Sengoku Names Tourney Pairs, Adds Thompson-York
World Victory Road has completed the matchups for its featherweight
tournament, which kicks off a March 20 opener at the Yoyogi
National Stadium Second Gymnasium in Tokyo.
In the tournament's opening round, early favorite Hatsu Hioki
will take on WEC veteran Chris
Manuel, while undefeated Brazilian and featherweight King of
Sandro meets KOTC standout Matt
Jaggers. Former Shooto world champion Hideki
Kadowaki will battle dynamic grappler Nam Phan, while
hot prospect L.C. Davis
will square off with UFC and Pride veteran Michihiro
The 16-man opening round will also see ZST torchbearer Masanori
Kanehara meet South Korean slugger Jong Man
Kim, rugged Shooto product Shintaro Ishiwatri tangle with
upstart Korean Chang Son Jong, Pancrase-bred KO artist Seiya
Kawahara face unbeaten Canadian Nick Denis,
and slick Brit Ronnie Mann
take on 18-year-old Tetsuya
Yamada, who just graduated from high school earlier this
WVR director Takahiro Kokuho previously stated that the company was
interested in promoting "Japan vs. the World" themed bouts in the
future. That concept is well realized in the March 20 offering, as
seven of the eight opening round bouts in the tournament pit a
Japanese competitor against an international import.
WVR also formalized a second non-tournament bout for the bill. In
addition to the light heavyweight bout between Muhammed
"King Mo" Lawal and Ryo
Thompson will take on New Zealand's "Big" Jim York in a
Thompson last drew headlines on Feb. 6 when he was involved in the
Titans Fighting debacle in Montreal, after his bout against
Canadian hockey enforcer Steve Bosse
was cut short by a rioting crowd.
York's first Sengoku appearance in May saw him get knocked out by
Japanese MMA agitator Yoshihiro
"Kiss" Nakao in the second round.
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