Dream champion Shinya Aoki will lock horns with Sengoku titleholder Mizuto Hirota in a showdown between two of the world’s top lightweights at K-1 “Dynamite Power of Courage 2009” on Dec. 31 at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan.

Aoki last appeared in October when he submitted Joachim Hansen with a second-round armbar, avenging his technical knockout loss to the Norwegian in the 2008 Dream lightweight grand prix. The 26-year-old has posted five wins in six fights and holds notable victories over Vitor Ribeiro, Bellator champion Eddie Alvarez and American Top Team dynamo Gesias Cavalcante. Aoki has delivered 13 of his 22 wins by submission and has solidified his place as one of the most feared ground fighters in the sport.

Hirota, 28, has secured back-to-back quality stoppage wins over former Sengoku champion Satoru Kitaoka and Strikeforce veteran Mitsuhiro Ishida. A 2008 knockout victory against former International Fight League titleholder Ryan Schultz strengthens his resume, which includes eight finishes. Hirota has never been finished in 16 career bouts.

The Aoki-Hirota match was not the only high-profile tilt added to the K-1 mix on New Year’s Eve. Tatsuya Kawajiri will meet Kazunori Yokota in another pivotal lightweight bout.

The 31-year-old Kawajiri has won six of his last seven fights, the lone defeat coming to Alvarez in the 2008 “Fight of the Year.” He counts victories over Cavalcante, Ribeiro, Hansen and UFC veterans Per Eklund and Yves Edwards among his 25 conquests. Kawajiri last competed two months ago, when he stopped the overmatched Melchor Manibusan on first-round strikes at Dream 11.

Yokota will carry a three-fight winning streak into the match. The 31-year-old outpointed the respected Eiji Mitsuoka at Sengoku “Eleventh Battle” last month, maintaining the momentum he gained with a spectacular knockout of Schultz earlier this year. Yokota owns other noteworthy victories over Hirota and Sengoku featherweight ace Michihiro Omigawa.

view original article >>

Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

Tweets of the Week - 7/1

  • 29 days ago
  • 2 views

A look at the best tweets from the world of UFC. Follow @ufc, the list of official UFC accounts, and the list of UFC fighters to keep up with these guys and gals. read news >>

UFC 200 Video: Counterpunch – Cormier vs. Jones 2

  • 28 days ago
  • 320 views

Insults fly when UFC light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier and interim titleholder Jon Jones discuss their upcoming rematch in a heated interview. read news >>

UFC 200 Video: Cormier vs. Jones 2 — It’s Time Preview (Full Episode)

  • 26 days ago
  • 39 views

Light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier and interim titleholder Jon Jones prepare to unify that division’s belt, and Brock Lesnar returns at UFC 200. read news >>

Watch the UFC Fight Night 90: dos Anjos vs. Alvarez Weigh-In Streaming Live at 7 PM ET

  • 24 days ago
  • 42 views

Watch the official weigh-in for UFC Fight Night: Dos Anjos vs Alvarez streaming live on Wednesday at 7 p.m. ET from the T-MOBILE Arena Plaza in Las Vegas. read news >>

Watch The Ultimate Fighter 23 Finale Weigh-In Streaming Live at 6 PM ET

  • 23 days ago
  • 64 views

Watch the official weigh-in for The Ultimate Fighter 23 Finale: Team Joanna vs Team Claudia on at 6 p.m. ET streaming live from Las Vegas. read news >>

Watch the UFC 200: Tate vs. Nunes Weigh-in Streaming Live from Las Vegas at 6 PM ET

  • 21 days ago
  • 8 views

Watch the official weigh-in for UFC 200: Tate vs. Nunes on Friday at 6 p.m. ET streaming live from the T-MOBILE Arena Plaza in Las Vegas. read news >>

Tweets of the Week - 7/8

  • 22 days ago
  • 0 views

A look at the best tweets from the world of UFC. Follow @ufc, the list of official UFC accounts, and the list of UFC fighters to keep up with these guys and gals. read news >>

Watch the UFC Fight Night 90 Weigh-in Streaming Live at 5pm ET

  • 17 days ago
  • 8 views

Watch the UFC Fight Night Sioux Falls official weigh-in on Tuesday, July 12 at 5 pm ET/2 pm PT live from Denny Sanford Premier Center in Sioux Falls, S.D. read news >>

UFC Fight Night 91: McDonald vs. Lineker Weigh-in Video Replay

  • 17 days ago
  • 23 views

Watch the UFC Fight Night Sioux Falls official weigh-in, which took place on Tuesday at the Denny Sanford Premier Center in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. read news >>

Conor McGregor and Holly Holm Win ESPYS

  • 15 days ago
  • 25 views

Featherweight champion Conor McGregor and former women's bantamweight titleholder Holly Holm took home ESPY awards Wednesday night at ESPN's annual award show. read news >>