At an Oct 14 press conference hosted by Fighting and Entertainment Group (FEG), president Sadaharu Tanigawa and DREAM event producer Keiichi Sasahara unveiled the synopsis of this year's annual "Dynamite!!" show on New Year's Eve.
The event will be held at Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan, on a similar scale as the last year's event, with the maximum stadium capacity of more than 40,000 people.
Regarding the much-anticipated fight card, Tanigawa told the media that FEG will start releasing the fight cards once DREAM 12 and K-1 MAX 2009 World Championship Tournament, scheduled for Oct. 25 and 26, respectively, are in the books.
With a total of 18 K-1 and MMA fights scheduled, the tentative line-up includes the following high-profile fighters: Norifumi "Kid" Yamamoto, Kazushi Sakuraba, Kiyoshi Tamura, Shinya Aoki, Hayato "Mach" Sakurai, Tatsuya Kawajiri, Hideo Tokoro, Hong Man Choi, Badr Hari, and Jerome LeBanner.
The main event of the night will be a farewell bout for the two-time K-1 MAX champion and Japanese K-1 icon, Masato.
Masato, who announced his pending retirement earlier this year, fought his second to last bout in July, dispatching the PRIDE/DREAM veteran and K-1neophyte, Tatsuya Kawajiri, with a second-round TKO. He was originally scheduled to face the winner of this year's K-1 MAX tournament on the NYE for his retirement bout; however, Andy Souwer's name has surfaced as another potential opponent.
Souwer, the two-time K-1 World MAX champion and one of the four finalists in the upcoming K-1 MAX World Championship, has defeated Masato twice in as many encounters.
Tanigawa noted that Masato-Souwer will be unlikely if Souwer loses by a knockout on the 26th. Otherwise, regardless of who becomes this year's K-1 MAX World Champion, Masato's revenge match against Sower will remain a possibility.
As for the special rules reserved for Masato's bout, Tanigawa revealed that FEG is considering at least a five-rounder, unlike the usual three-minute, three-round K-1 matches. He noted the FEG's desire to avoid a close decision at all cost: In order for the clear-cut winner to emerge, FEG is willing to implement a 7-rounder or even a 10-rounder for Masato and his opponent to give the proverbial 110%.
Elsewhere, when asked about the status of Musashi, who announced his retirement after his loss to Jerome LeBanner last month, Tanigawa commented that Musashi has "no desire to fight at the moment." Thus, it is unlikely that Musashi will fight on NYE or enter the reserve match for the K-1 World Grand Prix Final on December 5th.
Stay tuned to MMAmania for more announcements on the "Dynamite!!" event as they become available.