TATSUYA KAWAJIRI TO FACE MICHIHIRO OMIGAWA AT DREAM 18 NEW YEAR’S EVE
Dec 20, 2012
(PRESS RELEASE) -- TOKYO, Japan (Dec. 13, 2012) - Two of Japan’s
top featherweights (145 pounds/66 kilograms) have been added to the
DREAM 18 portion of the stacked, doubleheader fight card that Glory
Sports International will present at Saitama Super Arena in Tokyo,
Japan on New Year’s Eve, immediately prior to the GLORY 4 Tokyo -
Heavyweight Grand Slam, one-night, 16-man tournament.
Kawajiri (31-7-2) formerly the world’s No. 1 lightweight, is
will enter the ring riding a four-fight win streak and face Judo
Omigawa (13-12-1), who recently departed the UFC to return to
fighting in his native Japan.
“Kawajiri has been one of the fighting world’s top talents ever
since he first put on a pair of gloves. He is a very hard hitter
and has given us many memorable performances in the ring. He also
has a solid submission game and is capable of finishing a fight at
any moment either by KO or forcing the tap,” says Glory Sports
International CEO Marcus Luer.
“In Omigawa you have an extremely high level judo player with an
arsenal of trips and throws that few in MMA can match. His sense of
timing and balance is spectacular, a lifetime’s work, and watching
him hit a trip at just the right moment is like watching a master
artist at work. Kawajiri wants this fight on the feet, but he is
going to have a hard time staying there if Omigawa gets his
Kawajiri has been fighting for top level organizations throughout
his career. He has competed for PRIDE FC, Strikeforce, DREAM and
ONE FC, and has taken victories over former Strikeforce champion
Thomson, Norwegian standout Joachim
Hansen and current UFC lightweight Yves Edwards.
Twenty-one of his thirty-one career wins have come inside the
distance, twelve by KO or TKO and nine by submission.
Omigawa’s rise to prominence came after entering the 2009 Sengoku
Featherweight Grand Prix tournament as an underdog. He defeated LC
Phan and Marlon
Sandro - all of whom were heavy favorites to win the tournament
- and made it to the final. He lost a close split-decision but
earned a lot of respect. Shortly afterwards he signed with DREAM
and was then picked up by the UFC where he impressed U.S. and U.K.
audiences with his world-class judo skills.
In other DREAM 18 action on New Year’s Eve, former DREAM
lightweight (155 pounds/70 kilograms) champion Shinya Aoki
(31-6) will face battle-tested wrestling specialist Antonio McKee
(28-4-2). Heavy hitters Melvin
Manhoef (26-9-1, 1 NC) and Denis Kang
(35-15-2, 2 NC) will face off at middleweight (185 pounds/84
kilograms) and former DREAM bantamweight (135 pounds/61 kilograms)
Fernandes (12-3) will square off with Yoshiro Maeda
(30-11-2) in a 139-pound/61-kilogram catchweight contest.
The ‘GSI presents DREAM 18 and GLORY 4 Tokyo - New Year's Eve
Special’ double-header event will commence at 4 p.m. JST with the
DREAM 18 card and continue with the GLORY 4 Tokyo - Heavyweight
Grand Slam tournament featuring the world’s top heavyweight
stand-up fighters, including world No. 1 ranked Semmy Schilt
(39-6, 18 KO’s), Gokhan Saki (77-15, 53 KO’s), Daniel Ghita (44-7,
34 KO’s), Remy Bonjasky (77-14, 40 KO’s), Peter Aerts
(104-30-1, 78 KO’s), Errol
Zimmerman (76-16-1, 41 KO’s), Anderson ‘Braddock’ Silva
(32-8-1, 22 KO’s) and Sergei
Kharitonov (22-7, 12 KO’s).
The winner of the heavyweight tournament will take home a Grand
Prize of $400,000, and a total of $600,000 in prize money will be
awarded to tournament participants.
For more information, visit www.gloryworldseries.com.
About GLORY: The GLORY World Series (www.gloryworldseries.com) is
the world's premier kickboxing, or stand-up fighting league,
staging events across the globe and offering up to $1,000,000 in
prize money to the winners of 16-man ‘Grand Prix’ tournaments,
which are open to only the best fighters in each weight class. The
fight series also includes 8-man tournaments and events with
traditional, single bouts.
With television deals spanning every continent, plus a
groundbreaking online video streaming system and the world's
largest online martial arts library, GLORY is one of the world's
most widely-broadcast sporting organizations.
Owned and operated by Glory Sports International (GSI), the
organization has offices in Holland, the UK, Tokyo, Thailand,
Malaysia and Singapore. Its personnel includes a diverse mix of
award-winning hedge-fund and private equity investors; principals
from pioneering sports marketing agency Total Sport Asia; and
senior level executives from several leading sports franchises,
including WWE, FIFA, Golden Glory, Champions League and It's