Grabaka Announces Oct. 15 Event in Tokyo with Kikuta, Somdet

By: Chris Nelson
Aug 9, 2011
Well-known Japanese gym Grabaka will celebrate its 11th anniversary by staging its inaugural MMA event Oct. 15 at Tokyo’s Differ Ariake arena.

Produced in conjunction with Deep, “Grabaka Live! 1st Cage Attack” will feature MMA bouts contested in a six-sided cage, with a lineup comprised of Grabaka representatives old and new. The show was formally announced Tuesday at a press conference in Tokyo.

Grabaka founder Sanae Kikuta (Pictured; file photo) will serve as the event organizer and will also compete on the night against an adversary to-be-determined. When asked with whom he would like to step into the cage, the 39-year-old ADCC Submission Wrestling world champion was quick to rattle off a few possibilities.

“It’s been about one year since I fought,” said Kikuta, who notched a first-round stoppage of South Korean neophyte Yi Sak Kim in October. “If I were to choose a Japanese opponent, I’d go for my senpai (senior) like Kazushi Sakuraba or Kiyoshi Tamura. If it’s a foreigner, I’d like to maybe face Paulo Filho.”

Kikuta won’t be the only Grabaka staffer taking part in the card, as former Shooto 114-pound world champion and current Grabaka striking coach Rambaa “M-16” Somdet is also expected to see action. While no matchups were revealed Tuesday, a lengthy list of participants was announced, including Grabaka stalwarts Eiji Ishikawa, Keiichiro Yamamiya, Takeshi Yamazaki and Yuki Sasaki, as well as Daisuke Nakamura, Bobby Ologun, Shigeyuki Uchiyama and Yutaka Ueda.

Grabaka -- a portmanteau of “grappling” and “baka” (Japanese for “fool”) -- is perhaps most notable for producing UFC and Pride Fighting Championships veteran Akihiro Gono and current Strikeforce signee Kazuo Misaki, both of whom have parted ways with the gym in the past 24 months.

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