Sherdog.com thanks Yoshinori Ihara from Boutreview.com for their assistance during the event. . . . . . Master Ishii must have heard the rumors. K-1 was slipping. The Bob Sapp show was growing tired. Fighters like Akebono turned out to be nothing more than sideshow acts. Washed-up boxers way past their prime showed up for quick paydays and failed to impress. The Tyson-Sapp fight that Sapp personally promised six months ago seemed to have fallen off the charts. Experts started to predict that Pride, not K-1, would be the MMA sport that broke through to become a mainstream, truly international sport. But on Saturday night, with a spectacular K-1 Romanex Card at the sold-out Saitama Super Arena outside Tokyo, Ishii got his groove back. With arguably three fights that could have been headliners, and the world premiere of UFC King BJ Penn, K-1 fired a shot across the bow of the MMA world. They built a huge Romanesque-set that screamed epic, and in the end Romanex lived up to the hype. It was a night that launched new eras, and probably ended a couple of others. It was a night with controversy, showmanship, trash-talking and MTV b-list celebrities. Even Penthouse Magazine (a reporter, not a centerfold) was in the house.
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