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

Watch the UFC 201: Lawler vs. Woodley Weigh-In Streaming Live at 4 PM ET

  • 28 days ago
  • 57 views

Watch the UFC 201 official weigh-in on Friday, streaming live from the FOX Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia at 4 p.m. ET. read news >>

Tweets of the Week - 7/29

  • 29 days ago
  • 1 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 >>

The UFC's Polish Invasion Is Official After UFC 201

  • 24 days ago
  • 29 views

Don’t look now everyone, but here comes…Poland? Yes, after years of producing gritty, rugged characters who generally amounted to enhancement talent, Poland has become something of a little country t read news >>

Michael Bisping Announces Fight with Dan Henderson in Manchester

  • 21 days ago
  • 143 views

Though the UFC has yet to make it official, Michael Bisping took it upon himself to announce his title defense against Dan Henderson. read news >>

Watch the UFC Fight Night 92 Weigh-in Live from Salt Lake City at 7 PM ET

  • 21 days ago
  • 31 views

Watch the UFC Fight Night Salt Lake City official weigh-in streaming live on Friday at 7 p.m. ET from the Vivint Smart Home Arena. read news >>

Conor McGregor: ‘I Should Be a Two-Weight UFC World Champion’

  • 16 days ago
  • 51 views

Featherweight titleholder Conor McGregor says he's be a two-division UFC champion if Rafael dos Anjos had fought him at UFC 196 as originally planned. read news >>

Honorio Banario Looking to Make His Mark on ONE’s Lightweight Division

  • 15 days ago
  • 2 views

A former ONE Championship featherweight titleholder, Honorio Banario is now looking to make his mark on the lightweight division. read news >>

Tweets of the Week - 8/12

  • 15 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 204: Bisping vs. Hendo is Official; Includes Belfort vs. Mousasi and Struve vs. Magomedov

  • 11 days ago
  • 6 views

The all-but-confirmed UFC 204 headlining bout between Michael Bisping and Dan Henderson is now confirmed, as are several other UFC 204 bouts. read news >>

UFC 202 Embedded, Episode 4: If I’m Not Fighting, I’m Dying

  • 9 days ago
  • 33 views

On Episode 4 of UFC 202 Embedded, things go sideways at the official press conference when one headliner is late, one walks out and a near-brawl erupts. read news >>