K-1 and Dream parent company Fighting & Entertainment Group
have added divisional heavyhitters Gegard
Mousasi and Tatsuya
Kawajiri to their New Year’s Eve extravaganza “Dynamite 2008,”
which will take place at the Super Saitama Arena in Saitama,
With matchmaker and president Sadaharu Tanigawa unable to put
together a “unification bout” between reigning Dream middleweight
grand prix winner and middleweight champion Mousasi and Hero’s
light heavyweight tournament winner Yoshihiro
Akiyama, the “Young Vagabond” will now face local favorite
Musashi in a K-1 rules (standup only) match.
Mousasi’s newest assignment rules out the talented Armenian from
participating at Affliction’s Jan. 24 sophomore event in Anaheim,
Calif. Two months ago, there had been rumors of a potential
middleweight clash between the 23-year-old standout and former UFC
light heavyweight champion Vitor
Belfort. Mousasi’s U.S. debut will have to wait for now.
After his impressive tournament win in September, Mousasi had said
the only attractive fight FEG could offer him at 185 pounds would
be against controversial judoka turned pop icon Yoshihiro
Akiyama. The 33-year-old Korean has shown no interest in
fighting Mousasi, however, and has set his sights on bouts against
fellow judoka Satoshi Ishii or extravagant grappler Shinya Aoki
K-1 veteran Musashi has over eighty kickboxing bouts under his
belt. The 36-year-old Seido Kaikan karate practitioner peaked in
2003-2004 when he was able to reach the finals of the prestigious
K-1 World Grand Prix twice, but lost via decision to Dutchman Remy
Bonjasky both times. Musashi was eliminated from this year’s
competition by Brazilian fighter Ewerton Teixeira in the
Also added to the card, former Shooto welterweight champion and
Dream lightweight grand prix semifinalist Kawajiri will take on
former muay Thai world champion and K-1 MAX Japan tournament
finalist Kozo Takeda in a K-1 rules lightweight contest.
There had been strong rumors of the “Crusher” taking on fellow
former Shooto welterweight champion Caol Uno in a
rematch of their 2004 bout, which was ruled a draw after 15
minutes. But after the 30-year-old wrestler showed greatly improved
standup skills in his TKO loss to Eddie
Alvarez in July, FEG seems encouraged enough to book Kawajiri
in a kickboxing bout.
Takeda, who turns 36 four days prior to the fight, is arguably five
years removed from his prime. He has lost six of his last eight
kickboxing bouts, getting knocked out by Takayuki Kohiruimaki,
Miyata and Andy Souwer.
His most convincing performance in recent times went five rounds
with longtime K-1 MAX kingpin Buakaw Por. Pramuk.
“Dynamite 2008” currently stands at six bouts, with another eight
to nine fights to be added in the next four weeks. Star attractions
"Kid" Yamamoto, Masato, Semmy Schilt,
Akiyama, Shinya Aoki
and Mirko "Cro
Cop" Filipovic are expected to participate as well.
Depending on whether they make it out of the K-1 World Grand Prix
Final on Dec. 6 unscathed, kickboxers Hong Man
Manhoef, Badr Hari as
well as the eventual tournament champion also have a good chance of
joining the New Year’s Eve ranks.