12/31 DYNAMITE! - Pictures and Thoughts

Friday, 2 January 2009

It was a very good night of fights, and I think the Japanese crowd left very satisfied. It was strange watching DREAM fighter after DREAM fighter KO K-1 fighters... It was just that sort of night. I knew Overeem was a good kickboxer, but I would not have predicted a KO win for him against Hari.

Kawajiri said in he after-fight speach that is was scary going in to the ring with K-1 rules, and maybe thats why the DREAM fighters did well... Maybe the K-1 fighters felt too comfortable going in...

Personally, the card was missing one fight. I had been looking forward to Hansen vs. JZ for a very long time. Injuries do happen though, it was just unfortunate timing. From what I understand, the injury occured in training just before the event. The doctors would not let Joachim Hansen fight on the day, but I hope he will make a speedy recovery and return!

Minowaman kicked off DREAM 1 and this year he got to kick off Dynamite! as well. His fight was predictable, he took his much bigger opponent down and finished him with a toe-hold. Leg-locks is really proving to be very popular in Japan lately.

He used the only tactic he could, get Zimmerman to the ground and go for a submission. It worked and Minowaman quickly had ahold of a leg. Zimmerman had no choice but to tap.

Next it was time for the K-1 Youth tournament, and I have to say, I am not a fan... From memory, I think the fights last year were better.. It is clear what the FEG is trying to do with this tournament though, it has a feel of the Japanese Highschool Baseball tournament (which is very popular)

After the youth tournament semi's were done, they put on a fight between 2 established K-1 stars. Artur Kyshenko took on Yoshihiro Sato in what was a highly anticipated fight. Kyshenko took a deserved but close decision.

Daisuke Nakamura and Hideo Tokoro put on an awesome display of grappling! I wish this fight continued a bit more... Nakamura needed 2 attempts to finish Tokoro by an arm-bar. Between these, Tokoro himself had his chances. A very high paced and exciting fight!

Andy Ologun was the only K-1 fighter of the night to have success against a MMA fighter. He did that with MMA rules too! BIG KO win against Pancrase fighter Yukio Sakaguchi.

After the Youth final and a break, it was time to introduce DJ Oozuma. He came on with a show that resembled his friend Akihiro Gono.

He introduced a matchup that I thought before the event might have been fixed. After what unfolded, it was clearly not. Inviting Bob Sapp to brawl is just a BAD idea!

Semmy Schilt was able to show that he can still finish people on the ground, and with the plans of crowning a DREAM heavyweight champion in 2009, I have a feeling he will be in with a chance.

Shibata charged out, and it looked like he took Sakurai by surprise. But once Sakurai regained his composure, there was no doubt who were the better fighter.

In a fight that was promoted as a battle between the neighboring prefectures of Saitama (Takeda) and Ibaraki (Kawajiri). K-1 fighter Kozo Takeda took on DREAM fighter Tatsuya Kawajiri. I guess this fight set the mood for the rest of the night. Kawajiri had much better hands than Takeda, who was unable to get the fight into his pace. Kawajiri's uppercuts opened Takeda up, and Takeda went down 3 times in less than 3 minutes.

Even more impressive was the KO win for Overeem over Hari. I really think Overeem has gained a lot of comfidence in 2008 and he will be a force in 2009!

Then it was time for the ring girls to take to the ring. They had very little work to do this event, so it was easy to forget they were there...

After the break Crocop entered the ring to take on Hong Man Choi. It will be the last time we see him for a while, as he will have to take time off for a knee reconstruction. I really hope it goes well and we get to see Crocop back to his usual self at the end of 2009. He did show that he could throw the left high-kick, even against a guy as big as Hong Man Choi. However it was a leg-kick that won the fight for him.

Gegard Mousasi have announced that he will compete in the ADCC championships in 2009, for Dynamite he took on Japanese K-1 star Musashi, with K-1 Rules. Gegard showed why you should never underestimate him! He is very mentally strong and really handed it to his opponent.

Next in the ring was Mark Hunt against the very late replacement Manfred Manhoef. It was a very quick win for Manhoef and I think Hunt didnt know what hit him... It was really a fight he needed to win... Manhoef didnt care though, a very strong KO win to the Dutchman.

Alvarez made the ultimate mistake against Aoki... A body kick. Aoki got ahold of his leg and was able to work Alvarez to the ground. Shinya Aoki got a big win and Alvarez his first loss in Japan.

And since I am out of town, with limited computer capabilities... I am unable to upload the remining pictures. It also means that updates will be somewhat slow the next few days, but I hope to be back in time for Sengoku!


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