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DREAM Japan Grand Prix, Slated for May 2011

Written on April 18, 2011 by Markham Mencken

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Mixed Martial Arts is making a comeback in Japan, after the devastating March 11 earthquake, with DREAM's Japan Grand Prix.

On May 29 at the Saitama Super Arena in Japan, DREAM will pave the way for the return of MMA in the country with an eight-fighter bantamweight tournament. The DREAM Japan Grand Prix will be a prelude for the promotion’s World Grand Prix, which is set to start on September. The DREAM Japan Grand Prix will feature Masakazu Imanari, Kenji Osawa, Takafumi Otsuka, Hideo Tokoro, Keisuke Fujiwara, Yoshiro Maeda, Atsushi Yamamoto and Darren Uyenoyama. The top-three fighters that will emerge from the tournament will advance to the World Grand Prix.

In addition to this, the DREAM execs also revealed the “Fight for Japan” during last Friday’s press conference at The Parliament Museum in Tokyo. The “Fight for Japan” aims to raise funds for areas affected by the Japan earthquake and tsunami last March 11. The proceeds from the said event will go to the United Nations’ agency for human settlements.

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Due to Japan Earthquake: Satoshii Ishii, Scrapped from Strikeforce Challengers 15

Written on March 29, 2011 by Markham Mencken

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Due to the recent earthquake and tsunami disaster that hit Japan, MMA fighter - Satoshi Ishii - was scrapped from Strikeforce Challengers 15 roster.

Last Monday, Strikeforce officials announced that light heavyweight fighter, Lorenz Larkin, will step in to replace Satoshi Ishii to face Scott Lighty on Friday’s Strikeforce Challengers 15. Satoshi Ishii’s participation was another casualty of the recent Japan earthquake. Due to the cataclysmic event, the fighter was unable to secure a visa in time for the fight.

“This is definitely a step up for me, but I’m excited and looking forward to the challenge. Lighty’s a good fighter with a lot of experience. But I’ve trained hard, I’m in good shape and I’m confident,” Lorenz Larkin said.

Fighting Insider is hoping that Japan will recover soon, and that fans may see more Japanese MMA fighters in the next tourneys.

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Akiyama Steps Out of UFC 128 Card due to Japan Earthquake

Written on March 14, 2011 by Markham Mencken

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Due to unprecedented events in Japan last week, Yoshihiro Akiyama drops off from the UFC 128 card.

After an 8.8 magnitude earthquake and tsunami ravaged Japan last week, Yoshihiro Akiyama was forced to drop off from the upcoming UFC 128 card. He was slated to face Nate Marquardt on March 19, at UFC 128: Shogun vs Jones event. But due to a cataclysmic event in his native Japan, Sexyama was forced to withdraw from the fight.

Dan Miller was tapped to replace him, and face Nate Marquardt. Dan Miller’s original opponent, NIck Catone, will now face Costantinos Philippou on a catch-weight undercard fight at 195 pounds.

UFC 128: Shogun vs Jones will kick off on March 19, at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey, and will air live on pay-per-view.

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