Hideo Tokoro: Taro Irei | Sherdog.com
Fighting and Entertainment Group today continued to fill out the card for “Dynamite: The Power of Courage 2010,” adding a trio of MMA bouts and one kickboxing match to take place on New Year’s Eve at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan.
The K-1 and Dream parent company announced a featherweight MMA contest between Hideo Tokoro and boxer-turned-kickboxer Kazuhisa Watanabe, as well as an open-weight matchup featuring fan favorite Ikuhisa Minowa and judoka Hiroshi Izumi. Also confirmed was a previously reported welterweight tilt between Hayato “Mach” Sakurai and Jason High.
Meanwhile, Dream light heavyweight champion Gegard Mousasi will take part in a K-1 rules bout against K-1 heavyweight champ Kyotaro Fujimoto, also known by the ring name Keijiro Maeda. Mousasi made his K-1 debut at last year’s “Dynamite,” where he scored a quick first-round technical knockout over promotional stalwart Musashi.
Tokoro will try to close out the year with a win, having gone 0-2 thus far in 2010, with losses to Joachim Hansen and “Wicky” Akiyo Nishiura. The ex-janitor from Reversal Gym will likely seek to apply his grappling game against the standup-oriented Watanabe, who makes his MMA debut. Since switching fom boxing to kickboxing in February 2009, Watanabe has gone just 1-4 under the K-1 banner, his lone win having come against MMA fighter Atsushi Yamamoto.
Last New Year’s Eve, “Minowaman” won Dream’s Super Hulk open-weight tournament by upsetting Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou. Since then, the popular pro wrestler has gone 3-1, besting oversized opponents Jimmy Ambriz, Imani Lee and Chang Hee Kim, while losing a decision in a short-notice bout against 2008 Olympic judo gold medalist Satoshi Ishii.
Minowa will try his luck against another decorated Olympic judoka in Izumi, a silver medialist at the 2004 Athens Games. Izumi comes to “Dynamite” on loan from Sengoku Raiden Championship, under whose banner he notched a pair of wins in 2010, including a narrow split decision over James Zikic in October. The 28-year-old light heavyweight’s MMA ledger currently stands at 3-1.