force representative Taiyo Nakahara.

Six additional SRC fighters were revealed as participants: Kazuo Misaki, Akihiro Gono, Kazunori Yokota, Maximo Blanco, Hiroshi Izumi and Yoshihiro “Kiss” Nakao will compete against opponents to be announced. Once complete, the event will feature approximately 10 mixed martial arts matches. In what will be a first for an SRC-promoted event, Mukai said organizers are eying a further five women’s bouts.

While not officially announced, a pending featherweight title fight between champion Marlon Sandro and top contender Hatsu Hioki was also tabbed for possible inclusion on the card, though Mukai cautioned that nothing was set in stone.

Mukai reiterated hopes for “Soul of Fight” -- which will be produced in association with the Japan Wrestling Federation -- to become “Japan’s largest martial arts festival,” with 25 to 30 total bouts of MMA, kickboxing and grappling taking place over the course of an entire day. Competition on the day of the event will begin as early as 11 a.m., with attendees permitted to leave and re-enter the venue as they please in order to engender a “family-friendly” atmosphere.

Also in attendance at the conference was Sadaharu Tanikawa, president of Dream and K-1 parent company Fighting and Entertainment Group, who backed up his words from weeks prior by pledging his cooperation and support to the event. While “Soul of Fight” is unlikely to feature any Dream fighters, Tanikawa mentioned that he would like to send over kickboxers from K-1-affiliated promotions Rise and Krush -- a convenient talent exchange, since FEG has announced that this year’s MMA-focused “Dynamite” card will be light on K-1 matches.
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