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Japan New Year’s Eve MMA Events to Feature Cro Cop, Aoki, More

Japan New Year’s Eve MMA Events to Feature Cro Cop, Aoki, More

The end of the year is rapidly approaching now, and it seems most MMA events have sounded the final horn on 2014.

Last night, the UFC held their last event of the calendar year, with Lyoto Machida scoring a spectacular knockout victory over CB Dollaway in Brazil.

Just (about) one day prior, ONE FC bid the year adieu (or, zài jiàn?) . That night, the Singapore-based promotion held a one-night flyweight tournament at “Dynasty of Champions,” their first show in mainland China.

In previous weeks, Bellator MMA enjoyed a great success in their “Tito vs. Bonnar” card, and MMA World Series of Fighting showcased their leg-breaking welterweight champion, Rousimar Palhares, one last time.

But, there’s more to come this year — in fact, the action will continue right up to the last hours of 2014.

New Year’s Eve events were a staple of the Japanese MMA scene of the early to mid 2000’s, back in the heyday of Japanese MMA.  2014 may not exactly be a return to that form, but it will offer some interesting matches.

First, Antonio Inoki will present “Inoki Bom-Ba-Ye,” a mix of MMA and pro wrestling which will take place at Ryougoku Kokugikan in Toyko. The event is headlined by Mirko Cro Cop vs. Satsoshi Ishii. In the co-main event, ONE FC Lightweight Champion Shinya Aoki will fight Yuki Yamamoto. The card also includes Russian lightweight prospect Ramazan Esenbaev, who will meet Kiuma Kunioko, a veteran of more than 60 mixed rules bouts — dating back to his Pancrase debut in 1996.

Josh Barnett is said to make an appearance in a pro wrestling match in the same event.

DEEP DREAM Impact is also scheduled for New Year’s Eve, at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama. The event features standouts from DEEP, DREAM, and Pancrase — including a main event of Yoshiuki Yoshida vs Satoru Kitaoka. Other bouts include Mei Yamaguchi vs. Ayaki Hamasaki.

Here’s a trailer from our friends at DEEP:

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