Blanco-Park, Kanehara-Maeda Booked for ‘Soul of Fight’

By Chris Nelson Dec 17, 2010
With the show less than two weeks away, the MMA portion of World Victory Road’s year-end card is quickly coming together. The promoter today revealed a spate of bouts for “Soul of Fight,” set to take place Dec. 30 at Ariake Coliseum in Tokyo.

The marathon bill now sports pair of “Sengoku Raiden Championship vs. Dream” matchups, including a lightweight scrap between Venezuelan firebrand Maximo Blanco and South Korean prospect Won Sik Park, and a featherweight pairing of former champion Masanori Kanehara and WEC veteran Yoshiro Maeda.

Also announced were two women’s bouts, the first of which pits Strikeforce veterans Roxanne Modafferi and Hitomi Akano against one another. The other sees Jewels fighter Misaki Takimoto square off with muay Thai specialist Amy Davis.

On Thursday, WVR added former middleweight title challenger Mamed Khalidov to the card in a match with slumping Grabaka fighter Yuki Sasaki, along with a heavyweight kickboxing attraction between muay Thai titlist Kazuki Ozawa and Sengoku vet Chang Seob Lee.

A freestyle wrestling convert with an aggressive striking style, Blanco has gone 3-0 on the year, notching a trio of violent stoppages over the likes of Rodrigo Damm and Kiuma Kunioku. The lightweight King of Pancrase will look to cement his spot as a forerunner for the vacant SRC 155-pound title with his sixth consecutive win. “Parky” has won twice in the past four months, but will be taking part in his first big-stage bout for Park since his disappointing Dream debut against Kuniyoshi Hironaka in October 2009.

Kanehara, meanwhile, will see his first action since having his title taken by Marlon Sandro in June via crushing knockout. The former champ has kept busy with a number of exhibition MMA and grappling bouts in regional promotions since. He’ll meet former WEC bantamweight title challenger Maeda, who righted his course on an October Deep card with a majority decision win against Takafumi Otsuka. Prior to that, Maeda had dropped back to back fights in Dream, including a brutal head kick knockout by Cole Escovedo.

“Soul of Fight” will be headlined by a Sengoku featherweight title match between champion Marlon Sandro and Hatsu Hioki. The event is likely to air live in North America on HDNet.
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